The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

30 November 2005

Pro-Franken Piece Now At CBS Site


Essay Gets Top Billing

While there may have been just one especially outspoken supporter of Al Franken's embarrassing attempt at confronting US Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia last week, mainstream media liberals sure know how to make it count.

Late Tuesday, gave John Nichols of The Nation top billing for his "Al Franken V. Antonin Scalia" piece. While the site's opinion section does also feature conservative commentaries, they sure seemed happy to highlight this Op-Ed with a major headline and prominent real estate.

Addressed previously here at the Radio Equalizer, this essay resembles a slowly-spreading virus, destined to undermine the truth in a manner appropriate for CBS News.

And, there are additional reasons to revisit Nichols' "ethics" points, it now turns out.

First, a refresher from his Op-Ed:

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia is, supposedly, a very smart man. Indeed, he is frequently referred to as the intellectual giant on the current high court.

Yet, when Scalia was confronted by comedian and social commentator Al Franken with a basic question of legal ethics, it was the funny man, not the "serious" jurist, who proved to be the most knowledgeable.

The confrontation took place last week in New York City, where Scalia was the guest of Conversations on the Circle, a prestigious series of one-on-one interviews with Norman Pearlstine, the outgoing Time Inc. editor-in-chief.

After Pearlstine tossed a predictable set of softball questions to the justice, the session was opened to questions from the audience. Up popped Franken, the best-selling author and host of Air America's The Al Franken Show.

According to a scathing article that appeared in the Scalia-friendly New York Post, "Franken stood up in the back row and started talking about ‘judicial demeanor' and asking ‘hypothetically' about whether a judge should recuse himself if he had gone duck-hunting or flown in a private jet with a party in a case before his court."

Franken's reference was to Scalia's refusal to recuse himself from deliberations involving a lawsuit brought by public-interest groups that said Vice President Dick Cheney engaged in improper contacts with energy-industry executives and lobbyists while heading the Bush administration task force on energy policy. A federal court ordered Cheney to release documents related to his work with the task force, at which point the Bush administration appealed to the Supreme Court.

Here, we discussed how Nichols failed to mention anything about Franken's own ethical considerations:

Why didn't more lefties race to Franken's rescue when this first broke? Did even they see the irony in pressing Scalia over ethics issues, given Air America Radio's sleazy corporate behavior and Franken's awareness of it (previously proven by Michelle Malkin and myself), despite his dishonest denials?

In keeping with typical leftist intellectual dishonesty, The Nation's John Nichols omits any mention of the Gloria Wise Boys & Girls Club scandal, where $875,000 in taxpayer grants were diverted to the liberal radio network.

How does that really compare to Scalia's hunting trip, or his dinner with Cheney?
While it's convenient to pin it all on the New York Post, until The Nation is ready to come clean on the Gloria Wise scandal, they haven't a leg to stand on here. "Ethics" and "Al Franken" really don't belong in the same sentence.

That confronting Scalia resulted in the one time Al didn't get his legendary "Frankenfluff" treatment, probably wasn't coincidental.

If Nichols is in the mood, he might address another potential ethical consideration: Air America Radio's ties to The Nation.

Whether substantial, or informal, there's no denying a cozy relationship exists between the liberal radio network and this supposedly "progressive" magazine.

How does that affect the outcome of a piece like this?

Consider that events featuring visits and/or speeches by Air America personalities have been sponsored by The Nation, among other connections. After a Google search, I found examples in several places, including these:

--- a July 2005 event on ethics, "torture and lies" featuring Randi Rhodes, sponsored by the publication

--- a 2004 election debate party the network and magazine sponsored jointly

--- Air America's Laura Flanders writing for The Nation, here (at this page, she's listed as a regular contributor)

--- and more here regarding Flanders and the periodical

In addition, if anyone at either The Nation or Air America Radio would really like to open up, perhaps they could confirm ongoing talks over potential program sponsorships, specifically regarding the weekend show hosted by Ms. Flanders?

That would be mighty helpful, but we won't hold our breath waiting for an answer.

Whether The Nation's ties to Air America could rightly be called cozy, or informal, might they take a step back: in throwing the "ethics" word around, aren't there "ethical" questions that fairly apply to them, as well?

--- Shouldn't The Nation disclose any ties to Air America and its personalities when covering them?

--- Since they've chosen to ignore Air America's sleazy corporate behavior, especially the Gloria Wise Boys & Girls Club funds transfer scandal, can they outline how it is they believe they should have credibility when writing about Franken and company?

