October 19 Dispatch: Heshy’s War/Giuliani unravels “scandal of the Century”/Curtis Sliwa—Let us Now Diss Dead Rockstars/WABC’s “Back the Blue”campaign/NYT on AM radio/Tectonic event/Off the Hook/Morricone Island/Majestic Pirate Soul (with audio receipts galore)

Rudy’s March. Image by Freq-Amp.

Heshy’s War: WSNR host Heshy Tischler seeks martyr status, pushes white grievance cop-out theories

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Heshy Tischler with the clock set to Hour Zero.

Harold “Heshy” Tischler finally got a taste of the fame and attention he’s been working so hard to attain. Tischler’s role as an erstwhile leader of the raucous Boro Park protests that saw the burning of face masks got the host of Just Enough Heshy international press coverage. This was a step up from the attention Heshy got shutting down Department of Health outreach sessions, or his exploits affixing a yellow star to his chest in front of a Covid testing site where he urged Jews to not get tested for the virus. Tischler, who is running for City Council in District 41, may not have the slightest idea what a council member’s job entails, any more than he understands what makes for basic listenable radio programming. But he was clever enough to see an opportunity after getting arrested for his role in inciting a crowd to assault Jewish Insider journalist Jacob Kornbluh. This was too good to pass up: Now Heshy would show them all, he would emerge as a martyr.

The Boro Park protests were underwritten by a perception that the City, and the State are over-enforcing Covid restrictions in Ultra-orthodox Jewish neighborhoods located in “red zones” where infection rates have risen to “cluster” status. Much of the resentment and anger is based on an idea that an anti-Semitic government is targeting Jews, while coddling “other” ethnic groups, mainly Blacks and Latinos. This sentiment has been repeated by the New York Post, conservative talk radio hosts and leaders like Dov Hikind, who otherwise condemned Tischler’s behavior. This isn’t to say there aren’t reasonable gripes against Covid enforcements, and Ultra-orthodox Jewish communities are by no means the only people who have flouted restrictions—there is a difference between legitimate critiques and the white-grievance cop-out arguments regularly made by Tischler and the like (multiple Jewish groups and the Brooklyn Catholic Diocese are currently suing the State over Covid restrictions on religious gatherings).

The All Lives Matter defense

Shortly after Tischler was released from jail on Monday, his lawyers Sara Shulevitz and Mindy Meyer took to friendly territory, Zev Brenner’s Talkline on WSNR. The pink-clad legal team made clear that they were pursing a public-relations defense, casting Tischler in the persecuted martyr role. They hinted that a lawsuit might be in the works over Tischler’s treatment at the hands of the NYPD (he claims to have been handcuffed for two hours). Meyer asserted that the arrest “orders came from a higher power,” and “in the last couple of months, you had all the looting and rioting in New York City and no one was charged, and here you had a peaceful protester who was charged.” This is patently false, as hundreds of Black Lives Matter demonstrators have been beaten and arrested by the NYPD. One couple charged with attempting to torch an empty police van is facing life in prison on federal charges. Left out of this discussion are the facts that BLM demonstrators have consistently worn masks, and that Boro Park protesters were allowed to harass law enforcement officers with complete impunity. In response to a question from a caller as to whether Tischler was targeted for being a Jew, Shulevitz responded, “all lives matter.”

Later in the week Tischler’s attorneys appeared on the Just Enough Heshy show, in a blatant attempt to keep the host from incriminating himself. Tischler proceeded to forget and mangle his counselors’ names, and was unable to stop himself from blabbing about his arrest. While Heshy’s program might be difficult to sit through, it does reveal that he doesn’t seem to have a very big audience. A handful of people call in to praise Tischler, but it’s not unusual for callers to voice frustrations with the host. Tischler responds to the criticism by screaming things like “Idiot!” at these callers, as he did this past Wednesday. He rails against the police who arrested him while attacking anti-police violence protesters, and later boasts he will unite with Black Lives Matter to advocate for a vaccine for a virus he claims doesn’t exist. He urges the audience to support his City Council bid and to write him in as a State Senate candidate, and suggests de Blasio appoint him deputy mayor in charge of Covid. For someone who claims to be a martyr for the Jewish people, he breaks down when faced with criticism for comparing Covid restrictions to the Holocaust.

Heshy Tischler is skilled at agitating crowds of frustrated young men during the heat of a protest. Though he might struggle channeling his recent popularity into political power, considering his general incoherence and the fact that he got less than 4% of the vote in his last City Council bid. In the absence of political clout, Tischler will likely resort to increasingly desperate media stunts. Unfortunately, we may have yet to see “Just enough Heshy.” (Just Enough Heshy, Wednesdays, 9 p.m., WSNR 620 AM)

Audio receipts

One of Tischler’s lawyers claims his arrest was ordered by a “higher power,” implying he was politically targeted (10/12).

