The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

31 May 2007

'Big John', Rush Limbaugh, Don Imus, NAACP, Daytona Beach

BACK DOOR ATTACK

Papers Find New Ways To Keep Old Flaps Alive







Clearly frustrated by their inability to bring down Rush Limbaugh over his "Barack The Magic Negro" parody song (based on a Los Angeles Times columnist's words), the mainstream media is cooking up creative new ways to smear the talk titan.

One particularly clever but downright sinister approach appeared in today's Orlando Sentinel. In a story about a Daytona Beach talk host's poor choice of words regarding a local African- American councilman, the reporter ties the incident to both Rush and Imus:



Remark by radio host was racist, NAACP says

Tanya Caldwell
Sentinel Staff Writer


Local talk-radio host Big John is in trouble with a civil-rights group for comparing a black Daytona Beach commissioner to a monkey.

The comment was broadcast Friday, when the former Volusia County Council member told 1380 AM (WELE) listeners why he doesn't think Commissioner Dwayne Taylor should be elected mayor.

"The higher the monkey climbs, the better you can see its . . ., " John said. "And we'd really see Dwayne's butt if he got to be mayor."

Not only was John's remark offensive, Taylor said Wednesday, but it was racist.

The remarks reminded some blacks of talk-radio hosts Rush Limbaugh -- who was criticized for airing a parody called "Barack, the Magic Negro" -- and Don Imus, who called the Rutgers University women's basketball team "nappy-headed hos."

John's following is much smaller. He claims 234 listeners.

"This goes a lot deeper than what Don Imus did," Taylor said. "If you want to compare something, compare something that's not insensitive to that person's race."

Taylor said he and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People's Volusia-Daytona branch have since called for John's termination.

John said there's a "slim chance" of that happening.

"I wasn't criticizing his color," John said. "I criticized him because he was stupid."

Taylor, who is serving his second term on the City Commission, disagreed.

"Using a monkey in reference to an African-American goes beyond thinking I'm incompetent. It goes to the entire race," Taylor said. "That's why this is significant and not something that should be swept under the rug."

John said he is not a racist. He grew up in a predominantly black community in New Jersey and has had "many black employees in my lifetime," he said.

"I know the black people that know me know that I'm not a racist," he said. "This is just something for the NAACP to hang its hat on because they haven't done anything."


Even for a local paper such as the Orlando Sentinel, "Big John" and his station, WELE- AM of Ormond Beach, represent small targets. Beyond his afternoon drive show, the station carries infomercials or very low quality syndicated programming. It's doubtful many are listening.

As even the host himself admits to a tiny following, the NAACP must realize this as well. So why bother with the crusade?

The answer is simple: as the article itself demonstrates, the real agenda is to bring down bigger targets by showing a pattern of "racist" on- air behavior in talk radio. It keeps the Rush flap in the news and talk about "cleaning up the airwaves" on the front burner.

It also helps Al Gore and others who want to bring back the Fairness Doctrine.

In particular, note how Limbaugh's musical parody of a Los Angeles Times column is joined with Imus's infamous and career- killing "nappy- headed hos" comment. If there ever was one, that's a clear example of media bias.


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Top "Big John" photo: Orlando Sentinel

NPR News, Huffington Post, GOP

NPR = GOP

Just When You Think You've Heard It All...







Hear the one about the right- wing takeover of NPR News? Too bad this one isn't meant as a joke, at least not intentionally.

Here at the Radio Equalizer, we're keeping an eye on our Huffington Post friends so you don't have to. That's quite a community service, don't you think?

Just in case you were wondering what passes for political discourse over there these days, this piece by Tony Hendra pretty much says it all:


National RePUBLICan Radio 2.0: NPPRR (National Pentagon Press Release Radio)


One thing you can say for our wondrous New-Broom-of-the-System Democrats. They may have folded like a two-dollar suitcase faced with the Caligula in the White House, but at least they got rid of Don Imus.

Well done Democrats!

Not to exhume the Imus issue. But whatever you thought of Imus there was one great thing about having him on the air: you had somewhere to escape from the appalling Steve Inskeep.

Inskreep (sorry can't resist), he who hath never met a progressive he didn't feel compelled to patronize or contradict, replaced the much lamented Bob Edwards a year and a half ago as Morning Edition's co-host, where his smug, condescending drone has become a daily reminder of the Republican drive to garrote the last independent voice in national news.

[excerpted]

But it's not really Inskreep I'm gunning for; rather an insidious phenomenon that's been occurring on his watch. As soon as the Dems took control in January, Morning Edition began to include an almost daily diet of 'behind-the-scenes' Iraq-related news stories (Feith-based perhaps?) so pro-war they made you wonder if there wasn't a Pentagon PR flack embedded with this particular NPR unit.

This is only getting worse. The 'stories' range all over the subject map from the logistical concerns of non-combat units (medical, infrastructure rebuilding, even chaplains) to heartwarming home-front stuff to the trials and lifestyles of Iraqis who work with US forces. There's nothing theoretically wrong with such topics, but the stories all have the pre-packaged uncritical feel of shameless plants. And two relentless messages: A. Iraq is a war like any other, dirty yes, but a just war, justified and justifiable; B. things are going much better than you think, if you'll just stop listening to those lefty naysayers.

