The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

29 October 2006

Melanie Morgan, WRKO, Mike Barnicle, Air America


Other Stories Making News This Week

While Rush Limbaugh and Bill O'Reilly were dominating headlines this week, here's what else was happening in the wacky world of talk radio:

KSFO's Melanie Morgan, increasingly a lefty target these days, returned to the line of fire with the release of her new book, American Mourning (see image link below). From CNS News:

CNN restricted an on-air discussion about a new book dealing with the Iraq war because peace activist Cindy Sheehan threatened to sue over provocative claims about her in the book, one of its co-authors claims.

"American Mourning" examines how the death of two U.S. soldiers in Iraq affected their families. One of the two is the Sheehan family.

Co-author Melanie Morgan told Cybercast News Service she was slated to appear on CNN's Headline News' "Glenn Beck" program last week and that a producer told her it would be a short segment, focusing on passing claims in the book regarding Sheehan's personal life.

Morgan said she replied: "OK, fine, what- ever," and continued on the promo- tional tour for the book, which deals with the families of Casey Sheehan of Vacaville, Calif., and Justin Johnson of Rome, Ga., friends who were killed within five days of each other in separate ambushes in Sadr City, Iraq, during April 2004.

While en route to CNN studios to tape the interview, however, Morgan received another call from the producer telling her that the segment would now deal with "everything but the sex issues."

Morgan -- who is president of the conservative organization Move America Forward -- said when she asked about the reason for the last-minute change, the producer told her it was made because of "legal issues."

At the same time, liberal blog site Crooks and Liars attacked her, here:

Morgan is the typical warmonger who believes we should "kill'em all."–vaporize every living person without regard to human life—even though Iraq never attacked us. (She's also quite comfortable with torture,) Morgan has no idea how many casualties there are in Iraq because she doesn't want to know. And by the way—I believe Korea and Vietnam ware serious wars. I gather so do the men and women who fought in them. I'm just saying…

In Boston, local investors, led by former GE honcho Jack Welch, have indicated they would seek to make a bid for the Boston Globe, currently owned by the New York Times Company.

Sound great? Sure does, except for one thing: the involvement of sloppy, unethical, plagiarist talk show host Mike Barnicle in the deal.

From the Globe:

Two of Boston's best-known businessmen -- retired General Electric Co. chief executive Jack Welch and adman Jack Connors -- are quietly exploring the possibility of making an offer to buy The Boston Globe from The New York Times Co.

While neither Welch nor Connors would comment, several executives who have participated in the discussions caution the plans are preliminary. But the executives are working with the investment bank JPMorgan Chase & Co. to analyze a potential deal. They say JPMorgan has valued the Globe at $550 million to $600 million, well below the $1.1 billion the Times Co. paid in 1993.

Times Co. has said repeatedly that the Globe, despite its continued poor financial results, is not for sale.

In a statement yesterday, Catherine Mathis, Times Co. vice president of corporate communications, said, "It is our policy not to comment on potential acquisitions or divestitures. We constantly review our portfolio of properties to assess their continuing relevance to our strategy. We view the Globe as an important asset, and we have taken many steps that we believe will improve its performance," most recently naming a new publisher, P. Steven Ainsley, who previously headed the company's regional newspapers.

Hey, anything's better than continued NYT ownership of the Globe, but Barnicle's presence immediately puts a cloud over the whole deal. Why would they let Mike destroy their credibility?

Also in the Hub, a hard- hitting investigation by the Boston Phoenix revealed that WRKO's talk hosts are (gasp) supporting a Republican for governor! Next week, they'll shock us again by counting all of the pro- Deval Patrick coverage in the Globe.

Elsewhere, the Fresno Bee was kind enough to remind us that Air America is still broadcasting:

Air America doesn't want fans to worry. Those involved with producing the liberal talk programming distributed under the Air America Radio banner have a business plan they think will work.

The plan is for the talk to continue despite the company filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Oct. 13.

"I believe the company has turned the corner in regards to the problems we have had in the past," says Scott Elberg just a week after being named chief executive officer of Air America Radio.

Air America is heard locally on KFPT, AM 790.

A Chapter 11 bankruptcy gives a company protection from creditors while it is being reorganized.