Tischler’s lawyer Sara Shulevitz on Zev Brenner’s Talkline, casting Tischler as the victim of government repression, and stating “all lives matter” (10/12).

Zev Brenner, host of Talkline, asks Tischler’s lawyers if Heshy can sue the NYPD (10/12).

Here’s Heshy’s sidekick Soya Radin comparing de Blasio to Hitler, followed by a caller telling the host “you are never gonna get elected, you’re a moron,” and then, finally Radin blurting out “Call him the N-word Heshy!” (9/30).

In a bizarre rant, even by Heshy standards, the host claims he’s going to link up with certain members of Black Lives Matter to march on City Hall for access to a Covid vaccine (this is particularly odd, since he often claims Jews can’t get Covid, and that the virus doesn’t actually exist) (9/30).

Heshy gives de Blasio an offer to appoint him Deputy Mayor in charge of the Covid crisis. This clip gives a good glimpse into Tischler’s rambling, incoherent style (10/14).

A caller identifying himself as Schmuely Tersy tells Tischler he is making Jews look bad. Tischler and his lawyers respond by drawing a comparison to the Covid restrictions to the Holocaust. Teschy then demeans the caller as an “Idiot!,” and suggesting he “get out of my community” (10/14).

Tischler poses the question: “Was I arrested because of the gay people”? (10/14)

A caller chides Tischler for comparing the Covid restrictions to the Holocaust, conceding that the politicians in charge are “morons” and “liberals.” This sets Heshy and his legal team off, though they never answer the question (10/14).

Giuliani unravels “scandal of the Century”?

Rudy unraveled. Image by Freq-Amp.

Rudy Giuliani: “They tried to destroy me” for unearthing the “scandal of the century”

Rudy Giuliani made the news once again last week as the New York Post ran a story based on emails and incriminating images from a laptop allegedly owned by Hunter Biden. Giuliani is the putative source behind the material, and the former mayor dealt with the information in typical Giuliani fashion, referring to it as “the scandal of the century,” telling his audience, “they tried to destroy me.”

The veracity of the emails have not been determined. Team Trump claims they show that then-Vice President Joe Biden did have some knowledge of his son’s business dealings in Ukraine. Interestingly, Twitter initially blocked sharing of the Post story on its platform, claiming it is misinformation. In response, the Republican National Committee filed a complaint with the Federal Elections Commission (FEC) alleging suppression of the story amounts to an “illegal corporate in-kind political contribution” from Twitter. The irony here is a bit delicious, as the majority of content on AM radio is wall-to-wall Trump campaign infomercials, defacto in-kind political contributions. Take WABC Radio, owned by Manhattan Republican boss, John Catsimatidis. The billionaire runs the station as an aural monument to Trump’s greatness, with a sycophancy that rivals even Fox News. (The FEC has been without a quorum for years, and is unable to enforce such matters.)

The alleged Hunter Biden laptop reportedly made its way from a computer repair show to Steve Bannon, eventually landing with Giuliani. Why the Trumpers couldn’t find a better conduit than Giuliani is anyone’s guess. Don’t take our word for it—tune in to Chat with the Mayor, and hear him hailing Trump’s economic numbers, regardless of the actual facts. As US weekly jobless claims hit 898,000 (with over 25 million officially unemployed), Giuliani claims the numbers reflect a record increase in employment. That’s just one example, but a pretty good indicator of how reality, as promoted by Giuliani reflects reality as perceived by his boss.

Audio receipts

Giuliani: “They tried to destroy me”/”scandal of the Century” (10/14)

Giuliani: “The comeback from that [the Pandemic] is now setting records. Three months in a row of record job growth. Three months in a row of record job growth.” Giuliani made this claim on October 16, the day after the US Department of Labor announced that jobless claims for the week hit 898,000 (with over 25 million collecting unemployment benefits).

Rudy, Rudy, Rudy. Image by Freq-Amp.

WABC’s “Back the Blue,”an attempt to boost sagging ratings?

PBA head Pat Lynch at WABC’s Back the Blue press conference. Lynch is immediately flanked by Curtis Sliwa and John Catsimatidis.

