The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

25 February 2010

MSNBC Talker: Let's Rip Out Cheney's Heart


With Deranged Cheney Rant, Ed Moves Into Malloy Territory


With his cable talk show preempted for Olympics coverage this week, MSNBC libtalker Ed Schultz is in desperate need of career attention. Does that mean we should ignore his most recent, hate-filled rant?

Not on your life, particularly as Big Ed crosses (perhaps for the first time) firmly into Mike Malloy territory, the extreme fringe of left-wing talk radio.

Just remember, Eddie, you asked for it, so no complaining if the blowback proves painful. From Wednesday's syndicated radio show:

SCHULTZ (01:59): I just want all of you to know that I get my entertainment through NewsBusters. (laughs, then in mincing voice)

How dare the Democrats make fun of Dick Cheney's heart problems and turn it into a political football. (back to normal voice, to the extent possible) I can just hear some little weasel who's writing that at NewsBusters. You're my entertainment.

Bozell, Bozell and his bozo crew. You're damn right, Dick Cheney's heart's a political football. We ought to rip it out and kick it around and stuff it back in him. I'm glad he didn't tip over. He is the new poster child for health care in this country.

SCHULTZ (04:38): And we want Shooter to make it. Hell, we hope he goes and shoots somebody else in the face. That was a helluva story way back when.

SCHULTZ (05:26): How come Dick Cheney's health care isn't being dropped? Do you realize that if you had five heart attacks, hell, you wouldn't get past two heart attacks and they'd dump you.

But because you're a war criminal and because you are on the take from Haliburton and you had these executive meetings in 2001 back in the, you know, the days of the rolling blackouts and executive privilege on how we're going to develop energy policy in this country, you do stuff like that, hell, you can get the best health care on the face of the earth.

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24 February 2010

Libtalker Charles Jaco Could Face Charges In St Louis


Former CNNer-Turned-Libtalker Jaco In St Louis Scuffle

Desperate for press attention? Let a reporter-turned-libtalker show the way: he's at the center of a flap that threatens to provide the first burst of publicity experienced in nearly two decades of post-cable obscurity. All it took was a caught-on-tape scuffle with a young activist questioning his depictions of Tea Party supporters.

Briefly known for his cartoonish bravado during the Persian Gulf War, infamously difficult former CNN correspondent Charles Jaco has more recently worked as a libtalker at KTRS-AM and contributor for KTVI FOX 2, both in St Louis. He's also had a brief stint at the former KIRO-AM in Seattle.

But an altercation with would-be interviewer Adam Sharp from on February 17 could undermine Jaco's position. During a union-sponsored rally protesting private insurers, Jaco appeared to make physical contact with the persistent questioner and Mike Anderson at STLMedia now reports that charges may have been filed against him.

In the clip, seen below, it's clear both sides are antagonistic toward one another. In addition, what we may be seeing here is the result of a long history of tensions between Jaco and his opponents, particularly conservatives:

Tensions remain high between Jaco and bloggers partly because of 2009's leakage of what (almost certainly!) appears to be faked CNN Desert Storm coverage starring Charles (known as C D Jaco at the time).

It was subsequently featured at several websites and YouTube:

According to one website, Jaco threatened legal action in response to coverage of the clip. In addition, other bloggers have accused him of chronic dishonesty.

As Jaco has clearly changed little from his hot-headed, thin-skinned days in cable and network news, it's easy to wonder what value is brought to KTRS and KTVI. Is he really worth the trouble?

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22 February 2010

Mark Levin Questions Glenn Beck's Behavior And Strategy


Levin Challenges Beck To Behave Like An Adult



Is Mark Levin the only major figure on the right with the guts to question Glenn Beck's attempted hijacking of the conservative movement? At the moment, it sure seems that way.

During tonight's edition of the syndicated Mark Levin Show, the best-selling author (shown right with Rush Limbaugh) challenged Beck over his clown-like behavior and half-baked plan to split conservatives in two via a third party.

