Radio Daze: Speaker O’Brien on ‘The Exchange’

It was quite a performance by state House Speaker Bill O’Brien yesterday on New Hampshire Public Radio. In just one hour with Laura Knoy on ‘The Exchange,’ O’Brien claimed the tobacco tax cut has not reduced revenue, attacked UNH professors as inefficient and unproductive, defended guns in the State House, criticized police for opposing “stand your ground” legislation, defended gay marriage repeal as an act of fiscal responsibility, accused Democrats of a war on religion and labeled Concord Monitor reporters as Democratic propagandists.

On the University of New Hampshire:

“Its workers are inefficient and unproductive. They don’t teach as many hours as they can. … We have instructors over there that teach 8-10 hours and take long sabbaticals.”

On guns in the State House:

“There’s a reason that New Hampshire doesn’t have metal detectors at the entrance way of the State House. That’s because it’s not a gun-free zone and therefore it’s not an unsafe zone as you find in other areas where guns are prohibited.”


On marriage equality:

“If our families are weak, then we’ll never be able to have final fiscal responsibility. Because if government needs to step up for weakened families, then there’s going to be an unlimited call on government resources. … One thing that makes our families strong is a traditional definition of marriage.”

On reproductive rights:

“There just is not a war on women. What there is, is the local Democrat [sic] party carrying forward the national message in order to try to solidify a position with women, and they’re doing it by having a war on religion — a war on the Catholic Church.”

On the Concord Monitor:

“If they choose to be propagandists for the other party, then they have to understand that no one is going to look at them as legitimate journalists, and we have no obligation to treat them that way. … They have to engage in responsible reporting and they haven’t done any of that.”

  • susanthe

    and one that he was aided and abetted in by the meek and unquestioning Laura Knoy, who appeared not to have done any research prior to the interview. “I think I read somewhere…” is hardly the way a journalist should frame a follow up question. When he stated that the legislature had to pass a “partial birth abortion law” she failed to ask WHY that was so imperative. In fact, she failed on every level. This was perhaps the single most embarrassing interview I’ve ever heard her be part of – and that’s saying something, because she does a lot of lousy interviews.

    Why NH is stuck with a public radio station that is so deferent to the right is a mystery to me. Public radio isn’t like this in other states.  

    • mevansnh

      NHPR does seem to lean very much to the right.

      • SethCohn

        So maybe it’s just not left enough for you, despite it already being somewhat left.
        Arnie’s is very left, and Jack Heath or Rich Girard are on the right… Gardner Goldsmith was libertarian, and had a hard time staying on the air, because he went after both sides, and couldn’t get the guest who refused more than softballs.

        • susanthe

          Freebaggers think anything that isn’t Foxaganda is “far to the left.”

  • Rep. Jim Splaine

    Speaker O’Brien’s comments are an embarrassment — and an insult — to the people of New Hampshire, and to Americans.  He believes in “freedom” only within his own narrow definition, and only for those he chooses.  

    He bashes working women and men, gays, lesbians, and is opposed to women’s choice, educators, and to those who have limited incomes.  

    In short, he certainly doesn’t stand for the America I believe in, or the principles that have made America great:  personal freedom, an investment in each other, and a belief that we have an obligation to educate our future generations.  

    What greed and hypocrisy.  

    • tchair

      “Speaker O’Brien’s comments are an embarrassment — and an insult ……………………………….  He believes in “freedom” only within his own narrow definition, and only for those he chooses.   “

    • mevansnh

      like Papa Sununu, that rude SOB, Kelly Ayotte, and Mitt Romney!!  And every other republican today with a microphone in hand.  They are the nastiest  bunch I’ve ever heard in my close to 70 years.

      They are all sock puppets of the biggest loud mouth of them all from whom they take their nourishment, and that of course, is the drug addled Rush Limbaugh.  

  • Putney Swope

    Until I heard O’Brien on this program.

    Knoy failed as a journalist today.

    • JonnyBBad
  • SethCohn

    Surely someone listened, and can summarize?  

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