In the first major concession speech of the 2010 General Election, blogger Childe Jake has conceded defeat to Jennifer White in the race to become Michigan Radio's newest on-air host. With this victory, Ms. White is now the undisputed host of the weekday afternoon show: All Things Considered.
Jake suspended his campaign over the weekend, citing the need for Michigan Radio members to unite for the fall membership drive. Unnamed sources also confirmed that Jake's campaign suffered from a dwindling war chest, a lack of support outside of his apartment, and the fact that Jennifer White was officially hired about two months ago after an extensive national talent search.
Earlier today, Childe Jake held a press conference at his campaign headquarters in Washtenaw County. Surrounded by his supporter, Jake delivered a stirring and sometimes emotional concession speech:
“Friends and fellow public radio listeners, I stand before you today with a heavy heart.
A few minutes ago I had the privilege of speaking with a person I have spent the past few months debating. This person is more than just an opponent. He is my neighbor. In return for me not blasting my radio during the Powdermilk Biscuit Song on Prairie Home Companion, he has agreed to vacate our shared patio long enough for me to deliver my concession speech. This accord reached, I will now proceed with my prepared remarks:
When I began my quest to succeed Charity Nebbe at Michigan Radio, I did so out of a sense of duty. I saw my bid as a histor…pardon me, an historic opportunity to end business as usual. For too long now, public radio has teemed exclusively with trained journalists. As such, our precious airwaves have remained subject to a status quo of in-depth coverage, balanced commentary, and rigorous fact checking. As an amateur blogger--but more crucially as one who knows personally the frustration of every Michigander who lacks reserved parking during the Ann Arbor Art Fair--I felt it was time to offer listeners a choice.
Now the Michigan Radio hiring committee has spoken. And while I disagree with their decision, I will abide by it. For the sake of station unity, I offer my concession to Ms. White. I have heard it said that in an American election there are never losers. Those words, eloquently coined by a past non-winner, provide me solace today.
Standing here in the chill of an autumn breeze, I am reminded of another chilly morning this past spring when I volunteered at the Michigan Radio studios. In the predawn drizzle, all I could think about was scoring a cup of hot coffee and a comfortable seat in the station's phone bank. At that moment, a Michigan Radio employee buzzed passed me wide awake and smiling. Even at 5:50 am, her very aspect exuded a genuine enthusiasm for the mission of listener-supported public radio--a mission to provide the best in educational programming and broadcast journalism.
Thinking back on that brief encounter, I can only say, "Congratulations, Jennifer White. I'll catch you on the drive home!"