The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

28 May 2006

Godless, Donkey Cons, Prayers For The Assassin


Prayers For The Assassin, Donkey Cons, Godless

Looking for beach reading? Here's what we've been recently enjoying:

After a bloody civil war, the country has been divided into two distinct societies, a Christian- run Bible Belt region and and to the north and west, an Islamic republic. Sparking the blue- red state breakup: suitcase- nuke terrorist attacks on New York, Washington DC and Mecca, which are falsely blamed on Israel.

Author Robert Ferrigno's vision of America 35 years into the future forms the basis of Prayers For The Assassin, a sleeper hit released earlier this year.

Winning rave reviews from the likes of Hugh Hewitt and Instapundit's Glenn Reynolds, liberal newspaper critics mostly panned the novel.

Now, we're pleased to announce that Ferrigno is currently writing the first of what will be two follow- ups, Hymm For The Assassin. Taking place on the red state side of the dividing line, it will be released late next year.

From Ferrigno:

"Brian, it's official. The next one, set in the Bible Belt, is called HYMN FOR THE ASSASSIN. I'm working hard at it, publication date will be late 2007. Prayers For The Assassin has also now been sold to major publishers in the Netherlands and Romania, as well as Turkey and the UK."

Robert, glad to hear it, we're looking forward to it! Can a film version of Prayers be far behind?

Chronicling more than two centuries of Democrat malfeasance, Donkey Cons: Sex, Crime, and Corruption In The Democratic Party is a fun, yet disturbing read.

Tying it all together in a way seldom presented in the past, Cons uses the examples of history to show how dishonesty has rotted the party's core since its earliest days.

You'll find striking parallels between century- old events and Howard Dean's Democrats of 2006. Overall, this book by World Magazine Editor Lynn Vincent and Washington Times Assistant National Editor Robert Stacy McCain provides very worthwhile reading.

Like you, we haven't yet had a look at Godless: The Church Of Liberalism, Ann Coulter's upcoming release, but we can't wait.

Expected to be released June 6, huge pre- orders have already propelled it onto Amazon's top 20 list for non-fiction titles.

This summer, it's sure to be found on beaches across America.

To buy any of these titles, click the Amazon box links below. Your purchases help to support this site's efforts. Thanks again!

27 May 2006

Media Matters, New York Times, George W Bush, Bill Clinton


Over Tabloid Bush Marriage Story, Lefties Attack NYT

For not jumping on a tabloid- originated story about a supposed Bush marriage "breakup", is the New York Times guilty of pro-Republican bias?

Despite a carefully- worded upfront qualifying statement, that's the baffling new assertion from anti-Bill O'Reilly website Media Matters For America.

For the tip, thanks to Radio Equalizer reader Joey Torres, who writes, "Media Matters has gone TOO FAR this time."

Where's the supposed bias? After a major recent New York Times piece detailing how marriage troubles might affect a future Clinton presidential run, the paper is wrong to ignore a report by supermarket tabloid the Globe indicating a serious breakdown between President Bush and the First Lady, claims Media Matters:

In his May 23 front-page article in The New York Times, staff writer Patrick Healy asserted that "[w]hen the subject of Bill and Hillary Clinton comes up for many prominent Democrats these days, Topic A is the state of their marriage" and how it "might affect Mrs. Clinton's possible bid for the presidency in 2008."

Healy offered no specific reasons for this purported interest among "prominent Democrats" aside from the amount of time the Clintons spent apart, a mention of a decade-old affair, and a reference to year-old "concern[]" over a "tabloid photograph showing Mr. Clinton leaving B.L.T. Steak in Midtown Manhattan late one night after dining with a group that included Belinda Stronach, a Canadian politician." Healy continued: "The two were among roughly a dozen people at a dinner, but it still was enough to fuel coverage in the gossip pages."

And here, they connect it to the Bush family:

Media Matters does not endorse the decision by The New York Times, NBC's Tim Russert, MSNBC's Chris Matthews, The Washington Post's David Broder, and countless other elite media figures to take their cues from tabloids like the Globe, or to pry into the personal lives of political figures. But if they are going to do so, we expect them to be consistent.

As it happens, the cover of the May 29 edition of the Globe contains another sensational headline about another high-profile political couple:




* Nasty fights
* Booze problems
* Laura urges counseling

On Pages 20 and 21, the Globe announces "Bush and Laura's 29-year marriage FALLS APART," adding: "They barely talk to each other," "[t]hey argue when they do speak," and "[s]he's afraid he'll hit the bottle." Quotes in the article attributed to "a longtime friend" include the assertion that "[w]hen the cameras aren't on, they have nothing to do with one another," and that "[f]or all practical purposes, they've broken up." The "family friend" continues: "After their last fight over booze, they just stopped talking -- period." The Globe's report that Laura Bush is concerned that President Bush may "hit the bottle" is reminiscent of a September 21, 2005, National Enquirer article about "Bush's booze crisis," which reported: "Faced with the biggest crisis of his political life, President Bush has hit the bottle again."

