Remember back in the Bush years when the left deemed dissent to be the most glorious form of patriotism? As every conservative knew, that allegedly principled belief was contingent upon a Republican serving as president.
Once a Democrat returned to the White House, this ardent trumpeting of dissent as humanity's highest calling oddly began falling into disrepute, as to be expected whenever cults of personality take hold around leaders of dubious strength. (Audio after the jump)
As easy as it might be to forget them in the cobwebs of the AM radio dial, the liberal pretenders to the Rush Limbaugh throne are still broadcasting, and they're often utterly, shamelessly ridiculous. Case in point: Even Al Sharpton lamely used his radio show to defend Joe Biden's anti-Republican "they want to put y'all in chains" race baiting in front of a black audience.
Another case in point: Liberal radio hosts adore Harry Reid for making utterly unsubstantiated ugly charges that Mitt Romney evaded taxes for a decade. Bill Press has routinely declared his love for the tactic — even on CNN, where someone might have noticed. On "Reliable Sources," Press taunted the journalists who might want to play by the rules of evidence.
As he appeared as a guest on Friday's Piers Morgan Tonight on CNN, moments after decrying Rush Limbaugh's recent "slut" comment, liberal talk radio host Montel Williams defended his infamous suggestion that Michele Bachmann should kill herself by decapitation as being unrelated to the recent Limbaugh matter.
While he was discussing his encounter with a wounded American soldier, he bizarrely brought up Limbaugh as if to suggest that the conservative host's strong words were a dishonor to the people who fight to defend the country. Williams:
NPR pretended that there wasn't a single supporter of Pope Benedict XVI in Spain on Friday's Morning Edition, choosing to devote an entire report on the "many people are grumbling at the cost" of the upcoming papal visit to the country. Correspondent Lauren Frayer not only failed to mention the 428,000 people from around the world who are registered for the World Youth Day event with the Pope, but also omitted the leftist bent of the protesters who are organizing a boycott.
Host Steve Inskeep, after delivering the "grumbling" line, highlighted how "local priests, though, have issued a rare complaint. The Pope's visit will cost Spain millions, at a time when the government is also slashing public salaries and public services." Frayer then explained at the beginning of her report that "more than 100 priests from Madrid's poorest barrios posted a letter online, saying they disagree with the cost and style of Pope Benedict's visit. Father Julio Saavedra says it's unfair how the Spanish government is giving tax breaks to companies like Coca-Cola and Santander Bank for sponsoring the visit."
"Rush Limbaugh needs to choke to death on his own fat," deranged left-wing radio show host Mike Malloy hissed on his February 18, 2009 program.
Michele Bachmann should "slit [her] wrist!" Montel Williams told his Air America radio show audience in September 2009.
"We ought to rip [Dick Cheney's heart] out and kick it around and stuff it back in him," MSNBC's Ed Schultz blustered on his February 24, 2010 radio program.
Those are just three examples of left-wing hate that the mainstream media haven't denounced while accusing conservatives like Sarah Palin of engendering violence in the wake of the Rep. Gabrielle Giffords shooting.
"Have you ever heard any reporter... denounce these examples?" NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell asked Fox News' Sean Hannity after watching the montage during last night's "Media Mash" segment on "Hannity."
[For the full segment, watch the video below the page break or listen to the MP3 audio here.]
Republican strategist Ron Christie on Monday demonstrated why Keith Olbermann is smart to not have conservatives on his program, for most MSNBC hosts are just not up to the challenge.
Appearing on the "Ed Show" to address some comments Newt Gingrich recently made about President Obama, Christie refuted former Air America host Jack Rice's contention that Gingrich was being racist.
"I disagree with what he had to say this past weekend, but to suggest that the former Speaker of the House is trying to say, 'Oh the President of the United States is black and and I'm white' I think is so far out of bounds and so untrue," scolded Christie. "This has to stop."
