Michael Graham is an American talk radio host, writer, and conservative political commentator. His daily talk show, The Natural Truth, aired on Boston radio station WTKK; Graham parted ways with the station in December 2012 as his contract was not renewed. The station changed to a music format weeks later. He then hosted a show on WCRN in Worcester, Massachusetts, and five other stations in Massachusetts and New Hampshire.[2] He also appears on George Hook's The Right Hook on Mondays in Ireland on Newstalk.[3] Graham is the author of several books and is a columnist for the Boston Herald. On April 17, 2014, it was announced Graham would be ending his New England show on April 25 and moving to Atlanta where he hosts a daily show on a Cumulus-owned station Newstalk 106.7 WYAY-FM.[4]

Career

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 the primary election coordinator for South Carolina[5] for Pat Buchanan's Presidential 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,"[6] Graham held positions at seven stations in seven years, including stints in South Carolina, WRVA in Richmond, Virginia, and Washington, DC, as well as the internet-only outlet Rightalk.com.

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.[7]

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,[8] 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 pm to 7 pm. 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 drivetime show, The Right Hook on Ireland's Newstalk. Speaking from right-wing, US perspective, many of Graham's views are often controversial to the European audience. In August 2009, Graham travelled to Dublin to present the show for three days while regular host George Hook was away.

On Sept 12, 2008, he appeared on the Dr. Phil Show Special 'The N-Word', a debate-format special of the show. Of the 6 guests, Graham was the only Caucasian. They debated the use of the word 'nigger' and the relevance of its use today by both whites and blacks.[9]

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.[2] On August 5, 2013, his show premiered on the Boston Herald's new online radio station.[10] Graham left the Boston radio market at the end of April 2014 and is now working in Atlanta Cumulus-owned radio station WYAY-FM (All News 106.7).

Controversy

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.[11] 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.[12] The situation prompted angry editorials from Graham[13] as well as appearances on nationally televised news programs to discuss the firing.[14][15]
  • Graham attended a rally to protest the Real ID Act, sponsored by Casa de Maryland in May 2005.[16] 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.[17]
  • 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.[18]
  • Graham drew criticism from blogs on the Left and the Right 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."[19] Beck did not agree with Graham's comments.
  • During a debate on the Irish radio channel Newstalk on 28 May 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."[20][3]

Books