The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

10 November 2005

Truth MIA In Schultz Gloating


Facts Lacking In Armed Forces Radio 'Victory'

Repeating unsubstantiated conspiracy theories often enough may win over some outside their tiny circle, liberal talk radio proponents are learning.

Ed Schultz thought he had a deal to broadcast to U.S. soldiers, but the Pentagon now says otherwise.For more than two days, fans of Fargo-based lib talker Ed Schultz have celebrated their would-be "victory" over the military-industrial complex that supposedly conspired to keep his program off of Armed Forces Radio.

From our 18 October report:

Possibly in response to a Democrat-led push for greater ideological programming "balance" on global military broadcasts, the Ed Schultz show was, in theory at least, to begin Monday. Instead, his nationally syndicated program was halted before even a single airing.

Was it ever actually approved for the military radio network, however?

Sensing a publicity opportunity, Schultz immediately went on the offensive, accusing Armed Forces Radio of censorship. Not surprisingly, a number of liberal blogs picked up the story Monday night, having heard Eddie's on-air rantings.

At the time, a Pentagon spokesperson insisted it simply hadn't yet been cleared at every level. Rather than ideology, that suggested it was more an issue of military bureaucracy.

It suddenly became a leftist cause celebre, however, when the Washington Post and other mainstream media outlets got into the act.

Now that the program has been cleared for Armed Forces Radio, liberals still won't let go of the idea its delay was caused by Schultz's anti-war tirades. There have been hundreds of posts over the last month, here are two examples:

Armed Forces Radio has decided to include the Ed Schultz Show in overseas programming, RAW STORY has learned.

The show recently got into a fracas with the Defense Department after the liberal radio host called out Allison Barber, a deputy assistant secretary of defense, for staging a teleconference event between President Bush and U.S. soldiers in Iraq.

The Department had intended to begin carrying Schultz's show earlier, but that deal was put on hold after Schultz's remarks. Several Democratic senators then wrote to officials in the Defense Department.

At the Moderate Voice, an extra layer of blame is thrown into the mix:

Just weeks after nixing an agreement literally at the last minute in what seemed to be a fit of ire over one of his broadcasts critical of a rehearsed encounter between President George W. Bush and some members of the military, Armed Forces Radio has said it will in fact carry progressive talker Ed Schultz's increasingly popular radio talk show after all.

The news arrived here in the form of an email from Schultz producer James Holme and Schultz announced it on his program. The progressive talker — whose show was purchased some months ago by two high-powered broadcast executives instrumental in the success of Rush Limbaugh and Clear Channel Communications — thanked his listeners for their massive letter and email campaigns to their elected officials clamoring for the Pentagon to stick by the agreement in a letter The Ed Schultz Show received some months ago giving the green-light to the program as a countervailing voice to conservative talkers such as Rush Limbaugh and James Dobson.

On his show Schultz said there was only one sticking point in the effort to get him on Armed Forces Radio: Minnesota Senator Norm Coleman responded to people contacting his office by basically dissing Schultz's show, saying it didn't meet the requirements.

In Wednesday's Denver Post, however, Dick Kreck took a more moderate approach:

Chalk one up for the liberals. The voice of talk-show host Ed Schultz (1-4 p.m. weekdays, KKZN 760-AM) will make it to the troops after all. Schultz's show was yanked from Armed Forces Radio Network without warning the day it was to start, three weeks ago.

Last week, the Pentagon sent letters to a group of congressmen who went to bat for Schultz, saying it had changed its mind: Schultz's voice would be added to those of Rush Limbaugh, Dr. Laura Schlessinger and James Dobson on AFRN.

"I am advised that (American Forces Radio and Television Service) managers are updating the program mix and have decided to include additional programs, including the 'Ed Schultz Show' ...," said the letter from Lawrence DiRita, deputy assistant secretary of defense.

Schultz, whose politics are left of center, blamed his criticism of President Bush for his show being left off the armed-forces network.

The Denver Post at least pointed to Schultz as the source of the theory, but remember, he still hasn't provided even one piece of evidence to back up his claim. It's just his gut hunch.

If the conspiratorial rantings of Schultz's supporters had been confined to blogs and lefty websites, we might very well ignore this matter.

Yesterday, however, Eddie's unsubstantiated claim began to reach entertainment industry publications, such as Inside Radio. It's a widely-read daily fax delivered to radio station executives and others.

From their Wednesday edition (no public link available):

Remember, since there's no evidence Armed Forces Radio had previously approved the program, how can it "reverse itself again"?

And how can Schultz be "reinstated"?

As for the Democrat senators who pressured the Pentagon over this matter, one should ask: why Eddie? Why not Al Franken, Randi Rhodes, Janeane Garofalo, or other liberals? Who made the decision "balance" should be Schultz?

From Stars and Stripes:

WASHINGTON — Defense Department officials have promised that the Ed Schultz show will air on American Forces Radio, but no launch date has been set.

The liberal talk show host had been told by AFR programmers that his show would begin airing on the overseas network starting Oct. 17. Pentagon officials scuttled those plans that morning, saying the decision to add the show had not gone through the proper review.

Since then, a growing group of Democrats has decried the move, saying defense officials wanted political payback for anti-Bush statements made by Schultz the week before his AFR debut.

In a letter sent last week to Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., Pentagon spokesman Larry Di Rita wrote that American Forces Radio and Television Service managers have decided to include Schultz’s show in their new programming plans. AFRTS director Mel Russell said officials were waiting on updated information on the show’s audience size and syndication arrangement before giving the go-ahead.

