The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

15 July 2005

Move America Forward Talk Hosts Visit Iraq

'Propaganda' Allegations Fizzle

Liberals Not Getting Ammo From Talk Hosts In Iraq

Move America Forward's radio talk show host expedition to Iraq must so far be a stunning disappointment for liberals.

Where's the blatant propaganda? The partisan "non-reality" of events there, as we were warned for days would occur?

As it turns out, the visit by American talk hosts seems more a morale booster, Bob Hope-style, than a sinister "radical right" plot.

KSFO-AM/San Francisco Morning Host Melanie Morgan. Photo by Chris Stewart, San Francisco Chronicle.

Luckily, they have the Plame-Novak-Moonbat distraction to keep them busy this week, or they'd be pulling their hair out trying to find fault with this (excerpted) email, just received from MAF's Melanie Morgan and Howard Kaloogian:

Hello everybody,

We had a briefing with Iraqi Lt. General Abdul Qader Jassim who gave us some outstanding news on the progress Iraqi forces are making to assume control of security operations in their country. He estimated their forces are 60% of where they need to be.

This is important, because until they achieve this, U.S. troops won't be able to withdraw.

Also, U.S. Col. Ben Hodges reported that 18 bases under Coalition control have been transferred to Iraqi control. There remain 91 bases under Coalition control in the nation that still need to be transferred to the Iraqi military.

We've spoken to a lot of soldiers and Marines and they all are so proud to be serving on the frontlines in the war against terrorism. They tell us that they think the work they are doing in Iraq is critical to keeping America safe. They are disappointed that some media outlets are so negative about their efforts here.

We'll be having audio clips of interviews with our troops published online at and also broadcast on the radio. You should make a habit of listening to Melanie's reports live from Baghdad every weekday from 5:00 AM to 9:00 AM Pacific [which is equivalent to 8:00 AM to 1:00 PM Eastern].

Log on to to listen to the radio program live - or if you live in northern California tune in to 560 AM on your radio dial.

Finally - the guys and gals here tell us that they really appreciate the cards and letters and care packages that are sent to them each day. It lets them know they are being thought of by the people back at home. And it also tells them the American people support them -even when news reports suggest the public has turned against our troops.

We'll write more soon!

-- Howard and Mel

Why was the left so worked up about this trip in the first place? I've been baffled, especially since other groups of hosts have already visited the country.

The onslaught really became personal, as Morgan's news credentials were attacked and one site begged Iraqi terrorists to kidnap the group!

Michelle Malkin did such a great job tackling the Morgan character assassination attempt, I felt no need to go into it here. But the whole story now demands an update.

Moonbat Congresswoman Ellen Tauscher, (D-Contra Costa County) doesn't feel conservatives should even bother to visit. Here's what she told KPIX-TV:

But Congresswoman Ellen Tauscher, D-Walnut Creek, has been to that region four times, and told CBS 5 there's nothing wrong with the coverage so far.

"I don't think it's distorted at all," she said. "I think it was a good idea to embed the reporters early on in March of 2003... I think that this White House apparently decides if they don't like the news they are going to change the news, or change who reports the news... They already have a record of faux reporters getting White House credentials."

What's the real beef (Bay Area version: tofu)? My theories: lefties feel they are winning the media war, convincing Americans Iraq was a mistake, bolstered by recent poll data.

Also, they're threatened by a conservative group partly based in San Francisco, their liberal elitism headquarters.

There's something else: this is one of the few times I've seen the ultraliberal Bay Area media give talk radio a significant amount of attention. Usually, they pretend it doesn't exist.

It took a decade to get the San Francisco Chronicle to admit that Michael Savage was on the air, by then heard on hundreds of stations.

Instead of the usual shun-them-and-they-will-go-away policy, Northern California newspapers and television stations actually gave them airtime, followed by these conspiracy-laden rebuttals in the Chron:

"And if they think that the military is going to let something happen to them while they're over there, c'mon," said comedian Al Franken, who hosts a talk show on the liberal Air America radio network that is broadcast in the Bay Area.

"That's how stupid these people are. They think they can walk around and talk to shopkeepers. They don't realize how dangerous it is over there."

Critics like Franken say the Truth Tour is nothing more than propaganda from the well-oiled conservative media echo chamber. They call it a velvet- rope tour that aims to re-inflate sagging support for the Bush administration's Iraq policy.

