Michael Graham (radio personality)
|Alma mater||Oral Roberts University|
Graham was born in Los Angeles, California, and raised in Pelion, South Carolina. A graduate of Oral Roberts University, he worked as a stand-up comedian before beginning his political career as a statewide coordinator for Pat Buchanan's Primary campaign in 1992. This experience led to his working in various Republican campaigns over the next few years. One of his candidates included Harold Worley, a Republican challenger to Senator Strom Thurmond in 1996.
In 1998, Graham moved to the talk radio circuit. Living up to his self-proclaimed description of being "loud, obnoxious and frequently fired," Graham held positions at seven stations in seven years, including stints in South Carolina, WRVA in Richmond, Virginia, and Washington, DC, as well as Rightalk.com, an Internet radio outlet previously hosted by Accuracy in Media.
In 2002, Graham released his first printed book of original material, Redneck Nation: How the South Really Won the War through Warner Books. Many reviews praise the book's humorous and brutally honest look at the South.
Graham appeared on Real Time with Bill Maher. In addition, he made a number of appearances during 2005 on The O'Reilly Factor, Hardball with Chris Matthews, and Fox & Friends pertaining to his "America is at war with Islam" controversy. Graham also appeared as a panelist on the local Washington D.C. television program Eye on Washington, until his dismissal from WMAL in August 2005. In November 2005, Graham joined the lineup of Boston's WTKK; his show, dubbed "The Natural Truth," aired from 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. His contract was not renewed and he parted ways with the station in December 2012, just before the station announced that it was abandoning the all-talk format and switching to music only.
Since 2005, Graham airs a weekly guest slot on the Monday edition of George Hook's drive time show, The Right Hook on Ireland's Newstalk. Speaking from an American right-wing perspective, many of Graham's views are often controversial to European audiences. In August 2009, Graham travelled to Dublin to present the show for three days while regular host George Hook was away.
On February 11, 2013, Graham began hosting a talk show on WCRN in Worcester, Massachusetts; the program was also heard on WBNW in Concord, WESO in Southbridge, WPLM in Plymouth, WXBR in Brockton and WCCM in Salem, New Hampshire. On August 5, 2013, his show premiered on the Boston Herald's new online radio station. Graham left the Boston radio market at the end of April 2014 and spent two years in Atlanta at Cumulus-owned radio station WYAY (All News 106.7). He left that station in May 2016 following an on-air segment where he accused fellow talk show host Kim Peterson of using drugs and insinuated that Peterson engaged in bestiality.
This article's Criticism or Controversy section may compromise the article's neutrality by separating out potentially negative information. (November 2010)
Graham has been involved in various controversies over his career.
- In July 2005, Graham used Islam and terrorism as the basis for a multi-day discussion on his WMAL talk radio show. A number of Graham's comments prompted over one hundred complaints to the station and the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) issued action alerts to its subscribers encouraging them to contact WMAL to urge that "Graham be reprimanded for his anti-Islam statements," ultimately prompting WMAL to suspend him. After 28 days, WMAL elected to terminate Graham stating that he violated station policy and disregarded "management direction" to redress the situation. The situation prompted angry editorials from Graham as well as appearances on nationally televised news programs to discuss the firing.
- Graham attended a rally to protest the Real ID Act, sponsored by CASA de Maryland in May 2005. He was photographed in an INS shirt, and was blocked from entering the event even as he showed ABC Radio credentials, with officials citing public safety. An altercation ensued, and police were called, with a second altercation occurring following their arrival. After questioning, Graham was allowed to enter the event with his shirt turned inside out.
- Graham was fired from his first commercial talk-radio job at WBT in Charlotte, North Carolina, after comments he made on-air in the wake of the Columbine massacre in 1999. Just hours after the shootings he said that the killing of athletes at the school was "one minor benefit of this otherwise horrible story."
