The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

31 December 2009

Limbaugh Hospitalization Brings Out The Hate Brigade


Rush Health Scare Worries Fans, Emboldens Enemies













Reports of a health scare involving talk titan Rush Limbaugh late Wednesday has fans filled with worry, while liberal foes respond with the usual vitriol.

Limbaugh has been hospitalized with chest pains possibly resulting from or related to medication taken for back pain, according to reports from Hawaii. But details at this hour remain extremely limited and even gossip site TMZ seems to be having trouble digging up more than a few basic details:

UPDATE: 11:29 PM EST -- Sources inside the hotel tell TMZ the hotel took drastic measures to get the mystery patient -- reported to be Rush Limbaugh -- out of the resort without being seen.

We're told hotel security shut down a wing of the hotel and the guest elevators -- the patient was transported using the employee elevator bank.

The New York Times, AP and others don't seem to be faring much better, with most reports pointing back to the original coverage from KITV-4, the Honolulu ABC affiliate (which has some video coverage here). And so far, no information has been posted at Limbaugh's website.

As we've come to expect when major conservative personalities suffer misfortune, left-wing detractors quickly seized upon the news to denounce Rush and wish him further hardship and suffering. Race 4 2012 collected some of what is said to be an avalanche of Twitter updates related to the Limbaugh news, posting them online. A small sample:

@kenneth212 Rush Limbaugh was rushed to the hospital in Honolulu. Maybe Santa did get my letter.

@MelechT Rush Limbaugh was rushed to the Hospital. Just when I thought Christmas was over…


@phontigallo: I was scared of another death this year til I heard Rush Limbaugh was in the hospital. Come on 2009; don’t fail me now

Elsewhere, message boards at major left-wing and other sites were flooded with anti-Rush / conservative hate, with no apparent effort to scrub some particularly extreme and vulgar rhetoric.

At the party-backed, East Bay-based Daily Kos site, a haven for extremists, there was some effort to temper the "progressive" feeding frenzy (though only from a self-serving political, not personal, standpoint), but it's not clear the author's warnings were heeded:

UPDATE: I know it's tempting for folks to wish this man ill right now. God only knows he's earned the Karma. But before you do, I want you to remember this.


He welcomes it because:

a) The controversy feeds into is ego and validates everything he stands for - division, hate and negativity.

b) He and his ilk are looking forward to holding this over our heads for many, many years to come.

So kids, if you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all.


There is a report that Chris Cuomo is reporting Limbaugh is dead. THIS IS A FALSE REPORT BEING CIRCULATED ON TWITTER. Please do not retweet. There is no confirmation.

The EQ bottom line:
Rush is a fighter, anyone counting him out now is a fool. Get well soon, Rush.

UPDATE: apparently, a Limbaugh staffer has issued a brief statement:

Rush Limbaugh's chief of staff issued a statement saying the talk show host is "resting comfortably" at a Honolulu hospital. The program said in a statement Wednesday that Limbaugh appreciates people's prayers and well-wishes.

The statement says Limbaugh will keep people updated via and his radio program.

Limbaugh's chief of staff Kit Carson says Limbaugh is currently on a vacation that started Dec. 23 and that's due to last through Jan. 4. He had no information on whether this schedule would change.

UPDATE: Wikipedia's credibility once again under scrutiny as it falsely reports Limbaugh's "death".

POLITICO HEADLINE: "Diverse Reaction" to the news. That's a nice way of sugarcoating hate speech, isn't it? Lefty sites are repeatedly using the term "karma" as though Limbaugh deserves punishment for refusing to accept their "progressive" doctrine.


TMZ actually had the nerve to conduct a poll on whether Rush should "get well soon":

Get well soon

Yes 58%
No 42%

Total Votes: 21,113

TIMES (OF LONDON) coverage:

The dispute began when Limbaugh, who has a history of medical ailments, said he hoped that Mr Obama “failed”. Since the much-publicised feud, Limbaugh’s audience nearly doubled from 14.2 million to about 25 million - but he is deeply unpopular with Democrats and independents.

