Story By Ken Krayeske • 10:00 AM EST
Not often will I be counted as a fan of either Gov. M. Jodi Rell or Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz. I disagree wholeheartedly with many of the decisions that these constitutional officials have made.
Once in a while, they deserve a kudos - Bysiewicz, a Democrat and a Yale-educated attorney, has written a biography of Gov. Ella Grasso, and Rell, a Republican, has taken on Hartford Mayor Eddie Perez before (a slight accomplishment, at best).
However much I dislike their skills of governance, I know that they deserve respect, even begrudging respect. Both are long-time survivors in a political system that destroys people, and by nature of their public positions, we want discourse that encourages people to participate in the political system.
So it is was to my great dismay this morning that flipping through the FM dial, I chanced upon Chaz and AJ and their monkey house interviewing Bysiewicz, who has recently thrown her hat in the ring for the 2010 gubernatorial race.
The vanilla questions coming from Chaz and AJ and their listeners elicited standard claptrap from Bysiewicz.
Caller: How are you going to lower spending to cut my taxes?
Bysiewicz: We need to do an efficiency study of all departments in the government to determine where we can have cost savings.
AJ: You hear that DMV?
That discussion led to how dumbfounded Bysiewicz is that Gov. Rell has proposed cutting the insurance advocate position, one that is funded by the insurance industry, and not state tax dollars.
While I would like to hear Bysiewicz roll into a monologue about why we need single payer healthcare, as opposed to some band-aid reform that won't work, she maintained an air of dignity, and electability.
Then it all went wrong: Chaz and AJ suggested that Bysiewicz and Rell engage in a wrestling match to determine the future leader of Connecticut. Bysiewicz remained silent during this two minute long adolescent fantasy. As they took us back to neanderthal days before elections, when might made right, when raw violence determined political supremacy, the Secretary of the State let them have their fun.
Again, I wanted her to show some chutzpah and knock down these two morning deejerks. Yet she played the whole thing like a politician: let the boys run wild because you never want to piss off egotistical media gatekeepers who control access to an audience of tens of thousands of voters.
The dialgoue quickly worsened once Bysiewicz left the studio and was not there to defend herself. Chaz and AJ launched into a segment where they took words Bysiewicz said, like "Bond" and "Number Two," and made pop culture and potty jokes.
Bored with bodily functions, Chaz and AJ spliced punching and hitting sounds. For three or four minutes, they called color commentary and play-by-play action on an imaginary Rell-Bysiewicz melee.
When the mysogyny jokes ran out, Chaz and his crew mocked AJ for liking the Sean Penn docudrama "Milk." Billy and Chaz teased AJ for shedding a tear at the power of Harvey Milk's story, and they kept joking about AJ coming out of the closet, a long-standing theme on the show.
The "AJ's gay" gag suffered a bit when AJ promised after watching "Milk" that he would never make fun of homosexuality again, a feat that will be difficult to accomplish considering that he is surrounded by uber-hetero men who refuse to acknowledge the validity of alternative points of view.
After hearing the gay-bashing and realizing that Bysiewicz neither dared quash the lowest common denominator fare that passes for political dialogue on WPLR, nor was she there to defend herself against the sounds of her and Gov. Rell cage fighting, I called in. It has been some months since I checked in with the crew, and I quickly remembered why.
After a moment or two of banter about me listening this morning because I left my iPod home, I explained why I was calling: can't we do better? This is not the first time I have asked this question of Chaz and AJ. And Chaz dismissed my concerns and said it's all in good fun. We're like a frat house.
I wish I was quick enough to say: The last frat boy governor we had ended up in jail. I wasn't. In fact, the last frat boy governor we had may have engaged in domestic violence, a serious problem in our society. Every day four women die in the United States from domestic violence. And that Megan Doll sits there protecting her paycheck and suffering the insults of centuries is beyond me.
I didn't go into statistics. I asked Chaz and AJ if they would treat former Speaker of the House of Representatives Jim Amman the same, and say that he was in his underwear battling Dan Malloy or someone else. They said of course they would.
But who in their listening audience wants to imagine something vaguely homoerotic like men wrestling for power? It is so much more alluring to demean and degrade constitutional officers who happen to be women by suggesting that we toss out our current system of a republican democracy and replace it with a pay-per-view anything-goes ultimate cage fight to determine who will be the most poweful woman in our state.
I'm not buying it, and as soon as I suggested to Chaz and AJ that they engaged in prejudice against women, the personal atatcks against me started. It's the default mechanism, the reflex response for Billy Winn to defend their jokes by attacking my sex life.
This is probably the fifth or sixth time I have called to complain, they have put me on the air and then said I need to get laid. When I said that my personal life was not at issue, they hung up on me.
Yes, Connecticut, the time for LPFM is long-overdue.Link...