I always look forward to Mike Papantonio's appearances on radio, since he invariably says something that leaves me shaking my head in bemusement and pity.
Papantonio, an attorney and co-host of the "Ring of Fire" radio show, was guest hosting on Ed Schultz's radio program Friday and talking about the legal challenge to the Voting Rights Act of 1965 before the Supreme Court. (audio clips after page break)
It is really getting old to hear liberal politicians and pundits complaining about conservative media as being destructive, as if the country would be better off returning to the halcyon days of the monolithic liberal media.
That seems to be the view of Robert F. Kennedy Jr., who complained about "the right-wing control of the American media, particularly starting with Fox News." During a discussion on HuffPost Live, Kennedy said, "Ninety-five percent of talk radio in our country is right-wing ... so a whole section of our country that's what they're hearing."
NBC's Today on Monday delved into the tabloid gossip of Robert Kennedy Jr and his late wife Mary Kennedy, who killed herself last month. The report featured documents "obtained" by Newsweek. Reporter Jeff Rossen highlighted RFK Jr's. complaints, including court affidavits claiming, "Mary's violence and physical abuse towards me began before we were married."
Rossen touted the grim details of Kennedy's complaints, reciting, "When he went over to the house, 'Mary was intoxicated. I opened the door and she leapt out of her bed and hit me with a roundhouse punch.'"
In the midst of all the media outrage over Rush Limbaugh calling Georgetown University law student and women's rights activist Sandra Fluke a slut, one would think political figures would shy away from using such words against their opponents, at least in public.
Robert F. Kennedy Jr. clearly doesn't think so for moments ago he sent a note via Twitter calling Sen. James Inhofe (R-Ok.) a "prostitute" and a "call girl":
... which helps explain why conservative radio continues to dominate the airwaves while Air America Radio, uh, went kaput.
During a recent appearance on Tavis Smiley's PBS show, enviro lawyer Robert F. Kennedy Jr., whose "Ring of Fire" show ran on Air America, made what reasonable souls among us might construe as a questionable claim.
Here's Kennedy responding to a question from Smiley on how liberals can better hone their message (video clip after page break) --
Robert F. Kennedy Jr. lobbed incendiary accusations at the coal industry on "Morning Joe" today in a segment that devolved into a nearly 10-minute advertisement for his new anti-coal documentary.
The left-wing environmental activist juxtaposed fossil "fuels from Hell" with "patriotic fuels from Heaven," though neither co-host Joe Scarborough nor Mika Brzezinski pushed back.
"Right now the rules that govern the American energy system were written and devised by the incumbents, by the carbon cronies, to reward the dirtiest, filthiest, most poisonous, most toxic, most addictive, and destructive fuels from Hell rather than the cheap, clean, green, abundant, wholesome, and patriotic fuels from Heaven," blathered Kennedy.
How about that, there's someone on the airwaves more unhinged than liberal radio talker and MSNBC heat miser Ed Schultz. And go figure, that someone happens to be a frequent Schultz guest.
But between his appearance on Schultz's radio show Nov. 22 and Schultz's MSNBC program several hours later, the caffeine apparently wore off for Mike Papantonio, a lawyer and co-host of the radio show "Ring of Fire," seeing how Papantonio dialed down his remarks from what he initially told Schultz.
Here's what Papantonio said during the first hour of Schultz's radio show Monday between noon and 1 p.m. while complaining about President Obama's upcoming appearance before the US Chamber of Commerce (audio andvideo below page break) --
Robert F. Kennedy Jr. must be having trouble remembering who is president these days. Kennedy spent much of his April 30 CNN interview attacking the previous administration for last week's Deepwater Horizon oil rig disaster and subsequent oil spill.
In an appearance on "Rick's List," Kennedy opined that as a nation "we should be moving away from our deadly addiction to oil. Not only because of the damage it's doing in the Gulf, but we are exporting, we are borrowing a billion dollars a day in our country mainly from nations that don't share our values."
But then Kennedy attacked President George W. Bush and the oil industry as a whole for the tragic spill still being dealt with off the Louisiana coastline. The founder of Waterkeeper Alliance, a left-wing environmental group, told Sanchez that his organization filed a class-action lawsuit on the behalf of Louisiana fishermen.
Host Rick Sanchez asked "What did these guys do wrong? Were they careless?"
Kennedy replied affirmatively and went on to attack not merely the single company (British Petroleum) responsible for the drilling platform, but the entire oil industry and the Bush administration:
"But because of the oil industry's influence on the Bush administration -- the Bush administration waved that requirement [for acoustic regulators used in Europe]. So it made the oil spills intrinsically much more dangerous," Kennedy claimed.
