The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

18 September 2005

New Mexico Paper's Hypocrisy On Talk Radio Issues

Bugs Bunny Was Wrong

Left Turn At Albuquerque Not Better Move

Sorry, Bugs Bunny, you had it right the first time.

Don't take that left turn at Albuquerque, or you might end up as hypocritical as the hometown Tribune newspaper. Their one-sided talk radio coverage would have the Warner Bros. character asking, "what's up, doc?"
Bugs Bunny
While quick to attack Rush Limbaugh and "right wing" talk radio this weekend, the Tribune has to date apparently said nothing about Air America's sleazy funding scandal, where $875,000 in taxpayer funds seem to have been diverted from an inner-city community center, to the liberal radio network.

That's despite the existence of a local Air America affiliate, KABQ-AM.

Meanwhile, Tribune columnist V B Price blasted Rush Limbaugh in a new piece:

Republicans have, of course, refined the art of deception and evasion of responsibility for the past 20 years, turning it into a political strategy of savage efficiency.

Everything's the fault of liberals, Democrats, environmentalists, "social engineers," big government and other domestic enemies who get in their way. Because of such enemies, they imply, government is made to oppress the strong - people like themselves - as it helps the meek inherit the earth. The strong are oppressed by basic fairness, because they believe might - especially financial might - makes right.

After Katrina, Republican operatives were, as always, locked into the blame game's major motive - to help their mighty friends in any way they can think of to smear and destroy those who need government help and those who want to give it to them.

Rush Limbaugh this week was heard, once again, to say that "liberals hate America" and are "happy" over the destruction of New Orleans, because it gives them something more to carp about. Limbaugh is merely the scorpion's tail of a huge Republican propaganda machine that has been working to crush its enemies by any means, fair or foul, since Watergate.

A search of the Tribune's archives, though, reveals they're more than happy to promote Air America when called upon. An example from March:

About 300 of the Franken faithful braved the aftermath of a winter storm to catch a glimpse of Air America's flagship radio program, "The Al Franken Show."

Comedian Al Franken and co-host Katherine Lanpher broadcast the show live from the National Hispanic Cultural Center in Albuquerque. In his typical dry and quick-witted style, the left-leaning comedian and political commentator interviewed Gov. Bill Richardson, University of New Mexico professor and former Oklahoma Sen. Fred Harris, New Mexico Secretary of Labor Conroy Chino, and Lois Meyer, a UNM College of Education associate professor.

Franken's show delved into serious issues Tuesday, touching on Social Security, Indian affairs and bilingual education, though the host cushioned the policy-laden interviews with his comic touch. "I'm a comedian first and a policy wonk second," said a jet-lagged Franken in a post-broadcast interview.

Franken and Lanpher are native Minnesotans accustomed to snow, but Lanpher exclaimed, "Just because we're from Minnesota doesn't mean we're shoveling!" Franken jokingly chastised the snow-trapped governor during a phone interview, shaking his head and remarking, "Santa Fe? What, that's like 60 miles away?"

The humor was not lost on the audience. "I've been listening to Air America and 'The Al Franken Show' since it first aired in Albuquerque," says Chad Perry, 50, a South Valley resident.

"The show's always informative and funny. And his Rush Limbaugh impression is excellent."

Albuquerque resident and Los Lunas teacher Melissa Drolet took advantage of a school district snow day to watch the broadcast.

"My husband and I are big Al Franken fans from way back to his days at 'Saturday Night Live,' " she said. Fans also seemed eager to see Lanpher, Franken's probing journalist co-host who often plays it straight against Franken's comedic antics.

How's that for a puff piece? Air America apparently doesn't have any critics in New Mexico?

While the paper twists Rush Limbaugh's Katrina comments, it can't quite bring itself to examine the facts about the sleazy scandal causing his rival network's sad self-destruction.

Need I mention how Limbaugh continues to dominate talk radio on New Mexico's longtime number one radio station, KOB-AM? In the most recent Albuquerque ratings, KOB held an 8.7 share, to Air America's 2.0, down from a 2.4 in the previous survey.

That puts Air America more than a few carrots short of KOB's conservative talkers.

Maybe that's what really has the Tribune so worked up.

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AAR/Franken by Darleen Click.


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