The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

26 October 2005

Wednesday Roundup


Could Be Part Of Calculated Strategy

After Michelle Malkin's scoop on Al Franken's violent promotional video was picked up by a number of major websites, public focus turned to the latter's state of mind.

frankenunhinged005.gifBetween the bizarre clip and jokes about executing Bush, Rove and Cheney, has Franken gone completely nuts? Or is it some kind of bizarre book selling strategy?

In emails to the Radio Equalizer, readers thought that while it might help his Amazon sales ranking, these antics could hurt a potential 2008 Minnesota US Senate run.
In the process of moving back to his home state, Franken has long been mentioned as a future candidate.

While conservatives shook their heads in disbelief, liberals looked the other way, pretending Franken's book content should be taken seriously. From

Al Franken's new book probably won't get the free ride to No. 1 bestseller status that his last one did. Since its title does not satirize any phrases trademarked by his rivals, you see, it will be difficult for Fox News to figure out how to sue.

Franken's "The Truth (With Jokes)" will thus be left in the unenviable position of having to succeed on its own merits. And, I'm guessing, it will.

Or, could it be Franken doesn't think he can succeed without crazy promotional stunts? Begging for a lawsuit isn't working anymore, nobody's falling for it.

MSNBC continues to provide cover for Franken, this time on Keith Olbermann's Countdown show. In a seven-minute interview, Al was allowed to defend his violent promotional video, attack Bush and reuse the same tired, alleged "jokes".

On every show in the country, Franken seems determined to continue his presidential "execution" act. Does that really sell books?

So far, it's only making him appear increasingly psychotic.

Asking not a single question about Gloria Wise Boys & Girls Club, or any of the recent flaps, Olbermann played along with Franken's careful Air America distancing act (he doesn't seem to mention the network, unless directly queried).

Franken also falsely claimed his enemies were placing negative reviews at Amazon, before the book was even on the shelves. Clearly, he's unaware it was available in some stores, as early as last Friday.

For Keith, meanwhile, there's a gold star ready to placed on the mainstream media's walk of shame. Thanks, buddy!

The Political Teen has the footage here, I recommend watching the entire clip.

Meanwhile, Frankenfluffy has returned with a vengeance, contributing a number of new softball interviews, book reviews and stories.

USA Today led things off yesterday with this work of art:

Franken, who can be serious and silly at opposite ends of the same sentence, says he's seriously considering running for the U.S. Senate in 2008. He would run for the seat now held by Minnesota Republican Norm Coleman.

In February, Franken said he would pass on a Senate race in 2006 because the timing wasn't right. At 54, he says his political future depends, in part, on Air America Radio, the fledgling liberal talk-show network he helped start last year.

But he is laying the political groundwork. Early next year, he plans to move from New York back to Minnesota. (He left when he was 22.) He and his wife, Franni, have bought what she calls "a city home" in Minneapolis and what he calls a "town house."

He concedes: "I'm not clear on the distinction." He also is planning to transplant his daily three-hour radio program, The Al Franken Show, to Minneapolis. And he plans to devote a lot of time in 2006 to campaigning and fundraising for Democratic candidates in Minnesota.

More Frankenfluffy (a soft cotton puffball, in case you were wondering) here and here:

"The Truth" is a very different kind of book than the ones this multifaceted genius has given us before. Oh, it’s funny. (How could Al Franken not write a funny book?) But it’s more than that.

Gone is the familiar cast of villains: the psychotic Ann Coulter, the sex-addicted Bill O’Reilly, the drug-addicted Rush Limbaugh. Consigned to their own personal hells by their failings as human beings, Franken mercifully leaves them be.

Ann Coulter has been banned as effectively from these pages as from the intellectual salons to which she so desperately craves admittance.In "The Truth," the fish are bigger, and the fry is deeper.

Franken’s targets this time include both people — Bush, Cheney, Rice, Rove, DeLay — and something new: ideas. In particular, the idea that the 2004 election meant that Franken’s beloved America had moved to the right. Al Franken ain’t buyin’ it.

That excerpt is actually straight from Franken's foreword, reprinted verbatim at NBC's Today website. Nice work if you can get it.

Agreeing with my assertion that so far (still true as of Wednesday), Franken's toughest question has actually come from David Letterman (last Friday),
the Media Research Center's Newsbusters site made note of it here.

