As each day passes and President Barack Obama's health care proposal faces more and more opposition, some of the talking heads that appear on the cable news networks are looking for a "boogeyman" to blame for allegedly ginning up backlash. And that "boogeyman" has been conservative talk radio.
However, if recent history is any indication, there could be an effort to take silence conservative talk radio.
Some of the circumstances surrounding the current debate on "reforming" health care are eerily familiar to the 2007 bipartisan effort to "reform" immigration. In fact, the last big policy issue that was defeated when an upset constituency pushed back was the bipartisan 2007 effort to reform immigration.
All of weeks ago, Ed Schultz reacted with disgust on his radio show to news that Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., told other Republicans that Obama's attempt to enact massive health reform could be the president's "Waterloo."
Here's Schultz on July 21, responding to DeMint's remark while interviewing Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore. (click here for audio) --
SCHULTZ: So, Jim DeMint basically is showing where the Republicans really are. They just want to, they want to Waterloo the president.
Yes, "Waterloo" as verb. And yes, Schultz actually talks like that.
Remember the outrage earlier this year for some of the bonuses paid out to executives of financial institutions that were TARP recipient? Or how about the press coverage that spurred on populist outrage when it was reported former Merrill Lynch CEO John Thain spent $35,000 on a commode to redecorate his office?
Here's breakfast reading for you: "Bacon as a Weapon of Mass Destruction"? Left-wing journalist Arun Gupta unspooled that theory on the taxpayer-subsidized Pacifica Radio network. McDonald's is apparently making us bacon addicts:
McDonald’s pumps this with all sorts of umami. This is something I’ve been looking at. A lot of our foods are pumped with all sorts of umami, everything from savory foods to ice cream, because it elicits an actual neurochemical, physiological response.
Times have been tough financially for media companies across the board and satellite radio has been no exception.
On Aug. 6, Sirius XM Radio (NASDAQ:SIRI) posted a second-quarter loss and the company hasn't lived up to expectations after Sirius and XM completed a merger a little over a year ago. According to "CNBC Reports" host Dennis Kneale, part of the satellite radio's problem is shock jock Howard Stern's compensation and the company's debt.
"I feel so, bad - there's, being run by one of what I think is the best executives in media, Mel Karmazin, a great salesman," Kneale said on CNBC's Aug. 6 "Power Lunch." "But in the end, does it turn out they just overpaid for Howard Stern and they have too much debt? I wonder if John Malone bailed them out temporarily hoping that they kind of go belly-up so they can get a hold of those assets really cheap."
That Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. and Cambridge, Mass., police sergeant James Crowley may attend a baseball game together has the Rev. Al Sharpton concerned.
Sharpton had this to say on his radio show on Monday while talking with Gates' lawyer Charles Ogletree, who also teaches at Harvard (click here for audio) --
SHARPTON: Let me start out by asking you, where, what is the status with Dr. Gates? You're his lawyer. Some people feel like we've made enough conciliations. I'm reading now he's talking about going to the ballgame with Sgt. Crowley. I need not tell you, some of us are saying that, wait a minute, enough is enough. What's going on here?
Ominous enough for Obama that a left-wing propagandist like Stewart should turn on him, as Stewart did in skewering Obama's initial response to the arrest of Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr.
All of a day later, on Friday, liberal radio and MSNBC host Ed Schultz said this on his radio show about Obama's lackluster performance at his July 22 press conference (click here for audio) --
I thought the president was off his game the other night. You may disagree. At times I thought he looked like he was a beaten man. You may disagree. And there was just a moment that went through my body, soul, mind -- I wonder if he's going to run for re-election? I mean it, that's how I felt!
Looks like it might be time for summer school instruction in American history for left-wing radio and MSNBC host Ed Schultz.
Here's what a caller said on Schultz's radio show July 16 and Schultz's oblivious response (click here for audio) --
CALLER: This gentleman who called previously, asking where in the Constitution does it say that health care should be provided? And I know where it says. It says that you have the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. So, without health care, people can be deprived of life due to death from lack of medical care.
Minority broadcasters are asking tax-cheat Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner for financial assistance. Sounds like the financial and auto industries, and it is. These broadcasters, including the National Association of Black Owned Broadcasters, the Inner City Broadcasting Coalition, the Spanish Broadcasting System, and others say they can bounce back because “unlike the auto business, broadcasting has been healthy for many years.” Has it now?
