The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

30 October 2005

'Unhinged' Does Just That For Liberals


New Book Revives Critics, What's Their Real Message?

What is it about Michelle Malkin that so quickly works liberals into a frenzied state?

All it takes is a television appearance, published column or radio interview to enrage so-called "progressives". Why, reserved for her, these particular heapings of vitriol?

Certainly, ethnicity and gender must play a role, as liberal anti-Malkin hate closely resembles that of serial Condi-bashers. For non-conformity to leftist cultural expectations, both experience routine partisan media punishment.

And as can be imagined, some of the meanest attacks come from liberal Asian-Americans, who seem to feel there is some ethnic mandate to follow Democrats off the cliff's edge.

Crossing the line well into stalking territory, they've plastered her personal details all over the Internet and make a constant, bizarre and irrational fuss over her maiden name.

With the impending bookstore release of Unhinged: Exposing Liberals Gone Wild, Malkin's critics are gearing up for a sequel to the meltdown they experienced over In Defense of Internment: The Case for 'Racial Profiling' in World War II and the War on Terror.

If recent history is any indication, it won't be a pretty sight, likely to underscore the very topic of her new release.

In fact, Amazon "reviewers" are already busy trashing her book:

Unfortunately, Michelle Malkin is an American traitor and an enemy of this country. She doesn't realize that liberals have America's best interests at heart, while conservatives are selfish, and will lie, cheat, and destroy others to get ahead- witness Jack Abramoff, Ken Lay, Scooter Libby, and Tom DeLay.

Malkin clearly needs therapy or needs to be confined to an asylum. She's a crazy nutjob conservative who gives aid and comfort to terrorists with anti-American rants like "Unhinged." If you buy this book, you hate America- just like Michelle Malkin, who wants to destroy everything that's great about this country.

As regular Radio Equalizer visitors know, I've a dog in this fight: three months ago, Malkin and I teamed up to cover the (still ongoing) Air America Radio funding scandal and its subsequent developments.

When, on July 26, I realized the unfolding liberal radio network's corruption scandal investigation would prove impossible to cover alone, I immediately contacted Malkin.

Why this reflexive action? Having watched Malkin's investigative work from my January 1998 Seattle talk hosting arrival, where she was a rabble-rousing Seattle Times columnist, to her present-day material, several things have stood out:

--- Particularly difficult to maintain in Seattle's "good ol' boys" politics/media environment, a real lack of fear in taking on powerful sacred cows.

--- By strongly defending her positions, a well-established ability to fight off nasty criticism.

--- A stubborn investigative sense of follow-through, where a story isn't abandoned before seen to full completion, a quality found only in the best talk hosts, reporters, columnists and bloggers. This concept is understood by very few.

--- Most importantly, a refusal to follow the crowd, independently analyzing events to determine what the media's "pack" is overlooking, crucial for the Air America investigation.

Of all the places to sharpen your journalistic or talk radio teeth, Seattle is one of the best, as it's a true liberal media hellhole.

Because the old guard has never been pushed from power, journalism and politics in the Puget Sound Area reek like a decaying geoduck (don't ask). As a result, citizens suffer with lousy government, a lack of open debate and a perpetually uncertain economic future.

Even when 3000 miles away, it turns out there's no escaping the Soviet of Washington's demons. In the course of our investigation, it's become clear Air America's decision-making and financial considerations originate in Seattle far more than New York City. In addition, many of its loudest defenders live there.

Given this background, it's probably no surprise many of Malkin's angriest detractors reside in the Stealth Canadian Province of Washington and they're among the first to emerge this weekend, in anticipation of the book hitting store shelves.

What's clear: some have old scores to settle and lingering animosity. Take, for example, this piece by hardline liberal Seattle author David Neiwert:

The other day, Atrios -- in discussing Cathy Young's (Boston Globe) piece questioning right-wing bloggers, particularly Michelle Malkin, for their handling of a series of incidents involving the appearance of explosive devices at various campuses around the country (see my take on that) -- asked the 64,000-dollar question:

By the current rules of the road is Michelle Malkin really a "professional journalist?"

I'm not really sure what the current rules of the road are, but the answer really depends on what your definition of "professional journalist" is, particularly within the realm of print media, which is where Malkin primarily operates.

If it's "anyone who works in a public capacity for a media organization" -- which does indeed seem to be the current rules of the road -- then she probably is.

But by the old-fashioned standards of what makes one a "journalist" -- which entails being primarily a truth-seeker -- she is not.

