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An Angry Talk Radio Climate Won’t Change Todd Schnitt’s Approach To Entertaining

“The mainstream talk radio environment may be toxic but Todd Schnitt won’t allow it to temper his enthusiasm for radio or limit his ability to entertain audiences and stay true to who he is.”

Chrissy Paradis

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The evolution of Todd “MJ” Schnitt’s career across stations, formats, decades and companies is truly a testament to proving that truth always wins. His respect and unique dynamic with his listeners proves his commitment to utilizing growth and development opportunities within radio is stronger than ever. Among his success, accomplishments and accolades in media, perhaps the most significant contribution is his ability to cut through the bull-Schnitt to candidly speak to his audience while honoring the values most important to him.

Through his desire to continue applying innovative approaches to bolster the broadcast medium, Schnitt, known by many as MJ from his CHR Morning Show based in Tampa, added another host role to his weekly routine. This mic was reserved for The Schnitt Show, airing weekday afternoons on news/talk stations. The eloquence he exhibited allowed for him to manage the challenge before him—as his laser-focus, drive and unmatched work ethic effortlessly aligned to make way for such refreshing programming, especially within the news/talk space.

Schnitt’s philosophy took shape as he remained committed to bringing listeners honest content, genuine intention and authentic communication; as opposed to the fleeting, hollow guise achieved through the outdated style of pandering by way of a scripted format. The more Todd exposed his thoughts, takes, beliefs and ultimately, his truth, the bigger the listenership—until Schnitt’s NTS program was captivating audiences in syndication in over sixty markets.

Having studied and developed a keen understanding of the potential pitfalls that could be associated with the news/talk/sports format, Schnitt found a way for his programming to remain dominant, during a time that so many other shows/stations were suffering. Todd was able to identify, comprehend and prepare for what inevitably was hiding in the blind spot for others around the industry, essentially, the Achilles Heel of NTS shows/stations nationwide: format fatigue.

The rigid confines that so many hosts were painstakingly committed to were rooted in fear-based thoughts. The concern of being lost in the shuffle if they failed to carve out their piece of the market quickly enough. This thought process may have had genuine and honesty peppered in the motives however, the rationale lacked the only standard that is absolutely necessary, if not required— creating a connection with the listeners: transparency.

Schnitt’s programs exemplify the importance of this fundamental principle and the value of flexibility, relatability and honesty with listeners which plays an undeniably important role in the foundation for Todd Schnitt’s career in multiple formats.

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His eclectic resume paired with his insatiable appetite for radio continues to inspire media junkies to raise the bar while fostering transparency, both on and off the air: a refreshing rarity to the radio medium. Despite the responsibilities, contacts, managing relationships, prep, hosting and social media responsibilities, Todd ‘MJ’ Schnitt agreed to join me to discuss the return of the MJ Morning Show, news talk as a format, advice for others and what’s in store for the medium in the near future.

CP: First, I wanted to congratulate you on the return of MJ. How has the first month been going?

TS: The first month and a half or so has been tremendous. The response has been enormous. And it’s been fantastic to get such an amazing welcome.

CP: The reunion podcast received a lot of attention. You certainly want that kind of warm reception. How did the crew manage though to rekindle the chemistry and sound like you hadn’t skipped a beat?

TS: The podcast was designed as really a quick reunion. Once we did it, there was an outpouring of people demanding more regular podcasts. Next, we began a biweekly podcast, and then we started doing a weekly podcast in October. I believe, late October of 2019; now, I believe we can wrap up the MJ standalone podcasts. I think that this week’s might be our last one.

CP: Because then, listeners can just catch your show in the morning or the podcast or the show itself each day?

TS: Exactly. The show is on daily, Monday through Friday, 6 to 10am on Q105. The legendary WRBQ-FM in Tampa. The station where Scott Shannon invented The Morning Zoo. WRBQ and the history that this station has is tremendous. For us to relaunch the MJ Morning Show on Q105 is a natural progression because it’s an 80s and 90s station. The audience that grew up with us are now the core demographic of the radio station.