Minutes later, when the host asked his Republican guest what the "con" was that Gingrich accused Obama of perpetrating on the American people, Christie hit the ball so far out of the park that by the end of the segment, his liberal antagonists were left laughing in astonishment (video follows with transcript and commentary):
It's a simple law of economics, right? If there's a demand for a certain service or good, that business has a strong shot at thriving. Since the now-defunct Air America shut down for the last time earlier this year, the casual observer must conclude that no one wanted to hear left-wing diatribes over the broadcast airwaves.
But why is this newsworthy, according to Rhodes? Limbaugh has huge audience where people are allegedly forced to listen to him because he is on "every station."
"So now they're saying oh, you know, we're going to accuse them of doing everything we did. And that's how people become these victims," Rhodes said. "You know, it's like - an idea that, you know, people listen to him. They listened to him because, Joy, they have no choice. He's on every radio station. He's on - they have no choice."
The former CEO of Air America, Danny Goldberg, has been kind enough to provide us with some comedy entertainment in an article, Air America Radio, RIP -- It Didn't Have to Be This Way. Actually, Danny, it did have to be that way due to those market forces at work that you castigate. However, we all owe you a vote of thanks for coming up with several incredibly lame but laughable excuses to explain away the failure of Air America in particular and "progressive talk radio" in general.
First the donor quality excuse:
Democracy Radio folded in 2006 as a result of a lack of financial support from progressive donors.
Some blame bad management for the failure of both Air America and Democracy Radio, and since I spent one unhappy year midway through Air America's life as its CEO I suppose I am one of a dozen or so who are in that category. But if progressives really wanted to address talk radio they could have started competing companies with different management. Instead, most of the monied progressive community did the opposite of their conservative counterparts and bought into the notion that media should stand or fall based on media market forces.
Bad content? Bad business model? No, those reasons aren't why Air America is no longer with us. Air America, a radio network advertised as the next talk radio juggernaut in 2004, was supposed to revolutionize the format and provide a "counterweight" for those left-of-center politically.
But there's another reason according to HLN host and "The View" panelist Joy Behar. In the usual fashion of citing no statistics and making sweeping generalizations, Behar blamed the collapse of liberal talk radio outlet Air America on a gender gap in listeners on her Jan. 25 HLN broadcast.
"Ok, but can I say that men listen to talk radio more than women and men are more conservative, generally speaking," Behar said, proposing a reason for Air America's bankruptcy.
Air America, the progressive talk radio network, said Thursday that it would cease broadcasting immediately, bowing to what it called a “very difficult economic environment.”
“It is with the greatest regret, on behalf of our Board, that we must announce that Air America Media is ceasing its live programming operations as of this afternoon, and that the Company will file soon under Chapter 7 of the Bankruptcy Code to carry out an orderly winding-down of the business,” the chair of Air America Media, Charlie Kireker, said in a memorandum.
Pro-life activists most likely cheered upon seeing this week's In Touch Weekly. The magazine, usually devoted to the latest celebrity shenanigans, featured Sarah and Bristol Palin on the cover holding their baby boys under the headline, "We're Glad We Chose Life."
But for the media, who find everything about Sarah Palin controversial, including, now, holding her own baby, it's one more attack opportunity that includes calling her daughter a "privileged" teen mother.
Sarah and Bristol were "schlepping those babies around like crazy," said Joy Behar. No friend of the Palins on any day, on the Jan. 13 edition of her show Behar predictably found fault with the magazine cover and complained of Palin's youngest son, Trig, "That baby, they passed that baby around more than a joint at a Grateful Dead concert." To her guests, liberal talk show host Stephanie Miller and Huffington Post editor Roy Sekoff, she asked, "Is she going to bring that baby on the set of Fox?"
Mary Elizabeth Williams at Salon.com called the cover a "jaw dropper" and questioned the appropriateness of showing the Palins on it. "Hey, we're all for mothers loving their babies, but if it's not 1984 and you're not in a Wham! video, [in which George Michael wore a shirt that said "Choose Life"] you might want to reconsider whether that sentiment is appropriate in a pop culture context," she wrote in a Jan. 14 post.
Rachel Maddow left her radio program nearly a year ago when she began hosting her cable show on MSNBC, but on Wednesday she still claimed to be a radio talk show host. While she does still have a devoted timeslot on Air America, what runs is merely an audio version of her MSNBC show.
