The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

01 June 2006

Rep. Jim McDermott (D-Seattle), Talk Radio, George Galloway MP

BREAK FOR 'BAGHDAD' JIM

Seattle Talker Moves Left Of Air America




***NEW: will McDermott denounce Michael Moore over his dishonest practices? We need your help today and Friday. See the Sgt Peter Damon- McDermott- Moore connection below***

While Americans spent Monday reflecting upon fallen soldiers who have sacrificed everything in the name of freedom, in addition to the many troops currently serving in Iraq and elsewhere, a Seattle radio station instead chose to promote a sleazy, Saddam- supporting politician.

Giving the microphone to Congressman- For- Life "Baghdad" Jim McDermott (D-Seattle) was area radio station KIRO-AM, a CBS News affiliate, which hired the fringe extremist to fill in for a local talk show host this week.

By assuming the audience is seeking programming to the left of Air America, it's an abject lesson in how not to run a talk radio station. After much negative publicity last year resulting from the arrest of fellow hyper-radical host Mike Webb, one would imagine the station would seek to mainstream its image, at least a bit.

This kind of radio, however, is best suited for the shortwave band, not a major network affiliate.

Given your Radio Equalizer's previous history with KIRO-AM, which included a three- year stint as host, we would rather not write at all about the station. Sometimes, however, its head- scratching lineup selections and other antics leave us with little choice.


Aside from the obvious conflict of interest in handing 15 hours of free airtime to a public official seeking re-election (which is not being granted to opponents or other Puget Sound- Area candidates), it was a particularly nasty slap in the face to so many in the area who have friends and family in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Thanks to corrupt, one- party rule in Seattle, McDermott never faces anything stronger than token re-election opposition, regardless of his behavior.

Because he did serve his country many years ago, McDermott's Saddam- supporting actions have been all the more shameful, as someone we believe should frankly know better.

But he doesn't.

With his kooky rhetoric, McDermott is often compared to Respect Party MP George Galloway, who recently made headlines for asserting that Prime Minister Tony Blair's execution would be morally justified.


Predictably, the dying, ultra- leftist Seattle Post-Intelligencer newspaper attempted to dismiss criticism of McDermott's on-air gig as merely originating with angry Republicans.

But that leaves out the inconvenient fact that many of McDermott's loudest critics are also found on the moderate and more mainstream- liberal parts of the spectrum, including P-I columnist Joel Connelly.

In this 2002 column (excerpted here), Connelly, a lifelong liberal Democrat, slammed McDermott's pro-Saddam propaganda visit to Baghdad:


No better example comes to mind than Seattle Rep. Jim McDermott. The occasion: Remarks McD made Sunday on ABC's "This Week" as he stood in the capital city of the world's most bloodthirsty rulers.

First, McD called for trust of Iraq's offer to throw open its doors to United Nations weapons inspectors.

"The Iraqis say they would allow us to go anywhere," McD intoned. "And you have to take the Iraqis at face value."

At face value? Where has this man been, a Hussein asylum? Iraq spent much of the past decade impeding and harassing United Nations weapons inspection teams.

Our man in Baghdad then proceeded to depict President Bush as a deceiver bent on war.

"I think the president would mislead the American people," McDermott told a global audience.

If McDermott has evidence to back his allegation of a duplicitous commander-in-chief, he has a floor debate coming up in Congress at which to present it.

But, as Sen. John McCain put the matter Monday night on CNN, "Don't go to Baghdad to do it."

McCain was, of course, a beaten-but-defiant POW in the Hanoi Hilton when Jane Fonda paid her famous visit to a North Vietnamese anti-aircraft battery.

Just as Fonda delivered a propaganda coup to the North Vietnamese, McDermott did a service to Saddam by dumping on America's leaders.

By his words in Baghdad, McD -- in McCain's words -- was "helping sell" Saddam's policies to his own people.

President Bush was roundly -- and justifiably -- blasted last week after using a GOP rally in New Jersey to question whether Senate Democrats were serious about fighting the war on terrorism. Even Fox had to carry the outraged responses by Sens. Tom Daschle and Ted Kennedy.

But demagoguery is demagoguery, whatever quarter it comes from -- and particularly where it is uttered.