You see, it used to be that, in order to be called a journalist, one had to actually be, or have been, a reporter. And Malkin has never been a reporter, at least not in any professional capacity.

Now, part of this involves traditional professional ladders within the business. For many years, nearly everyone who was ever an editor was, first, a reporter. Then, once on the editor's rung, one had the option of writing editorials. Columnists -- the star positions on editorial pages -- were culled either from the ranks of editors or star reporters.

Thus, traditionally, anyone who held a column-writing position at a newspaper had first been a reporter and perhaps an editor as well, and thus was in every regard a "professional journalist." Indeed, it often was the case that columnists provided original reporting within their columns.

Those days have now largely gone by the wayside. Nowadays it is not unusual to find columnists chosen from the ranks of non-journalists, and often from among professional ideologues, simply for their ability to string words together in an entertaining fashion. Or sometimes they are chosen just because they fit a certain profile the editor wants for his page.

Does this sound like anything more than journalistic sour grapes? Malkin's been at this a long time, it's hard to argue she hasn't paid her dues.

Worse, Neiwert is the author of a competing book on Japanese-American internment camps and that's a likely element of his obvious animosity.

Yet this site was linked to a number of liberal blogs this weekend, resulting in much higher than average traffic. Anything to slam your enemies, one supposes.

By the same standard, how many liberal writers would hold up as "journalists"? Why can't a commentator be a journalist? Yes, the times have changed, but Malkin's role is clear to her readership.

In working with Michelle, it's clear her investigative abilities are well-honed, so is small town newspaper "crime blotter" experience really necessary to develop this skill?

Especially interesting: in order to bash Malkin, circa-1999 Seattle Times columns are cited (and their backlash), forcing the reader to trust Neiwert's interpretation of ancient history. Proving only that there were differences of opinion over a talk show guest booking dispute, his argument falls flat.

Further utilized is this tangent-ridden, conspiracy-laden 2004 anti-Malkin hit piece. In coming days, don't expect these points to get much sharper.

Aren't they revealing their real hand here, a fear of Malkin's true effectiveness?

Also: From Human Events, Michelle's top ten list of unhinged celebs.

'Unhinged' can be ordered, or its details and reviews examined, in the small, upper-right sidebar Amazon box above.

Your Amazon orders that begin with clicks here, regardless of your final purchases, help to support this site's efforts. Thanks!


  • Every conservative blog in the world needs to be spreading the truth about the Seattle- King County Wa/State of Washington elections-It's apparently been a one or two reporter/blog effort trying to clean up the elections office there; and they need more help. A new election is scheduled in just a few more days. Please help spread the word.
    Sound Politics
    Sound Commentary on Current Events in Seattle, Puget Sound and Washington State
    « Sewer of Corruption (X) | Main | That Same Sauce Sinks Seattle »
    October 29, 2005
    Mounting evidence of organized election fraud

    Yesterday I finally received a portion of King County's voter database transaction log. It was weeks late, incomplete and issued only after I sued the county. These records confirm more elements of my recent article in The Stranger -- that elections officials knowingly and unlawfully counted ballots from ineligible voters last November and then modified computer records to cover it up.

    Here is just one example of a voter's provisional ballot envelope that was unlawfully counted and her registration records [large PDF] which show signs of record tampering --

    This voter did not sign her registration form. That was noted when her registration was processed on Oct. 9. (p. 5 of registration records). Her provisional ballot envelope was appropriately marked "fatal pend / sig" (meaning ineligible registration, missing signature). Interestingly, somebody else, perhaps a supervisor (initials JM) overrode "fatal pend" notation, by marking the ballot envelope "OK".

    Now look at p. 7 of the registration records, which shows the transactions on the provisional ballot record. The employee who processed the ballot on 11/9 correctly changed its status from "A" (active voter) to "F" (fatal pended voter). On 11/16 somebody changed the status back to "A". That is consistent with the story I reported in The Stranger that the ineligible "fatal pend" ballots were set aside until the two days before the 11/17 certification when Bill Huennekens ordered them to be counted. Even more intriguing -- while most transactions are attributed to users whose DIMS user names resemble their real names, the 11/16 transaction, like many others I've seen, was performed by user "tester02".