The Radio Equalizer blog is hot on the trail of left-wing talk radio bringing out the weirdest scenarios to shift the blame for the Fort Hood shooting onto the Islamophobic prejudice of the American people. Montel Williams is really starting to fit into the ludicrous Air America radio family: he suggested on Monday that the Fort Hood backlash against Muslims could be so great we would put Muslims in internment camps like the Japanese under Franklin Roosevelt:
WILLIAMS: We pulled something like this back in World War II when we decided to round up all Japanese Americans and put them in internment camps. This is something that I think before we can blink, the [anti-Muslim] rhetoric, Doc, could get out of hand. What do you think?
Here's something you don't see every day: a far-left media outlet calling out one of the far-left's heroes to defend one of the far-left's most hated conservatives.
Yet that's what happened a few weeks ago when Air America's editor of news and politics took on MSNBC's Keith Olbermann for sexist and misogynistic comments he made about conservative author Michelle Malkin.
As NewsBusters' Brad Wilmouth reported on October 13, Olbermann on "Countdown" that evening called Malkin "a big mashed-up bag of meat with lipstick on it."
Air America's Megan Carpentier was quite displeased at this sexist display (h/t NB reader Joseph McMahon):
When Glenn Beck reports that a top-level White House advisor has endorsed communism, accused 'white polluters' of poisoning minority communities, called his political opponents a**holes, and believes an American president was complicit in the slaughter of innocent civilians, Beck must have a hidden agenda. When the mainstream media fails to report these facts, it's all an honest mistake.
Or so one might gather from listening to CNN contributor and Washington Post columnist Howard Kurtz. Kurtz continues to waffle between a cynical take on Glenn Beck's outing of Van Jones as a truther conspiracy theorist, and an apologetic approach to the mainstream media's virtual silence on the story until after Jones's resignation.
The Times's Managing Editor Jill Abramson offered a number of excuses for the lack of Van Jones coverage last weekend, chiefly that the paper's Washington Bureau was short-staffed. This did not stop the Times from sending two reporters to Boston for the weekend to cover the non-story of Joseph Kennedy II's Senate run (which he later said would not happen).
You probably already knew Jeanane Garofalo was no fan of conservatives, Republicans or just about anything that could be described as right of center. But the former Air America host and MSNBC regular really has a low regard for conservative activists.
Fox News's Stuart Varney had a heated debate Wednesday with Air America's Mike Papantonio about the state of the economy and the effectiveness of the $787 billion stimulus package.
Subbing for Neil Cavuto on Wednesday's "Your World," Varney tried repeatedly to get his liberal guest to admit that porkulus hasn't worked and that the economy is getting worse.
Papantonio wasn't having any of that hypocritically and amnesiacly claiming, "We have to get behind this President and be more positive" adding "You cannot be ankle-biting every day this man says something, you can't be attacking" (video embedded below the fold, h/t NBer Dan Scott):
MSNBC's Chris Matthews appeared on Montel Williams' Air America radio show on Wednesday to slam John McCain: "I think McCain put his finger on the idiot button." The Hardball host fumed about McCain's criticism of how Barack Obama has handled the response to Iran's disputed election. He also unflatteringly compared the Senator to Sarah Palin.
After getting a laugh from the Montel Across America host, Matthews reiterated, "I'm telling you, the idiot button." He complained, "That's my new term for when you start putting your finger on the button that's got Sarah Palin's fingerprints on it." Matthews broke off his attack and then explained that McCain is a "very smart, patriotic American."
The NPR-distributed talk show On Point from WBUR in Boston – which airs nationwide on 169 stations – took up “Angry America” as a topic on Monday, illustrated on the show’s website with pictures of Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck, and Michael Savage. Host Tom Ashbook summarized that radio talk could lead to violence: “Lately, the language on air in the age of President Obama, economic bust, and big government bailouts, has been particularly hot – and hot when sales of guns and ammunition are surging.”
MSNBC prides itself as being the place for politics, the seemingly clever marketing slogan could be used to describe the network as the place where hosts try to use dirty humor about important political events.