Recently, alas, the disease seems to have spread to other NPR news shows I've listened to for years like the stalwart All Things Considered. Predictably on Memorial Day weekend, it went critical. Some coverage was as it should be: memorials of the men and women -- usually agonizingly young -- whose precious lives have been squandered by our latter-day Caligula and the moral sewage in Congress who enable him.

But some coverage did not memorialize. Notably the one place you'd never expect to encounter the plague: This American Life. On Saturday, my favorite NPR show ran what amounted to a 30-minute infomercial for something called the Center for Lessons Learned, a Kansas-based US-military outfit whose mission is to learn from previous conflicts how to 'do the job' better in this one.

[excerpted]


Now it's entirely possible that Cheryl Halpern (CPB's odious rightwing chairman and the likely source of all this pro-war drivel) stationed a Blackwater operative in the studio while Ira was recording, with a pair of high-voltage electrodes millimeters from his testicles. I certainly hope that's the explanation. But you have to wonder which NPR icon will succumb next


So how did these shadowy Republicans manage to take over NPR without anyone on the right noticing? Who knew conservatives could be so cunning? If only the media wars could be won that easily.


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30 May 2007

Illegal Immigration Amnesty Bill, Rush Limbaugh, President Bush

BUSH VS RUSH?

President Lashes Out Against Right, Media Has Field Day







With an attack on conservative opponents of his amnesty plan for illegal aliens, President Bush has given mainstream media foes all they could ever want.

The predictable result, of course, are headlines that seek to highlight supposed internal "divisions" within the conservative movement. Unfortunately for them, the right has never been more unified, with almost complete opposition to the amnesty bill.

Why Bush would seek to further alienate his traditional base may seem beyond comprehension, but it's providing opportunities for an eager MSM to focus on the "Bush vs Rush" angle. Call it a divide- and- conquer strategy.

From the Miami Herald (and running in every McClatchy newspaper), here's but one example:


Bush: Playing on fears is unjust to migrants

President Bush accused his conservative critics of fear-mongering on immigration. He signaled his determination to keep fighting for changes.

By RON HUTCHESON


GLYNCO, Ga. --
Firing back at conservative critics, President Bush defended his plan to overhaul immigration laws Tuesday and accused its opponents of ''trying to rile up people's emotions'' with misinformation.

In an exclusive interview with McClatchy, Bush expressed his determination to fight for changes that would let millions of illegal immigrants gain legal status. He cast the debate as a struggle over America's soul and its reputation as a welcoming nation.

''I'm deeply concerned about America losing its soul. Immigration has been the lifeblood of a lot of our country's history,'' the president said during the Air Force One interview. ``I am worried that a backlash to newcomers would cause our country to lose its great capacity to assimilate newcomers.''

Bush underscored his commitment to the proposed overhaul -- despite harsh criticism from some conservatives -- as he traveled to Georgia for a speech that assailed the legislation's critics.

''I'm sure you've heard some of the talk out there about people defining the bill. It's clear they hadn't read the bill. They're speculating about what the bill says, and they're trying to rile up people's emotions,'' he told an audience at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Glynco, near Brunswick. ``If you want to kill the bill, if you don't want to do what's right for America, you can pick one little aspect out of it, you can use it to frighten people. Or you can show leadership and solve this problem once and for all.''

Bush acknowledged that the proposed overhaul faces a difficult time in Congress, where it's under attack from both ends of the political spectrum.

Conservative critics contend that it amounts to an amnesty program because undocumented immigrants would be allowed to stay in the country after paying $1,000 fines. Some liberals complain that plans for a new temporary-worker program are overly restrictive and would create a permanent underclass of foreign workers.

Some of the most vociferous criticism has come from conservative talk-show hosts who usually support the president. Commentator Rush Limbaugh has told his listeners that the legislation would doom the Republican Party and the nation.

The bill seeks to strike a balance between tougher border enforcement and a more welcoming policy toward the estimated 12 million immigrants who already are in the country illegally.

Bush hopes to push it through Congress with help from a bipartisan group of lawmakers that includes Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., a liberal stalwart, and Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., a staunch conservative. The president said he had no hesitations about working with Kennedy despite their sharp differences over Iraq and other issues.


Isn't this funny? Suddenly, these guys have taken a break from Bush- bashing just long enough to make sure the conservative movement comes across as unreasonable. If Kyl and Kennedy can join together, what's wrong with the right?

For the news media, has Bush suddenly become the new McCain? Will he morph into the "statesman" who isn't afraid to do what's best for the country, even against the mean- spirited righties led by arch- villain Limbaugh?

Count on it, at least for now.


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29 May 2007

Dr Laura Schlessinger, Deryk Schlessinger MySpace, Left

CHEAP SHOTS

Lefty Dr Laura Bashers Jump The Shark







While the right remains relatively quiet on the subject, lefty websites are continuing to pound away at Dr Laura Schlessinger. Since a controversy erupted over a MySpace page with disturbing images that might be linked to her son, "progressive" blogs haven't let up.

Never mind that the story originated with a known enemy of Dr Laura's work, or that it still isn't clear what role, if any, Deryk Schlessinger might have had in the subsequently- removed site.

He is currently serving his country in Afghanistan. We've previously covered the story here and here.

In fact, there have been no updates on any "investigation" since the story first broke. And Dr Laura herself has said little, if anything, about the issue.


