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KOA’s Ross Kaminsky Protects Liberty as a True Function of Politics

Kaminsky said the nation is in trouble if people don’t renounce their loyalty to a tribe rather than act on things that are best for the country.

Jim Cryns




If Ross Kaminsky’s radio career ended tomorrow, we’d have a new Bob Vila or Bob the Builder on our hands. When we spoke, Kaminsky was in the car on his way to Home Depot, elbows deep into a bathroom project.

“I’m putting in a new sink,” he said. “I’ve got to get the PVC and caulk. I’ve already purchased the drain. I’m reasonably confident I’ll do a good job, and I’ve had a lot of practice over the years.”

Kaminsky thought about hiring someone to do it. Then he got the idea it was within his talent zone.

“My wife is an artist and very good at seeing aesthetic problems, and I get more work to do…though she does all the painting.”

“There were a lot of brown and pea-green colors in the bathroom. It was gross. We replaced the sink, faucet, and countertop, shower walls, and floors…but I hired experts for the last three things.”

His undergraduate degree from Columbia University is in foreign policy with an emphasis in economics, and he ended up a futures and options trader. Kaminsky used to work on the floor of the Chicago Board Options Exchange, one of those guys that frantically waves his arms around like they’re in a big game of charades.

“Once you know how to read hand signals, it makes perfect sense,” Kaminsky explained. “That’s the part that’s famous. That happens in the larger pits, but most pits are smaller areas where you can communicate just by voice.”

He said in the larger pits; you could be 50 or 100 feet away from the people you’re trading with.

“The deals are made on 100% trust,” Kaminsky said. “As a trader, in the days before handheld computers, you’d write on a card what you’re trading and the price of the trade. You have a clerk who works for your company take the cards to the person you traded with.”

The clerk would tell the other person, “Checking…RGK purchased ten of such and such from you.”

“He’s just checking to make sure the other person remembered the trade,” he said. “You rarely have a deal go bad from something a trader didn’t remember. If somebody jerked you over, it’d be over for them fast as nobody would trade with them.”

Of course, there are times when there is confusion or somebody didn’t mean something the way it came across.

“It’s usually a legitimate mistake,” Kaminsky said. “Some things might not match up. You can work those out, even though sometimes it means a significant loss for both traders. If it happens more than once, you might have a problem, though, with the other guy’s honesty.”

Kaminsky met his wife, Kristen, in Australia. The woman from down under is a successful artist, and they met while Kaminsky was visiting on vacation.

“I saw some of her ceramics and thought they were cool,” he said. “I wanted to get some custom dinner plates and asked to talk with the owner. It turned out to be Kristen.”

Kaminsky said many people call themselves working artists but make things nobody else would want. “Kristen is smart, funny, insightful. Her brain works differently than mine. She loves Colorado, and we’re very happy here.”

The couple lives near Denver and enjoys mountain life. Kaminsky said he chose to live in Colorado because, as an independent trader, he could live wherever he chose.

While living in Colorado, Kaminsky started doing some political blogging in the early days of blogging. If someone started blogging today, Kaminsky said it would be harder for them to break through as it has gotten so crowded.

“I wonder if that’s going to happen with podcasts.”

Kaminsky became moderately well known as a political blogger on state and local issues, and local hosts began asking him to be a guest.

“I had a friend at KFKA and did a guest spot,” he said. “When I was there I asked if I could fill in for my friend when she was on vacation. It seemed like fun. So, they let me do a show.”

A bold move for a blogger. Kaminsky said the station wasn’t corporate-owned, so there was nobody they had to get permission from.

“After my first show, iI was reminded of how people say you can get hooked on heroin if you use it just once. I just loved it.”

 “I don’t recall my first show on KFKA, but I’m sure I talked about whatever was going on in local politics. I just immediately fell in love with doing radio. I was also losing interest in trading. I didn’t want to keep doing that.”

Kaminsky said he pursued radio because it looked tremendous, very seductive. He kept making himself available for shifts, and they kept saying yes. He will work for free if that’s what it takes. It wasn’t about money at that point; he wanted to get good enough to go further in the business.

