Media Smackdown: The Buffalo News vs. WBEN

Are you familiar with Tom Bauerle of WBEN?  Well, he’s the guy pictured in the photo (we previously described this keeper as a ripped from 1987 glamour shot) and he’s Buffalo’s very own Glenn Beck. Or Rush Limbaugh. He’s more like whichever of those two guys still thinks Obama was born in Kenya. Every reasonably-sized city has a right wing shock jock and he’s ours. You may remember him from his previous hits like calling all liberals “psychotic asshats” and saying he could beat up Buffalo Pundit. Or perhaps you’re more familiar with The Beast’s investigation into his fondness for felines.  

Well, Mr. Bauerle didn’t like an Adam Zyglis political cartoon that ran in the Buffalo News and implied a connection between right wing speech and the Tucson shooting.  So he got mad.  He declared that cartoon a “blood libel” – that phrase is really making a comeback – and he called on his listeners to cancel their subscriptions to The News.  Apparently, several dozen Bauerle devotees followed his orders and cancelled their subscription.  
That made Margaret Sullivan, editor of The Buffalo News, mad.  And she came back at WBEN with the following: 
A local radio host got all screechy this week over a Buffalo News editorial lamenting right-wing hate speech and a News’ political cartoon unkind to Sarah Palin. So enraged — or just looking for a hot topic to liven his show — he urged listeners to cancel their Buffalo News subscriptions, and several dozen people did so.

But here’s where it gets weird: The radio station didn’t cancel its own Buffalo News subscriptions. Our records show that 16 copies of The Buffalo News will still arrive at the office at 500 Corporate Parkway Monday through Friday, same as always. Five copies will still arrive on Saturday, and five on Sunday.

Apparently, the radio station’s managers see value in the newspaper — especially as a guide for their own news department. They are not about to practice what their morning pundit preaches. And if they were to cancel The News in protest, they probably shouldn’t look at BuffaloNews.com either, to remain consistent, of course.

Hey, we believe in free speech, too. Rants over the airwaves can provide fine, fun entertainment that’s good for business. We also are proud of the fact we provide a service for our friends in radio. We value them as customers.


In fact, The News values all its customers, even those who recently left us. Should you ever want to come back, our arms are open. The radio station that urged you to drop us seems to think The Buffalo News is worth the money. 

Now, if you ask your listeners to cancel their subscriptions to the local paper but you continue to get 16 copies of that paper delivered to your offices and then the editor of the paper points this out to everyone in WNY, well, you just got pwned (as they say on the internet).  But maybe we have it wrong.  In the battle of Sullivan v. Bauerle, how do you score the fight?
hasselhoffpwned.jpg 

 

About the author  ⁄ bluedevil

70 comments
Emilie
Emilie

Ugh, when did Buffalo Rising wallow into the sea of trashy political commentary? Never did I think I'd see the day when BRO contributors were pasting Hasselhoff smackdowns into their articles. Please get back to things that matter. You're better than this garbage article.

Slobadan Melosivic
Slobadan Melosivic

and you dont think olbermann and madow dont? you have to be kidding - let's be balanced here, not a bunch of communists

JohnMarko
JohnMarko

There is no "equivalency" between the rightwing nutjobs and the "left".

The rightwing spews to literally "kill all the democrats and leave just a few so people can see what they were". Literally.

By major ELECTED officials, like Bachman, Boner, Pence, both Pauls and others, and (thankfully) Paladino, Angle, O'Donnel who lost, let alone prominent hate spewers like Oxycontin Boy and Insantiy and Beck. These asshats spew PROVEN LIES as fact, and refuse to change.

I defy anybody to name ONE "left" journalist or ELECTED OFFICIAL who does the same!

Rachel, et all, state FACTS. PERIOD - and have the data to back their statements up.

There might have been "principaled" conservatives one time about thirty or so years ago, but there aren't anymore.

