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Like GOP, WBEN “Too Old, Too Male, Too Mean”


I have been listening to a fair share of WBEN radio the last few days during the presidential race post-mortems. I know — I am a glutton for punishment.

While listening, I couldn’t help but think of what NBC’s Chuck Todd reported a prominent conservative was quoted as saying after Republican Mitt Romney lost the presidential election to President Obama.

“Our party needs to realize that it’s too old and too white and too male and it needs to figure out how to catch up with the demographics of the country before it’s too late,” said Al Cardenas, a Republican leader who heads the American Conservative Union.

Sandy Beach

Add “too mean” to too old, too white and too male and it describes WBEN’s local afternoon talk show host Sandy Beach and national host Rush Limbaugh, and it isn’t far off with younger morning host Tom Bauerle, who is approaching 50.

They are as out of touch as the Republican analysts Newt Gingrich, Karl Rove, Ed Gillespie and others who predicted that Romney might even win by a landslide and were startled when it didn’t happen.

Listening to Beach and Bauerle can be a painful experience that ends with one often asking, “who can listen to this garbage for more than 15 minutes?” All right, I mean more than 15 seconds.

So I did some research. I called a local radio expert and discovered that 68 percent of the station’s summer audience was over 55, about half over 65 and 24 percent over 75. In other words, mostly old people listen.

I did find it amusing Tuesday before the election when somehow a caller got through to Beach and said he was voting for President Obama because he didn’t think he got much of a chance to correct things in four years because of the Just Say No Republican Congress. My immediate thought was how did he get through to interrupt Beach’s local radiothon for Romney votes?

After President Obama won, the local blowhards have taken up Limbaugh’s rant that the Dems won because the voters like free stuff and don’t want to work hard. It’s as if they just heard Romney’s devastating 47 percent speech, which he disavowed because he realized it was disgusting.

On Thursday morning, Bauerle went to great length describing how hard he worked at minimum wage jobs even while attending high school and college because he wanted to take personal responsibility unlike those darn Democratic voters.

The WBEN talkers not only demean Democrats, they demean Republicans who make some good, thoughtful and valid points about how they believe it is best to fix the country.

Do Bauerle and Beach really believe that many of the demographic groups that voted for President Obama – the young, women, African Americans and Latinos – don’t want to work?

I teach four courses at two colleges with diverse student bodies. Many of the students support the President, as do a majority of younger voters. Almost all of them are working while going to college. Some of them work full-time. I have one guy who comes to class at 2 p.m. after finishing a full-time work shift that starts at 5 a.m. I have a few female students who work full-time as waitresses late at night before coming to class early in the morning.

Beach and Bauerle should be ashamed of themselves for practically calling all Democratic voters bums who are looking for handouts. Bauerle even suggested Thursday that some of them “squirt out 15 babies” to go on public assistance.

Don’t they realize that there are hard-working Democrats who remember that the United States is a nation of hard-working immigrants who may need some help at times? Don’t they realize that they include women who wonder why Republicans want to deregulate business but regulate their bodies?

One of my Democratic friends once said Republicans want the government to force women to keep their pregnancies but they don’t want the government to pay for the children after they are born.

There are real differences between the parties on issues concerning the environment, business, health, gay rights, the military and others. One party doesn’t have the only supporters  who work hard or who get government help.

The harshest critics of Republicans since Romney lost haven’t been Democrats and liberals, but fellow Republicans.

ABC’s Nicolle Wallace, who worked for Sarah Palin in the 2008 campaign, said after the election that pro-life Republicans have to realize that being pro-choice doesn’t mean that someone is pro-abortion. It means even some pro-life women believe other women should have the choice. It is a point that was lost on two Republican Senate candidates who damaged Romney’s chances. Wallace seemed to have the revolutionary thought that Republicans have to consider the other side’s views.