“I started doing fill-in shifts at KNUS on a Sunday evening show called Backbone Radio. Eventually, the host, former State Senate President John Andrews, decided he wanted to spend more time writing a book And hanging out with his grandchildren. They offered me the show.”

Kaminsky met a talker named Mike Rosen, and they became good friends. Rosen was on KOA for more than 25 years, most of that in the 9 AM to noon time slot.

“We didn’t see each other often, but we were friends,” Kaminsky explained. “I asked him if I could fill in for him at the station. I thought he forgot about it. As a Bulls fan, I felt like I was asking to sub in for Michael Jordan.”

The guy is not only handy with a hammer; he’s got guts.

The PD at the time didn’t really like extremely political shows. KOA is a station with the Denver Broncos and did a lot of news and traffic.

“While we do some political talk, I’m not aiming to just be a conservative or political show.”

Kaminsky is now heard weekdays on KOA in Rosen’s old time slot. As one of his topics, he recalls talking about the legacy of Joe Paterno. This was just after the legendary coach died after the scandal.

“He wasn’t responsible for what happened, but he was there. It all went down while he was the boss. If you’re doing a topic driven by callers, it’s important to remember it’s not the intensity of the topic but the range of opinion among listeners.”

After the Aurora theater shooting in Colorado, which happened just a few miles from the radio station, Kaminsky said nearly all the listeners would have felt the shooter should get the death penalty, an open and shut case.

“I realized at that time if I’d asked that question on the radio, it would have been intense, but it may not have gone anywhere. It could have been a topic that was one-dimensional, despite it being a horrible tragedy.”

Kaminsky is a libertarian in that he sees liberty as a value in itself and protects liberty as the only proper function of government, especially the federal government.

“I’m libertarian by philosophy with a lowercase ‘L,’ not a party member upper case ‘L.’ I’ve been Libertarian, and I’ve been Republican. Some years ago, I became unaffiliated. Partly because Republicans are constantly letting me down, and partly because being in media, not having to cheer for a team is liberating.”

He said he respects people who tell the truth. Being a libertarian is not really about supporting a political party; it allows Kaminsky to be critical of Democrats and Republicans.

“You can generally predict my positions on political issues based on which position maximizes individual liberty,” he said. “Whether or not the side effects of an issue affect me. For instance, I support drug legalization even though I’ve never touched an illegal drug or even a cigarette. I’m pro-choice, but I also know living in the real world, there are some restrictions I can live with. As for the hard-core anti-abortion folks, I may disagree with them, but at least I understand how they think about something; in this case, that they deeply believe abortion is murder. Pro-choice folks will never understand pro-life folks unless they keep that in mind…which doesn’t mean you have to accept the same perspective.”

 “If something is part of someone’s belief system, it’s helpful to understand that for a conversation. When you recognize that, people you disagree with can seem less tyrannical.”

At this point in our discussion, he was busy picking out the PVC at Home Depot.

“When you’re a trader, you’re forced to multitask,” he jokes.

Kaminsky said, like other talkers, he had considered his future might include syndication.

“I’m not so sure it’s the brass ring anymore,” he said. “Maybe podcasting is. I don’t know if I’ve spent enough time thinking about this. I think creativity is very important to what we do. There is a smaller group of talkers who just preach to the choir with no creativity.”

Kaminsky said the nation is in trouble if people don’t renounce their loyalty to a tribe rather than act on things that are best for the country.

“The tribe could be Trump-loyal, cultish, or the other side, the Trump Derangement Syndrome people,” he explained. “I think it’s interesting that on the Right, more people are more loyal to Trump than to the party. If enough voters refuse to vote for Trumpy candidates, the party may come back together. They’re at the precipice of falling; we’re close. The Republican party has become a populist party. I don’t think that has to change very soon for the GOP to do well because the Democrats have moved so far Left.”

He cited an interview with Ron Johnson and found the Wisconsin Senator to be pushing the limits a little more than Kaminsky would like. “He hasn’t always been this flamboyant. Politics will change people, make them do unexpected things. I think he really believes today’s Democratic party poses risks to important things and is trying to stop them. And again, once you realize that, it helps you make sense of a lot of the other stuff. And I do appreciate Ron’s courage to say things others won’t say, but I’d hope that he goes out of his way to make sure those things are true and not just inflammatory.”

