The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

01 June 2005

Rush Offers Sharpton Talk Hosting Help

The Rush And Al Show

What Explains This Peculiar Pairing?


The Reverend Al Sharpton's fledgling talk radio effort, not yet even off the ground, just got a huge boost from the least likely place imaginable: Rush Limbaugh.

Limbaugh is offering coaching assistance to Sharpton, as he's apparently been invited to guest-host Rush's show for 30 minutes at a time, while being critiqued along the way by the man himself.

Is the man-of-many-cigars serious about making Al "the Limbaugh of the left"? According to the Lloyd Grove of the New York Daily News, the answer is apparently yes.

It's a great way to make a new talk show host a nervous wreck, but at the same time, it's a huge promotional coup for Sharpton's national syndication effort, that just days ago appeared hopeless. Last week I addressed Sharpton's uphill battle here.



Rev. Al Sharpton, Agence-France Presse Photo Via New York Times


What explains this oddest of political and broadcast pairings? And why are a number of Republicans so fascinated with Sharpton, anyway?

For Limbaugh, this is a monumental ego trip, but one he's frankly entitled to. He can show that liberal talk radio can only succeed with his help, while Sharpton gets talk radio credibility and exposure.

Limbaugh sees Sharpton as perhaps the most promising liberal talk radio prospect, while the Radio Equalizer believes his topical range will be too limited, even if his public speaking skills are superb.

To his credit, Rev. Sharpton is smart enough to accept the "offer" of assistance, whether it was made in jest or not, he saw the potential. Would Franken or any of the Air America hosts seize this opportunity?


Rush Limbaugh.com


Very few talk show hosts are willing to accept coaching of any kind, due to the huge egos necessary for survival in this shark-infested medium.

That's right, an inflated sense of self-worth, or at least the ability to portray that quality on the air, is a job requirement in talk radio.

For Sharpton to submit to this kind of advice voluntarily, quite frankly takes guts. Most hosts would rather have multiple root canals performed by untrained Siberian dentists, than an "air-check" session with management, where tapes are played back in the office and critiqued.

He still faces a tough effort, Limbaugh backing or not, to gain station "clearances" (industry lingo for picking up a national show). As I pointed out previously, Air America seems to be banking on Jerry Springer to reverse its fortunes, even if results so far are poor.

Other liberal stations have recently solidified their lineups, it seems unlikely they would so quickly make room for Sharpton's new afternoon program.

I've long wondered why Sharpton has so many Republican friends, it sure makes many on the left increasingly suspicious. In his presidential campaign, liberals pounded on the fact that Al was getting monetary contributions from a few GOP supporters.

This may seem like an oversimplification, but I think it comes to this: Sharpton is nice to conservatives, where Franken and others are hostile. That might seem silly, but it's also human nature. I have liberal friends and enemies, so do other conservatives.

If I had my choice between lunch with Franken, or Sharpton, I know which one I'd choose, don't you? Which one would be fun?

The Tawana Brawley hoax, where a young black teen accused several white males of rape in New York, with Sharpton at the center of the scandal, is in the distant past (1987, anyway). Since then, Al's been highly skilled at reinventing himself for the national stage.

Now, the political campaign looks like it was a brilliant idea, rather than a waste of time and money.

We'll continue to follow the twists and turns of this strange story as they occur. Thanks to Lloyd Grove for making it so entertaining.


40 Comments:

  • I also think that Rush and others are fearful of the return of the "Fairness Doctrine." I honestly believe that most of the conservative talk show hosts would like to see some liberal succeed. We know how much liberals hate the market place and so far the only way they can succeed is through government intervention.

    Oh, and don't forget the whole incident when Sharpton riled up a gang of thugs that ended up torching some Koreans store and killing a few people. I'm not sure how long ago that was.

    By Blogger RUMPLEMINTZ, at 01 June, 2005 19:45  

  • Al Sharpton is not a liberal. He is anything that is $$$$. Also, he got funding from republicans for his runs for office. Not matter, lib or repub, he is a two faced disaster and has distracted people from very important issues in the black communities, in my oppinion. I will never forget Tawan Brawley.

    ***FYI

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 02 June, 2005 18:40  

  • "Would Franken or any of the Air America hosts seize this opportunity?"

