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Tom Barnard rips on public radio in 8-minute onslaught

He called it "welfare radio" and didn't stop there.

KQRS Morning Show host Tom Barnard's brash personality was on full display Tuesday when he verbally abused public radio, focusing particularly on Twin Cities community radio station KFAI

It started when Barnard said he got a text from comedian Paul Mecurio, who was coming to the Twin Cities for a show and promoting it on local radio and TV stations.

"I just got a text from Paul Mecurio," Barnard said, before texting back, "What station?"

"He's going to KFAI," Barnard said with a laugh, "which if you don't know is a public radio station – and I just looked, they don't really have ratings at all."

"I'm going to call him the second I think he might be awake and say, 'I understand you're doing welfare radio now, is that right?'"  

Barnard then wonders out loud where he can find the listener-funded KFAI on the dial, before adding: "Their studios used to be in somebody's basement. I think they moved to someone else's living room." 

During the 8-minute segment, which you can listen to right here. (H/T to the Minnesota subReddit), he also refers to Minnesota Public Radio as "the big welfare one" that Garrison Keillor (described as "grab-ass"), was on.


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During Barnard's National Radio Hall of Fame speech last year, he was described as "brash, sarcastic, often arrogant, tell-it-like-it-is," according to the Pioneer Press

He, and his co-hosts, were certainly all of that in the first half of the segment, and in the latter half the show proceeded to intentionally butcher the pronunciation of KFAI hosts and shows.  

"I should've known this because I listen to Abdirizak Bihi all the time. Somali Link Radio. Then there's Afsheen Foroozan, Filipino American National News. Then Ahmed is on, with Sangam. What is 'Sangam?' Then Ahmed Wassie, Voices of Ethiopia." 

Barnard and his co-hosts were laughing after each name, and they carried on with it for another two minutes before he finally wrapped up his attack by saying: "God bless them, they have a voice." 

City Pages notes that this isn't the first time Barnard has shown a lack of class on the radio, citing past examples, including one where they say he told Hmong immigrants to "hit the road." 

KFAI receives about 25 percent of its $850,000 annual budget from its 2,700 members, its website states. Other support comes from organizations including the National Endowment for the Arts, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the McKnight Foundation and the State of Minnesota.

Bring Me The News has reached out to Barnard for comment, and will update this story should we hear back from him.

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