Monday, November 01, 2010

KFQD General Manager Dennis Bookey Appears On Dan Fagan's Program, Denies That John Tracy Communicated Any Legal Threats To Him

The Dan Fagan program is back on the air on KFQD 750AM in Anchorage, and the station's general manager Dennis Bookey was the first guest. Bookey denied that there was any threat of a lawsuit directed towards the station.

The interview took place during the first half-hour of the program. Bookey clearly stated that John Tracy did not threaten a lawsuit or to "take action". Bookey characterized the exchange as being cordial. Bookey then described the process leading to the one-day hiatus. He got a number of complaints directed to him. Because he hadn't had an opportunity to listen to the whole program, Bookey decided it would be a good idea to ask Fagan to take a one-day standdown with no loss of pay while he and the legal staff analyzed the Thursday program to determine if there had been any breaches of the law or electioneering. They ultimately determined that no violation of the law occurred.

Dennis Bookey pointed out that he personally disagreed with much of Fagan's politics. He also questioned whether Fagan was qualified to judge whether or not the state of Alaska acted legally when they decided to break precedent and make a list of write-in candidates available upon request at each polling station. Bookey pointed out that Fagan's instigation of Operation Alaska Chaos generated confusion, with which he couldn't allow the station to be associated. So Fagan has agreed not to put out information which would confuse people in the future.

Dan Fagan was not directed to apologize or do any other public penance for his actions.

Just prior to the interview with Dennis Bookey, Dan Fagan justified the action he took on Thursday. He said that as people called in, he heard genuine enthusiasm and hope in the voices of people for the first time. He strongly reiterated his opinion that the list of write-in candidates constitutes a violation of Alaska law. But Fagan also denied that his free speech rights were trampled upon, acknowledging that when he is behind the KFQD microphone, his free speech rights are limited by the specifications laid down by the station's owner. Fagan also paid tribute to the tolerance exercised by KFQD's management, noting that only twice in eight years has the station asked him not to discuss a certain topic. He also noted that both times, it was in response to a complaint by John Tracy.

Fagan has just revealed that he got a message from Senator Mark Begich telling him to hang in there. He criticized Lisa Murkowski for trying to silence Fagan.

As far as I'm concerned, if Fagan is satisfied with the outcome, I'm satisfied as well. This issue can now be considered put to bed.

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