In the midst of economic troubles and much anticipation of a new administration about to enter the White House, the potential return of the Fairness Doctrine hasn't gotten much attention. But on the eve of President-elect Barack Obama's inauguration, Republican members of Congress haven't forgotten.
GOP Sens. Jim DeMint, S.C. and James Inhofe, Okla., along with two of their House colleagues, Reps. Mike Pence, Ind. and Greg Walden, Ore., introduced the Broadcaster Freedom Act at a press conference in the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 7.
DeMint, who is named on the Senate of version of the bill, the DeMint-Thune Senate bill, S. 34., told a group of reporters that he would fight any effort by the federal government to reinstitute the Fairness Doctrine.
It's not often that meteorology intersects with geopolitics - but Europe could be in store for another Cold War, literally.
Accuweather.com's chief long-range and hurricane forecaster Joe Bastardi observed that Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin's recent cut of gas flows to Europe via Ukraine may have been done so in anticipation of a global cooling cycle on the Jan. 6 "Glenn Beck Show" radio program. Bastardi has a solid reputation among Wall Street traders for understanding weather's impact on energy commodities.
"The thing I want to bring up here - very interesting - most of the solar cycle studies that we know about and that guys like me read have come out of the Russian scientists," Bastardi said. "But when Glasnost developed, the Russian scientists, a lot of their ideas on the coming cool period that a lot of us believe is going to occur - ice, rather than fire is the big problem down the road here 2030, 2040, and the reversing cyclical cycles of the ocean - it came out of the East."
OK, so Barack Obama isn't really the political Messiah of critics' caricature, despite the fervor of his supplicants. But according to liberal radio talk show host Ed Schultz, Obama qualifies for the less lofty but still impressive description of Hub of the World.
Schultz offers an unlikely theory for the renewed fighting in Gaza, one more revealing of the person suggesting it than the subject at hand --
Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer are "moderate" liberals. And GOP opposition to Obama Supreme Court nominees would constitute a "fake fight" demonstrating that Republicans remain mired in the culture wars. Such was the collective wisdom of two of the roundtable members on ABC's "This Week" today.
Before moving to the substance, a word about the roundtable's lopsided composition, which resembled nothing more than Homecoming for public radio types. To "balance" David Brody of CBN, ABC chose Kurt Andersen of Public Radio International, Alison Stewart of NPR, and John Dickerson of Slate and . . . NPR. Andersen kicked off the Supreme Court segment with his "moderate" liberal comment. Dickerson followed with his pre-emptive warning about that potential Republican "fake fight."
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):
Democrats in Congress say the darndest things, don't they?
My favorite recent example -- 10-term Congresswoman Louise Slaughter of New York talking with liberal radio host Ed Schultz on Tuesday about why she voted in favor of bailing out Detroit (click here for audio) --
SCHULTZ: The Big Three, how did you, you voted in favor of that.
SLAUGHTER: I did, because one in 10 jobs in the United States is tied to what happens to them. I've been on their back as long as I can remember. When I was in the state legislature in the '80s, we passed a seat belt law in New York. And they fought us tooth and nail and (said) if they had to put in seat belts in cars they would surely go broke. And I remember that just before I went down to vote an ophthalmologist from my district called and said, please go down and tell them how hard it is to dig glass out of eyes. But they fought every thing in the world that we ever tried to do, always at the same time that the foreign automakers were doing it and cleaning their clock. I've never understood their reluctance really to do things to help themselves. I guess their political situation was just so good in Washington they didn't have to worry about it.
How much do reporters hate George Bush? Newsweek correspondent Michael Hirsh appeared on the left-wing Young Turks radio show and cheered on the Iraqi journalist who chucked his shoes at Bush. "They have reason to be upset with the author of this, and a shoe aimed at Bush’s head is not such a terrible expression of some of that frustration." He suggested the Bush era was a time of "mass hallucination" and Obama’s rise put an end to the madness. Hirsh wished Bush good riddance: "This guy’s about gone, and we can stop pretending that there was any kind of, you know, rational strategic motivation behind this act of war that he committed." Hirsh said Bush and his team have "blood on their hands," but will never admit they were wrong. "Bush is not going to end up in The Hague obviously, there’s not going to be any charges against him, and so, you know, a shoe shied at him by an Iraqi journalist might be the one small measure of justice that was achieved."
An environmentalist's dream might be a businessman's nightmare. But when it came to describing the the environmental team Pres.-elect Obama has assembled, it was sugar plum fairies for GMA this morning. Rachel Martin, who came to ABC from NPR, narrated the segment.