CP: I was amazed with how you would host The MJ Morning Show from 6-10am, then turn around hours later to run The Schnitt Show. To be the lead host of two different style shows, I wondered, how do you keep your head in a CHR morning show and a conservative news talk program every day?

TS: I’ve always been able to delineate the content between the two shows. The MJ Morning Show is more lifestyle, entertainment, personal experience and current events; whereas The Schnitt Show was certainly more current events, but you definitely get plenty of MJ that creeps into The Schnitt Show.

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CP: With the development of bringing back MJ, are there any big changes or additions that you’re trying to implement? In terms of prep or your routine?

TS: No, it’s pretty much business as usual. Nothing has really changed. I just formulate each show on a daily basis just based on what’s available and what’s going on, and what happened in our lives.

CP: You’ve been vocal on your show about being an independent conservative with libertarian values. I don’t know if you’re a Parks and Rec fan, but I like to think of you like a Ron Swanson, except you carry a microphone instead of a mustache. Have you ever felt like it was difficult to appeal to some of the more staunchly conservative listeners or P1’s that listen to your show, with it being broadcast on dozens of stations nationwide?

TS: On The Schnitt Show, I just call it the way I see it. The audience knows that I’m a conservative Republican, but I’m also an entertainer first. I’m not swayed by what the audience wants to hear. I just deliver my opinions and what I think is correct. I can’t do a show based on what the audience might want. I have to do a show from my heart and mind.

CP: I’m sure you experienced some of that in New York, a very liberal area. You were talking last week about being a realist as it pertains to the election results. During what’s been considered by many to be a tense time, with divisive topics dominating our country, what do you think the most important thing for news talk hosts to remember as they’re talking to their listeners?

TS: Ultimately, you have to be true to yourself. A lot of hosts these days are held hostage by what they think they’re supposed to broadcast and what they think they’re supposed to deliver. There are a lot of talk show hosts who are not speaking honestly and will not call true balls and strikes as they see them.

CP: You’ve had a lengthy career between MJ and Schnitt. What would you point to as some of your more significant moments or special memories from your time on the air?

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TS: For The Schnitt Show, I think it’d be George W. Bush’s administration, and their decision to launch military action in both Afghanistan and Iraq, plus the election, and eight years of the Obama administration. Then of course there’s the campaigning, election, and four years of Trump which really changed everything.

CP: When you think about the news talk radio business in 2020, what do you think are the biggest issues facing conservative talk radio? Are their issues in the industry that you feel are becoming more inflammatory (for example, Twitter/Facebook vs. Parler, censorship issues, etc.)? Will we always have a left vs. right media battlefield?

TS: There is a dynamic that has been brewing for quite some time where the extremes are so polarized, the far right and the far left seem to have zero tolerance for any other ideas, even those that are more centrist. And, I believe that’s problematic because not everything lies on the fringes and the extremes. The fact is, this is really kind of a centered up nation for the most part, but the most noise is being made on the extreme wings. There’s a degree of hijacking going on. Unfortunately, some folks take things too seriously these days. While there are some very serious topics and very intense subject matters that I cover, you can still present it in an entertaining way without an angry delivery. The mainstream talk radio environment has become remarkably toxic. We need to work on reducing the toxicity while being informative, but most importantly, entertaining.

CP: What is your philosophy for dealing with those who think you’re not conservative enough or that you’re too conservative for certain people because their personal opinions aren’t reflected in yours?

TS: Part of the toxicity that I described, has been if I didn’t agree with Trump on everything, or if I criticize Trump, whether it’s a policy or whether it’s his behavior, I would get attacked by a certain portion of my listenership. People would threaten to stop listening. They call me a RINO (Republican In Name Only). They call me a fake Republican. And that kind of personifies the poisonous landscape that has been developed, there is a lack of tolerance for a diversity of opinion, even within a perceived political group.

