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Friday, August 13, 2010

Amos and Abdul Join Mayor Ballard's Staff...And It Didn't Cost the Taxpayers A Dime!

OBSERVATIONS: Genius Mayor. Sheer genius. With a stoke of a pen you just introduced a major game-changer for the 2011 municipal elections and it didn't cost you OR the taxpayer one thin dime.  When it comes to unemployment, raising taxes or cuts in services the Mayor can shift the blame to the downturn in the national economy. The one issue that could have been an anchor around his neck is the rise in local crime. That issue is now off the table and all but secures his ability to control the political narrative during the campaign season.

In case your readers didn't hear the latest, Mayor Greg Ballard (GBAL) announced the formation of a Public Safety Advisory Board that includes (drum roll please) two of the most recognizable voices on the radio WXNT-1430 Abdul Hakim Shabazz (INBR) and WTLC-1310 Amos Brown (ABWN).  Gary Welsh (ADIN) spared no punches in his critique of the arrangement. And he wasn't alone as Indy Democrat  (IDEM) weighs in as well.

We contend that by including Abdul on the board, Mayor Ballard can all but guarantee a positive spin on any rise in crime or wayward police officers five days a week. We did find it especially humorous to read Abdul's flaccid attempt to justify his willingness to be part of the story instead of simply reporting it. As for Amos, for the first itme in recent memory this leaves local Democrats without a friendly platform to speak out against any of the Mayor's past, present or future crime initiatives.  It will be interesting to see how public opinion reacts to this new development going into 2011.

We feel it will be all but impossible for Melina Kennedy, Jose Evans or Ron Gibson to aggressively criticize Ballard to the solidly Democratic audience of WTLC 1310 and not make Amos look like an willing accomplice.

While it was pretty obvious that Abdul was right of center and Amos left, they at least could consider themselves somewhat independent towards the local power structure.  And that's what made them both relevant and respected by their peers and followers. In our opinion this is no longer the case. From this point forward many in the community will view these two as field staff for the mayor's office and once that's your public image there's no turning back. The one good thing for the new Amos and Abdul team is that these two no longer need to pretend to be objective "journalists". As a matter of fact we're not even sure that these two will ever have an opinion they can call their own.

We won't speculate why these two would sell give their credibility away - we'll leave that up to you readers. In the meantime Mayor Greg Ballard you proved that you are ready for prime time. From this point forward you control the airwaves around Indianapolis. Now it appears that the only venue left for any voice of opposition is the blogosphere.  Let the offers begin.


UP:  GBAL $110, FSTRA $100, ADIN $120, NQAI $80, IDEM $170

DOWN: INBR $125, ABWN $100, SiMi $30


  1. IPSE, I think you forgot to give Tom John (TOJO) a boost. This an idea developed over drinks with his favorite arms-dealer. Otherwise great post.

  2. If you think Brown is going to be supportive of Ballard on that committee, then we must be talking about a different person. He seems to be the lone Democrat in the group, so he'll be there to criticize, while at the same time, not have any real power outside of the committee as far as policy goes.

  3. I'm not so sure Indy Student. His station needs the ad revenue that municipal elections can proovide. He will do what he's told to do at least until November 3rd.

  4. I wonder what would happen if all the Democrats (State level included) decided to boycott these two? i mean can you blame them?

  5. Boycott!!!!!!????? Now that sounds like an excellent idea. Of course Ed Treacy will not let that happen but nice thought!

  6. I really can't understand how two otherwise intelligent pundits would allow themselves to be used like this. I agree IPSE the community will never see them as anything but the Mayor's puppets - except it will be the kind with a large hand up their a@@!

    Sell outs!

  7. Boost Tom's stock! NOW!!!!!!!!!

  8. HEADLINE: November 3rd. Ballard cruises to second term. Heading to Argentina for celebration!

  9. Dear IPSE,

    I tried using your e-mail address, but the postmaster says it "doesn't exist". So, I'm using the blog post. Good Morning. As I was checking the opinions of the blogosphere this morning, on all sides of the aisle, I was amused by your post regarding this Public Safety Advisory committee and whether my participating in it would somehow neuter my opinions regarding the Department of Public Safety, the Ballard Administration or the coffee battle between McDonald’s, Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts. I was also amused because I thought stock analysts were supposed to understand the fundamentals of the stocks they tout. At least that’s what Jim Cramer on CNBC always seems to say.

    A couple of points and corrections to some errors in fact in your post.

