The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

20 October 2007

Randi Rhodes Non-Mugging Story, Ed Schultz Reacts

ONE FISHY STORY!

While Another Implodes, Libtalker Covers Own Ass







Sure enough, liberals really do eat their own, but in this case, who can blame them?

While the media spotlight was shining brightly upon liberal talk radio conspiracy queen Randi Rhodes earlier this week, her cohorts were busy trying to figure out how to deal with the situation. With listeners clearly concerned, what's a "progressive" host to do?

Once it became clear the story was fishy, Ed Schultz decided to throw Randi under the bus. Did he make the wrong call, or demonstrate a rare bit of independence from the libtalk party line? You be the judge.

After initially expressing sympathy (not to mention falling at least partly for the "Randi was mugged by right- wingers party line) during Tuesday's show (even wondering whether he should carry a gun for protection), Big Eddie pretty much fed Randi to the wolves on Wednesday.


ISOLATED QUOTES FROM TUESDAY'S PROGRAM:


SCHULTZ: "But no one of the face of this earth, in America especially, deserves this kind of treatment and it's horrible."

"It's probably an isolated, random attack on a human being in a big city."

"I just hope we're not becoming a country where people speak their mind and speak their piece and do it with such tenacity and such passion and such belief and such conviction to the point where we become targets - is that the America we're talking about?"

"But when you suppress freedom of speech, when you suppress the free spoken word, people think that you're violating their space if you do speak your mind. And that is what is scary about this whole thing, is that we have to be used to as a country, as a society, as a people, to continue to speak out because that's who we are, that's our freedom, that's what America is all about. And if it becomes out of the norm because freedom of speech has been suppressed so much, if there's only one school of thought out there, I think it lends itself to situations that are just like this."


After Randi's story unraveled, Schultz quickly changed his tune, blaming Air America host Jon Elliot as well as Rhodes herself. Here are quotes from Wednesday's program:


SCHULTZ: "I think we have to ask the question, what is this, some kind of cheap promotion?"

Schultz reads what Elliott posted about incident at Rhodes' website, claiming she'd been "assaulted" while walking dog.

"Is that speculation? "What conversation, Jon, did you have and what a disservice you did to the format and to a talk show host by going on the air with erroneous information like that?"

Schultz says he hopes Rhodes is quickly recuperating: "We're all rooting for you to be OK. But you got some 'splaining to do here, girl. You know, how did you get your teeth kicked out or knocked out or how did you fall down or did you get into a fight? It's not fair to those of us who are out there in the progressive format trying to defend you, go to bat for you, help you, be a part of you, see you succeed and everything else. This is about the goofiest damn story I think I've ever heard in my life."


Schultz, who is syndicated by a competing libtalk syndication firm, has never been shy about attacking Air America Radio for its chronic mismanagement issues. But this may be the first time he's gone after a fellow "progressive" talker by name.

A year ago, this wouldn't have happened, but with the format now on thin ice, it's every man for himself. Can Schultz afford to have his own career threatened by unstable fellow- travellers like Rhodes? Call this a case of covering one's own ass.


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14 Comments:

  • Neocon is, as neocon does.

    By Blogger hashfanatic, at 20 October, 2007 00:28  

  • Apparently hashfanatic is an idiot.

    By Blogger tskier, at 20 October, 2007 08:47  

  • I guess once again the definition of "mugged liberal" is confirmed; where'd all that "gun control; only the police should have guns" talk suddenly go?

    Look, this woman walks out of a bar, loses conciousness and does a face plant. She says she hadn't eaten anything, and won't disclose how much she had to drink, so either

    1) she wasn't drinking at all or
    2) she was drinking on an empty stomach

    Just apply Occam's Razor...how hard is this to figure out?

    She calls up work, because she's in no condition to run a radio show, and tells the boss she "got mugged".

    Please, spare us.

    By Blogger Margaret, at 20 October, 2007 09:07  

  • Randy Roads is an alcoholic. She will never seek help for her alcoholism, because of pride. You see when Limbaugh got hooked an prescription medication she was one of the first to mock and ridicule him, all the while being hooked on drugs her self.This is a sad circumstance and why civil discourse is so important. That is also why I listen not to the left, they are insane.