CP: When it comes to news talk media figures, who are some people who have been influential to you in your news career?

TS: I came out of entertainment radio, and while I listened to news talk quite a bit, I tried to develop my own persona and just build on my existing personality. But of course, there’s Rush Limbaugh who helped reshape talk radio and is deservedly credited with saving a lot of AM radio stations across the country. I can remember as a kid growing up in Virginia Beach, Virginia, a talk show host named Charlie Huddle who made an impression on me. There was also DXing at night, and hearing Larry Glick out of WBZ in Boston.

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photo courtesy of South Tampa Magazine

CP: For people interested in pursuing a career in radio, specifically the News/Talk radio format—where you’re on the air 40 plus minutes, an hour, what advice would you pass along to them?

TS: I love radio. I’ve always loved radio. I was bitten by the radio bug, probably at about five or six years of age when I was growing up in New York City, prior to moving to Virginia. My station back then was WABC, when it was a famous top 40 brand. I just honed in on the magic of what came out of the speakers in the car, or at home, or my little mustard colored RCA 9v transistor pocket radio. That made an impression on me and drove me towards this career path. I have an extreme love for radio and am still in love with the medium. I wouldn’t discourage anybody from exploring this career path, but I’d be lying if I didn’t say that the radio business on many levels is not the way it used to be. With the rif’s (reduction in force) and gutting of many great radio companies and stations, it’s a very difficult environment. It’s not for the faint of heart.

I’ll say this, I’m thankful that I’ve experienced several decades of amazing radio operations, and am very excited about my new home for The MJ Morning Show and The Schnitt Show- Beasley Media Group. Beasley Media wants to continue to build an environment where talent is appreciated, and that’s all any on-air performer can ask for.

BNM Writers

Does the Republican Establishment Get It?

For many it seemed that the Republican establishment stood idly by as Democrats changed the rules and worked behind the scenes to alter elections.

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In a move that seemed to go against the wishes of the patriotic American grassroots, the Republican party on Friday re-elected RNC Chairperson Ronna McDaniel. 

The media immediately took notice, as many on television and radio are now wondering why the party would re-elect a chairperson who has been so unpopular with the base of its party. 

Grant Stinchfield discussed this issue Friday night on his program, Stinchfield Tonight, which airs on Real America’s Voice network.

“Ronna McDaniel holds on to her chairmanship of the Republican Party. By a whopping total of — what were the numbers– 111 to 54. Harmeet Dhillon only received 54 votes. Mike Lindell 4 votes. This is proof to me that the Republican establishment is dug in,” Stinchfield — formerly of Newsmax — said. “Don’t tell me they’re out of touch. See, you tell me they’re out of touch, that implies ignorance. They’re not ignorant about anything.”

As sentiment for Dhillon grew in the days leading up to Friday’s vote, many influential politicians and party donors publicly offered her their support and endorsement. These included Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL), as well as donors Mike Rydin, Dick Uihlein, and Bernie Marcus.

Also on board were musician and outspoken conservative John Rich, along with the state GOP of Nebraska and Washington State. Countless journalists and media personalities, such as Charlie Kirk, Miranda Divine, and Lou Dobbs, also came out publicly in support of Dhillon. Former President Donald Trump remained neutral, not making a public choice of either of the three candidates.

For many of Dhillon’s supporters, the deciding factor was public sentiment across the party’s base.

“They’re reading the same chat boards. They’re getting the same emails I’m reading. I will literally post something about this race when I was supporting Harmeet Dhillon. There was not one comment – not one – that supported Ronna McDaniel. Everyone wanted change,” Stinchfield said, noting that the party elite saw the same groundswell of support for change.

“Now, nobody has an issue as Ronna McDaniel is some evil kind of person. I don’t believe she is. I believe, though, that she is part of the establishment. She’s been around too long as far as the establishment goes. And she’s been ingrained in doing business as usual. It’s not working.”