It looks like Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. is running for the office of chief censor. He absolutely hates the free flow of ideas and makes it plain in this Digital Journal article about his appearance on the same London, Ontario stage where ironically two days earlier Canadian university officials attempted to censor Ann Coulter. Kennedy, upholding that same spirit of censorship, blames the abolition of the Fairness Doctrine for the rise of political views that don't fit into his liberal world vision:
Hero of the right, President Ronald Reagan, is no hero to Kennedy. "He had the gift of making people feel comfortable with their own prejudices."
Many of the problems of today, Kennedy traced back to actions taken by Reagan. Kennedy believes the American people are fed a media diet of right-wing propaganda, and it "all started in 1988 when Ronald Reagan abolished the Fairness Doctrine. The Fairness Doctrine said that the airwaves belong to the public. They were public-trust assets, like air and water, and broadcasters could be licensed to use them" but they must use them in the public interest and to advance democracy.
If the Fairness Doctrine was still in place, "You could not have a Fox News," he said, nor a Rush Limbaugh, for that matter. But the doctrine is gone and Fox and Limbaugh are here. Quoting Pew Research, Kennedy said, 30 percent of Americans now get their news from talk radio, which is 90 percent dominated by the right. Another large number of Americans say their primary news source is Fox News, which Kennedy clearly believed would be better named Faux News.
This is just too funny! Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. has been on a vote fraud shtick for at least two years ever since he began writing about how the Republicans "stole" the 2004 election (somehow they didn't bother to "steal" the elections in 2006). This year he is claiming that the Republicans are again trying to steal the election via "voter suppression." What Kennedy means is that when Republicans dare to challenge the vast number of fraudulent registrations submitted by ACORN, that is somehow "voter suppression." So how to explain the very obvious false registrations submitted by ACORN around the country in such large numbers that the FBI is investigating them? Kennedy has an answer that will induce bellylaughs. Before we get to his money quote laugh line, let me set up the scene where Kennedy was appearing on CNN's Larry King Live last Friday along with radio talk show host, Michael Reagan. Here is the transcript (emphasis mine):
On this afternoon's CNN Newsroom, anchor Don Lemon interviewed Carolyn Lochhead, the San Francisco Chronicle's Washington correspondent. The topic was "Obamacans," conservative Republicans who support Barack Obama for president.
Lochhead wrote a recent article on the phenomenon and was brought on to discuss the mythical beast:
During June 30th's "Larry King Live," Robert F. Kennedy Jr., senior attorney at the National Resource Defense Counsel, made a head-turning statement regarding subsidies to the oil and coal industry, and not a single panelist challenged him on it. Not that one would expect King himself to do it; however, the other panelists included Chevron's David O'Reilly and ABC's John Stossel. Relevant portion of the transcript follows:
JOHN STOSSEL, ABC'S "20-20": I think a lot of it is silly. I think we have an energy policy in America and the world and it's called the free market. When oil is above 100 dollars a barrel, coal, as he's saying, becomes viable. We don't need Washington to do it. It's a fatal conceit to say the politicians can lead this. Higher prices will lead to alternatives.
Robert F. Kennedy Jr. wants to ‘abolish’ carbon usage and sees a direct comparison to the end of slavery.
According to Kennedy, “industry and government warnings” about avoiding “economic ruin” should not be heeded because abolishing slavery did not cripple the British economy as was predicted “Instead of collapsing, as slavery’s proponents had predicted, Britain’s economy accelerated,” he argued. Here's how he put it:
It would be quite the understatement to say that members of the media approved of Al Gore's Nobel Prize win. Sam Donaldson lauded Gore for doing something "very important." Cokie Roberts justified the former vice president's inaccuracies by claiming that even if it was propaganda, Gore made an important issue popular. Over on CNN, reporter Miles O'Brien, once again, declared that the debate over the subject is over.
Speaking of CNN, Margaret Carlson, a former panelist for the cable network, declared Gore's victory to be a "wonderful thing." The former Deputy Washington Bureau Chief for Time magazine also complimented the former VP for doing "a great thing" and referred to him as a "prophet." Just how do these journalists maintain such professional objectivity?
Saturday’s Good Morning America kept up the applause for Al Gore’s Nobel Peace Prize award, featuring a completely one-sided report from correspondent Bill Blakemore -- who said that scientists were “joyous” over the award to Gore because “scientists have been far more worried than anyone about global warming, finding it's far more dangerous, coming much quicker, than they expected” -- followed by an equally slanted interview with Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., who lectured an admiring Bill Weir that the media have failed to suppress any disagreement with his liberal views “because of a massive propaganda campaign by the Exxon corporation.”
Kennedy claimed: “In the scientific community, there was literally zero dissent. But at the same time, in the United States press, over 60% of the newspaper stories and, particularly, the television stories published, expressed some doubt about this issue. Why is that? The reason is because of a massive propaganda campaign by the Exxon corporation and by others -- but largely funded by Exxon -- that has been very, very successful at persuading the media not to cover this issue seriously and reporters simply don't go read the science.”