The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

13 October 2005

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Message Board Provides Insight, Plus: LA Observations

While the real value of an Internet message board is usually quite limited beyond personal venting, the broadcast industry's version is providing key insight into the Air America Radio mindset.

Though is open to anyone, posters primarily come from the ranks of air staffers, management, salespeople and a few listeners. Its news-talk board has been ground zero for nonstop Air America spinmeistering, regardless of the latest flap's severity.

Why bother with message board postings? Our best guess: it's free and there's always a chance top executives and programmers might see it. While it's unclear from exactly where they originate, a few participants immediately pounce on the slightest shred of critical Air America news.

When it comes to defending the liberal radio network, no response is too outrageous. When the (distinctly non-conservative) Anti-Defamation League (ADL) recently criticized Randi Rhodes's comparison of hurricane evacuations to the Holocaust, it was spun by a particularly notorious poster as a right-wing Free Republic-led misinformation campaign:

What is "convenient" about the Free Republic blog campaign against Randi (nothing new with this at all - they also suggest talking points to hostile callers to libtalk hosts) includes:

1) A carefully edited version of the ADL letter which leaves out their acknowledgment of the absolute mismanagement of the Katrina relief effort (something that could have been negative to the Free Republic's joined-at-the-hip defense of the current Administration on just about every issue).

2) The fact that Randi, herself, IS JEWISH. The Free Republic wants conservatives to equate Bill Bennett's comments on black babies being aborted with Randi Rhodes remarks. Bill Bennett, the white guy, claims to be able to speak authoritatively on black social and crime issues and openly ponders mass abortions of black babies to keep crime down while Randi Rhodes, a Jew, compares government officials lining people up and pointing moms and dads to one train or bus, kids to another.

The ADL has a consistent policy of responding to anyone trivializing or even comparing the Holocaust to other world events. To them, this tragedy has to stand on its own as a singular event in our history. The atrocities themselves, the absolute anti-semitism that permitted it to happen, and the indifference that many world leaders (including our own) had towards stopping it. I can understand the ADL's concerns about it, and Randi probably will as well.

Conservatives and Republicans that seek to make hay out of this should be extremely careful lest a review of the past 40 years' history of the party on race and Jewish issues be examined. The boll weavil Democrats went somewhere when the 64 Civil Rights Act was passed.

There is definitely a credibility gap at play should the likes of Pat Buchanan, Trent Lott, or David Duke, all Republicans, start telling us that Randi Rhodes is an anti-semite or tell us Strom Thurmond's policies back in 1948 would have been the best choice for America.

Writer "Dampier" stands out from other relentless Air America boosters, with over 700 posts, in support of every network action.

Whether the company's being sued again, or has created some other new mess, this person can be counted on to create a fresh batch of excuses. It's impossible to think Randi could have mouthed off yet again, instead, it's somehow David Duke's fault.

Outright dishonesty aside, these posts provide insight into the delusional state of Air America's remaining defenders, whether inside or outside the company's plush new studios.

Speaking of Randi Rhodes
, it is true she's being sued over the content of her program. Thanks for the emails, the Radio Equalizer will have all of the details here, a bit later.

Ned Rice, writer for
"The Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson" (a very funny show seen weeknights on CBS) checks in with personal observations from Los Angeles:

I was wondering if you ever listen to the promos they air on the Air America affiliate in Los Angeles (KTLK).

I’ve noticed how they started out being pretty generic (“LA’s progressive talk”, “We’re all that’s left”, etc.) to the point now where they’ve become EXTREMELY aggressive in recent months.

The guy reading them is now openly badgering, if not hectoring, listeners to listen to Air America Radio more often, to make lists of places where they tune in, to tell their friends to listen, to have it on in the office, etc.

The segments have also taken on an increasingly desperate, angry tone, as if Janeanne Garofalo herself were writing them. They also seem to be running these promos with increasing frequency. Thought you might want to know.

And thanks for the invaluable daily coverage of Air America Radio’s death spiral. You’re the first blog I go to every morning.

Thanks Ned, appreciate the report from the field.

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  • Oooh... I am such a star now, I got quoted on the UnEqualizer blog... your source for the personal obesessive rantings of an unemployed former right wing talk show host trying to build street cred for his new career in right wing blogging.

    The most amazing thing about all of this is that I have no particular love for Air America as an entity. In fact, my favorite left wing talk show is Stephanie Miller from Jones Radio. But allowing these kinds of crrrrazy campaigns from folks like yourself on the right who evidently can't sleep nights knowing that Air America even exists makes it important to issue some reality checks from time to time.

    Most of your "exposes" are little more than your personal opinion, propped by "anonymous" (ie. fictional) sources wrapped around re-written accounts grabbed from the right wing press. In other words, it's a blog containing your personal opinions. No more, no less.

    That the mainstream media ignores most of your rantings is hardly a surprise. They are in the business of reporting news, not your personal opinions or hyped stories. That Bill O'Reilly would have you on and imply you are some sort of impartial media critic only demonstrates my point further. We all know how he feels about AAR.

    Let's discuss whether countering the Free Republic's campaign against everything to the left of Attila the Hun is "spin." You do a disservice to your readers in quoting me and not bothering to quote the Free Republic's own site which launched the anti-Randi campaign. Show us the fairness and balance that a real news site would and put that online.

    The entire campaign is an example of waving shiny keys to distract people away from Bill Bennett and on to Randi Rhodes. Good luck with that.

    Your summary of me is about as accurate as the rest of what you post on your blog, which means even Bill Bennett wouldn't take that bet.

