Among a year of chaos, division and political unrest there has been an unsung hero that emerged from the most unlikely of places. Dave Portnoy, Founder of BarStool Sports, has given hope to many small businesses who have lost so much during the past year’s Covid lockdowns.
Taking a moment to analyze the foundation of the company itself, Barstool Sports was founded by Dave Portnoy who still remains the Chief Content Officer and his Chief Executive Officer, Erika Nardini, who happens to be an incredibly accomplished executive with a track record of building, developing and growing businesses on a grand scale. Erika Nardini’s background and the foundation that makes up the Barstool that I have always loved—is an authentic and unapologetic space to discuss sports, comedy, current events and more. Since Nardini’s hiring in 2016, the dynamic between her and Portnoy seemingly became an effortless symbiotic relationship, which in and of itself speaks volumes but also lends credence to the facts Kayce Smith shared with me last year about Barstool’s culture.
Portnoy and Nardini’s commitment to content creation as upper level managers, in a hands-on fashion, has separated BarStool from others, as it is unique from any competition. Making way for the idyllic duo with the shared vision of not pandering to, cowering to or straying from their core beliefs as to what Barstool means to them, Nardini and Portnoy are continuing to dominate despite the haters and trolls who don’t seemingly consume the content Barstool is known for.
Rather than focusing on the abysmal behavior and incredulous accusations being made across social media and news media sites in a smear campaign against Barstool and Portnoy, I want to highlight the good work and empowering messages from Barstool’s employees, who’ve promoted the efforts to help small businesses stay afloat.
The opportunities for reaching new heights and setting new goals is a Barstool reality as the company has continued to flourish with the Barstool Fund and helping small business after small business, with their team rallying to spread the word about their efforts.
If you are a small business that needs help staying in business because of the Covid lockdowns email us your story to email@example.com. We will try to help as many people as we can.
3:51 PM · Dec 17, 2020
In a video that now has close to 3 million views, posted by Barstool founder and Chief content Officer Dave Portnoy just a month ago, he explains the hopes for the Barstool Fund and outlines their goal.
“We’re going to donate a half a million dollars- half a million dollars. We’ve come up with a plan; is it the best plan? No. The best plan is the government getting off their ass and issuing relief, billions of dollars, to these small business owners who are losing their livelihood and have no recourse, no way to save it through no fault of their own.”
The criteria for being included in the fund?
To qualify you have to still be paying your employees.
And you need to disclose: what do you need money for? How much do you need to get to the next month—as a rental leave tax relief? What can we do to make sure you stay in business until this pandemic is over?
“We’re going to help as many as we humanly can and try to keep all the small businesses alive. So, that’s the plan. Is it perfect? Probably not, but it’s better than nothing. Barstoolfund@barstoolsports.com – If you’re a small business owner and you need help: reach out. Hopefully, we can help you.”
It’s been modeled around Frankie Borrelli, who’s been the longtime cameraman for Dave’s “one bite everybody knows the rules” pizza reviews, that have certainly become my guilty pleasure over the years.
Frankie’s father, owner of a restaurant in Long Island is the perfect example of the type of business they wanted to save.
“Dave, I really want to thank you for starting this fund. Do you know what it means to us? This started in April, we had our doors closed, and we made it through the summer. We built an outdoor patio, we’re breaking even through the end of the summer. I’ve got my staff; they’re all being paid. I said, ‘we’ll make it through Christmas.’ January, February, March I was planning on closing. I didn’t say anything to my staff. This is going to help so much. You don’t know. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. And my staff, with their mortgages, families. You don’t know how many people you’re helping. Thank you.” Coming from the most heartwarming video Frankie posted of a video reaction of Dave’s announcement of the Barstool Fund.
Dave, who’s been a champion of the small business owner, receives criticism from others in the broadcasting, sports and journalism industries, not to mention the relentless social media trolls. The false narratives involving the culture for women employed by Barstool or the content involving females on Barstool’s platforms has been dispelled by Kayce Smith in a one-on-one Q&A she graciously allowed me in 2020 about her experience with the company. This unfortunate and shameful narrative has not been called out by others in the media world, especially as Barstool Sports has expanded their role in broadcasting to encompass finance, current events and news. I think it’s essential to point out a few of the significant facts that conveniently get cut from stories about Portnoy and Barstool Sports because the facts simply don’t align with the narrative they want to perpetuate.