That hasn't stopped a series of increasingly cheap shots taken by liberals who despise Dr Laura's no- nonsense approach to families and social behavior, however. Topping them all is the latest tirade in this ongoing smear campaign, this time from the unhinged radical activists at Counterpunch:


Dr. Laura's Little Monster

By Dr. SUSAN BLOCK

So the "kid" of "my kid's mom" appears to have grown up into a sociopath. Yes, Derek Schlessinger, beloved soldier-boy scion of talk radio's Queen of Moralizing Mean, has shown the world just what it means to be Dr. Laura's kid.

It seems that 21-year-old Deryk, a United States Army special forces paratrooper recently stationed in Kandahar, Afghanistan, is following in his famous mom's footsteps by producing his own "show" that attempts to entertain by spewing hate, intolerance, sexism, sadism, virulent racism and casual brutality. Deryk's mom's show is on radio. Deryk's show is on Myspace. Well, it was.

Unlike his mom's long run on Hate Talk Radio, Deryk's Myspace page was soon cancelled. Myspace is a website where anyone with an email address can put on a multi-media show about their favorite subject ­ themselves! - complete with photos, blogs, music and video. It's censored, of course (Rupert Murdock wouldn't have it any other way); no nudity or explicit sex is allowed. However, you can run a picture of yourself sucking on the barrel of a gun, as young Deryk Schlessinger did.

You can also show "cartoon depictions of rape, murder, torture and child molestationa photograph of a bound and blindfolded detainee captioned "My Sweet Little Habib"; accounts of illicit drug use; and a blog entry headlined by a series of obscenities and racial epithets," as Deryk's Myspace page featured, according to Matthew D. LaPlante who broke the story in the Salt Lake Tribune.

Just as his mom's radio show is filled with fervor for war and neo-con puritanism, Deryk's Myspace blog was filled with enthusiasm for his mission: "Yes . . . F--KING Yes!!! I LOVE MY JOB, it takes everything reckless and deviant and heathenistic (sic) and just overall bad about me and hyper focuses these traits into my job of running around this horrid place doing nasty things to people that deserve it . . . and some that don't."



Here, "Dr Susan" cites her "evidence":


The blog and Myspace page were credited to and included many photographs of Deryk, including the one of him sucking on the gun like the Reverend Ted Haggard sucking on a gay hooker, with a goofy look in his eyes as he gives the thumbs up with his free hand. Speaking of which, what's with all these lunatics posing with guns in their mouths? Seung-Hui Cho, the nut that shot up Virginia Tech, just did it in his public relations video. What is the gun-in-the-mouth pose supposed to show off - their brave and heroic fellatio skills?


Just because a site is "credited to" somebody doesn't mean that person is actually behind it. Case in point: a fake page created at one of the social networking sites last year in the name of yours truly.

And truly sick is the idea of comparing Deryk to the Virginia Tech shooter. Isn't that the textbook definition of jumping the shark?


In the end, the "progressive" left deserves to be called on the carpet for this reckless disregard for the truth. Instead of waiting for hard evidence to appear of Deryk's guilt, these smear merchants demonstrate no self- control.

As a result, why should they have credibility on any other issue?



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Cindy Sheehan Leaves Democrats, Talk Radio, Melanie Morgan

CHEWED UP, SPIT OUT

Sheehan Learns Tough Lessons About Political Activism







Returning from a mostly sunny but nearly news- free holiday weekend, talk hosts were handed what may be their final helping of fodder from left- wing anti- Iraq activist Cindy Sheehan.

For the industry, that's not necessarily great news, though she had rarely made headlines in recent months.

With her anti- war movement virtually dissolved, an exhausted and disillusioned Sheehan is finally set to return home to California. Having been chewed up and spit out by the Democrat Party, it's hard not to feel sorry for her. It must be tough to admit to having been used.

KSFO / San Francisco morning drive talker Melanie Morgan co- authored American Mourning, a book partly about Sheehan. She had this reaction to the news:


I'm glad she is going home, if indeed that is what ultimately she does. She never went through a healing time either for herself or her family. Her surviving children are the ones who have paid a mighty price for her anger, bitterness and loss.

But everyone else around her did as well, including her ex-husband Pat and all of his immediate family, grandparents, uncles and aunts and cousins who could not grieve without seeing her on television denouncing our country that they so love.

Our troops and this country have suffered a psychic scar from her rantings, ramblings and pain. The men and women fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan took it on the chin as she spent hundreds of thousands of dollars donated by the extremes of her party to travel the world denouncing American Imperialism and accusing our troops of murder. Our servicemen and women do NOT like Cindy Sheehan.

American Mourning: The Intimate Story of Two Families Joined by War, Torn by Beliefs by Catherine Moy and myself was attacked relentlessly for accurately reporting her story by the same people on the Left who ultimately turned on her because she dared to go after their Democrat idols.

The media bears a tremendous responsibility for building her up, and then tearing her down for their own agenda.

It's very sad and entirely predictable. Catherine and I have spoken publicly numerous times about the eventual downfall of "Mother Sheehan".

Our prayers go out to Ms. Sheehan, her sister Dede Miller, but mostly for Casey Sheehan, a true American hero.


Cindy Sheehan isn't the first person to be exploited by the so- called "progressive" movement and certainly won't be the last. But the extent to which her life was rearranged to serve their purposes is particularly extreme. Now that they're finished, do they care about the damage they've done to her family?