    How do you know they're not? Franken is good friends with G. Gordon Liddy. They sometimes do discussions that air on both their shows.

    One would have to be a complete idiot to be on Limbaugh's or O'Reilly's show. They control the venue, and all you're going to do is set yourself up to look like an idiot or an Alan Colmes.

    Next time you make blanket statements like you just did, you might want to check with the people you target to see if it's true or not.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 03 June, 2005 09:12  

  • I don't listen to Limbaugh often these days as he seems to be nothing more than a Republican mouthpiece rather than a host who will fight liberals regardless of whether they have an R or D to their name.

    However with Limbaugh doing this it does make him a traitor to the entire cause. He has always said that he had conservatism in his heart and that this job was a way to express that conservatism in an interesting and often humorous matter (before Limbaugh it was only the liberals who used satire to promote their views).

    One of the reasons conservatives have been historical failed is too many conservatives have constantly put their business interests ahead of promoting their views. This of course was shortsighted even from a business sense since as more and more of the liberal policies got enacted into law it did hurt their businesses in the end. But their view was that business is business and if by helping the liberals always them to make a quick buck well business is business.

    I have often looked the other way with Limbaugh. His recent scandals with perscription drugs I just thought well no one is perfect and it was the doctor's fault for getting him adicted.

    But now, with Limbaugh turning his back on all he claimed he supported I feel no reason to support him. For him to help any liberal makes him a traitor. The fact that this liberal is Sharpton, someone whose lies caused the deaths of people, only furthers the disgrace.

    Limbaugh can go to hell. I hope they throw the book on him in the drug case and he dies of a drug overdose in prison.

    By the way, for those who don't remember The Crown Heights Riot happened in August 1991.

    Sharpton delivered the eulogy at the funeral of Gavin Cato, a black boy from Crown Heights who was killed when a car in a Hasidic rabbi's motorcade accidentally veered off the road and hit him. In retaliation, a gang of black youths stabbed a rabbinical student to death, and black-Jewish tensions ran high. Sharpton said of Cato's death: "The world will tell us he was killed by accident. Yes, it was a social accident. ... It's an accident to allow an apartheid ambulance service in the middle of Crown Heights. ... Talk about how Oppenheimer in South Africa sends diamonds straight to Tel Aviv and deals with the diamond merchants right here in Crown Heights. The issue is not anti-Semitism; the issue is apartheid. ... All we want to say is what Jesus said: If you offend one of these little ones, you got to pay for it. No compromise, no meetings, no kaffe klatsch, no skinnin' and grinnin'. Pay for your deeds."

    Of course I will never forget the case of Tawana Brawley. In 1987, a 15-year-old black girl named Tawana Brawley went missing and was found four days later covered in dog feces and with racial slurs written on her body. She claimed that at least two and possibly six white men, one of them carrying a badge, had repeatedly raped her in the woods in upstate New York. Sharpton took up Brawley's cause and defended her refusal to cooperate with prosecutors, saying that asking her to meet with New York's attorney general (who had been asked by Gov. Mario Cuomo to supervise the investigation) would be like "asking someone who watched someone killed in the gas chamber to sit down with Mr. Hitler." According to the Associated Press, Sharpton and Brawley's lawyers asserted "on 33 separate occasions" that a local prosecutor named Steven Pagones "had kidnapped, abused and raped" Brawley. There was no evidence, and Pagones was soon cleared. Sharpton then accused a local police cult with ties to the Irish Republican Army of perpetrating the alleged assault. The case fizzled when a security guard for Brawley's lawyers testified that the lawyers and Sharpton knew Brawley was lying. A grand jury investigation concluded in late 1988 that Brawley "was not the victim of forcible sexual assault" and that the whole thing was a hoax. The report specifically exonerated Pagones, and in 1998 Pagones won a defamation lawsuit against Sharpton, Brawley, and Brawley's lawyers. Sharpton was ordered to pay Pagones $65,000. Johnnie Cochran and other Sharpton benefactors subsidized the payment.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 03 June, 2005 11:55  

  • The only justification I guess that Limbaugh could give would be that he wanted Al Sharpton to succeed because if Al Sharpton succeeds he will say crazy things and people can see how radical liberals are.