    I am not a journalist. I have never referred to myself as that. I am a broadcaster first. Been one in Indianapolis for 35 years. I am a manager second. Been one in broadcasting for 33 years. I am a newspaper columnist, who has expressed opinions on issues in the Recorder going on 17 years. I have expressed opinions on talkshows on WTLC Radio and WDNI-TV going on 19 years. And during all that time I have served on numerous civic and governmental committees, advisory boards, etc. And that civic participation has not and will not cause me to bite my tongue or not to express my opinions – in print and on the air – on any issue.

    IPSE probably forgot that I was co-chair of the city/county’s Census Complete Count Committee. A mayoral appointment. That didn’t cause me to mince words about the lapses of the Ballard Administration.

    Since November, I’ve been privledged to be a member of the Indiana Education Roundtable. A gubernatorial appointment. But that hasn’t caused me to not critical the Daniels Administrations foibles, or the foibles of the educational establishment.

    And in the 48 hours since the Public Safety Advisory Committee was announced, I’ve already publicly criticized the lack of participation by any Democratic City-County Councilor. And will do so again on the radio program today. Along with condemning the poor percentage of African-Americans in the latest IMPD recruit class sworn in yesterday. (10.7% Black in a city/county that’s 27% Black is an abysmal recruiting effort by and objective standard).

    In reality there is no conflict of interest. My role as broadcaster, manager, community servant/leader and civic critic continues as it always has. And, as a legendary broadcaster and commentator (not journalist) always said “And that’s the rest of the story”.

    P.S. IPSE - Since the Arbitron ratings for our program are three times that of Abdul’s, why does IPSE always undervalue my stock? Maybe there should be an SEC investigation. Or least one from Todd Rokita, when he’s not too busy measuring the drapes for his Congressional office.

    Amos Brown III
    Host/Managing Editor, Afternoons with Amos, WTLC-AM
    Director of Strategic Research
    Radio One/Indianapolis
    Member, Indiana Broadcasters Hall of Fame

  10. Actually, Amos, if you look here (, this is the first time your stock has taken a hit. The previous two times were boosts.

  11. Amos is the one having a good laugh at Ballard's expense. Ballard keeps kissing his feet and he just keeps on clubbing him over the head with a bat on his radio show and in his column at the Indianapolis Recorder. You missed the pertinent point about Abdul's latest slobberings. He admits he's not an Indianapolis resident. Why is Ballard appointing a person who admits he's not a resident of the city?

  12. @Amos,

    We appreciate your response. Our email address is (that's double zero) and we appreciate both your response and humor. You raised several good points and we will try to address them as best we can. First, we beg to differ on what constitutes a journalist.

    As defined by most online dictionaries you are a jounalist. For the purpose of this post we simply used Wikipedia:

    A journalist collects and disseminates information about current events, people, trends, and issues. His or her work is acknowledged as journalism.

    Reporters are one type of journalist. They create reports as a profession for broadcast or publication in mass media such as newspapers, television, radio, magazines, documentary film, and the Internet. Reporters find sources for their work, their reports can be either spoken or written, and they are often expected to report in the most objective and unbiased way to serve the public good. A columnist is a journalist who writes pieces that appear regularly in newspapers or magazines.

    Or by Webster: jour·nal·ist
    Pronunciation: \-nə-list\ Function: noun
    Date: 1693 1 a : a person engaged in journalism; especially : a writer or editor for a news medium b : a writer who aims at a mass audience 2 : a person who keeps a journal.

    Again by your own definition you are a jounalist.

    Second, as for your previous experiences in this type of arrangement, we freely admit to being familiar with only a couple of them (Census Complete Count Committee, and Indiana Education Roundtable) and we applaud you for your community engagement.

    That being said there were two things that caused our internal debate and led to our posting

    1) The extremely volatile nature of police/community relations that occurs at the local level. This type of policy development at this level of government can easily turn a community inside out. And at what point does a journalist who invests time in the process start to protect his investments as a primary course of action? We think that is a legitimate question.

    2) The impending 2011 election and the important role your station played in previous elections. If you re-read our posts our primary focus was how Democratic candidates would be able to openly challenge the Mayor's policies on your show without criticizing you the host. We did speculate on how the two of you would be able to express your opinions and we will be more than willing to report here on this blog when we witness such occurances. Ultimately the final judges will be the listeners and readers not IPSE.