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28 May 2007

Bill Clinton, Rush Limbaugh Meet, Middlebury College Speech

'99.9% THE SAME'

Clinton Gives His Account Of Rush Restaurant Encounter







Two weeks after it happened, a chance encounter between two political superstars is still making news.

What did Bill Clinton think about meeting Rush Limbaugh for the first time? A joke delivered during a college graduation address yesterday provides new insight.

For liberal supporters of the ex- president, the news may or may not be good. Clinton's remarks, delivered at Vermont's Middlebury College, could be read in a number of different ways.

From Middlebury College's press release:


The former president said that while our differences may make life more interesting, our common humanity matters more. Said Clinton, “So much of the world’s difficulties today are rooted in the rejection of that simple premise.”


He said that following the terrorist bombings in London in 2005, what really shook the British was that the people responsible were British citizens. The bombers, Clinton said, believed that our differences were more important than whatever we could have in common.

He pointed to the human genome project, an attempt to determine the entire genetic makeup of human beings, which has shown us that our genes are 99.9 percent the same.

“I met (conservative talk-radio host) Rush Limbaugh the other night in New York. And I was tempted, after all the terrible things he’s said about me, to tell him that we’re 99.9 percent the same. I was afraid the poor man would run weeping from the restaurant. And so I let it go.”


If Clinton really thought Limbaugh would run away crying, he doesn't know much about the opposition, does he? Rush clearly isn't afraid of the ex- president. And wouldn't it be safe to assume he's seen the same news reporting regarding our genetic makeup?

Beyond that, what was Bubba truly trying to get across? If it's safe to read between the lines, perhaps the real message is that Clinton's true viewpoints aren't so different from Rush's after all.

Another possibility: it could be Bill's way of saying "hey buddy, I know you like to party just as much as I do, let's go pick up some chicks."

Either way, given what we know about Clinton, there had to be more to this thought process than just the issue of genetics. And far from crying, Limbaugh is probably having a good laugh right about now.


ELSEWHERE: at Boston Radio Watch, a Memorial Day tribute.

ALSO: unhinged Massachusetts radicals burn American flags ahead of the holiday.

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26 May 2007

Rosie O'Donnell Leaves The View, Sean Hannity

ROSIE THE DIVERSION?

Lefties Accuse Talkers Of Avoiding Iraq







One of the more interesting conspiracy theories to emerge from yesterday's Rosie O'Donnell implosion is the idea that conservative talkers have used her to avoid talking about Iraq.

Think we're joking? From the anti- FOX News Channel News Hounds site, here it is:


What Will FOX News Do Without Rosie? Cover Iraq? Nah.


Hannity & Colmes spent the first half of their show last night (5/25/07) on Rosie O’Donnell’s departure from the view. Sean Hannity described it as “a major development in a story we have been covering for quite some time.” There was even a video montage of their “favorite” Rosie moments. Although I hated to see Rosie give Hannity and his henchmen such an opportunity to crow, it was almost worth it to be done with the obsessive coverage. Then I thought about what would and would not replace it.

In a reprise of the previous night’s discussion, Curtis Sliwa was back, dressed up in the same red crime-fighting costume he wore as a young man in the 70’s and looking every bit as ridiculous as if he had shown up in tie-dye and granny glasses. Joining him again was Ellis Henican. Sliwa was just as obnoxious and hammy as he had been the night before. He even repeated the same jokes about Rosie reminding him of Jabba The Hutt and calling Iran’s president “I’m in the mood for Jihad,” among others.

Once again, Henican, a FOX News contributor, seemed more interested in being one of the guys than he was in confronting the hate speech coming from those “entertainers.”

The only moment of interest came when Colmes confronted Sliwa again over his comment the night before in which he stated that he wished he’d had a bat with which to beat O’Donnell “like a human piñata.” The slick Sliwa, who has admitted to lying when it suits his PR purposes, this time claimed that the piñata comment had been “hypothetical.”

Meanwhile, the show continued to ignore the war in Iraq, the same war Hannity and his fellow conservatives purported to support. There was no coverage, for example, of a CBS Evening News report (H/T Think Progress) about the Bush administration’s unconscionable delays in sending blast-resistant vehicles to Iraq.

In fact, a new study by the Project for Excellence in Journalism revealed that FOX News spent the least time of any cable news network covering the Iraq war. It also spent the least amount of time on the 2008 presidential campaign. It spent the most time of any cable network covering Anna Nicole Smith. PEJ’s report also noted, “Fox also stood out for its lack of coverage on the firings of the U.S. attorneys, compared with the other channels. The story, which gained real momentum in mid March, consumed a mere 2% of Fox’s total airtime.”


In other words, FOX refuses to participate in round- the- clock verbal attacks against our troops overseas and has somehow avoided catching the Bush Derangement virus.

FOX exists to counter the mainstream media's agenda, yet these people still express shock when it doesn't follow their lefty playbook.

Yes, the Anna Nicole coverage got way out of hand, but every network was guilty in that instance, along with newspapers and websites. As for the US attorney firings, the "outrage" was manufactured by the left and it clearly failed to resonate with the American people.

When it comes to increasing coverage of Iraq, your Radio Equalizer is all for it, as long as it includes pointing out where things are actually going well in the country. Be careful what you wish for, News Hounds!


Finally and most importantly, Rosie remains a major topic because she thrust herself into the spotlight. Nobody forced her into that role. Her recent antics have proven highly entertaining, which is good for ratings. That's the news biz.

