Listening to Christian radio is, I always say, a little like watching a car wreck. You know you should tune it out but for some reason you keep listening. Why? Maybe just to hear how bad it can get.
KPDQ is a Christian radio station here in Portland. By Christian, of course, they mean right-wing Republican. Yesterday I heard one of their hosts railing against “liberal” candidates for Congress and begging listeners to get out and vote for “conservatives.”
And while flipping through the dial this afternoon trying to find some music the twins could listen to I ran smack into another KPDQ host complaining about the ACLU and other liberals. Liberals, according to show, undermine basic American values.
Portland’s Standard TV and Appliance was the commercial sponsor when I listened both yesterday and today and the company’s logo is proudly displayed on KPDQ’s website.
I called Standard TV and Appliance to ask if their company really supported voices on the air that believe progressives are out to destroy America. That's the feeling I got after listening to KPDQ. They directed me to their marketing director who hasn’t yet called back.
So I did a little research and found that William Gander, the company’s president, and his family have given huge sums of money over recent years to Republican candidates and the Republican Party.
Gander is quoted on KPDQ’s website as saying: "KPDQ listeners have proven to be the most loyal customers. Our documented return on investment with KPDQ exceeds any other radio station!"
KPDQ itself is operated by the for-profit Salem Communications Broadcasting. They own 60 radio stations across the nation. Edward G. Atsinger III, the President and CEO of Salem Communications, has given hundreds of thousands of dollars to Republican causes, their editorial board includes a number of conservative political activists and Religious Right spokespeople, and they run a political action committee that gives 100% of their money to Republican candidates.
When you listen to KPDQ you get a big dose of propaganda from Republican activists but it would be a shame if anyone listening to their programs confused what they air with the Christian message. If you listened to KPDQ long enough you’d think that God was pro-war and supports abandoning the poorest and weakest among us to the wind.
Companies like Standard TV and Appliance and Salem Communications Broadcasting are exploiting the faith to advance their own political agenda and to make a buck or two in the process. In American they are free to do that. But we don’t have to buy their message… or their products.