    By Blogger Big Dave, at 20 October, 2007 12:38  

  • Perhaps Randi should contact Glenn Beck, he's a recovered alcoholic. Glenn would probably keep it all confidential, he's a good guy.

    By Blogger Rich in MT, at 20 October, 2007 12:51  

  • Several corrections:

    -- Ed Schultz has a history of personal attacks on AAR personalities, this is certainly not the first.

    -- The "format" is not on thin ice, it's revenue has grown exponentially over the last 18 months. Ditto has been flat or slightly down.

    -- One of the defining qualities of progressives is that they can't organize in lockstep around a single, simple ideology like the righties can. That's why they're percieved as disorganized and as "eating their own". Calling this a "rare bit of independence from the libtalk party line" [as usual] ignores the facts, and the wide variety of progressive reporting and opinion.

    By Blogger sooray, at 20 October, 2007 13:32  

  • This comment has been removed by the author.

    By Blogger sooray, at 20 October, 2007 13:49  

  • Oh, one more correction (other than my misspelling of "perceived"):

    -- Ockham's razor is not applicable in this situation as we have no substantiated facts, only wild rumors.

    By Blogger sooray, at 20 October, 2007 13:55  

  • It is my understanding that Jon Elliot passed out as fact that Randi was mugged.

    Fellow host Jon Elliott said on the liberal network that Rhodes was attacked at 39th St. and Park Ave. on Sunday night while walking her dog, Simon.

    Elliott, who said Rhodes lost several teeth in the attack, waxed about a possible conspiracy.

    "Is this an attempt by the right-wing hate machine to silence one of our own?" he asked on the air, according to the Talking Radio blog. "Are we threatening them?"

    A police source said Rhodes never filed a report and never claimed to be the victim of a mugging.


    NY Daily News

    And just for the record I'm not Randi's poodle.

    By Blogger M. Simon, at 20 October, 2007 14:09  

  • Pulled from Radio-info:

    http://www.radio-info.com/smf/index.php/topic,83563.0.html

    Thank God for those conservatives. If it wasn't for them, not only would the terrorists be hiding behind the dumpster at the CVS, but talkradio would be soooo uninteresting!

    Enough with the misleading rhetoric.

    Contrary to what has grown into urban legend at this point, Rush Limbaugh took off because of the personality that he is, not because of the conservative that he is. Talk programmers (like most radio programmers) in their infinite wisdom and lack of creativity, decided it was Rush's conservatism that was the reason for his success, and just like the programmers of JACK and every other boilerplate format, they couldn't get those Rush copycats on fast enough.

    Over the last 18 years, programmers have steadily built the conservative talkradio field---and boy oh boy have the conservatives come. Now the impression is that talkradio is just a conservative format, rejecting any and all who dare be less than a "Great American".

    While liberal talk is just as nauseating as conservative talk in it's agenda driven espousing of specious propaganda, let's stop this silly criticism of libtalk's failure as having resulted from nobody agreeing with what they say. The majority of citizens in this country DO NOT agree with the Bush supporters you find up and down the dial.

    Fact is, libtalk failed in it's infancy due to horrible affiliates and non-pros on the air. Had conservative talk been handled in the same manner, you wouldn't have the talk landscape looking the way it does today.

    Unfortuantely, politics is now the dividing line in a format that has the potential to entertain people of all walks.

    Talk is not a format full of exclusive listeners. And while there may be some of those, most people sample it as an addition to their other radio choices, whether they be Country, AC, classic rock, etc. MOST people are capable of being entertained by conversation. MOST people would enjoy a laugh or two courtesy of someone who talks about life and picks and chooses their opinions based on the variables of a situation---not a preordained agenda they're trying to live up to.

    The sad truth is that talkradio's reputation preceeds it and most people just assume talkradio is about politics, more specifically conservative politics. And if they bother to tune over to *AM* they have their suspicions confirmed, and they flip right back to FM---or sports(!).