The Obama Administration has sought to portray him as the leader of the opposition, a tactic that angered some Republicans but his popularity continues to climb.

Americans said in a poll last month that Limbaugh was America’s most influential conservative voice. His three-hour weekday show is syndicated on about 600 radio stations across the country.

In 2001, Limbaugh reported he had lost most of his hearing due to an autoimmune inner-ear disease. He had surgery to have an electronic device placed in his skull to restore his hearing.

Two years later Limbaugh acknowledged he was addicted to pain medicine. He blamed the addiction on severe back pain, and took a five-week leave from his radio show to enter rehab.

Limbaugh, who is significantly overweight, has been married three times.

Rush image: AP

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29 December 2009

WGN Uses Anti-Republican Smear Ad To Censor Talk Hosts


Slanderous Ad Used As Basis For Muzzling Chicago Talkers

Here's a fantastic new way to slander Republican candidates and muzzle talk hosts at the same time: run a fringe wacko in the primary, raise some money for his campaign and air radio spots that smear the front-runner. Station management can then issue an edict that prevents on-air denunciations of this dishonest advertising.

Winners: marginal candidates who would otherwise be ignored, other campaign opponents and station owners with political agendas. Losers: honest individuals who become victims of this overt deceit.

In Chicago, that's exactly how Congressman Mark Kirk (R-IL) (shown right) has been slimed by a Republican US Senate primary challenger, with WGN-AM conveniently hiding behind legalese that protects the smear merchant behind the spots. There is also a documented instance of a Democratic Party opponent using the phony allegation to attack Kirk.

According to longtime broadcast reporter Robert Feder, corporate suits are telling WGN personalities that not only must an ad accusing Mark Kirk of homosexuality air uncensored, but that hosts cannot discuss the topic during their programs. From the station's memo to staffers:

“A station cannot selectively disclaim political advertising that it does not agree with. . . . Both as a general matter and specifically with regard to the Martin spots, please do not react to political commercials on our air, or take calls that do the same thing. You can of course discuss candidates, elections, political advertising and political issues as you always do, but do not react to a commercial you hear on-air one way or another.”

Other stations, however,
do refuse to air political advertising, often citing vague conflicts with corporate "standards and practices". Earlier this year, for example, Boston CBS affiliate WBZ-AM refused to air pro-life ObamaCare spots produced by anti-abortion activists.

Feder and the station must believe the distinction lies between issue-oriented ads and those produced for candidates during an election cycle (the primary is scheduled for February 2 2010), with the latter somehow being untouchable.

But a prohibition on discussing dishonest political advertising simply because the spot aired on that particular outlet? It's beyond absurd. Worse, it greatly undermines WGN's audience credibility. Once listeners no longer feel they can trust the station, a long and painful cycle of decline begins.

While censorship is the obvious objection here, hosts are also deprived of a chance to jump at the hottest local topic of the moment, potentially leading to lower ratings and revenue. Just take a look at the smear merchant's background:

Martin, it appears, is a wholly unreliable source of anything, from what CBS2 has reported about him. A perennial candidate for office, he was convicted of assaulting two TV photographers in Florida, was denied admission to the Illinois bar over character issues, and once ran for Congress proposing to "eliminate Jew power in America," according to CBS2. Kirk's campaign issued a statement that Martin's claims are "untrue and demeaning to the political process."

The station also reports that an openly gay Democratic candidate in the race is suggesting that Kirk, who is now on active duty as a Naval intelligence officer, could be subject to military investigation under the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy--essentially using Martin's accusation as an opportunity to attack that policy.

Not surprisingly, the GOP is protesting the ads, which have also run on several other stations in Illinois, but the damage has been done. The smear patrol wins and it is up to Kirk to "defend" himself from the "charge".

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23 December 2009

Low Ratings Continue To Plague Chris Matthews


Why Is MSNBC's Chris Matthews Still Taken Seriously?

Though he's as bombastic as ever, one thing is increasingly absent from MSNBC's Chris Matthews' cable talk program: viewers. So why does his ego appear as pumped up as ever? Inside network offices, are the Nielsen ratings carefully hidden from view?