McDermott clearly hit Bush below the belt, comparing him to Lyndon Johnson on the Gulf of Tonkin, and making the facetious suggestion that Bush and Sen. Trent Lott should "make a trip over here and have a look and see if they really, honestly are allowing inspections."

Saddam Hussein has defied something like 16 United Nations resolutions providing for the inspection and dismantling of his chemical arsenal and nuclear program. Yet, on Sunday, McDermott declared: "Iraq did not drive the inspectors out. We took them out."

McDermott was sensibly urging such a course of action just a week ago. He should have used the Iraq trip to warn Saddam's satraps hosts that the jig is up.


Sure enough, McDermott- supporters, such as liberal talk radio blogger Blatherwatch, are busy eating up this exercise in political kookdom:


Wow, an innovative programming decision by KIRO! We hope this is the beginning of the renaissance of the big Seattle talker.

The $250-$350 per shift for the KIRO talk-job could be a factor in the Congressman's decision to do the on-air week. His Queen Anne Hill home is in financial jeopardy from legal defense costs from the civil suit filed by Ohio Majority Leader John Boehner over whether McDermott's dissemination of an intercepted cellphone conversation of public officials should be considered free speech.


Though we can't say for sure, our past experiences with the station in question lead us to believe that McDermott's pay could be closer to $1000 per three-hour show.

While $5000 isn't going to save "Baghdad" Jim from financial ruin, by indirectly contributing to this partisan candidate's election, is it possible KIRO has taken another cue from Air America?

If he says anything stupid on the air, please let us know, as we're pleased to be safely tucked away, far from McDermottville.

RELATED: Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty gives up his weekly guest spot on WCCO-AM in the Twin Cities to avoid re-election conflicts, reports the AP.

UPDATE: liberal blogger Blatherwatch reports that McDermott's show has so far been "a snore-fest". In addition, all of the callers have apparently been supporters of the Congressman- For- Life. Are conservatives being screened out?

ALSO: liberal talk radio fan tells Vashon Island newspaper that Air America in Seattle has taken many "progressive" listeners away from KIRO.


THE BIGGIE:
if somebody really wants to ask McD a great question, please phone him at KIRO (9am - noon PDT) and ask Baghdad Jim how he feels about his connection to Sgt. Peter Damon, the Middleboro- based Iraq war vet who is suing Michael Moore for $85 million.

During Wednesday's show, Rush Limbaugh addressed the suit at length. It's now the lead DrudgeReport story, as well.

In addition, during their local coverage Wednesday evening, Boston's FOX 25 made a particular point of the McDermott connection, featuring a clip of the congressman from Moore's film and showing how the editing resulted in a highly deceptive and distorted representation of Damon's views.

In a well- presented and balanced story, Damon told FOX 25 that the misleading McDermott tie-in was a key element of his complaint. In addition, he said that most of any proceeds from the suit would benefit local groups serving veterans.

From the AP:

Damon is shown shortly after U.S. Rep. Jim McDermott, D-Wash., is speaking about the Bush administration and says, "You know, they say they're not leaving any veterans behind, but they're leaving all kinds of veterans behind."

Damon contends that Moore's positioning of the clip just after the congressman's comments makes him appear as if he feels like he was "left behind" by the Bush administration and the military.

In his lawsuit, Damon says he "agrees with and supports the President and the United States' war effort, and he was not left behind."

He said that, while at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center recovering from his wounds, he had surgery and physical therapy, learned to use prosthetics and live independently. He also said that Homes For Our Troops, a not-for-profit group, built him a house with handicapped accessibility.


Over his obviously deceptive practices, will McDermott denounce Moore? If you reach him on the air and are able to grill him on the issue, please e-mail me (radioequalizer@aol.com) so that I can include the information in an update.

Boston media critic Dan Kennedy, a lefty, doesn't believe the suit has merit.

Your Amazon orders that begin with clicks here, regardless of your final purchases, are vital to supporting this site's efforts. Thanks again!

McD card: NewsMax, Moore: AP via Regina Leader-Post

19 Comments:

  • Considering what happened with Kirby Wilbur and John Carlson at KVI regarding WA I-912, I have to wonder if McDermott's time on KIRO should be considered an in-kind contribution, and whether McDermott will have to list the value of his on-air time on KIRO as a campaign contribution.

    Sauce for the goose, ya know...

