Clear Channel Runs Dodd Interview—In Alabama

DSCN1806.JPGClear Channel’s 960 AM radio station finally ran a censored interview with U.S. Sen Chris Dodd — on 960AM in Brimingham, Alabama, not 960AM in New Haven.

It was the latest bizarre turn in the saga of the itinerant recorded showdown between Connecticut talk-show host Tom Scott and Connecticut’s mortgage scandal-plagued Democratic senator (pictured with Mutual Housing chief Seila Mosquera during a recent tour of New Haven’s Fair Haven neighborhood).

The saga began Oct. 29. Scott, host of an afternoon drive-time talk show on New Haven area station 960 AM WELI, grilled the senator about two controversies that have dogged Dodd recently: He received personal “VIP” loans from Countrywide Financial, a predatory lender he was supposed to be regulating as chairman of the Senate Banking Committee. And he helped craft a $700 billion Wall Street bailout bill designed to spur new small-business and homeowner lending — but which turns out to be designed instead to enable banks to buy other banks.

TomScott.jpgThe interview never aired, partly because of an ongoing dispute between Scott (pictured) and the show’s producer over the producer’s on-air role. Scott quit the station in protest. Click here to read a story about all that.

Officials from Clear Channel Communications, the corporation giant that owns WELI (and an estimated 8 percent of all U.S. radio stations), refused to comment on why the station hasn’t run the interview. Todd Thomas, Clear Channel’s regional operations manager, did promise to replace Scott, the station’s last live local human being (as opposed to syndicated right-wing nut case) doing a daytime talk show, with another host familiar with Connecticut news and issues.

Meanwhile, the Independent obtained a copy of the censored interview. The audio was posted in this article this Tuesday, Nov. 11.

Later that day a lawyer with Clear Channel called the Independent demanding that the audio be removed from the site, because, he said, the interview is property of Clear Channel.

Meanwhile, the story went viral on the internet Wednesday (including an appearance on the Drudge Report website, sending a stream of visitors who temporarily crashed the Independent website).

Some sites started posting the audio, too, such as this one.

By the end of Thursday, the audio interview and a story about the censorship appeared on a website of a radio station in Alabama. A station owned by — guess who? — Clear Channel. The station is 960 WERC in Birmingham, Alabama. Let’s see how long it stays up.

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posted by: Shawn on November 13, 2008  11:57am

Hey…Howie Carr played the interview on his show yesterday and I heard it through their affiliate WHYN 560 in Springfield, Mass.  A lot of Dodd constituents, including me - listen to that show.

posted by: Your Tax Dollars at Work on November 13, 2008  1:40pm

As a liberal Democrat, I’ve been a long-time supporter of Chris Dodd.  However, his habitual acceptance of special favors from an industy over which he’s supposed to be exercising legislative oversight shows he’s not qualified to continue as Chair of the powerful Senate Banking Committee.