But he also offered some relatively friendly advice on the likely result of "playing footsie" with the mainstream media: career implosion.

Earlier today, Levin also took to Facebook to question the seeming inconsistencies of Beck's ideological agenda.

Here's the EQ-created clip from earlier this evening:

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Desperate For Attention, Libtalker Takes Extreme Measures


Lefty Talker Seeks Attention From Conservative Counterparts

Starving for attention these days, what's a desperate libtalker to do? One lefty host is resorting to extreme measures in order to stay "relevant" in the field. Can attention from the right save Stephanie Miller?

It's hard to imagine what else could have inspired this bizarre exchange on her program late last week:

So far, no word from Sean Hannity, who may be too red-faced to respond.

Earlier in the week, however, Miller did manage to get the attention of talk titan Rush Limbaugh, later responding in kind (see the clip below):

For liberal talk radio, it's a sad state of affairs: without the ability to stir up the opposition, the medium is ignored. When will they finally come up with a formula for success?

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19 February 2010

Libtalker Calls Coleman 'Little Black Leprechaun'


Where Else Does A Libtalker Learn This Kind Of Language?


The first question is obvious: could a conservative host get away with this kind of language? But the next one is just as important: in an environment where the Senate majority leader can get away with racist terminology simply because he's a Democrat, why would a libtalker's poor choice of words produce a different result?

Call it the Harry Reid School of Broadcasting, where a budding libtalker can truly speak his mind.

During yesterday's Bill Press Show, listen as fill-in host / program producer Peter Ogburn calls disturbed actor Gary Coleman "a little black leprechaun". Below the clip, see the now-infamous panel discussion that has swept the Internet:

PETER OGBURN - BILL PRESS SHOW PRODUCER / FILL-IN HOST (23:49): There he goes. There he goes! And he just goes storming off the set.

And one of the reasons it’s so funny is because he’s so tiny. He’s like four-foot-six and he’s like a little black leprechaun that goes off the set.

It’s the funniest thing!

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17 February 2010

Janeane Garofalo Makes Excuses For Libtalk Failures


Garofalo: Air America Too Nice To Succeed

Emerging from her cave for an increasingly-rare public appearance, Hollyweirdo Janeane Garofalo used part of a visit with Rosie O'Donnell to share her theories on the failure of Air America Radio.

Is it really possible that her former employer's network collapsed partly as a result of being too kind? That's part of Janeane's amusing theory, one which conveniently omits stealing money from a children's charity (AAR management), calling Hillary Clinton "a f---ing whore" (Randi Rhodes), referring to virtually any political opponent as a "Nazi" (the entire staff) and turning a radio talk show into a Scientology infomercial (Janeane herself!). Yes, what a nice bunch.

Here's the clip and partial transcript:

ROSIE O'DONNELL - ROSIE RADIO (1:05:38): Why is it often that liberal-backed causes don't seem to have the organizational infrastructure that all of these right-wing radical groups have?

GAROFALO: I would assume there's a couple of reasons: the right-wing radicals are fueled by greed, hate, a domineering attitude, and the will to power that may translate into a type of success. In [Air America's] case, you ha[d] a lot of much kinder people working at something they hadn't done before.

GAROFALO (1:09:12): It's a shame that [Air America] didn't thrive because it was desperately needed. Right-wing talk radio makes me soul-sick. [It] makes me sick. I was eager to get involved [with Air America] because at the time, especially from the stolen election of 2000 onward something ha[d] to happen.

O'DONNELL (1:10:21): [The media are] all corporately owned [now]. When we were in elementary school, we were taught [that] in Russia, where they have Communism, there's only two TV stations. One is the state-owned TV station, and the other station just has a loop saying, 'You better be watching [the first] station.' That's almost what it's become.

GAROFALO: In the last thirty, forty years, after Watergate, after Vietnam, there was a concerted effort by the right-wing's powers that be in this country, in the military-industrial complex, to make sure that people power couldn't be as effective and that there would not be a Walter Cronkite or a Woodward and Bernstein.

