Words matter. They speak volumes about issues. So when individuals or groups try to change the words associated with a heated political issue, take note and take care.
The folks at National Public Radio understand the power of words. Managing Editor David Sweeney announced yesterday that the station would no longer refer to people in the abortion debate as "pro-choice" and "pro-life." Instead, the station will say "abortion rights advocates" and "abortion rights opponents," according to a memo circulated to NPR staff.
In making this change, NPR is shifting the terms of the debate to make it more friendly to the pro-choice position.
They Know Nuh-Think It was the 2008 Talkers magazine New Media Seminar - June 6 and 7 in New York City. I was there to hob nob with the elite of talk radio.
And Ed Schultz.
I was there also to curry support for our then latest effort to keep the radio airwaves free from tyrannical and censorious government regulation. At that time it was against a return of the ridiculously mis-named "Fairness" Doctrine. Given the talent pool in which I was swimming - those whose livelihoods would be destroyed by it's reinstatement - many were graciously willing to assist.
Not Ed Schultz.
Word of my efforts made its way to him. And he sought me out and approached me so as to ridicule us for fighting the good fight. He rigidly insisted that no Democrat - no one in fact - was seeking a return of the Censorship Doctrine.
"Who talks to Nancy Pelosi more - you or me?" he angrily asked. I replied "Have you talked to Nancy Pelosi - ever?" Because if he had, once, ever, he had done so more than me. (And more's the pity for him.)
He responded "Well I just spoke to her, and no one wants to see (the alleged "Fairness" Doctrine) brought back."
I tried to persuade him that there were plans in the works but he remained, as always, impervious to facts.
... aka, the "Fairness Doctrine." And since the sole purpose of reviving this deservedly moribund government policy would be to silence conservative voices on radio, I avoid its Orwellian title.
On the same day President Obama signed his budget-busting health bill into law, Ed Schultz seized on the next opportunity for government control, one without a remote connection to reforming health care.
Feeling emboldened by the Democratic Party's success in imposing ObamaCare on the American public, lefties are already looking for the next hot issue to shove down our throats. For MSNBC libtalker Ed Schultz, it's the airwaves that should be subjected to a socialist government takeover.
Hard to believe but there's another radio host more woefully characteristic of left wingers in the media than liberal talker and MSNBC action hero Ed Schultz.
His name is Norman Goldman, an LA-based lawyer, Huffington Post blogger and frequent Schultz guest "legal analyst" who started his own radio show last year and still occasionally sits in for Schultz.
Such was the case this week with Goldman subbing for Schultz on Monday and Tuesday. And as Goldman never fails to remind Schultz's audience, he and Schultz disagreed on the health bill -- Schultz was willing to accept the Senate version without a public option, Goldman was not.
Some of the American people probably thought they were voting for hope and change when they voted for President Barack Obama on Nov. 4, 2008. But according to Rev. Al Sharpton, they were voting for socialism.
Sharpton, the founder of the National Action Network and talk radio host told Fox News on March 21, during their special coverage of the House of Representatives' passage of health care reform legislation, this victory for President Barack Obama and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi would begin "transforming" the country.
"I think that the president and Nancy Pelosi get credit," Sharpton said. "I think this began the transforming of the country the way the president had promised. This is what he ran on."
And if that transformation is socialism, then so be it, he explained. That is what the American public "overwhelmingly" voted for.
Jenna Wolfe's introduction of her guest on health-care on this morning's Today would surely have led viewers to believe he was an objective, apolitical voice. What Wolfe didn't tell viewers is that Andrew Rubin is a HuffPo blogger and such an avid ObamaCare advocate that he urged his readers to call Congress to lobby for it. Here was Wolfe's intro:
"The politics surrounding the health-care bill has dominated the headlines. But with the House vote just hours away, what's really in this bill and how will it affect you? Andrew Rubin is the host of HealthCare Connect on Sirius XM Radio. Andrew, good morning. There's so much involved here; let's try to break this down as to how it affects everyone."
I began to doubt Rubin's objectivity when he explained the bill's effect on various demographic groups by in in every case claiming that ObamaCare would be good in the short run and even better in the long run. I kept waiting for some balance: a discussion for example, of the massive taxes ObamaCare imposes, or the loss of freedom that the individual mandate represents. But never a discouraging word was heard. ObamaCare: all gain, no pain!
