Clear Channel WSPD Programmer/Host Brian Wilson's Curious Programming Decisions

A curious talk radio-based story has been bouncing around the Internet from The Examinerto blogs, to the Ron Paul sites, and even some small conservative sites.

As if it weren’t enough for conservative talk radio to be under seige from the Left, it now appears there’s a Ron Paul-right that would like to bring down conservative talk radio, as well.

Assuming there is, a Clear Channel station programmer and host for WSPD in Toledo, Ohio, Brian Wilson, seems to be one of the individuals prepared to lead the charge.

Wilson doesn’t appear to think much of his audience — including two of his own radio network’s top talents, conservatives Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity — and he recently dropped and attempted to embarrass a third national conservative host, Mark Levin, with a leaked email. Levin’s moving on would presumably make room for another libertarian talker on the Toledo outlet.

Said Wilson of his station’s Toledo market, according to a report by the Toledo Blade.

“Certainly, there’s a way to have a very brainiac discussion about all these things, but that’s not commercial radio,” he said. “As far as my analysis of the Toledo market is concerned, the two-by-four up alongside the head of the donkey to get his attention, that analogy is really quite apt when you look at that audience. I have never seen — and I’ve said this in public, on air, and in print — an accumulation of ignorance among a group of people centered in one geographical area until I came to Toledo. It’s astounding, absolutely astounding.

At the same time, Wilson has been defending a notorious libertarian, Lew Rockwell, long associated with Rep. Ron Paul and his controversial newsletters, alleged to contain significant elements of racism and antisemitism, as well as other controversial remarks.

In audio available here (second hour), Wilson claims the Toledo area has “a dedication to stupidity and ignorance” and he appears to think only like-minded, Paul-supporting radio talkers can solve the problem.

Wilson also cites “white guilt” and political correctness as reasons for Obama’s winning the presidency. At one point he claims to cite Ron Paul, saying, “you got the welfare party and the warfare party” in discussing Democrats and Republicans.

Along with talking up Ron Paul with host Katherine Albrecht, another Paul supporter, Wilson says Paul’s pollster, Fritz Wenzel worked for him in Toledo hosting a program. He then goes on to call Limbaugh a “lesser talent,” before trashing him in a very personal manner, later claiming Limbaugh has a “messianic” complex as Bush allowed him to sleep in the Lincoln bedroom one night. Wilson calls Limbaugh, Hannity and Levin no more than “pied pipers.”

Audio at link – Brian Wilson with Katherine Albrecht: Why Rush Limbaugh is so full of himself and why he sets his atack dogs on Ron Paul

A 2010 report suggests Wilson actually now resides and broadcasts from Virginia, not Toledo. But that’s unclear and Clear Channel refused to comment for that report. If he doesn’t think much of Toledo, that might explain his opting to reside in and broadcast from Virginia.

Richard Spurr, who lives next door to the Wilson’s Virgina home, said Mr. Wilson attempted broadcasting the Toledo show out of the home but was unable. “It’s pretty rural here,” Mr. Spurr said. “So now he broadcasts out of Lynchburg.”

Wilson has also known Toledo-based controversy in the past. When accused by some of insulting Toledo’s black students, he later went on to demean the entire radio market in a Law and Media seminar in which he participated due to his on air remarks, as cited at top. That’s based upon this full report in the Toleda Blade readers should evaluate for themselves.

It’s unclear if his relationship to Lew Rockwell was known at the time, which may have interested some given that the newsletters Wilson’s self-described friend and colleague, Rockwell, has been associated with are alleged to contain racially divisive remarks. For his part, Wilson insisted his own remarks were taken out of context. The Toledo Blade stood by their reporting.

“But certainly, teaching little monkeys to peel bananas and so on and them learning to do it correctly on cue does not mean that they’ve learned everything except a funny parlor trick,” Mr. Wilson said during his show.

After hearing his explanation for the remarks, said a then Franklin County Municipal Court judge, “Having listened, and with your experience, background, education, and verbal skills, I’m convinced that you knew precisely what the impact would be by your use of a reference to little monkeys …”.

As for the newsletters linked to Williams’ compatriot Rockwell, Reason offered this analysis in December of 2011:

(they) apparently made some folks (such as Rockwell and Paul) pretty rich selling newsletters predicting the collapse of Western civilization at the hands of the blacks, gays, and multiculturalists.

One, Horwitz recounts chapter and verse demonstrating that comments calling blacks criminally inclined, among other even more vicious things, were not tossed off by some low-level, immature Paul apparatchik who didn’t know any better. Rather, they were part of a concerted and well thought out political strategy by Ron Paul’s intellectual acolytes and handlers, namely Murray Rothbard and Lew Rockwell, to court working class white males by aligning with some of the nastiest strains in the hard-right, paleo thinking.

For more on the Rockwell-linked newsletters, also see here and here and here for a collection of the most incendiary newsletters. The quotes below are from the first link. Evidently, Levin’s remarks about Rockwell were key in Wilson’s decision to drop the host from his station.