ELSEWHERE: at Olbermann Watch, Olby himself is called on the carpet for his weak defense of Rosie.


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25 May 2007

Rosie O'Donnell Leaves The View, Talk Radio

CAN'T TAKE THE HEAT

Is Rosie's Departure Good For Talk Radio?







When push came
to shove, Rosie O'Donnell went flying right out the front door. And with the right's favorite fodder machine now switched off, will talk radio hosts pay a price?

Unfortunately, the answer is yes. O'Donnell aids conservative talkers in the same way Ted Kennedy helps the GOP raise millions of dollars every year.

Without the great material Rosie provides nearly every day, hosts will have to work that much harder to find those great sound bites that get phones ringing.


In case you haven't seen it, here's the exchange that finally undid Rosie:





Hurry back, Rosie, you're the best friend a conservative pundit ever had!


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Political Talk Radio, Hot Talk, Shock Jocks, Liberal Talk

STILL STANDING

While Conservative Political Talk Thrives, Other Formats Fail






*** Breaking: Rosie Quits The View ***

Think the spectacular failure of yet another "alternative" talk format will quiet industry soreheads who feel conservative political talk is sinking?

Guess again: in just two weeks, hosts will once again gather in New York City, where panelists will continue to rail against Rush Limbaugh, so- called "Rush clones" and everyone else doing right- leaning talk radio.

As they do it every year, bank on it.

Never mind the fact that shock jock- based "hot talk" has just been added to the list of dead radio formats, joining liberal talk, feminist / women's radio (Gloria Steinem's GreenStone Media), lifestyle talk and more that are long forgotten. So much for 24-7 sex chats, crank calls to Chinese restaurants and on- air rape fantasies.


Meanwhile, only one spoken word format is succeeding: conservative talk! In fact, it's thriving and gearing up for the election of a lifetime: 2008's presidential contest.

Unless a few of these angry, left- leaning execs who can't contain their hatred for the format get their way, it's smooth sailing ahead for some of the biggest ratings our medium has ever enjoyed.

One radio insider puts it this way: "there's a crowd out there who thinks political talk has run its course. And of course, who is still standing?"


Frankenhumpty: David A Lunde

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Dr Laura Schlessinger Newspaper Column, Deryk Schlessinger

PULLING BACK

After Allegations Against Son, Dr Laura Retreats From View







Days after allegations against her son appeared in a newspaper story, Dr Laura Schlessinger is at least partially retreating from public view. According to the Washington Post, the radio advice host has temporarily ceased writing her column, which appears in the Santa Barbara News- Press.

Still a mystery, however, is whether allegations made against son Deryk have any basis in fact. The 21- year- old soldier, who is currently serving in Afghanistan, has been accused of setting up an obscene and disturbing MySpace page. It has since been taken down.

The story originated with a Salt Lake Tribune reporter who has been criticized for previous coverage of Dr Laura. Since then, few other papers have picked up the story and it still isn't clear whether Deryk or others are responsible for the website images.


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24 May 2007

Free FM New York Shut Down, WFNY-FM

DOOMED BY CENSORSHIP?

After One Too Many Content Flaps, NY Talker Implodes







Was New York City talker FREE FM's demise brought about by a climate of "post- Imus" censorship? According to one now- former host on the station, it has simply become impossible to do the kind of radio called for by the FM "hot talk" format.

But even "Radio Chick" Leslie Gold realizes there was a lot more to the story, including low ratings, revenue shortfalls and a weak overall lineup. All of that led to FREE FM's signoff just hours ago.

From her website:

Free FM in NY has flipped formats to music. That's how it goes in radio, one day your employed, the next day you aren't.

I was told the decision to flip was a result of low revenues, a series of many poor management decisions made over many months, and a post-Imus environment that doesn't allow talk shows like the ones on FreeFM to do what they need to do to get ratings.. that is talk about race, sex and other potentially offensive and provocative material. I'm not telling you this, this is what I was told.

For us, we loved doing the show with you and for you everyday. Despite whatever annoying and infuriating crap that was happening at the station, our 3 hours with you was a joy.


Yes, if ratings had been stronger (FREE FM pulled a 1.8 share for adults 25-54 in the most recent Arbitron results, behind WABC's 2.1), the station might have had a chance. With the station creating so many headaches for owner CBS Radio, however, it's not surprising the plug would be pulled in favor of rock music.

Interestingly, however, shockmeisters Opie & Anthony are expected to remain with the new format. Though the pair's recent controversy over a disgusting rape fantasy segment involving Secretary of State Condi Rice did get them suspended, they have somehow found a way to survive the turmoil.

Other than their unexpected survival, the "hot talk" FM format is dying right before our eyes. In New York City, there's a wide- open opportunity to instead create an issues- oriented FM talker that features compelling personalities.

In the end, it's clear these shock jocks were forced to create ever- more outrageous stunts in order to compensate for their format's innate shortcomings. It's simply impossible to keep an audience entertained for long periods of time with sex talk and brain- dead banter that avoids what's really going on in the world.


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22 May 2007

Al Franken Campaign Disclosures, Air America Radio

THANKS, KIDS!

Senate Campaign Filing Reveals Franken's Wealth







If and when Al Franken is elected to the US Senate from Minnesota, he should be sure to thank the kids.

After all, without the inner city Boys & Girls Club funds that were shifted to Air America Radio's account, the liberal talk network would have shut down and Franken's big money- making days would have come to a quick end.