Some talking points for the people who refuse to consume any of the content Barstool produces on a daily basis has been condensed below to cancel the “cancel Barstool culture” and instead, focus on the incredible work they have done and continue to do, particularly in the vein of small business assistance.
Stuart Varney of FOX Nation and FOX Business, as well as Tucker Carlson of FOX News, have hosted Dave Portnoy to discuss his work to breathe life back into the small business owners and encourage the hard working individuals who want to continue to come to work every day and earn a check for the work they’ve done rather than be handed a check from the government to tide them over.
“Kid Rock, reached out unsolicited, Guy Fieri‘s been a big help, Tom Brady, we’ve had Dana White donate one hundred grand, so we’ve had a lot of big celebrities but we have over 160,000 individuals, so they’re just everyday people. The people who like Barstool, the people who care about what’s going on, and that may be the most moving part of it.” Portnoy shared on FOX Nation.
“I keep saying it: no amount of money will ever be enough. This is a government issue if the money is involved but they’re not getting involved.” Said Portnoy.
“So how about coming back for a Townhall on Fox Business to talk about all the businesses you’ve saved, maybe surprise a few people, live during the special and just tell him, ‘hey, we rescued you.’ Do you want to do it?” Varney proposed to Portnoy earlier this month.
“I’m aiming for the moon.” Portnoy replied.
Stuart Varney concluded the interview saying, “Portnoy, I think you’re doing great work. I really mean that. You’re a good man.”
“You’re calling out CNN because they promoted Beyoncé’s efforts to help businesses but they just left you completely out of it. They stayed silent about you.” Tucker Carlson said to Portnoy on his show.
Portnoy replied, “Yeah, so I mean I have no problem with Beyoncé. Any charity is good. I don’t care if you’re political, not political; everyone should care about this. And I’m beating the drum: I’ll go on any network anytime anywhere because the more publicity we get, the more donations we get, the more businesses we can help. So, I don’t know why CNN would not mention it, at least to help people, help small businesses. I have nothing against Beyoncé, mention Beyoncé, she’s famous and she’s doing good work, but we’re doing something too and I think it would help everybody the more publicity that we get.”
A fair point that has been avoided at all costs by network news media with the exception of FOX and a piece done by the Today Show. Just two weeks ago, Portnoy joined Carlson again to discuss the progress made and what the latest response from the news media has been.
Tucker Carlson pointed out the elephant in the room and how Portnoy just decided ‘I’m going to do it myself, I’m going to raise the money and give it some people who need it.’ Kind of an amazing story and you’d think it would be everywhere: it isn’t. It’s been pretty much ignored, the Barstool Sports Fund by the media, but this week some of the press start taking different approach—they’re angry and they’re trying to destroy Barstool Sports.”
Airing one of the lovely success stories and video reactions, “My whole body is numb right now,” says the recipient crying through her gratitude to Portnoy. “You guys are angels, we’ve been feeling so abandoned and so scared about the future. Thank you so much for taking care of the people that have seemed to be forgotten.” she finished.
Tucker Carlson isn’t here for it. He airs the video and then says, “The San Francisco Chronicle, for example, is a garbage paper, wrote that the woman you just saw was ‘not aware of Portnoy‘s history of making racist and misogynist remarks or the accusations of sexual harassment against him.’ because no good deed goes unpunished, apparently.”
The claims of misogyny, sexual harassment continue despite the fact the female CEO of Barstool Sports Erika Nardini, the female employees of Barstool and former interns have shared experiences that couldn’t differ more from the unsubstantiated claims expressed in The SF Chronicle.
The petty infighting between journalists has also continued due to a perplexing inability to focus on the sheer magnitude of the charitable contribution Dave has taken on. Dismissing the chance to report on the incredible and historic efforts made by Portnoy and his team to help provide relief for business owners who have lived in fear of making payroll or next month’s rent since the shutdown started.