And after over 40 or more years of spewing constant hate on air UNCHALLENGED, when the Liberals finally get an hour or two a night to dare criticize such hate and bile, somehow they're equally bad.

NOT BUYING IT FOR A SECOND!!!

omonahan
omonahan

Jimmy - stick to selling knock-off bags out of your trunk. Watching an Iti try to talk about internet statistics is like watching an Iti trying to engage in any kind of substantive conversation - equal parts funny and tragic.

By the way, internet traffic tracking involves stuff like cookies and IP addresses. Real complicated for a guy like you.

jimmythesicilian
jimmythesicilian

how could that number not be affected with people coming back over and over? are things reset every 24 hours to track new views, I doubt it. Still even if that's the case it averages to less than 3000 views per day which really isnt that huge I guess. I mean you're not saying that 1 million different indivduals check it out every year, there's no way thats happening, the Buffalo News probably doesn't even get close to that number.

Pegger
Pegger

This was very refreshing!!!! Sometimes a change of pace can contribute to new understandings!

sbgal
sbgal

The News and now BR have given too much weight to Bauerle. He is a radio has-been pandering to a geriatric audience afraid of those different. I have tried the show and have found as a 40 something he is difficult to relate to. He fears and hates everything. His ability to think logicaly and critically and articulate facts is seriously flawed. Conservative is one thing but hating to hate is another. I have no issue with the Conservatives. I dont always agree but I find many Conservatives intelligent and articulate and passionate about their thoughts. Bauerle is a wannabe shock jock stuck in a geriatric market.

Giving credance to a dozen or so listeners cancelling is just silly on the part of the News and BR.

benfranklin
benfranklin

If I turn to (for a brief period) Maddow or or Olbermann (sp?) I find myself taking issue with everything they say, because I disagree with their basic premise.

Perhaps the same happens to you when you listen to Limbaugh etc. I don't think race plays a part in my political beliefs, so I don't really 'listen for it'.

If you had a married couple considering whether to buy a car, they'll likely be able to reach a compromise if they're both on board that a new car is needed. If you have a couple where the wife wants a car, and the husband thinks it's out of the question, it's much harder to reach a compromise.

I think that's what's happened between the parties. The left wants to here alternatives between different proposals, and the right in some cases just wants to say 'we don't need that'. For the left it makes the right look like there either not participating, or their just plain dumb. It makes for a difficult political time in this country. The couple that finds they can't live with each other can get a divorce, for the two parties, the solutions not that simple.

The Kettle
The Kettle

BF> "As stated earlier, those that twist the core conservative beliefs to fit their own needs give the right a bad name."

You don't see Rush and Beck doing the same thing? Have you heard Rush's recent racist rant mocking the Chinese? How about Beck's repeated race based attacks on the president(actually, Rush does that too)? I agree that racism has nothing to do with core conservative principals like responsible government but all three of these commentators have incorporated racism and other fear based language into their concept of conservatism.

Again, the similarities of the content on the three shows (four if you include Sandy Beach) would lead me to believe they are all following marching orders from party leadership.

benfranklin
benfranklin

Considering you put pen to paper and produced the original document that triggered this back and forth, perhaps I assigned to you a bit more depth than is warranted. As you might say, 'my bad'.

So I'll be a bit more straight forward.

I am a conservative. I believe a smaller government produces a better outcome for all.

Not all people you consider conservative, would I. The local dj, in the few times I've heard him, uses what might more generally be considered conservative ideas, to advance small minded, petty causes.

I don't believe the same can be said for the national host on the same station. I understand that you may not like the message, and therefore it's all garbage.

If another station played country between 9 and Noon, and then Jazz between Noon and three, and I stated it all sucks, all music is bad, that would be my lack of understanding the difference. The person who enjoys Jazz might find it odd that you'd need to have the difference explained.

bluedevil
bluedevil

Bitter is my middle name.

If you can remember back to your comment all of 150 minutes ago, you'll note that you said I was "lumping" all these dj's together. So, your word, not mine. But it's been a complicated back-and-forth, I can see why you got lost.