Ad revenues for broadcasters started declining severely in late 2007 and throughout 2008 were down up to 40% in some cases. The ad decline not only impacted broadcasters, it impacted newspaper groups and many such as the Seattle Post-Intelligencer and others have gone out of business. Stock prices of some radio groups have fallen to absolutely nothing. So, minority broadcasters have a rosy picture ahead?
Among those most overwrought about alleged illegality by the Bush White House in not informing Congress of a covert CIA effort to kill al Qaeda operatives is liberal radio host and MSNBC pundit Ed Schultz.
The implications of such rank criminality are profound, Schultz told his radio listeners on Tuesday (click here for audio) --
SCHULTZ: I was absolutely astounded today listening to Liz Cheney on MSNBC. Let me, this is one of my favorites right here. She makes the declaration that there were no laws broken. Here we go --
Gov. Sarah Palin had something to do with the death of pop star Michael Jackson. That's an interesting theory proclaims radio host and Jackson eulogizer opportunist Rev. Al Sharpton.
Our friend Brian Maloney at Radio Equalizer has the story. Embedded at right is the audio of the program in question. I've pasted Maloney's transcript below:
FEMALE CALLER (31:50): He (Michael Jackson) is truly the soundtrack of my life. I also have a theory about Sarah Palin as well and I'm going to put it out there on radio, hopefully someone can investigate.
Fans of the late great comedian Chris Farley, take comfort -- liberal radio host and MSNBC talking head Ed Schultz often bears an uncanny resemblance to one of Farley's best-known characters on "Saturday Night Live," that of Matt Foley, motivational speaker.
Schultz has been on a Foleyesque tear of late, raging at Democrats as "spineless weenies" for not standing up to Republicans, despite holding the White House and sizable majorities in Congress.
Here's Schultz on his radio show June 17, spewing his warped theory that Dick Cheney wants thousands of Americans murdered in another terrorist attack to help Republicans regain political power (click here for audio) --
SIRIUS XM Radio announced on June 25 that Rosie O’Donnell will host a daily talk show beginning this fall. Rosie Radio “will blend her many passions and interests - an eclectic mix of humor, pop culture and serious conversation.” The talk show will be featured on XM 155 “SIRIUS XM Stars.” Given her history of making outlandish statements it’s quite hard to believe anyone gave O’Donnell a talk show.
Twenty dollars here, twenty dollars there. After coming from thousands of people, it starts adding up.
Anyone who listens to Ed Schultz's radio show or has seen him on MSNBC has almost surely heard Schultz refer to "town hall meetings" he moderates across the country.
Schultz began organizing the gatherings during the '08 campaign and revived the practice earlier this year, holding more than a half dozen that collectively have drawn thousands of people. The most recent was in Buffalo, N.Y., on June 13, with at least three more to go.
Here's Schultz's "Morning Joe" appearance June 16 touting them (as shown in embedded video) --
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."
Leave it to a liberal with a microphone to condemn a practice he relishes when not pontificating.
A recent example -- Ed Schultz from one day to the next on his radio show last week.
On Wednesday, Schultz had this to say about conservative commentator Hugh Hewitt urging Americans not to buy GM or Chrysler vehicles since they are now manufactured by largely government-owned "socialist" companies (click here for audio)
However, conservative radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh theorized that President Obama may have another method to restrict content over the airwaves in mind. In an interview on Sean Hannity's June 4 Fox News Channel program, Limbaugh explained how Obama could do this - by exercising the influence the government has over the banking sector.
"I want to say one other thing, even if I go over time here," Limbaugh said. "People ask me about the Fairness Doctrine all the time and I've been watching something here - newspapers are losing money. Advertising revenue is down, circulation. But radio companies, too, Sean. Television companies - their advertising revenues are down."
MSNBC’s Tamron Hall attempted to justify multiple stories on Rush Limbaugh supposedly comparing Barack Obama to Al Qaeda: "We have a right to cover people who are speaking out...Many people listen to this man, and we have a responsibility to report all sides and you can't try to duck and hide, throw the rock and then hide in the bush."
Hall was responding to criticism by Republican strategist Alex Conant, who, in the 4PM hour on Thursday, pointed out MSNBC’s excessive coverage of Rush: "Well, let me just make an observation. Two weeks ago, Rush Limbaugh challenged this network, MSNBC, to go a whole month without repeating his name, and this is like the fifth segment you guys have had this afternoon talking about Rush-" Hall immediately interrupted: "Oh, you know – okay, that's ridiculous, absolutely. You know, I don't know if you've ever, ever watched Keith Olbermann, who just obliterated Rush Limbaugh on this topic."