The Hardball host, who in 2008 said that a speech by Barack Obama caused "a thrill going up my leg", has been chasing his audience away for some time.

Now, he's simply running out of viewers to bore / alienate and has sunk to levels that ought to greatly concern network brass. It's especially true in the so-called "money demo", Adults 25-54.

Yesterday, for example, he averaged just 58,000 in this key group. By contrast, his competition at Fox is turning in figures as much as 600% greater.

Interestingly, it isn't just the right that's fed up: he's also on the outs with some on the left.

From Mediaite:

Chris Matthews has been a mainstay of the MSNBC line-up for years, but December is shaping up to be one his worst months compared to the rest of the cable news landscape.

Matthews had his worst week in 2009 last week in the A25-54 demographic for his 5pmET live airing, averaging 88,000 viewers, according to Nielsen data. The previous week, he had his 2nd worst week, averaging 99,000.

For the month of December, the program is averaging 96,000 in the demo through last Friday. That puts the MSNBC program in 4th place in the category – slightly behind HLN’s Prime News. If the program finishes in 4th place for the month, it would be the first time since September 2005 that Hardball finished in 4th place.

But hey, this couldn't
possibly be Chris's fault, right? No, it's all due to his lousy lead-in, which network suits are quickly looking to fix:

It was announced earlier this month that Dylan Ratigan would move to the 4pmET timeslot with a new program (he currently hosts Morning Meeting at 9amET). The hour has been a news program anchored by David Shuster and Tamron Hall since June.

Matthews provides a textbook example of air talent clinging to employment as corporate suits attempt to impose sub-par programming onto the viewership. Unfortunately, because they can't be compelled to watch (at least not yet), the cable audience responds by simply changing the channel.

Meanwhile, he's as obnoxious as ever, this time calling Republicans "the party of the confederacy". Could the last viewer to exit his program please turn out the lights?

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22 December 2009

Sharpton's Show Again Takes Callers Critical Of Obama


Sharpton Throws Dems Under Bus To Save Obama

At the very time Obama is claiming the healthcare bill before the Senate includes "95 percent" of his 2008 campaign promises related to the issue, many supporters continue to see it differently.

And for several months, we've been tracking the increasing trend of African-Americans using the Al Sharpton Show to air Obama-related grievances, despite polls which show continued overwhelming support for the president. Are some giving pollsters an upbeat assessment while expressing concerns in other settings such as talk radio?

In this example, Sharpton must not have received Obama's talking points in time for yesterday's program, because he clearly doesn't agree with the "95 percent" claim. Instead, Reverend Al was willing to throw Senate Democrats under the bus in order to protect Barack.

From the program:

(CALLER) CRYSTAL (3:00): What happened to the campaign promise where we were going to have health reform with health insurance that mimicked what congressmen and US Senators have? What happened to that idea?

Because on the basis of what I see being proposed now and passed and voted on leads me thinking that we’ve been lied to.

We’ve been hoodwinked.

SHARPTON: Well, I think what happened to it is first of all we did not get it, let’s start there, and let’s be straight up. We did not get what was promised.

Now, why we didn’t get it is because a lot of people in the Senate did not come and back the proposals that came out of the campaign. Let us remember, the deals that were cut to get sixty Democratic votes.

So, where I can see not only disappointment in the White House, we got to be disappointed in Democratic members of the U.S. Senate.

Now that he's seen Barack's "95 percent" claim, will Sharpton change his tune and pretend ObamaCare is everything one could hope for and more?

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21 December 2009

MSNBC Libtalker: 'Morning Joe' Team Takes Direction From WH


Schultz: WH Contacts Team 'Joe' Directly During Program!

For anyone wondering why an increasing number of conservatives now use the term "state-controlled media" (which originated with Rush Limbaugh) to refer to television networks and newspapers, here's one that drives the point home.

During his syndicated radio show Friday, libtalker and MSNBC host Ed Schultz relayed to listeners how he observed 'Morning Joe' Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski take feedback directly from the White House during their program last week.