I will give you credit - as to how you're able to know there is a difference between someone you listen to and someone you don't listen to I'll never know. You may have improved upon the scientific method as usually one needs to observe both things that they're trying to compare those things. But not you. Very cool.

benfranklin
benfranklin

I don't think I've given the local a pass. My only issue, and I understand we'll disagree on this, is attributing his short comings to the other national hosts on that station.

For those on the left that see them as equals, that's a real problem for those on the right. As stated earlier, those that twist the core conservative beliefs to fit their own needs give the right a bad name. We'd no more like them in our party, than you would in yours.

benfranklin
benfranklin

You seem a bit more bitter than people I normally correspond with, and worse, you haven't read a word I've written.

The other link (supplied by you), I didn't see my name in, so I'm not sure what that was all about.

Again, I think I offered why I don't listen to the local dj. Why others listen to someone they find ignorant, I don't quite understand.

My listening to other WBEN hosts doesn't quite fit with what you want to hear. Yes, there's a difference. I stated it in my previous post. Your inability to discern the difference lies with you, not me. It's easier for you to 'lump', your word, all those that don't have your particular sensibilities into one particular group. It's easy, but not real bright.

Hopefully today you'll find someone else that believes as you do, echoes your beliefs, and you can nod in agreement as you tell yourself, I've learned something today, and that makes it good.

bluedevil
bluedevil

So when I lumped Bauerle in with national right wing hosts I showed "a lack of understanding" but when I asked you how he's different from Limbaugh or Beck, you say you've only listened to Bauerle a few times. Hmm, seems like maybe you didn't really have any information to form your opinion that Bauerle is different from the others.

Again, I'd be happy to learn what the differences are so educate me if you ever find one. If you don't learn something new every day, you blew a day. So teach me, please.

Also, I remember when Buffalo Rising (as a result of my post) was blasted as a pawn of WBEN because I was so anti-union. http://www.buffalorising.com/2010/11/buffalo-news-reads-techcrunch-clones-groupon.html

I enjoy you partisans so much.

benfranklin
benfranklin

The few times I've heard Baurele I would not qualify his comments as right or left, but I seem to recall something that seemed borderline racist. Something made me think, I don't want to listen to this, so I don't.

I will listen to a conservative who believes at his core that conservative ideas are in the long run, best for all. A smaller government role allows for greater private sector growth, creating a better future for all. For those that can't help themselves, the bigger pie creates a surplus to help them.

Those that twist that ideal and make it a 'what's best for me', aren't in my opinion conservatives, but something far different. The fact that those on the left may not discern a difference is a real problem for those on the right.

bluedevil
bluedevil

There was no ulterior motive. The smackdown between Bauerle and The Buffalo News was interesting and we generally try to publish interesting items. Pretty straightforward really.

I think you may have tortured that 'paint them with the same brush' metaphor just a bit too far with the whole composition / Burchfield Penney references.

And finally, how are you able to differentiate Bauerle from Limbaugh or Beck other than the sound of their voice and the size of their bank accounts? Are there meaningful policy and worldview differences that can you point to or are you just going to say they're different over and over in hopes that someone believes that?

Black Rock Lifer
Black Rock Lifer

Ben- The authors are not paid, why would they care if their story drove up hits. As I stated in my previous comment Bauerle is relevant to this site because he is a constant basher of all things city. I know from many of your previous comments that you support and care about our city, don't give Bauerle a pass for his ignorance and intolerance.

benfranklin
benfranklin

Perhaps it would have been better to include your more honest/direct opinion in the original post. Instead, it looks like you posted something with the hope that it take a particular turn (let's get the idiot). I have no issue with it, but those that think of this as a news site (whatever that means) might be a bit surprised by you revealing an ulterior motive in your most recent comment.