While we hate to nitpick, these questions are certainly every bit as important as whether Cheney and Scalia were seen dining together.

After all, why shouldn't the left be held to the same standards they expect of us? Otherwise, they're living in glass houses and throwing boulders.

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Franken/Scalia: CBS

Fluff and Fluffy (the dangers of too much puff piece press coverage): by Pete at IHillary for the Radio Equalizer. Visit Pete's site to see his entire collection of gags!


  • AAR and The Nation have joint events!?!? GASP! Where is the Congressional inquiry? Where is the major media outcry!?!? Where is the Justice Department investigation!!?! They CAN'T GET AWAY WITH THIS!!!!!

    By Blogger Jake White, at 30 November, 2005 02:55  

  • You won't find it anywhere in the mainstream media which IS ANYTHING BUT! And the evidence is clear and obvious. Read the Media Research Center's report on media bias. And anyone who calls it propaganda--well I say AND JUST WHAT IS AIR AMERICA, FAIR, COUNTERSPIN, NPR?

    By Blogger The Real Bob Anthony, at 30 November, 2005 06:49  

  • ^^^^ hahaha, awesome.

    I love that Baloney is talking about conflict of interest. He brags about being featured on CNN and FNC yet writes about them. How is that any different than The Nation and AAR doing things together then The Nation writing something about Al Franken. However, there is nothing really wrong with this. Niether The Nation or Baloney have done anything wrong (at least not in this situation). It's just hilarious that Baloney accuses someone of doing something he does regularly.

    Also, I love that in none of your posts, Baloney, have you tried to deny anything The Nation wrote. Did you even read the article? All you've said is that The Nation isn't allowed to write about ethics unless they mention the AAR 'scandal'. That makes no sense. At worst, their barely hypocrites, but that doesn't make anything they say any less wrong.

    Did anyone notice that the post before this one (about some interview Baloney did some a magazine) used to allow comments but it doesn't now? Thats because no one responded and I guess Baloney was upset. He must have been mistaken in thinking that people care about his opinion. I made the one and only response telling him no one gave a fuck about his opinion and then he promptly removed that comment and closed comments for that post. Comments for that post were open for about 12 hours and not a single person gave a shit. HAHAHA

    By Blogger Mr. Kite, at 30 November, 2005 09:36  

  • Mr. Kite - you're assuming that someone besides you even read through it all the way.

    I think Maloney needs an editor. His posts are getting longer and longer.

    By Blogger Lyin' Baloney, at 30 November, 2005 10:27  

  • Dear Red States,

    We've decided we're leaving. We intend to form our own country, and
    we're taking the other Blue States with us.

    In case you aren't aware, that includes Hawaii, Oregon,Washington,
    Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois and all the Northeast. We
    believe this split will be beneficial to the nation, and especially to
    the people of the new country of New California.

    To sum up briefly: You get Texas, Oklahoma and all the slave states.
    We get stem cell research and the best beaches. We get Elliot Spitzer.
    You get Ken Lay.
    We get the Statue of Liberty. You get Dollywood.
    We get Intel and Microsoft. You get WorldCom.
    We get Harvard. You get Ole' Miss.
    We get 85 percent of America's venture capital and entrepreneurs.
    You get Alabama.
    We get two-thirds of the tax revenue, you get to make the red states
    their fair share.

    Since our aggregate divorce rate is 22 percent lower than the Christi!
    an Coalition's, we get a bunch of happy families. You get a bunch of
    single moms.

    Please be aware that Nueva California will be pro-choice and anti-war,
    and we're going to want all our citizens back from Iraq at once. If
    you need people to fight, ask your evangelicals. They have kids
    they're apparently willing to send to their deaths for no purpose, and
    they don't care if you don't show pictures of their children's caskets
    coming home. We do wish you success in Iraq, and hope that the WMDs
    turn up, but we're not willing to spend our resources in Bush's

    With the Blue States in hand, we will have firm control of 80 percent
    of the country's fresh water, more than 90 percent of the pineapple
    and lettuce, 92 percent of the nation's fresh fruit, 95 percent of
    America's quality wines (you can serve French wines at state dinners),
    percent of all cheese, 90 percent of the high tech industry, most
    of the U.S. low-sulfur coal, all living redwoods, sequoias and co!
    ndors, all the Ivy and even Sister schools, plus Harvard, Yale,
    Stanford, Cal Tech and MIT.

