Rhode Island governor digs deeper – advertisers should “shut down” talk radio (Update)

Gov. Lincoln Chaffe’s (I-R.I.) decision to order state executives to stay off talk radio during state time had nothing to do with the wasteful use of state resources. It had everything to do with politics, nothing else. Chafee now states advertisers must shut down talk radio.

Of course, advertisers can do what they like, but the governor’s statements shows they guy has absolutely no clue. If advertisers are buying time on conservative talk radio across the country, they are not doing so to support the format, they are buying spots because their audience will hear the commercials.

Chaffe’s target will soon be the advertisers themselves. We’ve got a sitting governor virtually demanding advertisers stop marketing on [conservative] talk radio. What would you do if you were an advertiser who has booked commercials on talk radio in Rhode Island and may be doing business with the state? What if your business requires permits or licences from the state?

This is a threat to your business. Chaffe’s next step may be to release executive order requiring businesses who do business with the state not advertise on talk radio. You think I’m reaching? Trust me, if you own a HVAC business who advertises on a conservative talk radio show in Rhode Island and are looking to land a contract with the state to install and/or maintain the heating and air conditioning in a few state buildings … you best watch out.

From the Providence Journal this morning, with my emphasis in bold.

Those that pay — the advertisers — should shut them down,” he said to reporters following an unrelated event Thursday morning in downtown Providence. “My view is that these people don’t even believe what they are saying, but they are making money off it. They’re selling this divisive and highly emotional [content] … because it sells. So the advertisers have to shut them down. That’s my view.

Update: Steve Gilbert at Sweetness & Light agrees and notes…

The law has a term for this kind of thing. It is called ‘tortious interference.’ And, as the lawyers say, it is ‘actionable.’

You cannot interfere with someone’s business, even if you are a governor. Some would say, especially if you are a governor.

And speaking of which, it is also probably highly problematic to have a government official calling for censorship. This would at the very least appear to be the ‘prior restraint’ of free speech.

18 replies
  1. winnie888
    winnie888 says:

    This is craziness.  Who voted for this weirdo?  Now, it's not just the show hosts & their bitter, clinger audiences who are the target, but the businesses who use those shows as a way to reach a very large audience, & through their advertising dollars keep these talk shows lucrative and operating.  The left has tried taking down this format in every way possible except this one.  Businesses who advertise through conservative talk radio best watch themselves in the state of RI.  But I'm sure it won't stop there…

  2. TomL
    TomL says:

    I hardly listened to talk radio or watched Fox News until I heard all the fuss about them being bad. Then I got curious and started to listen to Jim and others and migrated over to cable news and settled on fair and balanced at Fox. The louder they scream the more curious people will get to see whats up.

  3. pauldow
    pauldow says:

    Watta ya wanna bet that Chaffe has never even listened to Limbaugh? He's only heard the out-of-context clips and comments from what his handlers tell him about.

  4. NH-Jim
    NH-Jim says:

    Let's look at some facts: More people voted against Chaffe than for him.

    Chaffe (I)= 36.1%

    Robitaille (R)= 33.6%

    Caprio (D)= 23%

    Others = 7.3%

    Rhode Island has the same amount of <a title="Providence Journal" href="http://blogs.wpri.com/2010/10/18/rhode-islands-jaw-dropping-jobs-deficit/&quot; rel="nofollow">non-farm jobs as it had in 1987.

    Unemployment rate of 11.8%

    Former Gov. Carcieri (R) made large budget cuts last year allowing the new Gov. Chaffe to enjoy a <a title="Budget balanced" href="http://blogs.wpri.com/2010/11/15/a-little-good-news-on-rhode-islands-deficit/&quot; rel="nofollow">balanced budget

    But, like CT, RI will see a shortfall of <a title="RI Budget Shortfall" href="http://blogs.wpri.com/2010/11/10/rhode-islands-deficits-big-and-getting-bigger/&quot; rel="nofollow">$365 Million for 2011-12.

    RI takes in $3 Billion in state tax revenue, where does it get the rest of its money for its $7.8 Billion budget?  Why, the federal government of course!

    And, Gov. Chaffe is more concerned with what you freely choose to listen to on the radio.  This man really has the best interests of a failing state as priority in his mind, huh?

  5. GdavidH
    GdavidH says:

    Right on people!

    This is another example of a politician trying to preempt the criticism he knows is coming when he can't govern. 

