This morning we heard the news of Pat Campbell's death, after a 2-year bout with brain tumors & the complexed details he bravely faced.
About two decade ago, a former public school teacher made a career change and became a talk radio personality. From 2004, 'til 2008, Pat hosted a show on Orlando's WFLF. Not long after that, he left Florida to take on the morning drive slot at Tulsa's hot new talk radio station, KFAQ 1170.
His arrival in Tulsa was timed perfectly for the impending 'tea Party movement', of which Campbell became a prominent voice and shaper of the Oklahoma conservative agenda.
Oklahoma govt. became stridently conservative in 2010 with Republicans sweeping all statewide seats and taking strong bicameral majorities of the legislature.
Campbell was a fearless investigative interviewer who could cut through 'baloney' and press public officials to a raw honesty that many politicians found very uncomfortable and unnerving.
Campbell also hosted some national media efforts and often played a key role as a top substitute host for syndicated shows like Rusty Humphries and others.
Campbell himself was transparent in many aspects of his life; notably in his many stories of his upbringing in a good(big) Catholic family. Pat was regarded as a personal friend to so many people whom he never actually met. His candid communication and no-nonsense read on so many political and cultural issues, resulted in a public trust and leadership in the eyes of so many ordinary Oklahomans.
I had multiple opportunities to collaborate with Pat on covering several issues. He often turned to SoonerPolitics.org as part of his prep for covering the big issues.
Pat Campbell was also featured in SoonerPolitics, with his podcast archives.
The departure of Campbell from the KFAQ lineup in May of last year left a huge void that the station management simply could not adequately fill and keep the format viable. This year they switched to a sports format.
There are some others in Oklahoma who are continuing the role in conservative talk. One of them is Pat's longtime cohost, Eddie Huff.
Eddie and I have produced a weekly podcast for several months. It's called FreshBlack.coffee .
This Saturday I expect Eddie and I will devote a considerable amount of time in tribute to Pat Campbell.
- David Van