Recently a lot of hubbub had been made about the possibility that the peaceful tea party protests and some conservative voices would stir up emotions that could lead to violence. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi was even one of those sounding that alarm.
But what has gone unsaid by those same voices has been the possibility of violence against those who might take a position antithetical to that of the left.
Emboldened by his keen sense of omniscience, left-wing radio host Ed Schultz argued with a caller who dared criticize Schultz's command of the facts.
"There isn't anything I say on television or radio that I can't back up," Schultz claimed on Friday (click here for audio). "Anything."
All of his next radio show later, on Monday, Schultz demonstrated the flimsiness of this boast when he tossed out an assertion just as dubious, about Tim Pawlenty (here for audio) --
SCHULTZ: This is a guy who was a governor in Minnesota where a bridge fell down and killed 13 people and he didn't want to build another one. I mean, this guy, he didn't, he was against, they hadn't raised a sales tax on gas in that state in some 25 years. And he was against that. And the extra money was going to go to infrastructure because the people of Minnesota wanted to make sure that they had better roads and bridges and they took it upon themselves and of course they had enough votes for an override.
There's little doubt that at hand is an ongoing effort by the Obama White House to marginalize the Fox News Channel - especially after the administration attempted to leave Fox out of the White House pool last week. That is something conservative columnist Cal Thomas said is eerily comparable to Cold War tactics of the old Soviet Union.
On the Fox News Channel's Oct. 24 "Fox News Watch," Thomas alluded to an Oct. 21 column he wrote, which he compared what the Soviets did with radio signals that penetrated the Iron Curtain to deliver a message of freedom from Western Europe - they jammed them.
"I wrote a column on this, this week - if I can promote myself and my own column," Thomas said. "I likened it to what happened during the Cold War, when the Soviet Union especially tried to jam the signals of the Voice of America and Radio Europe, other entities that were trying to pump truth into the Soviet Union and the Eastern Bloc countries, the so-called captive nations."
Pres. Obama has described Fox News as "operating basically as a talk-radio format" rather than as a "news outlet."
When NBC's Savannah Guthrie raised [in a segment of her extended interview of the president aired on Today this morning] the issue of White House attacks on Fox News, PBO first tried to play the statesman, resorting to the old dodge about "the American people" being more interested in jobs and the situation in Afghanistan.
But when politely pressed, PBO didn't hesitate to fustigate Fox.
CNN’s Carol Costello again omitted the liberal source of a statistic she touted during a report on Wednesday’s American Morning, that 91% of talk radio is apparently conservative. Costello also pushed the left-wing aim of localism in radio programming, playing three soundbites in favor of the proposal, versus two against it.
Near the end of her report, which aired at the bottom of the 7 am Eastern hour, the CNN correspondent cited ultra-left talker Randi Rhodes (all three clip in favor of localism came from Rhodes), who “says millions of Americans get their political talk from AM radio -- 91 percent of which is conservative.” Costello didn’t cite the source of the figure, which comes from a 2007 report by two liberal organizations -- the Center for American Progress and Free Press -- and co-authored by Mark Lloyd, who is now the FCC’s “chief diversity officer.” The correspondent touted the figure as well during a report on Monday’s American Morning, where she claimed that it came from “Talkers” magazine. The figure itself is misleading because, as MRC’s Culture and Media Institute pointed out, the CAP report ignored “non-commercial radio,” such as NPR and other public radio networks.
Paul Krugman attacked the authors of the soon-to-be-released book SuperFreakonomics today for their audacious attempts to question the left's conventional wisdom on global climate change. He then touted the danger of attacking conservatives, and contended that liberal-bashing has always been the safer political and professional move.
I have a theory here, although it may not be the whole story: it’s about careerism. Annoying conservatives is dangerous [his emphasis]: they take names, hold grudges, and all too often find ways to take people who annoy them down... [Conservatives] snub anyone who breaks the unwritten rule and mocks those who must not be offended.
Annoying liberals, on the other hand, feels transgressive but has historically been safe. The rules may be changing (as [SuperFreakonomics authors Stephen] Dubner and [Steven] Levitt are in the process of finding out), but it’s been that way for a long time.
Once again, the nightly train wreck known as CNN Headline News "The Joy Behar Show" took another jab at conservatism, particularly Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh. Only this time, Behar threw in a couple of old standbys for whom lefties are fixated upon assaulting - former President George W. Bush and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.