  6. Lynn
    Lynn says:

    If you live in CT, Chaffee the Clueless may do much for our economic recovery. Now, we may be even steven on being bad for business. If we help Chaffee go over into Never Never Land, RI businesses will cross over the border and we can gain vitality and jobs. Malloy hasn't seen this yet, has he?

  7. Erik Blazynski
    Erik Blazynski says:

    How is this digging a deeper hole. He believes that sponsors should stop sponsoring. Big deal. He is not suggesting that government shut them down. And he is 100% correct when he says that these hosts manufacture this crap and spew forth stuff that they don't believe to sell ads. Of course they do, how is that fact relative to anything. He undoubtedly did the save thing to get elected.

  8. JollyRoger
    JollyRoger says:

    Prayer is the last refuge of a scoundrel; shutting down Talk Radio is the last refuge of democrats, liberals, progressives- or whatever their nom du jour.

  9. JollyRoger
    JollyRoger says:

    Maybe Chaffee'd like to end Talk Radio so he can quietly impose Carbon Taxes via local utility bills?

    Sounds crazy, but I just googled the "comb public benefit chrg" on my CL&P bill; very little info came up, but this appears to be a Carbon Tax? We need Talk Radio, louder and even more bombastic than ever- and Hillary Clinton makes my case: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NJxmpTMGhU0

  10. joe_m
    joe_m says:

    There must be something in the water in the Northeast. Can we all be this naive to put people like this in power?

    We have Blumy as a senator and the taxing democrats in power for this state.

    Of course, it could be just me, maybe I don't get it.

  11. weregettinghosed
    weregettinghosed says:

    We can all read the writing on the wall, it is how we interpret the writings that will help us keep our freedoms or naught. Democrats, progressives, liberals [ whatever the label] write upon the wall in language intended for a leftist interpretation however, a conservative sees it or should in quite another direction; these writings are far from the clearly written Constitution. Chaffe is directly showing us the intentions of the leftists, roll over us, mandate, regulate and brainwash until all citizens succumb to oppression, those that do not, eliminate.

    I read Chaffe's writing, cease supporting conservative views or your business will suffer; do as we say, succumb to our views and your family eats under a warm roof; refuse and there shall be no reward only financial devastation. Complete anger needs arising, patriots demand retraction and accountability; expose to all media air waves until the Governor ceases his leftist rhetoric.

  12. JollyRoger
    JollyRoger says:

    Noam Chomsky compares Tea Party, talk radio (Rush, "Savage and the rest of them") to late Weimar Germany… People had grievances, the Nazis gave them answers and enemies, "and we know what happened…" And unless they (you right wing people) are led to understand what's really happening to them, we could have trouble: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h2zYaKXeyXE&fe
    Good thing we've got Chomsky and Katie Couric to give us a reality check- or a ticket to the Gulag!

  13. Dimsdale
    Dimsdale says:

    Noam Chomsky could easily be compared to Stalin, Lenin and any other Communist/socialist/statist despot.  The National Socialist party (Nazis) are better associated with his ilk, supplying "answers" to real and manufactured problems, and manufacturing domestic enemies and embracing real foreign enemies.

  14. jnelchef
    jnelchef says:

    Chafee's father is rolling over in his grave. What a humiliation. At least he no longer calls himself a Republican.

  15. Theophilous
    Theophilous says:

    Fascist only allow dissent when they are the ones dissenting.

    They will attempt at first to silence and then criminalize any dissent from their party line.  See the so called "free speech" allowed on college campuses.  If you disagree, you are subject to censorship, vandalism and even physical attacks (reference the "pie throwing" assaults, that will escalate to stabbings and shootings if the pies dont silence critics)

    Please allow me to say this in a classic phrase.  Big Brother is Doubleplus Ungood.  And Gov. Chafee is a minion of Big Brother.

    How much further do we need to go, before children in schools are encouraged to "report" their parents for being opposed to the government and uttering "hate speech."  We already see children being punished for expressing traditional values in school.  heaven forbid…  Excuse me …  May the all powerful State forbid that you speak against homosexuality as a normative if not superior lifestyle choice.  George Bush was a drunken frat boy who was incredibly stupid, but he tricked the congress into going to war.  (note – if an incredibly stupid person can trick you, what does that make you?)  Our current president was annoited by the immaginary old man in the sky, if he exists, to become our Dear Leader.  And anyone who disagrees is obviously a racist bastard, with thoughts of murder and death in their souls..   ummm…   psychies.

Comments are closed.