GAROFALO (1:11:41): Cheney and Rumsfeld came in with Ford, and they had years and years to make sure [that] what happened. They stole the election of 2000, they stole the election of 2004. That is not tinfoil-hat-time conspiracy. That is just powerful people consolidating power. [It] happens in every country in every era.

GAROFALO (1:13:36): The other face of racism has now really, really come to the fore in this country. The Republican party has now morphed into a National Front, basically, similar to Britain's Nationalist [sic] Front. The teabaggers that is racism, pure and simple.If you cannot see that those so-called teabaggers are straight-up racist, then you're not paying attention.

GAROFALO (1:18:09): You don't need a fact to know when there's racism. You don't need a fact to know when there's gay-bashing going on. You don't need a fact to know when there's an illegal and immoral war going on. That is just a real thing that's happening, and [is] not debatable. There are some things that are true. Torture is wrong in the same way that the racism issue and the gay-bashing issue is not up for debate, yet we still insist on indulging these [conservatives].

Also notable here is the especially obnoxious tone taken by Garofalo, making her already-abrasive personality that much tougher to take.

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13 February 2010

Rosie O'Donnell Takes Credit For Elisabeth Hasselbeck's Career


She's Got The Power To Make Or Break Careers!

Where would Elisabeth Hasselbeck be without Rosie O'Donnell?

Apparently, nowhere, at least in the eyes of the former The View co-host. O'Donnell used her Sirius libtalk radio show this week to claim full credit for Hasselbeck's (shown below right) career, telling listeners "I created this monster."

In this exclusive EQ audio cut, listen to O'Donnell's cringeworthy combination of delusional arrogance and lingering bitterness:

O'DONNELL (21:24): Nobody ever really paid [attention to Hasselbeck] until I got on that show. It was me. I created that monster. Nobody really gave a s--t what she said before, right? So then I'm on there and I'm fighting with her, and then she got invited to the White House. I remember thinking when she told me that, 'Oops, the beginning of the end.'

JANETTE BARBER (executive producer): ...Before you got there, every day was Desperate Housewives and 'Who wants to buy a new purse?' The nature of the show did change, and, I will say, very much for the better.

O'DONNELL (22:53) (as Hasselbeck): 'Can I just say one thing?'

(AS HERSELF): 'No' - That's what I always wanted to say... 'You can't say anything else, 'cause you're yelling and you're not that smart.' She wanted her facts. I kept telling her, 'Your feelings are more important than your facts. Anybody can Google your facts, Elisabeth, but you have to show your humanity. What are your feelings about this?'

The bonus, of course, is O'Donnell's insistence that Elisabeth's use of "facts" clouds her emotional judgment. Thanks, Rosie, for summing up everything we need to know about you in that one statement.

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12 February 2010

KFI's Midday Libtalk Experiment Ends Badly


As Replacement Fails, Dr Laura Vindicated

A short-lived attempt at placing liberal talk in KFI's midday schedule has failed spectacularly, providing vindication to Dr Laura Schlessinger, the host who previously filled that space.

After just six months, the Bill Handel Show faltered not only in Southern California, but nationally as well, as the program's syndication effort collapsed from a lack of affiliates. In today's Orange County Register, Handel and KFI are in damage control mode, claiming two programs a day proved overwhelming. Handel remains KFI's morning-drive host.

Wasn't his workload considered before he took the second gig?

As we reported in November, Handel's desire to be nationally syndicated full-time resulted in the bumping of longtime KFI midday advice talker Dr Laura Schlessinger, who found a new home at rival CBS outlet KFWB-AM. The latter outlet recently flipped to talk from news. Schlessinger's ratings remained strong at KFI through the end and the circumstances behind her removal remain murky.

Known for his abrasive style in public, Handel took the extra step of lambasting Dr Laura after taking her timeslot. In the past, he's also lashed out at several other conservative talkers, most notably Rush Limbaugh.

