Mancow & Cassidy Hit A "Red Light"

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Posted by Bud on August 26, 2009 at 10:21:27:

River Forest red light issue hits talk radio
8/25/2009 10:00:00 PM

River Forest trustee Steve Hoke spent four minutes last Tuesday morning talking about the issue of red light camera enforcement with WLS 890 talk show hosts Erich "Mancow" Mueller and Pat Cassidy. Discussed, that is, if by the term you mean one person talking intelligently about the facts while the other blurted outraged "everyman" reactions.

Cassidy, a respected 35-year Chicago radio veteran who was lured away from WBBM radio last year, was quoted at the time saying, "WBBM is the top of the food chain as far as broadcast news in the Midwest -- if not the whole country." He's now apparently content working with the equivalent of radio news junk food, teaming with the bellicose Mueller, who had a previous on-air sidekick named "Turd."

Cassidy introduced the topic, giving an overview of the red light camera enforcement issue, and noting River Forest's decision to ask for a two-tier fine system from Red Speed, which the company rejected.

When Hoke noted that Red Speed acknowledged over 90 percent of all tickets issued through the red light camera technology were for rolling rights on red, Mueller responded, "Ninety percent? Nine-ninety percent!"

Amid a string of such reactions, Mueller did manage one semi-pertinent question about the issue, asking, "How is it that private companies, corporations, are able to sic cops on us and sic the courts on us. How did this happen?"

Hoke talked about the political connections in Illinois -- generally known to most people who read newspapers and watch public television -- that make such developments possible.

"You're exactly right," said Cassidy.

"Really? 'Cause I'm not aware of them, I'm really not aware of them," Mancow told Hoke. "Can you tell me? What are the political connections?"

Hoke mentioned a series of widely discussed news articles by Chicago Tribune reporter and River Forest resident Bob Secter, which outlined in detail the ways and means Red Speed grew to be a powerhouse red light technology provider with the help of key Illinois lawmakers. "I'm sure a lot of your [listeners] have read it," he said.

"I'd forgotten, yeah," said Mueller. "Oh my God, I am sick to my stomach by how we're treated in this state. I really am."

Closing out the, um, discussion, he added, "If you're sick of being stomped on, use us as your megaphone. We want to hear from you."

Hoke, who mentioned Friday that Mueller never said good-bye or offered a thank-you, said he believes WLS 890 "reached out to (River Forest) because they liked the fact that we tried to implement red light cameras in a way that wasn't abusive."

And doesn't stomp on anyone.

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