I Heart The John & Ken Show

Bradley J. Fikes

KFI talk radio hosts John Kobylt and Ken Chiampou represent everything the mainstream media hate about the medium: They’re sensational, over-the-top, ruthlessly disrespectful of politically correct conventions.

But the worst sin of all is that J&K relentlessly expose the MSM’s failings, lies and bias. And judging from the show, they’re having a lot of fun doing it. That’s unacceptable to the humorless MSM scolds, who can only wish they had the duo’s audience, which they say is about 1 million listeners.

The John & Ken Show, KFI 640 AM

The John & Ken Show, KFI 640 AM

Rising taxes, the clownish ineptness of state and local government and bureaucratic follies, along with California’s overreaching global warming drive, give John and Ken plenty of fodder. Their “heads on a stick” campaign, launched last year, drew the requisite tut-tutting and distortion from the Miss Manners types at the Los Angeles Times.

And in recent weeks, they’d had a field day with the often-overwrought attacks on Arizona’s illegal immigration law.

As a card-carrying member of the MSM, I might be expected to take umbrage of John & Ken’s dissing of most of the media as lazy, biased fools and jackasses. And I would be, if what they said wasn’t most often true and needed to be said. Talk radio lends itself to public participation in a way that the stuffy media despises and envies.

John & Ken can also dig up stories, such as those they’re now doing on the Arizona illegal immigration law and boycott that most media outlets don’t do well.

Disclosure: John & Ken in recent weeks have had some harsh words for my employer, the North County Times, due to a story we ran on the Arizona law they disagreed with. However, it’s not personal. They’re simply holding the media’s feet to the fire, which is part of how a free press works. They’re on the side of the public, especially the taxpayers. Journalists should take note.

Here are two worthwhile recent quotes about how John & Ken view the media business, and its failings:

“Everybody in public life lies now, and you never get the true story. And most journalists have given up on the phrase, ‘Prove that’ to people in the news. They just write down whatever the person says, and they go home.”
— John Kobylt

“We have the unique position where we don’t have to spend all our time calling people and not getting answers, when we can just say, ‘Hey, who knows stuff out there?’ People email us, and then we judge the credibility.”
— John Kobylt

And here’s a treat, a collection of some of the most quotable quotes from the government-fighting duo. (MP3, 1.5 megabytes). But if sometimes salty language makes you look for the fainting couch, beware.

Disclaimer: This post represents my opinion, and not necessarily that of my employer, the North County Times.

5 Responses to “I Heart The John & Ken Show”

  1. I tend to switch back and forth between them and Hugh Hewitt. He does very good interviews, sometimes cross examining the media types like they were on trial (Some should be). If J&K take up a silly subject I will tune them out but they do get some good licks in. Theirs is a “target rich environment, especially in California.

  2. Mike,

    J&K have lately been doing a lot about my paper’s territory of North San Diego and Southwest Riverside counties. A high school in Temecula cancelled its planned competition in the Fiesta Bowl in Phoenix, supposedly due to financial problems. But the illegal immigration law was also a reason.

    The school district denies this, but J&K not only heard from an Arizona tourism official that the boycott was the reason given, but also found a statement on the school band’s site that cited the law as a reason, allegedly for safety. They’ve also talked to members of the band who said the band leader told them he hated the law.

    J&K are better reporters than most of the print media. And that they’re entertaining while informing is a bonus.

  3. Bradley, I am getting frustrated with the Word Press spam filter. We are getting spammed by the same source and I tried to set up rules, like making “That’s cool” a term that puts the post in moderation. It isn’t working. I spent a day trying to get Akismet to work but never succeeded, possibly because of the dot org domain.

    Any ideas ?

  4. Mike, I will try to think of an answer. I’ve noticed this spam too. For the present, I’ll just keep cleaning the spam filter, until we get something better. I’ll ask other WordPress types about what they do.

  5. Success — I think — in activating Akismet! I got the key and entered it, and the reply indicated Akismet is now functional.