It’s a consistent line from the left: conservative talk radio is a cauldron of hate. In the Clinton years, a CBS News promo set out to warn the public about the dangers of Gordon Liddy: "The words are shocking... What he says may not be illegal, but is it dangerous? Has free speech gone too far? Hate radio under fire, and firing back."
It is an unmistakable, unquestionable, resoundingly unequivocal exercise in liberal hypocrisy. The airwaves are now filled with the meanest, most insulting, most dishonest ad hominems in history. They are coming from left-wing talk show hosts.
And from CBS & Co.? Dead silence.
Take Ed Schultz, the closest thing the liberals have to a talk-radio star. He comes unglued when he talks of Rush. On July 15, he uncorked this rant: "Apparently the drug-ridden loser Rush Limbaugh, he thinks because he’s got a lot of money and a lot of stations that he's a success in life, the guy that can't hear because he did so many drugs and had no self-discipline and character has now taken his first shot at me on ‘The Ed Show’ on MSNBC. I love it!"
Desperately hoping to capitalize on their sole star's newfound celebrity, Air America Media has renewed Rachel Maddow's contract and given her a coveted -- and rarely seen -- single-hour radio show during morning drive.
"Rachel is a unique talent with an unlimited future," said Air America CEO Bennett Zier in an email press release. "We are delighted that Air America remains her radio home."
Maddow's morning show starts Feb. 2, its time unmentioned in the press release, simultaneous with "The Ron Reagan Program" expanding from one to three hours weekdays from 6-9 p.m., where it will absorb Maddow's current two hours in the Air America lineup.
"We're elated with Maddow's continued commitment to Air America," said Air America senior vice president Bill Hess. "As millions of Americans now know, Rachel has become a breakout star and our affiliates and listeners will continue to benefit from her wit, intelligence and insight."
Michael Smerconish is thinking of voting for Obama. The Philly talk radio host let it be known while subbing for Dan Abrams on tonight's "Verdict" on MSNBC. He actually did so, chatting with Ron Reagan, while criticizing Obama's flip-flops. But the bottom line is the bottom line.
SMERCONISH: I want to think big picture, and I want to do so by showing you a piece of that which was published in today's Washington Post by Charles Krauthammer, if we can put that up on the screen:
The truth about Obama is uncomplicated. He is just a politician . . . When it's time to throw campaign finance reform, telecom accountability, NAFTA renogiation or Jeremiah Wright overboard, Obama is not sentimental. He does not hesitate. He tosses lustily . . . By the time he's finished, Obama will have made the Clintons look scrupulous.
That's Charles Krauthammer. Ron, I voted for the first time in 1980 for your dad. I have never voted for a Democrat for president. I voted for plenty of Democrats, but never for president. I've not ruled it out in this cycle, because I like this guy. But the events of the last 10 days or so make him seem status quo, make him seem like just a run-of-the-mill politician.