    Such a self limiting group we are. So self-destructive as we face growing challenges from other audio sources.

    If you believe that the best way for talk to proceed is in this niche oriented fashion, you are incredibly shortsighted and are contributing to the hamstringing of what could be a much more interesting and much less predicatable format.

    ME: (Only response so far).

    Another poster: Bravo. Excellent observations.

    If tomorrow Rush got hit by a meteorite and became a liberal, it would take him maybe about a year to get almost the same ratings he had as a conserative. His success (I hate to admit) comes from being so incredibly sure that he's right and having an ability to argue that the moon is made of cream cheese... and make it sound entertaining.

    Hey, I don't believe little green men are invading our planet, but at 2am when I'm listening to Art Bell, I start to wonder, did I see something around that tree?... It's just good radio, even if I don't necessarily agree with the content.

    I only wish we could find someone as good on the liberal side. I admire Rush for his showmanship but also believe that he hurts our democracy because so many people listen to him and believe him. It's great radio but it's also unbalanced, since he has three hours a day (plus his clones have all those other hours of the day).

    But I also believe in the free marketplace of ideas. So it's up to liberal America to find Rush's equivolent, not to muzzle Rush. Thom Hartmann is good and Ed Schultz SOUNDS like Limbaugh... but they just don't have his same gifts. Sadly Randi Rhodes has some good ideas but is undisciplined in her style... and you'd think after 20 years in radio she might have consulted with a voice and accent coach to get rid of her Brooklyneese by now. (If Australians Nicole Kidman and Russell Crowe can speak like middle Americans, can't Randi Rhodes?)

    And one more thought... I think most liberals simply listen to music on the radio. It's the angry white men who now have to share America with women and minorities that also are glued to Conservative Talk Radio. Liberals are just as likely happy with FM music or NPR and maybe don't need talk radio to reassure them they still matter.

    Follow the link to see if/what other add as time goes by.

    My opinion: I know which side of the ideological fence I am on. I used to listen to Beck, Limbaugh, Ingraham on occasion. Now I listen to Tony Bruno. Both Parties suck.

    Unfortunately, this board has become ad hominem attacks from both sides of the aisle on the other side of the aisle.

    I want to be entertained by talk radio, including laughing, which is what I get from Bruno. The usual suspects that post on this board(I used to be one) need to take this to heart.

    MOP, Hashfanatic, Dave Carroll, you say that conservatives (or conservative talk radio) made you what you are today? Then turn the radio (or TV) off, dude.

    The only ones guilty of trying to shut down the debate from the other side is the one you see in the mirror. The more I see of the vitriol on this board, the more I hate to look at the comments from the posters. My stomach actually turns as I click on the comments link on a given article that Brian posts.

    I have said in the past, and will say again, you know where the man stands on different issues. You aren't changing his opinion on things, as he sees it. If he pulled a complete 180, would you believe what he posted?

    One thing to remember: We ain't gettin' out of this life alive. No sense in taking ANYTHING going on in radio, politics, etc, seriously.

    Sorry for the philosophy on a Sat night. Now take your shots at me.

    By Blogger Stacy, at 20 October, 2007 23:35  

  • "Contrary to what has grown into urban legend at this point, Rush Limbaugh took off because of the personality that he is, not because of the conservative that he is. Talk programmers (like most radio programmers) in their infinite wisdom and lack of creativity, decided it was Rush's conservatism that was the reason for his success, and just like the programmers of JACK and every other boilerplate format, they couldn't get those Rush copycats on fast enough."

    Stacy, it should be noted that, when Rush first started out at a particular local station, his program WAS challenging and interesting to listen to, because he had talent as a broadcaster, and he was free to think for himself and express himself. Syndication, and some personal demons (which, let's face it, are really none of anyone's business, but we use them anyway in battle), robbed him of that quality.

    "Over the last 18 years, programmers have steadily built the conservative talkradio field---and boy oh boy have the conservatives come. Now the impression is that talkradio is just a conservative format, rejecting any and all who dare be less than a "Great American"."