The end result is that Stuart has entered the race with millions of dollars in the bank, some of which could easily be used to fund the campaign. Without Air America's cash, he would probably be broke.

Nonetheless, with Franken's wealth disclosed to the public today as required by law, campaign officials were quick to downplay the numbers. Via the AP:


Al Franken, a comedian and best-selling author before launching his Senate campaign this year, is worth between 4.3 million and $9.9 million, according to a financial disclosure form he filed with the Senate.

Franken, a Democrat who hopes to challenge Minnesota Sen. Norm Coleman next year, also listed a salary of just over $1 million last year from his corporation, Alan Franken Inc. That corporation is the business entity that provides Franken's services (such as speaking engagements and his prior service on Air America Radio), and then pays Franken a salary at the end of the year after commissions, taxes and other fees are paid, said his campaign spokesman, Andy Barr.

The disclosure reports require figures to be reported only in broad ranges. But Barr said that Franken's net worth is closer to $4.3 million than $9.9 million.

Even on the low end, that would easily eclipse Coleman, a Republican who listed only an IRA rollover valued at $564,000 in his assets. Coleman's report voluntarily provided the exact market value.

Another candidate in the race, Democrat Mike Ciresi, received an extension to June 30 to file his personal financial disclosure report. Ciresi, a trial lawyer, poured nearly $5 million of his own money into a failed 2000 Senate race. He has said he doesn't plan to self-fund again this year, but hasn't ruled it out.

Franken, a former "Saturday Night Live" writer and performer, will contribute $4,600 to his campaign, Barr said.

"Contrary to what Sen. Coleman has said, the magnitude of Al Franken's money is such that he won't be self-funding this campaign," Barr said.

Last year, in a fundraising letter, Coleman said there was nothing funny about Franken's "venomous 'Air America' liberal radio show, his high-powered and deep-pocketed Hollywood friends, his national network of Bush-Haters or the magnitude of his personal wealth."


As for his self- funding capabilities, it really depends on how badly he wants the Senate seat. With at least some future income from books and television still a possibility, Franken may well go for broke. At the same time, Coleman's right: Hollywood will likely come through in a big way for the campaign.

While he may have mostly received a free pass from the mainstream media over the Gloria Wise scandal, his opponents may not prove to be quite so charitable. If so, it will take a lot of money to overcome the truth about Al Franken's shady past.


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Dr Laura Schlessinger, Deryk Schlessinger MySpace Controversy

JUMPING THE GUN

Partisan Reporter Leads Nutroots Into Shaky Territory







With "progressives" now chomping at the bit to take down conservative talkers, the mainstream media and their blogospheric fellow- travellers are in a frantic race to see who can destroy a major host. Which one will claim the biggest trophy?

That's most certainly what motivated NBC's Today Show to do yesterday's anti- Rush Limbaugh hit piece. With El Rushbo proving difficult to eliminate, however, lefties are looking around for other targets.

An obvious alternative is Dr Laura Schlessinger, who refuses to leave the airwaves even after years of savage attacks from the "progressive" left.

Now, damning allegations against son Deryk, currently serving our country in Afghanistan, are providing the "nutroots" with mountains of anti- Laura fodder. According to Matthew LaPlante of the Salt Lake Tribune, he has been linked to a "lurid web page" containing "violent, sex- oriented images" that could be considered repulsive.

From the story:


The soldier son of talk radio relationship counselor Laura Schlessinger is under investigation for a graphic personal Web page that one Army official has called "repulsive."

The MySpace page, publicly available until Friday when it disappeared from the Internet, included cartoon depictions of rape, murder, torture and child molestation; photographs of soldiers with guns in their mouths; a photograph of a bound and blindfolded detainee captioned "My Sweet Little Habib"; accounts of illicit drug use; and a blog entry headlined by a series of obscenities and racial epithets.

The site is credited to and includes many photographs of Deryk Schlessinger, the 21-year-old son of the talk radio personality known simply as Dr. Laura. Broadcast locally on 570 KNRS, "Family Values Talk Radio," the former family counselor spends three hours daily taking calls and offering advice on morals, ethics and values. She broadcast a show from Fort Douglas, in Salt Lake City, last week.


But are the charges true, or have our "progressive" friends gotten carried away? Lefty bloggers didn't wait for confirmation that any of the obscene material found on the MySpace site was actually created by Schlessinger.

Instead, they've declared Deryk guilty and his mother as well, merely by association. Making no bones about their partisan dislike of the Schlessinger family, "progressive" bloggers are foaming at the mouth.

From the Pensito Review:


Laura Schlessinger, the rightwing radio hatemonger, is back in the news. Last week, she told military families to stop whining about life at home while their loved ones are deployed:

“He could come back without arms, legs and eyeballs, and you’re bitching?”

Now Schlessinger’s son, Deryk, who is serving in the military in Afghanistan, is accused of publishing horrific graphics and messages on his MySpace page:

[...]

On one hand, it’s not surprising that a parent as filled with hatred and rage as Laura Schlessinger would produce a child who is a monster — nonetheless, what Deryk allegedly posted here is beyond shocking


From the sewer- dwelling BradBlog:


Looks like the faux doctor, one-time exhibitionist (graphic link very not safe for work!), American Patron Saint of Hubris, and her kid's mom, may not have done such a bang-up job in that "essential task of teaching them right and wrong" after all. The Salt Lake Tribune is reporting that her son, Deryk, now stationed with the U.S. Army in Afghanistan, is "under investigation for a graphic personal Web page that one Army official has called 'repulsive.'"


