Weekend Fight Against Talk Radio Meets Monday's Test
Under Attack, Talk Radio Has Little Time To Fight Back
Within 24 hours of the sickening shooting rampage that killed a federal judge and has a congresswoman clinging to life, our "progressive" media friends have demonstrated the vast power they still retain.
Though conservatives have made recent inroads, especially on the Internet, it seems no match for the complete saturation of slanted coverage that has worked all weekend to convince Americans and the world that conservatives, especially Sarah Palin and conservative radio talk hosts are somehow responsible for the actions of a deranged killer.
In the Boston Herald, for example, columnist / WTKK-FM libtalker Margery Eagan (shown right image) impulsively pinned the blame squarely on a particular graphic Palin used to "target" certain Democratic Party representatives during the last election cycle.
Noting Palin's use of "re-load" rhetoric offered to advice talker Dr Laura Schlessinger after the latter came under fire last year, Eagan believes Palin's political career could be finished as a result of the Arizona incident.
But there's no sign Jared Lee Loughner had any affinity for Palin or her views and classmates describe his beliefs as liberal. Honest reporting, mostly found overseas, more accurately paints him as a mentally-unstable druggie, the kind that might stalk any type of celebrity or public figure.
In addition, inflammatory comments incredibly similar to Loughner's twisted worldview were discovered at left-wing smear site DailyKos and almost immediately yanked from public view.
We reached out to Schlessinger for her thoughts on the blame-game and her answer was both succinct and philosophical- a quote from Homer's Odyssey:
Look how now mortals are blaming the gods, for they say evils come from us, but in fact their themselves have woes beyond their share because of their own follies.
One-time moderate (but increasingly liberal and Obama-supporting) Philly talk host Michael Smerconish tried to inoculate himself from any flak by pointing to a column he'd written warning of this kind of incident two years earlier. The far-left Huffington Post happily published the piece.
Except for those who have newspaper columns or happen to answer Sunday emails from your Radio Equalizer, however, talk show hosts must deal with the fallout nearly 48 hours after the rampage occurred. That's because the medium completely shuts down on weekends and increasingly during holiday periods as well.
Yet the smear campaign needed just a fraction of that time to shamelessly (and quite successfully) tout the idea that its conservative enemies were behind the shootings. There are thousands of examples splattered all over the Internet as we speak, with more added by the minute.
Can talk radio successfully turn the tables during Monday's programming?
Here's how USA Today made the false "connection" (a REAL stretch) to Rush Limbaugh in a story published late Sunday:
Rhetorical attacks on officials have been getting tougher, and words that once would have seemed out of bounds now are almost routine. South Carolina Rep. Joe Wilson shouted "You lie!" at Obama when the president spoke to a joint session on health care in 2009. Talk-show host Rush Limbaugh has compared the president to Adolf Hitler.
The far-left Guardian newspaper in Britain went further, outright blaming conservatives for the attacks without leaving itself any future wiggle room.
The US was tonight seized by a fierce debate over whether inflammatory rightwing rhetoric was to blame for a shooting spree in Tucson, Arizona, that targeted congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and left six dead, including a nine-year-old child.
Giffords, 40, who remains in critical condition in hospital after being shot through the head but is expected to recover, criticised Sarah Palin last year for putting her and 19 other Democrats on a hitlist, each shown as being in the crosshairs.
Lost in all of this is Giffords herself, who despite her suffering has sadly become little more than a prop by which Democrats can score cheap political points, truth be damned.