David Shuster, filling in for MSNBC loose-cannon Keith Olbermann on his April 13 broadcast, and his writers probably thought they were pretty clever when they pieced an item denigrating the tax protests by using the sexual term "teabagging." Urbandictionary.com, cited multiple times by one MSNBC guest, describes it as when a man places his testicles "onto someone's face, or into their mouth."
"For most Americans, Wednesday, April 15th will be Tax Day," Shuster said as he began a soliloquy with about a dozen separate oral sex puns. "But in our fourth story tonight: It's going to be teabagging day for the right-wing and they're going nuts for it. Thousands of them whipped out the festivities early this past weekend, and while the parties are officially toothless, the teabaggers are full-throated about their goals.
Former daytime TV talk show host Montel Williams debuted on Air America Radio on Monday, a network so desperate they’re hiring a man who boasts of how he was a long-time Republican, and now says he can’t stomach either party. But Air America’s trying to draw attention to Montel as he begins his (perhaps short-lived) talk-radio run with a demand that former Speaker Newt Gingrich "Shut up" before he starts a nuclear war. Montel played audio of Newt Gingrich on Greta Van Susteren’s show on April 1, saying he would do whatever it takes to take out North Korean missiles, and offered his own fractured rebuttal:
When you come out that ignorantly and try to threaten to put America in a position that we are now riling people towards nuclear war, I gotta tell you, shut up!...
[Gingrich] said, 'I'd bribe someone' [to prevent a missile launch]. This is the leader of the Republican party...Here is your leader telling you that he wants to do business the way he knows how to do it, and that's bribe, break the law by entering another country's airspace, start another war on his own....
If you're a Republican and you are proud of Newt Gingrich and what he just said, you need to go check yourself in, right now, to a hospital...and figure out whether or not you can get put on something...Newt, shut up!
Everywhere it's been tried - liberal, or progressive as it's sometimes described as, talk radio hasn't taken off with the success conservative talk radio has.
Case and point - the top six of March 2009 Talkers magazine "Heavy Hundred" talk show hosts are conservative. The top liberal host, Thom Hartmann, come in at number 10. However, liberal talk show host Stephanie Miller appeared on CNN's April 5 "Reliable Sources" and insisted there is more at play than just pure market forces holding the liberal format back.
"Well, you know - I just did a panel on the Fairness Doctrine," Miller said. "I have to tell you, I brought ratings information. And people like me and Ed Schultz are consistently beating conservative shows in many, many markets. And yet - there is 10 percent liberal radio in this country. Ninety percent of the stations are conservative. You just cannot argue anymore it's because liberal radio can't compete."
There’s a huge hole in all of the public discussion about the reimposition of a "Fairness Doctrine" or a return to "localism" on the talk-radio format: What about National Public Radio? Liberals would like to "crush Rush" and his conservative compatriots by demanding each station balance its lineup ideologically. But since when has NPR ever felt any pressure to be balanced, even when a majority of taxpayers being forced to subsidize it are center-right?
Why no Fairness Doctrine attention to NPR? It is because those preaching "fairness" on the radio are hypocrites.
Conservatives argue that the media’s liberal bias drives people to talk radio for an opposing viewpoint. Limbaugh jokes: "I am the balance." But new numbers from NPR suggest its ratings may be nearly as imposing as Limbaugh’s: The cumulative audience for its daily news programs – "Morning Edition" and its evening counterpart, "All Things Considered" – has risen to 20.9 million per week.
It's official -- what we the sentient public, doctor and dentist patients in waiting rooms across America and the eight diehards still subscribing have long known: Newsweek is a horrendously biased left-wing rag.
Newsweek announced on Tuesday that they are partnering with liberal radio uber-failure Air America to syndicate their show Newsweek On Air. They are the first outside "talent" to join with the newly rechristened Air America Media (AAM).
Longtime Newsweek On Air producer and host and Newsweek Contributing Editor David Alpern said of the conjoining, "AAM Syndication is a great partner for Newsweek On Air.We look forward to maintaining the same high-quality content, balance, and listener interest that has won our program various awards and a place on so many station schedules, some for nearly all of its 27 years on the air."
