This blog entry was originally written on the 20th of November. I have purposely withheld its publication, in hopes that it would not be necessary. Sadly, it is.
Because of the delay, all time-related terms in the below entry (such as "last week", or "less than a month ago") should be mentally adjusted accordingly.
The subject of this blog entry is married to an attorney. He tried to tell me that my previous blog entry on this topic was not true. I told him that he was bluffing, because if it had actually been untrue then he would've threatened a lawsuit. He hasn't, nor can he. Legal doctrine: "truth is an absolute defense to a charge of libel".
Believe it or not, I don't like fighting. But, I like bullies even less. That is why I spent a good chunk of my adult life wearing a uniform and carrying weapons to prevent terrorism and other bad things from happening. There is a quote on my Web site from philosopher John Stuart Mill, who wrote, "War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things." (For the rest of the quote, feel free to visit my site.)
Here's some good advice for any situation: "Don't bring a knife to a gunfight." It is especially unwise to start the gunfight if one doesn't have a gun, or has a gun but can't shoot very well.
Such is the case with "live and local" Nashville talk-radio host Michael DelGiorno, who recently made the mistake of starting a feud with me. And, of all things, he has picked the topic of "credibility" as the basis for the feud. He should've done his homework. I have. One of the things that Michael should study is the origin and meaning of the intelligence term "blowback".
The fuse was lit — on my end — when DelGiorno jerked me around last week, after inviting me to call his program to discuss my recent book. As documented in a recent blog entry, instead of living up to his word, Michael spent a huge chunk of the final hour of his program that day by repeatedly telling listeners that "Faith Hill smells like toilet paper". (Then, after that blog appeared, he tried to say on-air that tens of thousands of people heard wrong, and that what he really said was that she smells like "baby powder". Hey, paisano, "I was born at night, but it wasn't last night.")
The above might seem like a small thing, but it's the tip of an iceberg. Michael has jerked me around for months, and I've been as gracious as possible under the circumstances. As I said, the fuse was not lit on my end until recently, but the fuse has been lit on his end for a long time. I'm not being "overly sensitive", either. For about a year, friends have asked me why DelGiorno treats me so rudely on his program. He doesn't treat other callers or guests that way, especially considering that we are both "standing up for what's right".
After my previous blog about him appeared, Michael sent me an e-mail. The timing was quite ironic, because the week prior he had told me to "direct all further communication" to the acting program director of the station. He wanted me to respect his boundary, but it was OK for him to trample over the boundary that he had just set ... as long as the trampling was done in my direction. In other words, "It's all about Michael."
Well, unfortunately, Michael has some credibility problems.
In our e-mail exchange, Michael stated that "many" people had "warned" him not to give me "extended air time". I challenged him to name even one of those people, and/or to describe what their warning said would happen. He never replied. And, that seems to be a pattern.
Other people have tried to rattle Michael during his program with regard to the reason that he left his previous radio station, in Tulsa, in such a hurry. To his credit, Michael handled those cheap shots fairly well. (Speaking of cheap shots, the publicity agency that put out my previous blog has suddenly been hit with hundreds of spam e-mails almost simultaneously. That has never happened before this week. The company has several e-mail addresses, but the one that was hit was the one that went out in the cover e-mail publicizing my blog about DelGiorno. Mere coincidence?) I knew about some of those job-destroying circumstances before he ever got on the air in Nashville. Why? I had applied for that same job, and I wanted to know about my competition. (And, for the most part, his show has gone fairly well. But, recently, there has been a noticeable decline in quality. I have attributed the problem to his consumption of a certain caffeine-laden beverage with a bovine mascot.)
In the 19 months that Michael has hosted a program in Nashville, I have never mentioned what I knew from the beginning. Why? I didn't want to take any personal shots at him. I'm an "issues oriented" fighter. And, I had no fight with him. But, apparently, Michael decided to pick one with me. Well ... OK, Michael ... if you insist.
When the publicity went out about my previous blog on this topic, it included a link to an Inside Radio report. That report quoted a newspaper article from the Tulsa World, which detailed how Michael had been banned — for the second, and final, time — from a Tulsa casino. There are several Web pages that bash Michael for an apparent problem with compulsive gambling. Again, I knew about those pages before he even arrived in Nashville, but I've never mentioned them. When others have mentioned them to me, I have tried to sidetrack the topic. Why? "All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." (That quote certainly applies to me.) But, when his arrogance got to the point that Michael seems to think that there is a special set of rules that allows him to trample on other people, then it's time to teach him otherwise. (Any regular listeners to WWTN will tell you that I've turned the other cheek far more times than most people would. Even in the best of families, sometimes the wise older brother needs to simply knock the #&*%! out of a pestering younger brother.) In this case, my weapon of choice is a metaphorical "mirror".