    However, this excuse would be like if a radio host in the 1930s said that he wanted to get Hitler as a talk show host so he should show how evil Hitler and the Nazis are.

    Sharpton is too skilled at "reinventing" himself to say things that are too radical these days. The stuff that he said in the past was a way to gain local support in the black community but now he is structuring himself to a larger target audience.

    And perhaps I am a pessimist but I have always felt that if you help some liberal politican who is really extreme in the expectation that he or she won't be elected by the general public, you might find out that the person actually wins the general election.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 03 June, 2005 12:06  

  • Franken is good friends with G. Gordon Liddy? I hope that is not true for if it is that means one of them is being insincere to their audience.

    For no real conservative can be friends with a liberal. Perhaps they can be friends with some confused individual who votes liberal as long as they never talk politics, but for someone who liberal activism is an active part of their life, no conservative could ever form a friendship with for that person is evil.

    Having a relationship with evil is never a good idea. Even if the idea is to turn evil to good, it rarely happens that way. Never, Never Smile at a Crocodile. That goes for liberals as well.

    Never smile at a crocodile
    No, you can't get friendly with a crocodile

    Don't be taken in by his welcome grin
    He's imagining how well you'd fit within his skin

    Never smile at a crocodile
    Never dip your hat and stop to talk awhile

    Never run, walk away, say good-night, not good-day
    Clear the aisle but never smile at Mister Crocodile

    You may very well be well bred
    Lots ot etiquette in your head
    But there's always some special case, time or place
    To forget etiquette

    For instance:

    Never smile at a crocodile
    No, you can't get friendly with a crocodile

    Don't be taken in by his welcome grin
    He's imagining how well you'd fit within his skin

    Never smile at a crocodile
    Never dip your hat and stop to talk awhile

    Never run, walk away, say good-night, not good-day
    Clear the aisle but never smile at Mister Crocodile

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 03 June, 2005 12:22  

  • Being friends with a Liberal is like being friends with Adolph Hitler.

    I don't know how Hitler was like personally, though I hear he did like dogs and children.

    But say that personally he was a very nice and charming person. Someone who was willing to give his shirt off his back for his friends.

    Sure he led a political party who tortured and killed millions, but that's politics. So say you never talk politics with him but visit with him because he makes for good company and has always treated you like a best friend.

    So, could you, in that case, put politics aside and develop a warm personal friendship with him. As long as you just left politics out of it?

    Of course not. Even if you didnt talk politics with Hitler, politics part of what he was. Perhaps he was nice personally (I don't think he was but just for this example say he was), loves dogs and kids and all of that, but the fact that millions were being tortured and killed in his name you couldn't ignore irregardless of how well of a conversationist he was at parties or how good he had treated you as a friend. You would need to distance yourself from him as quickly as possible.

    And if you did have to meet him in a social situation (such as if you were a dignatary to the 1938 Olympics) the only thing you should do is to coldly shake his hand and just say Hello Mr Hilter (Hello seems rather neutral without appearing rude or undiplomatic).

    But you should never smile at Mr Hilter no matter how kind and friendly he may seem. To do so is like smiling at a Crocodile. Or like smiling at a Liberal, who is just a modern day version of the National Socialists.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 03 June, 2005 12:43  

  • You may very well be well bred
    Lots ot etiquette in your head
    But there's always some special case, time or place
    To forget etiquette

    For instance:

    Never smile at a crocodile
    No, you can't get friendly with a crocodile

    --

    This is the trouble many conservative legislators get into. They are too much the lady or gentleman. They are too busy trying to treat liberal legislators as colleagues instead of the enemy.

    But the liberals they don't play by Marquess of Queensberry rules and so neither should we. And if a conservative legislator doesn't want to get his lily white gloves dirty by doing what it takes to defeat the enemy then they have no place in policies irregardless of how correct his political views may be.

    Harold Hochstatter was a strong dedicated legislator in Washington State. He truely believed in conservative principles and would stand up for them.

    But he was a gentleman. He was in the legislature a little too long, developed friendships with some of them, but with all of his "colleagues" he would treat all them them with respect and afford to them the greatest courtesy.

    Oh, yeah, Harold was quite the gentleman. And in the end, that was his downfall. Made him politically impotent.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 03 June, 2005 13:10  

  • "Being friends with a Liberal is like being friends with Adolph Hitler."

