The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

20 September 2006

Sam Seder, Carl Bernstein, Bob Woodward


During Performance, Worcester Wannabe Out Of His League

Removing any doubt as to his chronically childish nature, Air America Radio host Sam Seder had his head handed to him during a stage performance Monday evening, according to the New York Daily News.

Organized as a special Hollywood star- infested reading of "All The President's Men" to benefit a local charity, Seder, who was somehow chosen as the event's emcee, used the occasion to bash reporter Bob Woodward for apparently not being sufficiently anti-Bush in his coverage.

But that ticked off performer (and famous Woodward journalistic partner) Carl Bernstein, according to Lloyd Grove:

Bernstein jumps down emcee's Deep Throat

Don't even think about trashing Bob Woodward when Carl Bernstein's around.

He'll blow you out of the water.

Former Washington Post reporter Bernstein - a featured player at Monday night's celeb-glutted dramatic reading of "All the President's Men" to raise money for the Naked Angels Theater Company - brought the show to a crashing halt after emcee Sam Seder, a host on the financially bankrupt Air America radio network, ranted about Bernstein's fellow Watergate sleuth.

"It's appropriate that Bob Woodward isn't here tonight," Seder sniped from the stage at Skylight Studios before slamming the Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter, and the news media in general, for allegedly being soft on the Bush White House.

"How could you? How could you?" Seder demanded, as Billy Crudup, Blythe Danner, Sam Waterston and other cast members waited for him to finish.

But Bernstein was having none of it.

With the performance of William Goldman's Oscar-winning screenplay well under way, Bernstein delayed his first line (as metropolitan editor Harry Rosenfeld) to announce: "I take vigorous exception to what was just said about my friend and colleague Bob Woodward."

Calling Seder's remarks "wholly inappropriate," Bernstein said: "Most of what we know about the Bush White House comes from Bob Woodward's reporting." As for the unraveling of the Watergate scandal and Richard Nixon's presidency, "We wouldn't even be here tonight if it weren't for Bob Woodward."

The crowd gave Bernstein a rousing ovation.

Yesterday Woodward, still an editor at The Post more than 30 years after Watergate, told me: "I appreciate Carl's remarks, but I also understand the passions that blind people, quite frankly, when they want certain political outcomes. And reporters have to stick to what happens and what they can find out."

Woodward's latest book about President Bush - which I hear will be a searing investigation of mismanagement in Iraq - will be out in a couple of weeks.

Sam's history of childish antics is well- known to Radio Equalizer readers. For background on Janeane Garofalo's former on- air partner, see these previous pieces.

Here's Seder during a recent guest visit with MSNBC's Tucker Carlson:

We don't know how Seder's ego managed to get quite this big, but it's nice to see somebody finally willing to put him in his place.

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  • Oh, please.

    On the video (which did NOT portray Seder as arrogant at all), I watched two men-Seder and Willkow-present extremely strong and relevant points and positions about the environmental debate.

    What would have made the segment PERFECT is if both Seder and Willkow would have taken turns beating that whining, ridiculous-looking Carlson to a pulp!

    THEN perhaps there could have been a constructive debate between the two (after Willkow rechecked some of his facts, which is something he's known to have issues with)....

    Woodward and Bernstein are such a non-issue, especially in view of what's going on today.

    By Blogger hashfanatic, at 20 September, 2006 20:37  

  • Yes, it looked like a perfectly normal debate. My issue is why B.M. is featuring a talk show host, Sirius' Willkow, from a satellite radio network.


    By Blogger WHT, at 20 September, 2006 22:13  

  • Satellite is the future.

    By Blogger hashfanatic, at 20 September, 2006 23:03  

  • Question: Why does Lloyd Grove write: "the financially bankrupt Air America radio network," when the bankruptcy report already has been retracted? Struggling yes, bankrupt no.

    By Blogger Justin, at 21 September, 2006 08:47  

  • He meant to say "intellectualy bankrupt".

    By Blogger BF, at 21 September, 2006 08:52  

  • (Sc)Air America is cash strapped, if not bankrupt. That is a fact only the most partisan left-wingnuts deny.

    Seder was out of line and got slapped down for it. End of Story.