    Now go back to p. 5 of the registration records. Consistent with what I've seen in other records, on January 6th between 3pm - 4pm there was a batch job that updated certain registration records. Among other things, it changed the registration status of fatal pend provisional voters from "F" to "A" [p.5, line 17]. The "reason" code for updating the status was "PROVISIONAL BALLOT". A provisional ballot is not an acceptable method of curing a missing signature. The signature has to be submitted by signing the oath on a voter registration form. There is no evidence that this voter returned a signed registration form. By comparison, a different voter corrected their fatal pend with a registration form and their transaction log has a much different pattern (this page, lines 1-11)

    Put the Jan 6th batch job in the context of King County's issuance of an updated voter registration file on January 7. This file supposedly reduced the discrepancy between votes and voters that was discovered in the earlier voter file.

    I observed at the time that the new file included several hundred voters who were not included in the earlier file. As it turns out, a large number of these magical mystery voters were ineligible to vote, like the subject of this post. Their provisional ballots were unlawfully counted and their registrations were unlawfully activated in order to help Dean Logan "reduce the discrepancy" between votes and voters and cover up the evidence of illegal vote counting.
    Posted by Stefan Sharkansky at October 29, 2005 03:45 PM

    By Blogger poiball, at 31 October, 2005 08:35  

  • What's even more interesting about the Amazon flame-reviews of Ms. Malkin's book, are the statistics of people who agreed or didn't agree that the reviews were helpful. Conservatives seem to outweigh liberals on every review that trashed the book, a fact that, to my mind, means the majority of Americans know who's on their side and who isn't.

    By Blogger RebeccaH, at 31 October, 2005 10:51  

  • The fact that Malkin does not adhere to trends set by the 'mainstream' media (TV, newspapers, etc... not sure what 'mainstream' is anymore) means zip and zero. Tell me exactly which bloggers suffer from going up against the media giants. Ah. That would be none. In fact, bloggers MAKE HEADLINES and gain traffic from taking on MSM, don't they? So much for fearlessness there.

    Write a post on her fearlessness when she takes on Instapundit and the bloggers who bring her traffic, fella. That, we'll link to, and sing her praises as well. Aside from that, give it a rest. You might as well praise the New York Times for using ink.

    As far as David Neiwert is concerned, though, his site seems to revolve around opportunities to launch vicious Malkin attacks. I've rarely seen such a relentlessly vicious site so dedicated to attacking one journalist. As appaling as his posts are, and they must be sickening for Malkin at times, he is so over-the-top that only the folks who hate Malkin anyway will get much from it. The rest will wonder what all the fuss is about. That site is really a win-win: both Neiwert and Malkin gain traffic and support. She should send him a little holiday gift. Hell, I may even start an all anti-Mr. Snitch site.

    By Blogger Mr. Snitch, at 31 October, 2005 11:02  

  • Wow, your leaps of logic are stunning:

    "Malkin's been at this a long time, it's hard to argue she hasn't paid her dues." No it's not, since the dues she hasn't paid are JOURANALISTIC due, not propagandist dues. I'll allow that she's certainly an experienced ranter.

    "Worse, Neiwert is the author of a competing book on Japanese-American internment camps and that's a likely element of his obvious animosity." Or the fact that he KNOWS the topic. Would it be preferable if he hadn't done the research?

    "Why can't a commentator be a journalist?" No reason, but the POINT is she's NOT really a journalist, she plays on on TV: in actuality she's a shill for the right.

    I'm sure MM is crying all the way to the bank, but lame defenses like this won't garner her any credibility. Not, after reading her work, that she has any.

    By Blogger Eric, at 31 October, 2005 11:57  

  • Brian, Thanks for all your good work on exposing Air America's charity cash snatch.

    Poiball - it's not just conservative blogs that should be spreading the truth about Seattle-King County's voter fraud. It should be every blog/person that is concerned about good government. Sorry, forgot about Milwaukee and East St. Louis. With Democrats in power, voter fraud is a feature not a bug. Never mind.

    Can't decide if Eric'a a fool or a tool. I lean toward fool, but that's because I cut people a lot of slack.

    By Blogger Billy Hank, at 31 October, 2005 12:47  

  • Brian, don't you see the hypocrisy underlying your topic?

    You devote nearly your entire effort hear to doing nothing short of trashing Franken for his comments, books, politics, and television and web appearances.

    Yet, someone else does it to your buddy, and you snap to the defense!


    By Blogger One Funny Guckert!, at 31 October, 2005 12:51  

  • Malkin is a "shill for the right"?

    And Paul Krugman is Edward Murrow?

    By Blogger melk, at 31 October, 2005 13:25  

  • We're all "journalists" on blogs.
    Blogs are publications, and protected by copywrites.

    Courts have ruled to protect sources on blogs as well.

    And that's what the newspapers and leftwing TV newsrooms can't stand --
    the extra news outlets are cutting their readership and viewers while the rest of the country (conservatives) looks to Fox and the net for news, leaving only liberals around to defend the Rathers and Millers of the world.


