Seriously, Tom Finneran?
Last we heard from former House Speaker and WRKO host Tom Finneran, he was under fire for saying one of George Carlin’s Seven Dirty Words on his show. At the time, Finneran had just backed away from a plan to launch his own lobbying firm after his bosses at WRKO pointed out that his side job would create a minefield of potential conflict of interest.
What a difference a couple of months make. Finneran is giving his bosses the middle finger and has decided to start a lobbying business anyway.
It’s totally copacetic, according to Finneran.
“I can teach. I can write. I can make public appearances. I can lobby. I can consult. I can advise,” said Finneran, who has consulted with lawyer Tom Kiley about his lobbying plans.
His superiors don’t seem so convinced.
Entercom released a statement: “Entercom has expressed its concern to Tom about becoming a lobbyist. Entercom will carefully monitor the situation.”
The Herald’s Jessica Heslam says that the station is considering pairing Finneran up with rotating co-hosts to improve his ratings. Maybe these people can talk about the issues that would present a conflict of interest for the show’s namesake? (Heslam, incidentally, has been killing RKO lately. Yesterday, she had a piece implying that mid-morning host Reese Hopkins fabricated his past.)
Right now, Finneran Global Strategies’ only client is the Liquor Liability Joint Underwriting Association of Massachusetts, so don’t expect to hear much talk about liability insurance for restaurants that serve liquor anytime soon.
Dan Kennedy gives us the scenario that would put Finneran in a jam.
A man staggers out of a bar, wraps his car around a telephone pole and is seriously injured. His family sues the bar, claiming the bartender should have known he was drunk and refused to serve him. Finneran the talk-show host rails against the suit, claiming that the driver should take responsibility for his actions and that tort reform is needed to prevent such frivolous lawsuits. And Finneran the lobbyist pockets another check from the organization that stands to benefit from such “reform.” Got it.
To borrow a phrase from the man himself, this is bullsh!t.