Recently, I began a series of e-mail exchanges with Ziva Branstetter, who wrote the newspaper article about Michael being banned from the Creek Nation Casino — Tulsa. Michael prompted my curiosity by telling me in his e-mail that I was spreading "lies and distortions" with regard to the casino incident. So, just as I did with Michael in the first place, I went directly to the source. She was cooperative and factual in documenting her experience with Michael.
When she confronted Michael about the incident, at first he denied that it happened. Then, she told him about the casino's surveillance video. Immediately, he switched to "no comment" mode. Ziva related to me that she had never even shown him the video! As soon as he heard that a video even existed, he clammed up. (What? He didn't think that casinos have surveillance? Duh! They had surveillance long before VCRs were invented.) Ziva had been allowed to view the video at the casino's security department, but not to keep a copy.
In keeping with journalistic standards, I didn't merely accept the reporter's word. I contacted the casino's security department for myself. They, in turn, had to make an official request with the Oklahoma Gaming Compliance Unit. After two days, someone from the unit called me back with their official decision. They would not allow the casino to release the video to me, because I was planning to post it on this blog for public viewing, and the video was so detailed that it would reveal the casino's surveillance capability. But, by their reply, that outside government agency had confirmed that such a video did actually exist. And, Ziva had obtained affidavits from several witnesses at the casino before running the newspaper story. (Originally, the Web version of the story also had included the security report from the casino, but that document is no longer posted.)
So much for me spreading "lies and distortions".
Speaking of distortions, Michael's program recently took a peculiar turn. Listeners might not realize the "story behind the story". Two days ago, on-air, Michael mocked another radio host — John Moore, a former Green Beret — who has said on his program that there is a tenth planet in our solar system. Moore has gone on to say that the CIA is moving its headquarters to Denver, because of concerns about the sudden rise of ocean levels in the near future. While poking fun at Moore's report, DelGiorno had the theme music from the TV series The X-Files playing in the background. DelGiorno repeatedly emphasized the folly of there being a tenth planet in our solar system.
Here is the official NASA Web page documenting their discovery of a tenth planet in our solar system. (Michael seems to think that, if he hasn't heard of it, then it can't exist. Oh, yeah, I forgot – "It's all about Michael DelGiorno.")
Interestingly, that tenth planet is larger that Pluto. Astronomers have scanned the skies for five hundred years. But, it was only three years ago that this tenth planet was discovered. John Moore claims that his well-placed confidential sources have told him that the yet-unnamed planet will soon cause disastrous effects upon Earth's ocean levels, etc. The headquarters of the CIA is at Langley, Virginia, more than 30 miles inland from where the Potomac River meets the Atlantic Ocean. A sudden and catastrophic rise in ocean levels would accompany the impact of an asteroid or comet in the Atlantic. That precise scenario is described in my recent book. And, another celestial event described in my book has already occurred — on the exact date when my interpretation of the Bible formula said that it would occur. John Moore relied upon confidential government sources. I relied upon the Holy Bible. Moore and I have never met, nor have we exchanged e-mails. Yet, we both seem to be predicting a similar event for the near future. (Is it possible that scientists will name that tenth planet Wormwood?)
And, now, for the "story behind the story". You see, John Moore happens to be a talk host on the Republic Broadcasting Network. And, earlier this year, I also hosted an RBN talk show. (And, out of professional courtesy, I did not call in to Michael's program during the time when I hosted one of my own.) So, by attempting to discredit one host on RBN, it appears that Michael was attempting to set the stage to discredit me. Oops.
But, DelGiorno's blunder doesn't stop there. You see, RBN is owned by John Stadtmiller. He happens to also be a principal in a company that sells gold. John can afford his own radio network. Michael doesn't even own one station. So, if there were a lawsuit for slander, it appears that Michael would be seriously outgunned.
