New York Times media reporter Jacques Steinberg interviewed conservative talk radio giant Rush Limbaugh on his strong opposition to GOP presidential front-runner John McCain for Friday's "Warring on McCain, Limbaugh Sees No Reconciliation." The interview was OK, but the response from the Times's liberal readership was vitriolic.
"Rush Limbaugh took his show on the road this week, forsaking his main broadcast studio in Palm Beach, Fla., for one in Midtown Manhattan. But the change of scenery did nothing to dampen the Republican-on-Republican smackdown he has been waging from afar against Senator John McCain, the party's likely presidential nominee, whom Mr. Limbaugh considers too moderate.
As he opened his radio program Wednesday, Mr. Limbaugh lobbed yet another grenade.
Doesn’t look like an olive branch to me. Writing in today’s (Tuesday's) Wall Street Journal, novelist and sometime Republican activist Mark Helprin (not to be confused with Time magazine’s Mark Halperin) takes a series of insulting personal shots at the radio talk show hosts who’ve criticized John McCain for his numerous anti-conservative positions.
Helprin, whose last big political job was working as an advisor to Bob Dole in 1996, calls hosts like Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity “hairdressers [who] can talk all day long to one client as they snip...the depth of their thought is truly Oprah-like,” even as Ann Coulter is “relentlessly crocodilian.” For what it's worth, Helprin’s Wikipedia entry calls him a “conservative commentator.”
Chris Matthews went off on one of his patented tirades on today's Morning Joe, imagining how conservatives would relish going after a President Hillary Clinton with a vengeance. Might Matthews, understandably, be short on sleep? He also bit Mika Brzezinski's head off for a harmless statement.
CHRIS MATTHEWS: Well you know a lot of Republican talk show people like Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, I think authors, successful authors, I must say, like Ann Coulter, they wouldn't be so unhappy to have Hillary Clinton to beat up for four or eight years, especially four years. And Mr. DeLay would probably love to have Hillary to beat up for two years and then win back the house in '10. I mean I could see the strategy -- sometimes in bad weather you let the other team have the ball. You elect to kick rather than receive. Let them have the ball in the Ice Bowl. Let them try to move it past the second or third yard while you come down hard on them. The people like Bill Kristol out there, the neo-conservatives. Imagine Hillary Clinton as president for a couple of months with about a one-point advantage coming into office? They will crash around her, hitting her with everything they've got.
I'm not talking about endorsing Hillary. I'm talking about raising money for her because apparently the Republican 'strategery' is relying on fear and loathing of Hillary to unite everybody.-- Rush Limbaugh, Feb. 7, 2008
There's nothing the MSM loves more than Republican in-fighting. And of late, conservatives have concededly given the liberal media plenty to gloat about in that regard. Well-founded concerns about John McCain's unconservative positions on a host of issues have famously led to much heartburn in conservative circles. And yes, Rush Limbaugh has been leading the charge in raising the red flag about McCain.
But that doesn't justify Diane Sawyer's utter, complete, 180-degrees-wrong distortion and misrepresentation of what Rush said yesterday about possibly raising funds for Hillary. Sawyer portrayed Rush's comments as evidence of continuing conservative discontent. In fact, they were precisely the opposite. Here are the facts.
Brian Maloney at Radio Equalizer has a shocking story to tell. On her Air America radio show on Super Tuesday, Randi Rhodes ran a commercial parody in which Mitt Romney supporters suggest they're going to go on a "killing rampage" if John McCain wins. He has audio, and the transcript:
ANNOUNCER: The following is a paid advertisement from Republicans for Mitt Romney, or mass suicide. If John McCain is the Republican Presidential nominee, it will destroy the Republican Party. We’re Romney supporters and we know. Cause, if you vote for John McCain, we’re going to go on a killing rampage. Hey, better dead then moderate.
REPUBLICAN CHARACTER VOICE: "Look, I for one don’t want to die in a hail of gun fire from crazed Mitt Romney supporters, but it’s better then nominating a man who opposed the Bush tax cuts. Hell, John McCain spent years in a North Vietnamese prison. A prison? That doesn’t make him a hero. That makes him an ex-con.