Though not traditionally considered a liberal talker, Handel has increasingly moved in that direction in recent years, with tirades against Joe The Plumber, tea partiers, denunciations of Second Amendment rights, in addition to bizarre tirades against Armenians, Creole speakers and others. Some on the left still refer to Handel as a "right-winger", or at most, a centrist, but it doesn't reflect the shift.

Rather than rejoice over her public vindication, Dr Laura seems focused on moving forward at her new station.

Reached earlier today, she had this reaction to the news: "I am thoroughly enjoying working with CBS / KFWB. We just had a Wounded Warrior Foundation fundraiser dance last Saturday night at the Grove in Anaheim with 1100 eager fans who danced all night in 60s garb to Motown music- and we have more events in the works. Ratings are great and growing. I am very content."

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10 February 2010

Lynn Samuels Blasts WABC Management For Canning Coast-To-Coast


Tensions High As Rival Broadcasters Lob Grenades


Who knew a "dying" industry could still provide so much drama?

Over the past several weeks, several rival broadcast firms in the talk radio field have dispensed with professional courtesy and seemingly declared war on one another. And in a related story, one especially troubled outfit is recklessly lobbing grenades internally, as well.

The result: unusual public spats, abruptly yanked programming, sacked managers and hosts, as well as lingering bad feelings.

Tracking the twists and turns can be as confusing as keeping up with Lost's final season, but here's a rough attempt at a scorecard / timeline of the recent turmoil:

In December, it became clear that wildly incompetent Citadel Communications CEO Farid Suleman would remain in place despite his firm's impending bankruptcy. Creditors inexplicably chose to retain the failed manager, despite his ruinous reign over the company.

Clear Channel quietly continued to pull syndicated programming from its Premiere Radio Networks division (Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck, Coast-to-Coast AM with George Noory and others) from stations it doesn't own. The plan: create new outlets in these markets, with some utilizing the "Rush Radio" format.

In Raleigh, it's already on the air, while another new talker in Boston is set to debut shortly. In anticipation of this move, Entercom's WRKO 680 AM in the latter city has lost all Premiere programming except for Limbaugh (but that could soon be pulled as well).

Emboldened by his incredible good fortune at the hands of Citadel's creditors, who will control the firm post-bankruptcy, Suleman embarked on an intense firing spree targeting managers, local talkers (WLS in Chicago especially hard-hit) and even syndicated fare (Coast-to-Coast AM yanked at WABC in New York City and elsewhere).

Through WABC Program Director Laurie Cantillo (shown right), Citadel took a shot at Noory's high-rated program, calling it "canned, conspiratorial, and just plain dull." That kind of public statement from a radio manager is highly unusual.

--- This week, Sirius talker and former WABC host Lynn Samuels lambasted Cantillo and Citadel for their behavior. Here's her on-air rant (WARNING -- EXTREME CONTENT):

From here, it's a certainty that Clear Channel will immediately need new homes for all of its Premiere programming, including Limbaugh, in order to escape the unstable environment at Citadel. It was widely hoped that the latter firm's bankruptcy would bring about Suleman's removal, but that clearly isn't going to occur.

That creates a major hassle for Clear Channel, as Citadel unfortunately owns most of the top talk stations in big cities, including WABC, WLS, KSFO, WBAP, WJR, WMAL, KABC and many others. But from a business standpoint, it has no choice but to proceed as quickly as contractually possible.

Stay tuned, as this battle has only just begun.

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09 February 2010

HuffPo Smear Machine Places Words In Bill O'Reilly's Mouth


WaPo-Owned Site: Criticism Of Haiti's Government = Racism

To the list of forbidden words in our increasingly PC society, add the newest "C-word": corruption. Move over, "retarded", you've got serious competition this week.

For that, we can thank a Washington Post - Newsweek co-owned website, The Root (and its smear-peddling enablers at the Huffington Post, who excerpted it) whose stated objective is to "provide thought-provoking commentary on today's news from a variety of black perspectives."

