By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions

Graham crackers

The Herald’s Jay Fitzgerald keeps the heat on new WTKK Radio (96.9 FM) talk-show host Michael Graham this morning, reporting that he lost an on-air job in 1999 for some sick Columbine humor.

The Globe’s Clea Simon interviews Graham, who says his first priority will be to bring back Boston’s Veterans Day parade. “I don’t care if I have to go out myself and hire bums and hookers and give them flags,” Graham tells Simon. Michael, my man: We don’t care, either.

During the past couple of days I’ve spent several minutes that felt like hours listening to Graham. My snap judgment — subject to change, of course — is that he may be among the most unlistenable hosts it’s ever been my displeasure to hear. I didn’t like Jay Severin, whom Graham replaced; yet Graham comes up considerably short of Severin. To wit:

  • Severin is reasonably intelligent. He’s not as smart as he thinks he is — no one is as smart is Severin thinks he is — but he’s no dummy, either. I don’t know whether Graham is a dolt or not, but he definitely plays one on the radio.
  • Severin’s got great pipes. He’s easy to listen to, especially if you pay no attention to what he’s actually saying. Graham’s normal on-air speaking voice is a high-pitched, loud, on-rushing yelp.
  • As much of a right-winger as Severin can often be, he does hold a few counter-intuitive views. Among other things, he opposes the war in Iraq, and supports an immediate pullout given that no weapons of mass destruction were found there. Graham is so pro-war that it’s unconscionable he hasn’t signed up for a stint in the Marines.

Is it too soon to tell? Sure. But screamers don’t have a good record of success in the Boston market. Howie Carr must be thrilled.

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  1. Anonymous

    Frustrating though it may be to his detractors, Severin has also been pretty vocal in his environmental concerns. He lost a few of the knuckle draggers on that one. Credit where credit is due…

  2. Anonymous

    >>Severin …supports an immediate pulloutAfter The Party of Surrender started making noise about this, the GOP responded with a non-binding vote in the House tonight. “Let’s not pull outimmediately” won by a mere 403-3 margin.Agreed on Graham’s voice but I alsowasn’t fond of “Pulitzer Prize Winner”Severin’s pipes. Prefer Howie.

  3. robsel journal

    Your remarks about Graham are right on the money. He seems very amateurish in contrast to Severin.I was very surprised that he was hired after his ‘audition’. I figured it was obvious to everyone that this couldn,t possibly the best available talent for afternoon drive!After a long absence (Severin era) I’m back to Howie. Too bas the AM signal is at times an issue.

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