Let me start by saying I’ve missed you all very, very much. Today’s missive hopes to accomplish a variety of tasks including details of the new Night Shift show and some rambling thoughts that may seem more or less coherent to some of you and maybe not to others. I know one thing for sure, over the last five very long weeks I’ve been on an expedition; a journey that has taken me to some places rather dark and other places quite enlightening, and now with just five days to go before I’m back on the air I am more determined than ever, with your help, to make a difference.
First the details of the new show. We will be on from 7 to 10 PM on 1130 AM WDFN. The show will be streamed live at www.the tonyshow.org and on iHeart radio and you can download the free app right from the Tonyshow.org website. The 7- 8 p.m. hour will only be heard on the live stream and not on WDFN. From 8- 10 PM you’ll be able to hear the show live at 1130 AM WDFN. There are plans in the works to syndicate the show statewide in key markets in the state of Michigan. That is why the show will start at 7 PM for the markets that are currently looking at taking the show live in its entirety on their stations. Because of previous commitments with the 7-8 PM timeslot on WDFN that hour was not available and the best solution was to stream the show live in that first hour for those that want to hear it and it will also be available via podcast as will the entire show. I know many of you relied on the podcast or the live streaming to listen to the show anyway so I did not see the decision to do the first hour online only as that big a deal.
I hope all of the above made sense. The show will air three hours every day the first hour online only the second two hours online and on the radio. Any questions? Send me an email at Tony@theTonyshow.org.
Next I want to thank the hundreds of you who reached out to me in the days before we went off the air December 16, 2012 and the weeks since we went off the air, your encouragement and continued support of what we had accomplished in the last two years was overwhelmingly helpful in helping me get through what was a very difficult time. For those of you that are not familiar with the show, I often tell people that I’m an activist with a microphone and I truly believe that. Although I have almost 20 years experience as a radio talk show host the work that we have done over the last two years has been some of the most important and profound work I’ve ever done in my life. I have never felt more connected to or more empowered by an audience as I have with those of you who have grown with me and helped me accomplished so much over the last couple of years. Of course none of this is possible without the profound and critical support of organized labor here in the state of Michigan and it is my fervent hope that they will continue to support the show so that we can continue to grow an activist movement that is primed to make significant progress in changing the landscape of not just politics in the state of Michigan but in the lifestyles that we so desperately feel have been stolen from us.
The number one question I have been getting since announcing we were going back on air was a simple question really, that being, will you be doing the same type of show in the evening that you were doing in the morning? The answer is simply a yes but not just a yes, a qualified yes.
To be 100% honest, I feel a sense of urgency. and I’m not so sure why I do, but I know that the work that we need to do on air and off air, for that matter, must be deeper somehow. More impactful. More courageous. More powerful. And it’s not simply just a matter of demanding more accountability, and it’s really not just a matter of showing up and standing up. I believe this time around with the opportunity that we collectively share that we have to start showing true leadership ourselves. We often ask those who represent us to lead by example but it makes me wonder (out loud) if it’s fair of us to ask that of them is it not also fair of us to ask that of ourselves? It’s a simple question again: are you leading by example? I always felt that I was and continue to feel that way but I also know there is more I can and must do. I can assure you, as I’ve had time to reflect and meditate on the issues and the significant impact that the legislature forced upon us in the last 24 months, that our success is really something that we need to explore with a magnifying glass. The reason I write that is that although we have done an exceptional job of showing up, of speaking up, of making clear what it is we want and need, they weren’t listening; in fact, they chose to ignore us and did an exceptional job of that. Now I realize part of that problem is simply because a Republican controlled political system has proven that they can easily ignore the will of the people and we have numerous examples of how that is true over the last two years. I hardly need to enumerate those examples as we are living them.
After watching the Governor’s State of the State address I believe many of us were dumbfounded by the “awe shucks” approach and tone that he took during his terribly delivered remarks in his refusal to take ownership of the way he has destroyed the fabric of our society here in Michigan is reprehensible it best, sinful in many ways, and the total disconnect from reality at least from where I’m sitting and I know I’m not sitting alone. Rick Snyder is a curse on my sensibilities and I cannot sit any longer and allow his rhetoric, his displaced “restlessly positive” bullshit, hang in the air like a stale fart the morning after a frat party without making him own the hazards he has created purposefully, for the benefit of his cronies and the billionaire boys club he is a servant to. He is BAD news any way you look at it.
So what do we do now? Who do we turn to now? Who do we make demands of now? And how do we start to move the needle in a way that actually helps us measure success by defeating both laws and lawmakers who pray to and serve the wealthiest in the state and in the country?