    Yes, but there's a difference between a Limbaugh or a Savage, whose expressed viewpoints are abhorrent, but still can be entertaining and informative, and an Ingraham or a Crowley, who take their talking points from the fax machine in the morning, and voila! Their show prep is done.

    Or a Lionel, a Franken, a Schultz, etc., who are simply parrots for what management thinks will fly in whatever given, targeted market.

    The bottom line is, they have no talent and simply do not belong on the radio. Everyone tries to make reasoned, objective comparisons between them without acknowledging what listeners have known all along, but still put up with.


    "The sad truth is that talkradio's reputation preceeds it and most people just assume talkradio is about politics, more specifically conservative politics. And if they bother to tune over to *AM* they have their suspicions confirmed, and they flip right back to FM---or sports(!)."

    Yet, tellingly, satellite talk largely escapes this fate. Why?


    "And one more thought... I think most liberals simply listen to music on the radio. It's the angry white men who now have to share America with women and minorities that also are glued to Conservative Talk Radio. Liberals are just as likely happy with FM music or NPR and maybe don't need talk radio to reassure them they still matter."

    Maybe, but the liberals are not the driving force here...it is the conservatives who increasingly feel alienated from music represented on FM (witness Springsteen), "pop culture", Hollywood, etc.

    They listen to more conservative talk to fill in the gaps, and to feel connected to a specific subculture whose values they believe more closely mirror theirs.

    They believe popular music and popular culture are filled with liberal, socialist ideas and propaganda and increasingly reject them.


    "Both Parties suck."

    Well, yes, they do.


    "Unfortunately, this board has become ad hominem attacks from both sides of the aisle on the other side of the aisle."

    That's not just this blog, or the blogosphere in general, it's the nation. And the nation is dying because of it.


    "MOP, Hashfanatic, Dave Carroll, you say that conservatives (or conservative talk radio) made you what you are today? Then turn the radio (or TV) off, dude."


    Eeeek! When did I ever say that?

    It's not the messengers, or even the messages. It's the actions that inspire them, and the desire to expose the avarice and greed, that inspire me.


    "One thing to remember: We ain't gettin' out of this life alive. No sense in taking ANYTHING going on in radio, politics, etc, seriously."

    That's just a survival mechanism that kicks in to keep you from going insane.

    But it's every man's personal choice to make. Every man has his Rubicon, the issue that propels him to anger, to pity, to compassion, to fury.

    Maybe that one issue hasn't smacked you upside the head yet, no?


    Good post, stacy....best I've seen here in a while.

    By Blogger hashfanatic, at 21 October, 2007 01:35  

  • Hash,

    Most of that post was from the Radio-info board. Guess I should have put quote marks around what those posters wrote, so that it didn't look like my writing/thoughts. My bad, I apologize.

    There are issues that can infuriate me, don't worry bout that. :) I just think that, as I get older, I have stepped back from the "battlefield", looked at the picture(politicians, political talk radio, partisans on each side) and have come to some conclusions.

    Both sides look at the other side and say "You're the one to blame for the ills of the U.S." They should be looking at themselves b/c we are ALL to blame. Neither side wants to solve the problems of the country, just use them for their only personal agendas and to hell with the country.

    Maybe it is a survival mechanism. To be completely honest, it could be, I will have to do some soul searching on that one. I just think that I am completely disgusted by the lot of politics and political talk radio in general, and just don't pay attention to either anymore.

    There is no political debate in this country anymore. Both sides say "Its my way, or nothing." Its a damn shame that it has come to this.

    By Blogger Stacy, at 21 October, 2007 10:15  

  • Stacy.

    I concur with Hash on most of his response and much of what you say as well. I have never for a second forgotten that this is a business and, if that two or three hours a talker fills is not first and foremost entertaining, it's pointless.