    What an asshat statement.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 03 June, 2005 13:10  

  • "For no real conservative can be friends with a liberal."

    You sound like quite the Nazi. I'm sure Goebbels agrees with you.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 03 June, 2005 13:12  

  • Actually I am sure that Goebels would make a great friend. You don't become a great propegandist without learning how to make friends.

    Of course he would be an evil friend. Just like any liberal would be.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 03 June, 2005 13:21  

  • Don't mind me...continue the tennis match. This is getting exciting.

    And just for note...the old adage "Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer" seems to be relevant here.

    By Blogger Sailor Republica, at 03 June, 2005 13:25  

  • Actually you know who would be a great friend. Ted Bundy.

    I heard he had a great personality. Perhaps that is how he got all those women to trust him.

    By the way, did you know that he worked for Dan Evans, a Washington State Rino governor?

    (Rino=Republican in name only aka mainstreamer).

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 03 June, 2005 13:25  

  • "By the way, did you know that he worked for Dan Evans, a Washington State Rino governor?"

    Yes, Ted Bundy is your typical conservative.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 03 June, 2005 13:29  

  • ""Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer" seems to be relevant here. "

    I have never found that to work for a conservative.

    I believe "never smile at a crocodile" is a far better adage.

    Using your adage I guess Churchill and Roosevelt made a big mistake by not becoming close pals with Hitler.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 03 June, 2005 13:29  

  • "Actually I am sure that Goebels would make a great friend. You don't become a great propegandist without learning how to make friends."

    Like most conservatives, you seem to believe the ends justify the means.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 03 June, 2005 13:30  

  • Dan Evans a conservative?

    That's a new one.

    But you liberals always love to re-invent history don't you.

    Reminds me of the book 1984. "Those who control the past control the future".

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 03 June, 2005 13:31  

  • "Using your adage I guess Churchill and Roosevelt made a big mistake by not becoming close pals with Hitler"

    Unlike Bush's grandpa and the right wing hate radio man, Father Coughlin.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 03 June, 2005 13:31  

  • "But you liberals always love to re-invent history don't you."

    I said that Ted Bundy was a typical conservative. Don't any of you conservatives know how to read simple sentences? Bundy was a typical conservative because he liked to prey on those weaker than he was.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 03 June, 2005 13:35  

  • Maybe Rush is back on the hillbilly heroin?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 03 June, 2005 13:35  

  • I didn't say that I would want to be friends with Goebels. I am saying just the opposite. I am just saying that for all I know he might have been a fun guy to pal around with as long as we didn't talk politics while we did so. You know drink a few beers, hook up with some feurlines.

    Just like for I know Frankin might be a great guy to pal around with as long as the politics are set aside. I doubt it but who knows.

    Still it would be wrong to be friends with Goebels just like it would be wrong to be friends with Frankin because both promote evil in our world through their propeganda.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 03 June, 2005 13:46  

  • Stalin was just as bad as Hitler but you liberals actively supported him. And I am not talking about only during the war, but long before that.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 03 June, 2005 13:47  

  • "Like most conservatives, you seem to believe the ends justify the means. "

    That coming from someone who still doesn't know what IS IS.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 03 June, 2005 13:57  

  • "Stalin was just as bad as Hitler but you liberals actively supported him. And I am not talking about only during the war, but long before that."

    What a simpleton you conservatives are. Which liberal supported Stalin, with the exception of using his troops to keep the Nazis hunkered down in WWII? You conservatives can't seem to make a statement without lying like a rug.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 03 June, 2005 13:58  

  • "That coming from someone who still doesn't know what IS IS."

    As opposed to "immenent threat"? I long for the days when the worst thing we had in government was a little sexual hanky panky.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 03 June, 2005 14:00  

  • A few years ago Ed Asner had this to say about Stalin: "I think Joe Stalin was a guy that was hugely misunderstood." Asner added that "to this day, I don't think I have ever seen an adequate job done of telling the story of Joe Stalin."

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 03 June, 2005 14:02  

  • "Stalin was just as bad as Hitler but you liberals actively supported him. And I am not talking about only during the war, but long before that."