RACHEL MARTIN: They are calling it the "Green Dream Team."
Which invites the obvious question: who's "they," kimosabe? Running down the team line-up, Martin viewed things from an environmentalist perspective.
Maybe there's hope for some of those immersed in left-wing media.
Liberal radio host Ed Schultz has been decidedly skeptical about claims emanating from the Obama inner circle about whether contact was made between Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich and Obama or his surrogates on filling Obama's Senate vacancy.
Schultz hammered away at this on Wednesday's show, focusing on what could be Obama's Achilles' heel in the affair, senior adviser David Axelrod's statement on Nov. 23 that Obama and Blagojevich had spoken about the vacancy (after the scandal broke, Axelrod claimed he "misspoke").
After playing a clip of Axelrod's statement on Nov. 23, Schultz had this to say (audio) --
Well, OK, how can any fair-minded American say, well, that's OK, we're done with that angle of the story. Wait a minute. This is a clear, admitted discrepancy and it makes people wonder what the hell's going on here.
MRC President and NewsBusters Publisher Brent Bozell will appear on the Sean Hannity radio program later this afternoon. We're not certain about the time, but he will appear with FNC's Juan Williams to discuss how the media are not covering the Obama angle on the Rod Blagojevich scandal.
Update (11:37 a.m. EST): Miller is now on the radio program. She insists she had a radio show scheduling conflict. Ingraham apologized for saying she chickened out.
Update (11:26 a.m. EST): Miller backed out of appearing even solo with Ingraham. Mohler is now talking with Ingraham.
A few minutes from now Newsweek's Lisa Miller will appear on the Laura Ingraham radio program to defend her recent article that insists the Bible can reasonably be interpreted to defend same-sex marriage. Shortly after she goes toe-to-toe with Ingraham, the radio host will feature Baptist theologian Albert Mohler who will offer a full-fledged rebuttal. Apparently she refused to go on the show at the same time as Mohler.
Ever notice how liberals spout alleged reverence for the Constitution, yet waste little time in blithely abandoning one of its foundational principles, the presumption of innocence?
Top-rated lefty radio host Ed Schultz provided an example of this Monday, blaming Wal-Mart for the death of an employee killed in a post-Thanksgiving shopping melee at a store on Long Island.
Schultz, assuming the roles of prosecutor, judge and jury, was dumbfounded that local police would look at videotape from the store's surveillance cameras (known in legal circles as "evidence") --
So now, here we are, we've got the police looking at videotape. What are they gonna do, pull people out of this crowd and charge them for the death of this guy? No, I think Wal-Mart ought to be on the legal crosshairs here, big time!
Gee, wondered liberal radio host Ed Schultz, how come conservative talkers got invited to the White House during the Bush presidency but not us lefties?
Here's how Schultz put it in his inimitable way on Wednesday, initially describing how President-elect Obama has yet to call on a Fox News reporter during his transition press conferences (click here for audio) --
I should just tickle the memory a little bit of progressives out there and liberals across America that the Bush administration was a very selective White House. Ah, you know, they have soirees in the Oval Office with the right-wing talkers of America. In fact, many of you who don't get this, it's an industry magazine known as Talkers magazine, Michael Harrison is the publisher, does a real favor to the industry and a service to the industry by doing this monthly magazine, but there was a front-cover picture of Bush in there with all the right-wing talkers. You know who they are -- Hannity, Ingraham, Boortz, Medved, Gallagher, Levin, I think he was all there, I don't know. And the progressive talkers, you know, we lefties with microphones, we were never invited to the White House. Never got a chance to even urinate on the yard. You know? None of that.
Remember what Cliff Clavin on the sitcom "Cheers" would ask after making one of his unwittingly revealing assertions -- "Did I say that out loud?"
A variation of the Clavin line came to mind yesterday -- "Did he say that out loud?" -- after top-rated liberal radio host Ed Schultz said this about Big Three CEOs pleading with Congress to help their ailing industry (click here for audio) --
As I said last week repeatedly and I'll say it again, is that, I think that there was just a chess game being played here, a poker game being played here. Those guys get the big bucks, they went up on Capitol Hill, got their ass kicked and they weren't going to say too much 'cause they wanted to know where the Congress was and now the Congress has basically told them, OK, this is what you gotta do ... Last week was nothing but a big negotiation session. You know, they're going to go, they're only going to pull up their dress so far so everybody can see what's up there, not the whole thing.
Hypocrisy, meet Ed Schultz ... What's this, you're already well acquainted?
The nation's top-rated liberal radio host has spent plenty of time this month pitching in favor of the feds lending $25 billion to the ailing Big Three automakers.
