Welcome to a newRadioEQ feature: tracking the performance of a cynical new push to eliminate opinion-based talk radio in favor of a state-approved "lite" and "happy" version.
Though the milquetoast talk movement has picked up considerable steam as Obama's re-election campaign heats up, it's actually been in the works for years. Far-left industry insiders have been railing against Rush Limbaugh and other conservative hosts at conventions and in trade publication interviews for decades now.
In 2012, however, their dreams have finally been realized as sanitized alternatives are increasingly replacing real talk radio.
Can what's left of the ailing radio industry force the public to listen to boring programming? The answer is most certainly NO.
Today's Case In Point: Seattle's once-mighty KVI 570 AM (where your Radio Equalizer at one time worked as a host). In the mid-1990s, the station rocketed to first place on the strength of an all-conservative lineup.
But when the station was sold to Fisher Communications, a decrepit corporate remnant of the area's elitist, parochial past, the format conflicted with the board's liberal viewpoints (though it didn't mind making boatloads of money from its advertising). Gradually, they watered down the conservative programming.
Eventually, Rush Limbaugh moved to a fledgling crosstown rival and Fisher allowed KVI to atrophy. Finally in 2010, 570 switched to an oldies format, which bombed.
Four months ago, KVI returned to talk, utilizing a "lite" touchy-feely format free of controversy. At times it's vaguely liberal, but with a dippy New Age presentation.
Smart Talk Mornings with Elisa and Mark Weekday Mornings 6am-10am
No matter what the weather is like, start your day with some sunshine! Hosts Elisa Jaffe and Mark Christopher will engage your senses, your style and your soul as they empower you with the news you can use, enlighten you with people who hold the secrets to happiness, health, and harmony and celebrate our uniquely Puget Sound way of life! Make Elisa, Mark and Sunrise Seattle the start of your next great day!
So how is "Smart Talk" performing? After four months, it is firmly entrenched in last place overall with a tiny 0.1 share of the audience. It registers 21,800 listeners versus 913,700 for the region's top outlet, KRWM-FM. During KVI's heyday, it had a loyal following about 15 - 20 times greater than today's level.
The now-defunct Air America network was far more popular!
As for advertisers, which supposedly are shunning controversial talk, KVI's website lists only six. Hope they aren't paying more than a buck or two to reach the station's non-audience. More likely, they're actually sponsoring the company's other outlets and finding 570 thrown in for free.
Watch for future pieces on the pathetic "lite talk" trend here at RadioEQ.
And now, with Romney all but assured of the nomination, he's probably gay, too!
Amazing how this works, isn't it?
Watch as the Smear Machine attacks Mitt Romney and Marco Rubio for daring to campaign in public:
RANDI RHODES (23 April 2012 - 11:47): I guess I'll call it the - is Marco Rubio too short to stand next Mitt Romney tour/audition? That's what it is. And you know- and the answer is yes because when they stand next to each other Marco Rubio looks like a 17-year-old. God love him! He does!
He looks like a little boy. It's almost like the Batman and Robin thing that Quayle and Bush senior had going there, it's very homoerotic I gotta say!
Remember, it's conservative talk radio that's the real problem, there's nothing to see here! Move along, people.
Sharpton & Friends Slam Zimmerman Bail, Reject Apology
Reverend, Pals Unhappy Over Zimmerman Developments
What happened to being satisfied with George Zimmerman's arrest?
Now that Trayvon Martin's shooter has made a dramatic court appearance, Al Sharpton & Friends are angry over what they consider "low bail" and the ease at which that has now led to his temporary release from jail.
Sure, we could have seen this coming, but Sharpton is not at all willing to consider the prosecution's weak case or the now-ubiquitous photo of Zimmerman's bloody head that shoots down weeks of hysterical MSNBC zealotry.
GEORGE CURRY (HOUR TWO - 6:21): This Zimmerman stuff, it’s just crazy. 150.000 dollar bail?
SHARPTON: Even with the experts telling me well they get bail, that is low, I mean that’s 15,000 dollars.
CURRY: Yeah yeah I thought that they’d been higher than that.
SHARPTON: Yeah, I’m not shocked he got bond, though I clearly think that he certainly had a basis not to give him that. But, 150.000 dollars that was certainly what they should have been.
One question: after all these years, has Sharpton ever sincerely apologized for his own (substantially higher) body count?
Earlier in Friday's show, Sharpton said he rejected Zimmerman's apology because it hadn't come soon enough:
AL SHARPTON (6:53): Clearly I have some real questions about all of this. One, I don’t understand if one wants to look at the background of Mr. Zimmerman why there’s not the basis of holding him without bail. And I understand that some of the experts are saying they do give bail bonds to people with murder two in the state of Florida. But, clearly that was the judges call either way.
He could have, based on the violent encounter he’s had with law enforcement in the past and his girlfriend denied bail. But in terms of the apology, I don’t take apologies lightly. I forgave the guy who tried to kill me leading a march.