After more than a quarter century of their "balanced" programming, I would venture to guess that most of you have never heard of Newsweek On Air. This state of anonymity will likely continue with their Air America Media partnership. It seems they sought to collaborate with an entity whose listenership mirrors their readership - minimal and declining rapidly.
Imagine a partnership between the owners of the Titanic and the Hindenburg, and you've pretty much got the brilliance behind Newsweek's newly-announced alliance with Air America.
"[G]iven the respective ratings, it’s an outstanding business decision. Clearly, Newsweek wanted a radio partner whose listenership mirrors their readership -- minimal and declining rapidly," quipped Media Research Center President Brent Bozell in a statement released today.
The announced radio partnership comes the same week Newsweek used its cover art and the accompanying story to bash conservative radio talk icon Rush Limbaugh, the ideological nemesis of his ratings-challenged competition at Air America.
"The 'News' in Newsweek has always been a joke," but now the weekly magazine's partnership with the "uber-liberal" Air America radio network "removes all doubt," added the NewsBusters publisher, reacting to news that Air America will syndicate "Newsweek On Air" on its stations.
Desperately hoping to capitalize on their sole star's newfound celebrity, Air America Media has renewed Rachel Maddow's contract and given her a coveted -- and rarely seen -- single-hour radio show during morning drive.
"Rachel is a unique talent with an unlimited future," said Air America CEO Bennett Zier in an email press release. "We are delighted that Air America remains her radio home."
Maddow's morning show starts Feb. 2, its time unmentioned in the press release, simultaneous with "The Ron Reagan Program" expanding from one to three hours weekdays from 6-9 p.m., where it will absorb Maddow's current two hours in the Air America lineup.
"We're elated with Maddow's continued commitment to Air America," said Air America senior vice president Bill Hess. "As millions of Americans now know, Rachel has become a breakout star and our affiliates and listeners will continue to benefit from her wit, intelligence and insight."
It would seem New Scientist magazine recently decided to sacrifice credibility in the field of research. Journalistic research, anyway.
In their recent article titled, "Science heroes and villains of 2008,"New Scientist has taken the liberty of naming some noteworthy individuals in the field. As their opening salvo states (emphasis mine):
The collective brain of New Scientist has come up with 8 scientist heroes of the year and people to look out for in 2009, 3 non-scientists who deserve special mention - and two possible bad guys.
Apparently, the collective brain has recently slipped into a vegetative state.
Of the three non-scientists who deserve special mention, one is Philip Munger, an editor of the Progressive Alaska blog, guest of Air America radio broadcasts, and Daily Kos loon. His contribution to science that earns him the status of hero? Claiming that Sarah Palin once told him that dinosaurs and humans coexisted. Ah, my hero. Einstein, Newton, Hawking... and Munger, of course!
You want to talk about politics making strange bedfellows, the founder of the liberal talk radio station Air America actually agrees with Rush Limbaugh's view of the Fairness Doctrine.
Not only that, Jon Sinden even had an op-ed published in Monday's Wall Street Journal saying so.
I kid you not.
UPDATE: Readers are advised that Sinden is no longer affiliated with Air America, and that current management does support a reenactment of the Fairness Doctrine.
In a piece entitled "Limbaugh Is Right on the Fairness Doctrine," with the delicious sub-headline "Liberals don't need equal-time rules to compete," Sinden espoused views most Air America listeners are sure to disagree with (emphasis added):
Our nation is experiencing record snows and cold spells, and Air America host Thom Hartmann actually told his audience Friday:
What we are seeing in this cold, that has me trapped in my house here today, is that, what we are seeing is a symptom of global warming. But you wouldn't know that from the crazies on the right.
Speaking of lunacy, Hartmann was so proud of this moment in broadcast history that he created an mp3 of his explanation as to why global warming is making us all freeze to death, and not only posted it at Air America's website, but also included an embed feature if folks wanted to share his astounding stupidity with others.
As you might imagine, I do (audio embedded below the fold, h/t Tom Nelson, readers are cautioned to stow all potables and combustibles before proceeding further):