Sirota, Brown Tandem Debut on KHOW

July 18, 2012

Michael Brown, co-host of "The Rundown with Sirota & Brown," airing weekdays from 3 to 7 p.m. on KHOW

DENVER–This week’s debut of KHOW-AM’s afternoon talk show pairing the left-wing David Sirota with the right-wing Michael Brown had to be viewed as a success, given that both hosts lived to talk another day.

In fact, Sirota and Brown were remarkably civil, avoiding political screamfests and sticking to chatty general-interest topics like the proposed Colorado State University stadium, video games, the neighbor’s lawn, movies, and whether Penn State’s football program should get the death penalty.

They even agreed on a few things. For example, both said they would eat a Rocky Ford cantaloupe, despite last year’s listeria outbreak.

Can such harmony last? Probably not. When a caller named Rick said he was looking forward to hearing them talk politics, Brown said, “Thank you, Rick, but it’s going to be ugly.”

“The Rundown with Sirota & Brown,” airing weekdays from 3 to 7 p.m., replaces “The Caplis & Silverman Show,” which also used the odd-couple format, pairing Republican Dan Caplis with Democrat Craig Silverman.

“Caplis & Silverman,” which signed off last month after eight years, was must-hear political talk for most of that time before running its course. At the end, the two hosts were often in agreement, given Silverman’s gradual move to the center and beyond.

Silverman even spoke at the Centennial Institute’s Western Conservative Summit in June, telling the crowd that he voted for Barack Obama in 2008 but that “it won’t happen again.” Silverman said he changed his mind as a result of the president’s record on national security and his tepid defense of Israel.

There’s no danger of that happening with Sirota, a former Democratic operative and

defender of all things liberal and/or progressive. If anything, the afternoon drive has taken a turn to the left, given that Brown tends to lean more libertarian than the resolutely pro-life, pro-church Caplis.

Sirota, a nationally syndicated columnist who previously hosted an afternoon show on another Clear Channel station, “Colorado progressive talk” KKZN-AM, has so far bucked the liberals-can’t-succeed-in-talk-radio rule.

He’s a motor-mouth who gets in two or three sentences for everyone one of Brown’s. A former official in the Bush administration, the genial Brown hosted an evening program for Clear Channel’s KOA-AM before teaming up with Sirota.

The closest the hosts have come so far to conflict came during a debate over whether parents should pay for their child’s college.

“My parents paid for my education. Did that make me a bad person?” asked Sirota.

“Well, clearly, look at you,” quipped Brown.

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