These are all great questions, questions that will be explored out loud and with purpose. We will hold everyone accountable and we will ask tougher questions and get on the more difficult guests and call out-loud with voices in unison and in protest for the disgusting way in which the citizens, the taxpayers, the bosses, of the state of Michigan have been treated repeatedly. Those who are paying attention are deeply offended not just by the way we have been ignored or the way we’ve been treated but by the utter arrogance and disrespect mostly Republican lawmakers have exhibited; their disgust and impatience for those of us who pay their salaries, which they seemingly have no problem ignoring will now have dire consequences. I know it pisses me off and I know it pisses many of you off as well.
So on Monday, January 28, 2013 we turn a new page and begin to write a new chapter in the book of our real lives. This isn’t about drama, this isn’t about the effect, it isn’t even about winning; it’s about the fundamental difference between right and wrong, between fair and unfair, between justice and injustice. And if you can stomach the flight, and it could get brutal, then come on board Monday you’ll be in the right place at the right time.
Perhaps one of the benefits to the transition, this journey that I mentioned, is that I had an opportunity to garner a different kind of perspective on what we were doing and where we were at and how much of a difference we were making. Optimistically, I can confidently tell you that we were moving mountains, we truly were. The community that we recognize as First Shift grew rapidly. We gathered steam and build something that mattered and that is something we should all be very, very proud of. And to be honest, when that was threatened, when we were forced off the air in December I felt a tremendous and bitter loss and felt desperate for answers that I could not provide. And as happy as I am that that desolation that I felt has melted away into a new opportunity that will transition into Night Shift, I realize that as we begin to grow a new audience in a new time slot on a new station that I must, and I promise you I will, make every minute count.
Part of that formula, part of my confidence and feeling that we can once again build something that has a significant impact and focuses on the greater good does require that you commit to helping grow not just the show but the movement that we all believe we are building together. Without you, without all of you, we cannot and will not win. And winning, that is by taking back the House, the Senate, the governorship, the Secretary of State’s office, and the Attorney General’s office, will mean, and I don’t want a soft sell this at all, that you give more to this movement than you have ever given to any movement so far in your life. And once again, if you believe these words are meant to spread some kind of drama, think again. I do believe that through word and deed I have proven that I am willing to and can lead by example and I am not asking any of you to do anymore than I have done but I’m also asking you to be equal to that task and not to just expect more of yourselves but expect more of me as well, toward that end I promise to never disappoint you.
So now when new chapter does begin and with this opportunity. I need to make a clear and definitive pledge to each and every one of you: I need to be more accessible to you and I’m asking you to reciprocate in kind. My office number is 313-914-3234 and my cell phone is 313-820-6432. The email address is Tony@thetonyshow.org and you can find and like us on Facebook by searching for First Shift. We are going continue with the First Shift Facebook page as I don’t want to start over with the new Facebook page just because we change the time of the show. If that gets too confusing for people well I don’t know what to say to that.
I want you to know the last five weeks, as I said earlier in this message, took me down some dark roads. You begin to become more introverted. I suddenly had time, unwelcome time, to explore the ins and outs and the rights and wrongs and you begin to question everything you’ve done, everything you’ve said, and everything you hoped for. And you wonder, quietly, at night, when the world is sleeping, am my doing enough? Did I do enough? Am I making a difference? Am I doing the right thing? Some answers come more painfully than others through that journey into the darkness and as I began to come out of it feeling refreshed and eager to take on new responsibilities, and ever-expanding opportunities, it became clear to me like a beacon of light we read about in great poetry, that the work that I do, that WE do, is not work at all. Like the necessity for water and food and the need for sunlight and sustenance, I woke up one day empowered by a transcendent feeling that maybe if I could find a way back, that if God would illuminate a path, that if given the opportunity to sit with you just one more time and explore the issues and ideas that we know can change the world and if I was fortunate enough to find a group of people, like I have found all of you, then maybe, just maybe, what was once possible becomes real and the idea that we can all play a part in changing our futures should be something that burns deep inside of you as it does for me.
I want you all to know that I respect you a great deal. Even those of you who I have profound differences with that are kind enough to show respect and allow considerable and thoughtful debate hold a place of great reverence in my world. Although I am rabidly passionate about my progressive/liberal agenda I know with great belief that the commitment I make to you on a daily basis is one that I don’t just take seriously, it is one that I promise to recommit to in such a deep and prominent way that you will never ever question my loyalty to making sure that us, our families, and our greater community is more than just a priority, it is why I exist.
Now let’s join hands, take one last look around, and let’s take that first step on Monday, January 28, 2013 as we walk in unison to build something greater than what our minds can even conceive at this point. Brothers and Sisters what we are building is not a radio show but a community dedicated to the greatest idea of all. That idea, simply, genuine happiness.
And I’m thrilled to say I’ll talk to you all on Monday. God bless you!