Lumping him with the national hosts on the same station shows a lack of understanding of the issues, and undermines your credibility. You may dislike them all, but they are dissimilar. Painting them all with the same brush is easier for the artist, but leaves a completed composition that won't soon hang at the Burchfield-Penney Gallery.

Not to nit pick about the hits/unique visits, but over the last week I've come to this site from close to ten different ips. I'll take without question that some wish I arrived from none.

MARIO SIMMS
MARIO SIMMS

A whole story for a guy who's audience of 100 listeners,wait make that 75( the other 25 are tuned to 97 rock).

Rising, stick to the arts and events and leave this junk to rants & raves on C.L.

bluedevil
bluedevil

Anyone who has had the misfortune of listening to WBEN in the morning knows that there may be no louder enemy of urban living in general and the City of Buffalo in particular than Bauerle. He spends a considerable portion of his air time painting the city as a crime-ridden wasteland unfit for sane people. It's ignorant and unhelpful and inexcusable.

in 2010, BR received nearly 1M UNIQUE visitors - unique. That number isn't affected if the same people come back over and over again to continue a debate.

bluedevil
bluedevil

Karl, hysterically renamed FreeSpeech, is gone again. Banned for about the 459th time. He'll show up again, we're sure, and he'll be banned yet again. As to his reference to Bauerle not screening calls (and allegedly letting "free speech" rule), I guess he didn't read the link to the BuffaloPundit piece on Bauerle's screener hanging up on him repeatedly and not letting him on the show.

benfranklin
benfranklin

This site is about selling ad space, which I have no issue with. Stories get posted to drive debate, which brings people like us back, which drives up hits, etc. Thinking that the stories must have some connection to anything else is nieve.

Black Rock Lifer
Black Rock Lifer

This story did at first seem somewhat unrelated to the revival or developement of Buffalo but I think it is actually quite relevant. Bauerle, like Rush, Beck, and the rest speak to base instincts with simplistic ideas that rely on blaming the poor, government, liberals, and minorities of all types for our problems.

Bauerle is very adept at exploiting this angle on a regular basis. This rhetoric undermines our city by creating a false perception. If you just listened to WBEN 930 you would think our city was nothing but welfare leeches, crackheads, lazy bums, crooked politicans, atheists, and of course the dreaded "hippies on Elmwood".

The Kettle
The Kettle

Big man> "At least he allows people to speak on his show without censorship."

Karl, do you think the people who make it on to Flock of Seagull's show haven't been screened?

tom.wonderful
tom.wonderful

well thankyou! I'm glad you enjoyed my comment more than this lame a$$ post.

Black Rock Lifer
Black Rock Lifer

Ben- 60% of Republicans view Rush favorably as compared to only 6% of Democrats. That is a huge divide and does not bode well for any kind of reasonable debate or discussion. I am sure he is a true believer (however misguided) but like Baurle, Beck and Palin he is a calculating opportunist that uses division and hate to enrich himself and feed his ego.

Conservative ideas will never be taken seriously until people like this are relegated to the fringe. I think many Americans would respect and listen to conservative viewpoints if the message was more credible and polite.

07newbie
07newbie

Bauerle apes Blimpjaw because he dreams of his bank account. Simple math.

The Kettle
The Kettle

While conservatives may not consider Bauerle in the same league as Beck and Limbaugh, he is clearly part of the same network of party operatives. His section of the WBEN site and his programming are chock full of rightie buzzwords and party line.

omonahan
omonahan

No, see, the 9/11 thing was because the other dude thinks 9/11 was an inside job. It wasn't terrorism at all. Get it? Probably not, Italians are kinda slow on the uptake.

jimmythesicilian
jimmythesicilian

that's all you got? you're not going to work in terrorism here? no middle ground for you huh? it's either 9/11 or grammar errors. i intentionally left out capitals to give you an easy dig.

whatever
whatever

bud>"930 is pretty much the only major local news source in town"

Really? bud, what leads you to say 1230 or 970 (and you forgot 88.7) aren't "major local news sources" but 930 is?

