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#1 New Haven Independent: Dodd Interview Censored
11-12-2008, 03:29 PM
- Join Date
- Aug 2005
Dodd Interview Censored
Tom Scott conducted the interview. WELI killed it. Now you can hear it.http://www.clearchannel.com/
Scott, one of Connecticut’s leading conservative voices of the past three decades, was the last local on-air voice at WELI-AM, once a fully-staffed Greater New Haven news station turned into a right-wing talk radio syndication outlet by owner Clear Channel Communications.
Scott hosted a weekday 5 to 7 p.m. drive-time talk show until Oct. 29. That was the day he taped a combative interview with U.S. Sen. Chris Dodd of Connecticut .
The interview focused on 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.jpgWatching the TV news monitors in the WELI newsroom, Tom Scott (pictured), a former state senator and Congressional and gubernatorial candidate, had grown frustrated that reporters seemed to be going easy on Dodd. So he savored the chance to push Dodd on why, for instance, he won’t release the documents connected to his personal Countrywide loans.
The result was riveting radio. But WELI’s listeners never got to hear it.
Asked why the interview never ran, Todd Thomas, Clear Channel’s regional operations manager, said, “That’s something that happened behind closed doors.” He declined to comment further.
Tom Scott said the interview may have fallen victim to an ongoing dispute between him and his show’s producer, Ryan Gorman. Since WELI brought Scott back on the air on July 7 (he hosted WELI programs in the 1990s, including one with the writer of this article), there has been tension between the two.
who hails from Florida, appears as a sidekick called “Jordan” on Clear Channel’s KISS-FM’s “Courtney & Company.” After that show he would drive to Hamden to work the boards for Scott’s WELI show and throw in straight-man comments. Gorman increasingly became a co-host, commenting and conducting interviews while working on a steep local-news learning curve. The two personalities butted heads.
According to Scott, those tensions came to a head on the day of the Dodd interview. Scott’s version: They had agreed on a time to tape the Dodd interview. Scott showed up early — to find Gorman already conducting the interview.
Scott entered the studio and started firing the questions about Dodd’s scandals. “He [Gorman] ripped his headphones off and stormed out of the building.”
Management switched to the Sean Hannity’s syndicated show to fill the local show’s spot that afternoon. Scott told management he refused to do the show with Gorman anymore. The interview never aired.
Asked to give his version of what happened, Gorman replied, “I wish I could.” But he can’t, he said: “That all has to come from corporate.” He called Scott’s departure from the show “a business decision.”
Clear Channel offered Scott his show — after drive time, at 7 p.m. Scott refused.
Meanwhile, Gorman is driving down to the area from Hartford each afternoon to host the afternoon drive-time show.
11-12-2008, 03:32 PM
- Join Date
- Aug 2005
New York Times Editorial:Senator Dodd’s Notion of Courtesy
After reports emerged in June about him having received favorable treatment on two home mortgages from the Countrywide Financial Corporation, Senator Christopher Dodd, a Democrat from Connecticut, promised that he would release documents to support his contention that he never benefited financially from the terms of the loans.
The senator has failed to keep his promise, and his excuses are wearing ridiculously thin.
“I think it will become obvious at the time when it’s the right time, and I’ll explain that at the time when I do so,” Mr. Dodd said last week after a speech in Norwich, Conn., according to The Hartford Courant.
When asked to elaborate, he said: “My answer is what it is, and in the right time, it will be there.”
Mr. Dodd’s original explanation for the loans were not much of an improvement, frankly. He says he knew he was on a V.I.P. list at Countrywide, once the nation’s largest mortgage lender and one of the early casualties of the financial collapse — and now the target of dozens of lawsuits over predatory lending. But he said he did not “seek or expect” preferential treatment, which has left everyone wondering what exactly the V.I.P. list was for.
Meanwhile, Mr. Dodd continues to serve as chairman of the Senate banking committee. He has been a member of the committee for much of his 28 years in the Senate. He is a leader in shaping legislation that will bail out the mortgage industry, which has given him generous campaign support over the years, particularly during his recent, unsuccessful campaign for president.
According to company e-mails unearthed and reported by Portfolio.com, Countrywide waived fees and provided mortgages at discounted rates when Mr. Dodd refinanced his homes in the District of Columbia and Connecticut. The favorable treatment could save him thousands of dollars over the course of the loans.
The Senate Ethics Committee is investigating whether the terms of the loans violated its rules on disclosing gifts. But such an investigation does not preclude Mr. Dodd from being candid.
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