Schultz appeared on Thursday's Morning Joe and directly challenged Obama's David Axelrod on the current version of the health care bill under consideration in Congress. Interestingly, this particular segment has since generated a great deal of attention elsewhere, given the defensive nature of the White House advisor and the supposed conflict between the far left and the administration:

Visit for breaking news, propaganda, and state-controlled news about the economy

And here's what Ed told radio listeners the next day about the visit:

SCHULTZ (07:14): I just want to get things clear, it was not arranged for me to have a question for David Axelrod.

SCHULTZ (08:12): So Mika starts looking at her Blackberry and so does Scarborough and obviously the White House is texting them or emailing them or whatever and they didn't like the show. Because Arianna had been on there, I'm on there, Howard Dean had been on there and they wanted some balance.

Now think about that - here's the White House getting in contact with 'Morning Joe' because they're afraid there's too many lefties on the air! Now if that's not sensitivity at its highest level, I don't know what is! I told ya a few days ago they had rabbit ears! They don't like anything that's being said right now, they're getting beat up!

Is it really possible that the White House has a direct line to MSNBC's hosts, communicating with them during their live broadcasts? Now THAT'S state control!

And do MSNBC staffers actually carry out the administration's commands? In this case, they certainly made room on short notice for a lengthy segment featuring Axelrod, there to rebut comments made by Howard Dean and other recent guests.

Now, imagine if Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Mark Levin, or another non-"progressive" host had been caught taking orders from Bush during the program. When would we ever hear the end of that?

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19 December 2009

Liberal Caller Expresses Left's Deep Frustration With Obama


Why Did Dems Push Plan Few Voters Support?

When the epitaph is likely written for the Democratic Party in November 2010, perhaps we'll then know why Team Obama pushed so hard for a massive health care bill that even its own base opposed.

With little support remaining beyond tenuous backing from the middle (and moderate senators who required bribes to get on board), what has been accomplished? While conservatives have battled this boondoggle since the beginning, increasing anger from the left has begun to boil over, with some turning to liberal talk programs to express their frustration.

From a union member who says he adamantly supported Obama last year, here's one caller who seems to typify the dissention in the ranks:

CALLER - ED SCHULTZ SHOW - 16 DEC 09 (13:09): I called you when Obama announced for president and I told him, told you I'd volunteer to be a bodyguard and take a bullet for him.

And now I can't even stand to see his mug.

The question: from here, what will Democrats do to bring their base back into line? That's where the situation truly becomes dangerous.

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17 December 2009

Libtalker Characterizes Lieberman As 'Evil'


Libtalkers Unleash Tirades Against Questioning Senator


For a liberal-leaning US Senator, what's the price of questioning debt-inducing legislation that has yet to be seen in its final form? Joe Lieberman knows the answer: it's a daily dose of vitriol from the supposedly tolerant "progressive" movement.

For their part, libtalkers have been pounding on Lieberman for has wavering support for ObamaCare, ignoring (or simply not recognizing) the likelihood that the Connecticut independent is simply posturing for concessions and will ultimately support the bill.

That leads us to question whether liberal radio and cable hosts will want to be reminded weeks and months from now of moments like this, once Joe and the party have kissed and made up.

From the Bill Press Show:

BILL PRESS (13:49): I think the man is evil. And certainly it is all about Joe. It’s only all about Joe.

He doesn’t care about the public. Doesn’t care about the insured. Doesn’t care about the uninsured. Doesn’t care about the poor. He doesn’t care about America!

He cares about Joe and he cares about the insurance companies.

Press also referred
to the senator as "Traitor Joe" during the program. Is this the price of thinking independently?

Does a disagreement on a single issue really make Joe Liberman "evil"? And since when does the left believe in such a concept, anyway?

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16 December 2009

MSNBC's Schultz Apparently Not Loyal Enough For WH Invite


Libtalker Swears He's Happy For Obama's Christmas Un-invite

For a previously-loyal libtalker, what's it like to be left off the White House's Christmas Party invite list?

