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.