The opportunities for reaching new heights and setting new goals is a Barstool reality as the company has continued to flourish—with The Barstool Fund and helping small businesses, the team has rallied to support these efforts.
One of his supporters and teammates Liz Gonzalez, Portnoy spoke of just yesterday on his podcast. “Liz is one of the purest people we have at Barstool and that’s a high compliment for me to give somebody.” Portnoy said on Tuesday’s episode of The Dave Portnoy Show with Eddie & Co.
“Liz is uniquely Liz and I respect her for that. There’s nothing fake about Liz, ever. Liz is Liz. She doesn’t care what people think.”
Liz Gonzales, blogger and host alongside PFT Commenter (Eric Sollenberger) can be heard on SiriusXM Channel 85 weekdays from 11-2.
I wrote a profile on Kayce Smith and the culture at Barstool, stemming from the years of the same inaccurate, asinine narrative about the foundation of the company.
Kayce Smith held nothing back in speaking with me about the freedom, safety and support she has around her at Barstool: “as a woman in this company, I feel very safe and have never been treated better. So that whole ‘Barstool treats their women employees poorly’ narrative is just flat out incorrect.” The entire article can be found here: https://barrettsportsmedia.com/2020/08/04/kayce-smith-has-never-had-more-freedom/ I know the last thing that Dave Portnoy needs is me as his bodyguard, but I think it’s time to put the petty and unnecessary hit pieces aside and acknowledge the great work Dave continues to do with Barstool Sports and most recently, his philanthropic efforts for The Barstool Fund.
Chrissy Paradis is a BNM columnist and veteran sports radio producer. She’s worked in Las Vegas, Washington DC, Raleigh and Hartford helping personalities such as Rob Dibble, Tim Brando, Steve Cofield, Adam Gold and Joe Ovies. You can contact her on Twitter @ChrissyParadis or by email at Chrissy.Paradis@gmail.com.
Does the Republican Establishment Get It?
For many it seemed that the Republican establishment stood idly by as Democrats changed the rules and worked behind the scenes to alter elections.
In a move that seemed to go against the wishes of the patriotic American grassroots, the Republican party on Friday re-elected RNC Chairperson Ronna McDaniel.
The media immediately took notice, as many on television and radio are now wondering why the party would re-elect a chairperson who has been so unpopular with the base of its party.
Grant Stinchfield discussed this issue Friday night on his program, Stinchfield Tonight, which airs on Real America’s Voice network.
“Ronna McDaniel holds on to her chairmanship of the Republican Party. By a whopping total of — what were the numbers– 111 to 54. Harmeet Dhillon only received 54 votes. Mike Lindell 4 votes. This is proof to me that the Republican establishment is dug in,” Stinchfield — formerly of Newsmax — said. “Don’t tell me they’re out of touch. See, you tell me they’re out of touch, that implies ignorance. They’re not ignorant about anything.”
As sentiment for Dhillon grew in the days leading up to Friday’s vote, many influential politicians and party donors publicly offered her their support and endorsement. These included Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL), as well as donors Mike Rydin, Dick Uihlein, and Bernie Marcus.
Also on board were musician and outspoken conservative John Rich, along with the state GOP of Nebraska and Washington State. Countless journalists and media personalities, such as Charlie Kirk, Miranda Divine, and Lou Dobbs, also came out publicly in support of Dhillon. Former President Donald Trump remained neutral, not making a public choice of either of the three candidates.
For many of Dhillon’s supporters, the deciding factor was public sentiment across the party’s base.
“They’re reading the same chat boards. They’re getting the same emails I’m reading. I will literally post something about this race when I was supporting Harmeet Dhillon. There was not one comment – not one – that supported Ronna McDaniel. Everyone wanted change,” Stinchfield said, noting that the party elite saw the same groundswell of support for change.
“Now, nobody has an issue as Ronna McDaniel is some evil kind of person. I don’t believe she is. I believe, though, that she is part of the establishment. She’s been around too long as far as the establishment goes. And she’s been ingrained in doing business as usual. It’s not working.”
In making their choices known, many Dhillon supporters simply pointed to the scoreboard during McDaniel’s reign.