But have the media completely dropped the ball and that is allowing those in power to circumvent constitutional process? According to Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., they have. She had some harsh words for the fourth estate on conservative talker Sean Hannity's March 16 radio show. (h/t Kevin Eder)
"Well yeah and the other thing is treason media," Bachmann said. "Where is the mainstream media in all of this not telling this story? This is a compelling story - that the Speaker of the House would even consider having us pass a bill that no one votes on?"
"Ah, the sound of angry white guys wafting its way through the airwaves," Moore said. "Obviously that was a pivotal moment for that, but if you notice what he's railing against is he's blaming the whole mortgage crisis on the little guy who took out a mortgage he shouldn't have taken out, living beyond his means, having a home with too many bathrooms, when in fact - as my movie points out - the FBI of all people, have stated clearly through their own investigation that 80 percent of this mortgage crisis that we've gone through has been caused by the banks and lending institutions, by the fraud committed by the banks and the lending institutions - not by the person who's living beyond their means."
"Well he went down to dinner in his Sunday best ..." -- Warren Zevon, "Excitable Boy"
Liberals are so sensitive, such beacons of emotional intelligence. Then they start talking.
Here, for example, is David Shuster speaking with fellow MSNBCer Ed Schultz on Schultz's radio show Monday about the devastating earthquake to wrack Chile.
Sounded to me like Shuster got a kick out of the possibility of a huge quake hitting the West Coast. These weren't belly laughs or guffaws, but it's difficult to imagine anything similar from Murrow or Cronkite in their heyday or Couric at her perkiest.
Want to irk a liberal? I've got just the word for it -- "filibuster."
Hardly a waking hour passes these days without an indignant left-winger in the media condemning this arcane procedure requiring 60 votes to pass major legislation in the Senate.
In the process, dubious claims are being made. Here, for example, is John Nichols, Washington correspondent for The Nation, on Ed Schultz's radio show this past Wednesday (click here for audio) --
NICHOLS: The fact of the matter is that the founders of this republic believed in an arcane, almost forgotten concept called majority rule. They thought that a majority got to decide things. And it is extremely important that these senators, and it's not just Feingold, it's also quite a few other Democratic senators, who think they are defending some sort of structural tradition, some sort of American way of doing things.
Conservative dominance of the talk radio airwaves continues, but liberals are making concerted efforts to get their voices heard through large top-down campaigns.
Organizing for America--the campaign arm of the Obama administration--is rolling out the astroturf in an effort to get liberal voices heard on the nation's most popular (i.e. conservative) talk radio shows. The campaign is called "On the Air."
Visitors at radio.barackobama.com (talk about grassroots!) are provided with a phone number of a conservative talk radio show, and a list of health care talking points. They are instructed to call when health care comes up and reissue these points for the benefit of that station's audience.
OFA makes sure to note that the talking points are "only to provide extra information and suggestions." Tell that to Ellie Light.
Robert Siegel, an anchor of NPR’s evening newscast All Things Considered, had an emotional response on Wednesday night as Pew pollster Andrew Kohut described how young adults voted heavily for Obama and call themselves liberals, are less "militaristic" and less religious: "Who raised these terrific kids, Andy?" The men laughed.
The Pew Research Center studied the "millennials," those aged 18 to 29 who did much growing up in the first decade of the new century. Here’s how the discussion unfolded:
SIEGEL: Give us a thumbnail sketch of the millennials.
KOHUT: They're Democratic. They voted very heavily for Barack Obama. They're a little less supportive of Obama today, but still - compared to other generations - they are more supportive of the Democratic Party. They're more supportive of Barack Obama.
They call themselves liberals. Yes, they use the L-word. Twenty-nine percent of them say they're liberals. Less than 20 percent of all of the other generations say that. They're very tolerant of gays and race...
The New York Times has apparently discovered its inner patriot. The paper decided after a request from the White House to hold off publishing key information about the war effort in Afghanistan for fear of alerting the enemy to key U.S. intelligence.
The Times and its executive editor Bill Keller, who defended the decision, have left the nation collectively uttering, "It's about time." Now that's change we can believe in.
Keller told WNYC radio today that two Times reporters had a story ready to go on Thursday about the capture of Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, the Taliban's top military commander in Pakistan. The paper decided to hold off on running the story until today, the date the White House requested.
The National Security Council, Keller recalled, "thought it had been a clean snatch and they were afraid once the word got out, other Taliban officials would go deeper underground or take measures to cover their tracks. So they asked us to hold off for a while."
Agreed, this doesn't come as much of a shock. What's surprising is that Schultz said "almost".
