Letter to Senator Kerry 4-29-09

Richard J. Garfunkel

2801 Watch Hill Drive

Tarrytown, NY 10591



Senator John Kerry

218 Russell Building

Washington, DC 20510


April 29, 2008


Dear Senator Kerry,


As I was adjusting my radio dial yesterday and happened to breeze by WABC-770 AM in New York, I had the unpleasant experience of hearing you come on the Imus in the Morning Show.  It would have been one thing if you decided to make an appearance on WABC, because like Daniel in the Lion’s Den, you wished to show your courage. I assume that would be justifiable. That station’s right-wing agenda and reputation would daunt anybody with your democratic record. But, I certainly have no quarrel with any elected official appearing anywhere they wish to be heard. Of course, for me it is a matter of taste, and I would choose my venues more selectively.


But, over the years Mr. Don Imus has literally “cut your heart out,” on more than numerous occasions. His insults would have been intolerable to me. It still boggles my mind why he still attracts journalists and some political people to his program. In the past, I happened to catch him, now and again, on WFAN in New York in the morning, because when I took my wife to the railroad station, that band was on from the evening before. I unfortunately got into the habit of listening to him because he had on Jonathan Alter, who I know and correspond with at times. He wrote a great book on FDR, and I lecture of President Roosevelt and am an active member of the Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt Institute. Even then I was astounded that legitimate reporters, journalists, and political folk would tolerate his low-level, and often racist, sexist and anti-Semitic banter. I asked Alter about why he was on, and he frankly told me that he rarely listened, but liked the “free” time the show afforded him and the show’s connection to NBC and Newsweek.


After his “Rutgers” slur, by the way my daughter was a graduate of Rutgers and currently works at Harvard’s Kennedy School, I was really fed up with him, and worked for his dismissal from WFAN and MSNBC. I was glad he was terminated and I wrote an essay on his career, which I have included with this letter. But, he has a way of surviving and the current marriage with him and WABC seems to be made in heaven.


Again, I was surprised and saddened that you lowered and demeaned yourself to being his foil. I didn’t listen to the show after your opening “cute” remark, so I have no real clue what transpired. But for sure, I lost a great deal of respect for you. I worked hard in the 2004 campaign, and in a sense I hold you partially responsible for keeping George W. Bush in office. We are reaping the “bitter harvest” of his terrible legacy. Obviously you are quite aware of how history views you regarding that campaign, but from my perspective, the past is prologue. That election is long over. But your appearance with Don Imus, really offended me, and all of the bitter memories of 2004 were once again rekindled.





Richard J. Garfunkel


Host of The Advocates

WVOX Radio 1460 AM

Live-Streaming at www.wvox.com

New Rochelle, NY

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