    Conservative talkers did not make me who I am. What I have said was that they provided me endless fodder because their arguments are so easily torn apart and cannot face the sanitizing light of truth. I find Savage and Limbaugh endlessly amusing but I also know that they (actually their consultants) consider the base of their listenership to be horridly uninformed and unread and will believe anything said authoritatively enough by a daddy figure. That's why Limbaugh is such an effective propagandist. He knows that his core will never investigate the facts because he and his sycophants consider them and most American to be morons. That is what I find insulting. Most of his "opinions" have absolutely no basis in fact and are very easily disproved. Franken was good at pointing this out but, well, let's be candid, Franken's monotone was hard to listen to for three hours a day. Also, Franken had a DLC agenda, which is why he's running a Senate campaign right now rather than radio. That was always his intention and, by serving the DLC so well, he was guaranteed the funds to contest for Coleman's seat.

    My philosophies and viewpoints of religion and conservative politics come purely from experience. I was both extremely religious and conservative and practiced what I preached. But as I began to scrutinize both the religious and political structure from the inside, I came to realize that, despite their moralizing and finger wagging, the leadership in the religious and political right were the most decadent creatures imaginable. To whit, I've seen the sausage being made and I've lost my appetite for it. In fact, my revulsion for the end product of both inspires me to rail against them and expose clerics and conservatives for the fraudulent and loathsome creatures they are. I refuse to accept their cynical viewpoint that the masses are insipid sheep and will believe any tripe you shove down their bleating throats. I think, inspired and pointed in the right direction, Americans can learn the truth on any issue and, when they know the truth will evolve or revolve our society back to our core Constitutional principles. But clerics and conservatives pimp fear in order to achieve complicity for, without it, they would have none.

    The sad thing is, conservatives not only frighten the masses into subjugation, they scare liberals into a gelatinous state as well. It really is an endless life of high school where the bullies get their way because the brilliant lack the testicular fortitude to stand up and fight back. We are seeing high school played out on a grand scale right now in Washington. As much as I despise conservatives, they are being true to their nature. So are liberals as they rush headlong down the halls of the Hart Senate Office Building ever fearful of getting an atomic wedgie from Boehner or Bush. This liberal cowardice sickens me. It's like the story of the scorpion and the frog but with much more dangerous consequences then the drowning of two primitive creatures. Their ridiculous psychodrama is going to drown us all.

    My revulsion for the state of talk radio comes not from the plethora of conservatives regurgitating the same Republican talking points but the cowardice of programmers and managers of most stations and networks who are too timid to give liberals and progressives the opportunity to demonstrate their capability. I can only speak for my circumstances but, for the five years of my show on a small market southern station, the ratings were equal to and sometimes better than Rush, always better than O'Reilly and murdered Savage. I wasn't speaking to a liberal fan base, I was challenging the sensibilities of furious detractors who were having their world view shattered into a million little pieces. And these hairless panty girls behind their Golden Mikes would never have had the balls to do what I did... unscreened, unfiltered, unstacked callers put on absolutely live and me without a net. As I was typically running 16 to 18 units an hour the commercial viability speaks for itself. But when I approached my managers to take it to corporate and try my show on other stations in the group, my God, you should have witnessed the shaking and peeing. Forget the ratings and revenue capability I proved over and over again. The very idea of putting a liberal progressive libertarian (yes, positions can be that nuanced and seemingly contradictory) over a network of stations was a subject my managers had absolutely no courage to broach.

    So I quit. For now, I'll hoard my dollars and wait until cookie cutter corporate radio implodes on itself so I can pick up stations for pennies on the dollar. Then I'll program my talk radio stations the way I want to...with brilliant conservatives, brilliant liberals and brilliant moderates who can entertain as well as they inform and whose opinions can stand up to scrutiny. And, yes, there is a market for non-political talk as well but on;y if those hosts are likewise brilliant, informed and entertaining.

    In the interim, I'll pick Maloney apart... because like his heroes Rush and Billo... it's so easy.

    By Blogger Dave Carroll, at 21 October, 2007 18:47  

  • Sweet Babee Jeebus!

    This is the first comment thread 'round these here parts that has a passing relationship with sanity.

    I offer applause (I'm talking serious golf-clapping) to you all!

    By Blogger TC, at 22 October, 2007 08:13  

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