Behar, on her Oct. 17 CNN HLN program, suggested to radio show talk host and former child-star actor Danny Bonaduce there was a trend - that people who have had struggles with chemical addictions are now outspoken, particularly those on the right that Behar disagrees with.
"Do you see a trend? Rush Limbaugh, Oxycontin. Glenn Beck, alcoholic, Danny Bonaduce, alcoholic ... and George Bush, ex-alcoholic," Behar said.
Yesterday CNN's Rick Sanchez was set to go on air and issue an apology for running an unverified quote attributed to Rush Limbaugh. Breaking news of the now-infamous "balloon boy" intervened, and Sanchez was unable to deliver his apology.
It came to the attention of the NewsBusters staff that Sanchez plans on issuing a correction today on-air, reading the following statement:
"CNN and MSNBC were given ample opportunity to come clean, but both are continuing to masquerade malicious lies [against Rush Limbaugh] as credible," Media Research Center President and NewsBusters Publisher Brent Bozell said in a statement today.
Yesterday, Bozell promised to report back publicly with how CNN and MSNBC responded to his challenge to put up – or shut up – proof that Rush Limbaugh actually stated the racist quote that both cable networks attributed to him as fact, or to immediately retract and apologize for their participation in spreading an outlandish lie.
Talk show giant Limbaugh denied having ever stated, “Slavery built the South. I’m not saying we should bring it back. I’m just saying it had its merits. For one thing, the streets were safer after dark.” Further, it has been established that this was a fabrication pushed through the Internet, intentionally designed to destroy Mr. Limbaugh’s reputation at a time he is attempting to purchase a professional football team.
In addition to this public call to action, Mr. Bozell overnighted letters to CNN President Jonathan Klein and MSNBC President Phil Griffin to ensure both took the matter seriously. Both CNN and MSNBC failed to respond appropriately.
Media Research Center President Brent Bozell today demanded that CNN and MSNBC prove that radio talk show king Rush Limbaugh uttered a racist quote they have attributed to him as fact after Limbaugh publicly denied having ever said, “Slavery built the South. I’m not saying we should bring it back. I’m just saying it had its merits. For one thing, the streets were safer after dark” on his nationally syndicated airwaves.
"CNN and MSNBC must immediately and publicly source when Limbaugh uttered this phrase. He has unequivocally denied it. Now it is up to the same news media that reported it as fact to prove that it was, indeed, stated," NewsBusters Publisher Bozell insisted in a statement, arguing that if the charges are undocumentable, the offending networks are "100% guilty of character assassination."
The accusations against Limbaugh came in the wake of reports the radio talk show host is part of a group bidding for ownership of the St. Louis Rams NFL franchise. The full Bozell statement is appended below the page break:
Is NFL Players Association Chief DeMaurice Smith being forthright when he contends he wants to protect the sport from "discrimination and hatred" as he has claims, or is he engaging in partisan hackery, with the benefit of having the ear of NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell? If you look at Smith's past, you might come to that conclusion.
"I've spoken to the Commissioner [Roger Goodell] and I understand that this ownership consideration is in the early stages," Smith wrote. "But sport in America is at its best when it unifies, gives all of us reason to cheer, and when it transcends. Our sport does exactly that when it overcomes division and rejects discrimination and hatred."
Is Fox News Channel president Roger Ailes about to score another big name personality for his fledgling off-spin business channel? According to The New York Times television and digital media reporter Brian Stelter, News Corp's (NASDAQ:NWS) Fox Business Network is considering adding CNN "Lou Dobbs Tonight" host Lou Dobbs to its lineup.
"The business channel is also keen on another administration critic, Lou Dobbs, who met for dinner with Mr. Ailes last month, according to two people with direct knowledge of the meeting," Stelter wrote in a piece for the Oct. 12 Times about the growing divide between Fox News and the Obama administration. "The shift for Fox News - the favorite network of the Bush administration, now the least favored one of the Obama administration - has financial implications for the News Corporation, especially given the network's status as a growth engine in a perilous time for media companies."
In case you missed it, conservative talker Rush Limbaugh will be expanding his resume - long-time political commentator, potential NFL owner and now Miss America pageant judge.
