Updated: Feb 27
I have never been a writer. I have never even been great at English or grammar for that matter (but I can spell.) Just because I can't write though, doesn't mean I don't like to. As a matter of fact I love to. It's just that when I do the words never seem to come out the way I hope they would so I just hope a lot that they do, especially at times like these.
I love my friend Kevin Miller. Most people that don't know him have a variety of thoughts and feelings about him when they hear him on air. At first, I had them too. The biggest complaint I get is: "Tom, why does he always cut you off?" The reason the majority of the time isn't what most people think. Station breaks are a tricky thing, especially for callers. If you don't pay attention, you are cut off. That is really my fault, not his.
Kevin and I have had an awesome radio relationship and I appreciate him and hope although you may have your thoughts about him, you can still appreciate him. If you are not sure what to think of him, do a Google search and it may change your mind. Also, try to suspend what you think you might know until you get a chance to meet and talk to him or talk to me. Additionally, all that being said there is much more going on behind the scenes than what it would sound like on the radio and more than likely way more than I know.
For Kevin, if I remember right, as a Station Manager, I assume he is a Boss and an Employee bound by certain rules and regulations, both internally and externally with the laws of the state as well as Federal law. There is also perception and opinion of the listening public that I believe he needs to consider. If people aren't listening, things need to change. I am sure there is still much more that even I don't know about what is involved with managing a station, dealing with ratings and more.
The one thing above all that we should support is that he allows us to speak freely about what is most important to us. He always used to say: "I am here for you" as a mechanism or a venue for us to speak and in an age of censorship that could result not only in talk radio being eliminated squelching our voices, he has to consider the very real and growing possibility of getting fired...again and so do we. Can the things we say affect his job? maybe.
Kevin and I have known each other a long time , I feel like we have built a friendship and developed mutual respect for one another. Over the years we have had the time to watch and listen to each other to better understand who we are, why we do what we do and the obstacles we both face and I think we both share those experiences with you hoping to help bring the community closer together both emotionally and intellectually like real people, not some fake show about things that don't matter. The things we talk about are real and so are the emotions. I know his and mine are and we should appreciate him for that.
Whether you think you may disagree with Kevin about the issues or not, understand he is a professional and knows what he is doing or he wouldn't be there but he has limitations like you and I do. As in most lines of work there are fine lines that really should not be crossed without the issue of consequence. Kevin knows this first hand and we should appreciate him for that.
Kevin is a community man. he eats, lives and breathes love for his community and his country. And although we may differ in varying degrees on certain areas I know where his heart is. He is always "on location" for a variety of causes whether it be raising money for Reverend Bill at the Boise Rescue Mission, live at Police Departments, working with Schools or walking from Boise to Caldwell, or Live in DC. The list of his contributions are endless. Kevin is passionate about it. He lives it and maybe that's another thing we have in common, we both are and we both live it with every ounce of our being. We should appreciate him for that.
For me, I have been on air with Kevin for a long time, maybe 8-12 years or so, I can't remember anymore its been that long. I can't really remember the first time I called in but I did remember the feeling I had when I did. I was so fearful the first time and got tongue tied and miss-spoke and cornered myself at times and made many mistakes along the way, I still do. What I mean to say is that if you have issues with humility, it will make you humble, especially when you are on air regularly and people begin to know you. The question you need to ask yourself as a caller is that if what you have to say is important enough to overcome the issues you have with yourself? To me they were and still are.
The funny thing about Kevin is that he will, at times, play the Devil's Advocate and get you where he wants you and catch you off guard, Cat and Mouse , if you will. Your job then is to find a way out or cry uncle or of course expose your pride. I think this is a crucial element of talk radio between the host and the caller. I appreciate Kevin's willingness to challenge me and others too.
Some of the issues I ran into personally in the beginning was the huge lack of confidence. I felt like I had so much riding on what I wanted to say. I wanted it to come our right. I had studied so hard and have dedicated my life to what I share and felt people needed to know what I learned. I also wanted people to understand as well as resonate with what I was saying. I did know why I wanted to be on air and why I wanted to say it which really helped. I appreciate Kevin for unknowingly helping me navigate through all this.
I believe if you aren't sure what you want to say, find the reason why you want to say it and what you hope to gain from saying it and the words will flow much easier. I believe people will more easily resonate and appreciate what you have to say if you mean what you say rather than just calling to hear yourself on the air. It is a developing relationship and you become a contributing factor, not only to Kevin in support of his show but you contribute to the influence of your community for those that listen. We should appreciate that too.