Speaking of being outgunned, there is another aspect to consider. John Moore was a Green Beret. The station that carries Michael's program, WWTN-FM in Nashville, has a signal the reaches well beyond Fort Campbell, 60 miles away. Fort Campbell is home to the 5th Special Forces Group. (You know, the group that operated in Vietnam, where Moore served.) Every special operator that I ever met was a straight shooter, both literally and figuratively. It's not smart to insult the integrity of someone that wears one of those "funny-shaped hats" with their military uniform. (I was capable of a head shot from a half-mile away, and Green Berets train even more extensively than we did.)
My beret is Air Force blue. The WWTN signal also reaches down to Arnold Air Force base, approximately 70 miles in the opposite direction as Fort Campbell. In prior applications to host a talk show on WWTN, I've included the selling point that my military background would appeal to audiences at both installations. Perhaps, after realizing that Michael DelGiorno has insulted the integrity of a former Green Beret (while simultaneously undermining his own credibility), the station might reconsider putting this former Blue Beret on the air. (You can help that process along by e-mailing: Charley.Connolly@cumulus.com, or by calling him at 615-321-1067.) And, if WWTN asks nicely, there might be a way to simulcast my show on RBN to expand the audience. (Perhaps, if the station asks very nicely, then John won't sue them for slandering his host and his network.)
This isn't the first time that DelGiorno has put his employer into jeopardy of a lawsuit. He jeopardized his employer last week by insulting Faith Hill. He did it two days ago by insulting RBN and John Moore. And, the reason that Michael is in Nashville in the first place is because he jeopardized his former employer in Tulsa. In short, it seems that Michael DelGiorno is a loose cannon with a short fuse and a growing credibility problem — much like host Kevin Miller that WWTN had to fire just before DelGiorno came to Nashville. (And, less than a month ago, Miller jeopardized his new employer in Pittsburgh by "pretending" to have been "scolded" on-air for negative remarks about Barack Obama.) Two years ago, when I was on the Republican ballot for the 5th Congressional District, Miller was also very rude to me on-air when I would call. He seemed intent on discrediting me. Did anyone pay Miller to undermine my campaign for Congress? And, why would someone who claims to stand for certain staunch principles undermine a candidate that stands for the same things?
By contrast, my investigative work has been above reproach. I have exposed political frauds, gone after corrupt officials (including a retired two-star general), found important evidence at a bombing scene, helped to unravel a cover-up that involved the FBI and the news media, and investigated aviation disasters. When I still lived in Upstate NY, I organized that state's first anti-Hillary rally. (In 2006, I did the same for Tennessee.) Last year, I sued the governor of Tennessee. I've gone after some powerful people, and I've never even been sued, much less had to forfeit a settlement. (DelGiorno e-mailed me to say that my previous blog was "slander". I replied that his wife is an attorney, and that if I had truly slandered him, then he would've threatened a lawsuit. He didn't, and neither did any of the corrupt officials that I've confronted. I back up what I say, and I don't suffer well with people that can't.) I've interviewed country music stars, government officials, and TV producers — without insulting any of them. (And, I'm available immediately, in the event that WWTN finds itself in sudden need of a replacement talk-show host with experience. As I said in my previous blog, I would start the job at half of the $150-K/year that a host in Michael's market situation typically makes, until I can prove my real worth. Now, there is a truly conservative idea in this difficult economy. Competition helps businesses, including talk-radio hosts, to improve.)
As an example of the declining quality of the program, here is a direct quote from one of Michael's disjointed e-mails to me. "This may come as a surprise to you, but caller interaction is NOT the highest priority of mine, or most talk shows." (That is an actual quote. I have the e-mail.) I'm sure that his operating philosophy would also come as a surprise to all those people on hold each day. Hello?! It's called "talk" radio. (Perhaps we should start using the British name, "chat radio", which keeps the perspective that the talk is supposed to go in both directions.)
In short, I have much more credibility than the person that started a feud by attacking my credibility. He doesn't look so good in the "mirror" of facts, truth, and logic. Attacking my truth by telling lies and half-truths wasn't a very good idea on his part. Diverting conservative voters by being a Relief Valve hurts, not helps, our society.
Here's another old saying that Michael DelGiorno should heed ... while he still has a job: "When you're in a hole, stop digging." Put another way, "When you're outgunned, disengage." The reason I don't like fighting is because it's messy and painful ... for everyone involved. But, that doesn't mean I won't fight when it's necessary, nor does it mean that I'm not good at it. It just means that I don't go looking for a fight. I've finished a lot more fights than I've started. And, I didn't start this one.