“Think about where we are. 2018, we lost the House. 2020, we lost everything. 2022, we won the House, but we should have really steamrolled the House and we should have taken back the Senate, which we didn’t do,” Stinchfield said. “That means we’re on a real losing track since she took over. I don’t like being on a losing track. I like being on a winning track.
“Something has got to change when you talk about all of this. So how does Ronna McDaniel get 111 votes and Harmeet Dhillon only get 54 votes, when everyone, every Republican voter I talk to said it was time for change?” pondered Stinchfield.
And even more than the losses, for many it seemed that the Republican establishment stood idly by as Democrats changed the rules and worked behind the scenes to alter elections. The most recent example of which came in Arizona, where presumptive gubernatorial favorite, Kari Lake, was “defeated” when countless voting irregularities occurred in some of the state’s most deep-red areas.
“Under her watch, Democrats instituted a mail-in ballot scheme. That may be even worse than losing, when you talk about the House and the Senate and all these things. The fact that we now have a junk mail-in ballot scheme across the country under Ronna McDaniel’s watch is serious trouble. Very serious trouble,” Stinchfield said on Friday. “And so the reason it is is because the Democrats are rigging the system.”
For years – until Donald Trump descended the golden escalator and took the world by storm – the Republican party had the reputation of being the party of the rich. Rush Limbaugh used to refer to this wing of Republicans as “the country club crowd.” President Donald Trump flipped the narrative completely, offering a clear vision of hope and patriotism to working-class America.
Reputable polling — such as Richard Baris’ Big Data Poll — consistently showed Trump running well ahead of almost every Republican candidate during the 2022 mid-term election cycle. In other words, Trump still maintains considerably more support across the country than most of the individual Senate or House candidates experienced.
Many experts believe this is because voters still view Trump as an outsider, while they view the Republican party much less favorably.
“Let’s tell you how out of touch they are, how elitist they are,” Stinchfield said, calling out the GOP establishment. “This meeting that went on, do you know where it is? It’s at the Waldorf Astoria Monarch in California. One of the most expensive resorts in America. You’re lucky if you get a room for a thousand dollars a night down there on Dana Point. Now, it’s a beautiful hotel, but why is the Republican Party holding an event there? Then I went back and I looked at what RedState did. RedState went back and looked at some of the expenses that the Republican Party under Ronna McDaniel’s leadership was spending money on.
“Take a look at this. $3.1 million on private jets. $1.3 million on limousine and chauffeur services. $17.1 million on donor mementos. $750,000 on floral arrangements. Now you compare this to the Democrats. The Democrats spent $35,000 on private airfare. A thousand dollars on floral arrangements. A thousand. Not $750,000. A thousand. And the $17.1 million they spent on donor mementos, the Democrats spent $1.5 million.
“Democrats know where to put the money. It’s not giving donors gifts. Donors shouldn’t want gifts. If you give money, give money. You don’t need the fancy pin to put on your lapel.”
Following her loss, Dhillon warned her party that it must listen to the base, saying, “if we ignore this message, I think it’s at our peril. It’s at our peril personally, as party leaders and it’s at our peril for our party in general.”
Rick Schultz is a former Sports Director for WFUV Radio at Fordham University. He has coached and mentored hundreds of Sports Broadcasting students at the Connecticut School of Broadcasting, Marist College and privately. His media career experiences include working for the Hudson Valley Renegades, Army Sports at West Point, The Norwich Navigators, 1340/1390 ESPN Radio in Poughkeepsie, NY, Time Warner Cable TV, Scorephone NY, Metro Networks, NBC Sports, ABC Sports, Cumulus Media, Pamal Broadcasting and WATR. He has also authored a number of books including “A Renegade Championship Summer” and “Untold Tales From The Bush Leagues”. To get in touch, find him on Twitter @RickSchultzNY.
The State of the Radio Industry and Technology
“As the industry continues to evolve, radio broadcasters must find new ways to monetize their digital offerings and adapt to changing listener habits.”
After writing some three-dozen columns for Barrett Media, I often hear that I don’t provide a balanced view of the radio industry. Therefore, this week, I will write about the strengths and weaknesses of the radio industry. It may be a little simplistic, but it will make sense at the end. I promise.
