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Travis Rowley: Helen’s Passion

Saturday, August 31, 2013


Passion. That’s the word that enters my mind whenever someone mentions Helen Glover, the conservative talk-radio host that was “let go” from her 8-year post at WHJJ this week.

And that’s exactly what it takes to sustain a popular and profitable radio broadcast. I suppose anything can be feigned temporarily. But only sincere concern over the issues can carry a program into the long term.

You’ll hear something quite different from liberals, who for years have failed repeatedly to break into the talk-radio world. Numerous left-wing commentators have accused conservative talk-radio hosts of being purveyors of “hate radio” – mere “entertainers” who espouse things they don’t truly believe in for the sake of “ratings” and “profits.”

Yeah, I mean, who would honestly object to the economic structures of places like Detroit, Rhode Island, and Europe? Let’s face it, liberals have only failed on the airwaves because they’re just too damn honest!

The Legacy of Helen Glover

Take it from a longtime talk-radio participant (as a listener, caller, guest, and host): The hosts aren’t actors. They’re enthusiasts.

And Helen’s political energy could always make the most militant leftist appear to be napping.

Helen has not only served as a talented talk-show host for eight years, but she has also been an instrumental member of Rhode Island’s reform movement, involving herself in every effort she could – fundraisers, Tea Party rallies, and countless speaking engagements.

Helen’s genuine and selfless – almost ego-less – nature would instruct her to clear large segments of her own show in order to share her microphone with others who were also working tirelessly to challenge the state’s powerful and impervious political establishment.

A Victim of Vicious Accusations

Of course, such an activist role wrought its negatives. Like every vocal conservative, Helen was forced to become accustomed to the viciousness of local progressives, who often chose to neutralize her talents by characterizing her show as nothing but “hate speech.” In 2012, the cheapest humor in the room that night at the annual Providence Newspaper Guild Follies was when one performer compared Helen to the Wicked Witch of the West (Actually pretty funny. But still, what the hell.)

How did Helen always respond to such brainless attacks? By winning the Associated Press Award for Best Talk Show.

Four times.


Only Helen’s passion for Rhode Island’s condition could ultimately satisfy her audience, extend her show for eight years, and allow her to tolerate the enduring nastiness of the Rhode Island Left.

While I have no firsthand knowledge and don’t wish to question WHJJ’s business decisions, the rumor surrounding Helen’s departure is one that tells us that the station’s higher-ups, for some time, had been demanding a change in the show’s overall content – which is perhaps why the opinionated conservative is being replaced with the “middle-of-the-road” Ron St. Pierre.

"I always knew this would happen one day, I just didn't know it would be today," Helen told reporters this week.

Being forced to host a talk-show that is inconsistent with your interests might be one of the best reasons to voluntarily vacate the studio anyway.

I’m not sure how Helen feels at this moment. Maybe she’s actually a little pleased to finally be relieved from all the pressure that comes with a public profile.

Either way, I’m sure she’s handling herself with all the grace and dignity that her listeners had the chance to observe for the past eight years. I’m sure she wishes Ron St. Pierre all the best.

While fast-food leftists are demanding pay-raises and increases to the minimum wage this week – the source of which is the exact economic ignorance and entitlement mentality that everyone has heard Helen rail against for years – I’m sure Helen is confronting her new situation with her tough and old-school outlook on life. That is, her understanding that a job is not a right; that your desired wage is not yours to command; and that every second behind that WHJJ microphone was a privilege and a blessing. She was born to be there.

And perhaps Ron St. Pierre – also seen as being let go unfairly by WPRO just months ago – is there to remind Helen that when one door is closed, God has a way of opening another one for you.

There’s no escaping it, however. With WHJJ’s decision, Rhode Island conservatives have lost a fierce and dependable ally. And Rhode Island has lost a little treasure – The Helen Glover Show.

Travis Rowley (TravisRowley.com) is the author of The Rhode Island Republican: An Indictment of the Rhode Island Left.


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