Nuke your radio

Fueling the fire: Bites is perhaps one of the most caustic media personalities in the Sacramento area, unafraid to rouse the rabble, blast the bad guys or give the fence-sitters a firm shove. But Bites always tries to aim the venom in ways that promote enlightenment and constructive change.

That’s why Bites has been utterly appalled by the warmongering bile that Mark Williams over at KFBK has been spewing onto the airwaves since terrorists attacked this country on September 11.

It’s one thing when these Rush Limbaugh wannabes whip their conservative listeners up into a froth over drugs or feminism or taxes or some other straw man. Yet it’s a dangerous, irresponsible abuse of their responsibilities as disseminators of information to sow the seeds of hatred of peace activists at a time when emotions are already running so high.

Hell, we saw what rabid right-wingers are capable of the last time that America was attacked by terrorists—in Oklahoma City—yet Williams and his ilk keep pushing the most emotional buttons of people who are already attacking mosques, flipping off those who are wary of all-out war and calling for us to nuke Afghanistan.

When Williams whipped up his listeners’ anger toward the activists who were protesting Henry Kissinger‘s speech in Sacramento last week, going so far as to label it a “pro-Osama bin Laden rally,” he crossed an important line and betrayed the most important principles that our Constitution and flag are supposed to stand for.

The flags flying all over the country are supposed to be symbols of something, but if war fever causes them to become symbols of Mark Williams’ vision of America, they certainly won’t have the allegiance of Bites.

Follow the greenback road: Every once in a while, by diligence or just dumb luck, we get peeks behind the curtain to see that the great and powerful Wizard of Oz is just a little man pulling some levers and pushing some buttons. Or in the case of the Wizard of California, Governor Gray Davis, it’s a little man getting his levers pulled and buttons pushed by the state’s big monied special interests.

Bites has long criticized Davis for shaking down those with business before the state for millions of dollars, shattering all previous fund-raising records and raising concerns about contributors who have received favorable treatment. And the governor’s people have always protested that money doesn’t buy Davis’ support or attention.

So then why would Davis campaign chief, Garry South, send a letter to the governor’s biggest contributors warning them that Davis will know if any of them contribute to his strongest gubernatorial challenger before the October 14 deadline for signing the stack of approved legislation on his desk?

There is no other logical explanation for the September 10 letter—an appeal to 2,000 of the governor’s major financiers not to give to Republican challenger Richard Riordan—than it is a barely veiled threat that those who give to Riordan will see “VETO” stamped on the bills they support.

“Exactly one month from today, the whole world will know who has contributed to Riordan in the last three months, and how much,” South wrote. “Contrary to the impression being left with some potential donors, the Riordan campaign’s fund raising is going to be instantly transparent.”

Davis challengers were quick to throw out labels like “extortion” and “blackmail,” which are appropriate labels, and you could probably add “bribe-taking” and “abuse of power” to the list. But South said he was just trying to be helpful by letting donors know that reporting deadlines are earlier than they used to be before the primary was moved to March.

Yeah, right, like the Mafioso were just trying to be helpful when telling bar owners that they just might have an unfortunate arson fire if they didn’t pay their protection money. It’s the same thing, people! Political fund raising in this country has become just that crass and obvious, and there are few who practice the low art of legalized bribery better than the Davis-South duo.