But, I think the family raises a critical point and that is that at no point in over fifty days between the killing and his arrest did Mr. Zimmerman ever apologize publicly or seek to privately apologize to the family, so why now? The most objective person would have to look at the apology and question whether the timing is self-serving. So we gonna talk about it and let you give your views, but that’s the things I want to raise early.
And a few days earlier, Sharpton was engaged in an obnoxious, self-serving gloat-fest:
AL SHARPTON (8:02): I got us this morning and I realized that we’ve been, a lot of people been telling me they’re praying for me and I see why cause I realize I say you know I went straight from the march from Selma to Montgomery into straight into Florida straight into losing my mother straight back into Florida straight into the National Convention. About five or six week we haven’t slowed down. I guess when you’re running you don’t realize it till you get one night’s sleep and you say hmm…
Is the Rev campaigning for a future public holiday in his honor? Team Sharpton's setting new records for sheer absurdity.
When accusing an opponent of mental instability, isn't it best to come across as relatively sane? Perhaps that's too much to expect from MSNBC's Ed Schultz, who operates at only speed: perpetual unhinged anger.
Which brings us to this rant from yesterday's syndicated radio show:
ED SCHULTZ (22:08):Where's NewsBusters on this? Does this psycho dude, what's his name, Bozo Bozell, that runs NewsBusters, does he have, does he have a commentary on this?! See, they always want it their way. Hell, they want to chop your heads off! [laughs] They want to chop our heads off! That's what they want to do! They want to play Braveheart! They want to go into battle! They want to chop our freakin' heads off!
Sorry, Ed, given your dubious track record, you're in NO POSITION to question anyone else's sanity.
Gloating Sharpton Takes Credit For Zimmerman's Murder Charge
Reverend Al Believes He Motivated Prosecutor
In the Trayvon Martin shooting death, a gloating Reverend Al Sharpton is now taking credit for the unexpectedly severe charge filed against George Zimmerman. That leaves one big question: can we honestly say he's wrong?
Given his over-the-top antics in Sanford and on the air during the past several weeks, there's little doubt the Justice Brothers and their megaphones created political pressure that almost certainly contributed to Zimmerman's second degree murder indictment (as opposed to manslaughter or a minor charge).
After all, there is widespread belief he was "overcharged" and not just from Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and others on the right. Famed attorney Alan Dershowitz is BLASTING prosecutors today for their "thin" case.
Given that, how would the outcome have changed without Sharpton and Friends? Would Zimmerman be facing any charges at all? Is the Reverend as "effective" as claimed here?
From yesterday's syndicated radio show, take a look:
AL SHARPTON (KEEPING IT REAL - 12 APRIL 2012) (6:26): Let me say this, first and foremost, many people listening didn’t think anything was going to happen.
I did not think we would get a murder two charge. I thought that maybe we would get manslaughter.
We are getting of course the right-wing attacking because they only get mad when you're effective. So, they're calling me everything but the child of God.
Isn't Sharpton admitting that politics (HIS!) are playing a major role in this case? If so, aren't these on-air gloat sessions especially counterproductive?
La Raza President: Blacks, Hispanics Should Team Up Against 'Common Enemies'
READY FOR WAR?
La Raza Head Advocates Black-Hispanic 'Attack' Force
Just in case tensions weren't high enough in the Trayvon Martin case, the head of a controversial Hispanic group appears happy to pour gasoline on the fire.
Calling for an African-American-Hispanic alliance against "common enemies", La Raza President Janet Murguia used Wednesday's Al Sharpton radio show to spread an incendiary message of hate. Happy to conveniently overlook George Zimmerman's Peruvian ancestry, Murguia made her divisive agenda abundantly clear.
Though her organization claims mainstream status, its name translates to "The Race" and is always happy to aid campus radicalism.
Amazingly, sitting in for the Reverend (himself busy spreading racial arson across the land) was Andre Eggelletion, the same host recently behind a successful campaign to suspend KFI's John & Ken for wisecracks about Whitney Houston after her recent death. Isn't brazenly planning a race war over public airwaves far more inappropriate than calling the late singer a "crack ho"?
Below, watch as the La Raza president and Sharpton crony casually toss words like "attack" and "enemies" into the conversation:
JANET MURGUIA (PRESIDENT, LA RAZA) (36:39): I think for us it’s about understanding that we have common interests and we have to be able to understand that our demographics today, a lot of people want to pit who’s the largest minority vs. who’s taking over as the largest demographic and all that.
We need to understand that when you put those two demographics together you know when you put sixteen percent of the Latino population now in the US combined with fourteen percent of the African American population is what can we do together now to attack those common enemies? To attack the common barriers that present themselves for us.
When violence results, will these extremists take responsibility, or continue to deflect blame everywhere else? Who will be hurt or killed thanks to their reckless rhetoric?
While conservatives allow themselves to be sidetracked by various contrived "issues" designed by opponents to deflect attention from from Obama's dismal track record, our "progressive" friends are quickly focusing on Operation Hit Mitt.