    By Blogger meesterjoneser, at 31 October, 2005 17:03  

  • The difference is that Franken has show himself to be psychologically unstable through his actions especially in the past few weeks. His physical attacks on any and all who oppose him will not go down well with the voters in Minnesota I assure you. They do not like bullies. His repeated statements about "executing" the President make him look deranged and dagerous. And if any attempt is made on the Presidents life and the whackjob who does it says he was influenced by Franken that will not reflect very well on him with the vast majority of people in this country. What Al and his "friends" tend to forget is that most people are not foaming at the mouth LLL's and are disgusted with people who are. Air America's "loan" from the Boys and Girls club will also serve to disgust many people-they will view it (quite rightly I might add) as theft from a charity to keep him and his Air America buddies in limos and private chartered jets.

    His only saving "grace" at the moment is that the MSM is doing it's level best to cover for him.

    By Blogger Nahanni, at 31 October, 2005 20:02  

  • The difference is that Franken has show himself to be psychologically unstable through his actions especially in the past few weeks. His physical attacks on any and all who oppose him will not go down well with the voters in Minnesota I assure you. They do not like bullies.

    That's why we elected former profesional wrestler Jesse "The Body" Ventura. Clearly, Not A Bully.

    That's we elected former amateur wrestler Paul Wellstone.

    That's why will elect former amateur wrestler Al Franken.

    Actually we like to elect people willing to get down in the mud.

    By Blogger WHT, at 31 October, 2005 21:22  

  • WHT....

    Funny, but I don't ever remember hearing about Ventura or Wellstone
    ever 1) physically attack someone at a political rally because he did not like want that person was saying as Frankenthief did, or 2) physically attacking a radio show's producer as Frankenliar did to Laura Ingraham's because he did not like what Habib stands for, or 3)trying to assault Michael Medved as did Frankenidiot because Medved asked Frankenfool to debate John O'Neill on air(The hero of the 2004 election.)

    Frankendouche is obviously mentally ill.

    By Blogger Crapdog, at 01 November, 2005 09:56  

  • Man, the irony meter has a broken needle, after One Funny Guckert! complained:

    You devote nearly your entire effort hear to doing nothing short of trashing Franken for his comments, books, politics, and television and web appearances.

    From an individual who created a blog to trash Guckert/Gannon, long after his existence was news.

    By Blogger SCSIwuzzy, at 01 November, 2005 15:12  

  • Franken also made anti-Protestant comments recently, basically calling them dumb inbreds. Since MN is about, what, 98% Protestant I put his chances near nil.

    I speculate that this "Senate run" is just a Pat Paulson-style publicity stunt.

    By Blogger LonewackoDotCom, at 01 November, 2005 17:23  

  • WHT,

    Jessie was a SEAL, not a uncouth, classless, wussy smart ass bully boy which Franken is. Jessie may have been a professional wrestler but he knew when to put the act aside and behave like a grown up. He also knew that knees to the groin were not considered to be an effective way to argue a point. In fact an act such as that shows that everything you stand for has no merit and thus you lose the argument.

    Paul Wellstone may have been even more liberal then Al, but he didn't go around behaving like a rabid Chihuahua. One could still respect the man because he stated his views in a logical and sometimes emotional manner.

    One other thing, WHT....

    This second generation DFL'er whose parents were very involved in the party to the point that they were on a first name basis with Humphrey, Mondale, Oberstar and Wellstone will never cast a vote for Al Franken. In fact I sincerely doubt I will cast another vote for a Democrat until they get rid of the radical leftists that have taken over the party.

    You see, like my parents, I am a FDR/JFK democrat. FDR and JFK would be considered "right wingnut christianazi warmongers" and worse in today's Democratic party. In fact they would get run out of the party if they were alive today.

    Like Ronald Reagan said long ago, "I didn't leave my party, my party left me." The Minnesota DFL will soon discover that there are many like me, especially if they push Franken as a candidate.

    By Blogger Nahanni, at 02 November, 2005 01:40  

  • Lefties hate Michelle Malkin simply because she is highly effective at exposing them as liars, hypocrites and whackjobs. Like the saying goes, if you're taking flak, it means you're over the target.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 02 November, 2005 07:34  

  • I love eating gooey ducks. My mother loves to make it with rice, tastes great! Though I do think you have to get used to the texture.

    Check out geoduck for info.

    By Blogger frankybme, at 04 September, 2007 20:49  

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