Welcome to the Chicago media freak show, former Representative Joe Walsh.
In a town whose media outlets hired embarrassments such as Randy Michaels, Jim Laski, Jenny McCarthy, Jim Belushi, Rod Blagojevich, and Mancow Mueller, Salem Communications’ WIND-AM is expected to sign a deal with the former 8th District Republican Congressman and tea party firebrand, who was defeated by Democrat Tammy Duckworth last fall. Barring any last minute snags, Joe Walsh Unplugged begins on March 18, scheduled to run from 7 to 9 p.m. The “official announcement” is expected to come on March 14 at a WIND-AM event titled Obama 2.0: The Road Ahead where Walsh is expected to appear.
News of this item first appeared in Robert Feder’s column Wednesday at Time Out Chicago.
WIND is already home to John Howell and Amy Jacobson in morning drive and Steve Cochran in afternoon drive. Adding Walsh would only be the third local show in the station’s daily lineup with the rest syndicated fare.
Walsh plans to take his show on the road often and reaching voters across the state who are dissatisfied with the way the government – both state and federal – is being run. Walsh could run for office again and should he do so, he would have to exit his radio gig because of equal-time provisions.
While this is nice and all (and yours truly is for more local content over the airwaves), and the government is being run the same way the major broadcast networks are these days, consider this – Walsh is a nutcase and an annoying prick who spent two years in Congress running his mouth instead of actually doing his job. Now, the human version of Scrappy-Doo gets to run his ignorant yap two hours a night, apparently trying to compete with American Idol judge Nicki Manaj on who can annoy the audience the most in primetime.
What, Kenya Moore from The Real Housewives Of Atlanta wasn’t available?
This is the type of moron WIND is hiring: at a forum in Gurnee, he was rude and shouted down one woman; told the college student who beefed with Rush Limbaugh to get a job (if the shoe fits, wear it) and is a deadbeat dead for failing to pay back-child support.
But here’s the kicker: a few weeks ago, Walsh slammed First Lady Michelle Obama for traveling back to her hometown for the funeral of Hadiya Pendleton, who was gunned down by a gangbanger on January 27, a mile where President Obama and The First Lady lives. The murder made international headlines and cast Chicago in a negative spotlight the city may never recover from – and this after the Chicago had over 500 murders last year. Walsh said Mrs. Obama came to the funeral to make a “political point”. The reason the First Lady attended because Pendleton performed at Obama’s inauguration – a mere week before her murder. So what has Mr. One Term done to address the issue of black-on-black violence in Chicago and in other cities? Shoot off his mouth, as usual. Since when he become an expert on urban violence? It was Walsh who made it political in the first place by opening his ignorant mouth.
And now these idiots at WIND are rewarding him filling the airwaves with this type of garbage for two hours a night? It’s decisions like this that make Chicago media the laughingstock of the nation. It’s an out and out embarrassment. We need people to find solutions to these problems plaguing our city, not some IQ-deficient idiot creating more bullshit rhetoric. But to local station managers, finding solutions doesn’t bring in revenue or ratings, so forget it.
Hiring a racist and sexist prick like Joe “Deadbeat Dad” Walsh is just another great move by the imbeciles who run many of Chicago’s media outlets. How many blunders have their been in the last six years alone? Way too many to count. If you read this site for the last few years, you know the drill by now… Jay Mariotti, the Jerry Springer-WMAQ news fiasco, Mancow, Blago’s stint at WLS-AM, TribLocal, WFLD’s entire news operation, Randy Michaels’ and Sam Zell’s tenure at the Chicago Tribune, CBS 2 employees being forced to pay for their bosses’ lunch, and a reporter going swimming in a murder suspect’s pool, and on and on and on. Oh by golly, that very same reporter is now a morning co-host at WIND!
And it’s getting worse: In the last year alone, Mancow somehow managed to launch an unwatchable TV show and Jenny McCarthy and Jim Belushi were hired to write columns for the Sun-Times. Just more proof Chicago has become the worst media market in the country: no one earns their way into positions – they’re handed to them because these people have the ability to act like assholes, as media conglomerates who run these outlets into the ground can do whatever the hell they want no matter the repercussions, and we Chicagoans can either take it or leave it. No wonder Chicago is so “corrupt”. It happens in politics AND in the media. All of this make Chicago media and the city itself look like one big, stupid reality TV show.
Walsh’s hiring is just another remainder of why terrestrial radio is dying. The move is clearly meant to boost ratings – WIND is ranked 34th in the market, way behind competitor WLS. It’s a desperate ploy to get noticed because hardly anybody listens to the station, which stupidly re-branded itself as The Answer. Only in a creative-challenged medium like radio you can ripoff a slogan from former NBA player Allen Iverson (who had the same nickname when he played for the Philadelphia 76ers.) With Mr. One Term, you don’t need “practice” to suck right out of the gate.
Coming up next, look for WIND to hire former Survivor contestant Colton Cumbie to follow Joe Walsh’s show. Since he thinks like Walsh, he’s a perfect fit. And if that falls through, they can go out and hire Jeff Probst, since being an annoying prick is more than enough to be qualified to host an evening shift at WIND.
All of this just gives an unfortunate impression that in order to get a job in front of the camera or behind the mic at a radio station in Chicago, all you have to do is act like an obnoxious idiot. Or better yet, be one.
In other words, act like Joe “Deadbeat Dad” Walsh. Or a Kardashian.
(Editor’s note: Joe Walsh is not to be confused with The Eagles guitar player of the same name. But you knew that already.)