Appearing as a guest on Tuesday’s Rachel Maddow Show on MSNBC, Newsweek’s Jonathan Alter repeatedly characterized the conservative wing of the Republican party as "radical" and "extreme" as he and host Maddow discussed the possibility that conservative talk radio host Bill Cunningham would broadcast his radio show from House Minority Leader John Boehner’s office on Election Day. Alter asserted that the Republican party became radical in 1994, and soon advised "progressives" that they "need to learn a little bit about what the stakes are" because Republicans currently have a "radical agenda." Alter:
You know, it began in 1994. That was where we got radical Republican leadership for the first time. The reason that they succeeded was that the moderate Republican leadership of the old days had failed to regain control of the House of Representatives. So the lesson after ‘94 was: Be radical and maybe you can come back into power. ... so the message is not really for other Republicans. The message is for Democrats and how much do Democrats care about turning over a branch of our government to extremists, to radicals.
Last Tuesday, when before a John McCain campaign rally, Cincinnati radio talk show host Bill Cunningham used Barack Obama's full name and derided Obama as “the great prophet from Chicago,” NBC and ABC pounced with full stories on the “controversy.” But after over the weekend, where at an event touted as “One Million for Hillary with Gloria Steinem” the left-wing feminist icon ridiculed John McCain's years as a prisoner of war, ABC did not utter a word about the remarks while NBC on Monday gave them -- sanitized -- a few seconds. A New York Observer posting on Sunday quoted Steinem:
“Suppose John McCain had been Joan McCain and Joan McCain had got captured, shot down and been a POW for eight years. [The media would ask], 'What did you do wrong to get captured? What terrible things did you do while you were there as a captive for eight years?'” Steinem said, to laughter from the audience. McCain was, in fact, a prisoner of war for around five and a half years, during which time he was tortured repeatedly. Referring to his time in captivity, Steinem said with bewilderment, “I mean, hello? This is supposed to be a qualification to be President? I don't think so.”
On the NBC Nightly News, which had run six Cunningham soundbites, David Gregory quoted only a small portion of Steinem:
CNN’s Anderson Cooper and "The Nation" editor and publisher Katrina vanden Heuvel joined the attack on Bill Cunningham’s anti-Barack Obama comments at a rally for John McCain in Cincinnati, Ohio, comments that McCain himself repudiated. Cooper began his "Anderson Cooper 360" program on Tuesday by referring to Cunningham as a "talk show pit bull" and criticizing his use of Obama’s middle name. "Tonight: ugly words from a talk show pit bull about Barack Obama at a John McCain event, calling him a hack, using his middle name as a slander." Later, Cooper described Cunningham as a "a two-bit radio host." On Wednesday’s "Election Center" program on CNN, vanden Heuvel went even further than Cooper. "This talk radio guy is very unstable. He went from supporting McCain to Hillary and then Ralph Nader in one minute."
Like an offensive-line blocking for their quarterback Chris Matthews and the rest of Wednesday night's "Hardball" panel game-planned to protect Barack Obama from what they saw as the coming "vicious" and "nasty" attacks from Republican sack artists in the fall.
On Wednesday night's "Hardball" Matthews, along with NBC's Norah O'Donnell and Newsweek's Howard Fineman continued to gripe about conservative talk show host Bill Cunningham's emphasis of Barack Obama's middle name of Hussein as Matthews worried: "Is this gonna be a vicious, almost ethnic fight, going after the guy because of his heritage, his name and saying, He's gonna sell us out.’ Is that what's coming?"
Joy Behar accused conservative radio host Bill Cunningham of wanting "to put out lies" about Barack Obama, yet the "View" co-host struggles with the truth about the Bush administration. The February 27 edition of "The View" discussed Cunningham’s "Barack Hussein Obama" comments and McCain’s subsequent apology.
When Sherri Shepherd claimed to "know fully the intention" of Cunningham’s repetition of Senator Obama’s middle name, Behar added "he knows, he just doesn’t care. He wants to put out the big lies, you know."
Bill Cunningham, the Ohio talk radio host whose remarks about Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama were deemed too "caustic" by the nation's media and John McCain is speaking out against the Arizona senator now.
"John McCain threw me under a bus -- under the Straight Talk Express," he told CNN in an interview, referring to McCain's pretentiously named campaign bus.
Cunningham also said that he regretted the fact that McCain was on track to become the Republican nominee.
With cover from John McCain, NBC and ABC on Tuesday night condemned the “caustic” and “mocking” remarks of Cincinnati radio talk show host Bill Cunningham who, on stage before an Ohio campaign appearance by McCain, dared to utter Barack Obama's middle name and call him “a hack” Chicago politician.
Though Hillary Clinton on Sunday, without upsetting journalists, ridiculed Obama with religious overtones (“Let's get unified. The sky will open. The light will come down. Celestial choirs will be singing!”), NBC's Kelly O'Donnell asserted: “Cunningham's nearly ten-minute provocative performance veered into more controversy when he parodied Obama as a religious figure.” Cunningham's supposedly offensive line: “When the great prophet from Chicago takes the stand and the world leaders who want to kill us will simply be singing Kumbaya together.” O’Donnell maintained that Cunningham's words “compelled John McCain to apologize” and she took for granted that he properly acted “to quickly undo any damage.” Damage the media assumed needed undoing.
On Tuesday night's "Hardball", Chris Matthews took offense to radio talk show host Bill Cunningham's criticism of Barack Obama, during a John McCain rally, as he called the comments "rotten business" and wondered "Is this now gonna creep into the debate, the discussion? This ethnic stuff and whatever?"
The following exchange occurred on the February 26 edition of "Hardball:"
CHRIS MATTHEWS: Well let's take a look at, we had some really rotten business today. Here's radio talk show host Bill Cunningham at a John McCain rally today.