The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

28 December 2007

Libtalkers Jump On Conspiracy Theories Regarding Bhutto Assassination


Libtalkers Play Kooky 'Keep Up With The Jonesers' Game

In the 36 hours since revered Pakistani opposition leader Benazir Bhutto was murdered in cold blood while fighting for her country's future, our nation's liberal talk show hosts have been engaged in a battle of their own: a race to see which one can cook up the most outrageous conspiracy theory.

Which one can pin the attack most convincingly on the Bush Administration? Who can best blame our involvement in Iraq for her death? And who can tear apart the no- bullet theory?

Because the stakes are so high, there has been a big incentive to be creative. After all, the host who can best rally the nutroots just might survive into the new year!

Previously, we've covered the Blame- Bush Brigade in the Democrat Party, led by Senators Feingold and Dodd.

Leading the pack was the Reverend Al Sharpton, who went straight for Bush's throat in response to news of Bhutto's slaying: "and has the past activities of this administration helped to lead us to the brink of something deadly and dangerous and clearly a threat to even American lives?" (Thursday 1pm hour)

Hey, at least it took Sharpton away from the topic of Al Sharpton for a moment or two!

Filling in for extremist kook Lionel, Lee Rayburn also went directly for Bush:

RAYBURN: What does this mean? It means that a region on this planet, this ever- shrinking planet, that we were supposed to stabilize with our military action. The Bush Administration [wasn't] after spreading democracy. They knew there were no weapons of mass destruction. If there is an argument to be made for anything other than securing oil for the next twenty- five years, it is that they were trying to stabilize the Middle East through their incursion into Iraq and their occupation of Iraq and their war in Afghanistan. They were supposed to stabilize the Middle East, and they planned to do this at their first Cabinet meeting, [before 9/11]. They were dividing up the oil fields, according to Paul O'Neill, at their first Cabinet meeting, in the beginning of 2001. The intent of this administration from the very beginning was to occupy the Middle East, was to have our way there and the neocons -- am I wrong? -- insisted.

(LATER IN HOUR ONE) A nuclear state is destabilized, in a region that we were, with our military might and our moral right, were going to bring stability through our occupation of Iraq and spreading democracy like margarine and we have failed. I don't know how else you'd read it this morning."

Not to be left out of the party, ultra- wacky Mike "Violence" Malloy conveniently pretended al-Qaeda didn't exist:

MALLOY: Bhutto was obviously assassinated today by some arm of some intelligence agency, either ours or Pakistan's or Britain's or possible even Israel's. I don't think it would be India, I don't think it would be China. Who does that leave? These are the usual suspects.

(LATER IN HOUR): Every time (Deputy Secretary Of State John) Negroponte goes someplace - have you noticed this? - the violence that erupts behind him, well, that's just another stupid-ass conspiracy, Malloy, don't go there! (and this violence is) ...of a particular kind, of a targeted type - death squads, assassinations, removal of people who need to be removed.

Never one to be left behind, Ed "Heading To Manitoba" Schultz kicked in with his own theory on today's program:

SCHULTZ: You can make the case that both al Qaeda and Musharraf would benefit from Benazir Bhutto being offed. You can make the case that the United States, the war hawks in the United States, benefitted from her being offed because they've never seen a war they didn't love and this is a chance for more intervention.

While there's no doubt these hosts are engaged in an eleventh- hour game of career survival, shouldn't they be held accountable nonetheless for spreading conspiracy theories that lack even a shred of hard evidence? And how do they expect to build a political movement around blaming George Bush and the United States for every bit of misfortune that strikes anywhere in the world?

Desperation is no excuse for reckless behavior, on or off the air.

FOR New England regional talk radio updates, see our other site. NEW: local talk radio hits fresh lows, if that seemed possible.

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