For local news, I think 1230, 970, and 88.7 are all better in quality and quantity (stories per day) than 930. You don't agree? And those three are better for national news too.

What makes 930 "major" and those three not?

930 does have high two high quality national talkers (Limbaugh, Bohannon), and one that's weaker but has good guests sometimes (Hannity). Locally, Beach is usually awful and Bauerle only slightly better than Beach. usually neither of those two are worth a listen. Dobson was better than both, but apparently B and B are more profitable because Dobson is who they let go. Talk shows can be easily judged from a business perspective by ratings and ad sales.

But for news, I'm confused why bud says 930 is more major than 1230, 970, and 88.7 - seems to me, 930's local news has become way more lame than those. The web is making radio news a lot less relevant anyway.

RumRunner
RumRunner

Yeah, and it doesnt say much about Bauerle to appear on one news source with an apparent right bend and bash another news source for having an apparent left bend.

SignWizard
SignWizard

a "couple of dozen" Bauerle's listeners canceling their newspaper would but the Buffalo News out of business lol

Chenango
Chenango

The agenda of the Far Right has been to move the center.

They have succeeded - but at a steep cost to a divisive America.

Of course lunatic right wings are going to inspire a hateful rebuttal, who can then be labeled lunatic left wings. But, when Rachel Maddow is considered the counter balance to Glenn Beck, something is seriously wrong.

And locally, who is the counter balance to Bauerle? NO ONE!

It would not only waste your time, but give him credibility.

He is an insignificant angry little man who keeps reminding you he is a gun owner. Fear makes irrelevant little shits, relevant. At least in their own pathetic minds.

If you really want to do something productive, organize a boycott of his advertisers. They are the ones who hold this little barking dog's leash.

But in the meantime, a pie in the face would be even better!

Slobadan Melosivic
Slobadan Melosivic

Agree with comments re: this article a little off of the skill set of the writers on this site (which is pretty narrow to begin with).

You guys do a great job with new retail awareness, community organizations and comm/resi development...

unfortunately, the buffalo political see saw only leans one way and this is another weight on the left side (currently none on the right)

regardless of which side of the pissing match makes you feel good, the fact that buffalo has absolutely no political balance is directly related to the corruption/ineffectiveness of our people and our goverment

JM
JM

It amazes me people take Bauerle, Beck, Limbaugh, and the rest seriously. Then again Jersey Shore gets huge ratings so I can't account for many Americans taste.

Doesn't it make sense the radio guy would try to get listeners to only have him for information and political perspective? It benefits him to keep his listeners ignorant and have blinders on. Right wing radio does not want critical thinkers.

Black Rock Lifer
Black Rock Lifer

Just stating the facts Ben, I think most reasonable people left or right realize Rush, Beck and the rest are hateful and disingenuous. Just because they have a following doesn't mean they are somehow a credible source. I know many people that lean right and are embarrassed by these buffoons.

benfranklin
benfranklin

...another fine example of the left's new tone of civility. Whoops...guess that didn't last long.

cottagedistrict
cottagedistrict

And you would definitely be a good judge of the uninformed......

benfranklin
benfranklin

...when they can generate ratings that support enough advertising to make it a profitable concern. So, to answer your question, no time soon.

Judging by audience size, the arguments in this thread against right wing radio, while they may play well here, don't stand up against the results that the free market displays on a daily basis (real americans making real choices...kind of like at the ballot box last November). People may not like it, fine. But getting into name calling and other derogatory rhetoric is a bit silly....(not you Pete, but many of the earlier posts).

Peter_Parkdale
Peter_Parkdale

When will Michael Moore and Al Franken restart their radio programs? I really miss the realism and unbiased opinions they offered to the heavily right wing talk radio monopoly.

Ivan Putski
Ivan Putski

this guy looks your typical tool driving around Transit rd in his Chevy Blazer with OBX decal on bumper, drinking Tim Hortons listening to WYRK

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