On the Oct. 8 broadcast of Fox News "On the Record," host Greta Van Sustren revealed that Limbaugh would be one of the national judges for the 2010 Miss America Pageant, scheduled to be held in Las Vegas on Jan. 30, 2010.
"Rush Limbaugh, he's the King of talk radio," Van Sustren said. "He's trying to buy the St. Louis Rams. Well chalk up one more thing - Miss America judge. You heard that right - Rush Limbaugh has been named one of the national judges for the 2010 Miss America pageant. Limbaugh will be one of seven judges for the competition. Now that pageant is in Las Vegas now. It's coming this January at the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino."
Well, in a curious turn of events on MSNBC's Oct. 8 "Countdown," host Keith Olbermann told his viewers that those who are opposing Limbaugh's bid for the Rams were the third worst people in the world on this particular day.
Between his daily radio show and nightly television program on MSNBC, which boasts of itself as "the place for politics," Ed Schultz somehow managed to miss the news of President Obama's ambivalence about "victory" in Afghanistan.
A caller to Schultz's radio show on Monday told Schultz of this, but Schultz wasn't buying (click here for audio) --
SCHULTZ: Do we send 40,000 more troops in? Brian, what do you think?
CALLER: You know what? I heard someone say we're not in it to win, we're not in it for victory. And I was stunned when I heard that, so ...
SCHULTZ: Well, what do you mean we're not in it for victory?
Ultraliberal talk show host Ed Schultz took to his radio show Thursday to raise the roof for Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Florida) and his charge that Republican health plan is "die quickly" and their neglect has led to a "holocaust." Schultz thinks he should write speeches for Obama. That wouldn’t exactly match Obama’s whole unite-not-divide campaign, but Schultz doesn’t care:
"This guy is an all-American representative. This guy had, you think he's worried about re-election?! You know why he's doing this? Because he's representing the people in his district. This is how Americans feel....
Gosh I wish President Obama would take that material and lay it right on these 40 obstructionists in the Senate. In fact I wish this Grayson guy was a speechwriter for President Obama...
This is what liberals have been missing for two decades. This type of punch-'em-in-the-nose mentality, give it right back to 'em. Now I think that there are progressive talkers out there that have done this, including myself, I'm not the only one.
SCHULTZ (talking to caller): What do we need? We need stories is what we need. We need people to stand up and tell their story in front of elected officials and demand some answers, as this lady has done. But what we also need, is we need to follow Tom Harkin on the Senate health bill and support that because it's got preventative clinics. We could set up, a one preventative clinic in every state in this country, 50 preventative clinics, that would do colonoscopies, that would do heart exams, that would do blood tests, all kinds of preventive stuff that could be done. That could be done!
Brian Maloney at The Radio Equalizer blog noticed a development over the summer that seems to have escaped much of the news media: In a whole bunch of major radio markets -- from New York City to San Diego, with St. Louis in between -- Rush Limbaugh's listenership has surged: “As frustration with Obama's policies reached a boiling point during August, Americans clearly turned to Rush for help,” but “the state-run media has yet to take notice.”
Specifically, for KFI-AM in Los Angeles, Arbitron reported Limbaugh “gained a full share point overall, from 5.9 to 6.9 to take first place with a weekly cume of 635,700 listeners. With men 35-64, the jump was from 4.7 to 5.6. In the 11am hour, Rush pulled in a mammoth 6.3.” Yet, Maloney observed:
Judging by the coverage in the Los Angeles Times, Orange County Register and Los Angeles Business Journal, this feat was somehow accomplished without the help of the medium's star performer, Rush Limbaugh. In covering the achievement, the latter two publications didn't even mention Rush, while the Times noted Limbaugh only in passing deep into one story and left him out of another entirely.
There's no doubt the so-called mainstream media turned their collective noses up at the Sept. 12 march on Washington, D.C. to protest the policies of Democratic-controlled federal government - whether in the form of denigration, downplay or outright ignoring the event.
However, conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh has suggested a different tactic. On his Sept. 14 show, Limbaugh proposed a future round of these grassroots protests not take place at the seats of power in government, but instead the headquarters and outposts of the local and national media.
"There have been hundreds and thousands of protests by conservative groups that haven't been covered, and tiny turnouts by the left that are covered," Limbaugh said. "You know all this as well as I do. What about this? We're looking for a force multiplier. Yeah, the protest in Washington on Saturday was great, two million people, but imagine what a force multiplier would be if the next one were held outside of local and national television networks and their headquarters where they can't miss it?"