The last polls show Johnson down, at 38 percent in Wisconsin against challenger Mandela Barnes.

“It’s a sport among MAGA Republicans to either not answer pollsters or skew the results where they can,” Kaminsky said. “It’s a matter of how much.”

Kaminsky also noted that Johnson was behind in polling in at least his last two election victories.

Kaminsky said his audiences are human and understand and appreciate when he admits he was wrong about a topic.

“I go out of my way to say on the air when I get something wrong. I’ll do it the same day when I can. With the raid on Mar-a-Lago, I was wrong about some document classifications. I had no problem telling listeners I got it wrong.”

After we spoke, Kaminsky sent me a photo of his finished sink. I’ll be darned if he doesn’t get it right.

BNM Writers

Dagen McDowell Is Ready For A New Adventure With Fox Business

“Every decision in America is born of policy, On the show, we bring that to our show. Talk about the news of the day.”

Jim Cryns




To know Dagen McDowell, you must understand what she comes from, where she comes from. You won’t know her until you know the lessons, kindness, and determination set forth by her parents.

Her parents operated a small grocery store, LW Roark and Company. Charles and Joyce McDowell were high school sweethearts and both went to college but decided to go back home and open a business. “This is in the middle of nowhere,” McDowell said. “It was a wholesale grocery store. They sold it in the late 90s.”

She said her parents were smart, encouraging, and took every opportunity to teach McDowell and her brother.

“They’d constantly talk up people who came into the store. Both of them have and had an insatiable curiosity about everything. They felt they learned things through their customers. It was more fun to learn about things from other people.”

McDowell’s parents never took a week off work. Never. The family took no vacations as most families would. Once while McDowell was in college at Wake Forest University, the family visited the Air and Space Museum on the Mall in D.C.

“Both of my parents were very interested in architecture and landscapes. We’d go to Williamsburg and just look at the buildings.”

McDowell joined FOX News Channel in 2003 and helped launch FOX Business Network as a founding anchor in 2007.

Her mother passed away three years ago and her father is still very much a part of her life. Her father was a constant teacher.

“One time my father, who we called Dowell McDowell, was putting up an outbuilding and asked me how long one line should be if the other line was such and such. He taught me the Pythagorean theorem when I was about 4 years old.”

McDowell was nurtured by parents with endless curiosity.

“I was raised by parents who would always debate and converse around the dinner table. We shared breakfast and dinner together every day. They loved learning, were always inquisitive, never afraid to ask a question. My parents shared a fearlessness and passed that on to me. I’ve never been embarrassed to ask people questions. I love talking to people and finding out about things.”

For a long time, McDowell had no idea what she wanted to do for a living. She knew if she worked at different jobs she’d eventually figure out what she was good at.

“I knew I was a decent writer, but I always tried to get information out of people, what they were doing. Ask if they were fulfilled and happy.”

At Wake, Forest McDowell majored in art history and had every intention of working in a museum, possibly as a curator.

“I interned at the Center for Contemporary Arts. I lived in Venice, Italy for a while. Wake Forest owns a house in Venice.”

After that it was Colorado. She moved back to New York during the recession of 1991 with a duffel bag. She took the Amtrak to New York City and sublet an apartment for six months.

“I had no TV, just a radio. I knew I could find something good to do in New York, there were so many jobs. I always wanted to live in the city. Either the city or way out in the country. Nowhere in between.”

She said being in New York made her feel anything was possible. This was January in 1994 when job ads were still in the physical newspaper, like the New York Times. McDowell interviewed at Institutional Investor through a referral from a friend.

“It was a brilliant magazine with terrific writing,” McDowell explained. “Very prominent in the industry. They were looking for someone to work with the newsletter written for the financial community.”

She’d cover topics like the bond business, Wall Street, and money management. The magazine made her take a reporting test where you’d make up a story and write it. She was offered a job and worked there for three years.

“I learned to be a journalist there,” McDowell said. “I could write but I became a better journalist. We’d break news, create our sources, and learn more and more about finance. People love to talk about what they do if you show interest.”

