The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

07 October 2005

Pentagon Attack A Laughing Matter For Randi Rhodes


Air America Host: 'I Saw A Bird Fly Into The Pentagon Once'

Can Air America Radio endure a fresh set of headaches caused by Randi Rhodes, loose cannon network talk show host?

After past infamous on-air incidents that included a violent anti-Bush skit, it's hard to believe the struggling network can afford to lose additional advertisers. Seemingly unable to rein in Rhodes, Air America now faces the latest: a sad, fresh low on Wednesday's broadcast, where she appears to make light of 9-11's Pentagon victims.

If family members of terrorism victims were listening, perhaps they could let Rhodes know how her careless words felt.

Today, the Radio Equalizer heard from Mark Braukhoff of Colorado, who was twisting the dial and flabbergasted after hearing Randi's bizarre monologue.

We've examined the archive and created a brief transcript:

Randi Rhodes Show
5 October 2005
Hour One- Segment Two

(Context: Rhodes believes Bush is responding to the threat of Avian Flu reaching America only through military, rather than medical means. She thinks the focus is incorrectly on societal control during an epidemic, rather than prevention and treatment.)

(continuous laughing)

"I don't understand this, why don't the Republicans ever have a plan? I mean even if they're as smart as everyone thinks they are, wouldn't they have stolen the Democrats' plan?

"Cause you know, we do have one, our Senate Democrats are going to Asia, they're going to talk to the best scientists, they're going to find out (laughter) everything they can about Avian Flu and they'll bring that knowledge back. We'll be fine.

"Except Bush appropriates $4 billion for flu prevention, but gives it to the Pentagon. I don't get it.

"I saw a bird fly into the Pentagon once, it wasn't a chicken, it was a commercial airliner.

"Actually, I didn't see it. But I heard about it."

After listening to this segment several times, it seems Rhodes may be trying out standup material. Weak attempts at Seinfeld-like mannerisms are noticeable during the segment.

Actually, that's no coincidence. Take a look at this October 3 Billboard story:

Air America Radio afternoon host Randi Rhodes and New York-based concert promoter John Scher are working on a deal to put Rhodes on the road as part of a touring show that would mix comedy, music and political talk.

Rhodes tells Billboard Radio Monitor Scher came to her with the idea for the show, which would open in New York and move to other cities. She will emcee and do some stand-up comedy. The latter is something she says she's “scared to death” about, but Rhodes says she's being coached and is “getting my stage legs together.”

The show will also give some Air America writers and political satirists such as Barry Crimmins and Bruce Cherry an opportunity to perform. “They're genuinely A-list on their own and I want to showcase them,” Rhodes says. “I want them to be able to show people what they really can do.”

The middle segment of the show will feature music. While no acts have been confirmed, Rhodes says they will likely book artists with “a political conscience.”

In the Bush-Avian-9-11 segment, which the Radio Equalizer urges you to hear yourself, it's the tone and delivery that are especially distressing. To make a point about terrorism, there are ways to appropriately address the Pentagon attack, but this wasn't one of them.

For one thing, a certain level of reverence considering the death and destruction, would be productive. On Randi's show, there's no sign of it.

As reader Braukhoff puts it:

I think her statement and demeanor were pretty outrageous, considering the left has attacked just about every reference a conservative makes to 9/11.

Even more alarming, where one really wonders if the network is paying attention to its programming, Rhodes sounds especially disconnected during the segment. Speech is slurred at times, she's having trouble getting the words out and is quick to move into tangential subject areas.

Later in the program, Rhodes sounds clearer, more alert and in focus. Was she tired, did she grab a cup of coffee, or did the high wear off?

At this point, there really aren't many Air America advertisers left to scare away, but the network must wonder about Randi's true price tag.

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  • At first read it is shocking.

    Then I remembered how many on the far left (and Randi qualifies) see terrorism and 9/11. MIHOP and LIHOP and they think terrorist threats are a made up thing to distract from President Bush's "scandals". Many think that if there is terrorism it is as a result of something the United States has done. And for many there is distain for anything military.

    Like Rhodes they criticize President Bush for speaking about 9/11 in an informative and compassionate manner ("he's using it for political gain") but then turn around and make a statement like Rhodes did. (And still insist they are patriotic and they 'support the troops')

    Not all liberals are like this, but many on the far left are.