With Joe Scarborough away, the mice did play during the opening segment of today's Morning Joe . . .
WILLIE GEIST [facetiously]: David, I know how you like to speak for Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and the rest of that group.
MIKA BRZEZINSKI: He's going to the [CPAC] convention.
GEIST: You're the voice of that community, but can you make sense out of this? Are they willing, the conservatives, the Limbaughs, the Hannitys of the world, to concede the election, to not have John McCain be president, to take Hillary Clinton over them, just to take a principled stand?
Speaking at a news conference in Oklahoma, Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee floated the idea that the reason the vast majority of America's conservative talk radio hosts aren't endorsing him or John McCain is because Mitt Romney's investment firm owns a significant share of Clear Channel Communications, the nation's largest radio syndication company.
"Some suggest that the fact that Bain Capital owns a major stake in Clear Channel is on Sean's network, maybe there's a correlation. I don't know."
The Sean he was referring to had to be none other than Sean Hannity, America's number-two talk radio host behind Rush Limbaugh.
Fred Barnes has a new article out in The Weekly Standard on the origins of the surge in Iraq, but controversy has erupted in left-wing circles over an aside: "Rather than a turning point, the events of June prompted a fleeting moment of optimism. The week before Camp David, Abu Musab al Zarqawi, the al Qaeda leader in Iraq, had been killed. (Cheney has a piece of the house where Zarqawi died on display at his residence.)"
On Wednesday night, mad-dog radio host Mike Malloy referred to the Standard article by "truly certifiable maniac" Fred Barnes. "This guy is beyond crazy," charged Malloy."I'm sure he eats children's arms and legs for afternoon snacks. This guy is insane." As he described the Barnes passage that that Cheney has a Zarqawi-house souvenir, Malloy added: "I'm surprised that Cheney doesn't have a piece of Zarqawi's body."
Don't tell Joe Scarborough that John McCain's the stronger Republican candidate because he can attract voters in the middle. The Morning Joe host has depicted McCain as unelectable because of the opposition to him of two key conservative leaders, Rush Limbaugh and James Dobson.
Scarborough's comments during the opening segment of today's Morning Joe were prompted by an article in today's New York Times that included this line [emphasis added]:
Since his victory in the Florida primary, the growing possibility that Mr. McCain may carry the Republican banner in November is causing anguish to the right. Some, including James C. Dobson and Rush Limbaugh, say it is far too late for forgiveness.
JOE SCARBOROUGH: There are a lot of conservatives that I've heard grousing that have said "I would rather a Democrat win then John McCain."
Does left wing "View" co-host Joy Behar owe her success to the king of talk radio, Rush Limbaugh? At the very least, he gave her "the best advice" she has ever recieved. On the January 31 episode of the women’s chat show, Behar discussed a very friendly encounter she had with Limbaugh and recounted his wisdom when he urged her to "be bold."
"I used to work on the same radio station with him. I always credit him with giving me the best advice. He said to me ‘Joy’- after I got fired- he said ‘whatever you do Joy, be bold.’ He gave me the best advice I ever got."
Behar first began by describing her encounter with Limbaugh where he allegedly "squeezed" her "to death," "snuggles and nuzzles" her neck. Her fellow panelists seemed surprised about the cordial meeting and kind words about one of America’s greatest conservative icons.
Michael Medved has hurled the ultimate insult at Rush Limbaugh -- that he's acting like a liberal. According to Medved, Rush is thinking with his emotions, not his mind, when it comes to his criticism of of John McCain.
McCain supporter Medved appeared on Tucker Carlson's MSNBC show this evening.
Leave it to Rush to nail it. Here's how Limbaugh opened today's show, speaking of the way Bill Clinton injected race into the campaign with his comparison [view video of Clinton making his statement here] of Obama's South Carolina primary victory to Jesse Jackson's twin wins in the Palmetto State in the '80s:
CNN correspondent Carol Costello’s report on Thursday’s "The Situation Room" would have you believe that Rush Limbaugh and conservative talk radio have "lost influence," and the supposed proof is John McCain’s success up to this point in the Republican race for the presidential nomination.