And in other Air America news, the New York Post revealed that an earlier tip on the now- infamous Gloria Wise scandal was "fumbled" by the city.

In addition, a Washington Times Op-Ed column documented a point we've made many times in the past:

When is a campaign donation not a campaign donation? Apparently if you spend the money to run a radio program instead of paying for campaign ads that run on that same program. Just look at Air America. With $41 million in losses since 2004, and $9.8 million owed just to Robert Glaser, RealNetworks chairman, Democrats who bankrolled this "company" weren't so much investors as campaign contributors.

The losses are seen as simple business ineptitude, but Air America effectively, and perhaps intentionally, cleverly avoided the campaign finance limits which Democrats had worked so hard to pass.

With McCain-Feingold's "hard money" donation limits of $2,000 per candidate and "soft money" limits to party campaign committees of $57,500, there is no way that Mr. Glaser or other wealthy Democratic donors could have legally given such large sums directly to Democrats. But Air America provided a vehicle for their multimillion-dollar political campaigns.

Take Al Franken's show last Friday, the very day the network was declaring bankruptcy. The program devoted two-and-a-half hours to "Meet the Democrats," where five U.S. House and Senate candidates explained why they were the people for the job. Two-and-a-half hours straight of candidates talking is hardly stirring radio, but it is the Democrats' version of religious radio. Hardly meant to make a profit, but there to inspire the troops. After all, when the network started in 2004, Al Franken announced that: "I'm doing this because I want to use my energies to get Bush unelected."

FOR THE LATEST on key Massachusetts races, visit Bay State Showdown, our other site.

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AAR Scandal: Darleen Click


  • Speaking of other news Maloney, here is an article that represents the thinking of the typical right-wing radio listener.

    By Blogger Elmonica, at 30 October, 2006 02:11  

  • Elmonica

    I am a typical right-wing radio listener and I think this guys comments are stupid. I believe most right-wing listeners would agree.

    I can find liberal web sights and say this is what typical liberals believe.

    What do you believe in web sites like I guess I can group all liberals into believing something so stupid it makes me laugh. But liberal radio host support it like they are telling the truth. There are idiots on both sides and people who believe what says are idiots.

    So what do you believe.

    By Blogger PF1, at 30 October, 2006 02:53  

  • pfi,

    Maloney has charcterized every liberal who disagrees with Bush and his pack of liars as "Looney", "Fringe", and "Extremist" to name just a few.

    If Maloney can't demonstrate objectivity or criticsm towards right wing radio, how can he expect his left-of-center readers?

    Even George Will, a honorable conservative finds criticsm with scumbag Dick Cheney in this article,

    By Blogger Elmonica, at 30 October, 2006 03:35  

  • Elmonica

    I can find fault with all politicians. In MY view republicans have fewer faults and more traits that I agree with. I am sure you agree with the democratic point of view. I disagree with the policies of the Democratic Party. I do not think they are evil they just have a different view.

    AAR goes after the person not the policies. I listen to AAR they mainly attack the conservatives with name calling. I am sure you will disagree but if you listen they name call more than any right-wing radio host. If they would debate policy more, I would listen more.

    The only place to get an honest debate is with friends that are on the other side of the isle. Then you can get past the name calling and bullshit. I found most people actually agree. It is the ones on the left and right fringe that will never agree.

    I have been reading this blog for a long time. Some people’s comments make me think they are on the fringe, but then I realize they are only defending their positions right or wrong does not matter.

    By Blogger PF1, at 30 October, 2006 04:39  

  • AAR goes after the person not the policies. I listen to AAR they mainly attack the conservatives with name callin

    AAR attacks policy of the radical right, not name calling. It is obvious you never listened. I listen 7 hours a day, attack on policy. Republicans are invited to call, and discussions are had. You NEVER listen. I listen to RNC radio as well, it is 100% name calling of an imagianary enemy "liberal". No "liberal Limbaugh etc etc, it is all ad-hom attacks of the imaginary "liberal" who have NO POWER at all. It is a f*cking joke. I'm clearing the Air on this. You are a liar. you never listen to A.A.R, if you did, you might learn something. A.A.R does a GOOD job discussing the issues, not ad hom attacks. Big difference. Th RNC attacks an imiganary grup of people, they sound like mentally sick, paranoid loonatics. This is why I left the Republican parrty 15 years ago, the voices who represent your side are INSANE.