The next big job was, a resource and web newspaper for private investors. There McDowell wrote a personal finance column. She started doing commentary on television shows, the way a lot of people in different professions tend to do. “Then I started making more appearances on weekend financial or business shows,” McDowell said.

She got a call from Neil Cavuto about 20 years ago and he told McDowell, ‘Kid, you want a job? I know you don’t have much professional TV experience. We’ll give you some training and you’ll figure it out. If you do, you stay. If not, you go.’

McDowell said she was glad she was a writer first before she arrived at Fox. She writes her own scripts and has a background in finance and business writing.

“Before the business network was launched, they had only one business reporter and two senior business correspondents,” she said. “I’ve gotten to do so many different jobs, use different muscles, so to speak. As the years have passed I’ve discovered other talents I may have and I’m incredibly grateful for that.”

There’s a new show in town. McDowell and Sean Duffy will co-host The Bottom Line which will air on weeknights from 6-7:00 PM ET.

McDowell said she and Duffy come from extremely similar backgrounds. Duffy is from rural Wisconsin and McDowell is from Virginia.

“We know what small-town living is like, “McDowell said. “I might live in New York City but where I grew up affects the way I view the world. I’m still grounded in my hometown. On the show, we look south and west with everything we cover. You have to think of your audience. Rather than talking about them, we talk with them. That’s our shared background and vision. Sean is extremely down to earth and generous.”

McDowell said the show is not financially based, but steeped in business.

She said Duffy’s experience as a former U.S. Congressman, he understands policy as well as financial matters.

“Every decision in America is born of policy,” she said. “On the show, we bring that to our show. Talk about the news of the day.”

This is different from anything McDowell has done in the past.

“It’s a two-anchor show in the evening,” she explained. “This is not taking place during market hours. We tie all the business happenings together from the day. Again, it’s not about Washington or New York. It’s about the people we grew up with. We talk to them. Build a relationship with them on the air. For me, this is not just sitting in front of a camera. I can run off at the mouth as well as anyone, hang in there with the filibuster.”

McDowell says she is blunt, but hopes she isn’t rude. During a recent interview for the new show she used the terms ‘pig potatoes’ and ‘chapped backsides.’

“Those are terms I just made up,” she said. “I make up a lot of phrases and don’t always know what they mean. I have an entire repertoire of those kinds of phrases.”

Duffy assumed they were southern phrases he had to learn from McDowell, but she assured him she’d never heard them anywhere else.

“I’m just making stuff up,” McDowell said. “You can’t curse. Can’t say BS. At least you shouldn’t say BS on television. You don’t want to say manure. You never want to say something that makes people wince or evokes a smell.”

Dealing with people directly and bluntly seems to come from her mother.

“My mother had grit,” McDowell said. “She was also very kind, never syrupy. I used to say she had no magnolia-mouth.

That’s got to be a southern phrase.

McDowell said her mother was not a servile flatterer, but she was kind. Always there when somebody was in need.

“She had real grit. She’d stand and fight for her friends and family members.”

Her mother passed away after being diagnosed with stage-four cancer.

“She went through unimaginable pain,” McDowell said of her mother. “For nearly six years. You want to talk about somebody who was tough. There was nobody more pugnacious than my mother.”

She explained even with her illness, her mother was always on the go. Continuing to live her life. When questioned about being so active while she was ill, her mother continued to show grit.

“My mother would say she didn’t want to walk around looking like she had cancer. She asked, ‘What choice do I have? I could lay in bed and wait to die, or I can get up and do what I can .’”

McDowell said her mother’s illness taught her to be a caregiver in ways she never could have imagined. Her mother taught her to find moments of joy every single day, in the smallest of things.

“It can be as simple as telling a stranger to have a great day. Treat a perfect stranger with kindness. I do it all day long. I know it sounds corny, but I want to be known as a person who brings a casserole to a friend when they’re ill.”

A one-sheet from Fox tells you McDowell and the culmination of her background is perfect for The Bottom Line. The fact is, it’s true.

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BNM Writers

Airing The Tyre Nichols Video Was A Necessity

There were hard moments to watch in those videos, hard sounds to hear. But they aired.