In making their choices known, many Dhillon supporters simply pointed to the scoreboard during McDaniel’s reign.

“Think about where we are. 2018, we lost the House. 2020, we lost everything. 2022, we won the House, but we should have really steamrolled the House and we should have taken back the Senate, which we didn’t do,” Stinchfield said. “That means we’re on a real losing track since she took over. I don’t like being on a losing track. I like being on a winning track.

“Something has got to change when you talk about all of this. So how does Ronna McDaniel get 111 votes and Harmeet Dhillon only get 54 votes, when everyone, every Republican voter I talk to said it was time for change?” pondered Stinchfield.

And even more than the losses, for many it seemed that the Republican establishment stood idly by as Democrats changed the rules and worked behind the scenes to alter elections. The most recent example of which came in Arizona, where presumptive gubernatorial favorite, Kari Lake, was “defeated” when countless voting irregularities occurred in some of the state’s most deep-red areas.

“Under her watch, Democrats instituted a mail-in ballot scheme. That may be even worse than losing, when you talk about the House and the Senate and all these things. The fact that we now have a junk mail-in ballot scheme across the country under Ronna McDaniel’s watch is serious trouble. Very serious trouble,” Stinchfield said on Friday. “And so the reason it is is because the Democrats are rigging the system.”

For years – until Donald Trump descended the golden escalator and took the world by storm – the Republican party had the reputation of being the party of the rich. Rush Limbaugh used to refer to this wing of Republicans as “the country club crowd.” President Donald Trump flipped the narrative completely, offering a clear vision of hope and patriotism to working-class America.

Reputable polling — such as Richard Baris’ Big Data Poll — consistently showed Trump running well ahead of almost every Republican candidate during the 2022 mid-term election cycle. In other words, Trump still maintains considerably more support across the country than most of the individual Senate or House candidates experienced.

Many experts believe this is because voters still view Trump as an outsider, while they view the Republican party much less favorably.

“Let’s tell you how out of touch they are, how elitist they are,” Stinchfield said, calling out the GOP establishment. “This meeting that went on, do you know where it is? It’s at the Waldorf Astoria Monarch in California. One of the most expensive resorts in America. You’re lucky if you get a room for a thousand dollars a night down there on Dana Point. Now, it’s a beautiful hotel, but why is the Republican Party holding an event there? Then I went back and I looked at what RedState did. RedState went back and looked at some of the expenses that the Republican Party under Ronna McDaniel’s leadership was spending money on.

“Take a look at this. $3.1 million on private jets. $1.3 million on limousine and chauffeur services. $17.1 million on donor mementos. $750,000 on floral arrangements. Now you compare this to the Democrats. The Democrats spent $35,000 on private airfare. A thousand dollars on floral arrangements. A thousand. Not $750,000. A thousand. And the $17.1 million they spent on donor mementos, the Democrats spent $1.5 million.

“Democrats know where to put the money. It’s not giving donors gifts. Donors shouldn’t want gifts. If you give money, give money. You don’t need the fancy pin to put on your lapel.”

Following her loss, Dhillon warned her party that it must listen to the base, saying, “if we ignore this message, I think it’s at our peril. It’s at our peril personally, as party leaders and it’s at our peril for our party in general.”

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BNM Writers

The State of the Radio Industry and Technology

“As the industry continues to evolve, radio broadcasters must find new ways to monetize their digital offerings and adapt to changing listener habits.”

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After writing some three-dozen columns for Barrett Media, I often hear that I don’t provide a balanced view of the radio industry. Therefore, this week, I will write about the strengths and weaknesses of the radio industry. It may be a little simplistic, but it will make sense at the end. I promise.