The segment with Conant, opposite liberal talk radio host Bill Press, was the third story MSNBC had done on Rush’s comments on Thursday. Hall herself had covered the story only an hour earlier, with liberal blogger Peter Slutsky and conservative Brian Faughnan from Redstate.com. During that segment in the 3PM hour, Hall asked Slutsky: "...do the Republican leadership, conservatives out there, need to speak out against this kind of language? I cannot imagine, you know, if there was a liberal blogger who had compared George W. Bush directly to Al Qaeda or some of the other language that’s coming out recently."
How about that, alleged comedian Wanda Sykes wasn't entirely off the mark in deriding a person from the media as the proverbial 20th hijacker. She just cited the wrong person.
During one of his daily fulminations about former vice president Dick Cheney this week, radio and MSNBC host Ed Schultz appropriated the language of jihad.
Here's what Schultz said on his radio show Monday, expressing a view apparently shared by his listeners, not a single one of whom has called his show to complain about it (or gotten past the screener if anyone did).
First, Schultz talked about attending last weekend's White House correspondents' dinner and his loathing for Glenn Beck of Fox News (click here for audio) --
Radio and MSNBC host Ed Schultz, he of hefty chip on shoulder when it comes to Rush Limbaugh, could hardly contain his glee over alleged comedian Wanda Sykes' criticism of Limbaugh at the White House correspondents' dinner.
Sykes likened Limbaugh to "the 20th hijacker" on 9/11 for possessing the audacity to hope that Obama fails in bankrupting the nation or leaving America vulnerable to attack.
Schultz told his radio listeners on Monday that he was in the audience at the dinner and got a huge kick out of Sykes' remarks (click here for audio) --
Call it an ominous warning, but Fox News Channel afternoon host and ratings sensation Glenn Beck on Wednesday cautioned viewers that government is strengthening its grip of power and is not going to stop at the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
Beck declared on his May 6 broadcast the government is out of control, noting that Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests were a weekly occurrence, including efforts to make the TARP bailout more transparent earlier this year from the Treasury Department.
"We've got a government out of control and I'm telling you, it is up to you to control it," Beck said. "These stories of corruption and abuse of power, I'm going to continue to bring them to you as long as I possibly can, and everybody else on this network is dedicated. But it seems like every week this network is filing another Freedom of Information Act request. Even with all the resources of Fox, the truth still can't be fully exposed without you. I ask you, please - help us. Meet us here every day. Tell all of your friends what you learn here. Spread it. E-mail me. Tell me what I'm missing. We will do the best we can to provide you with the information, but it is a little overwhelming."
UPDATE, May 2:ABC’s Political Punch reports that the administration is denying making threats. Uh-huh, Tom Lauria just made it up. My take: Horse manure.
If the Bush White House had engaged in anything similar to what's being described here (actually, Hank Paulson did; the question is how much Bush knew), there would be calls for impeachment.
Maybe there should be similar talk now. As it is, the establishment media will more than likely work very hard to ignore this.
It should not be ignored. What attorney Tom Lauria describes is nothing short of chilling.
What follows is a rush transcription, omitting the intro and wrap-up niceties, of an interview today between WJR's Frank Beckmann and Tom Lauria, attorney for most of (at the moment) Chrysler's non-TARP creditors (audio is here; NYT link in transcript added by me):
Back on April 9, radio host Ed Schultz boasted of his high regard for accuracy while telling listeners about his new television show on MSNBC --
Where I work, they don't put stuff on the air unless it's accurate and they differentiate between opinion and fact. And in my world I think that's kind of important. On The Ed Show (Schultz's program on MSNBC), I'm not going to tell you something that I know isn't the truth.
Operative words here -- "kind of." And apparently Schultz's "world" doesn't extend to his nationally syndicated radio show, the top rated among so-called progressive talkers.
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.”
Everything you thought you knew about MSNBC political slant - throw it out the window, because one MSNBC host says you're probably wrong.
MSNBC's Contessa Brewer, appearing on "The Mark Reardon Show" on St. Louis KMOX 1120 AM radio on April 13. Brewer defended her network against the perception that it is a liberal cable news channel.
"No, but we're not liberal," Brewer said. "No, we're not liberal. We're not liberal. That's crazy - that's crazy talk."
According to Brewer, since MSNBC has a program hosted by former Republican Florida Congressman Joe Scarborough and has Pat Buchanan as a contributor that absolves the network of having the "liberal" label attached to it.