By James Rufus Koren Staff Writer
Posted: 02/04/2011 12:59:34 PM PST
Redlands Tea Party member Phillip Naman, right, speaks with Lou Desmond, host of the Inland Empire News Hour, during a taping of Redlands Tea Party Radio at the KTIE-AM(590) studio in San Bernardino on Wednesday.
The tea party movement has its roots firmly planted in the Internet, but one local tea party group, looking for a new way to scatter its seed, is taking its message to the airwaves.
“Tea Party Radio,” a new show put on by members of the Redlands Tea Party, is the latest addition to KTIE-AM’s (590) weekend lineup. The show’s host – who is also its chief financial backer – says the show is a chance for the Redlands Tea Party to broadcast a message on its own terms.
“We are trying to be informational in what we do.” said Phillip Naman, a Redlands financial planner who hosts the show and, for now, pays for its half-hour time slot. “We want to say that situation X has happened, it’s caused by X and Y and Z, and the solution is A. We want to get that information out to people so they can at least understand our take on the situation.”
The show’s second episode will be broadcast at 2 p.m. today.
Generally speaking, tea party groups are small and decentralized. Many local groups get and distribute information from the same national sources, but that’s usually the extent of their coordination with other groups.
Reaching out on the radio – on a station that can be heard in much of the Inland Empire – could change that.
“I think we’ll see some more coordination with our efforts,” Naman said. “We’ll have leaders from other groups come in. We don’t want it to just be focused on Redlands. That would be silly.”
Naman and his co-hosts, Redlands Tea Party members Annie Rumary and Dawn Verkaik, are not radio pros. They don’t do the program live – it airs on KTIE at 2 p.m. Saturdays, but it’s recorded on Wednesday afternoons at KTIE in San Bernardino – and they have some professional help from Lou Desmond, owner of a local public relations firm and the host of KTIE’s “IE News Hour” show, which runs from 5 to 6 a.m. weekdays.
In the first two episodes, Desmond acts as the chief commentator and does the lion’s share of the talking, with Naman steering the conversation and Verkaik and Rumary chiming in only occasionally.
Desmond, a conservative but not a tea party member, said he’s “just helping out” while Naman and company get their sea legs.
In tone and style, “Tea Party Radio” is similar to conservative talk radio shows. It’s a mix of sarcasm, earnestness and anger, all directed at the idea that the government is too big, that Americans are overtaxed and that free markets are best for the economy.
In both the first and second episodes, which aired the weekends after President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address and Gov. Jerry Brown’s state of the state address, the hosts made it clear they think Obama and Brown are liars, charlatans or shills for liberal interests.
A battle cry of the tea party movement, and a key premise behind the radio show, is that the “mainstream media” has either ignored or misrepresented tea party groups.
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