    By Blogger PCD, at 21 September, 2006 09:30  

  • More conservative media bias. Slimeball D'amato trashed McCain, and says he cant judge torture because he is a veteran, media silent. Sedar speaks his mind about a journalist being too soft on Bush, it gets into a paper. Do more people know who D'amato is than Sedar, FOR SURE. Is D'amato a Republican, Sedar a liberal? Sure. One more nail in the coffin of "lib media bias"

    The media on a daily basis tries their hardest to slime the left, even if it takes attacking an unknown talk show host (who I personally like) , and they bend over backwards to ignore crazy statements, that Republican representatives say. If the media actually did their job, Bush would not have a 40% approval rating, not have a 37% approval rating, it would be more like 3%. The media needs their monopoly loving, competition killing, laizze faire leaders.

    By Blogger Minister of Propaganda, at 21 September, 2006 09:41  

  • Ah, more censorship.

    Incidentally, what happened to Sam's show on WWRL?

    By Blogger hashfanatic, at 21 September, 2006 13:08  

  • In liberal Boston, the latest 12 + ratings (seen at
    show a 250-watt "standards" AM station, WJIB, has ratings twice as high as the two Air America stations (WXKS, WKOX) combined...

    By Blogger raccoonradio, at 21 September, 2006 14:40  

  • Hash
    I called them, there was a technical glitch, they will play Sam tomorrow,

    10PM- Mid

    By Blogger Minister of Propaganda, at 21 September, 2006 15:08  

  • Thank you!

    One never knows what the devil is up to, y'know?

    By Blogger hashfanatic, at 21 September, 2006 16:15  

  • raccoon, does that include streaming or satellite radio links?

    Liberals, being working people, tend to be willing to spend money to get the truth, know what I mean?

    Sad it is that they are driven to that.

    By Blogger hashfanatic, at 21 September, 2006 16:17  

  • hashfan,

    while Boston's AAR ratings don't take into account internet, satellite, or podcast replays, it doesn't count for anyone else's ratings either. Occam's Razor says that internet, satellite, & podcast listeners of AAR make up the same % of the total audience as over-the-air listeners. Which is to say not much.

    By Blogger BF, at 21 September, 2006 16:53  

  • I'm not sure I believe that.

    Conservative listeners are far more likely not to have satellite radio and are also far more likely to be tuning in to a high-powered radio station that they enjoy unfettered access to.

    The besieged Air America listener has no (easy) alternative to turn to at this point, and many have to tune into staticy, constantly-interrupted programs, as if they lived in a Soviet-era Iron Curtain country.

    As if.....hmmmm.

    By Blogger hashfanatic, at 21 September, 2006 20:24  

  • hashfanatic said ...
    Liberals, being working people, tend to be willing to spend money to get the truth, know what I mean?

    Working people??? You mean like George Soros, Ted Turner, Ted Kennedy, John Kerry, Barbra Streisand, Alec Baldwin, etc., etc.?

    Yeah, those are regular blue-collar folks, all right. Or at least their limo drivers are ... LOL.

    By Blogger The4thEstate, at 22 September, 2006 09:39  

  • hashfanatic said ...
    The besieged Air America listener has no (easy) alternative to turn to at this point, and many have to tune into staticy, constantly-interrupted programs, as if they lived in a Soviet-era Iron Curtain country.

    Then Air America is the perfect choice for you. After all, it's the closest thing to Soviet-era socialist radio you'll find today.

    But seriously, it's not the Bush administration's fault if a private network can't get its act together enough to put its shows on the most powerful broadcast stations. Get an audience and you'll have 50,000-watt stations eating out of your hand. Fail to do so and you're probably either a bad businessman or a guy with an unpopular product. Or both.

    By Blogger The4thEstate, at 22 September, 2006 09:48  

  • And I repeat, the ratings are a sham, and there is no way we can know with certainty how many people are listening, when, and how, and this is what debunks the whole corporatist argument regarding progressive media in general, and talk radio in particular.

    By Blogger hashfanatic, at 22 September, 2006 22:48  

  • So that's how your mind works: Whenever you're confronted with evidence that contradicts something you want to believe, you simply dismiss it as a sham.

    Never mind the fact that everyone, from industry executives to the reporters who write about the radio business, consider the Arbitron ratings among the best available indicators of a program or station's success or failure. Nope, if Hashfanatic says it isn't so, then by golly it isn't so, and that's that!

    Do you know how utterly silly that sounds? How can anyone take you seriously when you so casually dismiss any fact that contradicts your orthodoxy?

    Chew on this: If what you're saying is that big corporations don't like left-wing radio, then why in heaven's name would a corporate entity like Clear Channel put Air America on its own stations? Read this 2004 story ... even if it's overly optimistic about Air America's prospects, it should provide at least a small dose of reality:

    By Blogger The4thEstate, at 25 September, 2006 13:28  

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