Kiss Jingoism Hello


98.5 has “Kiss the Summer Hello”

103.3 has “EdgeFest”

107.7 has “Kerfuffle”

106.5 has “Taste of Country”

Not to be outdone, “Newsradio” 930 WBEN has a summer festival of its own: “The Rally for America”. 

While other radio stations book a string of national acts to come and sing a hit or two for local fans, WBEN is getting deep into the right-wing grift and will be monetizing patriotism itself

Now, you’d think that a “rally” would be a free event to drum up support for something – a candidate, an idea, a cause. No, sir, not on Tim Wenger’s watch, and not on Entercom’s dime. Instead, this will be “Kiss the Summer Hello” for right wing assholes. Who else would pay money to see Ann Coulter at a ballpark? Or a washed-up has-been, Rudy Giuliani? They’re even trotting out local war hero and WBEN fill-in host, David Bellavia. 

WBEN had been promoting this for the better part of a week, telling listeners to “save the date”. Only when Ann Coulter called in to Tom Bauerle’s radio program on Thursday night and plugged the fact that she was finishing the book that she’ll be promoting at the rally that my suspicions were raised, and when they said that tickets would go on sale Friday morning, I realized it was all part of the right-wing grift. Incidentally, Coulter’s upcoming book is called, “Adios, America” because brown people and Spanish-speaking people equal the death of America. 

It’s not so much a meet & greet as a meet & sheet. 

Anyway, you know how the grift goes – AM talk radio riles up the angry, grumpy, and aggrieved. It gets them to hate and fear just the right people and things, and then capitalizes on that by selling them gold certificates or kits to prepare for the apocalypse or books that essentially transcribe facile Limbaughisms into easy-to-read text. 

Here, they’re going to have a book tour masquerading as a patriotism festival. 

The “Monetizing Jingoism” rally will be held in a small corner of Coca Cola field’s right field. 

“A night of patriotism at a time when it is needed most.” Pay $35 and Make America Great Again. Pay $50 and get that much closer to Ann Coulter’s hate-speech. But hark, what’s this about VIP packages? 

Oh, be still my heart. A chance to meet Ann Coulter and/or Rudy Giuliani? Only $250 and no personal photos, no personal cameras, and no autographs? You enter through Pettibone’s? My goodness, I never knew just how luxurious and exclusive being a VIP could be. Also, note the diss to Bellavia – the meet & bleat takes place while he’s speaking. 

I applaud the patriotism of WBEN and Entercom in setting up this festival of MAGA cap and “End the SAFE Act” enthusiasts. Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, Maserati dealer: forget that. You know WNY has arrived when its right-wing media outlet has figured out how best to separate its listenership from their money. 

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