The radio broadcasting business continues to evolve in the digital age, with strengths and challenges to consider. One of the most significant strengths of radio is its ability to reach a broad audience. Radio waves can travel long distances, allowing local stations to reach listeners beyond their immediate area. This makes radio a powerful tool for both local and national advertisers. Radio also reaches audiences in their cars, at work, and at home, providing advertisers with multiple touchpoints. According to the Radio Advertising Bureau, radio reaches 93% of adults in the United States each week, making it one of the most widely consumed mediums. Furthermore, radio is a cost-effective form of advertising, with lower ad rates than other media forms. This allows small businesses to reach a large audience without breaking the bank.

Another strength of radio is its role in emergency communication. In times of crisis, radio can provide important information to listeners quickly and efficiently. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) requires all radio stations to have emergency alert systems, allowing them to disseminate critical information to the public promptly. Radio can be a lifeline for communities during natural disasters, power outages, or other emergencies, providing updates on road closures, evacuation orders, and other important information. Radio can reach remote areas where other forms of communication may not be as reliable. This makes radio a vital tool for emergency responders, who rely on it to coordinate responses and disseminate information.

Despite these strengths, the radio industry faces several challenges in the digital age. One of the biggest challenges is competition from other media outlets, such as streaming services and podcasts. The rise of these digital platforms has led to a decline in traditional radio listening, which is likely to continue. 

According to a Nielsen report, traditional radio listening among adults aged 18-34 has dropped by 20% over the last decade. Additionally, many radio stations are struggling to monetize their digital offerings, which has led to a decline in revenue. However, radio has been able to adapt by incorporating streaming services, podcasts, and other digital platforms, which allows them to reach a wider audience and cater to changing listening habits.

Another challenge is the consolidation of the radio industry. In recent years, there has been a significant amount of it, with a small number of companies owning multiple stations. This has led to less programming diversity and less market competition. This can lead to a homogenization of content, with less local flavor and less opportunity for new voices in the industry. However, many smaller independent stations have survived by providing unique and localized content catering to the needs of their community.

Despite these challenges, the radio industry continues to generate significant revenue. The Radio Advertising Bureau (RAB) says that radio advertising revenue in the United States reached $18.9 billion in 2019. The radio industry has been able to adapt to the changing market, with many stations now offering a combination of traditional and digital programming. The industry has also been able to monetize digital offerings by incorporating targeted advertising, sponsorships, and other revenue streams.In conclusion, the radio broadcasting business is facing challenges in the digital age, but it continues to have an enormous audience reach and role in emergency communication. 

Additionally, the industry continues to generate significant revenue. As the industry continues to evolve, radio broadcasters must find new ways to monetize their digital offerings and adapt to changing listener habits.

If my analysis seems a little simplistic or this column doesn’t seem like my typical style, it’s because I didn’t write it. The column was written using artificial intelligence (AI). More specifically, by the hottest tech trend these days, ChatGPT.

How hot? Here are a couple of data points from a report in Axios.

  • In June, generative AI was covered in only 152 articles. Just six months later, the topic has generated roughly 12,000 news stories, according to MuckRack data.
  • At this year’s CES trade show, 579 exhibitors were listed under the show’s “Artificial Intelligence” category — more than double of those categorized as “Metaverse” (176), “Cryptocurrency” (19), and “Blockchain” (55) combined.

ChatGPT is AI technology that allows you to have regular conversations with a chatbot that can answer questions and help with tasks such as writing columns. 

ChatGPT is what Siri wants to be when she grows up.

ChatGPT is currently open and free while it’s in its research and feedback collection phase. If it’s not perfect, it’s certainly a lot of fun. It is also quite helpful when researching a topic (as long as the information you need is pre-2021). It is much more efficient and precise than Google, any other search engine, or Siri. I find myself obsessed with seeing what it knows and can do. If you try it, you probably will be too.

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BNM Writers

WTIC’s Todd Feinburg Caught The Radio Bug At An Early Age

“I don’t do Fox imitation radio, which is the backbone of a lot of talk. I want to think. I want my brain to be turned on.”

