- The conspiracy spouting radio show is off the air. The
producers say Bush told Martin to pull the plug and Mulroney finished it
- The plug has been pulled on Cloak and Dagger, Toronto's
top-rated, late-night conspiracy radio talk show. Not surprisingly, its
producers are claiming it's all a conspiracy.
- Independent producer Nelson Thall says he was notified
by MOJO 640 program director Scott Armstrong last week that the station
(CFMJ) had decided to replace Cloak and Dagger -- the highest-rated show
in its Thursday, 11 p.m. to 2 a.m., time slot, according to the Bureau
of Broadcast Measurement -- with a comedy show.
- But Thall isn't buying the official rationale. He thinks
the show, which explores alleged conspiracies that include the assassinations
of John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King Jr., the deaths of John F. Kennedy
Jr. and Princess Diana, and the events of Sept. 11, 2001, was "upsetting
people in high places."
- "I'm a modern-day Howard Beale," he said, alluding
to the star of the 1976 movie Network. "They killed my show because
our ratings are too high. We did our job too well, revealing state secrets
the shadow government doesn't want you to know."
- Indeed, he goes further. Thall says he spoke last week
with former U.S. vice-president Al Gore, who told him that George W. Bush
-- one of Cloak and Dagger's frequent targets -- had told Canadian Prime
Minister Paul Martin to take the show off the air.
- According to Thall: "When Martin met Bush at Monterrey
in Mexico last month, Bush told him he would not sign any agreement about
oil concessions to Canada unless he got rid of Cloak and Dagger."
- Tom Hennigan, a regular guest on the show, and a friend
of Gore's, confirmed that he was told by "someone very close to Gore"
that Bush made this demand at Monterrey. Hennigan appeared Monday night
on Thall's new Internet edition of Cloak and Dagger, on which he alleged
that former prime minister Brian Mulroney also had a hand in bumping the
- Melanie Gruer, a spokeswoman for the Prime Minister's
Office in Ottawa, says flatly that "the subject of Cloak and Dagger
never once came up in their discussions" in Monterrey.
- Meanwhile, MOJO program director Armstrong maintains
the decision to cancel Cloak and Dagger was his alone. The rationale, he
says, was poor ratings, combined with "other research we do, information
- Armstrong declined to cite specific numbers from the
December BBM survey that indicated the show's poor performance. "As
you know, ratings can be interpreted any number of ways."
- But in the demographic that Armstrong identifies as MOJO's
prime audience -- males aged 25-54 -- the last BBM survey, taken last fall,
makes Cloak and Dagger the city's highest-rated show in the late-night
time slot, with a share of 1.9. It did more than respectably in a broader
18-49 category as well.
- Armstrong says Cloak and Dagger is being replaced not
with comedy, but with the Thursday night edition of Coast-to-Coast, a U.S.-produced
seven-nights-a-week show that occasionally mines the same conspiratorial
vein. This is the same show that Cloak and Dagger replaced when it went
on the air more than a year ago.
- Armstrong says the decision to displace Coast to Coast
with Cloak and Dagger was made before his arrival at the station. Now Coast
to Coast is being bumped to an earlier time slot: He is buying an American
comedy for the 2-5 a.m. period. The station is keeping two other, late-night
conspiracy-related shows, Richard Syrett on Friday nights and Spaceman
- Even if the U.S. President played no role in the cancellation
of Cloak and Dagger, it's not hard to understand why he might be annoyed
with the show.
- The show routinely alludes to the President and his father,
George Bush, as "the Bush crime family;" charges that the White
House not only knew in advance about the attack on the World Trade Center,
but actively organized it; maintains that cruise missiles, not airplanes,
actually hit the WTC in Manhattan (the planes seen on television and by
eyewitnesses were high-tech holograms); and that George W. Bush is a practising
homosexual and the long-time partner of Victor Ash, mayor of Knoxville,
- Thall says he has received dozens of e-mails from loyal
listeners outraged at the show's cancellation. Several also voiced their
displeasure in writing to Armstrong.
- Thall notes that MOJO is replacing Cloak and Dagger,
a show that "cost it nothing" -- neither co-host, the pseudonymous
Lenny Bloom and Sleeper, is paid -- with a show that will have to be paid
- And he said his Cloak and Dagger website http://www.cloakanddagger.ca
is averaging a million hits a day -- evidence of the concept's popularity.
- Its cancellation, he says, has "nothing to do with
ratings, and everything to do with whom it offended."
- The turning point, he believes, was putting former German
cabinet minister Andreas von Bulow on the air. The author of The CIA and
the 11th of September, International Terror and the Role of the Secret
Services, von Bulow alleges that 9/11 was a self-inflicted wound organized
by the Bush administration in order to provide a pretext to invade Afghanistan
and Iraq, and that the Arabs were merely the unwitting patsies.
- On the air, von Bulow said that to hijack four airplanes
virtually simultaneously within a few minutes, and fly them into targets
within an hour, was unthinkable, without years of support from state intelligence
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