From the FOX- hating News Hounds site:


Going beyond the infuriating hypocrisy of Laura Schlessinger coming off like she alone understands the mental needs of the " warriors" who must not be bothered by the realities of life without them at home, this is all very sad. Schlessinger has created an illusion of nobility and sacrifice around her warrior son who posts things like this on his blog.


And the idiots at Wonkette launched a particularly savage attack, blaming Deryk in advance for future terrorist strikes:


When the bombs finally start falling on Washington and every other city in the United States, here is one of the 300 million reasons:

[Salt Lake Tribune excerpt omitted here, see it above]

More precious freedoms, after the jump.

We’re delighted to learn that the current crop of screaming idiots on talk radio are producing a more action-oriented spawn who are now bringing their special American Values™ directly to other countries. Yelling on the radio about killing all the A-rabs is one thing; actually raping and torturing and murdering “foreigners,” in their own countries while directly employed by the American military, is surely the New Freedom.

Dr. Laura’s psychotic 21-year-old son — one of the U.S. Army’s fresh new faces — claimed on the MySpace page that his “job” was “running around this horrid place doing nasty things to people that deserve it … and some that don’t.”


After removing the partisan froth, however, some gaping holes in the anti- Laura agenda emerge. Among them:


The story seems to have originated with a newspaper reporter who has a history of attacking Dr Laura. In fact, Matthew LaPlante has been criticized by his publication's readers for being unable to contain his dislike for her.


Perhaps because of concerns about the story, few other newspapers picked it up, which seems atypical for such a potentially damning story about a conservative leader's son. A Google search late Monday found only a handful of publications running LaPlante's work.


LaPlante himself hedges a bit, giving himself some room in case the site's obscene materials later prove to be linked to one of Deryk's fellow soldiers (or someone else entirely):


The site indicated Schlessinger's team has survived numerous mortar, rocket and roadside bomb attacks. It also included several graphic cartoons. In one of the stick drawings, a top-hatted man laughs as he rapes a bound and bleeding woman in front of her family. In another depiction, a man forces a boy to perform oral sex at knifepoint as the child's mother pleads for her son's life.

It's unclear who created the cartoons, but Army spokesman Robert Tallman said the drawings "are repulsive and not anywhere near being acceptable," for a soldier's personal Web page.


And, most importantly, Dr Laura is not responsible for what her adult son does while serving in Afghanistan. If Deryk was indeed behind the offensive material, he will pay the price. It simply has no bearing on the status of Dr Laura's syndicated talk show.

Sometimes even the best parents see their grown children make poor choices and that may prove to be the case here.

To our "progressive" friends, here's a message: yes, you failed at talk radio and now feel justified in launching angry smear campaigns against conservative hosts. But we know what you're up to and will fight back.



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Top photo: via Pensito Review

21 May 2007

Bernard McGuirk, Imus Fired, WRKO Boston Tryout

MCTOAST

Former Imus Sidekick Loses Tryout Opportunity







After a significant public outcry in the Boston area, former Imus sidekick Bernie "Sheets" McGuirk has been yanked at the last minute from his planned tryout on Boston's WRKO-AM.

McGuirk was scheduled to co- host "Finneran's Forum" with convicted- felon- turned- talker Tom Finneran for most of this week, but late today, the station mysteriously reversed its decision.

Known for his overtly racist commentaries, McGuirk was actually the "brains" behind Don Imus's now- infamous, yet career- ending "nappy headed hos" outburst.

The station's sudden 180- degree turn is quickly generating as much attention as did the initial decision last week. But media coverage has so far been overwhelmingly negative.

What does the Bay State's former Democrat Party chairman, who endorsed WRKO's move to hire McGuirk, have to say for himself now? Our guess is that he can't be reached for comment.

Look to SaveWRKO for all of the latest on this still- developing story.



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20 May 2007

Rush Limbaugh Barack Obama Parody, NBC's Today Show

YESTERDAY'S NEWS 'TODAY'

Left, Right Bracing For NBC's Limbaugh Hit Piece







Is NBC really serious about airing an exposé on Rush Limbaugh's "Barack The Magic Negro" parody song? Do they realize the controversy is now two months old?

Perhaps the Today show should be renamed Stale, Warmed- Over News From March.

In any case, Limbaugh and many on the right are bracing for what is sure to be a dishonest attack against the talk titan, with out- of- context quotes a certainty. Few are expecting an accurate explanation about the true origin of the phrase: a liberal Los Angeles Times columnist.

With the story scheduled to air on Monday, El Rushbo has taken the unusual step of firing a pre-emptive shot across the mainstream media's bow. And on the left, bloggers are hoping for a juicy hit piece to fuel their anti- Rush agenda.

In a monologue transcribed and posted online, Rush is demanding that NBC get the story right, while fully expecting them to twist it into something damaging:


Do Not Repeat the Lies:
Get Your Facts Straight on "Barack, the 'Magic Negro'"


RUSH: Right as the last hour was ending, I see H.R. feverishly pacing in there on his cell phone, and I know what that means. When H.R. is taking a phone call during the show it means the media is on the warpath, and, lo and behold, guess what we just learned? The wizards at the Today Show plan, on Monday, to do a big exposé on my parody tune "Barack, the 'Magic Negro.'" Now, this first aired on March 21st. This is May 18th. By the time they get around to doing their profile, it will be two months old as a story.