Jim Cryns

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The man is familiar with turbulence, air pockets, and I hope to god he’s never experienced wind shear. You see, early in his career, radio talker Todd Feinburg was a helicopter traffic reporter in Boston.

“I love to fly, but hated being in the air in that contraption,” he said. “It was like a VW bug, a little bubble with a blade on top. If the wind wasn’t blowing too hard, it was fine. It was an amazing way to get to know Boston. I always loved being on radio, and got a charge out of it.”He was seemingly destined to be involved in radio, in one form or another. Feinburg’s mother tells him a story about when he was young that explains a lot of his future endeavors.“My mother is 92, but still very alert and intellectual,” he said. “She tells me how they had borrowed a tape recorder more than 60 years ago. It was a reel-to-reel and they had set it on the dining table. I was two years old and sitting on my father’s lap.”His father was an engineer and took an opportunity to explain a contraption on the table.“He described to me how a voice went through the microphone and onto the tape,” Feinburg said. “I guess my eyes lit up, even though there was no way I could have understood what he was describing. They said they knew right then I was going to be involved in radio in some way.”Isn’t that how all news talkers get started?As a former restaurant owner, along with his wife, Feinburg can be critical, or at least wary of new places. He wants restaurants to deliver on what they promise.“We went to a restaurant in Cambridge, MA last week,” Feinburg explained. “We didn’t know what it was, but it was described as a New American restaurant, whatever that means. We decided to give it a shot. They had a knack for making all the usual dishes seem different.”That causes some immediate skepticism about the delivery of a promise. Feinburg said he’s kind of a traditionalist and wants his pancakes to be pancakes. The pancakes he was familiar with and grew up eating.“But these guys made theirs with cornmeal instead of wheat corn. I could actually see the corn and I should have been appalled. But they were amazing. My wife is a believer that a restaurant experience can be magical,” Feinburg said. “She has an uncanny ability to do that and she’s been cooking since she was a kid.”Feinburg said cooking can be totally intuitive, like radio. No two meals are exactly alike, just as no two radio shows are alike. “I feel that to be effective you have to maximize potential. Access both sides of the human brain. Get both sides firing.”Some restaurants run a great kitchen but can’t run the front of the house. Feinburg said gone are the days when you should expect service like we did 10 years ago. Covid may have had something to do with that.“Hosts used to thank you when you came in,” Feinburg recalled. “Today you get some teenager chewing gum or on their phone. Often in an outfit that is too sexy and just ask, ‘Two for lunch?’ Then she starts walking toward the table and is there when you arrive.”He said he tries to calm himself before he goes out to a restaurant. Prepare myself for any possible experience. He and his wife prefer to go to a particular restaurant where the staff has been tested by Feinburg, so he really gets it his way.Feinburg said artisanal pizzas are hard to make and expensive to produce. If a pizza sits too long before it is served, it loses a lot of its quality.“I try to develop a relationship with the server upfront,” he said. “I acknowledge I know they’re busy, but explain how the chef wants us to enjoy his special pizza hot. They get the hint and bring it out right away. It’s a win-win because I often leave them a much higher tip.”When he’s not out eating hot pizza, Feinburg can be heard daily from 3-6 on WTIC NewsTalk 1080. He also hosts a podcast, a longer segment where he can extend solid conversations that need more legroom.“If I find something going in a good direction on the air, or if I think there’s a lot more meat to a topic, I’ll find a way to pick it up on my podcast,” Feinburg said. “Sometimes a story might be long-winded but still going in the right direction. I’ll find a place to stretch it out. By the same token if I’m interviewing someone on a podcast and come across some interesting stuff I can cut that up and use it on my live broadcast.”On the air Feinburg enjoys bouncing off audio cuts saying it adds life and energy to the spoken word format.