During the report, which aired at the bottom of the 5 pm Eastern hour, Costello proclaimed that Republican primary voters have "betrayed" conservative talk show hosts, and the evidence that this is the case is John McCain’s primary victories in New Hampshire and South Carolina. She used a sound bite from former Republican Congressman Bob Barr to reenforce her point. Barr opined that McCain’s success is "a sign that no one or two talk show hosts really wield the influence that they did two or three [election] cycles ago."
Unless you've been out of the country without access to a television or a newspaper the past couple of weeks, you are infinitely aware that the media have surprisingly been coming down strongly on some of former President Bill Clinton's recent antics on the campaign trail.
A shocking line in the sand was crossed on Wednesday's "Hardball" when liberal talk radio host Ed Schultz actually called Bill Clinton a liar, and Chris Matthews seemed to agree.
Matthews began Wednesday's program:
Big fish -- Bill Clinton is campaigning for his wife today in South Carolina, playing the role of big fish, beating up her opponent, Barack Obama, at every stop. Is Bill Clinton helping Hillary or hurting her? Is he being effective or is he dividing the Democrats? Or is he doing both, helping Hillary and dividing the Democrats?... Let me go to Ed Schultz. Is Bill Clinton a plus or a minus for the Democrats? Let`s start with is he a plus or a minus for Hillary?
My friend Cam Edwards proclaimed he was going on a "rant" on Friday night on his radio show "Cam & Company" (on Sirius satellite radio and at nranews.com) about the latest example of the national media ignoring stories of armed self-defense. While the networks were charmed by the story of 14-year-old Michael Six fending off a burglar with a baseball bat in Arizona, there was this eyebrow-raising story from the Orlando Sentinel:
An armed citizen surprised four men who robbed him at gunpoint last week.
After being ordered to his knees, Russel Olofson warned the men that "they should think about it," according to an Orlando police report released this week.
A private investigator with military training, Olofson, 24, told police the robbers snatched his cell phone and a wallet containing his concealed-weapon permit shortly before 10 p.m. Friday outside Ridge Club Apartments.
Some Martin Luther King birthday events happened this week (the real birthday is January 15), and the official ones take place Monday. But on the 14th, wacky leftist radio host Mike Malloy charged that King was murdered by the government (then headed by Lyndon Johnson):
"The argument has been made that one of the reasons that the US government assassinated Martin Luther King Jr. was because of his speech at Riverside Church in New York, I think it was Riverside Church, where he came out fully against the war in southeast Asia and fully against the policies that were being perpetuated against the American people in general. He left his little safe niche of, oh, well, he's a spokesman for the Negroes, and stepped outside that and started taking on greater issues and so the United States government said, well, it's time to get rid of this guy."
American capitalism - it's so great even the Chinese Communist government loves it!
That's sounds like it ought to be a bumper sticker, but the January 16 "NBC Nightly News" advised it is something we should be cautious of.
Foreign investors have been on a buying spree in the U.S. stock markets - as stock prices have fallen with all the skittishness in the wake of the credit crunch.
"So far foreigners buying chunks of Wall Street has not triggered the same political uproar as a Dubai company's ill-fated effort to take over operations of U.S. ports, perhaps because politicians know the alternative could be painful," NBC correspondent Lisa Myers said.
The Air America artist known as "Lionel" reacted badly on his radio show Thursday when he discovered MRC president Brent Bozell wrote a column blasting his celebration of the San Francisco zoo tiger that killed a 17-year-old boy. He wasn’t apologizing: "Whenever the animals fight back and win, I don't know, I just like it somehow...it's fair."
Did anyone tell him they shot the tiger? He also tried to extend his remarks on rooting for the death of Steve Irwin, TV’s "Crocodile Hunter":
"This fellow that I hated, and it's tragic that he died, Steve Irwin...and that weird, bad-seed daughter of his, Bindi, that weird-looking kid...Remember when he held his baby, and there was a crocodile? I'm thinking, 'What are you doing?' and I'm saying, 'Come on, croc, get him, get him, get him.' Quit playing with these things....