    By Blogger JD, at 31 May, 2006 02:09  

  • Great point JD, why don't you call Bryan Suits at KVI and ask him what he thinks about that. Too bad you won't be able to see him sweat.

    By Blogger Brian Maloney, at 31 May, 2006 04:55  

  • Is JD, the GREAT JD Outrider from TalkSpot? This is the real PCD!

    Back to Democrats on the air.
    Why is it that Democrat office holders and Party Officials can go on the air and the station not have to give equal time to the Republicans?

    I remember KFI in Los Angeles put Party Chair Bill Press on the air and refused time to GOP Party Chair Del Junco. Del Junco should have screamed "RACISM!" Current Democrat party chair, Art Torres wouldn't wait a nanosecond to scream "Racism!"

    By Blogger PCD, at 31 May, 2006 09:05  

  • Why is it that Democrat office holders and Party Officials can go on the air and the station not have to give equal time to the Republicans?

    Probably for the same reason Democrat hacks like George Stephanopoulus get snatched up to lead "objective" newscasts, and Democrat hacks like Jake Tapper get promoted to "Senior National correspondant" at ABC news, and Democrat hacks like Laura Rozen get hired as reporters at the LA Times.

    Gee, you don't think there's any kind of bias at work, do you?

    By Blogger V the K, at 31 May, 2006 09:24  

  • of course none of you morons recognize the phrase that pays. the president did lie to the american people to get us into a war with iraq, and you all know that Baghdad Jim is right.

    By Blogger dagwitan, at 01 June, 2006 01:51  

  • "Aside from the obvious conflict of interest in handing 15 hours of free airtime to a public official seeking re-election (which is not being granted to opponents or other Puget Sound- Area candidates), it was a particularly nasty slap in the face to so many in the area who have friends and family in Iraq and Afghanistan."

    Now I've heard it all. Maloney complains about the demise of the fairness doctrine.

    By Blogger Dick Tuck, at 01 June, 2006 03:02  

  • I can see that dagwitan is towing the uber-leftist party line--have any evidence that Bush lied???

    And I see Brian mentioned Fox 25, WFXT in Boston in his piece. Now not that this would matter, but channel 25, which turns 30 next year, signed on in 1977 as WXNE. X for Christ, NE for New England.

    You see, Pat Robertson's CBN Continental Broadcasting owned 25 as well as Atlanta's 46 (WHAE/WANX)and Norfolk, VA's 27 (WYAH), the station where his empire began. The format of WXNE was an independent with a mix of old reruns and religious programs--what would become CBN Cable.

    The station seemed to be an also ran to powerhouse indies WLVI-56 and WSBK-38, even though it adopted at one point the name "Boston 25." In 1986, WXNE became a Fox affiliate, though Murdoch bought the station in preps for it to become a part of FOX.

    I read on the web that while the station was still WXNE, it was not allowed to run The Late Show with Joan Rivers--instead allocating the audio portion of the program to an FM radio station.

    All that changed in April 1987, when WXNE became WFXT and Fox took over. At one point, the Boston Celtics ran the staiton for a part of the early 90's. But Murdoch was able to find some loophole in the FCC's ownership rules and thus re-purchase WFXT. Their current studios are in Dedham, MA, and were once located in Needham, where the station's transmitter is located.

    BTB, 46 became WGNX owned by Tribune at one point and was a decent indie given how Turner corned the market with WTBS. Then in the 1990's, it became a CBS affiliate and now runs under the WGCL calls--the station seems to be an also-ran. Meredith Broadcasting runs this station

    And 27 became WGNT, ran by Centennial Communications until 1995 when it became a UPN owned station. It's set to become a part of the CW this fall. Before then it was about the same as 25 and 46.

    Robertson also owned a station in Dallas, which is now KDAF WB 33 (make that CW33 come the fall).

