WTIC-AM’s afternoon hosts former Gov. John Rowland and Pastor Will Marotti have a political agenda that is constantly on display in their three-hour infomercial for Republican candidates and conservative causes. Tuesday, they tried to enlist a reputable Hartford Courant reporter to make their partisan points. The interview turned into an ugly, hard-to-listen-to, train-wreck of a segment that shows the very essence of why “Church and State” will never succeed.
Having spent some 15 years in radio before moving on, The Shad literally cringed when Rowland and Marotti badgered and abused reporter Daniela Altimari on-the-air when she refused to support their premise that Secretary of State Susan Bysiewicz is acting as a political operative for US Senate candidate Richard Blumenthal.
Rowland and Marotti were discussing Bysiewicz’ comments about voters wearing WWE apparel when voting. The Shad has already weighed in on the subject and in fact, agrees with the Pathetically Partisan Pair to a certain extent—that raising the non-issue was a mistake. But that wasn’t enough for Rowland and Marotti. They contend that Bysiewicz purposely raised the WWE clothing issue to help Blumenthal and that it wasn’t simply a response to a media inquiry as Bysiewicz claimed.
Altimari, however, would not be rattled or enlisted by the two hosts and insisted that she and co-workers came up with the question and called Bysiewicz’ office to ask. Her answer was a direct contradiction to what the hosts were insisting. So when they couldn’t get what they wanted from her, they proceeded to jump ugly with Altimari.
Ironically, the next segment on the show was about bullying. Perfect.
UPDATE: Rowland and Marotti had CTNewJunkie.com reporter Christine Stuart on later in the same show. Stuart has a reputation as a reporter that is beyond reproach just like Altimari’s. She backed up Altimari’s contention that regardless of what one think of the answer Bysiewicz gave, the WWE clothing-at-the-polls issue came about because of a reporter’s question, not because of some sort of conspiracy.
Both Altimari and Stuart deserve better than to be the target of a couple of belligerent, condescending radio newbies who use their guests not for honest political discourse, but to prove their own points. And God help them if they disagree.