Somehow, merely pointing to corruption in a Third World country isn't just racist, but extremely derogatory as well. Didn't actually use a slur in your argument? That's okay, the Smear Machine will insert one straight into your mouth.

Look how this was done in a piece called "Haiti, Bill O’Reilly and The Myth of the Dark Savage":

Bill O’Reilly rants that “massive corruption is the problem with Haiti” and that if you send money to the island, the Haitian authorities “will most likely steal it!” He says that he gives to Haiti through a reliable friend but doesn’t provide much guidance to his viewers as to how they, too, can find alternative means to donate. Not particularly constructive. Further, he “tut tuts” about looting and thuggery, yet I have seen no images of people stealing flat screen TVs or trashing local businesses—assuming there are standing structures to trash.

Watching the tragedy play out on television, I have seen suffering, yes. I have seen death, certainly. I have seen hungry, injured people struggling to find food and medicine for themselves, for their children. That’s not looting. That’s survival at its most urgent. We celebrate the tenacity of the human spirit when rugby players stranded in the Andes are forced to turn to the carcasses of their fallen brethren for sustenance—and even make a movie about it. So surely we can acknowledge the impulse to push back against the throngs of souls who grab at the same meager bowl of rice that you are fortunate enough to hold in your hands.

I’ve come to expect drivel from Fox TV, but they’re not the only ones playing up the lawless Haitian meme. Time wonders “Will Criminal Gangs Take Control In Haiti’s Chaos?,” while The Daily Beast laments "Haiti's Lawless Streets.” And on and on, the coverage goes, as if it is morally wrong when desperation doesn't simply tip its hat and form a queue.

Violence is indeed an aspect of Haiti’s story, but so are heroism, generosity and hope. I fear the over-emphasis on violence as somehow an anomalous reaction to catastrophe rests on a far too familiar trope: Black as savage, other, incomprehensible. Inhuman.

Is this hyperbole? Perhaps. Or perhaps we ought to ask the Idaho church group who thought they could simply leave the island with orphaned (and maybe some not-so-orphaned) children without the appropriate documentation. Or the Brazilian troops who last week trained their rifles on a hungry crowd of displaced Haitians, firing pepper spray into the crowd to keep the peace. Perhaps we should ask the Haitian people who again and again have had to attest to their own humanity.

One problem with the "dark savage" theory: O'Reilly is 100% correct. Had the author spent even a moment looking into the facts, it would become clear that thievery in Haiti's government is endemic.

According to Transparency International, the country is among the world's five most corrupt. And in the 2009 Corruption Perceptions Index, Haiti scores a paltry 1.8, below Cuba, Venezuela, the neighboring Dominican Republic and virtually any other country on the globe.

With decades of expertise in the subject, why would they stop stealing foreign aid now? And how is pointing this out racist?

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05 February 2010

Libtalker Uses Same Language That Landed Limbaugh, Emanuel In Hot Water


Will Libtalker Be Denounced As Rush Was?

Ahead of the snowstorm that will hopefully put it out of its misery, it was one silly week inside the Beltway, especially in relation to language usage.

White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel came under fire for comments made last August but not reported until now: "f---ing retarded", he was quoted as calling certain members of his own party.

But when the state-run media saw the uproar hitting too close to Obama, they predictably shifted the anger to Rush Limbaugh, whose apparent crime was repeating Emanuel's words on his program. To boost its impact, the smear merchants even fabricated a phony Rush-Palin row.

Emanuel has since taken a pledge not to use the "R-word" again, while Limbaugh continues to take heat from the Special Olympics organization and others.

But Limbaugh and Emanuel aren't the only ones using this kind of language, as MSNBC libtalker Ed Schultz has happily joined the "R" club with his own rant. Like Limbaugh, Big Ed was simply interpreting Emanuel's words to reflect his own political standpoint.