    With the Red States, on the other hand, you will have 88 percent of
    all obese Americans (and their projected health care costs), 92
    percent of all U.S. mosquitoes, nearly 100 percent of the tornadoes,
    90 percent of the hurricanes, 99 percent of all Southern Baptists,
    virtually 100 percent of all televangelists, Rush Limbaugh, Bob Jones
    University, Clemson and the University of Georgia.

    We get Hollywood and Yosemite, thank you.

    By the way, we're taking the good pot, too. You can have that dirt
    weed they grow in Mexico.

    Peace out,
    Blue States

    By Blogger Dick Tuck, at 30 November, 2005 10:57  

  • Good idea, bad execution Tuck. How about the lefites get the left coast (everything west of the Rockies) and we'll take the rest. It would save a lot of time since most of them are already out there (get the double entendre?)

    New York is not really a traditional blue state. It's more like New York City is a blue "enclave" inside a red state. Unfortunately, its population equals almost half of the rest of the state, which is why statewide election results are often skewed and interpreted incorrectly by the media. Take a trip anywhere upstate (except Ithaca) and you'd be hard pressed to find too many "blue bloods."

    Same story for Long Island. There's a few larger population centers (i.e. Hempstead) that have been brainwashed to vote Democrat by racist politicians as well as the only Island-wide newspaper, Newsday which is a typical lie and distort the truth Liberal rag. However, most locals know the truth and it's usually considered a Conservative area.

    I don't care what the red state/blue state map shows, urban centers make up an uneven population proportion of the counties they reside in and distort the truth.

    So, New York is ours and seeing as how New York is the gateway to New England and is probably one of the more popular getaway spots for New Yorkers, we'll keep N.E. for our own as well. And if you want it, we'll be prepared to fight for it. I'd like to see the Liberals try to put an army together. Of course, they'd have the terrorists on their side, but I'll take a good ol' American soldier any day of the week.

    By Blogger Dr. T, at 30 November, 2005 12:07  

  • hey baloney,
    don't you understand that a radio network is a business and a supreme court justices ethics might be a little more important.
    i wish some moron would give you a radio job somewhere so you'll have something better to do with your time, but i'm not betting on it.

    By Blogger dagwitan, at 30 November, 2005 14:41  

  • New York is not really a traditional blue state. It's more like New York City is a blue "enclave" inside a red state.

    That's very true. Take out NYC, Long Island and Westchester County and NY would have gone red in 2004.

    I say give the blues NYC, Detriot, Cleveland, Chicago, Eastern Massachusetts, LA, Frisco, Miami and we'll take the rest.

    Build a barbed wired fence around them.

    By Blogger Tom C, at 30 November, 2005 16:48  

  • The Nation does not fawn all over AAR. Read this critique and you will find that they pull no punches.

    By Blogger WHT, at 30 November, 2005 20:57  

  • He forgot to say he gets all the welfare recipients. He can have them. That'll take 'em down since we have to pay for their stupid policies.

    I get to keep my Rocky Mountains though, they can have the polluted mountains of the east. I get to keep my wide open spaces for future, they can have their cramped states with no room for expanding.

    I get to keep my sense of a good future with no blue states in site, you can run with your blue states for fear of them turning red based on your policies..

    By Blogger strictor, at 30 November, 2005 21:16  

  • Build a barbed wired fence around them. you backwoods morons are capable of building a fence...

    You rednecks would only have enough tax dollars of your own to build a few hundred feet... which would have to be reduced to only few dozen feet after all your sleazy GOP cronies have taken their skim off the top. Then none of your engineers would know how to build it anyway because some con-man televangelist declares that the hyperbolic cosine is the work of the devil and convinces you morons to replace all science education with bible classes. Then finding workers who aren't morbidly obese or who can't resist the urge to do a "hey Billy-Bob, watch this" and kill himself and his coworkers with a sledge might be a problem. Then there are the whackos who insist on bringing their guns to work but not their medication. Yeah, keep dreaming... that fence is really going to get built. HA!

    By Blogger HeadHunter, at 30 November, 2005 21:38  

  • Well, well, well.... Predictably the lefty trolls are out in strength. It's clear they are unable to actually discuss a topic or debate it. All they can do is mock it. Truly a sign of an uneducated bore.

    Keep up the good work Brian. I don't often comment, but I always read your blog. I know other conservatives do the same. When the trolls start mocking you and telling lies you know you're doing something right. If they had an informed coherent opinion that differed from yours they surely would do that rather than mock you. Once they have started the mocking and the insults they have already admitted defeat.

    By Blogger Linn, at 01 December, 2005 02:11  

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