The radio broadcasting business continues to evolve in the digital age, with strengths and challenges to consider. One of the most significant strengths of radio is its ability to reach a broad audience. Radio waves can travel long distances, allowing local stations to reach listeners beyond their immediate area. This makes radio a powerful tool for both local and national advertisers. Radio also reaches audiences in their cars, at work, and at home, providing advertisers with multiple touchpoints. According to the Radio Advertising Bureau, radio reaches 93% of adults in the United States each week, making it one of the most widely consumed mediums. Furthermore, radio is a cost-effective form of advertising, with lower ad rates than other media forms. This allows small businesses to reach a large audience without breaking the bank.
Another strength of radio is its role in emergency communication. In times of crisis, radio can provide important information to listeners quickly and efficiently. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) requires all radio stations to have emergency alert systems, allowing them to disseminate critical information to the public promptly. Radio can be a lifeline for communities during natural disasters, power outages, or other emergencies, providing updates on road closures, evacuation orders, and other important information. Radio can reach remote areas where other forms of communication may not be as reliable. This makes radio a vital tool for emergency responders, who rely on it to coordinate responses and disseminate information.
Despite these strengths, the radio industry faces several challenges in the digital age. One of the biggest challenges is competition from other media outlets, such as streaming services and podcasts. The rise of these digital platforms has led to a decline in traditional radio listening, which is likely to continue.
According to a Nielsen report, traditional radio listening among adults aged 18-34 has dropped by 20% over the last decade. Additionally, many radio stations are struggling to monetize their digital offerings, which has led to a decline in revenue. However, radio has been able to adapt by incorporating streaming services, podcasts, and other digital platforms, which allows them to reach a wider audience and cater to changing listening habits.
Another challenge is the consolidation of the radio industry. In recent years, there has been a significant amount of it, with a small number of companies owning multiple stations. This has led to less programming diversity and less market competition. This can lead to a homogenization of content, with less local flavor and less opportunity for new voices in the industry. However, many smaller independent stations have survived by providing unique and localized content catering to the needs of their community.
Despite these challenges, the radio industry continues to generate significant revenue. The Radio Advertising Bureau (RAB) says that radio advertising revenue in the United States reached $18.9 billion in 2019. The radio industry has been able to adapt to the changing market, with many stations now offering a combination of traditional and digital programming. The industry has also been able to monetize digital offerings by incorporating targeted advertising, sponsorships, and other revenue streams.In conclusion, the radio broadcasting business is facing challenges in the digital age, but it continues to have an enormous audience reach and role in emergency communication.
Additionally, the industry continues to generate significant revenue. As the industry continues to evolve, radio broadcasters must find new ways to monetize their digital offerings and adapt to changing listener habits.
If my analysis seems a little simplistic or this column doesn’t seem like my typical style, it’s because I didn’t write it. The column was written using artificial intelligence (AI). More specifically, by the hottest tech trend these days, ChatGPT.
How hot? Here are a couple of data points from a report in Axios.
- In June, generative AI was covered in only 152 articles. Just six months later, the topic has generated roughly 12,000 news stories, according to MuckRack data.
- At this year’s CES trade show, 579 exhibitors were listed under the show’s “Artificial Intelligence” category — more than double of those categorized as “Metaverse” (176), “Cryptocurrency” (19), and “Blockchain” (55) combined.
ChatGPT is AI technology that allows you to have regular conversations with a chatbot that can answer questions and help with tasks such as writing columns.
ChatGPT is what Siri wants to be when she grows up.
ChatGPT is currently open and free while it’s in its research and feedback collection phase. If it’s not perfect, it’s certainly a lot of fun. It is also quite helpful when researching a topic (as long as the information you need is pre-2021). It is much more efficient and precise than Google, any other search engine, or Siri. I find myself obsessed with seeing what it knows and can do. If you try it, you probably will be too.
Andy Bloom is president of Andy Bloom Communications. He specializes in media training and political communications. He has programmed legendary stations including WIP, WPHT and WYSP/Philadelphia, KLSX, Los Angeles and WCCO Minneapolis. He was Vice President Programming for Emmis International, Greater Media Inc. and Coleman Research. Andy also served as communications director for Rep. Michael R. Turner, R-Ohio. He can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or you can follow him on Twitter @AndyBloomCom.