Here's Schultz on his radio show Friday talking about meeting with Obama advisor David Axelrod at the White House the day before, along with fellow liberal radio host Bill Press and several other left-wing media types Schultz did not identify (click here for audio) --
SCHULTZ: First of all you walk into the White House, in the West Wing, and there are picture all over, I mean everywhere! Of President Obama! I mean, of his life in the first year as president of the United States. Now I don't know if that's the way it is with every president, but it was almost a shrine. I mean, well, here's a picture of Obama the president with his kids over here. There he is getting on Air Force One. Here he is with some military people. Here he is on the line working the line at one of his campaign stops. I mean, just, it was just one picture after another! (laughs)
On Monday’s edition of Rosie Radio, host Rosie O’Donnell spun the outpouring of support for the victims of the Haiti earthquake as a result of President Obama’s leadership. She then falsely accused George Bush of not quickly speaking out after Hurricane Katrina: "If two days after Katrina, you know, the President of the United States went on and said, 'You will not be forsaken. You will not be forgotten. We are sending in the Army-’" [Audio available here.]
The satellite radio host added, "If there was that, sort of, mass impulse to help, I think, then, Americans would have felt more justified of, you know, helping..." In fact, two days after Hurricane Katrina, on August 31, 2005, President Bush said this in the Rose Garden: "Right now, the days seem awfully dark for those affected. I understand that."
He continued, "But I'm confident that with time, you'll get your life back in order. New communities will flourish. The great City of New Orleans will be back on its feet. And America will be a stronger place for it. The country stands with you. We'll do all in our power to help you." The speech also laid out exactly how the National Guard, FEMA and other government agencies would assist the effort.
Rosie O’Donnell on Tuesday announced her love for the sci-fi, anti-war film Avatar, seeing it as "this story of the United States and the Mid-East, going to get the oil." Discussing the movie on her Rosie Radio show, she gushed over the allegorical plot of evil, imperialistic Marines being defeated by large blue aliens. [Audio available here.]
Revealing how she feels about U.S. military actions, O’Donnell told guest Howard Stern, "And I think Americans are watching that movie, going, 'Yay, blue guys,' [and] I'm like, 'Wait a minute - the blue guys are the guys we're against!'"
Avatar’s storyline revolves around a group of mercenaries invading a peaceful race of creatures, all for the purpose of exploiting their natural resources. "I loved it," raved the liberal comedienne.
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.
MSNBC host Rachel Maddow took time out of her busy schedule to appear on the radio show of radical leftist Mike Malloy's radio show on January 12. Malloy showered Maddow with praise about how she was simply the best on the tube. Maddow returned the favor with this jaw-dropper:
"I love your dark thoughts. We all love you for your dark thoughts."
(Audio here.) So Maddow suggested she deeply loves hateful talk niblets like these:
Andy Barr at Politico shamelessly slanted the fuss over Haiti hot talk on Friday, insisting it was only about Pat Robertson and Rush Limbaugh, and slamming NewsBusters as one of the "very few" sites defending Rush’s Haiti commentary.
The story was featured on the Yahoo! home page on Friday with a picture of Limbaugh and the headline "Limbaugh criticized." Barr insisted:
John Amato from the left-leaning website Crooks and Liars added that "with thousands of people dead already and as the suffering continues in Haiti, Limbaugh and his ilk only care about one thing: destroying Obama."
The conservative media watchdog site Newsbusters stepped up to defend Limbaugh, saying his comments were not put in proper context, but very few others are backing the conservative firebrand’s latest controversial remarks.
Left-wing talker Stephanie Miller inaccurately claimed on CNN’s Larry King Live on Thursday that former President Clinton “put the Cole bombers in jail.” Miller also predictably blasted former President Bush for not “taking responsibility for 9/11,” in contrast to President Obama’s recent acceptance of responsibility for intelligence failures prior to the attempted underwear bombing on Christmas [audio clip from the segment available here].
Host Larry King first turned to the leftist talk show host during a panel discussion which began 12 minutes into the 9 pm Eastern hour: “Stephanie, the President said the buck stops with him. Was that a good move today?” Miller immediately made her full Bush Derangement Syndrome apparent in her response:
MILLER: Well, it’s certainly a different move than we ever heard in the Bush administration. I never heard anybody taking responsibility for 9/11, for Katrina. I thought he stepped to the plate. And I couldn’t disagree with Paul Bremer [who appeared in the previous segment] more, Larry. I think he [Obama] is prosecuting the exact same way President Bush prosecuted the shoe bomber, Richard Reid, as a criminal. You don’t want to make them holy warriors. You want to prosecute them as what they are and that’s criminals, and that’s what Clinton did when he put the previous- you know, Cole bombers in jail, instead of letting them get away, like Osama bin Laden.
