The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

13 December 2005



'Conservative' Sellouts: Carlson and Scarborough

To join MSNBC as one of its token "conservative" hosts, just how high is the price? Could it be one's immortal soul?

Or is it that from the start, Tucker Carlson and Joe Scarborough simply never had more than one foot on the right side of the political spectrum, at best?

Whatever the real story, we continue to see the disturbing truth shining right through our television screens. Carlson, host of the cable network's "The Situation", has been frequently criticized here in the past. Nor have we been easy on Scarborough.

Both have deserved every shot we've taken.

It's good to know we're not alone in wondering about Carlson, since in the midst of the Tookie Williams debate yesterday, he also gave Michelle Malkin reason for concern:

Reader Doug from Upland e-mails that the crusading Rev. Jackson did not know the names of Williams' victims when asked by KFI-AM radio talk show hosts John and Ken.

[Update: Reader Denise R. writes, "I was listening to [KFI host] John Zi[e]gler, he actually asked Jesse Jackson the names of the victims on a couple of occasions and his microphone was taken from him by Judge Mathis (the TV judge) and broken. He also was pushed by Jackson supporters, after that happened he was forced away from Jackson by Sheriff's Deputies.]

On MSNBC this evening, host Tucker Carlson told his "friend" Al Sharpton that he would spare him embarassment by not asking him the names of the victims.

Why would he do that? Guess he didn't want to ruin the freak show vibe.

When given a chance to get tough, Tucker always selects the path that leads straight to the Kingdom of Wimpdom. Is it any wonder that he survives on the network, despite miniscule ratings (a mere 171,000 viewers on December 9)?

No doubt NBC prefers their "conservatives" non-threatening and ineffective.

Meanwhile, Joe Scarborough just keeps digging a deeper hole for himself, actually asserting his squishy, sloppy approach is superior to that of other cable talk hosts. Despite all of the gaffes and potential viewers instead watching FOX, Joe dares to be defiant in the face of failure.

From Tim Cuprisin's Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel interview (excerpted):

"Katrina actually shaped the way I looked at TV, at my show, realizing that I needed to be myself and not run it through any filters, but be as blunt as possible," says the host of "Scarborough Country," airing weeknights at 9.

"It changed the way I looked at the government, and it changed the way I looked at life. It may sound melodramatic, but obviously anybody that went down and saw that firsthand, and saw it happening in this country and saw, you know, 15-month-olds dying because they weren't getting water and shelter on the streets of one of the largest cities in America (would be changed)."

Scarborough's a conservative, but a complicated one.

"It sounds so radical for people in politics or in media, in our business, to have a guy whose two political heroes are Bobby Kennedy and Ronald Reagan." he says.

For a long time, Scarborough says, he watched the ratings. MSNBC is consistently third, behind CNN and ratings leader Fox News Channel.

After Katrina hit, he says, he's not following them so closely. In those first days, he was too busy concentrating on what he saw unfolding around him. And he pointed fingers at the suspects you'd expect, Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco and New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin, both Democrats. But he was also critical of Haley Barbour, the Republican governor of Mississippi.

And then there was the president.

"The first night I was over there, or the second night, I called it a national disgrace," he recalls. "In the end, the buck stops at the White House."

And he says he's going to keep trying to call 'em as he sees 'em on his show.

"I'm not going to lie to you. It's very, very hard. There are a lot of shows out there that I could name, but I won't, that the people on 'em are basically cartoon characters, they're two-dimensional. They read the talking points from the Republican National Committee and the Democratic National Committee and they run with it."

While it's one thing to blaze an "independent" trail, Scarborough's obviously a confused man, given that his Katrina rhetoric matched that of Howard Dean, Randi Rhodes and

In addition, it's hard to understand where Scarborough feels justified criticizing the prep work done by other cable hosts, when it's clear he doesn't do much, if any.

For a trip down memory lane, check out this previous piece on Joe's false assertion Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger wanted to "blow up the moon" to end women's menstrual cycles.
Actually, it came from a gag by Howard Stern's Arnold impersonator, during his morning "shock-jock" show.

But Joe didn't bother to check that out in advance of his interview with the California governor and put off apologizing for many days, until he could no longer get away with it.

More recently, we've also taken Scarborough to task for his conflicts of interest and softball interviews with Al Franken as well as Jerry Springer.

If Tucker and Joe were in more high-profile positions, say on the FOX News Channel, the Radio Equalizer imagines conservatives would pay closer attention to their antics. That doesn't mean, however, we can ignore these questionable performances associated with our cause.

Why not get Christmas and other shopping done now and support the Radio Equalizer at the same time? Your Amazon orders that originate with clicks here, regardless of your final selections, help to support this work. Thanks again for your vital assistance!

Scarborough image: MSNBC via Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel


  • I don't get this blog. Are these news people (or even opinion people) supposed to be conservative. I mean, your problem with these two hosts seems to have nothing to do with any facts they present, just simply that they are not conservative.

    If this is the case, what are you equalizing? Isn't talk radio almost totally conservative?

    does anyone read this blog

    By Blogger Mike, at 13 December, 2005 23:52  

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