You go Dan! Honestly, you should go away!

By Craig Medred

As someone who has been in trouble more than once in the media in Alaska, I would defend until death — actual, honest-to-God, this is worth exchanging gunfire over —  the right of Dan Fagan to say what he did this week on his talk show on KFQD 750.

That said, Fagan’s attempt to gum up the election in Alaska was also wrong. It’s not often somebody reaches the Supreme Court bar that sets the limit on free speech in this country, but Fagan did. He screamed “Fire” in the proverbial “crowded theater.”

He didn’t just tell people how to vote. He didn’t just continue his propaganda campaign for Senate candidate Joe Miller. He didn’t just say the two candidates opposed to his guy are evil, disgusting, incompetent, crooked, fat, ugly, worthless, stupid, etc., etc., etc. people. He didn’t just continue with his theme that Miller’s only real flaw is that he somehow inspires the lamestream media to smear him.

Oh no. Fagan went far beyond that. He said Alaskans should go out and illegitimately register as write-in candidates in an effort to make it difficult for legitimate candidates to get their names written in on the ballot. He boldly tried, and there is no argument about, not to influence voters but to tamper with the ballot box.

He has a right to do that, too; and I believe in that right. Unfortunately, he has no his right to do it with the electronic megaphone of KFQD. With that megaphone comes a certain responsibility.

It need not be much of a responsibility. Personally, I’d argue the less the better. I like the freewheeling craziness of talk radio. But there is some responsibility.

If Dan had bought a megaphone, jumped in his car, and driven around Anchorage screaming “Save Alaska: Register as a write-in candidate today!” I’d be saying: “You go Dan!” Same for if he’d bought himself a truck and nailed to either side placards saying “Save Alaska: Register as a write-in candidate today. Lisa Murkowski is RINO Ho!”

Those are protected forms of speech in which any citizen can engage. But Fagan didn’t engage in these activities. Fagan spoke from a platform in front of a mob. Fagan shouted from the position that allows him to start a stampede in a crowded theater. That position demands just a tiny bit of responsibility. Fagan didn’t display it. So his boss did. Station manager Dennis Bookey pulled Fagan off the air.

This is capitalism at work. The people in charge of running the business get to decide how the business is run. Everyday news editors across the country cut stories because they’re irresponsible, thinly sourced, inflammatory, or just plain poorly written. That’s not impinging on free speech, as some, like Sarah Palin have suggested. That’s just business. 

Whether they’re right or wrong, I don’t know. All I know is what Fagan did was wrong. It went beyond propagandizing into election tampering. It was a great publicity stunt. I admire his courage for trying it. But he deserved to be taken off the air. Read More

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4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. WakeUpAmerica
    Oct 31, 2010 @ 09:40:49

    Just a suggestion, but I think that when you post someone else’s article, you should post their name under the title as the writer. Right now, it looks like you are saying you wrote it. I know that “by Syrin” means the blog is yours, but perhaps you could remove that since the top of the page says “Syrin’s Blog” in big letters.

    That being said, it’s a great article, and I totally agree.

    Reply

  2. Syrin
    Oct 31, 2010 @ 10:22:41

    Done… I usually do put the author at the top. The writing that has been coming out about this Alaskan election lately has been amazingly honest and to the point. The screwballs have been surfacing and people actually admit they are screwballs…I can hardly keep up or get enough!

    Anyway, Craig is very thoughtful and recognizes the real danger with this kind of political environment.. He’s my favorite Alaskan writer these days. You can find his writing on http://www.adn.com & http://www.alaskadispatch.com
    I love the way he thinks!

    Reply

  3. crystalwolfakacaligrl
    Oct 31, 2010 @ 18:30:36

    Late Thurs night Sarah’s asshats4Palin, her a$$istant RAManSour, Tim Lindell & Dan Riehl were pushing and asking how “Alaska Operation chaos” was doing. It was supposedlly cooked up by Reihl. It all leads to Sarah’s feet which I think accounts for her paranoia this weekend.
    I dropped a twitter to Lisa’s camp about it…and they knew it. I would love to see her busted for electioneering! This whole ginned up brietfart story, of a “suspicious” tape, is a red herring me thinks.
    I think if certain well known progressive bloggers hadn’t interfered in the primary it would be Lisa vs. McAdam now. Now Miller. I am glad Lisa is fighting.

    Reply

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