Listener Beware!

Published 12:00 am Saturday, April 29, 2006

To the Editor:

Being a candidate for Probate Judge in Dallas County is a real “HOOT!” especially if you participate on the local radio talk shows – the two most competitive stations being “Viewpoint” on WHBB, which is partially owned by Mike Reynolds, and the other program “A Public Conversation” on 105.3 WBFZ owned by Mr. J.L.Chestnut and associates. To me, these programs are most amusing and have listening audiences much larger than most people realize.

On “A Public Conversation” Mr. Chestnut and his co-host “The Out of Town Homeboy” Cliff Albright do a great job in promoting their agenda throughout the “Blackbelt.”

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They don’t claim to be fair or balanced and they state their views and why they feel the way they do. I understand their mission is to solidify the black vote for political gain and they accomplish that mission most frequently.

On the other hand, “Viewpoint” which has been on the air for years and years, has gone through a complete “Transformation” over the last four months.

After having two City Council Members on the program back to back, Mr. Ellis Stewart, the previous host, disappeared into the “wild blue yonder.”

According to the owner, Mr. Stewart was sent on a mission to north Alabama. I located him in Clanton at WKLF.

After a couple of “Sniveling” weeks as host, the owner brought in Randy Williams as a co-host in hopes of saving “Viewpoint.” The term “Fair and Balanced” was introduced to the program. It was stated that Randy would be the future host and in a couple of weeks the owner would depart for other duties. This has been two months ago and you still have to ask to speak to Randy.

Now that the political season is upon us, the owner has shown his “True Colors.” The program is no longer “Fair and Balanced.” It is eschewed to favor “His” choice of political cronies and candidates. I find this to be most revealing and therefore “Listeners Beware!” The time between calls has lengthened and on several occasion callers will hang up before being recognized. If I advertised on this program, I would certainly be concerned, because “Fair and Balanced” goes a long way with listeners.

The Selma Times-Journal has stepped forward and should be commended on the program to endorse candidates this year.

I’m sure they will form a board, set the standards, interview each candidate and make their recommendations for endorsement based on set criteria. This is a “Fair and Balanced” approach which all citizens should support. I encourage everyone to read their endorsements before making any decisions. A fair, honest, balanced approach can only enhance “Leadership” in Selma and Dallas County.

Col. Brock Wells