Obama Turns Army Loose on Chicago's WGN

Supporters protest radio airtime for campaign critic

By Ambreen Ali,  Newser User

Posted Aug 28, 2008 1:09 PM CDT

(Newser) – Barack Obama's camp deployed its devoted followers to flood the phone lines of Chicago's WGN-AM last night during an appearance by writer Stanley Kurtz, an Obama critic. A WGN producer tells the Tribune the campaign's push generated “the biggest response we've ever got” during the 2-hour segment with Kurtz, who recently penned a story linking Obama to a radical professor at the University of Illinois.

The campaign’s email blamed WGN for giving "a slimy character assassin" the chance to "rant on our public airwaves," and asked for a chance to rebut—though the show's producer claims the Obama campaign refused just such a request. The Obama camp has used similar tactics in the past, the Tribune notes, against stations running campaign ads the Democrat found distasteful.

Obama supporters flooded the phone lines at his campaign's request when Stanley Kurtz appeared on WGN-AM in Chicago.
Obama supporters flooded the phone lines at his campaign's request when Stanley Kurtz appeared on WGN-AM in Chicago.   (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama greets Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., on stage at the Democratic National Convention Wednesday, Aug. 27, 2008 in Denver.
Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama greets Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., on stage at the Democratic National Convention Wednesday, Aug. 27, 2008 in Denver.   (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Democratic vice presidential candidate Sen. Joe Biden, D-Del., applauds as democratic presidential candidate, Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., speaks in Denver, Wednesday, Aug. 27, 2008.
Democratic vice presidential candidate Sen. Joe Biden, D-Del., applauds as democratic presidential candidate, Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., speaks in Denver, Wednesday, Aug. 27, 2008.   (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)
Patti Solis Doyle, chief of staff to Joe Biden, poses in the hallway of the downtown Chicago headquarters of Barack Obama.
Patti Solis Doyle, chief of staff to Joe Biden, poses in the hallway of the downtown Chicago headquarters of Barack Obama.   (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)
The Obama camp has relied on supporters before to confront radio stations that run ads they don't like.
The Obama camp has relied on supporters before to confront radio stations that run ads they don't like.   (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green, File)
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