"It's extremely Orwellian," said Don Hazen, executive editor of San Francisco-based Alternet. "You can't spin the fact that there are people dying over there, and there's no light at the end of the tunnel and no coherent policy on how to get out. How is that a good story?"

It says a lot about the politically stale environment in one-party San Francisco and much of California today, where a battleground field trip by opponents is seen as "Orwellian".

Morgan and Kaloogian, a former GOP Assemblyman, sure do know how to get ink. I found many hundreds of references during a Google search today, a good chunk critical.

Many focused on the Sacramento GOP heavyweights involved in the group, such as at News Hounds:

According to, "The 'Truth Tour' has been pulled together by the conservative Web cast radio group and Move America Forward, a non-profit conservative group backed by a Republican-linked public relations firm in California."

That PR firm is Russo Marsh & Rogers, Inc. of Sacramento, which specializes in political campaigns. As their website states:

"When it comes to winning elections, few firms can match the success of Russo Marsh + Rogers, Inc.

"The experience of RM+R�s staff is one of the greatest advantages you get when you recruit the Russo Marsh + Rogers team of political professionals and campaign experts.

"In addition to our experience in almost every state in the nation and in countries such as Nicaragua and the Ukraine, the expertise of RM+R�s staff extends to every aspect of campaign strategy and design.

[Note: Click here for a list of the campaigns they have worked on, a list which includes George Pataki, the California Republican Party, George Deukmejian and George Nethercutt (Washington State).

They seem to have a penchant for candidates with the first name "George." Sal Russo, one of the founders of RM+R also sits on the Board of Directors of Move America Forward. Other Board members include Howard Kaloogian, Melanie Morgan, Buzz Patterson, Jed Babbin and Siobhan Guiney.

So it's a problem when campaign operatives work directly on issues of concern during the off-season? Yes, Republicans are behind this effort, what's the big surprise?

Meanwhile, liberals in the radio industry haven't stopped griping about the trip, particularly at Usenet Newsgroup ba.broadcast, longtime discussion board for Bay Area radio and television people.

It got so bad that one participant, nicknamed "Bang Vamburg" posted this yesterday:

I'm usually pretty laid-back on this board, but reading all the sarcasm directed at Morgan pisses me off.

The woman's in Iraq simply to get another perspective on the war--by sticking a mic in front of mostly grunt soldiers. I admire her guts for going over there, despite the posted assumptions that she's not leaving the Green Zone--which is crap (and which you'd have known, had you heard any of her reports).

Besides, of COURSE she's taking security precautions--did you think she went to Iraq to get her head blown off?

I'd like to see any of the sarcastic candy asses on this board make the 48-hour trip to Baghdad and endure 120-degree heat, the constant dust, dirt and primitive conditions--not to mention the obvious dangers--to get the soldiers' own stories. Why the hell can't you just wish her well? BV

Bravo, BV, that sums it up like nothing else. Have a safe trip home, guys.


  • Bravo, and good job to Ms. Morgan and crew.

    By Blogger Sailor Republica, at 15 July, 2005 02:44  

  • In all seriousness, has anyone ever seen any group of any kind self destruct as the liberal democrats are doing? The fact that they lost control of the house and senate in 1994 and continue to lose in every election has driven them to insanity. Perhaps, it's a good thing. I was just always used to TWO political parties.

    By Anonymous Duane, at 15 July, 2005 03:23  

  • I have a good idea. Let's send Ms. Morgan and crew to Africa now to cover the aids crisis. Oops. What crisis?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 15 July, 2005 04:04  

  • Brian: Thanks for the coverage.

    Melanie Morgan has been filing reports all week on the KSFO morning show and I can assure Al Franken that she is not spending all her time in the green zone!

    By Anonymous ira, at 15 July, 2005 11:58  


    The above common sense article about the green zone portrays a more realistic picture.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 16 July, 2005 19:58  

  • When your done listening to those radio announcers talk about feel good stories from the green zone read this via Drudge,,,7374-1698308,00.html

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 17 July, 2005 22:03  

  • Got slammed in the Huffington Post over this article. Link is in the very bottom right hand corner of page.

    By Blogger Brian Maloney, at 19 July, 2005 15:16  


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 05 August, 2005 14:30  

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