The talk-radio host known simply as "Lionel" joined the Air America team in May, and he has demonstrated he belongs on the exotic fringe with the rest of the network. Most people don’t take sides when a zoo tiger mauls a teenager to death. "Lionel" favored the tiger. His blog declared: "If you shoot a tiger with a sling-shot, you deserve to get mauled. That’s just how it works." The New York Post reported several teenagers that were victimized by the tiger had slingshots, but that has not been confirmed by San Francisco zoo officials. On his show Wednesday, "Lionel" was even more explicit:
Call me wacky, but hurray for the tiger that killed the kid who was...taunting him. Now, I know this is not right...but let's hear it for the wild...I loathe zoos. I'm still cheering the fact that some stingray whacked that Aussie pain-in-the-ass Steve Irwin.
The Federation for American Immigration Reform, or FAIR, issued a press release announcing that their cost study on immigration will be released tomorrow during a news conference at Iowa's 2007 Talk Radio Row.
FAIR's press release states that “previous state and private studies over-estimated tax receipts and under-estimated costs.”
The details of this study are sure to be controversial, and the Des Moines Register reported last week that “immigrant-rights groups” are already critical and calling for the upcoming radio event to be scuttled.
Here is part of FAIR's press release promoting the event (bold mine throughout):
As soon as I realized that Maureen Dowd's column of today, "Rush to Judgment" was indeed about Rush Limbaugh's recent observations about Hillary's looks, I braced myself for the backlash.
Surely Dowd would seek to unload on Rush for having said, in commenting on an unflattering photo of Hillary [displayed here] that turned up on Drudge, "will this country want to actually watch a woman get older before their eyes on a daily basis?” Added Rush “men aging makes them look more authoritative, accomplished, distinguished. Sadly, it’s not that way for women, and they will tell you.” And Hillary “is not going to want to look like she’s getting older, because it will impact poll numbers, it will impact perceptions [so] there will have to be steps taken to avoid the appearance of aging.”
And so I continued to read, and wait, and wait -- for the comeback that never came.
Returning to the airwaves this morning after a seven-month exile, Don Imus seemed intent on demonstrating two things. First, that he was unequivocally contrite concerning the comments he had made about the Rutgers University women's basketball players that resulted in his firing. Second, his contrition notwithstanding, he wasn't going to change his irreverent ways when it came to the country's political leaders.
To prove his iconoclastic bona fides, Imus concluded his monologue by observing "Dick Cheney is still a war criminal, and Hillary Clinton is still Satan."
Listen to audio here [with apologies for the mediocre sound quality.]
But before ending on that defiant note, he took several minutes to describe his meeting with the women of the Rutgers team, and the way the entire experience had changed him.
In the musty but hallowed halls of the Old Media, the first item for target practice is often the New Media, the ones formed and made popular by the atrocious biases of their predecessors. The Old Media continue watching their numbers bleed away; continue to paint themselves as fair and balanced, despite the preponderance of evidence to the contrary; and continue to smear the New Media, especially talk radio, as the divisive haters and fact-manglers ruining civil discourse in America.
Former NBC News anchor Tom Brokaw is on the publicity tour for his new book "Boom!" about the 1960s. On the November 26 Laura Ingraham show, when he was challenged with his soundbite broadsiding talk radio as "instantly jingoistic and savagely critical" of war protesters, Brokaw quickly put his anti-radio rant back into rotation.
He suggested incivility was a "big cancer" on America, and talk radio is the number one tumor. Front and center in Brokaw’s pathology was Limbaugh: "My problem with the whole spectrum is there is not -- you know what Rush’s, what his whole drill is. He doesn’t want to hear another point of view. Except his."
Wash, spin, rinse, spin. Phone, spin, report, spin, poll, spin. The similarities between the work of the mainstream media and a laundry machine are striking. Yet there is nothing about the cycle -- the spin-report-poll-spin cycle -- that does for political events what detergent does for your boxers or briefs.