At first I used to think Kevin was hard on me because he didn't like me, as if somehow I said something that made him not want me on the air again until I realized he is good at what he does and knows what he wants as well. He understands the why and I had to learn that for myself. Once I understood his why and I understood mine, it was not only a friendship but kind of like a business partnership without any monetary exchange. I see it as an unwritten, non-verbal and assumed on air relationship is where he agrees to have us on the air and we agree to contribute to his program to hopefully help boost his ratings and we get to help influence our communities. In the process of both friendships are born and preserved. We should appreciate the ability to be heard, considered and challenged as well as the cherish the relational aspect of this exchange.
What is my why? I go On Air to share what I learn, what I read, what I know and how I feel and hopefully share why I believe it should be important to the listeners. I wanted and still want to build an army of educated and active people that are more willing to focus on solutions that the problems and to work together in the process of restoration of Liberty if it be possible. That is my "be all- end all" not only just of being on air, but everything I do because people and freedom are important not just for us but for future generations and in my mind there are far too few people focusing on much else than themselves and I wanted to help change that in a loving and honest way. I think Kevin agrees and for that I appreciate him.
Over the years, I became more comfortable and more confident and knew how to avoid putting myself in a place I didn't want to be, the problem was remembering to do that. The hard part about being on the radio is, in fact, not knowing what to say, it's how and saying it in a way that listeners will understand as well as appreciate it, and find relevance in it and for me, trying to find ways to grab their heart because if we know how to grab the heart, We can win every time. I learned after time that if you can't bring them in to you emotionally, you don't have them at all.
If you are passionate and have something to say, know why you want to say it and what you want people to know about what you are saying. Realize the difficulty of not knowing your audience and the need to taking baby steps. If you can figure out where people are, the key is finding a way to get them to want to go where you want to take them. People are all in radically different places emotionally, intellectually, physically, religiously and in every other way possible and people for the most part are not only resistant to change and quick to judge but generally have short attention spans. Knowing this helps greatly and only in my time of being on air did I realize all this. I appreciate him for that too.
Being on the radio is no easy task but it is super fun and Kevin helps makes that experience easier and more enjoyable and when he feels like he wants to challenge you, don't take it personal, remember that iron sharpens iron and he may just be trying to get you to become more articulate in the points you are trying to make. If you are like me like on yesterday's show, you will be forced to see where you were weak, and learn how to overcome that weakness. If you are too prideful and are not willing to humble yourself on air, don't call. People can easily recognize an arrogant self-centered fool a mile a way. Never would I have realized this if I had not been involved on radio like I have been and I appreciate Kevin for helping me learn that.
I have grown a great deal from being on the radio. In the beginning when I was looking for an opportunity to be On Air, Kevin didn't reject me like others did, he welcomed me in and today...as far as being on air he where I hang my hat. It is the only way I know of showing my appreciation for who he is and what he does and of course, his willingness to allow me to be a part of his life and him allowing me to be a part of yours.
Loyalty is a rare and tough thing, especially in our businesses. Kevin and I have spoken about it for years so I know it is important to him. I also believe that it extends far beyond his radio show. Professionally speaking, I believe Kevin relies on content and callers and desires to build his base while offering you the ability to exercise your Freedom of Speech. I rely on Kevin for the ability to exercise my Freedom of Speech and to say the things I believe will help keep Idaho what it should be while trying hard enough to speak the truth without jeopardizing his job or our freedom of being on the air. I personally think you and I have the better end of the deal and we should not only recognize it but appreciate it and utilize it before it is gone. I know I do.
In getting to know Kevin, I know that sleep to him doesn't come to him like it does to most of us. He has what most of us would consider "weird hours" for the preparation of his show. He is doing far more before dawn than many of us usually do and to me that is a bit of a sacrifice and we should also appreciate him for that too.
If you are new to the area or new to calling in or you have heard the show before but never called in, Kevin and I appreciate you listening and would like to also encourage you to call in.
I hope I shared a side of things that would help inform you and empower you or even enlighten you a bit on who Kevin is and what you can expect when calling in. If you have any questions on how I can help, feel free to contact me. If you are unaware of who Kevin is, you can go to 580 KIDO AM/107.5 FM BOISE Or get the KIDO app for your SMARTPHONE.
Thank you Kevin for your willingness to be my friend, to see me for what and who I really am, for taking the time to understand why I do what I do and to allow me a way to do it. I will forever remain a part of the Miller Militia as long as you will have me.
I never imagined that experiences like the one you have blessed me with could change anyone that way it has changed me. I am better man because of my friend K Millie!