Posted on April 27th, 2010 4 great comments. Room for one more!

Newstalk 1010 is starting to grow on me again.

The downtown AM radio station was part of my regular morning schedule. I’d wake up, shove an energy drink into my face, and get good and worked up to Bill Carroll’s latest rant.

As the weekday morning guy, Bill was on top of local topics before most people, and he’d always deliver them with an abundance of vociferous opinion. Sometimes he’d be so wrong that I’d have to stand up in protest. At other times Bill would say something so accurate and poignant that I’d have to rise in support. Either way I’d be out of bed and into my day with a tank full of caffeine and indignation.

In February Bill was shipped down to Los Angeles and replaced with John Moore who, as yet, has not been able to get me frothing at the mouth like Bill used to. KFI AM 640’s (the LA station’s), page for Bill Carroll links to his @billcarroll1010 Twitter account. Hint hint?

However, with my extended leave of absence from employment, I’ve had the opportunity to check out some of Newstalk’s other shows and I must say I’m pleasantly surprised by what I’ve heard.

Afternoon host John Tory, politician and business guy turned media personality, got into a terrific tizzy the other day. I don’t even remember what it was about, but I remember it being very satisfying. Generally speaking, I tend to agree with John’s take on a lot of things, so that doesn’t hurt. And every afternoon Bill calls in from LA so that the two of them can go head to head. Now if the show could just be broadcast in the morning…

Another extremely effective host is Jerry Agar who comes on after John Moore. Jerry’s an opinionated, FOX-News-friendly US import (though born in Canada), and I’ve actually told him he’s an idiot more than once in the middle of his broadcast. Unfortunately, Jerry can’t hear me from my flat, but he gets his fair share of dissenting opinions on the air from others too.

I’ve texted the station in response to some of Jerry’s public adoration of corporations and big business – sure they have our best interests at heart, Jerry, just look how wonderfully beneficial massive businesses and banks have been to the United States – and I keep listening for the next bit of drivel that Jerry’s going to spout. In terms of his ideology I think Jerry’s a potato, but as a talk show host he’s fantastic. Keeps me listening and angry!

curtis silwa, guardian angels, toronto, city, life And it’s not all “let’s profess love for our corporate gods”. Today, for example, Jerry chatted with Curtis Sliwa (left), founder of the New York Guardian Angels, in response to a mugging that happened on the subway on Saturday.

The mugging made headlines because it happened in front of a number of people in a closed subway car  and no one helped — echoing a similar but fatal incident in New York.

The muggee chased after his attackers (three of them), who took off at Chester station. He wasn’t badly hurt and his empty wallet was later found outside the station, but the incident raised some obvious questions.

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Curtis, of course, suggested that civilians need to be directly involved in fighting crime rather than waiting for police to show up. If you don’t feel comfortable taking on the assailant(s), he insisted, at least try to distract them so that the victim has a chance to escape.

Except that cops regularly dole out their own instructions which are contrary to Sliwa’s: call the police and keep your distance. (No one mentioned the lack of cell phone service down in the tunnels.)

If that New York stabbing is any indication, the cops are probably right.

Still, how come no one pressed the yellow emergency strip?

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I happen to think that Curtis’ organization is nothing more than a group of vigilantes. Good intentioned? I think so. Disciplined? For the most part, probably yes. But without a mandate from the people, the Guardian Angels are just thugs in reverse.

However, Curtis did make a good point when he said that Toronto has to recognize that it’s a big city, crime and all. I don’t know that Toronto’s been “ignoring the problem for years”, but I also don’t know that Torontonians are prepared to deal with it — we’re told to call 911 and then look the other way. That’s it.

Giorgio Mammoliti (running for Mayor), is suggesting arming bylaw officers (Green Hornets for the most part), because according to him they’re usually the first on the scene of a crime. Giorgio didn’t have situations like the mugging in mind though, he was thinking more about targeting graffiti, I guess to blow the head off any kid spray-painting a happy face on a wall. Doesn’t seem terribly practical to me.

I’m sure that this topic is far from done. Unless the criminal element of Toronto decides to collectively go on vacation, it’s only a matter of time until something happens again. However that situation ends up, I’m sure Jerry Agar will be flapping his gums about it the next day. If only I had a solution brilliant enough to stick it to his smug mug.

Should regular citizens intervene when they witness a crime in progress?

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4 Comments on “ Mugstabtalk ”

  • Iain
    April 28th, 2010 3:31 am

    I don't think anyone misses Shill Bill Carroll and his awful ads.

    Moore in the morning is the best thing that happened to radio.

    Read more from Iain at:
  • Patrick
    April 28th, 2010 6:27 am

    What?! I miss Bill Carrol, Iain! Not a fan of his ads but I think he actually believes in what he's selling so I wouldn't call him a shill. John Moore is a weak replacement — not to say he won't improve but he's no Bill. Still, I prefer Moore to just about any other radio station out there, for what it's worth.

  • melds
    April 29th, 2010 5:47 am

    dont know these personalities but i wanna say i was here for a visit

    Read more from melds at:
  • Patrick
    April 29th, 2010 7:10 am

    Nice to meet you, Melds. You can listen to most of these personalities at but the topics tend to get pretty local so you may not find it that interesting. Until they say something outrageous. :)

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