Schultz has also been bellicose toward those who disagree with him, singling out Republican Senator Richard Shelby of Alabama for scorn. Here's what Schultz said Tuesday after playing a clip of Shelby describing his rationale for opposing a bailout of Detroit --
SCHULTZ: Just keep in mind, that voice, his party got their ass kicked. He doesn't know what he's talking about. Sen. Shelby from Alabama is protecting interests out of this country. He's an outsourcer. And he's trying to cover it up by bringing in foreign manufacturing to his own state. It is his mission to kill the Big Three ... Look, you're either for American manufacturing, you're either for the middle class, or you're not. I have said this at every union speech I've ever given and been in front of any crowd, you're either with us or you're against us. Sen. Shelby from Alabama is a terrorist on the American worker. He is a terrorist on wage workers.
That's how many Republicans are likely to react after retiring Nebraska Sen. Chuck Hagel blasted Republicans in general and Rush Limbaugh in particular, claiming Rush and fellow conservative talkers "don't have any answers."
David Shuster, subbing for Olbermann on tonight's Countdown, highlighted Hagel's remarks of today.
The liberal talk-radio host who said in a vulgar, on-air tirade that he wanted Joe (The Plumber) Wurzelbacher "dead" is out of a job.
Examiner.com reports that Charles "Karel" Bouley was fired Tuesday. Michelle Malkin noted that Karel is "playing the victim card." He whined that the station has fired "the most prominent gay voice" in San Francisco and blamed an engineer for his vulgarities being broadcast during a news break in the show.
Remember the "Seinfeld" episode where an alleged friend of the show's title character bad-mouthed him as "phony," then lamely spun it as a compliment when confronted by Seinfeld?
Self-professed "progressive talker" Ed Schultz tried much the same yesterday while talking with a caller about whether the federal government should engage in yet another bailout, this time for the ailing auto industry.
Schultz said he has little doubt that Congress will quickly enact some type of rescue package for Detroit, seeing how unions were an integral part of the coalition that elected Obama.
Douglas Turner of the Buffalo News wants conservative radio talkers silenced. He calls them "virulent," "violent" and "coarse" and hopes that starting January 1 the "work of flushing" them will begin. Turner fills his little anti-free speech screed with claims and a few examples of how rotten he thinks righty talkers are and how they need to be shut down, yet can't seem to find a single cross word to say about the "coarseness" of lefty talkers. In other words, it is plain that "coarseness" or "one-sided" radio isn't really a concern of his. Only eliminating the free speech of the right is his goal not any leveling of the playing field.
Naturally, his is filled with prosaic generalizations. Turner assumes that all conservative talk show hosts "were fond" of addressing Obama as "Hussein," his middle name. Yet, Turner offers no list of those that did. He says righty talkers are "violent" but does not offer a single example to prove the allegation. It also seems that Turner can't understand why radio hosts that call themselves conservative would be "one-sided." Curiously, he didn't excoriate Alan Colmes, Randi Rhodes, or Al Franken for being "one-sided." (I know... Imagine that, huh?)
Those blue meanies over in conservative talk radio, "progressive talker" Ed Schultz opined yesterday. There they go again, Schultz sighed, making a fuss for hardly any reason over possible reimposition of the so-called "Fairness Doctrine."
Here's what Schultz had to say (click here for audio) --
It's been interesting and I have listened to it more in the last couple of days than I have in a long, long time and that is the right-wing talkers of America and how they're ginning up this story about the Fairness Doctrine. So I'm going to be a little bit selfish here today about our industry because now there seems to be an attack on the reason why Barack Obama was elected is because the liberal media and the bias in the media has taken him to the doorstep of the White House and now they're attacking conservative talk radio. My Lord, these people are just, they are relentless when it comes to fear-mongering. You know what, I should be the one sitting here just pounding the drums for the Fairness Doctrine, the way that we have been able to be successful in recent years and stay afloat when we weren't given 90 days. I mean, if they were to put in the Fairness Doctrine, who do you think would benefit? I would make more money. Let me just be right up front about that. I'm not sure it's the right thing to do. I've never paid much attention to it.
Henry Rivera, a longtime radical leftist, lawyer and former FCC commissioner, is expected to lead the push to dismantle commercial talk radio that is favored by a number of Democratic Party senators. Rivera will play a pivotal role in preventing critics from having a public voice during Obama's tenure in office.
Rivera, who resigned from the FCC nearly a quarter-century ago during the Reagan years, believes in a doctrine of "communications policy as a civil rights issue".
