The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

02 November 2006

Don Imus, John Kerry, MSNBC


Crusty Curmudgeon Melts For Senator Kerry

*** With Updates Below ***

*** New at Bay State Showdown: Kerry Healey wins the final debate. Does she still have a chance? ***

Readers who sometimes wonder why this site has been so tough on MSNBC fossil Don Imus ought to consider why we think he deserves it: just take a look at his unplanned visit with Senator John Kerry on yesterday's show.

While Imus prides himself on supposedly being so tough with politicians and other guests, when it comes to Kerry, he has a nasty habit of melting like butter.

In 2004, the crusty curmudgeon even proclaimed his outright support for the senator from Massachusetts during his ill- fated presidential bid.

Yet, for some reason, many people still view him as leaning conservative, or at least as an "independent". How in the world did that happen?

Funny enough, in the written transcript of Kerry's visit (necessary just to make sense of Don's notorious mumble- talk), it almost appears that the senator is being taken to task.

But when viewing the segment, it's clear Imus let his guard down after mere moments. What does he see in Kerry that's so spectacular?

First, from MSNBC, here's a portion of the transcript:

SEN. JOHN KERRY (D), MASSACHUSETTS: Good morning, Don Imus. How are you?

IMUS: Please stop it.


Stop talking. Go home, get on the bike, go windsurfing, anything. Stop it. You’re going to ruin this.


KERRY: I’m not going to let these guys distort something com- pletely out of its context solely for the purpose of avoiding responsibility, which is what they’re doing.

Look, everybody knows I botched a joke. It’s not the first time anybody’s done that, Don. Am I right?

IMUS: ... the first time you’ve done it.

KERRY: Not the first time I’ve done it. But on the other hand, it’s just a disgraceful thing when people try to assert that somebody like me, who has spent 35 years of my life fighting for veterans, standing up for veterans, fighting for their combat pay, fighting for Agent Orange recognition, fighting for their armor, fighting for their up-armored Humvees, fighting for them to have a strategy that wins, fighting to honor them that the notion that this comment was directed at them is an insult by these guys, and they know it. I mean, that’s really the bottom line here.

Look, this is a great volunteer army. And the word “volunteer” army means you have to be smart to get in it. They know that. Everybody knows. You can’t get in the military today if you’re not capable and not smart.

This comment couldn’t have been directed at them, because you can’t get into the military by doing badly in school. This was directed at the people who didn’t do their homework, didn’t listen to history, didn’t listen to their own advice, and they owe the American people an apology.

Now, I’m coming back to Washington today so that I’m not a distraction, because I don’t want to be a distraction to these campaigns. And the point is simply: They owe America an apology for this disaster in Iraq. And I hope they’re going to provide it.

IMUS: I was talking to Charles last night about this, and it was my inclination to try to defend you in this. And I said, I think I know what he meant. I mean, it’s clear what he meant. But I had to acknowledge, in my conversation with Charles, that that’s not what you said.

KERRY: Of course, it isn’t what I said.

I left out one word. I left out the word “us.” “They got us stuck.” Instead of that, I said, “They got stuck,” and they’re taking advantage of it.

And here’s what’s wrong...

IMUS: Well, why not apologize for the misunderstanding?

KERRY: Well, I did. I said it was a botched joke. Of course, I’m sorry about a botched joke. You think I love botched jokes? I mean, it’s pretty stupid.

But on the other hand, here’s what’s culpable and here’s what’s really unconscionable: The White House knows it. They know I wasn’t—you cannot get into the military today if you do badly in school. You can’t do it. It wouldn’t make sense. What they’re saying to people doesn’t make sense because it’s an impossibility.

But they’ve taken those words, just like they take words all the time, and they distort them on purpose in order to distract America from their policy. A hundred young Americans died last month. These guys don’t have a policy. Dick Cheney is saying that things are, you know, going fine in Iraq. They’re sitting around pretending that they’ve got a policy.

And I think families ought to be far more outraged about the fact that their kids don’t have a state-of-the-art armor. They ought to be far more outraged about the fact that they’re still, years later, pursuing a strategy that just doesn’t work.

KERRY: And these guys owe America an apology. That’s what ought to be the issue.

