Conservative radio talk show host John MacDonald walked out of his show, live, on the air Tuesday morning, after the 980WCAP radio station owner, Sam Poulten, “invaded” the program to ‘redirect’ the on-air conversation about Hillary Clinton’s emails and give the Clinton party line on what the host was discussing with his guest, Republican, Mary Burns.
“Hold on we have been invaded,” MacDonald said on the air as the station owner barged into the studio during the discussion. MacDonald is a self-described conservative Democrat.
Poulten not only hijacked the show to eat up MacDonald’s paid airtime, but he stayed for the duration of the show causing an on-air disagreement, and eventually MacDonald walking out, leaving his guest Mary Burns to bear the brunt of Poulten’s manipulative rants.
Poulten demanded that talk show hosts on the station not talk about Hillary Clinton’s emails or other “controversies”.
“I walked out because my First Amendment right of free speech was being violated,” MacDonald told The Valley Patriot in an exclusive interview after the show.
“It is extremely troubling that a veteran like Sam Poulten would be so quick to trample on the first amendment rights he and his fellow vets fought and died for.”
AN EQUAL TIME DOCTRINE?
During the on-air melee, Poulten also misrepresented FCC regulations, claiming that MacDonald had violated the “Equal Time Doctrine” by having republican state rep. candidate Helen Brady (14 Middlesex District) on the air, but not Poulten’s candidate, Democratic Rep. Cory Atkins. Poulten has campaigned for Atkins in the past and has called her “a close friend” on the air on several occasions.
But, the “Equal Time Doctrine” for radio has not existed since President Ronald Reagan did away with it in the 1980’s.
Poulten later admitted that he didn’t want candidates on talks shows 30 days prior to the election because he wanted them to pay money for the airtime, leaving MacDonald to ask “is this freedom of speech” before finally storming out of the station. “I pay for the time,” MacDonald said. “he has no right to tell a brokered program host who can and cannot be on the air.”
Ironically, all of this took place just minutes after a discussion on the First Amendment, where MacDonald pointed out how the national media was censoring news and commentary to slant publicity in favor of Hillary Clinton.
Station owner Sam Poulten is a member of the Massachusetts Democratic State Committee, is campaigning for Hillary Clinton for president, and has a long history of harassing conservative on-air hosts, as well as manipulating airtime to prevent conservative discussions from taking place. Poulten is also an elected official on the Nashoba Valley Tech. School Committee.
NOT THE FIRST TIME
“This is the same load of baloney he put Tommy Duggan through,” MacDonald told The Valley Patriot.
“Tommy walked out after being harassed so badly that he was losing money with his advertisers, and I don’t blame him. He had a business to run and Poulten was making it impossible for him to run it. Now, he’s doing it to me. I buy this time on 980WCAP because it is the only way you can get a conservative view on his democrat party controlled airwaves. I bring in my own paid advertisers to help pay for the time and I thing we have all been ripped off. For him to continually harass my guests on and off air, call in and interrupt the flow our conversations, or like this week, barging into a paid program to give directives about what can and can’t be talked about on the air… it’s just unacceptable. It’s unprofessional, and I’m not going to subject myself, my advertisers, or my guests to it for one minute longer. They should rename WCAP to WDNC for ‘Democrat National Committee’ because that is what the station has become.”
All of MacDonald’s advertisers have pulled their ads off the station completely.
Nearly a year ago to the day, Poulten and another member of the Democratic State Committee, Bob LeBlanc, drove Valley Patriot publisher Tom Duggan off the air by constantly hijacking his brokered (paid) program to stop discussions that painted democrats in a bad light. Poulten even went so far as to give LeBlanc a program right after Duggan’s so that he could spend two hours disputing everything Duggan had said during his broadcast.
LeBlanc is the paid legal council for the 980WCAP and is paid for his services with free airtime.
When Duggan called out LeBlanc for saying all the “poor people in Lawrence love being poor”, he says he was told by the station owner that he wasn’t allowed to talk about LeBlanc.
“I spent two hours a week on the air doing my show, and 20 hours a week fielding harassing phone calls and emails from Sam complaining about every single thing I had said during my show. I couldn’t get any work done on the paper because I was constantly dealing with Sam Poulten and Bob LeBlanc” Duggan added.
“Even when I was a call-in guest on other programs he would text the hosts and tell them to hang up on me the minute I said something ‘too conservative’ or mentioned the bad behavior of Bob LeBlanc attacking Latinos in Lawrence.”
“Now, my show was a brokered show which means John and I effectively pay for the time. That means the broker (host) of the show owns that air-time as if it was a commercial. The station owner is to have no say in what is or is not discussed. THAT is what we were paying for. But, we never got what we paid for because of censorship and interference by the station owner and his lackey Bob LeBlanc” Duggan said.
Duggan went on to say that for years he had seen news stories get cut because it didn’t espouse the democratic party line. “He runs the station as though it is an arm of the Democratic Party while trying to give the appearance that that is not what’s going on. But, that is exactly what is what’s going on.”
“The last straw for me was when he told me I couldn’t talk badly about Senator Elizabeth Warren because Warren had gotten his son a job at Comedy Central writing for the ‘Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore’. Within a few days, I tried to break a story about Lowell School Committeeman Steve Gendron’s son being involved in a racist incident at Lowell High School. Again, I was told that I was not allowed to talk about an elected official because Poulten supports Gendron and they are close friends.”
“This is the state of talk radio and free speech in this country, my friends,” Duggan concluded. “The voice of conservatives like myself and John MacDonald are being silenced and the public needs to know why.”