The specter of ObamaCare's demise has so unhinged Ed Schultz, the nation's top-rated liberal radio host and what passes for a political analyst at MSNBC, that Schultz can't string together sentences without contradicting himself.
Latest example? Schultz on his radio show Tuesday, enthusing about President Obama's speech to school children and one of its core messages -- which Schultz promptly undermined with cheap-shot allusions to Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck (click here for audio) --
For days, Scarborough had been lambasting Republicans for going after Pres. Obama on his speech to schoolchildren. Finkelstein argued that it was not so much the potential for indoctrination as the cult of personality which was objectionable. He pointed out that the Obama-centric study guide for the speech was of a piece with messianic image that the president has allowed to grow up around him, going back to the presidential campaign and his famous "this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal" speech.
The things you hear from a liberal radio host who calls himself "the czar of the truth."
Here's a snippet from Ed Schultz's radio show yesterday, a rebroadcast of a town hall meeting in Boulder he moderated over the weekend, with Schultz responding to Glenn Beck's criticism of Obama's penchant for appointing czars (click here for audio) --
SCHULTZ: Government's such a bad thing, we got all these czars. Let me tell you something, I'm the czar of the truth.
"Truthiness" is closer to the mark. On Friday, Schultz provided yet another example of how his adherence to "truth" is flexible indeed.
Mark Hemingway at the Corner followed up on an item at Jules Crittenden's blog late last night.
What perked Hemingway's interest was Mr. Crittenden's relay of the following yesterday concerning an exchange during NPR's Diane Rehm Show:
Newsweek’s Ed Klein (told interviewer) Katty Kay about Kennedy’s love of humor. How the late senator loved to hear and tell Chappaquiddick jokes, and was always eager to know if anyone had heard any new ones. Not that Kennedy lacked remorse, Klein quickly added, seeming to intuit that my jaw and perhaps those of other listeners had just hit the floorboards. I gather it was a self-deprecating maneuver on Kennedy’s part, exercised with the famous Kennedy charm, though it sounds like one of those “I guess you had to have been there” things.
Hemingway went and listened. There is a 1:40 YouTube posted of what he heard.
Here is the transcript of that clip, without wrap-up niceties:
Law of averages being what it is, only a matter of time before a moment of candor eluded the thought police on left-wing radio.
Appearing on Ed Schultz's top-rated liberal radio show this past Monday, Newsweek chief political correspondent Howard Fineman provided an example of this when he traced Obama's difficulties in overhauling health care to his vague promises about reform during the '08 campaign (click here for audio) --
SCHULTZ: What do you make of the president's leadership so far on this? Should the Democrats be this divided at this point on some of these major issues in health care reform and what responsibility does the White House bear for that?
The announcement of Sen. Ted Kennedy's death came at 2 a.m. Eastern on Aug. 26 and a little over 15 hours later, two prominent liberal voices were scheming as to how the president and other Democratic leaders could use his passing to advance a political agenda.
Huffington Post editor Arianna Huffington appeared on MSNBC host Ed Schultz's Aug. 26 program and was asked by Schultz if it somehow could be used to push "real reform" for health care.
"The passing of Ted Kennedy - could this be a rallying cry for progressives to carry this fight through and to see real reform and health care in this country?" Schultz said. "Because, of course, I think everybody on the left knows that this was his passion, this was his cause."
The baby boomers are trotting out the celebrations for the 40th anniversary of the "Summer of Love," complete with all that soggy and groggy Woodstock nostalgia. Perhaps the singular statement of that summer was the music and the open celebration of "free love."
All of which, believe it or not, is preferable to what is on the air this summer.
Start with the big hit "Birthday Sex," which brought quick fame (which is to say, infamy) to a singer named Jeremih. (Why must these people always celebrate illiteracy?) His basic lyric is "Don’t need candles and cake / Just need your body to make / Birthday sex." But Jeremih also elaborates about how he wants sex in the kitchen, on a waterbed, and so on. It’s an audio porn movie.
Interestingly, and sadly, few can be found to disapprove of foisting these "adult situations" lyrics on children. Radio station managers are, as a group, completely apathetic. But school administrators? The Chicago Public Schools enlisted their newly famous alumnus Jeremih in an online Twitter campaign to urge Chicago teens to go back to school this fall.