ROWLAND’S BIG RADIO LIE

Having spent some 12 years or so in radio (news director, morning show co-host, evening host, fill-in guest host of the Colin McEnroe show), The Shad has somewhat of a clue of how the business works. For the most part, when you’re hosting a show and are advancing your view on a political issue, you do your best to back it up with facts and agreeable guests. What you don’t do is outright lie to make your case. Enter former Gov. John Rowland.

On several occasions last week, Rowland brought up to his audience a bill advancing in the state legislature. It’s often referred to as the “captive audience” bill. In short, it would prohibit employers from compelling the attendance of employees at any meeting at which political or religious issues are being discussed.

Rowland, who opposes the bill, perpetuated a fraud on his listening audience by calling the bill a “gag order.” He repeatedly said the bill would stop employers from talking to their employees and stop employers from calling meetings. That is simply not true.

It is true that the bill originated from repeated disputes between labor unions and their employers. Union members thought their bosses were making them attend meetings at which they were being peppered with anti-union propaganda.

Whether one supports the bill or not, it should be based on the facts, not some made-up characterization of it. The bill does not stop employers from talking to their workers—they can call a meeting every day if they want to. It does not stop employers from speaking in any way whatsoever. It simply gives the workers the option to attend or not if the meeting is to discuss political or religious topics.

Rowland and his radio partner already refuse to have on as a guest anyone who can seriously (and respectfully) challenge their opinions. They are entitled to their own opinions. They are not entitled to their own facts.