The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

24 May 2006

John McCain, Rush Limbaugh, CBS Radio


Also: CBS Dumping Stations In Droves

Will bashing conservative talkers Rush Limbaugh and Michael Savage over the illegal immigration issue boost Sen. John McCain's 2008 electoral fortunes? Since it's obviously a part of his new presidential campaign strategy, the Republican from Arizona sure seems to think so.

Also included on his hit list: CNN anchor Lou Dobbs.

Coming from a state with perhaps America's biggest illegal alien crisis, is McCain really in a good position to attack commentators who merely reflect widespread voter sentiment on the issue?

Only upcoming polls will be able to say for sure.

To make his attacks, McCain used a New York Observer interview :

The exclusive audience included R.N.C. finance chair Lewis Eisenberg, Blackstone Group co-founder Peter G. Peterson, former Secretary of the Navy John F. Lehman and Gail Hilson, the politically influential socialite who has organized events for Mr. McCain in the past.

“What kind of a country do we want to be?” Mr. McCain asked his audience, walking around in the middle of a horseshoe-shaped table as he proceeded to answer his own question.

He cautioned against ghettoizing immigrants, which he noted has brought about disastrous results in France, and criticized elements in his own party as “nativist” before lambasting the punditry of Rush Limbaugh, Lou Dobbs and Michael Savage for helping to “fuel the problem,” according to two of the sources.

Limbaugh, for his part, didn't waste any time firing back. From a rough transcript prepared by the Rush Limbaugh Echo:

McCain is trying to drive a wedge. 'Nativists' are the last things we are. I have told you about my grandfather debating 'Immigration' in high school in 1904. I have supported the president's speech.

McCain is making it more complicated than it is. Just tell us how many immigrants you want to come in each year. Then explain enforcement.

For both Limbaugh and Savage (pictured right), the senator's ill-conceived antics are just what the doctor ordered. Heading into what would ordinarily be a slow summer season, the hosts now have in McCain a better target than they ever could have imagined.

Over at the Huffington Post, they're busy eating up whatever McCain has to say.

From the right, more at Isn't It Rich.

Elsewhere, why is CBS Radio so inclined to bail out of some of America's fastest growing metro areas? In medium- market regions across the country, it's now looking to sell a large number of stations.

Included on the newly- released list are outlets in San Antonio, Austin and Fresno.

In my latest Inside Radio column, we take a look at the firm's possible motives, as well as Wall Street's reaction.

Also: TVNewser reports ABC is partly digging in its heels on their now widely- discredited report that House Speaker Hastert was facing a corruption investigation. More from Powerline and Riehl World View.

--- At LGF: is the Voice Of America radio service merely a pro-Islamofascist propaganda tool?

--- In a station editorial, news/talker CJME/Regina wonders why Prime Minister Stephen Harper feels taking on the liberal (and Liberal) media is worth the hassle.

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  • This was a huge mistake for the "straight talker." Does he think Rush is going to cut back on the parodies because of this? McCain will rue this day...heh heh!

    By Blogger rich glasgow, at 24 May, 2006 23:18  

  • Think you're right, Rich, McCain needs at least some talk radio support. Now he'll get none.

    By Blogger Brian Maloney, at 24 May, 2006 23:30  

  • McCain won't get any support from me, and I'm not even in talk radio. HOW DARE such a man be so wimpy when it comes to the border? Is McCain in the back pocket of Vincente Fox? Guess so.

    I have a friend who lives in Tucson and she wants ZIP to do with McCain.

    It's one thing to shoot from the hip, but for McCain, he shot off his mouth one too many times!

    By Blogger The Real Bob Anthony, at 25 May, 2006 07:13  

  • Rush is certainly a strong enforement advocate, but he does not indulge in the raving culture war rhetoric (that is often anti-free market) of Savage and Dobbs.

    Does McCain have the right to be annoyed by Limbuagh's attacks on his political positioning? Yes, but it doesn't make them any less true or amusing.

    By Blogger Robert, at 25 May, 2006 09:07  

  • Why McCain is running as a Republican is beyond me. This guy is not a Republican, nor is he a maverick. He's a Democrat, and should be running as a Democrat. What Republican would ever vote for him?

    As for attacking convservative talk radio (and these talk radio guys/women will stick together, despite differences, so attacking two means attacking all) major, MAJOR mistake. Look - Republicans have won by razor thin margins lately, and McCain essentially justmade himself unelectable. Good riddance!

    By Blogger Alex, at 25 May, 2006 15:18  

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