Would you hire this man as a talk presenter for your station? | radioinfo

Would you hire this man as a talk presenter for your station?

Monday 09 November, 2020

 Peter Saxon asks three CDs.

In a radioinfo article back in 2015, soon after Donald Trump announced his candidacy for the U.S. presidential election, titled How to be a Shock Jock – secret revealed, I devoted the final section to candidate Trump and pondered whether he’d make a better talk presenter than a president.


How do you spot raw talent?

He may not be the best candidate for leader of the free world, but Donald Trump has all the hallmarks for a successful career as a Shock Jock. God knows America needs more of them.

U.S. polls show Trump is the leading candidate for Republican nomination. He was recently interviewed by conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt on his Salem network show. Hewitt asked Trump some foreign policy questions mainly to do with the Middle East - a fairly prominent issue, one would think, for an aspiring President.

On a question about how he perceives the difference between Hamas and Hezbollah he said he ‘will know the difference when it’s appropriate.’ Trump accused Hewitt of springing a string of “gotcha” questions on him, like that one. Surely for a Presidential hopeful the questions were about as “gotcha" as asking a candidate for Governor of the Reserve Bank his view on how interest rates affect inflation.

Trump’s grasp of foreign policy, at that time, was about the equivalent of Pauline Hanson’s understanding of the word ‘xenophobic.’ But unlike Hanson, Trump was not about to ask, "please explain?" Instead he went on the attack calling Hewitt, “a third rate radio announcer” and was reportedly considering blacklisting him from future interviews.

I’d sign Trump up now… if not for the sake of American radio, for the sake of the world.

Well, that was then and this is now and it’s fair to say, his presidency was quite a shock to many good people – on both sides. Or, put another way, as a president, he’d make a great shock jock.
With Joe Biden declared the winner of the election, unless the incumbant can convince the courts of skulduggery at the ballot box, and have the results overturned, he’ll be ‘pursuing personal interests’ come January.
So we asked three of our wisest Content Directors: If given the opportunity, would they hire the Donald as a talk presenter for their network?

First off, we asked ARN’s Duncan Campbell, (centre) who has lengthy experience wrangling shock jocks the likes of Kyle Sandilands at KIIS 106.5.
“I don't know whether I would, to be honest,” says Campbell, “There’s an argument that he would make a fantastic talk show host on radio – he’s going to be polarising. If it had been pre his time as President, probably, I would've. But I don’t know about post.” 
Next we spoke to Nova Entertainment’s Paul Jackson (left) who has FIVEaa Adelaide in his remit, “I think the psyche may be quite different in what's happening there. He’s certainly a showman and an entertainer… but I’m quite happy with our team David & Will, who are doing a very good job.
“I don't think we would be trying to entertain that (hiring Trump). I don't think he would last very long on the radio without getting suspended.”
Finally we spoke to someone who is responsible for a whole string of talk stations, Nine Radio’s Greg Byrnes (right) who doesn’t hesitate, “Yes I would. Controversial, unpredictable, engaged, colourful... he’d be great.
“Although I fear his fee would be a stumbling block.”

Peter Saxon




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Anthony The Koala
10 November 2020 - 8:36am
In another article on this site, https://radioinfo.com.au/news/how-be-shock-jock-secret-revealed I made the distinction between the different types of 'shock jock' that were in Australia compared to those in the US. In Australia, the 'shock element' came from addressing, or as the article said the host "dressing down" the comment whose policies or views did not accord with the presenter. For example Ray Hadley appropriately attacking the advertising slogan "getting routed" for a a road directory when a component of Ray's listeners are stay-at-home parents looking after infants. Another example is Stan Zemanek's (RIP) dressing down of callers including Bruce The Goose (RIP). An extreme example are the vulgar insults to a journalist on his 2DAY-fm breakfast program (now on KIIS formerly MIX formerly 2UW). Even apologies by the radio station not condoning the presenter's actions did not deter the employer to dismiss or even being employed later to present the breakfast program on KIIS).

While I wouldn't call the exchange or the dressing down of a person by Mr Hadley as shocking. Generally, the 'dressing down' of a person whether a marketing director or CEO or government minister occurs if the policy is wrong. The late Stan Zemanek's insults included "numbnut", "you moron" and "socialist criminal" to callers including regulars as Bruce The Goose (RIP) who did not agree with Stan's view of the world. I also mentioned the inconsistent employment policies of dismissing Arch Tambakis (RIP) for calling the then Federal Opposition Leader Mr Howard a liar compared to Alan Jones calling former PM Julia Gillard "Juliar".

To answer the question is whether current US President, Mr Trump could present himself as a shock jock? The US shock jocks are shocking not only in dressing down people but also disseminating conspiracy theories. Mr Trump could easily do it well.

I shall not appraise the pros and cons of Mr Trump's policies while in office. Rather illustrate an example of his pre-2016 campaign shocks particularly the wrong assertion that Mr Obama was not an American citizen and that the late Senator John McCain was not a hero by virtue of being a POW during the Vietnam war.

First, could Mr Trump be a shock jock? He may well be. He and US shock jocks tried to portray presidential candidate Mr Obama as being ineligible because he was not an American citizen when in fact he was by dint of being born in Hawaii in 1963 long after Hawaii became a state in 1959.

The issue in US constitutional law of what is a "natural born citizen" is a topic beyond the scope of this essay. A natural born citizen can be born outside the USA to US citizens. Clearly Mr Obama is a "natural born citizen" because he was born in Hawaii in 1963 long after Hawaii became a state in 1959.

Mr Trump and his shock jock friends have constantly the MISREPRESENTED THE FACT that because the villagers of Mr Obama's father's village uttering "...he's one of us..." as being evidence of not being a US citizen. The repetition of the misrepresentation went for months. Reference of "...he's one of us..."

One can only speculate at this time (10th November 2020) whether these shock jocks will do the same to VP Kamala Harris because her mother's Indian village celebrated Kamala's promotion to VC given that she was born in Oakland California. I hope not.

Finally, I will illustrate with another example of when Mr Trump addressed the late Senator John McCain as not being a war hero because Senator McCain was a POW. Definitely shock jock material, sources, https://www.politico.com/story/2015/07/trump-attacks-mccain-i-like-people-who-werent-captured-120317 and https://www.bbc.com/news/av/world-us-canada-33602916.

Whether you agree or disagree with the politics of the late Senator McCain is irrelevant. You don't mix what happened to someone in war and a person's current job. Moreover, Mr Trump's remarks are an insult to all those veterans who were POWs in any war in the course of defending their country. Mr Trump would also be insulting other POWs such as Admiral James Stockdale who was a POW from 1964 to 1973. Mr Trump would also be insulting Weary Dunlop and POWs of Changi. Mr Trump also would be insulting my mother's first cousin who was a POW for three years during WWII who returned home requiring treatment at Concord RGH for the rest of his life until passing away in 1965. My mother's first cousin grave has the "Rising Star" (1947 style) emblem embossed on his grave.

Apart from a radio station being able to afford any costs arising from defamation, Mr Trump could well be a shock jock. His controversial remarks could well attract an audience.

However, like social media networks who produce unverified and unreliable news, Mr Trump as a shock jock should not be relied as a source of news.

By saying what I am saying does not infer that I support or not support a particular political party.

Thank you,
Anthony of critical Belfield
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