    Name one, liar!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 03 June, 2005 14:15  

  • "A few years ago Ed Asner had this to say about Stalin: "I think Joe Stalin was a guy that was hugely misunderstood." Asner added that "to this day, I don't think I have ever seen an adequate job done of telling the story of Joe Stalin.""

    From MSNBC:

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3396328/

    "AN ASNER-STALIN CORRECTION
    In my post on Ed Asner, below, I relied on an interview by Kevin McCullough, originally linked by Andrew Sullivan. Now McCullough has retracted his Ed Asner interview report. (Scroll to the bottom).

    In the new version, there’s nothing in the question about Asner playing someone he “respects” and Asner makes clear that he’s aware of Stalin’s murderous history.

    I don’t know how McCullough could have made this mistake, but I want to correct this as soon as possible. As Sullivan notes in his own correction, “McCullough has a radio show. Let’s hope he doesn’t distort things as readily on the air as he does in print.”

    At least with a weblog, things like this are easy to fix."

    Name one liberal who supported Stalin!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 03 June, 2005 14:19  

  • It's worth remembering that during the Hitler-Stalin pact, Hollywood's Communists followed the party line to the letter, marching against U.S. involvement in World War II. Overnight, once Hitler betrayed Stalin, the Hollywood Communists became the leading hawks in the industry, urging immediate intervention in the war.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 03 June, 2005 14:25  

  • Name One Liberal?

    Just one?

    Ok, here's one.

    Walter Duranty.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 03 June, 2005 14:28  

  • Here's another one.

    Roger Nash Baldwin

    By the way, you have proven my original point. I could never be friends with you.

    I assume you feel the same way about me.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 03 June, 2005 14:40  

  • "It's worth remembering that during the Hitler-Stalin pact, Hollywood's Communists followed the party line to the letter, marching against U.S. involvement in World War II."

    It's also worth remembering that the American conservatives who joined the Nazi party in solidarity with their kindred spirit, Adolf.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 03 June, 2005 15:07  

  • "Walter Duranty"

    Duranty died before Kruschev released the report on Stalin's atrocities. I have no way of knowing if he was a liberal or not.

    "Roger Nash Baldwin"

    Baldwin was a communist, not a liberal.

    Still can't name one?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 03 June, 2005 15:18  

  • "By the way, you have proven my original point. I could never be friends with you."

    Good. I prefer friends who have some intellegence, regardless of their political affiliation.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 03 June, 2005 15:19  

  • "Baldwin was a communist, not a liberal."

    Now theres a distinction without a difference!

    By Blogger RUMPLEMINTZ, at 03 June, 2005 15:43  

  • Baldwin was one of the founding members of the ACLU and its first director.

    Nuff said.

    The New York Times received a Pulitzer Prize for Duranty's reports from the Soviet Union protraying Stalin as an "agrian reformer". His articles in the New York Times changed the minds of lots of people in America who had been concerned about Stalin.

    Duranty was hailed at the time by as the dean of foreign correspondents and a man whose reports could be trusted absolutely. They actually convinced President Franklin Delano Roosevelt to give official recognition to the communist government that seized power in Russia.

    The New York Times has not yet, not even to this day returned Duranty's Pulitzer and the Pulitzer people have yet to revoke it not even after calls from the Ukrainian-American community to do so.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 03 June, 2005 15:49  

  • By the way, how many conservative friends do you have?

    None, right?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 03 June, 2005 15:51  

  • What makes these facts more than just mere history is that you can trace things forward from then to now and the same types of things are happening with the liberals now as they were then.

    Sure the names have changed, but the treason, the communist philosophy, all the lies, the tactics, still exactly like they were in the days of Duranty. Like the days of Baldwin.

    Actually some of the names haven't changed. They are the children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren who all grew up being taught by their parents to hate America and to further the goals set out by people such as Marx and Engels.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 03 June, 2005 16:13  

  • "The American people will never knowingly adopt Socialism. But under the name of 'liberalism' they will adopt every fragment of the Socialist program, until one day America will be a Socialist nation, without knowing how it happened."

    - Norman Thomas, Socialist Party Presidential Candidate and co-founder of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 03 June, 2005 16:17  

  • The quote above seals it.

    Game, Set, Match.

    By Blogger Sailor Republica, at 03 June, 2005 23:37  

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