The media, as One, spend days or weeks bashing someone or something they do not like. They then conduct a poll to prove to you that they were right all along. In a campaign season, their one-sided coverage is calculated, then executed to produce a result. It’s not about reporting the events, it’s about changing the prevailing view.
And the polls -- such as the ones by the media, which are not independent surveys like those undertaken by the likes of Rasmussen or Gallup -- aren’t intended as much to gauge the public view of a candidate or events as they are to reinforce that which they have “reported”, or provide the media guidance on how effective their spinning of the news has been.
National Public Radio's arts-and-culture show "Fresh Air" recently displayed how its leftist ideology trumps artistic judgment, especially when it comes to movies designed to get America out of Iraq before our crazed soldiers senselessly kill more civilians. Film critic David Edelstein lauded Brian De Palma's new movie "Redacted" as a "laudable artistic response to an unpopular war," even as he conceded the movie is terrible as a work of art.
Edelstein knew some people hated the exploitative display of Iraqi corpses at the film's end, noting that De Palma thinks rubbing Americans' faces with the collateral damage will get us out of Iraq: "I think most Americans are immune to those techniques, but I respect his impulse. 'Redacted' is a crude piece of work but it's the kind of outright agitprop that rarely makes it to the big screen."
Edelstein also claims the movie centered around savage rape and murder by American troops isn't anti-troops: "But it's an act of sympathy to suggest that soldiers on their third tours of duty in a place where they have no knowledge of the culture, where they can't tell who's on their side and who wants to blow them up, stand a good chance of losing both their moral compass and their minds." Here's the transcript from the November 16 review:
Americans would love the President Bush that Rush Limbaugh has had a chance to spend time with. That was one of Rush's concluding comments in a unique simulcast of his show that he conducted with Martha MacCallum on Fox News Channel this afternoon from 1:30-2 PM ET.
When Rush Limbaugh opened today's show by mentioning that the New York Times had relegated to page A19 the story of the ridding of Al Qaeda-in-Iraq from all of Baghdad, I actually thought he might be joking. Surely not even the Times could be so brazenly biased as to bury such a huge story reflecting the success of the surge.
But, sure enough, Rush was right. Page A19 is precisely the remote location to which the Times banished the story. And to further diminish the number of people who would learn the good news, the paper stuck this bland headline on it:
On Wednesday, nationally syndicated radio show host Mark Levin picked up and expanded on the story of MSNBC host Joe Scarborough lauding Al Gore, first reported in NewsBusters. Levin described "Morning Schmo," what he calls "Morning Joe," as "a program I rarely watch" and railed against Scarborough's declaration that "Al Gore wins" on global warming. The host also cited "our friends at the Media Research Center and NewsBusters" for bringing the comments of the "MSLSD" host to light.
Levin derided Scarborough's assertion that Gore has been proved right. He exclaimed, "We have zero control over [weather cycles] and in about 15 or 20 years, the cycle will slowly be pushing in the other direction and Al Gore and all the other freaks will be very, very embarrassed..." A transcript of the segment can be found below. Audio can be found on Levin's website (about 15 minutes into the October 17 program.):
Long-time NPR Morning Edition host Bob Edwards was dumped by NPR in 2004 after almost 25 years in the anchor chair. Later in that year, he found a new perch at XM satellite radio’s XMPR or XM Public Radio channel, where he hosts a daily hour-long show that re-airs several times. On Thursday’s show, he still sounded like a typical liberal NPR host as he interviewed ex-President Jimmy Carter, and his affection for Carter and his policies came tumbling out.
Late in the hour, the normally staid host got passionate, prodding Carter to explain how America’s global image was ruined by President Bush, and after Carter spun a long potential inauguration speech for the next president, stuffed with liberal platitudes, Edwards replied "That’s a great inauguration speech." He also complained that Carter was "hammered" for insisting on energy conservation and that Ronald Reagan ripped the solar panels off the White House roof, as if to say "Those wusses are gone" and now "we’re going to drill for oil." He also snorted that leaders like Bush weren’t really leaders, because they didn’t tell the "truth" like Carter did.