But is it really fair to leave Schultz out of the seek-and-destroy game that has consumed the political world in recent days? What makes this rant acceptable where Limbaugh's isn't? Take a listen for yourself:

SCHULTZ (21:56): Now, from a liberal's perspective, I would think that Rahm Emanuel would be speaking for the president. The bigger picture here is, now that I see that single payer was never on the table, public option was never fought for, did the president think that the liberal group that came out with the idea of health care, did the president think it was retarded? That's where I'm at on the story! I mean, if that's how Rahm Emanuel thinks about what the liberal base came up with with health care, is that where the president is?!

He may not use that word, but is he saying, aw the hell with 'em behind closed doors, we're not gonna do that, it's crazy. Well, look at it. Single payer wasn't on the table. They didn't seem to fight very hard for public option. There was never any line drawn in the sand. I mean, I would have to think that there's a connection between what Rahm Emanuel says and how the president thinks based on how this all unfolded! That's the story for liberals! The story's not the word 'retarded' or who offended who. The story is, what we elected, what we wanted, it didn't even get represented!

SCHULTZ (23:21): Look, I'm a big fan of the president, OK, and I want this all to work. But in the health care debate, Barack Obama beat up Hillary Clinton more than he beat up the opposition when it came to fighting for the public option! What's going on here?

Schultz simply repeated Rahm's words and attempted to analyze the context. But hey, that's all Rush was doing from his perspective and look how he was trashed by the media!

So are we going to denounce Schultz, or back off of Limbaugh? Pick one, guys, you can't have it both ways.

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03 February 2010

Bankrupt Air America Paid Rachel Maddow For No-Show Job


Bankrupt AAR Paid Her For Nothing, Book Deal Questioned

No wonder these guys went bankrupt- no-show jobs are for the public sector, not private industry! As Air America Radio's bankruptcy brings public disclosure of its battered finances, some fascinating details have begun to emerge about how it was run.

The New York Times reports today that several AAR hosts and others were left holding the bag when the libtalk network abruptly shut down in January, including Ron Reagan, Ana Marie Cox and Rachel Maddow.

Wait a second: Rachel Maddow?

The same Rachel Maddow who gave up radio hosting duties over a year ago?

Yes, for a no-show "job" right out of an Obamist stimulus scheme, the MSNBC talker was paid $70,000 per annum for a one-hour audio-only rerun of the previous night's cable program. Segments were cut up to fit network radio's format and a few brief pre-recorded introductions were added using Maddow's voice.

Nice work if you can get it! Interestingly, to host a three-hour live program, Ron Reagan was paid only about a third more than Rachel.

When it first became clear Maddow was not hosting a live program for Air America, your Radio Equalizer had a heck of a time getting anyone on her side of the fence to admit to that. Instead, the network and her supporters were happy to pretend it was an original broadcast.

Nor will she ever express regret or remorse that Boys & Girls Club funds covered network operating expenses in 2005!

Was a low-rated Maddow rerun from 12 hours earlier in audio-only form really worth $70,000 a year? And what did airing it accomplish for Air America?

But that's not the only Maddow-related, money-centered controversy brewing today: what happened to Rachel's book? From today's New York Post:

Where is MSNBC news anchor Rachel Maddow 's book?

In 2008, when she was a rising political analyst without her own show, she inked what was believed to be a low-six-figure deal to write about the shifting role of the military.

The book was delayed beyond its 2009 publication date, and now it appears the original idea has been scrapped.

Random House's Crown imprint referred calls to Laurie Liss of Sterling Lord Literistic. "She's been very busy lately," the agent said. "Hopefully, she will hand something in by the end of this year."

The topic, she said, has "changed so many times. It's non-fiction and it's definitely not a memoir."

What has become
of her advance? With just an hour-long show to contend with, is she really too busy to write the book, particularly since there would be heavy input (if not outright ghost writing) from Obamist editor Rachel Clayman?

Since Maddow is so quick to find fault with just about anyone on the right, a bit of scrutiny regarding her own dealings shouldn't bother her too much.

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