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Far be it for me not to address this outrageous and embarrassing instance in humanity. After the videos of Memphis police brutally beating Tyre Nichols were shown on television there really seemed to be more outrage emerging from society this time than from the media, for a change. One would think that’s how we wish things to be.

In instances like this, where the video and audio images are far from brief but are instead chaptered as they unfold, there are few options other than to let them run their course. Clocks — breaks hard and soft — are out the window, just as in live coverage.

Because that’s what this was, only the live this time was us, and as we all absorbed and reacted to actions disapprovingly familiar yet somehow foreign at the same time, the impact was still becoming apparent even though we already knew the outcome.

It’s happened before.

Not always like this but we’ve seen it before, police encounters shown on the news overtakes and become the news.

It takes effect as the sights and sounds are digested, dissected, and discussed, often before their potential impact could really be imagined.

In 1991, when the Handycam footage crossed screens for the first time and we learned Rodney King’s name, we didn’t know then but we had a feeling.

We were on the right track, though as newsrooms evolved and street reporting incorporated a different type of storytelling.

I was a cop in 1991. Changes came. Some.

It’s 2023, I’m no longer a cop. Changes will come again. Some.

Turning points — or the overused watershed moments — mean just as much to the news media as they do to law enforcement.

The “why’s” that make this a turning point are more society and community based this time around than they were in 1991.

At least I think so. And I don’t think it makes a bit of difference who’s involved this time.

There were hard moments to watch in those videos, and hard sounds to hear. But they aired. Where they couldn’t air, they were described in great detail; descriptions sometimes can be worse than the real thing. Sometimes, not this time.

And they should air, they shouldn’t stop airing. This is what happened and this is what people need to see and hear and this is exactly why we are here.

Warn them, provide them with a heads up that they’re not going to like what happens next. It’s life and we show life, and we show what some of us do with it when it’s someone else’s.

Overall, I would say the news platforms held their composure, even after the videos were released. I saw, read, and heard some refreshingly neutral coverage, even from outlets where I expected hard turns into the lanes on either side of the road.

Legitimate questions were asked by anchors and reporters and much of the time, the off-balance issues were raised more by those on the sidewalks and those on the other side of the cameras and microphones.

As much as I find myself in disagreement with what I often see on the cable networks — all the cable networks — I did find a sense of symmetry watching CNN’s Don Lemon speak with Memphis City Council Chair Martavius Jones in the hours after the videos were released.

Regular protocols be damned, Lemon and producers lingered patiently as Jones, visibly overcome by emotion, struggled to regain breath and composure enough to be able to speak. Rather than cut away or move to other elements, they stood fast and it became an example of what often requires no words.

There were fewer punches pulled on other platforms as well.

The sounds of the screams, the impacts, and the hate-filled commands were broadcast through car radios.

As were Tyre Nichol’s calls for his mom. They aired. They had to.

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BNM Writers

Does the Republican Establishment Get It?

For many it seemed that the Republican establishment stood idly by as Democrats changed the rules and worked behind the scenes to alter elections.

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In a move that seemed to go against the wishes of the patriotic American grassroots, the Republican party on Friday re-elected RNC Chairperson Ronna McDaniel. 

The media immediately took notice, as many on television and radio are now wondering why the party would re-elect a chairperson who has been so unpopular with the base of its party. 

Grant Stinchfield discussed this issue Friday night on his program, Stinchfield Tonight, which airs on Real America’s Voice network.

“Ronna McDaniel holds on to her chairmanship of the Republican Party. By a whopping total of — what were the numbers– 111 to 54. Harmeet Dhillon only received 54 votes. Mike Lindell 4 votes. This is proof to me that the Republican establishment is dug in,” Stinchfield — formerly of Newsmax — said. “Don’t tell me they’re out of touch. See, you tell me they’re out of touch, that implies ignorance. They’re not ignorant about anything.”

As sentiment for Dhillon grew in the days leading up to Friday’s vote, many influential politicians and party donors publicly offered her their support and endorsement. These included Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL), as well as donors Mike Rydin, Dick Uihlein, and Bernie Marcus.