Projecting an anti-Salahi-like image, MSNBC's Ed Schultz swears the snub is just fine with him, especially if it's a result of his firm opposition to what he sees as a watering down of ObamaCare legislation. But in this clip from yesterday's syndicated radio show, he sure sounds sore about it:

SCHULTZ (10:34): It's about a hundred (in Senate) saving their ass is what it is. I will not give up this fight. And I wear it as a badge of honor that I was not invited to the White House Christmas party.

God, because if I went there I'd ruin it! I'd, I'd, I'd be in the punchbowl line or something and say, WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON AROUND HERE?!

So, the White House, I'm not pissed off, they did the right thing by not inviting me to the White House Christmas party. Because I could not stand in the corner with a lampshade over my head and just turn the light on whenever Eddie wants to talk and give the company line. I can't do that!

Interestingly, Big Ed's
name doesn't appear on this list of attendees to the party for broadcasters, which featured just about every left-wing commentator (and one or two token non-believers) inside the Beltway and beyond:

From NBC/MSNBC: Mark Whitaker, Andrea Mitchell, Savannah Guthrie, Chuck Todd, Libby Leist, Norah O'Donnell, Betsy Fischer, David Gregory, Mike Viqueira, Steve Capus, Contessa Brewer, Ann Curry, Joe Scarborough, Rachel Maddow and Mika Brzezinski.

From CBS: Chris Isham, Bob Schieffer, Chip Reid, Bill Plante, Steve Chaggaris, Christine Delargy, Cami McCormick and Mark Knoller.

From ABC: Jake Tapper, Ann Compton and Karen Travers.

From Fox: Bret Baier, Major Garrett, Roger Ailes, Greta Van Susteren and Bill O'Reilly.

CNN: Wolf Blitzer, Ed Henry, Jessica Yellin, Suzanne Malveaux and Sam Feist.

From the White House: Robert Gibbs, David Axelrod, Valerie Jarrett, Bill Burton, Jen Psaki, Tommy Vietor, Katie McCormick Lelyveld, Ebs Burnough, Desiree Rogers and Dag Vega.

The bottom line: either the Obama White House demands complete loyalty (it previously highlighted Schultz at WH press events), or Ed's track record at social events simply makes them nervous.

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15 December 2009

Sharpton Guest: Obama Quickly Losing Black Support


Watkins: Obama's Support Base Eroding Rapidly

Are African-Americans quickly growing disenchanted with Barack Obama? That's the assertion of Dr Boyce Watkins, an activist on racial issues who appeared on the Reverend Al Sharpton's syndicated program yesterday.

With polls still showing widespread (if not almost universal) support for Obama among black voters, the increasing voices of discontent aired on Sharpton's show leads one to wonder whether the situation is more fluid than is apparent to pollsters.

Here's the clip and transcript:

DR BOYCE WATKINS (33:01): The other issue Obama has to run into though is that the people his plans are targeted to help, they’re not getting help. The average rank-and-file American is seeing the unemployment rate continue to rise. It dropped a little bit, but it is still very high.

African-Americans, we’re seen our unemployment rate spiral out of control to the point that the Congressional Black Caucus had to come after him.

So, when you talk about having a base of people that believe in what you’re doing, I’m not sure the President really has that now. So his attacks on Wall Street, they do make sense.

The question is whether or not they are actually going to work because they do understand that at the end of the day they don’t really have to listen to the president, so I’m wondering where he is going to get his power from.

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12 December 2009

Left Has New Approach To Undermining Talk's Sponsorship Base


Lefties Attack Talkers For Endorsing Gold

In their never-ending quest to destroy conservative talk radio, our "progressive" friends have attempted every trick in the book. Boycotts, public pressure campaigns targeting station owners, congressional resolutions, you name it, they've tried it.

Since none have brought down the medium, a new approach was needed, which they now believe they've found: a targeted effort designed to cut into ad revenue by discouraging talkers from endorsing gold products.

Why gold? Simple: liberals, led by the usual suspects at Media Matters, noticed that conservatives were plugging a lot of precious metals on the air. Reworking this into a somehow shameful practice could result in big losses should the ads be removed.

Further troubling the "progressive" left is how Glenn Beck and other talkers have worked more general discussions about the rising value of gold into their regular programming, which then leads into spot breaks featuring firms that sell it.