“It is human nature that like attracts likes. But whites are not allowed to express this same human impulse. Except in a de facto sense, there can be no white schools, white clubs, or white neighborhoods. The political system demands white integration, while allowing black segregation.”

“[Martin Luther King, Jr.], the FBI files reveal, was not only a world-class adulterer, he also seduced underage girls and boys…And we are supposed to honor this ‘Christian minister’ and lying socialist satyr with a holiday that puts him on par with George Washington?”

“Order was only restored in LA when it came time for the blacks to collect their welfare checks. The ‘poor’ lined up at the Post Office to get their handouts (since there were no deliveries) — and then complained about slow service.”

The newsletters were considered troubling enough that many Libertarians reportedly called for Rep. Paul to denounce Rockwell.

Ron Paul Must Repudiate Lew Rockwell

… the evidence surrounding the newsletter case paints a pretty clear picture, that (Rockwell) has some clear issues with those of different races, ethnicities, and cultures, and these are not issues that Paul should suffer for. If Rockwell well and truly believes that African-Americans are beneath him, then Paul needs to recognize him for the man he is and distance himself as much as possible.

Yet, here is Clear Channel WSPD programmer and host Brian Wilson in an email exchange he is believed to have leaked recently for publication to embarass nationally syndicated radio host, Mark Levin. Wilson defends the now infamous Lew Rockwell, a frequent guest on his own show, while smearing both Clear Channel’s top talker, Rush Limbaugh, and radio host Mark Levin.

In fact, in response to Mark’s outrageous diatribes, mis- and dis-information slanderously leveled at Ron Paul, Tom Woods, Lew Rockwell – personal and professional friends of mine – I will be exploring other programming options effective immediately.

… while I heartily endorse lively on-air debate/discussions on virtually any subject, the verbal and written abuse he heaped on these Constitutional scholars who individually have done more throughout their careers to advance Liberty and Freedom than Mark ever will with his scorched-earth, egomaniacal diatribes is not good radio programming or content on my station.

Now it appears his vanity has been “over-served” Rush Limbaugh’s “ice tea/Kool Aide” and, like Rush, thinks way more of himself than can be objectively sustained.

If Mark ever gets a grip on his rational self – or develops the class and courtesy to apologize to the three gentlemen mentioned above – I’ll give him another listen.

It’s unclear why Wilson would feel compelled to bash Rush Limbaugh, who presumably continues to be a top draw for a station he’s tasked with programming and promoting. However, Wilson doesn’t seem to think too much of another Clear Channel stand out, either, Sean Hannity, based upon his blog posts at Lew Rockwell.com.

Linked here: Wilson – July 23, 2011: While we’re on the subject, let me add Sean to the list. He says all the right words but there is no brain behind them. He knows all the correct conservative answers but can’t defend them intellectually. He is like Abba: singing a song in English perfectly without understanding any of the lyrics.

In fact, Wilson had pronounced Limbaugh’s career done in his first posting at the Rockwell site in 2003, as Limbaugh was dealing with a prescription drug issue.

Linked here: …  it’s going to be impossible for Rush to resume his show with the same moral tone and content that made him the King of Talk Radio. Now he’ll sound just like the other guys.

In his Oct. 10th Mea Culpa closing comments, he said, “I am not a role model.” But he did repeat numerous times that he is “your epitome of morality of virtue, a man you could totally trust with your wife, your daughter, and even your son in a Motel 6 overnight.” Maybe so – if he had enough pills to deal with one of their mattresses. It may come back to haunt him like some of his other cutesy clichés already are. Recently posted on the FreeRepublic web site: “With talent on loan from Merck.”

… Rush’s problems transcend a mere human spectacle or even hypocrisy. … Detox is tough enough. Toss the Ego Monster and some of his buds into the room and it won’t matter much how swanky the “spa,” a Hillary Clinton presidency would be easier to endure.

I know him, worked with him a little and liked the man I met. Of course I wish him the best. If he comes back it will be just to say good-bye.

Presumably, Clear Channel’s Brian Wilson would be a well-informed individual, up on current events, political and otherwise. That he continues to defend Rockwell, given his now well known reputation, may seem puzzling to some.

Citing a career that spans decades in the email exchanges, Wilson seems to have bounced around quite a bit, into smaller and smaller markets, now finding himself in what he at least appears to describe as a “tiny” one he also doesn’t appear to think much of.

I’ve been in this business 47 years, on great radio stations like WABC, WMAL, WBAP, KSFO, WBT; I’ve even owned my own station. Despite being confined to Toledo, I know more than “tiny market” about radio and how it works.

Wilson also doesn’t seem to rate very well by industry rankings, but at least he gets to insult hosts in the nation’s top ten – and in one case drop one of them, perhaps to accommodate a libertarian colleague.

Brian Wilson WSPD doesn’t make the Top “Heavy Hundred” Talk Radio Host List of 2011! His once coworker Rush Limbaugh comes in number one (1) leaving Wilson somewhere down in the bottom (250).

That he has spoken as he has about Clear Channel’s top talent, as well as the very market he serves, may be the most puzzling aspect of all. If nothing else, perhaps it will give a few radio talkers something to talk about. Then, again, perhaps not.


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