If you stayed up past 1 a.m. Wednesday, you would have heard Republican strategist Mike Murphy – who used to work for Romney – tell NBC’s Brian Williams that the party has to reconsider many of its policies to expand its supporters if it ever expects to win the Presidency again.

The overall feeling one got from listening to Republicans like Murphy who know Romney is that he is a good and decent man who had to go too far right on immigration and abortion during the primaries to get the nomination and it cost him the Presidency.

The next Republican presidential candidate in 2016 would be wise to ignore extreme positions, ignore Limbaugh, ignore the local Limbaugh clones like Beach and Bauerle, and enter the 21st Century on issues that many old white men don’t understand or haven’t accepted.




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23 responses to "Like GOP, WBEN “Too Old, Too Male, Too Mean”"

  1. Andy says:

    One of you best ever columns

  2. Randy says:

    Dont ever call Baurele young. Dude is just as out of touch as everything else on wben.

  3. John Carroll says:

    4 more years of Bauerle,Beach and Limbaugh crying like spoiled babies. You lost, get over it, the majority spoke.

  4. dk says:

    Why would they change. They are the top rated AM station in town by far and near the top when you include the FM stations as well.

    Clearly they have an audience if people don’t like it there are over 60 other radio stations that can be received over the air from WNY and Canada. Diversity of formats is a good thing. Want conservative? listen to 930. Want liberal? listen to 1520 or NPR. The only thing missing in the area radio wise is a jazz/blues station, a good indie rock station and a 60′s oldies station.

  5. Sarah rhodes says:

    Very well said. Nice call on Romney go too far right to win the primaries. I leave in Northern PA which is very Republican and I don’t think the 70% in these northern counties realize that there is more to the world and our country than the 2nd Amendment and they are the only ones that believe that God is on their side.

  6. Rob says:

    Bauerle is close to 50 yet he acts as mature as a kid who had too much sugar. I fail to see how he has lasted as long as he has on the radio.

    I’ve said it before, WBEN needs some talk competition and GR needs sports talk competition.

    I know his talk show was conservative but I really did enjoy the Bill O’Laughlin show when he was on the air. The way he did his show proves it’s how its presented. His points were on fiscal conservative policies which resonate with me. The social policies (abortion, gay marriage etc.) the GOP is so far in the stone age it costs them young talent

  7. Dave says:

    I’ve waited a while for your article on just this topic. Yesterday Bauerle compared the “middle class” to the German Jewish populace of the 30′s. In any Obama speech where he says middle class, substitute the word Jewish and he feels that foretells the fate of our country and the administrations plans. Get some real news on this station not just entertainers.

  8. GMan says:

    Found it shamefull last week that WBEN was using the hurricane’s name to promote the Sandy Beach show. They kept saying that “we’ve got our own hurricane” incorrect. You’ve got your own “blowhard.”

    • Jay says:

      And don’t forget ‘Kathy from Williamsville,’ who used her show to repeatedly call gay people ‘abnormal’ a day after gay marriage passed in Albany. Keep this up GOP and you’ll be even less relevant in ’16. How does this woman still even have a show anyway? Would it kill ‘BEN to give SOME of its talk time to someone who’s not ultra-conservative? (In Bauerle’s defense, he has said he actually has no problem with gay marriage).

  9. Tina says:

    Well it does sound like the majority of conservatives believe what Mitt believes and it lost Mitt the election. Can you say 47%? I don’t think Mitt or anyone who is paying attention will forget that number and how much it meant to this election.
    It is a sad day when my own daughter, who is student teaching, comes home and tells me how the very teacher that is suppose to be helping her is trash talking our President daily even to the point of telling her “when you are a real taxpayer you will understand.” Fortunately for us my daughter is not shy and said “my parents are and they still voted for Obama.”

    Mitt Romney lost because he doesn’t stand for anything. He will change his mind and ideas as it suits him. It was hysterical when Bill Clinton brought up the Lilly Ledbetter Act and how Romney couldn’t say whether or not he would have signed it. Bill said “Well Mitt, you are going to have harder questions than this if you are our next president so you better figure it out.”