- Graham drew criticism from blogs across the political spectrum for comments about Bill and Hillary Clinton made on CNN Headline News' Glenn Beck Show on June 20, 2007. Referring to a Clinton campaign ad based on the final episode of The Sopranos, Graham said "...didn't you at some point want to see, like, Paulie Walnuts, somebody come in here and just whack them both right there? Wouldn't that have been great?...Come on! Where's "Big Pussy"? Come on! Let's make it happen...I wanted that." Beck did not agree with Graham's comments.
- During a debate on the Irish radio channel Newstalk on May 28, 2010, the future President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins, accused Graham of indulging in "the radio of hysterical ignorance" and urged him to "be proud to be a decent American rather than being just a wanker whipping up fear."
- Banned From Public Radio – Pinpoint Press (1995) ISBN 0964855305
- Clinton & Me: How Eight Years of a Pants-Free President Changed My Nation, My Family and My Life – Pinpoint Press (2000) ISBN 0964855321
- The Dumbest Generation – iPublish (2001) e-book
- Redneck Nation: How the South Really Won the War – Warner Books (2002) ISBN 0446528846
- That's No Angry Mob, That's My Mom: Team Obama's Assault on Tea-Party, Talk-Radio Americans – Regnery Publishing (2010) ISBN 978-1596986190
- WTKK-FM Archived 2007-09-27 at the Wayback Machine biography page
- Style Weekly Archived 2006-02-18 at the Wayback Machine: "He's loud. He's controversial. And he knows he's right," accessed 21 June 2006
- "Roger Aronoff on Rightalk.com". Accuracy in Media. 2005-07-21. Retrieved 2020-02-05.
- Redneck Nation: How the South Really Won the War, Amazon.com
- WUSA.com: Eye on Washington, outdated link.
- "Michael Graham Returning To Air At 4 Massachusetts Stations". All Access. February 4, 2013. Retrieved March 21, 2013.
- "Herald Radio – The Michael Graham Show | Boston Herald". Boston Herald. Retrieved 6 August 2013.
- "Bizarre Michael Graham/The Kimmer feud as Graham exits NewsRadio 106.7". Radio and TV Talk. 2016-05-25. Retrieved 2017-12-20.
- Washington Post: "Muslims Call Comments by WMAL Host 'Hate-Filled'," Paul Farhi, 26 July 2005, accessed 21 June 2006
- Washington Post: "Talk Show Host Graham Fired By WMAL Over Islam Remarks," Paul Farhi, 23 August 2005, accessed 21 June 2006
- Jewish World Review: "CAIR WINS, FREE SPEECH LOSES AT ABC RADIO," Michael Graham, 21 August 2005, accessed 21 June 2006
- The O'Reilly Factor: 23 August 2005, URL accessed 7 July 2006
- CNN: NewsNight With Aaron Brown, 24 August 2005. URL Accessed 7 July 2006
- Washington Post: "Immigrant Groups Fight License Bill," Ray Rivera, 6 May 2005, accessed 21 June 2006
- JoeUser.com: "Talker detained at pro immigrant rally, for 'INS' T shirt," TerpFan1980, 9 May 2005, accessed 21 June 2006
- USA Today: "Stern under fire for Columbine comments" USA Today, 28 April 1999, URL accessed 11 October 2006
- "WMAL Suspends Talk-Show Host for Comment on Islam". Archived from the original on 2008-10-06.
- Think Progress Guest Of CNN's Beck: Watching Someone Murder The Clintons Would Be 'Great'
- Michael Graham v Michael D. Archived 2012-02-27 at the Wayback Machine Newstalk.ie, 2010-05-28. (Quote from 15 min 25 sec.)
- Newstalk Radio debate "The fact if the matter is, look, young people from the United States are travelling all over the world again. They're welcome in Europe, they're backpackers in hostels, people are talking to them because the image of the United States – we've got away from this war mongering – is getting better. The many mistakes Obama is making...at least 47 million people that the likes of you condemn to no health care in a country that I was proud to work in – these people are going to have some health care, so this is the issue, so therefore be proud to be a decent American rather than being just a wanker whipping up fear."