    Now as for your stock prices we feel we've been pretty fair with you. For the record we took everyone down by the same amount - $30. We freely admit that it is difficult to quickly capture comprehensive information from your on-air conversations, radio blog and the Recorder columns. Most of our stocks can be analyzed by simply viewing one site. Only one of us (he works from home) has access to radio while working therefore it is difficult to catch your afternoon show. We were wondering if you archive them anywhere for afterhour listening?

    And as for an investigation by SoS Todd Rokita? Amos you know as well as we do that Todd knows as much about SEC violations as he does about legislative map making.

  13. IPSE,

    I don't believe Amos or Praise Indy posts full shows anywhere, but sometimes interviews make it onto his DJ profile.

  14. God I LOVE this site!!!! Good open debate from a blogger who although anonymous doesn't respond like a petulent child. Good post Mr. Brown. And I agree time will tell...

    IPSE you rock!!!!!

  15. Sorry I think Ballard owns these two. While they may have the right to criticize it will be a delicate dance to between looking like obstrucitonist and being accomplices. No room for error and these guys aren't that good.

  16. @Advance Indiana,

    Oh we caught it. We just left it out of our posting to let someone else carry the ball forward. We'd imagin that he will adjust his post to wordsmith it a little. Better cut and paste quick.

  17. IPSE you forgot Ballards main voice. Greg Garrision, he is nothing more than a PR person for the Mayor and his little butt buddy Tommy John.

    This is a great move by the mayor. Now no one will go after him.

    Hey your bartender said,

    I agree kind of with you, but it was not with the arms dealer, it was with his other stoner friends at the Phish concerts. Hmmmm, I wonder if the Republican party in Marion county should offertory drug tests to their employees.. ALL of their employees. ?

  18. Anon 11:19, Garrison is little more than Limbaugh-lite, without the entertainment that Limbaugh provides. He rarely discusses local issues in any meaningful depth, and in the times he does have local politicians on, he lets them speak without questioning anything.

  19. This comment has been removed by the author.

  20. To Amos: No one who truly IS legendary would ever refer to himself as such.

  21. Mel, I read it that way at first. He's actually quoting someone else, not himself.

  22. This comment has been removed by the author.

  23. Lil Voice inside Abdul's headAugust 13, 2010 at 2:50 PM

    Sweeeet! My plan is working! First I get on the PACE/OAR Board-check. Second I get Christina Trexleer-John (Tom's mistress turn wife) a job as second in command -check. Third, get myself appointed as Board President- check. Fourth, wiggle my way into Ballard administation to get a little leverage - check. Now all I need to do is replace current Director of PACE/OAR Rhianna with Christina. Then let the Federal grants flow to my Republican friends. Oh and I did it right under Amos' and the Democrat's noses. Tada!!! God I'm so smart I could smack myself.

  24. The difference between Abdul and Garrison is simple. Garrison is a damn good lawyer turned radio personality. Like him or not he show is tops in the ratings. Abdul is at best mediocre radio personality of a low watt station paying part-time wages. I'd say its the same for his legal skills that's why he's not really practicing. The same for his hackish stand-up routine in dive bars. If he was as good as he thinks he is he'd be doing something/anything full time. Instead he has a string of part-time c-grade jobs that will always have him relying on private drinks with political hacks and public antics to get ahead.

  25. Just Tellin' ItAugust 13, 2010 at 3:08 PM



    Contact: Amos Brown or Shannon Joseph (317) 266-9600

    Indianapolis’ award winning talkshow Afternoons with Amos continues as one of Indianapolis’ most listened to talk radio programs and one of America’s top local progressive and African-American talk programs. With a 2.7% share of Persons 12+ and a 3.5% share of Adults 35+, Afternoons with Amos continues as the fourth most listened to talkshow in Indianapolis.

    And with a 16.6% share of African-American listening, Afternoons with Amos continues as the highest rated Black-oriented radio talkshow in any American market.

    Here’s how Afternoons with Amos compares with the top local and national talk shows airing in Indianapolis. (L=denotes local program, S=denotes syndicated program).

    Most Listened To Weekday Radio Talkshows in Indianapolis

    Ranked By Persons 12+ Av Qtr Hr Audience. Spring 2010 Arbitron.