Also on board were musician and outspoken conservative John Rich, along with the state GOP of Nebraska and Washington State. Countless journalists and media personalities, such as Charlie Kirk, Miranda Divine, and Lou Dobbs, also came out publicly in support of Dhillon. Former President Donald Trump remained neutral, not making a public choice of either of the three candidates.

For many of Dhillon’s supporters, the deciding factor was public sentiment across the party’s base.

“They’re reading the same chat boards. They’re getting the same emails I’m reading. I will literally post something about this race when I was supporting Harmeet Dhillon. There was not one comment – not one – that supported Ronna McDaniel. Everyone wanted change,” Stinchfield said, noting that the party elite saw the same groundswell of support for change.

“Now, nobody has an issue as Ronna McDaniel is some evil kind of person. I don’t believe she is. I believe, though, that she is part of the establishment. She’s been around too long as far as the establishment goes. And she’s been ingrained in doing business as usual. It’s not working.”

In making their choices known, many Dhillon supporters simply pointed to the scoreboard during McDaniel’s reign.

“Think about where we are. 2018, we lost the House. 2020, we lost everything. 2022, we won the House, but we should have really steamrolled the House and we should have taken back the Senate, which we didn’t do,” Stinchfield said. “That means we’re on a real losing track since she took over. I don’t like being on a losing track. I like being on a winning track.

“Something has got to change when you talk about all of this. So how does Ronna McDaniel get 111 votes and Harmeet Dhillon only get 54 votes, when everyone, every Republican voter I talk to said it was time for change?” pondered Stinchfield.

And even more than the losses, for many it seemed that the Republican establishment stood idly by as Democrats changed the rules and worked behind the scenes to alter elections. The most recent example of which came in Arizona, where presumptive gubernatorial favorite, Kari Lake, was “defeated” when countless voting irregularities occurred in some of the state’s most deep-red areas.

“Under her watch, Democrats instituted a mail-in ballot scheme. That may be even worse than losing, when you talk about the House and the Senate and all these things. The fact that we now have a junk mail-in ballot scheme across the country under Ronna McDaniel’s watch is serious trouble. Very serious trouble,” Stinchfield said on Friday. “And so the reason it is is because the Democrats are rigging the system.”

For years – until Donald Trump descended the golden escalator and took the world by storm – the Republican party had the reputation of being the party of the rich. Rush Limbaugh used to refer to this wing of Republicans as “the country club crowd.” President Donald Trump flipped the narrative completely, offering a clear vision of hope and patriotism to working-class America.

Reputable polling — such as Richard Baris’ Big Data Poll — consistently showed Trump running well ahead of almost every Republican candidate during the 2022 mid-term election cycle. In other words, Trump still maintains considerably more support across the country than most of the individual Senate or House candidates experienced.

Many experts believe this is because voters still view Trump as an outsider, while they view the Republican party much less favorably.

“Let’s tell you how out of touch they are, how elitist they are,” Stinchfield said, calling out the GOP establishment. “This meeting that went on, do you know where it is? It’s at the Waldorf Astoria Monarch in California. One of the most expensive resorts in America. You’re lucky if you get a room for a thousand dollars a night down there on Dana Point. Now, it’s a beautiful hotel, but why is the Republican Party holding an event there? Then I went back and I looked at what RedState did. RedState went back and looked at some of the expenses that the Republican Party under Ronna McDaniel’s leadership was spending money on.

“Take a look at this. $3.1 million on private jets. $1.3 million on limousine and chauffeur services. $17.1 million on donor mementos. $750,000 on floral arrangements. Now you compare this to the Democrats. The Democrats spent $35,000 on private airfare. A thousand dollars on floral arrangements. A thousand. Not $750,000. A thousand. And the $17.1 million they spent on donor mementos, the Democrats spent $1.5 million.

“Democrats know where to put the money. It’s not giving donors gifts. Donors shouldn’t want gifts. If you give money, give money. You don’t need the fancy pin to put on your lapel.”

Following her loss, Dhillon warned her party that it must listen to the base, saying, “if we ignore this message, I think it’s at our peril. It’s at our peril personally, as party leaders and it’s at our peril for our party in general.”

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