    By Blogger The Real Bob Anthony, at 01 June, 2006 06:46  

  • "Aside from the obvious conflict of interest in handing 15 hours of free airtime to a public official seeking re-election

    Jeeez H F*c*ing Christ, Maloney is a hypocritical neo-clown. Every single day , over 30 hours of air time are given to the RNC. limbaugh, Hannity, O'riley, savage, Ingram, Levin, Preger, Parshell, and dozens of other clones, pollute the air waves, prostituting the Republicans, prostituting the right wing, and Maloney has the NERVE to cry about this. Public officials of the right are on all of these shows, Cheney is a regular on the drug addled cigar smoking , bigoted, disgusting, vile, dangerous propagandsist you call "Rush". No problem there? All of thge right wing talking-head , RNC talking point readers, have G.O.P slime on their broadcasts, not a peep from Maloney. I dont care if the right has their satanic, war profiteering, America destroying heros on their shows, but Brian somehow don't think a Democrat should have equal access to the radio? It is obvious Brian is a fascist at heart. As usual, I prove why I use the mocking name "rightwingwhiner", Brian is whining again. Brian is an expert at whining when Democrats and liberals, get a voice on the radio. It eats him alive. This is why he hates A.A, it has nothing to do with the shows quality, or anything else. A.A is a voice of the "far left", just as the RNC slime-ball talking heads are voices of the far-right, and Brian can not handle it.

    By Blogger rightwingwhiner, at 01 June, 2006 11:08  

  • The picture of Jim McDermott reminds me of the picture of Don Rumfeld shaking the hand of Saddam Hussain HERE.

    By Blogger pbrauer, at 01 June, 2006 11:11  

  • The difference is, of course, that none of the right-wing hosts named by RWR are running for public office.

    By Blogger V the K, at 01 June, 2006 13:05  

  • It is obvious Brian is a fascist at heart. As usual, I prove why I use the mocking name "rightwingwhiner",

    As is usually the case with puerile name-calling, it says more about the name-caller than the target.

    By Blogger V the K, at 01 June, 2006 13:11  

  • kIt's also hard to square RWR's rant that air-time earned by conservative talk show hosts is, ipso facto, free publicity for Republicans when Rush and those other hosts have loudly and vehemently criticized the GOP on spending, the Amnesty bill, the Harriet Miers nomination, and Denny Hastert's recent assertion that Congressmen ought to be allowed to hide evidence of felonies in their congressional offices.

    By Blogger V the K, at 01 June, 2006 14:32  

  • Dick, he's a sitting congressman gearing up for re-election. This isn't about the Fairness Doctrine.

    By Blogger Brian Maloney, at 01 June, 2006 15:08  

  • As the Republican candidate opposing Jim McDermott in this year's election, I can say that this matter is just one more example of how extreme and unethical McDermott is. I want to help Sgt. Damon in any way I can. As I said in my May 27 speech to the state GOP convention:

    "I support our troops in Iraq. They are today’s 'band of brothers.' I support them and I support their mission. Their mission is our mission. But Jim McDermott has called our troops in Iraq 'a continued irritant.' Actually it is McDermott who is an irritant to the state of Washington. If ever a congressman should pursue an 'exit strategy,' it’s Jim McDermott."

    Steve Beren
    www.berenforcongress.com

    By Blogger Steve Beren, at 01 June, 2006 16:29  

  • Steve, thanks for checking in with us.

    Why don't you ask KIRO for 15 hours of prime airtime? I'd love to see the response you get from station management.

    By Blogger Brian Maloney, at 01 June, 2006 19:09  

  • KIRO is being completely consistent. When host Dave Ross ran for congress in 2004, he signed off on July 23th, 2004 to run - much closer than now with McDermott. And oh wait a shame - a US Representative conversing with his constituents! A real Representative should be golfing at St Andrews or meeting with K street lobbyist! Chickenhawk Beren has 0% chance of winning.

    By Blogger Robert, at 01 June, 2006 21:19  

  • Robert - I don't mind congresscritters coming in and speaking with their constituency. They should do it as often as possible. I live in the CA 4th, and my rep, John Doolittle (never has there been a more appropriately named congresscritter in history), will not go on the radio unless the questions are pre-screened and the segment is pre-recorded. Furthermore, he will only be heard typically on one station, that being KFBK/Sacramento (Rush's launching pad).