I’m happy—I’m not going to go to some place that a Congressman’s going to get embroiled in this, because I want them to win. But I want the real issues to be the real issues. And I’m just not going to let these guys lie.

Here's your Radio Equalizer's beef with Imus: while he does ask some good questions, Kerry is treated with kid gloves here, an approach he isn't inclined to take with nearly anybody else.

Who else would be able to get away with delivering such an enormous load of rambling BS on his show without quite a lot more scrutiny?

To get a better sense of Imus The Softy, just take a look at this video clip:

So what might we take from this experience? In the future, we should no longer allow Imus to get away with being labeled a "fiercely independent" host, or whatever other inaccurate tag the ever- fawning mainstream media might like to apply to him.

Instead, let's call him what he really is: a Democrat- supporting liberal who sucks up to elitists like John Kerry.

Another key point: Kerry's latest gaffe has once again damaged the already- horrible image of Massachusetts that exists in the minds of many Americans. He has reinforced negative stereotypes of mean and arrogant people residing in the Bay State. For that, he owes an apology to his fellow citizens.

From Michelle Malkin: Kerry meant what he said.

Lars Larson Show producer Chad Wilkinson has put together this clever montage of Kerry's statements combined with news coverage. Listen to it here.

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

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  • If Kerry cares about anything other than himself, he would resign and be quiet for a couple of years.

    By Blogger PCD, at 02 November, 2006 08:26  

  • Michele only had it half right. Not only does Kerry believe it, but so does 80% of the Democrats.

    By Blogger tradersmith, at 02 November, 2006 10:21  

  • I was always thought that Kerry was a self serving coward, a man of absolutely no integrity, who stands out as awful even among the hollow characters who choose to get involved in politics. That being said, I can't stand the media circus that inevitably arises upon gaffes and misstatements of all kinds, which in most cases reflect honest and inevitable mistakes and various human foibles (and yes I do agree that Republicans get called to task for this by the mainstream media far more often than Democrats - and are held to a different standard - but only in the less and less relevant mainstream media - but that's only a perception).

    Why all the shouting about stupid twists of the tongue, and such other nonsense? Simple - it artificially creates controversy, which the media hopes will induce people to watch more television, listen to more radio, or the internet. So as a consequence YOU watch advertisements, so they can attempt to convince you to buy things.

    It's a pretty sickening arrangement, in which some people make alot of money through the most crass type of manipulation. Of course, people, including me to a large extent, play along like sheep. (although we do NOT have a television in the house, except for watching movies, but then again the kids get around this by downloading like mad - at least they avoid all the commercials).

    It's a uniquely American system as far as I know and plays to the worst elements of our psyche. I see no relief from it, at least until the ultimate disillusionment sets in, and some "leader" comes along, and then...

    By Blogger thinkcon, at 02 November, 2006 12:47  

  • Maloney,

    As for Imus, his number one choice for president the last two elections has been John McCain. He voted for Bush in the 2000 and Kerry in 2004 after realizing what the Neocons were about.

    He frequently has on his show Rick Santorum and allows him to carry on about how the U.S. has found weapons of mass destruction. He supports Santorum for reelection, though not for his views on Iraq.

    Republican Congressman J.D Hayworth is a regular guest on his show and Imus allows him to carry on about how we are spreading Democracy in Iraq. Supports him once again for reelection though not for his views on Iraq.

    I could go on and on Maloney. Pandering to the far-right and to the far-left are not the only two approaches to radio.

    By Blogger Elmonica, at 02 November, 2006 13:06  

  • Imus was more fun when he was still doing drugs.

    By Blogger TC, at 02 November, 2006 15:11  

  • I absolutely agree with both Mr. Kerry's and Mr. Imus's comments.

    Shame on the devil president for using such an opportunity to spread lies and propaganda about Mr. Kerry.

    By Blogger hashfanatic, at 02 November, 2006 22:07  

  • this guy brian has a habit of backing dead horses. look at healy.

    By Blogger nandgtrucking, at 02 November, 2006 22:50  

  • TC said:
    Imus was more fun when he was still doing drugs.

    Sounds like Imus had another relapse and fell off his wagon.

    By Blogger The Benson Report, at 03 November, 2006 09:56  

  • You mean like Bush?

    By Blogger hashfanatic, at 03 November, 2006 13:08  

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