    L = Local; S = Syndicated
    12+ Av Qtr Aud
    12+ Share
    12+ Tot Aud
    35+ Av Qtr Aud
    35+ Share
    35+ Tot Aud

    Rush Limbaugh Show 12p-3p


    Greg Garrison Show – 9a-12p WIBC/L

    Ed Wenck Show – 3p-7p WIBC/L

    Afternoons with Amos – 1p-3p WTLC/L

    Sean Hannity Show – 3p-6p WFDM/S

    Michael Savage Show – 6p-9p WFDM/S

    Glenn Beck Show – 9a-Noon


    Laura Ingraham Show – 9a-12p WFDM/S

    Dennis Miller Show –3p-6p WXNT/S

    Dave Ramsay Show – 12p-3p WFDM/S

    Michael Smerconish – 12p-3p


    Abdul in the Morning 5a-9a WXNT/L

    Neal Boortz Show – 6p-8p WXNT/S

    Fred Thompson Show – 8p-10p WXNT/S

    Afternoons with Amos airs Monday-Friday 1pm-3pm on WTLC-AM1310, a Radio One station, which also owns and operates WTLC-FM106.7; WHHH/96.3FM; WNOU100.9FM and WDNI/Indy’s Music Channel.

    Average Quarter Hour, Total (Cume) Audience, Monthly Cume Audience and Audience Composition estimates contained in this release are for the daypart and age demographics indicated, Spring 2010 Indianapolis Arbitron. Data ©2010 Arbitron Ratings Company. Qualifications available upon request.

  26. 3rd from the bottom???? After all the bragging, political smoozing and butt-sniffing he does, and he's 3rd from the bottom?!!

    How freaking embarrassing!!! But as you always say Abdul "Deal with it, you will sleep better at night." :)

  27. LMAO!!!!

    Why would anyone be surprised by these numbers? He's an example of what happens when the media accpets government subsidies in the this case symbolic appointments and political consultant contracts. I do hope Ballard didn't pay more than $1 per year for his consulting advice. Seriously I can stand in the middle of a cornfield in Decatur Township and reach more people than Abdul can.

  28. With all these low rated shows, I wonder if WXNT is losing money.

    downtown attorney, I'm not defending Abdul, but Garrison is a Limbaugh-wannabe, plain and simple. At least Abdul is foolish in his own right, Garrison copies Limbaugh almost daily on talking points.

  29. For someone who shouldn't matter and is immaterial you guys sure do like to talk about me quite a bit. Thanks for feeding the ego, because if I were as irrelevant as you say I am, you wouldn't be having the discussion. IPSE, this ought to be worth a couple trading points! :-)

  30. Hey Abdul!

    As a basement dweller in the Arbitron ratings I bet you need intravenous feeding for that ego of yours -or at the very least two jars of Gerber babyfood.

  31. Classic anon 534!

    Whenever I hear Abdul bragging about his so called political/journalisic skills I will just say "point eight oh"!

    The legal limit for drinking and driving and Abdul's rating share.

  32. .80!!! LMAO!!!! All I can say is Gary Welsh will have a field day with those Arbitron numbers.

  33. Just telling,,or what ever,

    No one buys 12+ numbers unless they are idiots. Would you care to share the 25-54 numbers or 35-49? How about 49+

    The number sthat you are talking about are not real and anyone with a book knows it

    Shall I keep on going?

    The station is AM

    The station is powered by two gerbals.

    Amos jumped the shark when Al Hobbs left.

    But hey, nice try

    Shall I keep on going?

    As far as Abduls numbers, I will say that his cume is good and that is what a lot of folks want. Specific targeted numbers are far better than general 12+. Abdul does have a loyal numbers in the Male/upper income/24-54 catigory.

    Its basicly a numbers game at that point.It all comes down to the CPM and the CPP.

  34. @Anon 6:52

    If it is all about the numbers then 2.7 v .8 (a three-to-one ratio) sounds like an old fashion ass-whipping. And Amos has his size 7 foot all up in Abdul's patootie.

    And when it comes to jumping the shark, let's not forget the "I'm the target of an illegal investigation". Abdul is a has become an pn-air joke and the numbers now prove it.

    As for idiots, anyone who would pay this guy a single dime for advice or legal advice fits the bill. He by any definition has been exposed as a half-ass entertainer posing as a journalist/attorney and political hack.

    As for his followers - every penis has a couple of nuts who follow them. Abdul is no different.

  35. Daaaaammmnnnnnn! Hector you da' man!

    Better watch out Abdul has friends with SpectorPro spyware.

  36. If in the second to the last sentence, in your second to the last paragraph, you meant to insert the words, "do not" in between "these two" and "need to", then excellently expressed, ipse. Total agreement from me here!

  37. Thanks MaryCatherine! All corrected.