    As far as 911 truth, not any crazier than "liberals hate babies" "liberals want to make you gay" blah blah blah. Cons are terririfd of the possibilities of 9/11 theories, if a Dem was in charge during 9/11 conservatvies would make the same charge, and you would lap it up, like a cat laping up milk. After all conservatives believed Clinton murdered teenage boys and was a drug king pin, this was on the radio EVERYT day, not a single right winger called it "crazy". I suggest you learn to live with sites like 9/11 truth. The conservatives started all of this crap, during the clinton era, now you cry about "conspiriacies". Pathetic, absolutly pathetic.

    By Blogger Minister of Propaganda, at 30 October, 2006 10:24  

  • >>the Boston Phoenix revealed that WRKO's talk hosts are (gasp) supporting a Republican for governor!

    I doubt they'll go after Boston Globe or Air America for supporting moonbats. The typical Phoenix reader, a college student smoking a bong and wearing a "Bush is Hitler" T-shirt (OK, I'm being sarcastic...or am I?)
    eats this all up.

    And where are the left-wing talk stations ratings-wise in Boston? Getting a 0.4 in liberal-land while WRKO gets ten
    times as many listeners, as a response to the liberal media in town.
    Air America Boston only has one local show--weekly--while WRKO
    has many. But given support for
    Deval Patrick by the likes of
    the Globe, local TV, unions,
    the Phoenix, and many others,
    maybe there's no need for local
    left-leaning shows.
    Phoenix readers are just loving the "WRKO
    is eeeeeeevil Republican talk!" a state where 90 per
    cent of politicians are Democrats.
    Far be it for the Commonwealth
    to elect a Republican governor
    to kind of balance things out.

    Some day today's moonbats in Mass.
    may get jobs, buy houses, and
    notice their tax bills. They'll
    realize the crooks and cronies
    of their government are wrong.
    A liberal is a conservative who
    hasn't been mugged yet.

    By Blogger raccoonradio, at 30 October, 2006 11:53  

  • >>AAR goes after the person

    As in Randi Rhodes "joking" that the President be shot, something I never heard from Rush while Clinton was
    in office.

    By Blogger raccoonradio, at 30 October, 2006 11:56  

  • Wrongo.

    There was a skit done during her show, which she did not participate in, and did not pre-approve.

    She apologized profusely. Even though she had nothing to do with it (unlike Rethuglicans, who never take responsibility, even for things they actually do)...

    Nice try, coon.

    By Blogger hashfanatic, at 30 October, 2006 16:47  

  • MOP

    Are you saying ex AAR host Mike Malloy does not mainly name call. He is back on the air. So listen again and say that with a strait face. Every time he referenced the President he name called. You Know I am telling the truth.

    I left the Democratic Party in the 70’s after Carter’s first term. Reagan turned the country around. I do not know your age but Carter was the worse President this country ever had. Bill Clinton was not that bad he did govern near the middle. I did not agree with him on all things but I would never call him evil or disrespect him like Mike Malloy disrespects Bush. He also has zero respect for christen listeners. In return I have zero respect for Mike Malloy and he does not deserve respect.

    By Blogger pf1, at 30 October, 2006 22:04  

  • You mean Chucklenuts, PF-Flyer??


    By Blogger hashfanatic, at 30 October, 2006 23:54  

  • Yes hash that is what I mean. That’s the same as other host on AAR do. The same as you throw names around. That is why I do not listen to AAR. They are to unintelligent to make an actual argument.

    By Blogger PF1, at 31 October, 2006 00:25  

  • There was a skit done during her show

    Key words HER SHOW. She has complete control over that. If it was a caller that might be different.

    By Blogger PF1, at 31 October, 2006 02:14  

  • One of the problems is that the contant Bush bashing lowers the level of debate - whoever is in office next will get the same treatment from the other side. That's a certainty, as what goes around comes around. That's REALLY not good and simply wasn't the case when I was growing up in the 50's and early 60's - there was far more of a consensus about who we were, where we were and what we were doing. There WAS plenty of diagreement but it was done in a more low key way, and there was a basic agreement on many issues.