    It's ignorant, disgusting and revolting, but they refuse to see it and blame not winning elections on everything but what they stand for and how they talk and act.

    By Blogger Linn, at 07 October, 2005 03:40  

  • Leftism is the death of true humor and creativity. It is so compulsively bitter that only true believing lefties can dredge up even grudging appreciation because it feeds into their mindless rage. It's not so hard to believe that the entertainment and information media are crashing and burning. Lefties have taken over and they're incompetent to a fault.

    By Blogger Buffy, at 07 October, 2005 07:51  

  • Randi Rhodes is a talentless hack. She has no grasp on politics or wit to speak of. Most of her callers (the ones that aren't shills) are conspiracy whacko's who claim that the collapase of the WTC was an inside job. She's going to be off the air soon or maybe moved to the 1:00am - 3:00am slot that is reserved for kooky radio hosts.

    By Blogger Lidsville, at 07 October, 2005 09:48  

  • yah that was pretty bad, almost as bad as Bush playing where are the WMDs in oval office for his onlookers...both in poor taste....

    By Blogger TT:FD, at 07 October, 2005 10:09  

  • tt:fd

    re: GW's humor

    The phrase "self-deprecating" is lost on you, eh?

    By Blogger Darleen, at 07 October, 2005 10:56  

  • tt:fd
    It wasn't in the Oval office, it was at a roast.

    By Blogger Lidsville, at 07 October, 2005 11:10  

  • Linn...."Support the troops" hah? How do you "support the troops". My ass has been there, took 29 soldiers to Mosul, and brought 29 soldiers home. I will do it again, if my unit comes down on orders. The President asked every american to sacrifice when he spoke acouple of months ago at Ft Bragg, NC. How have you sacrificed for this country. You say you "support the troops", putting a bumpersticker on your car doesn't mean that you "support the troops". What was our job in Iraq originally? WMD, none found. Then take Saddam out of power and liberate Iraq, Done deal! Now its build their military, and rebuild the Country. When has the U.S. Military been used as humanitarian purposes? I know, I know...during the Clinton Administration in Bosnia, back then we didn't like that, why is it okay now? To me "supporting the troops" means bringing them home now. Okay Linn, how about you take my place?

    By Blogger Iraq War Veteran, at 07 October, 2005 13:02  

  • Rhodes is just a black hole, I caught her program a couple of times for a few minutes, and she is just unlistenable. There is nothing pleasant about her voice, it's like listening to a smoked-out drunken bum, and her rambles have no logical beginning or end that can be grasped.

    Plus her predicable constant Bush bashing comes off like a nagging Jewish grandmother.

    I think most listeners would feel better if they wacked themselves in the head with a ball peen hammer a couple of times rather than forced themselves to listen to a half-hour of her show.

    The libs are getting further and further out there. The Republicans are now firmly mainstream, and the loopy left has gone into a suicide spiral.

    By Blogger Tom C, at 07 October, 2005 13:09  

  • It amazes me how the veterans that are running for office in 2006, all of them are running under the democratic!

    By Blogger Iraq War Veteran, at 07 October, 2005 13:57  

  • Tom C:

    "The libs are getting further and further out there. The Republicans are now firmly mainstream, and the loopy left has gone into a suicide spiral."

    Keep Drinking the Kool-Aid

    Right Track 26%
    Wrong Track 69%

    Approve: 37%
    Disapprove: 58%

    By Blogger Robert, at 07 October, 2005 14:47  

  • At this point, there really aren't many Air America advertisers left to scare away, but the network must wonder about Randi's true price tag.

    Most liberals place a higher importance on agenda than they do on money.

    By Blogger FJBill, at 07 October, 2005 15:11  

  • Robert

    Can you produce the poll that breaks those numbers out from people who believe this country is on the wrong track because GW has acted too much like a liberal? (ie huge federal welfare spending, too lax on illegal immigrants, not facing down the liberal left-wing)

    Hmmm...didn't think so. The only accurate "poll" is the voting booth.

    By Blogger Darleen, at 07 October, 2005 15:44  

  • I've never actually heard an Air America broadcast, partly because until about a week ago, I didn't even know what station they broadcast over in New York City. But, after trudging through the first three minutes of the clip that was posted, I can understand why no one is listening. If I wanted to listen to incoherent rambling, I'd follow around some whacko in Penn Station, though the whacko might make more sense.

