Taking on WBURís Ashbrook in a letter to the Boston Herald
BY DAVID BRUDNOY
Tom Ashbrook of WBUR [Boston Herald, Letters, August 15] massively distorts ó as is typical for that station and its parent, the repugnant NPR. He writes that he did not introduce Noam Chomsky as "in the American mainstream." But he did. March 6: "Youíre clearly in the American mainstream."
He boasts that his station gave preeminent student of terrorism Steven Emerson a "full and rare public-radio airing." Rare indeed, since NPR and its satellites, such as WBUR, have boycotted Emerson for years, refusing to put him on until pressure from listeners, over many years, finally got the station grudgingly to permit that "rare public-radio airing." How generous.
Ashbrook says that he didnít call Emerson an "intellectual terrorist." Here is what he said: "Your defenders called you a prophet without honor, and victim of an ugly smear campaign over many years. Your critics have called you anti-Islamic, anti-Arab, an intellectual terrorist, and so on. Youíve got a lot of baggage, my friend."
Of Chomsky: "Youíre an icon and idolized by your admirers, and bitterly attacked by your opponents. Where, from our radical, and I donít know if youíd call it left-wing, but from ó youíre clearly in the American mainstream ó your radical view of society and the global world order ó why did 9/11 happen?"
Forgive confused Ashbrook his muddled syntax, but we get from him many words on both men. The last phrase of an introduction, as all talk hosts know, is the clincher. The knock-out punch when dissing Emerson is "intellectual terrorist"; the suck-up soother for Chomsky is "clearly in the American mainstream."
Last year WBUR, which bets for contributions and says that it must get every single dollar or it will fly off the radio and the world will be the poorer, oh woe, was rocked by that ludicrous greed-and-ego flap owing to the then-host of a notoriously biased late-morning show demanding for himself and the chief of his six-person producing team (for a two-hour show) not only what the "impoverished" station had already offered (a half-million dollars yearly), but also control of the program. This year the station suffers the withdrawal from it of millions of dollars in support, owing to its anti-Semitic and anti-Israel bigotry, and it contends with that not by mending its ways ,but by squealing about its careful critics ó among them, me.
Ashbrook refers to my accurately documented column as a "smear," but his own letter is a nearly hysterical screed in defense of the indefensible.
David Brudnoy is the host of WBZís David Brudnoy Show.
Tom Ashbrook responds:
David Brudnoyís misrepresentation of our show is no substitute for the real thing. Let Phoenix readers decide for themselves. Itís all there for anyone to hear at www.OnPointRadio.org. Or join us 7-9 pm any evening on WBUR, 90.9 FM. We trust listeners will know the truth when they hear it.
Host of WBURís " On Point "
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Issue Date: August 15, 2002
"Today's Jolt" archives: 2002 2001
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