If only David Brudnoy had lived to see it

One side benefit related to the demise of WBCN Radio (104.1 FM) is that CBS will move Bruins games from WBZ (AM 1030) to the new WBZ-FM (98.5 FM).

The late, legendary WBZ talk-show host David Brudnoy spent years lamenting the frequent Bruins interruptions. Ironically, the beneficiary of the move will be Dan Rea, who, unlike Brudnoy, is a hockey fan.

The 12th annual Muzzle Awards

The Phoenix Muzzle Awards, my annual round-up of New England violators of free speech and personal liberties, is online now, accompanied by Harvey Silverglate’s sidebar of outrages against freedom of expression in academia.

I’ll be on “NightSide with Dan Rea,” on WBZ Radio (AM 1030), tomorrow at 9 p.m. to talk about the Muzzles and maybe a little politics. Hope you’ll tune in.

Talking about inauguration coverage

I’ll be on “NightSide with Dan Rea” on WBZ Radio (AM 1030) tonight from 8 to 9 p.m. to talk about media coverage of President Obama’s inauguration. I imagine this will come up at some point.

Muzzling freedom of speech

Please have a look at The Phoenix’s annual Muzzle Awards, a Fourth of July roundup of local anti-constitutionalism that I’ve been writing since 1998. You’ll see why Nat Hentoff likes to say that the human sex drive is exceeded only by the urge to censor.

Among those who get singled out are Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff, whose agencies have banned a respected academic, Adam Habib, from the United States. Habib is scheduled to appear at an academic conference in Boston on Aug. 1, but that’s not going to happen unless the ban is lifted.

Habib is supposedly being kept out because he has ties to terrorism. But he denies it, and the government has provided no evidence to back up its claim. What we do know is that Habib, of South Africa, is a Muslim and has criticized the war in Iraq and U.S. policies in the Middle East.

Also getting whacked is Comcast, for firing longtime Boston television personality Barry Nolan over his campaign against Fox News blowhard Bill O’Reilly. Comcast was within its rights to terminate Nolan, but it was an utterly unnecessary, no-class move.

I’ll be on “NightSide with Dan Rea,” on WBZ Radio (AM 1030), at 9 p.m. today to talk about the Muzzle Awards. If you feel like calling in, don’t be shy.

Illustration is copyright © 2008 by K Bonami.

Dan Rea’s radio days

I’ve got a profile of Dan Rea in the new issue of CommonWealth Magazine. Rea, a longtime television reporter at WBZ-TV (Channel 4), is now the host of the talk show once helmed by the late David Brudnoy and Paul Sullivan at WBZ Radio (AM 1030). “NightSide with Dan Rea” is an oasis of civility in the talk-radio wars. But can it work in today’s caustic environment?

Rea’s got some tough things to say about the state of local TV news, telling me, “It was very clear to me that there was a direction of television news that was not going to be reversed, and I wasn’t quite sure that I wanted to continue doing television news as I was doing it.” He added:

Local television news is one of the great purveyors of racism of our time. They don’t understand that. But if you are somebody who lives out in one of the 128 or 495 suburbs, and never have a reason to really interact with people of color, the only time you’re going to see young black males is when they’re being arraigned, they’re being arrested, or they’re dying in the street. We ignore the 99 percent of the kids in that community who are trying to do the right thing, trying to go to school, trying to participate in community programs and athletics.

Rea is probably best known for his years-long efforts on behalf of Joseph Salvati, wrongly convicted of murder because of the false testimony of a government-protected witness.

Dan Rea replaces Paul Sullivan

No surprise, but it’s good news that veteran journalist Dan Rea has been named to replace the late Paul Sullivan as the evening talk-show host on WBZ Radio (AM 1030). Rea will continue in the tradition of Sullivan and his predecessor, the late David Brudnoy — that is, he’ll host a show where the conversation is civil, and where news and interviews take precedence over ideology.

Now, as Brudnoy always said, if we can only get the Bruins off WBZ, we’ll be all set.

(Via Universal Hub and the Herald’s Messenger Blog.)