Several Democrats have demanded an independent investigation into how the American Forces Radio and Television Service is run, noting that conservative commentators like Rush Limbaugh and Laura Schlessinger vastly outnumber liberal offerings for the servicemembers.

And on Monday, Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, announced plans to amend the 2006 Defense Authorization bill to include “fairness and balance” in AFR offerings.

Especially funny, but rarely mentioned: all this really means is that Ed Schultz is available on the satellite. However, regional military programmers stationed around the world actually make decisions about what shows air locally.

If they decide there's no room, he simply doesn't run in those regions and that's the end of it.

The big question, however, is this: why can a liberal like Ed Schultz make assertions with no basis in fact, while the mainstream media fails to question his clearly self-serving motives?

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  • This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    By Blogger Scott Fish, at 10 November, 2005 02:25  

  • I was with AFRTS for 20 years, so I know that what Schultz is claiming is total hogwash. By all means, get that guy on the air -- so he can be pulled off again. I very much doubt a military audience will give him the ratings he needs to stay in the lineup.

    By Blogger Lone Ranger, at 10 November, 2005 06:54  

  • The big question, however, is this: why can a liberal like Ed Schultz make assertions with no basis in fact, while the mainstream media fails to question his clearly self-serving motives?

    The answer to the question is easy: Shultz is an unprincipled liar and the mainstream media are willing accomplices.

    By Blogger Phantom_Driver, USNR, Ret., at 10 November, 2005 07:16  

  • Brian,

    Seems you missed the big liberal talk radio story of the day: WKOX, the Air America affiliate in Boston, is about to boost its wattage from 10,000mw to 50,000mw. This should be interesting, as Air America currently can not be heard in many parts of Boston (due to poor signal strength).

    Newton's Board of Aldermen and three radio companies have finally reached an agreement which will allow for three radio stations to all transmit from the same location in city's Oak Hill Park section. Clear Channel's liberal talker WKOX AM 1200 currently transmitting out of Framingham and Beasley's multicultural WRCA AM 1330 currently broadcasting out of Waltham would lease antenna space at Champion's site in Newton where multicultural WUNR AM 1600 is currently operating. WUNR's two existing 353-foot-tall on Champion-owned 20-acre site on Saw Mill Brook Parkway would be replaced by five 199-foot towers. WKOX stands to benefit the most as part of its move from Framingham to Newton -- the station would increase from its current daytime power of 10,000 watts(1,000 at night)) to 50,000 watts. WRCA would go up from 5,000 watts to 25,000watts(day) and WUNR would also get a boost from 5,000watts to 20,000watts.

    By Blogger Justin, at 10 November, 2005 11:17  

  • Oh Puleeze.

    "...make assertions with no basis in fact"

    Just go to and you can find literally hundreds of documented conservative assertions with no basis in fact.

    By Blogger Robert, at 10 November, 2005 12:06  

  • Justin:

    As mentioned here before, Air America's heard on two Boston stations. It's mostly a nighttime signal issue.

    Even between the two stations, they've not been able to generate a combined one share in the ratings.

    By Blogger Brian Maloney, at 10 November, 2005 12:55  

  • It's not just a nighttime issue Brian, although one must wonder how a 1,000mg signal at night affects the ratings. I work in Boston, and drive home to a western suburb about 30 minutes away. I lose the signal at least three different times (and not just under the Pru). I'm not saying a better signal helps AAR beat WRKO, or even WTKK, but it is hard for a station to get regular listeners when its signal is so spotty.

    By Blogger Justin, at 10 November, 2005 13:56  

  • Brian-

    Lord knows I have tried to make this clear, but you do not listen!

    You. Are. Pathetic.

    I have told you everytime you email me I will post my response here.

    a. I do not care that your blog numbers have plumetted.

    b. You offer me nothing. I do not "need me (you) as a foil". And

    c. You are not "worthy" of being my foil. Why? You have no positions that are defensible by argument. You "report" on Air America, but you have no stories-- your "scandal" has disappeared.

    Liz Winstead's suit is total bull(see her prior suits v. past employers)- and obviously AAR has nothing to hide or they wouldn't be willing to go through discovery for a 60k difference.

    Incidentally, how do you make money? You seem so fixated on revenue sources of the left- how do you make a living- you have no radio career because you are so bad at the medium and even your hallowed Time Magazine mention was derisive of you.

    You are a fool and a loser.

    Stop. Emailing. Me. With. Your. Pathetic. Offers.

    is that clear?

    and p.s. good luck trying to convince people that i am an imposter- so you don't look like a fool.

    By Blogger samseder, at 10 November, 2005 14:22  

  • This is getting tiresome.

    Again, this is not Sam Seder, this joke is really stale.

    By Blogger Brian Maloney, at 10 November, 2005 14:59  

  • When did Ed Schultz get fans?

    By Blogger eLarson, at 10 November, 2005 15:33  

  • And who the heck is Sam Seder, for that matter?

    By Blogger eLarson, at 10 November, 2005 15:33  

  • Er... Sam, who? Ed Schultz? Good grief, the only way to balance one hour of Rush Limbaugh is with an entire channel broadcasting NPR 24/7 and some nobody lunatic from Fargo? Good grief.

    Great commentary, Brian, sorry I haven't stopped by sooner.

    By Blogger Robosquirrel, at 10 November, 2005 16:05  

  • Did this show get on Armed Forces Radio through a NO BID CONTRACT???
    Somebody please launch a congressional investigation!! Maybe Halliburton is behind it!!! Quick, get a special prosecutor

    By Blogger RudyTBone, at 10 November, 2005 16:58  

  • Ummm...who the heck is Ed Schultz??

    By Blogger Crapdog, at 12 November, 2005 08:54  

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