From Media Matters, this supposed "scandal" was then covered at a number of other sites, including the Los Angeles Times, Politico, the Huffington Post, ex-righty sites Little Green Footballs and Andrew Sullivan, in addition to others covering broadcasting and politics.

That culminated in this Daily Show segment featuring Jon Stewart:

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Beck - Not So Mellow Gold

For his part, Sullivan made sure a number of other conservative hosts were included on the "naughty" list:

Beck could be in trouble with Fox over the conflict of interest. Other gold profiteers include O’Reilly, Mark Levin, Michael Savage, Laura Ingraham, Dennis Miller, Fred Thompson, and G. Gordon Liddy.

Unfortunately for Media Matters and their fellow-travellers, this is especially selective criticism. First, conservative talk radio is hardly alone in shilling for gold.

Ever heard of CNBC? It has featured an almost-daily parade of guest analysts who are bullish on precious metals, with the network then featuring ads for similar, if not the same outfits. And identical spots run on many other cable and broadcast channels.

A key question: what exactly is wrong with promoting gold? While some may argue that its rapid ascent this year may represent a bubble, it repesents a historic hedge against inflation and financial calamities.

Especially important: conservative talk radio listeners were already interested in gold long before these programs began to air. There's a historic connection that predates the medium itself.

As for blurring the line between advertising and editorial content (the talk show itself) on air, this has been occurring for some time on both sides of the aisle. While Rush Limbaugh might mention a Sleep Comfort bed during the program, libtalkers such as Ed Schultz have taken it much further, turning his show into a virtual informercial at times.

From Jack Coleman at NewsBusters:

Whenever I hear lib radio talker Ed Schultz introduce a guest, I wonder if the person is paying to be there -- seeing how many of Schultz's most frequent guests are advertisers on his radio Web site.

Mark Graff, for example, president of a company called Bio Green Clean, as in cleaning products. Since July 24, Graff has appeared on the Schultz radio show 13 times, most recently on Dec. 1.

Given such ubiquity, it's not surprising Graff might resort to hyperbole in making his pitch, as he did Sept. 17 (click here for audio) -- "Let me tell you, it cleans better than any product that's ever been created in the history of our civilization." (As our crack team of chemical archaeologists will attest ... and just look at that shine!)

It's not just Graff making frequent stops -- so has advertiser Ted Massinello, president of USA Coffee Company, appearing on Schultz's radio show 12 times since July 10. And advertiser Michael Moss, co-founder of Brooklyn Bagel Slicer, eight times since Aug. 14.

Two recent advertisers dropping by were comedian Peter Lipsey, three times in the last month, and Roger Simmermaker, author of "How Americans Can Buy American: The Power of Consumer Patriotism," twice since Nov. 25.

In fact, at least one advertiser has been a guest for every single one of Schultz's radio shows since Nov. 17 (except for rebroadcasts on Thanksgiving and the day after). On the day before Thanksiving, all four guests were advertisers -- as was guest host Norman Goldman, who just launched his own radio show.

Not only are advertisers becoming fixtures on the top-rated liberal radio show in the country, Schultz rarely tells his listeners that the person he is interviewing helps pay his salary.

This advertising strategy by Schultz appears to have emerged from a weekly segment he initiated last year but which rarely appears anymore. For an hour of every "Recession-Busting Friday", Schultz would take calls from business people across the country who would have a minute or two to pitch their products and services.

How much time has Media Matters spent covering this? Take a look for yourself, here.

And how about some of the shady outfits featured during liberal talk shows?

This phony flap is a classic case of creating controversy out of thin air and using it to shame political opponents. Unless a moral case can be made against the promotion of gold, there's no substance to the charges, it's simply a new element to the ongoing smear campaign against conservatives.

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10 December 2009

Failed Citadel CEO May Remain After Bankruptcy


Citadel - ABC Radio Ready To Hand Control To Lenders


With word this evening that the nation's largest owner of talk radio stations is filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, the industry is in a state of shock.

