Thursday, May 11, 2006

Unfair and Unbalanced

WATA radio has decided to give a weekly radio show, "The Right Thing," to Mr. James Hastings, former Republican state party chair, local Republican operative, and owner of every Hardee's between here and outposts on the moon.

Those of us familiar with Mr. Hastings' tactics and his checkered past were somewhat amazed by this development.

This is the James Hastings who alleged in 2002 that Dave Robertson, a candidate for county commission, was somehow advancing the homosexual agenda by working at ASU.

The station manager of WATA apparently sees no problem with giving free air time to this particular character. On the suggestion that he balance Mr. Hastings' show with a Democratic show, the station manager thought that might seem "too contrived."

Apparently it's not contrived at all to give a weekly platform on the public airwaves to a man who was prosecuted for tax evasion in 1997. Over several years, Mr. Hastings failed to pay income taxes on some $7,000,000 of earned income. When he was charged, he claimed it was purely a politically motivated prosecution. The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals strongly disagreed. You can read the 4th Circuit's unanimous decision in the case here and incidentally learn a great deal else about the wholly uncontrived man WATA has decided to give a radio show to.

And not that the tax evasion charges were any fluke. Corruption sprouts on a fairly regular basis in his vicinity. For example, recall this. And true to form, Mr. Hastings always blames the bad news on political persecution. Everything's the Democrats' fault.

So much for all that "personal responsibility" the GOP preaches over and over and over and over and over.

"Personal responsibility" is for people making waaay less than $7,000,000.

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