Hate-filled left-wing talker Mike Malloy was at it again last night (see our full archive on him here), hurling hateful invective against conservative talk radio host and author Michael Reagan.
The occasion? Malloy took perverse delight in 31-year-old Reagan son Cameron's recent arrest by Los Angeles police. The incident, Malloy declared, was sure fire proof of how "these right-wingers so pollute and destroy their own families."
Of course, Malloy had no evidence to back his claim, and even though he's never met the man nor does he "ever want to," Malloy lashed out at Michael Reagan as "an absolute ghoul" and "sick bastard."
But perhaps the most astonishing part of his screed is that Malloy was not just content to bash Reagan personally and politically, but that in doing so he threw in a gratuitous and mean-spirited attack on the institution of adoption (emphasis Malloy's):
Suffice it to say, liberal radio host Ed Schultz of the exceedingly short fuse was mightily steamed.
Schultz on Tuesday celebrated the sixth anniversary of his radio show, the top-rated of any libtalker in the country, and among his guests was Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., introduced by Schultz as "a guiding light for me for a long, long time and a great friend."
Whereupon in the course of their nine-minute conversation, Dorgan kept alleged buddy Schultz in the dark about Dorgan's plan to retire from the Senate, major news regardless of where one sits on the spectrum.
Update (Ken Shepherd, Managing Editor, 11:30 p.m. EST): A few minutes ago, Ebert tweeted the following apology on his Twitter feed: "I feel bad about my cheap Limbaugh jokes. Sincere apologies to Rush and you folks. He said he was fine but that's no excuse." # # #
In a demonstration of Hollywood's quintessentially intolerant hatred of conservatives, film critic Roger Ebert took to the Twitterverse on Saturday to mock Rush Limbaugh and his sudden trip to a Hawaii hospital (h/t Big Hollywood headlines).
Ebert was hardly alone in rejoicing Limbaugh's hospital visit--and distressed when he was given a clean bill of health. Liberals nationwide let loose the vitriol, some--including members of the hate-stricken mobs at Daily Kos and DU, as reported by P.J. Gladnick--simply wished he would expire.
For his part, Ebert fell short of calling for Limbaugh's death, and offered only lame fat jokes and implications of racism. Some of the juicier tweets:
UPDATE: Sources tell NewsBusters Limbaugh-Rogers wedding slated for June 2010, which was reported as July 4, 2010 by Behar.
It's probably no surprise, but conservative talker Rush Limbaugh isn't going to get a break from the liberal cheap shot artists on cable television in the wake of the news he will be getting married to Kathryn Rogers on July 4, 2010.
"All right - let's move on to Rush Limbaugh, ok," Behar said. "Reportedly he set the date for his fourth wedding, July 4th - how patriotic of him. Isn't he patriotic? And the lucky lady is named Kate Rogers. Isn't that - so are you happy for him? I guess anyone can find love, right?"
Perhaps there is something obstructing the view overlooking Rockefeller Plaza, where MSNBC broadcasts "Countdown" nightly because the show's host, Keith Olbermann fails to see the existence of a news media with a liberal bias.
On MSNBC's Dec. 14 broadcast of "Countdown," Olbermann came to the defense of NBC's "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" executive producer and noted left-winger Dick Wolf. The Dec. 9 episode of Wolf's program featured a killer who targeted the children of illegal immigrants and in that episode, one of the characters, played by John Larroquette, blamed conservatives "like Bill O'Reilly, Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck" for inciting violence against immigrants. That prompted O'Reilly on Dec. 10, the next broadcast of the Fox News Channel's "The O'Reilly Factor," to fire back at Wolf.
And that led Olbermann to respond to O'Reilly, five days later, which deteriorated into Olbermann making the seemingly laughable assertion there is no such thing as the liberal media. Olbermann began his tirade by attacking Andrew Breitbart, who is launching a Web site called "Big Journalism," which will take on "the Democratic-media complex."
Schultz courageously told listeners Aug. 8 that "I don't mind telling people that they're stupid." (The examples cited here all come from Schultz's radio show, with links to audio embedded in the quotes).
As for Fox News, Schultz opined Oct. 21, "if you think they're legitimate, you're stupid."