Below, watch as Rob "Meathead" Reiner obnoxiously attacks Romney voters as "brain-dead" given the presumptive GOP nominee's seemingly inconsistent stands.
But what about his own side? How does Obama fare better?
And don't they all move to the center once nominations are secured?
From yesterday's Stephanie Miller Show:
ROB REINER (5:47): To me, what’s astounding is you can have an entire primary season where things are said and then you can just wipe it away and start over again and say the exact opposite. I mean if you’re following this primary season, you’d have to be brain dead to vote for Romney.
Libtalkers Slam Paul Ryan, Fracking, 'Stand Your Ground'
JUST FRACKING CRAZY
A Banner Day For Deranged 'Progressive' Rants
What the frack is going on? Either there's something in the water or election fever has driven our ordinarily calm, civilized "progressive" friends into a tizzy, all in the space of just 24 hours.
Here at EQ HQ, it's an embarrassment of riches as libtalkers make crazy claims about fracking, take pathetic personal shots at opponents and in one case, blaze a new trail for deranged lunatics everywhere.
First, libtalker / MSNBC contributor Mike Papantonio made the outlandish claim that fracking has killed thousands of people:
MIKE PAPANTONIO (ED SCHULTZ SHOW 03 APRIL 2012)(18:45): It used to be you had a political system that said, wait just a second, let's look at what, let's look at how fracking has destroyed the health of thousands of Americans, has killed thousands of Americans, has contaminated the aquifer, has poisoned the air, has destroyed actual soil that'll never be rejuvenated and be usable.
Next, "civil" libtalker Randi Rhodes disparaged Rep Paul Ryan (R-WI) for daring to hold differing political viewpoints:
RANDI RHODES (12:55):But this is the reason now that [Republican Congressman Paul] Ryan looks so scary, creepy - it's kind of like God's way of warning us that he is dangerous? Kind of like the same reason that a rattlesnake has a rattle so you know it's dangerous? [Randi laughs]
Finally, though it's only April, Mike Malloy may well have won the Deranged Libtalk Rant of the Year award with this meltdown:
MIKE MALLOY (03 APRIL 2012) (35:26): What’s next? How long before there'll be a 'stand your pregnancy' law passed where any woman who starts menstruating can be shot dead because she wore a hoodie when she went out to buy a box of tampons!!!
MALLOY (35:59): you can only shoot a 17-year old black boy. But if it's a white girl and she's menstruating - how do we know that she's not aborting?? SHOOT HER!
Mike, how will this be topped? Can't wait to hear you try.
Sharpton Doubles Down, Shuster Backs Him Up, Blames Rush
VIOLENT 'FREE PASS'?
Hey Al, Jesse: Do What You Like In Sanford!
Did you know that counting Rush Limbaugh among your enemies justifies almost any protest action, including violence in the streets?
That's the bizarre "logic" used to give Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson a "free pass" in Florida to do what they like.
Given heightened tensions over the Trayvon Martin case, that kind of rhetoric is more than irresponsible, it's downright incendiary. And yet former MSNBC talker David Shuster, now of CurrentTV, didn't hesitate to pour gasoline on a fire during today's Bill Press Show.
Take a look:
DAVID SHUSTER (11:00): I think the other problem that Rush Limbaugh has is I think there is an intellectually solid argument for the idea that maybe Al Sharpton maybe Jesse Jackson might be going a little bit too far right now that we should, yes we should bring attention to the fact that the police did a lousy job, they should have arrested the guy.
You can bring attention to that. I think the calls for civil disobedience right now until we have some more facts maybe a little bit premature. But the fact that there’s Rush Limbaugh pounding on Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton I think gives Sharpton and Jesse Jackson a free pass. And essentially Sharpton and Jesse Jackson can do whatever they want now because their opponent is Rush Limbaugh.
So we can take this to mean Sharpton, Jackson et al aren't responsible for the resulting body count?
Meanwhile, the reverend himself isn't backing down one bit, despite taking some flak from a local NAACP chapter. From yesterday's syndicated Keeping It Real program:
BERNICE IN DETROIT: Florida is very segregated down there so therefore they wouldn't have no need for our [referring to African-Americans] help whatsoever because they don't want to commit themselves to doing wrong. But I do suggest this, in the interim why can’t they boycott because you know money talks. Can’t the blacks down there boycott their businesses down there?
AL SHARPTON: Well, I said over the weekend that we need to escalate and start talking I was talking about corporations that are supporting this [Stand Your Ground] law and all of that. And when people thought I was talking about the local they went crazy. I wasn’t even talking about that.
But I don’t think we should take anything off the table because I think you got to do what is going to be effective. I think we ought to come to collective agreement. But I think to say we’re going to take things off the table and not sit down and agree where we’re going withdraw from. I think is not to be serious. I think we’ve got to keep it moving forward and they’ve got to understand that we are serious.
The Usual Suspects are NOT about to let this go. How many innocent people will be hurt as a result?