“You can make fun of some cuts and that gives you a lot of direction and momentum. As a host you learn to adapt. I’ve done morning drive for five years in Boston. It’s a tight clock and you get six minute segments if you’re lucky. Then you’re off to traffic and weather. You want a guest to give you a good six minutes, but some people can’t talk and that stalls the segment.”Feinburg attended Tufts and majored in political science. His mother was a professor at the university in early education and child psychology.Everything changed for Feinburg when he discovered the school’s radio station, WMFO. “We’d call it WM F*** Off,” Feinburg said.Feinburg said these days Tufts is probably more prestigious than when he attended in the 1970s. “It’s not quite an Ivy League school,” he said. “I don’t think it had as strong of an identity when I was there, but a lot of schools have been elevated since then. We’ve got so much Federal money going into schools. It wasn’t an irrelevant school, but now it’s well thought of in Boston and is synonymous with Ivy League. You get the benefits of the city without having to be in the city.”Perhaps from exposure to his mother’s work, Feinburg said he enjoys politics from a psychological point of view.“I like to see how psychology is responsible for what happens in our lives,” he said. “Particularly with politicians and how they’re always running a two-bit hustle on constituents. I don’t do Fox imitation radio, which is the backbone of a lot of talk. I want to think. I want my brain to be turned on.”He said it’s politicians who have enabled Connecticut to go ‘down the tubes.’“It used to be one of the great states from a fiscal perspective and economic position,” Feinburg said. “It was an economic actor. Companies wanted to go there. They liked the geography. Now it’s gotten to the point where the governor has ravaged the state. It’s too expensive to live here.  Companies are moving out. Young professionals don’t want to move here.”He said he blames the Democratic party for the mess. “The Democrats destroy the poor people while trying to appear to advocate for them,” Feinburg said. “They entrap people in these violent places. That is where my politics differ from them. We suffer from sluggishness. Everything is failing to function. We need to do better than our founders did. If you’re poor, you’re trapped. Struggling. If you’re new to the country or area, people move to Hartford. Then people you know or relatives are looking for a place to live, and you tell them to come to Hartford. So, they go there. You have violence that wouldn’t be accepted anywhere else in the state. You’ve got the worst schools. You get sent enough government money to make sure you don’t starve. There’s no capital, no way to start a new business. There’s no education. You speak some kind of dialect, and there’s nobody who tells you the right way to speak.”Why would Democrats push for and work for such entrapment?“They’ve created a core constituency,” Feinburg explained. “They prioritize desegregation and that’s not an achievable goal. They funnel billions of dollars into a model that is stupid that doesn’t help anyone. They’ve ruined public education. You can’t have a top-down school system and have it work well. We don’t do anything that way.”According to Feinburg, we know how to fix the crippled educational system, but don’t.“We know how the market works. Give the 10,000 dollars allocated to a student to the parents and let the parents spend it where they want to spend it,” Feinburg said. “If it’s a charter school, or in-home schooling, let them do that. “We’d have the education problem fixed inside of 30 years. You’d have the whole thing fixed. Political parties are evil. Parties are middlemen. It’s supposed to be ‘We the people’. Politicians have their hands on the levers, and they don’t tell us the truth.”Feinburg said some lawmakers who voted on legislation aren’t even privy to legislation they’re voting on.“This goes for both parties,” he said. “Leaders want it to get something passed, they don’t even tell others it’s coming up for a vote. They just want to push something through. People may find they’ve voted for something horrible, against their ideals.”When we talked about the tragic experience in Memphis, Feinburg quickly pointed out how police departments are unduly violent toward black people.“But how are the police departments controlled?” he said. “It’s the same as with schools. It’s the unions that get in their way. It all goes into collective bargaining.”Feinburg doesn’t listen to a lot of talk radio, with one exception.“I listen to Tom Shattuck, who comes on before me,” he said. “He’s a friend and he approaches things differently. Otherwise, I dabble in listening.”Dabbling isn’t a bad way to go.

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