Right wing talk show host Dori Monson invited nuisance specialist Tim Eyman onto his show today to commiserate with Eyman over his recent legal troubles and to jointly gripe at length about Attorney General Bob Ferguson, the state’s chief law enforcement officer. Loathing Ferguson — “the most dangerous politician in our state’s history,” to quote Monson — is a shared pastime of both men.
First elected statewide in 2012, Ferguson has racked up a series of legal victories for the people of Washington over powerful interests, scammy companies, and right wing lobbies that is so long and so extensive it could fill a book.
In addition to Eyman, Ferguson has successfully taken on the Trump regime (during its four year-existence), the Grocery Manufacturers Association, opioid manufacturers like Mallinckrodt, and student debt servicing firm Navient.
Ferguson has won so consistently and so completely that he has arguably become more disliked by the state’s right wing than Governor Jay Inslee… and it’s easy to see that Inslee is absolutely despised by Washington’s Republican base.
Eyman resents having been held accountable for his blatant and repeated violations of public disclosure law, while Monson has not forgotten that in the fall of 2020, Ferguson appealed to his supporters to contact Bonneville Seattle regarding the company’s employment of Monson as a radio personality after he posted a transphobic tweet during an autumn gubernatorial debate.
Bonneville temporarily took Monson’s show off the air after that display of intolerance. The Seahawks, for their part, nixed Monson’s pregame and postgame hosting gigs. Though Monson was reinstated several weeks later, he has not forgotten that Ferguson campaigned for his ouster, and he made that clear today.
“I mean, as I’ve told my listeners many times, two years ago, Bob Ferguson sent out a letter to all of his donors asking them to call my radio station… Bonneville, thank you… to have me fired,” Monson said. “I mean, this was the attorney general, the highest legal office in the state of Washington. In one of the most blatant First Amendment violations imaginable, because it is government that cannot take away free speech. And he wanted his donors to have me fired.”
It bears mentioning here that Ferguson was campaigning for Monson’s ouster not as the state’s chief law enforcement officer, but as a well known citizen with a platform. Naturally, Ferguson’s First Amendment rights to speak and publish freely are inconsequential to Monson because Ferguson is not a right winger.
Monson interviews with Eyman follow a predictable formula. They are usually a segment or two in length (Monson’s show is ad supported, which means the show is divided into segments) and consist of the following elements:
- Monson commiserates with Eyman regarding the problems that Eyman brought on himself (but for which Eyman blames others, like Ferguson)
- Monson heaps scorn on Attorney General Bob Ferguson and invites Eyman to take his own turn throwing metaphorical darts at the dartboard
- Monson asks Eyman a bunch of extremely sympathetic softball questions about his situation and how he’s coping or responding
- Monson allows Eyman to make a public plea to his listeners for money and nudges Eyman to repeat said plea at the end of the segment, while throwing in a not credible statement that it’s not an endorsement of Eyman
Monson has alluded to these chats with Eyman at other times (including when I was his guest) as though he is conducting hard hitting interviews in which Eyman gets put on the hot seat. But there’s no grilling happening during these appearances. Monson is just giving Eyman the equivalent of an infomercial.
Here’s a bit of transcribed dialogue that illustrates this point. This is element four:
DORI MONSON: All right. I gotta run. Go ahead. Quick. Give me that legal defense thing again. [This is a reference to Eyman’s website where people can give Tim Eyman money.]
TIM EYMAN: I really appreciate it. It’s tim defense dot com. Tim defense dot com. And I just really want to appeal this thing, not just for me, but to make sure they don’t do this to anybody else.
DORI MONSON: Yeah. And disclaimer, not endorsed by The Dori Monson Show. Endorsed by the guy that I just invited on.
TIM EYMAN: Oh, there you go. There you go.
DORI MONSON: Okay. All right, Tim.
TIM EYMAN: Really appreciate you having me on, Dori.
DORI MONSON: Okay, all right, see you.
TIM EYMAN: Thank you, bud.
Not an endorsement, eh?
Birds of a feather flock together, as they say. There’s no reason for Dori Monson to pretend that he is somehow on a level above Tim Eyman. They are both right wing grifters with a hustle who have shared aims and adversaries.
Monson’s hustle is his radio show. Eyman’s hustle used to be his initiative factory. Now it’s this and that: going to Michigan to work on a scheme his buddy Paul Jacob is involved in to disenfranchise voters, filing lots of lawsuits as pro se litigant to tie up court resources in Thurston County, promoting Brian Heywood’s giant slate of eleven badly conceived initiatives to the Legislature, and so on.
But one thing has not changed: Eyman’s need for money. He always needs more. Even when he was taking kickbacks ten years ago and even before Bob Ferguson filed a single lawsuit against him, he didn’t have enough. He was greedy. He wanted more. He was willing to break the law to get more.
He assumed that there wouldn’t be consequences for his behavior. He assumed that if he stonewalled for long enough, he’d beat the rap. Those assumptions were wrong. Eyman is free to loathe Bob Ferguson for doing his job, but it is Eyman, not Ferguson, who made the choices that landed him where he is now.