Inside the Joe Walsh/AM560 Stunt. If Joe Walsh says the N-word in the forest and nobody…

I almost bought it, but kudos to AM560 and Joe Walsh for taking a page from a recent article I wrote about the future of Talk radio. I recognized exactly what they were doing after the third segment. The fooled For those of you who missed it, Walsh supposedly teased racial slurs in a bit about the Washington Redskins flap. No one ever heard any of those slurs, and there is no proof he ever really said them. The whole episode was a bit plastic and very staged, but effective. As for the AM560 and Salem Broadcasting, which as a matter of course has supported the darkest, most hyperbolic and vitriolic programming regarding the administration, gun proliferation, religious fundamentalism, naked corporatism, racism, sexism and homophobia, their sudden conscience with regards to “community standards” rings a bit hollow.

Several weeks ago Revolution and Beer contributor WC Turck wrote on several talk radio industry sites regarding the waning death of old and tired talk radio formats. Walsh and Revolution and Beer have been in something of a social media feud on issues. Turck and walsh went toe to toe on immigration on a rally in Chicago last month. Last week Revolution and Beer published an article about the death of the old grid-like :20/:40 formats. The article was shared on Walsh’s Facebook page.(So Long Dinosaur Talk Radio. Long Live New Media!

Yesterday on his show they broke with that old format during Walsh’s bit. The benefit and purpose by Walsh and AM560 is that they were getting their ratings asses handed to them by WLS and Michael Savage in virtually the same time slot. Walsh and company extended the bit, supposedly suspending Walsh. All morning the local hosts were teasing whether Walsh would return this afternoon for his 5 0’clock program. Predictable, but still the whole bit sucked in and fired up a number of AM560’s loyal, albeit aging listener base. It even fooled the progressive rag, Mother Jones and other media outlets.

So it worked, despite being a despicable way of doing things, and affirms Turck’s assertion that audiences are currently so locked into the old format that breaking it can have dramatic theatrical and emotional effects on the audience and media. On this one, and with Savage a nationally syndicated show, AM560 has the advantage in stealing some of WLS’ audience. Now, if they could maybe do something like this that actually strengthens race relations rather than appealing to white people who refuse to progress with the rest of society we might actually accomplish something.

WC Turck is an author, artist, playwright and talk radio host in Chicago. His first novel, “Broken” was recommended by NAMI for its treatment of PTSD. In 2006 he published “Everything for Love,” a memoir of his experiences during the siege of Sarajevo. He wrote and produced two critically acclaimed plays, “Occupy my Heart” and “The People’s Republic of Edward Snowden.” He works with the homeless and foreclosure victims in Chicago. For more information, past shows, videos and articles, visit

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