The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

08 April 2008

Libtalkers Benefit From Negative Publicity


Rhodes, Schultz Stories Increasingly Smell Fishy

*** UPDATE: Rhodes Out, Was She Pushed? More Tonight ***

Are both fans and detractors of liberal talk radio being taken for a ride?

With two "progressive" talkers enjoying an unprecedented wave of publicity in recent days, fishy signs of stunt-dom have begun to emerge. How did we not see this days earlier?

Last week's biggie was the headline- generating suspension of Randi Rhodes, a result of having called Hillary Clinton a "big f***ing whore" during an affiliate- sponsored event.

At the time, your Radio Equalizer did note some odd aspects of the story:

UPDATE: word late today is that Rhodes may not be returning to Air America Radio anytime soon, which is a surprise. Could this really be a broke network's way of forgoing Randi's huge salary? Consider this: the incident occurred two full weeks ago, on 22 March. What explains the delay in her removal? Certainly, there wasn't a public controversy to deal with, almost no one not in attendance that night even knew about it.

Since then, there has been no official word on Randi's fate, other than having been given the week off. But that nagging feeling that this is a contrived controversy is only growing stronger.

For one thing, allowing former Air America personality Janeane Garofalo to phone in and savagely attack management during Randi's timeslot is not something we would normally expect when a host has been suspended. It's unlikely her fill-in would have taken her call had he not felt safe in doing so.

There's also the strange silence at Randi's own website, where the homepage shows no sign of Rhodes even being away from the program. In fact, Monday's date was listed with a fresh newsmaker graphic, as though nothing has happened.

In addition, clips in support of Randi, including another version of the Garofalo call, have been posted by libtalk supporters to YouTube, including several under the name "AirAmericaRadio". Though the user claims to be a fan and not connected to the network, it sure seems like an official effort. BoreAmerica has noticed this as well.

At this point, it wouldn't surprise your Radio Equalizer to learn Randi was in Barbados taking in a sunny holiday while this "controversy" raged in her absence.

As for the Ed Schultz flap, where Barack Obama has felt the need to apologize to McCain for his "warmonger" remark at a North Dakota fundraiser, this too seems increasingly contrived. On and off the air, Schultz has been milking this for all it's worth.

Could it be that Big Eddie cooked this up in advance, knowing full well he could generate the kind of publicity that conservative talker Bill Cunningham did when introducing McCain?

Nobody can fault a radio talk show host for seeking publicity, it's a job requirement. But talkers who go down this path should understand that things don't always go according to plan and a backlash can emerge when least expected.

So watch it, guys, before your own base ends up turning against you. Nobody likes to be taken for a ride, not even fans.

FOR New England regional talk radio updates, see our other site. NEW: WRKO host in trouble over university degree claims

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Classic Rhodes/Franken/Soros image: Pete at IHillary


  • I thought I heard Randi live on WJNO yesterday. This is the station she was on before leaving for Air America, and the promos call it her "hometown station". Is Air America having "best of Randi" or could Randi returned to West Palm Beach to do a local only show?

    (I posted it under the wrong section yesterday)

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 08 April, 2008 06:22  

  • The only network that gave her publicity was Fox. Even Keith Olberman ignored it. The petition to reinstate Rhodes has only 1000 signatures-after 4 days. (Link at KKGN & Rhodes message board). I heard her say she has over 2 million listeners. At Talkers magazine they list her as having 1.5 million. There were only about 400 pro Randi comments posted at Air America. Where are all these so called loyal listeners? Is she just lying again? She seems to be congenital & obnoxious liar.
    Most likely it was Randi's idea to extend the suspension, because she just wanted more attention.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 08 April, 2008 13:56  

  • I'm not sure I buy the publicity-scam angle, but it does seem likely that Air America wanted to divest itself of Randi's salary. . .

    Thanks for chronicling Air un-American's continued slide into irrelevance. It's my daily dose of schadenfreude. :)

    By Anonymous Intelligencer, at 08 April, 2008 15:03  

  • If she was smart he contract with Air America would require her to still get paid if Air America cancels her, but who knows what contract she signed.

    Again today she was on her "hometown" station WJNO so if she isn't on anywhere else, she must be back to the local gig that she did before she left for Air America. She always did well in Palm Beach county Florida. (and so did Al Gore in 2000)

    Is the radio equalizer looking into WJNO? Her fans can still listen to her show from WJNO's website.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 08 April, 2008 23:36  

  • Hey Brian, here's a little tidbit from several years ago: Rick Roberts pulled some idiotic on-air stunt at KCMO in Kansas City and was fired the next day. Lo and behold, two weeks later, he started a talk show gig in Houston. Maybe this was another contract buster stunt. Possibility?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 09 April, 2008 21:49  

  • Randi must be syndicating by herself.

    By Anonymous Double the U, at 10 April, 2008 07:17  

  • No, not a trick, she is GONE, according to KKGN "green 960" she will broadcast locally in San Fransisco, she is off AAR network

    Now the question remains... was she rail-roaded by the DNC or did she see the end comming to Air America and use the suspension to plan ahead and leave the sinking ship?

    By Blogger Minister of Propaganda, at 10 April, 2008 09:33  

  • Word coming from Raw Story, Rhodes is out.

    By Blogger Everett W., at 10 April, 2008 12:12  

  • Wrong again, Equalizer (no surprise there). Randi was officially fired by AAR this AM. She'll be on 960 in SF starting on Monday. Guess your little conspiracy theory was just a figment of your (nominally) over active imagination.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10 April, 2008 13:25  

  • She is gone from AAR. But will start in San Fran on "green 960" Monday

    By Blogger raccoonradio, at 10 April, 2008 13:58  

  • It's pretty amazing how you censor comments that criticize the Brian.

    Anyway, he was wrong again about what's going on here. Randi quit AAR and will appear on 960AM in SF. But I suppose this comment will never make it onto the blog since it shows how wrong Brian's conspiracy theories are (yet again).

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10 April, 2008 14:37  

  • "This comment will never make it it into the blog..."

    Oh, really?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10 April, 2008 17:42  

  • Randi has signed with Nova M Radio, the burgeoning talk network owned by Anita and Shelly Drobny and the producers of the Mike Malloy Show.

    Press release can be found here:

    By Blogger Dave Carroll, at 10 April, 2008 17:54  

  • Left = Hitler Dum
    Right = Hitler Dee

    The U. S. of A. 'twas a big lie on July 4, 1776 has been nothing but since.

    "All men are created equal" and that written and signed by slave holders, really!

    By Blogger Tor Hershman, at 11 April, 2008 09:25  

    Rhodes didn't even get 1500 signatures.
    I heard that in her contract she wanted AA to pay for her hair stylist travel. She takes him with her where ever she goes.
    Her ego is in moonbat land. Does she think she is Oprah. No wonder they is joy and relief at AA now that she gone.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11 April, 2008 10:45  

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