    What I am objecting to is the fact that KIRO is granting McDermott 15 hours of AM prime daypart broadcast rights free of charge, and his opponent will not receive that same courtesy, as theoretically should be done under Section 315 of the Communications Act of 1934. The dodge that KIRO is going to use, probably, is a 1959 amendment stating that "(s)tations who gave time to candidates on regularly scheduled newscasts, news interviews shows, documentaries (assuming the candidate wasn't the primary focus of the documentary), or on-the-spot news events would not have to offer equal time to other candidates for that office." (http://www.museum.tv/archives/etv/E/htmlE/equaltimeru/equaltimeru.htm)

    What tosses that up in the air is the in-kind contribution suit that was filed against Wilbur and Carlson of KVI during WA I-912 in 2004. Wilbur and Carlson both actively campaigned for I-912 on-air, and their airtime was found by a court to be an in-kind contribution to the campaign of I-912. The question that needs to be asked is whether or not McDermott's campaign will have to report his on-air time (15 hours of AM prime) as an in-kind contribution by KIRO and CBS Radio, since he has no primary opponent and his next contested election will be in November.

    Robert said: "KIRO is being completely consistent. When host Dave Ross ran for congress in 2004, he signed off on July 23th, 2004 to run - much closer than now with McDermott." Robert, you are closer to the mark than you know, my friend, but not in the way that you think.

    From Equalizer's article: "Giving the microphone to Congressman- For- Life "Baghdad" Jim McDermott (D-Seattle) was area radio station KIRO-AM, a CBS News affiliate, which hired the fringe extremist to fill in for a local talk show host this week."

    And which "local talk show host" is McDermott filling in for this week?

    Dave Ross.

    One of those circle of life things, I suppose...

    By Blogger JD, at 01 June, 2006 21:54  

  • Jeeez H F*c*ing Christ, Maloney is a hypocritical neo-clown. Every single day , over 30 hours of air time are given to the RNC. limbaugh, Hannity, O'riley, savage, Ingram, Levin, Preger, Parshell, and dozens of other clones, pollute the air waves, prostituting the Republicans, prostituting the right wing, and Maloney has the NERVE to cry about this. Public officials of the right are on all of these shows, Cheney is a regular on the drug addled cigar smoking , bigoted, disgusting, vile, dangerous propagandsist you call "Rush".

    Yawn. I'll try and make this easy. There is a difference between an INTERVIEW and HOSTING YOUR OWN SHOW.

    Dick Cheney was INTERVIEWED.

    McDermott is HOSTING A SHOW.

    This is a pretty clear violation of campaign finance regulations.

    And Cheney is a regular? Come on, how many times has he been on since Bush has been in the WH. I'm sure you can tell us, considering how frequent it is.

    Also, how, exactly, is Rush "dangerous"? The rest is the usual inanity from the "tolerant" left --- but "dangerous"?

    All of thge right wing talking-head , RNC talking point readers, have G.O.P slime on their broadcasts, not a peep from Maloney.

    Again, INTERVIEW and HOSTING GIG are not, technically, the exact same thing.

    I dont care if the right has their satanic, war profiteering, America destroying heros on their shows, but Brian somehow don't think a Democrat should have equal access to the radio?

    Satanic? Wow.

    And, go ahead --- name a Republican elected official who hosts a show. Just one.

    And you'd think having Stephanopoulos, Matthews, Russert, et al (all Democrats) would be enough for the likes of you.

    Brian is a fascist at heart.

    Which, again, explains why you are allowed to post here.

    Because Brian is a fascist.

    Perfectly logical.

    As usual, I prove why I use the mocking name "rightwingwhiner", Brian is whining again.

    If I didn't think that your gimmick was a joke, I'd be irked by you.

    This is why he hates A.A, it has nothing to do with the shows quality, or anything else.

    I can say I hate it because the shows are, on their best days, amateurish and rather plodding affairs. I am not fond of mind-blowing hatred and that is all AAR has on the air.

    The picture of Jim McDermott reminds me of the picture of Don Rumfeld shaking the hand of Saddam Hussain

    Except Rumsfeld never said Saddam was a good or honorable guy.

    McDermott DID say he was honest.

    It takes a special level of hatred for basic democracy to not have a problem with an elected official up for re-election being given their own on-air show to pimp themselves.
    -=Mike

    By Blogger MikeinSC, at 02 June, 2006 01:18  

  • Hey the new ratings for Seattle are in at Radio and Records. KIRO went from a 4.3 to a 4.2, KVI from a 3.1 to a 2.9, KTTH held steady at 2.9, and KPTK (Air America) dropped from 2.8 to 2.0. Maybe KIRO going more liberal isn't the amswer.

    By Blogger Will Hansen, at 03 June, 2006 01:02  

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