    • Steve says:

      Was this the same Bill Clinton who adamantly stated “I did not have sex with that woman”? He’s a fine example to hold up for the DEM pricipals. He should have gone to jail for lying to federal investigators. Some how the DEMs have elevated him to a saint. And the GOP is in trouble?

      • Tina says:

        I definitely don’t think Bill is a saint that is for sure and I certainly don’t agree with his moral principles. What he did was terrible no matter how you look at it. I still think he is a good politician and he most likely was one of the primary reasons Obama was able to get elected again.

        And yes, the GOP is in trouble. That is because they lie about other things but i am sure they have had their indiscretions as well as far as infidelity is concerned.

      • Bob says:

        Well Saint Clinton has enough followers to get his candidate elected !!! Haaaaa
        Yes the GOP is in trouble !!! Don’t think they are ?? Look in the mirror !

  10. steve says:

    Okay Alan you make some good points. Please take a look at your side as well. As a middle aged Republican I’m being lumped into the old white man category. Don’t you see anything bad coming from your party? I have not seen you attack the left’s radicals. There are plenty there…including locally. Listen to NPR much? And we of course could go on for hours about the media’s real left leaning…

    • Carl says:

      Steve: As long as NPR has Cokie Roberts, it’ll NEVER be called radical. And over the years, NPR’s edge has dulled to the point that it’s just like commerical radio in some respects.

      The left’s “radicals”, as you term them, don’t have nearly a tenth of the listeners that righties do.

      One more thing: I’ve often glossed Bauerle and Beach as Buffalo’s answer to Beavis and Butthead. They have as much hair…and brain power…as the animated duo do.

      • Steve says:

        Your statement about the tenth of the listeners should say enough. If people agreed they would listen more. Seems they dont. Last I saw, WBEN was number 2 in the market.

        • Carl says:

          Mainly because WBEN is a heritage station that people instinctively go to for news. Plus, the likely reason WBEN decided to simulcast on 107.7 was to see if they could get that extra fraction of a ratings point for their overall rating. And what ‘BEN did is part of a micro-trend in radio…having a simulcast on the FM band. WFAN in New York is the latest to join in on this trend, but they’re far from alone.

          Also: There are a number of reasons why left talk show hosts don’t get the listeners that righties do: they’re shunted to co-owned stations that have signal problems, they don’t get promoted as well, etc.

          • Steve says:

            Carl you are exactly what’s wrong with America. To assume that there is a grand plan to left-wing talk shows on stations that don’t have signals is so laughable. This is America. If something is liked the Market finds a way to make it successful. Left wing talk radio is somvile that even the DEM can’t support it. It’s been proven in this area and every major city in the US. Remember Air America? You are so brain washed that the government needs to take care of you that you think they are now placing formats on certain stations. God save us!

    • Tina says:

      Our party is getting younger by the minute. Gone are the days of exclusion intolerance and that is why we are growing. The world is different now so we must change with it or you will be left behind. I love seeing how enthusiastic the younger generation is. They are more open-minded and inclusive to those who look and love differently than what we are use to. Just because we are getting older doesn’t mean we have to have the same old ideas.

  11. jimd says:

    The irony is that statistics show the majority of “moochers” live in red states. But WBEN will never let the facts get in the way of their twisted logic. Our flagship station? What an embarrassment.

  12. Carl says:

    Steve: You, sir, are an idiot.

    Name me one time…ONE!…that I said the government should step in and put in left-wing radio talk show hosts or a progesssive talk format on any station. I’ll save you the trouble…I NEVER DID. I’m just stating the facts-which, to you, is poison. You’ve never worked in radio; I have(in college, to be sure…but that’s a hell of a lot more experience than YOU have)-and still maintain an interest in radio even today, even though it’s been watered down significantly.

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