In these two months, I have spent countless minutes on this program explaining the genesis of the parody. I have gone line by line translating and explaining it, demonstrating that everything in it is based on fact and words that were uttered by liberals. In this period of time, Barack Obama has laughed it off and called it dumb. In this period of time, Al Sharpton responded. Just this week we had the audio sound bite where Sharpton was asked about it and said (paraphrased), "Limbaugh has the right to do this. He's attacking individuals. He's not going after gender or race entirely. He's attacking an individual," and so forth.
It's all based on Sharpton's admitted jealousy of Obama's being lauded and loved and being called "clean and articulate" by Joe Biden.

Now, I doubt NBC knows any of this. There's a reason that NBC is interested in this today. They're probably tired of going wall-to-wall immigration. Secondly, there is a column that ran today in the Houston Chronicle -- and I own Houston. We just got the latest ratings, and I own Houston. I don't remember this guy's name, but there are so many facts in this piece that are wrong. In fact, in this piece, this guy refers to "the video that Paul Shanklin and I put together" of Barack, the Magic Negro -- and I just want to warn you at NBC like we had to warn these people at Channel 13 in Sacramento.

If you purport to say that any video with this parody song has anything to do with me, you are in for some trouble, because we don't do videos here at the EIB Network. It's a radio show. I do have a website, but we don't produce videos here, other than videos starring me, created by my Dittocam, as I'm sitting here now, hosting this excursion into broadcast excellence. Now, here's what we're going to do. I just gave H.R. the marching orders. I want you to go to Dean, Koko Jr. at the website, and get the most recent broadcast day. Get the transcript of my explaining the genesis of this line by line with the song translation, the sound bites of Al Sharpton, the sound bites of Barack Obama with Paul Smith at WJR. Go get the column by David Ehrenstein. (The Transcripts and Audio of Everything Rush Has Said)

Go get the New York Post piece, and there's a Chicago Tribune column also that we have linked, the Clarence Page piece where he says (paraphrased), "Limbaugh's parody is funny. It's good. It's true. I don't particularly like it, but this is not an Imus situation." We're going to send the Clarence Page piece over to them, but there was a column when this whole thing with Sharpton and Obama, when the jealousy started. Some columnist, again in Chicago, wrote a piece berating Sharpton for being jealous, and we linked to that and the New York Post story which got all this started. Everything in this parody is true and I have spent all this time explaining it -- and NBC, I doubt, has the slightest idea. They're a leading news organization of the world, and of course their call was to invite me to appear on the Today Show, and there is no way. I don't do that, especially under these circumstances.

If they do this, they are going to be in for a rude surprise, because many of their viewers already know the truth of this and will recognize if they do this the wrong way, if they do this the typical Drive-By Media way, and if they do this based on some of the BS that's come out of Media Matters, the George Soros front group for the Democrat Party -- and if they do this based on this worthless column today in Houston that's so embarrassingly inaccurate, that hardly contains anything in it is true, including the reference to the "video" that we put together.

If they do it based on those things, after we send them -- we're going to send them -- encyclopedic documentation, they will have no excuse for not knowing the truth of this, the brilliance of it, the humor of it. They will have no excuse for not knowing. "Well, Limbaugh wouldn't come on..." Well, you know I'm not going to come on. They called and say, "We know he's going to say no, but we're going to invite anyway." We're going to send 'em the stuff. They're news people. They're journalists. They seek to be informed, do they not? We'll find out. It's going to be a lot to read. It may be a challenge, but that's what they have assistant producers for, and producers, and they then brief the anchors, whoever it is that's going to do this. Did they say who's going to do it? We don't know who's going to do it. But they want to do it on Monday. You say, "Why are you mentioning this now?" I want to head this stuff off at the pass, folks. You know, I've had experience with this. Don't sit around and wait to see what they do and then complain. You accuse 'em of getting it wrong in the first place. Accuse them of getting it wrong many times on purpose, before they do it, and sometimes it will change the way they do it.

They don't want to be perceived as purposely getting something wrong. They don't want that. No journalist does. They do care about their lofty credibility and so forth. But this is a no-win for them, and of course it's two months old. We haven't played the song in two weeks. But it's going to be reported on the Today Show as though, "My God! My God! In the post-Imus Era! [Note: Rush did the parody before Imus.] What's Limbaugh doing? Is he purposely trying to get fired? Is he purposely trying to attract attention?" That's what this idiot in Houston wrote today. Yeah, the idiot in Houston talked to David Ehrenstein, who wrote the original "Barack the 'Magic Negro'" piece in the LA Times. We're going to point out the three articles in the LA Times asking: Is Obama black enough? There was one article in the UK Times, too: Is Obama black enough?


While one can certainly understand why Rush would try to head them off at the pass, your Radio Equalizer questions whether this effort will succeed in making the piece more fair. NBC is a partisan news organization, one dedicated to taking down Republicans and conservatives.

If they see a chance to destroy Rush Limbaugh, they're certainly going to take it without regard for journalistic ethics. That's especially true of the Today show, which has even more of a leftist slant than the NBC Nightly News.

One upshot of a particularly twisted piece is that it will give conservatives additional evidence to use in their fight against mainstream media bias.

Yesterday: David A Lunde


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