WABC 770 AM has stepped up its “Back the Blue” campaign. The campaign has corporate sponsors, which makes for awkward segments praising cops who died on the job, followed by the kicker: “sponsored by Ramsey Mazda.” On Thursday, the station held a live press conference featuring leadership from all the major NYC police unions, announcing a campaign to distribute 100,000 blue ribbons and the launch of a website that leads to the WABC 770 homepage (backthebluenyc.com). Rudy Giuliani, for his part, interviewed his former driver and disgraced police commissioner, the convicted felon Bernard Kerik. The vociferously pro law enforcement crowd continually asserts that the majority of cops are unfairly tarnished by the actions of a few “bad apples.” The public might take this claim seriously if the Back the Blue types didn’t embrace some of the worst of the bad apples, like Bernie Kerik or someone like Giuliani, who, for his endless staccato of cop worship, sure got a lot of cops killed during 9/11.

Is WABC’s Back the Blue campaign a cynical attempt to prop up the station’s ratings, which have continually sagged lower than Rudy Giuliani’s goiter over the buffet table at Mar a Lago? It’s hard to tell, given the endless cynicism permeating so much of AM talk radio.

Curtis Sliwa: Let us Now Slander Dead Rock Legends

The Curtis and Juliet show did its part to launch the Back the Blue campaign with an interview with the daughter of a police officer killed on the job. Curtis Sliwa proceeded to offer unsolicited career advice to the woman, telling her she should join the police force. He also claimed that Black Lives Matter demonstrators are dishonoring her mother’s memory. The previous week, Sliwa had no such concerns for legendary rock guitarist Eddie Van Halen. In response to news of Van Halen’s passing from cancer, Sliwa asked listeners to call in and chime in on whether the guitarist might have contracted throat cancer from “hitting the meth pipe” or “coony-lingus” (cut him some slack, those are a lot of syllables).

Curtis Sliwa is another odd selection to push a pro-cop campaign. When commenting on the Boro Park arrest, he stated that he hates the NYC sheriffs, and guffawed and yukked it up relating the story of how the out-of-control mob chased members of the department.

Audio receipts

Sliwa ponders the cause of Eddie Van Halen’s cancer (10/6).

And here Sliwa jokes about “Jews in the news,” and proceeds to refer a staff member as a “Jewish princess, and then pushed the line that Boro Park demonstrators are justified for protesting Covid restrictions because the police turn a blind eye to Black Lives Matter protesters (10/7).

Sliwa Backs the Blue by stating that he hates NYC sheriffs (10/7).

Put your ear to a seashell and you might hear some interesting things.

Paul Matzko on AM Radio on NYT Opinon Page

The New York Times recently ran an op-ed about talk radio as a format for right-wing populism. The piece, written by Paul Matzko, author of The Radio Right: How a Band of Broadcasters Took On the Federal Government and Built the Modern Conservative Movement. Writing about AM radio for the Times audience is akin to relaying news of an undiscovered tribe in a remote patch of rain forest. The Times, like most newspapers, abandoned its radio columns long ago. When the readership of record wants to understand the motivations of Trump voters, they are likely to turn to patronizing accounts like Hillbilly Elegy, when they could merely turn on the radio. Matzko puts it aptly: “Yet talk radio still somehow manages to fly below the national media radar. In large part, that is because media consumption patterns are segregated by class. If you visit a carpentry shop or factory floor, or hitch a ride with a long-haul truck driver, odds are that talk radio is a fixture of the aural landscape. But many white-collar workers, journalists included, struggle to understand the reach of talk radio because they don’t listen to it, and don’t know anyone who does.”

Skeptech by Techtonic

Mark Hurst of WFMU’s Techtonic is hosting Skeptech: Smile for the Camera (via Zoom) on October 22. Skeptech “will explore surveillance, drones, and cameras—a world in which we’re watched all the time, even as we can connect in new ways.” Check it out here.

WBAI’s hacker show, Off the Hook had a recent interview with author Corey Doctorow discussing his latest book, Attack Surface, which covers the dynamic of good people who get stuck in banality-of-evil jobs at big Tech/Surveillance firms. Worth a listen.

Speaking of hackers, WFMU’s Morricone Island ran a two-part interview with film composer Simon Boswell, who scored Hackers, and countless other flicks. DJ Devon E. Levins was really in his element here. Morricone Island presents soundtracks and film scores, and Levins always keeps things interesting. Tuesdays, 7 PM, 91.1 FM.

Majestic Pirate Soul

And finally, some majestic soul sounds have been emanating from pirate station Irie Storm Radio at 107.9 FM, broadcasting somewhere out of Flatbush, Brooklyn. The Irie Storm online feed can be found here.

Return to Freq-Amp homepage.

Published by Frequency and Amplitude, an NYC Radio Roundup

Surveying what's left of the analog NYC-area radioscape.

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