    So much for the 'effin' good old days. You can point fingers as to who is responsible for the present level of debate. I don't see Bush, who is all and all a pretty passive President when it comes to being overtly patisan other than around election time (I know I know the blue people don't want to hear it, but that's not my main point) - Reagan and Clinton were far more partisan (not that I like Bush, his lack of verbal skills is breathtaking in someone who does that much public speaking, and he's not a conservative - but then again I liked Kerry even less, the Democrats could have had it all, but they made it into a battle between the simp and the wimp, and the simp won).

    But that's totally beside the point. The debate has become so shrill that it doesn't surprise me that there is someone out there screaming that we should assasinate politicians.

    But you know what? - that guy should be thrown in jail, for a LONG time. NO ONE should use the public airwaves, or the internet or even a friggin' soapbox to tell people to kill other people. Not even as a "joke." That ain't free speech, not now, not ever.

    But the bad news is, our inability to get along WILL end in violence one way or another if we don't get our act together. And so...the stupid, silly finger pointing has to stop, it's a luxery we don't have anymore. We are REALLY at war - the enemy is at the 'effin' gates, but we don't even know it yet. And even if we weren't there are plenty of people out there who want what we have, but don't want to spend the time to get it the way we did. Not to get cliched, but if we don't hang together - you finish the sentence.

    In a sense, Bin Lauden did us a favor by putting into sharp relief what is truly going on out there. And, mark my words, there is far worse being planned, but are we going to be able to properly respond? Maybe there should have been 20 9/11's (maybe there will be, or something far worse) but if we don't stop the constant 'effin' bickering...well, guess what, there is no guarantee attached to whatever lifestyle you have - rank dire poverty, no job, no food, no hope for anything better isn't fun but if the system collapses - the system in which if you eat three meals a day you have a vested interest - because you are too busy fighting with your neighbor that's what you will have to look forward to. And it REALLY can fall apart - looked at globally you have no right to a certain minimum standard of living, and it can be taken away by circumstances.

    Sometimes when you point this out, you feel like Cassandra, but there is a way to debate things, without this heavy handed, close minded finger pointing nonsense, which is almost inevitably going to lead to people shooting each other.

    And all this endless infighting is being sucked up overseas, by our enemies AND our so-called friends - they love it, as it shows a structural weakness which can and will be exploited. Remember the Soviet Union? How long did it take to fall apart? Or France ca. 1930's the disagreement among the politicians was poisonous and one of the reasons (among many) why they were so totally inept during the invasion, and the events leading up to it.
    On the other hand, this is a blog, so what should I expect?

    By Blogger thinkcon, at 31 October, 2006 15:42  

  • This is lib says:

    " Wrongo.

    There was a skit done during her show, which she did not participate in, and did not pre-approve.

    She apologized profusely. Even though she had nothing to do with it (unlike Rethuglicans, who never take responsibility, even for things they actually do)...

    Nice try, coon.

    By hashfanatic, at 30 October, 2006 16:47 "

    Now, in the reverse, ANOTHER lib quotes:

    "PF1 said...
    There was a skit done during her show

    Key words HER SHOW. She has complete control over that. If it was a caller that might be different.

    31 October, 2006 02:14 "

    Gotta luv the fruity left...on the one hand, it was a JOKE ON HER SHOW!! She had NOTHING to do with it!!


    So morons, which is it?? She's IN charge or a wannabe?
    She should have been fined, as it's HER SHOW, and SHE'S IN CHARGE.....whether she approved or not. Wow......THAT"S a novel concept, a lib taking responsibility.

    woooohooooooo, I made a funny.

    By Blogger LNaranjoiv, at 01 November, 2006 18:08  

  • Inaranjoiv please do not insult me by calling me a LIB>

    Read again what I said

    There was a skit done during HER show

    Key words HER SHOW. She has complete control over that. If it was a caller that might be different.

    She should be fined I agree, because she has control over her show.

    PF1 the republican.

    By Blogger PF1, at 03 November, 2006 02:58  

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