Heading into the campaign's final stretch, Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell said to lefty radio host Ed Schultz that John McCain and Sarah Palin spent so much time in the Keystone State, "I'm thinking of charging them state income tax they've been here so often."
The quip drew hearty laughter from a union audience for Schultz's show on Oct. 29 from United Steelworkers' headquarters in Pittsburgh.
But then Rendell said this about what would result from imposing Pennsylvania income taxes on the GOP candidates -- "it would be good for our economy." And while Rendell was clearly kidding about levying taxes on McCain and Palin, Rendell wasn't kidding about what he believes would result if he did.
Although the audio that recently emerged of Sen. Barack Obama discussing "redistributive change" came from an interview he did with Chicago Public Radio, National Public Radio's "Morning Edition" and "All Things Considered" on Monday as well as "Morning Edition" on Tuesday completely ignored the audiotape of Obama's 2001 interview.
During his campaign stop in Dayton, Ohio, on Monday, Sen. John McCain specifically addressed the recently surfaced audio and even quoted Obama as saying, "One of the tragedies of the Civil Rights movement was because the Civil Rights movement became so court-focused I think that there was a tendency to lose track of the political and community organizing and activities on the ground that are able to put together the actual coalitions of power through which you bring about redistributive change."
Nevertheless, during Monday's "All Things Considered" report on McCain's campaigning in Ohio, there was no mention of the audiotape or of McCain using Obama's own words against him. Instead, the broadcast focused on McCain's argument that one party ruling the country would be disastrous.
Lefty talk show host Ed Schultz was delighted by Colin Powell's endorsement of Barack Obama, but not all his listeners were so enthused. This led to an eyebrow-raiser of a remark by Schultz during his Oct. 20 broadcast:
Now many of you have sent emails saying, oh Ed, who cares about this, (Powell) went in front of the UN and said there were no WMD. Well, that was an administration's, he was, you know, doing his job and he could have said no to it, that's true, but at the time they thought they had 'em. (emphasis added) And he was the mouthpiece for the administration and the country's position on WMD at that time. Look, it was a mistake, we've all learned a lot since then.
Operative word highlighted above -- "they." (MP3 Audio Here)
In a stunning on-air admission of his desire to re-regulate radio and infringe on free speech, Obama supporter and New Mexico Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D) argued recently that the so-called Fairness Doctrine -- which would mandate equal time for opposing viewpoints on radio programming -- would elevate talk radio to a "higher calling." Bingaman lamented that radio without the "Fairness Doctrine" has become less "intelligent."
Chicago Sun-Times Washington bureau chief Lynn Sweet told a Chicago radio duo this morning that Sen. Joe Biden was not referring specifically to Barack Obama in his now-famous comment at a fundraiser that the Illinois senator would be "tested" by a crisis in the first six months of his administration. (h/t e-mail tipster Rose Wagner)
LYNN SWEET, Chicago Sun-Times: It turns out that the Republican National Committee spent more than 150,000 [dollars on Gov. Palin's wardrobe].
DON WADE, co-host: Wait a minute. It's hard to focus on a story like that when Joe Biden is warning that we're going to have an international crisis if Barack Obama is elected and nobody wants to talk about that. Nobody's asked Joe Biden what do you mean by that?
Washington Post staffer and chief "Macaca-gate" peddler Michael D. Shear filed an October 9 story from Waukesha, Wisconsin, on the McCain rally there. Joined by fellow reporter Perry Bacon Jr., Shear focused on the "anger" in the crowd at the liberal media. Their lead paragraph:
WAUKESHA, Wis., Oct. 9 -- There were shouts of "Nobama" and "Socialist" at the mention of the Democratic presidential nominee. There were boos, middle fingers turned up and thumbs turned down as a media caravan moved through the crowd Thursday for a midday town hall gathering featuring John McCain and Sarah Palin.
While Shear and Bacon did eventually quote some attendees who explained their concerns, they were buried deep in the page A4 article in the October 10 paper, along with a references to less-than-civil rhetoric by Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) at the tail-end of the 32-paragraph article, "Anger Is Crowd's Overarching Emotion at McCain Rally":
While other liberal musicians have taken to publicly whining about the McCain campaign using their songs at rallies, the songwriter behind Martina McBride's "Independence Day" -- which conservative radio host Sean Hannity uses as his radio program's theme song -- has decided to take royalties from the song to donate fund abortion provider Planned Parenthood in the Arizona senator's name.
Singer/songwriter Gretchen Peters has donated royalties from Hannity's air play of the McBride hit to liberal activists groups such as MoveOn.org and Parents, Families & Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG).