If you don’t live in Youngstown or Warren, Ohio, you’ve may have missed two very well, let’s just call ’em “colorful” figures. First is radio talk show host, Louie Free “the intelligent alternative, brain-food from the heartland.”
Free hosts programs on three stations, er, well . . . he used to. Second is 17-year incumbent Congressman Jim Traficant. Traficant has been the subject of several criminal probes and an indictment for accepting bribes back in 1980. Traficant is persuasive and was acquitted. But in a twist that would be funny if it weren’t so sad, the U.S. Tax Court ruled he owed more than $100,000 in unpaid taxes. Taxes on what, you ask? On the huge bribes he got from the mobsters! Aw shucks.
Traficant may hold what most political analysts call a safe seat, but he’s been catching a lot of flak on Free’s popular talk show. Until the other day, that is, when Free was fired. The reason is in dispute. Free told reporters: “[Management] asked me what I thought about Traficant. I told them Jim Traficant, I believe, is the No. 1 threat to this area’s success. Three days later, I was out of a job.”‘
Now we find out that a partner in the company that bought Free’s radio station is a major contributor to Congressman Traficant. Was Free fired to silence his attacks on the congressman? We may never know that for sure. What we do know is that Louie Free won’t be easy to silence “the intelligent alternative, brain-food from the heartland.”
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.