The MRC also has the full story of Franken's Tuesday television visit with Matt Lauer.

After six months in a new city, a talk show host should know the basics of local government, don't you think? As reported in the Portland (OR) Tribune, Air America's Thom Hartmann proved he hasn't spent much time figuring things out:

Thom Hartmann has been playing host at the local morning show on Portland’s Air America affiliate, KPOJ (620 AM), for about six months now. But apparently getting to know how the city governs itself wasn’t part of the job description.

Hartmann was interviewing Brenna Bell of Tryon Life Community Farm on Monday morning and asked Bell how Portlanders could help her cause. She listed several ways, then offered, “or you can call David Bragdon over at Metro.”

Obviously confused, Hartmann said, “What is Metro? Is that a business?”

Well, Thom, not really.

The interesting thing is, according to the show’s producer, Paul Pimentel, Metro President Bragdon was on Hartmann’s show recently. “Somtimes,” Pimentel said, “it takes awhile.”

A funny aside from the Washington Times:

Speak up, Al

We were huddling with a local broadcaster yesterday when the topic turned to Air America Radio, the nationwide network that brings the politics and opinions of left-wingers such as Al Franken into our living rooms and automobiles.

This columnist expressed curiosity about why Air America's latest Arbitron numbers for its Washington affiliate, WWRC-AM (1260), are dismal -- so low that they didn't even measure on the listener scale -- when barely two months ago, on Aug. 4, Air America Radio President Gary Krantz issued a rather upbeat press release saying his network's Washington listenership had grown a whopping "300 percent" between spring 2004 and spring 2005.

The local broadcaster answered my question by forwarding the Arbitron figures from six months ago: Sure enough, Mr. Krantz was correct, listenership in Washington did grow 300 percent -- but from 0.1 to 0.4 percent. Now, apparently, that minuscule 0.4 percent has switched networks.

That's been repeated across the country, by the way.

Got $25 and nothing to do on Halloween? From the Seattle Weekly:

National Live Broadcast of "The Al Franken Show" Seattle's Air America affiliate, KPTK-AM (1090), hosts a second visit of the radio network's flagship program to Seattle, at Town Hall from 9 a.m.-noon, with a book signing from 1-2 p.m. 1119 Eighth Ave., 800-838-3006. $25. Mon., Oct. 31.

Run, don't walk, to get your tickets.

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

Franken Softballs from David A Lunde


  • Yes, he's nuts.

    His behavior is that of a moron who is unable to deal with his political irrelevance.
    He doesn't have the emotional intelligence to deal with the fact he's in the political minority.

    Since he can't engage in a reasoned and factual discussion on any topic, his immediate thought is rage to continue silencing those he disagrees with.

    By Blogger Ace, at 26 October, 2005 08:43  

  • Taking a break from the Franken-bashing for a moment, Brian includes this gem in his item:
    "Now, apparently, that minuscule 0.4 percent has switched networks."
    That's been repeated across the country, by the way.

    Again Brian, the overall ratings for AA are UP in most major markets. Washington DC is an exception. And before someone jumps all over me for not using the targeted demo/timeslot data, this item Brian repeats is, indeed, based on the publicly-available 12+ figures.
    Must you continue to distort the truth Brian? Is that the only way for you to discuss liberal talk radio? Is it impossible for you to be both a partisan and honest?

    By Blogger Justin, at 26 October, 2005 09:09  

  • Here's the entire ad. I thought it was funny as hell, and a great statement about the right wing nuts who spam Amazon with reviews of books they haven't read. I'm expecting my copy today.

    Be sure to go to Amazon and read all the whiney right wing reviews, not about the book but the promotional video. They're a hoot. There's also tons of reviews from wingnuts who haven't read the book. They must be afraid of something to be that dishonest.

    You can see them here.

    BTW, the book is up to #2 already. It looks like Al has another big hit on his hands.

    Brian opines, "these antics could hurt a potential 2008 Minnesota US Senate run. In the process of moving back to his home state".

    Are you serious? Minnesota elected Jesse Ventura, for Koresh sake. Did his antics hurt his run? Perhaps the people of Minnesota are smart enough to seperate entertainment from the person.