    I do spend a great deal of time debunking your nonsense for the benefit of those who crosspost it over on the radio industry forum. After all, if you want to call it news, it should be able to withstand some scrutiny. It comes as no surprise that among the many others who have joined in that process, we discovered that most of the stories posted on this blog consist of:

    1) A kernal basically cut and pasted from an opinion piece or columnist, often from a Murdoch owned paper, that is then puffed up with the insertion of your personal hyperbole or anonymous insiders/sources which are almost never named and bear a striking resemblence to your own personal opinions.

    2) An opinion piece backed up by nothing at all.

    3) A quote from another right wing blog that chimed in with its own two cents after reprinting your own writings, which you then report as some sort of new news.

    4) Manipulated ratings, massaged facts, and frequently innaccurate conclusions based upon them.

    The radio-info board is filled with people who are actually employed in the business of talk radio. Many participants are very familiar with how the game is played, and your reputation there as a credible news source is just about zero. Anyone can run a one-sided blog, and from time to time people who either innocently believe what you write (or actively like to distribute it), will post it on that forum for discussion. The consistent result is that when the facts are checked, the hyperbole discarded, and the conclusions you reach discussed, we always end up dismissing what you have posted as personal opinion masquerading as news. That can happen in a two-way forum where all sides can be represented and the facts checked.

    It's mighty hard to be a "spinmeister" or "outright dishonest" or "delusional" in a forum where facts are checked. To get away with that, you need to run a blog that posts unsubstantiated opinion as breaking news, rumor as fact-checked exposes, and personal dislike of a network that gives people the jobs in talk radio you no longer have as a fair and balanced assessment of "talk radio" today. I'm glad I am here on the Unequalizer blog to get all that and more.

    By Blogger PMDampier, at 14 October, 2005 09:37  

  • I've been coming to this blog for a little while now...I guess since this whole AAR scandal started. I've kind of lost interest in it now, and will probably not be hitting this site as frequently as I have been. So, by way of "goodbye", I just wanted to comment on some things that have stood out to me during my time at the Radio Equalizer.

    1) Why is it such a big deal that Brian is unemployed? I've never understood what that had to do with the validity of his opinions or the quality of his postings.

    2) But allowing these kinds of crrrrazy campaigns from folks like yourself on the right who evidently can't sleep nights knowing that Air America even exists makes it important to issue some reality checks from time to time. - Why? What do you care what Brian thinks about AAR or its relative merits. If, according to you, no one takes him seriously anyway, then why waste the effort to refute him? Why not just ignore him, and leave him to his own delusions, if that is in fact what they are?

    3) To PhilM, who never failed to amuse me with his posts. Phil, after so many posts, I just gotta ask: do you actually have anything to say, or do you just come to insult Brian? I mean, come on guy - "Baloney"?!? That's what passes for discourse in your world? Why not just call him a "stupid head", stick your fingers in your ears and get it over with. Oh, and "ROFLMAO" - does anyone still use that? I thought that died out when AOL lost the Internet wars. In any case, here's my summary of pretty much every PhilM post:

    Baloney blah blah wingnut blah blah ROFLMAO blah blah idiots blah blah stupid wingnuts blah blah pathetic blah blah Baloney blah blah crap. I'll miss ya, Phil.

    3) I'm still amazed by those of you who can't understand that AAR stealing almost a million dollars from Gloria Wise is a bad thing! I know, I know, it wasn't AAR, it was Evan Cohen. Well, you know, that just might be true, and I'm willing to admit it. However, it also might be true that AAR is just as dirty as some have claimed. So why the knee jerk reactions? None of us really know who was in bed with whom, so why all the vitriol against anyone who even suggests that AAR may not be all it was cracked up to be?

    4) I read Brian's blog because he seems to come from the same socio-political bent as I do. Those blogs that don't - well, I just don't bother with them. Why should I? As far as I'm concerned, it's their sandbox and I see no reason to piss in it just because I don't like how they play. I think the same applies to all the naysayers on this site - you're never going to change anyone's mind, so why bother?

    5) Ironically, even though it was pure schadenfreude which started me reading about AAR's troubles on this site, I've actually turned into something of a regular listener, and have become quite a Randi Rhodes fan. It's weird - I detest the woman and her politics, but I just can't stop listening to her. Maybe it's the accent.

    Brian, thanks again for a great blog. I've enjoyed reading, and may do so again in the future.

    By Blogger RedCard, at 14 October, 2005 11:31  

  • This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    By Blogger Lokki, at 14 October, 2005 13:07  

  • One of the things that interests in Mr.(?) PMDampier's post is his claim of a vicious anti-Randi Rhodes campaign at I've spent some time there over the last several months, and while there's certainly no love lost for Ms. Rhodes there, I have the impression that no one cares enough about her personally to launch a campaign against her.... Perhaps Ms.(?) PMDampier could provide a link to back up his/her claims?

    By the way, as far expression of distaste for Randi Rhodes being used to used to draw attention away from Bill Bennett, doesn't it seem (noting the comparative recency of the two issues) to be more the other way around?

    By Blogger Lokki, at 14 October, 2005 13:09  

  • When people like pm Pampers makes statements like, " he hase little love for etc", it means he, "has a lot of love etc".

    When the wife says it's not about the money, well you know the rest. What a huge load of crap.

    Hey loser, Blogs are supposed to be personal opinion. That's why they are called BLOGS.

    Face it, you are a far right wing loser, hiding behind the dress you are wearing. Don't let your stepson see you, he'll want one too.

    P.S. Bill O'Reilly has EVERYBODY on that will show. Of course bitter liberals rarely show because they don't like questions they have no answers for. Kind of like their fictional views.


    By Blogger Owen, at 14 October, 2005 22:17  

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