But it's not the restructuring itself that has stunned insiders, that's been seen as likely for several months (though the timing is about a month earlier than expected).

Instead, indications that the approximately 90 creditors who are to seize control of Citadel (ABC Radio) and its mega-talk stations (WABC, WLS, KGO, KSFO, KABC, WJR, WBAP, KABC, WMAL and many more) will retain failed CEO Farid Suleman seems unfathomable to almost everyone.

As Suleman (shown left) has overseen the complete destruction of this once-promising company, any continuing role in Citadel would seem inappropriate, but the Wall Street Journal is reporting that he will likely survive.

Brought down by inept deal-making, programming malpractice and political bias, Citadel has been on a collision course with disaster for several years. Here at the Radio Equalizer, we've been covering its managerial follies during that time and at one point pleaded with its parent holding company to fire Suleman.

As part of the deal to eliminate billions in debt, Citadel's shareholders will see a complete wipeout, though it has been a penny stock for over a year, especially after being delisted from the New York Stock Exchange and moved to the dodgy pink sheets (OTC:CTDB).

Under Suleman's rule,
the company's left-wing political bias became so unbearable that it convinced Sean Hannity to move his program to another syndicator.

Just last month, Citadel admitted that the loss of Hannity caused it to lose millions in desperately-needed revenue. More recently, the company booted longtime WABC / syndicated host Curtis Sliwa for reasons that remain a mystery.

Some of the firm's medium and small market stations are viewed as being in relatively good shape, largely because they were built up by Citadel's previous ownership regime and run locally. Many are high-powered news-talk stations.

Whether the restructuring will force the firm to shed some of its stations is unknown at this time.

Suleman's survival removes the last bit of hope many in radio still held regarding a corporate turnaround. Without a change in leadership, prospects for key Citadel - ABC stations will remain highly questionable.

As it is difficult to find Suleman defenders within radio, it's hard to imagine what Citadel's creditors might be thinking. Nonetheless, the details of this restructuring are not yet set in stone and Farid could well find himself out on the street where he belongs.

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Libtalkers And Guests Use Scare Tactics In ObamaCare Abortion Debate


Congresswoman Uses Scare Tactics In ObamaCare Debate


Could ObamaCare eliminate abortion as we know it? That's the strange reasoning used by one Democratic congresswoman in an increasingly heated debate over public funds for the procedure.

But why would her own party, a traditional supporter, move to end the practice? Representative Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) claims ObamaCare without public funding for abortions would lead to "back-alleys and hangers".

Further, she claims women will be prohibited from obtaining coverage to terminate a pregnancy, even with private (non-government-option) insurance.

From an interview during syndicated libtalker Ed Schultz's radio program, here's the audio and transcript:

SCHAKOWSKY (03:39): We are willing, we don't love it, but we are willing to stay with the parameters of what was called the Hyde amendment that says no public dollars go to provide abortions, but this amendment is worse. It says that women with their own money, buying insurance from a private health insurance company in this new exchange we're creating could not have abortion coverage.

SCHAKOWSKY (04:13): We're not going back to back alleys and hangars, we're just not. So, if we had to and I don't think we will, we would defeat the bill. We have the votes.

There are a lot of myths perpetuated by abortion supporters, and the back-alley coat hanger scare tactic has been successfully used for many years. But Schakowsky's (who would probably like you to forget about her extensive ties to Rod Blagojevich) really out on a limb here.

And yet, she's not alone: the city of Berkeley is poised to pull the same stunt.

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07 December 2009

Left Uncharacteristically Silent On Shatner's Limbaugh Interview


Lefties Oddly Mum On Limbaugh's Chat With Shatner

As it's not like the left to ignore an opportunity to pounce on Rush Limbaugh, their uncharacteristic silence regarding his interview with William Shatner says a lot about what the former is beginning to accomplish in the court of public opinion.

After years of dehumanizing El Rushbo via every imaginable "progressive" trick, his recent efforts to turn the tables through a series of visits to atypical venues have foes searching for new methods of attack.