WTIC’s Todd Feinburg Caught The Radio Bug At An Early Age
“I don’t do Fox imitation radio, which is the backbone of a lot of talk. I want to think. I want my brain to be turned on.”
The man is familiar with turbulence, air pockets, and I hope to god he’s never experienced wind shear. You see, early in his career, radio talker Todd Feinburg was a helicopter traffic reporter in Boston.
“I love to fly, but hated being in the air in that contraption,” he said. “It was like a VW bug, a little bubble with a blade on top. If the wind wasn’t blowing too hard, it was fine. It was an amazing way to get to know Boston. I always loved being on radio, and got a charge out of it.”He was seemingly destined to be involved in radio, in one form or another. Feinburg’s mother tells him a story about when he was young that explains a lot of his future endeavors.“My mother is 92, but still very alert and intellectual,” he said. “She tells me how they had borrowed a tape recorder more than 60 years ago. It was a reel-to-reel and they had set it on the dining table. I was two years old and sitting on my father’s lap.”His father was an engineer and took an opportunity to explain a contraption on the table.“He described to me how a voice went through the microphone and onto the tape,” Feinburg said. “I guess my eyes lit up, even though there was no way I could have understood what he was describing. They said they knew right then I was going to be involved in radio in some way.”Isn’t that how all news talkers get started?As a former restaurant owner, along with his wife, Feinburg can be critical, or at least wary of new places. He wants restaurants to deliver on what they promise.“We went to a restaurant in Cambridge, MA last week,” Feinburg explained. “We didn’t know what it was, but it was described as a New American restaurant, whatever that means. We decided to give it a shot. They had a knack for making all the usual dishes seem different.”That causes some immediate skepticism about the delivery of a promise. Feinburg said he’s kind of a traditionalist and wants his pancakes to be pancakes. The pancakes he was familiar with and grew up eating.“But these guys made theirs with cornmeal instead of wheat corn. I could actually see the corn and I should have been appalled. But they were amazing. My wife is a believer that a restaurant experience can be magical,” Feinburg said. “She has an uncanny ability to do that and she’s been cooking since she was a kid.”Feinburg said cooking can be totally intuitive, like radio. No two meals are exactly alike, just as no two radio shows are alike. “I feel that to be effective you have to maximize potential. Access both sides of the human brain. Get both sides firing.”Some restaurants run a great kitchen but can’t run the front of the house. Feinburg said gone are the days when you should expect service like we did 10 years ago. Covid may have had something to do with that.“Hosts used to thank you when you came in,” Feinburg recalled. “Today you get some teenager chewing gum or on their phone. Often in an outfit that is too sexy and just ask, ‘Two for lunch?’ Then she starts walking toward the table and is there when you arrive.”He said he tries to calm himself before he goes out to a restaurant. Prepare myself for any possible experience. He and his wife prefer to go to a particular restaurant where the staff has been tested by Feinburg, so he really gets it his way.Feinburg said artisanal pizzas are hard to make and expensive to produce. If a pizza sits too long before it is served, it loses a lot of its quality.“I try to develop a relationship with the server upfront,” he said. “I acknowledge I know they’re busy, but explain how the chef wants us to enjoy his special pizza hot. They get the hint and bring it out right away. It’s a win-win because I often leave them a much higher tip.”When he’s not out eating hot pizza, Feinburg can be heard daily from 3-6 on WTIC NewsTalk 1080. He also hosts a podcast, a longer segment where he can extend solid conversations that need more legroom.“If I find something going in a good direction on the air, or if I think there’s a lot more meat to a topic, I’ll find a way to pick it up on my podcast,” Feinburg said. “Sometimes a story might be long-winded but still going in the right direction. I’ll find a place to stretch it out. By the same token if I’m interviewing someone on a podcast and come across some interesting stuff I can cut that up and use it on my live broadcast.”On the air Feinburg enjoys bouncing off audio cuts saying it adds life and energy to the spoken word format.