    Also, I noticed that the small market of Rochester reported last night. WROC jumped

    By Blogger Dick Tuck, at 26 October, 2005 09:17  

  • "Now, apparently, that minuscule 0.4 percent has switched networks."

    This is a complete lie. The ratings fell off the charts, but that statement is untrue. You don't know if it dropped from .4 to .3 or 0, yet you push this Moonie Times statement without comment. That's pretty dishonest, even for a right wing spinner.

    By Blogger Dick Tuck, at 26 October, 2005 09:21  

  • Frankenberry got his national attention on Saturday Night Live, which loves the violent sight gag and will always resort to the "screaming lunatic" act to try to squeeze a few laughs out.

    Al Frankenstein just plain isn't that funny, and so is going back to the SNL formula to try to keep people's attention.

    Stick a fork in him, he's done.

    By Blogger Tom C, at 26 October, 2005 09:38  

  • Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't recall Rush Limbaugh ever calling for Bill Clinton to be executed. If this is what it takes to sell books, the left has become dangerously debased.

    By Blogger CJ, at 26 October, 2005 12:05  

  • Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't recall Rush Limbaugh ever calling for Bill Clinton to be executed. If this is what it takes to sell books, the left has become dangerously debased.

    Dear wingnut. Franken didn't call for Bush to be executed. In fact, Franken called for a constitutional amendment to prevent sitting presidents from being executed.

    But as a matter of fact, former Senator Helms suggested that President Clinton not visit his state for fear that some right wing butt plug would off him.

    Please return with a fact or two.

    By Blogger Dick Tuck, at 26 October, 2005 14:19  

  • "His behavior is that of a moron who is unable to deal with his political irrelevance.
    He doesn't have the emotional intelligence to deal with the fact he's in the political minority."

    This is the kind of spew I expect from inaccurate blogs like the unequalizers....Brian and Michelle Malkin don't realize that pointing out a web site is not a "scoop". The publicity video was publically available. This was not a secret microfilm that you "discovered" as part of some secret plot.

    I sure wish you would distinguish yourself from the other right wing garbage by simply explaining rather than distorting every single piece of information that comes up when you view blogs, websites, or other internet resources.

    Your hate of AAR is almost beyond the pale. YOu need to get a life and maybe a job since you seem to use this try to launch yourself into some other venture as a journalist.

    You are NO are simply an opinion with a web blog.

    By Blogger DOC, at 26 October, 2005 15:16  

  • Was I imagining it, or did Keith Olbermann refer to his program as a "newscast"? It hardly seems right, what with all the Franken crotch nuzzling that was going on.
    --Enlightenment Reactionary--

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 26 October, 2005 15:47  

  • Oh My God...The Governator of Caleefornia has been dozens of violent movies - he must be violent too!

    Jeebus Right Wingers - get a sense of humor. Another Faux Right Wing outrage. Yawn.

    By Blogger Robert, at 26 October, 2005 16:34  

  • Obviously confused, Hartmann said, “What is Metro? Is that a business?”

    It's called setting up the audience. The Hartmann show is syndicated nationally, and not everyone is up on Portland. I would call it playing dumb to the benefit of his audience and at the expense of his ego.
    BTW, I listen to Hartmann during my Sunday morning runs when AAR smartly rebroadcasts an episode from the previous week. The Brunch with Bernie Sanders segment is very informative.

    I also think I understand the vibrancy that the AAR shows bring to life. The shows out of NYC seem to create the feel of the city quite effectively, something that you never quite got out of the Stern or Imus shows. And the rest of the right-wing shows could never even come close to this vibe, usually having the feel of somebody stuck in a basement broadcasting from who-knows-where.

    And the Franken video was gag-tastic!

    By Blogger WHT, at 26 October, 2005 20:48  

  • Hahaha! Here I was, all ready to pile on mister "bitter at the radio industry 'cause I can't keep a job in Seattle", only to find that the vast majority of posts were very well-reasoned lambasts of the author (the idiot who posts on this site, not the fabulously intelligent and capable author who still has a radio job :))...

    Oops - it would appear my glee at the comments didn't quench my thrist, after-all!

    Brian, if hound AAR and Al Franken are so much of your "professional" life, I would feel sorry for you if I had time enough to care - but, it is good for a laugh, so please, please, please don't stop!

    By Blogger One Funny Guckert!, at 26 October, 2005 23:46  

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