Shatner's interview with Limbaugh was brilliant, revealing an especially personal side unfamiliar even to his most dedicated fans. Though Rush sometimes talks about his childhood and past struggles on the program, the Star Trek legend managed to dig deeper, with an impressive outcome. What could an angry leftist do other than ignore the results?

In this excerpt, Limbaugh discusses his painful (but ultimately successful) attempts at kicking a prescription drug addiction, in addition to his earliest attempts at "radio broadcasting" from home.

For comparison, just below it is a clip from parochial Seattle hothead Ron Reagan's Air America show in September.

Which one comes across as likable? How effective are the "pill-popper" references and fat jokes up against El Rushbo's own admissions regarding past struggles?

By no means has
the left given up on its clear aim of defeating Limbaugh, but his most recent efforts have forced them to regroup, at least for the time being.

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04 December 2009

MSNBC's Ed Schultz: Tiger Woods Is The Victim


Libtalker's Sympathy Lies With Golfer, Not Wife

Providing a truly surreal moment in radio broadcasting, MSNBC's Ed Schultz has told listeners he believes Tiger Woods is "a victim".

But why stop there? The syndicated libtalker then offered Woods some especially strange advice on how to deal with the golf champ's professional fallout.

Here's the transcript and clip (edited for brevity, includes three passages from one broadcast segment during Thursday's program), listen as Schultz spells out what Woods should do next:

SCHULTZ (28:23): Tiger Woods is really at the point now of being a victim in my opinion. What does he have to do, OK?

What's he gotta, I know a lot of you are going to be mad at me for saying that I think he's a victim, but wait a minute now. When does it stop? No laws broken, police report complete and now it's all juice from this point out, what's interesting.

SCHULTZ (33:28): If I'm Tiger Woods' agent or if I'm his business associate, we cancel all contracts today.

Yeah! We cancel all, we call up Nike, it's over, we want out. We want, we want every sponsor, it's over, all the stuff about well we've been with him for a long time, no, no, go on the offensive, Tiger. Go on the offensive and say it's over, I'm starting completely over.

GUEST NORMAN GOLDMAN (34:11): Ed, that's really counterintuitive. I mean, most people wouldn't do that. They wouldn't walk away from all that money.

SCHULTZ (38:50): Tiger Woods hasn't been charged with anything. This is a personal, this is a personal indiscretion. There is an admission, there is a recovery, so when does it stop? It's not the question of when does it stop. When does it start?

When does the new Tiger start over? I'm Tiger Woods' business agent, I control his interests, all contracts are off today! We'll see you next year if you're interested. By the way, there will probably be a 25 percent increase.

Had he stopped
with the "victim" rant, this monologue might qualify as merely bizarre, but with the addition of the contract shredding tip, Schultz has ventured into a very strange place. What is the agenda behind this one?

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02 December 2009

Viewers Turn To Fox For Post-Obama Analysis


Viewers Flock To Opposition Network For Analysis

It's no secret that MSNBC and CNN have been in decline for some time, particularly since Obama took office. Positioning themselves as the president's defenders while his popularity sinks hasn't exactly been a winning strategy.

What is news, however, is the increasingly extreme nature of the divergence, with yesterday's primetime Obama speech providing a case study.

While MSNBC and CNN struggled to hold on to their far-smaller audiences, millions tuned in to the FOX News Channel and remained there afterward into the late hours to hear Bill O'Reilly, Sean Hannity, Greta Van Susteren and their respective guests provide instant reaction to Obama's war plan.

In ratings released late Wednesday, O'Reilly and Hannity's blockbuster 25-54 numbers stand out in particular, with the former averaging 1,293,000 (versus MSNBC's 410,000) and the latter pulling in 840,000 (against Rachel Maddow's 263,000).

Overall, O'Reilly averaged 4,478,000 compared to 1,376,000 for sad-sack competitor Keith Olbermann, while Hannity drew 2,631,000 to Maddow's 924,000.

For its part, CNN generally beat MSNBC, but lagged far behind FOX. It wasn't too long ago that CNN could be expected to own a night like that, but the network is deeply troubled today.

Fox is no longer merely ahead of the pack, it is wiping the competition right off the map.

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