Thursday, June 4, 2009

Abdul-Ogden CIB Debate on WXNT 1430

FYI, I have accepted an invitation from Abdul to debate the CIB bailout issue on his program. Time is tomorrow (Friday), 8 a.m. - 8:30 a.m., WXNT A.M 1430 Hopefully I will be awake by then.

While I've been critical of Abdul in the past for some of the positions he's taken and getting too close with certain people in power, I have always said Abdul is a terrific radio host, one of the best around. He conducts a great interview and has a sharp wit and mind. His on air presence is terrific.

I think Abdul has one of the toughest jobs in the media job. As someone who runs a blog, I see myself as a commentator on the news. I'm not a reporter and don't pretend to be. But Abdul is first and foremost a reporter/radio host. He is only secondarily a commentator. To combine those two is extremely tough. Why? Because when you are a reporter, you have to cultivate news sources. It's very hard to do brutally honest and often negative commentary on a news source when the next day have to contact that source to help put together a story. If you're too negative, the door gets shut and you can't do your job.

Reporters have a delicate balancing act between cultivating the newsmakers, usually those in power, and getting too close to those sources so that objectivity is compromised or an appearance of impropriety is created. That is further complicated when you are also commentating on the news.) My criticism is that Abdul has gotten too close to powerful people, in particular the elitist, country club wing of the Republican Party, and its tarnished his previous independent image that had generated so many Abdul fans among the populist, anti-tax folks who helped Mayor Ballard get elected and now are angry as can be at the Mayor. Maybe that's wrong, but it's my observation.

As far as the "debate" goes, obviously it's tough to have much of a debate in a span of time that will probably total maybe 20 minutes at best. Make no mistake about it though, Abdul is a sharp guy with a terrific background. It was impressive the piece he wrote on the Colts' claim regarding the $100 million alleged contribution. He totally blew away Irsay's argument. (Up until lately, almost everything Abdul wrote about the CIB I agreed with.) Abdul is really strong with facts and figures. While I'm not bad in that area, my strength is more big picture, seeing how things fit together. My background is not nearly as impressive as Abdul's. I grew up just outside of China, Indiana (pop. 14 or so) in southeast Indiana, the son of a 10th grade drop out. I was a good student in college, but pretty average in law school. I think average could describe by legal career thus far as well.

I'm looking forward to the "debate" about the CIB issues on the radio with Abdul. Hope you can listen.

5 comments:

Attyabdul said...

Paul,

Thanks for the kind words. I have to make one correction though, I'm not a reporter, per se.

I used to be, but now I a more of a commentator, who has reporter skills and uses them to intermix with his commentary.

And I am friends with a lot of the people I cover, Ds, Rs and Ls, it's no secret. Actually it's the worst kept secret in town. But we all know where the line is and no one has ever crossed it.

My job is to dish out my opinion, and I try to do that based on facts.

I don't have to objective, I just have to be able to back up what I say.

See you later this morning.

Paul K. Ogden said...

You do though go out and do original reports on things that are happening. I don't generally do that. The role between commentating and straight reporting have long since gotten blurred. People have suggested that I "report" on things as a blogger. I don't like the word "blog," especially as a verb, but I don't see myself "reporting" things. A straight reporter has a duty to go out and report both sides of the story, avoiding editorializing on the facts. Again the lines have blurred.

talkradiomisinformation said...

The sad thing is most people think Abdul is telling the truth when it's just his opinion. He's entertaining but he's no different than Garrison, Hannity or Oberman. His daily rants against public schools and especially IPS while lauding his charter schools is laughable. Most stories have two sides. He reports his side, usually with rumors and half-truths or skewed data. It's amazing what you can do to promote your agenda with a screen caller.It's way too obvious who he apologizes for and who he attacks like a schoolyard bully. That's the comedy of his show. I like science fiction but I know it's not true.

HOOSIERS FOR FAIR TAX said...

Abdul has good reason to rant on IPS! That reason? Their shameful MEASURABLE performance year after year.

My property tax on my Meridian Kessler home DOUBLED in 2003 and then TRIPLED in 2007!

I pay for IPS and so do my neighbors, some of whom in MK abandoned their homes because of the tax increase. Some homes are being abandoned because the taxes are so high they cannot attract buyers.

There's no shortage of people who want to live in the neighborhood, but they don't want to send their kids to IPS.

To live there you have to resign yourself to pay outrageous property tax bills, maintain nearly 100 year old homes, AND pay for private tuition because IPS is a complete and utter failure...one of the worst school systems in the country.

One educrat administrator for every three teachers isn't getting results. It costs us money and it makes it harder for us to keep our homes.

Throwing more money at a miserable failing school system with declining attendance is NOT the answer.

P.s. Did anyone notice how our heckler never offered up a single statistic or fact to back up his claim against Abdul's reporting?

Paul K. Ogden said...

I'm still trying to figure out why talkradiomisinformation is taking a shot at charter schools. They've proved to be enormously successful and popular.