“You can make fun of some cuts and that gives you a lot of direction and momentum. As a host you learn to adapt. I’ve done morning drive for five years in Boston. It’s a tight clock and you get six minute segments if you’re lucky. Then you’re off to traffic and weather. You want a guest to give you a good six minutes, but some people can’t talk and that stalls the segment.”Feinburg attended Tufts and majored in political science. His mother was a professor at the university in early education and child psychology.Everything changed for Feinburg when he discovered the school’s radio station, WMFO. “We’d call it WM F*** Off,” Feinburg said.Feinburg said these days Tufts is probably more prestigious than when he attended in the 1970s. “It’s not quite an Ivy League school,” he said. “I don’t think it had as strong of an identity when I was there, but a lot of schools have been elevated since then. We’ve got so much Federal money going into schools. It wasn’t an irrelevant school, but now it’s well thought of in Boston and is synonymous with Ivy League. You get the benefits of the city without having to be in the city.”Perhaps from exposure to his mother’s work, Feinburg said he enjoys politics from a psychological point of view.“I like to see how psychology is responsible for what happens in our lives,” he said. “Particularly with politicians and how they’re always running a two-bit hustle on constituents. I don’t do Fox imitation radio, which is the backbone of a lot of talk. I want to think. I want my brain to be turned on.”He said it’s politicians who have enabled Connecticut to go ‘down the tubes.’“It used to be one of the great states from a fiscal perspective and economic position,” Feinburg said. “It was an economic actor. Companies wanted to go there. They liked the geography. Now it’s gotten to the point where the governor has ravaged the state. It’s too expensive to live here. Companies are moving out. Young professionals don’t want to move here.”He said he blames the Democratic party for the mess. “The Democrats destroy the poor people while trying to appear to advocate for them,” Feinburg said. “They entrap people in these violent places. That is where my politics differ from them. We suffer from sluggishness. Everything is failing to function. We need to do better than our founders did. If you’re poor, you’re trapped. Struggling. If you’re new to the country or area, people move to Hartford. Then people you know or relatives are looking for a place to live, and you tell them to come to Hartford. So, they go there. You have violence that wouldn’t be accepted anywhere else in the state. You’ve got the worst schools. You get sent enough government money to make sure you don’t starve. There’s no capital, no way to start a new business. There’s no education. You speak some kind of dialect, and there’s nobody who tells you the right way to speak.”Why would Democrats push for and work for such entrapment?“They’ve created a core constituency,” Feinburg explained. “They prioritize desegregation and that’s not an achievable goal. They funnel billions of dollars into a model that is stupid that doesn’t help anyone. They’ve ruined public education. You can’t have a top-down school system and have it work well. We don’t do anything that way.”According to Feinburg, we know how to fix the crippled educational system, but don’t.“We know how the market works. Give the 10,000 dollars allocated to a student to the parents and let the parents spend it where they want to spend it,” Feinburg said. “If it’s a charter school, or in-home schooling, let them do that. “We’d have the education problem fixed inside of 30 years. You’d have the whole thing fixed. Political parties are evil. Parties are middlemen. It’s supposed to be ‘We the people’. Politicians have their hands on the levers, and they don’t tell us the truth.”Feinburg said some lawmakers who voted on legislation aren’t even privy to legislation they’re voting on.“This goes for both parties,” he said. “Leaders want it to get something passed, they don’t even tell others it’s coming up for a vote. They just want to push something through. People may find they’ve voted for something horrible, against their ideals.”When we talked about the tragic experience in Memphis, Feinburg quickly pointed out how police departments are unduly violent toward black people.“But how are the police departments controlled?” he said. “It’s the same as with schools. It’s the unions that get in their way. It all goes into collective bargaining.”Feinburg doesn’t listen to a lot of talk radio, with one exception.“I listen to Tom Shattuck, who comes on before me,” he said. “He’s a friend and he approaches things differently. Otherwise, I dabble in listening.”Dabbling isn’t a bad way to go.
Jim Cryns writes features for Barrett News Media. He has spent time in radio as a reporter for WTMJ, and has served as an author and former writer for the Milwaukee Brewers. To touch base or pick up a copy of his new book: Talk To Me – Profiles on News Talkers and Media Leaders From Top 50 Markets, log on to Amazon or shoot Jim an email at email@example.com.