    Someone please tell me. After the first three minutes, does Rhodes ever actually make a point or does she just go into some diatribe about Soylent Green or something? Under what rock did they find this Randi Rhodes clown anyway?

    By Blogger Dr. T, at 07 October, 2005 16:11  

  • It amazes me how the veterans that are running for office in 2006, all of them are running under the democratic!

    Looking to reform it from inside. I wish those vets who are running good luck, because they're gonna have to compete against the likes SSGT. Jeffrey Peskoff, Phil Magnay, and Howard Dean.

    By Blogger Sailor Republica, at 07 October, 2005 17:30  

  • ha ha ha ha Robert.

    Oh yeah, the country HATES the 'pubs. They MUCH rather have the democRATS in there.

    That's why we have the Presidency, both houses of Congress and are INCREASING our control of the state government every election.

    The 'rats are reduced to claiming a "victory" if they only lose by a few points.

    ha ha ha ha

    Oh, and you're going to LOVE the new Supreme Court we are going to give you.

    ha ha ha

    See if your "well-loved" 'rats can muster more than 22 Senate votes against the steamroller we will be using to run over Kennedy, Schumer, Boxer and the rest of those nitwits.

    By Blogger Tom C, at 07 October, 2005 17:33  

  • Sailor Republica;

    It amazes me how the veterans that are running for office in 2006, all of them are running under the democratic!

    Looking to reform it from inside. I wish those vets who are running good luck, because they're gonna have to compete against the likes SSGT. Jeffrey Peskoff, Phil Magnay, and Howard Dean.

    What does that mean, "compete"..I don't think I said I was running for office. Veterans are running under the democratic ticket in 2006, can anyone answer me why, maybe its because of the republicans not caring for veterans as seen in there voting record.

    By Blogger Iraq War Veteran, at 07 October, 2005 18:31  

  • Thou, Howard, and Phil are all figureheads for the leftist wing of the Democratic party.

    I have this feeling that Vets are running as Democrats so they can take back the party from people like thou.

    Unconfirmed, but I'm usually correct on these things.

    By Blogger Sailor Republica, at 07 October, 2005 21:38  

  • The right is right!

    By Blogger Mary, at 07 October, 2005 22:40  

  • Conscientious Objector
    n. Abbr. CO
    One who on the basis of religious or moral principles refuses to bear arms or participate in military service.

    By Blogger Lidsville, at 09 October, 2005 09:41  

  • Is there a list of AA advertisers, or all they all local spiffs? It would be fun to get a list with contact info...

    By Blogger Becker, at 10 October, 2005 14:43  

  • I found that woman sickening in her tone, her delivery and her sarcasm. 9/11 is not a funny subject by any means...

    By Blogger Josef, at 10 October, 2005 22:15  

  • The Randi Rhodes tactics are no different than the Right Wing Radio tactics except for one thing. She uses facts. Yes facts. Facts are these little things that Republicans have decided to overlook or to simply invent and pull out of their asses.

    Randi does not have to use smear tactics based on lies and conjecture which is what Limbaugh, Hannity and O'Rielly use.

    When will you Republicans wake up and learn to think for yourselves instead of thinking the way you are told?

    It's like watching the Nazi propaganda machine all over again. America has heard the repetitive, angry, Republican goosestep for long enough. And you American citizens that follow along with the Stormtroopers should be ashamed.

    By Blogger Tim, at 28 October, 2005 15:30  

  • This is just silly. She said "a bird flew into the Pentagon," that's it. Randi made one off-handed reference to the Pentagon attack that might have been too flippant, but it's not like she said "it's a good thing the Pentagon got bombed" or anything. Stop blowing it out of proportion. Rush Limbaugh makes insulting jokes about Muslims being killed on a daily basis, and nobody is crying about that.

    Most of these comments are about how much you hate Randi Rhodes, not her comment. I don't like her either, but that's because she's the liberal equivalent of Rush Limbaugh: an arrogant blowhard more interested in the sound of his/her own voice than real solutions, willing to twist facts to make a lame joke, and taking everything out of proportion. The real problem is people on either side who use hatred and division to further their careers.

    Get some perspective.

    By Blogger Monkey Migraine, at 14 November, 2005 19:59  

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