Media Matters wonders when we can expect The New York Times to assign a reporter to tally the number of nights the Bushes spend together and to conduct 50 interviews with Republicans to assess their interest in the state of the Bush marriage, or in President Bush's reported relapse -- and when it will run a 2,000-word front-page article on the topic. If it does so, we wonder if Broder will refer to the article as "anything but unsympathetic" to the Bushes.

Isn't the difference clear? Reports on the Clinton marriage have emerged from eyewitness sources over the course of many years.

The alleged Belinda Stronach affair is just one small element of the overall story regarding Bill Clinton's legendary womanizing. In the recent NYT piece, very little new information was reported, instead, it was primarily an assessment of how the Clinton's personal troubles could affect a future political contest.

Instead of treating tabloid reporting as legitimate, the NYT was looking at public perception of the Clintons. Over time, supermarket publications have certainly had a role in building it.

By comparison, this Bush "story" comes from one also-ran supermarket tabloid that placed it just above "Royal Scandal! Prince Harry's Steamy Party Pics" on the front cover.

Unless more reliable information emerges that makes it worth investigating, we shouldn't expect any reputable newspaper to devote increasingly- scarce resources to the matter.

ALSO TODAY: Happy fourth birthday to Powerline!

--- Legal victory for bloggers in confidential source case involving Apple Computer.

--- Can conservatives salvage what's left of the GOP? Captain Ed wonders.

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26 May 2006

Howard Stern, CBS, Sirius Satellite Radio, XM


Plus, Satellite Radio Losing Orbit?

Now that we've seen the CBS suit against Howard Stern settled out of court for peanuts, other than dueling, megabucks legal teams, who actually won this battle?

With today's news that new Stern employer Sirius Satellite Radio will pay CBS a whopping $2 million, it's hard to imagine how the hassles could have been worthwhile. That's a far cry from the $500 million initially demanded.

Call this Memorial Day box-office flop "Revenge Of The Bruised Management Egos". Wouldn't the legal fees alone add up to more than $2m? For these network suits, that's golf money.

And no doubt Stern thanks CBS for all of the added free publicity.

Speaking of satellite radio, is the sky really falling on this fledgling business? After a barrage of bad news this week, it might look that way.

In my latest Inside Radio column, we take a look at whether things are really as bad as they seem. If millions are signing up and moving away from land- based radio listening, are XM and Sirius really in big trouble?

Surfing the web this weekend? We will be updating this site with new material. So much has been going on, we'll need the time just to catch up!

Your Amazon orders that begin with clicks here, regardless of your final purchases, are vital to supporting this site's efforts. Thanks again!

Stern photo: USA Today

Rush Limbaugh, White House Press Secretary Tony Snow, Talk Radio


Limbaugh, Snow Face Off Over Illegals

Even if some of his pro- Bush rhetoric on the white- hot illegal immigration debate seemed a bit hard to swallow, it was truly a pleasure to hear White House Press Secretary Tony Snow interviewed by Rush Limbaugh on Thursday's program.

Not only is Snow providing the Bush Administration with a much- needed boost, but as a longtime fellow host, he has greatly elevated talk radio's nationwide stature.

Despite difficult circumstances, for what he's accomplished, many of us in the radio business greatly admire him.

That said, Snow didn't enjoy any kind of a honeymoon period from longtime friend Limbaugh, who took Tony to task over Bush's ill- advised illegal alien amnesty program. From the official Rush transcript:

RUSH: But, you know, I've always fantasized about having your job for one day, and I generally have this fantasy after watching David Gregory and the "zoo" that you referred to earlier, that was really hit a peak with poor old Scott McClellan. But I don't think I would want it right now, because I would have a tough time doing your job. I know you're speaking to the press, but I don't understand the disconnect that exists between Washington and constituents. It's a bigger disconnect than I've seen in 18 years: illegal immigration, the reaction of the House leadership to the William Jefferson search, office search. Everybody in Washington seems tone deaf on immigration to what the American people want and say, and it defies logic -- and I don't know how you explain it to people.

SNOW: Well, I mean, for instance, the issue came up today, and you and I probably disagree at least in part on this, but my view is the president's right -- and I'm not just saying this; I said it while I was running a radio show -- that if you're going to deal with this problem, you gotta deal with everything at once, and here's the reason why. I think border security is something that's going to take a couple of years to get right. So already, by the way, the president is going to start moving assets first week of June. He's not going to need a special bill from Congress, and that's the good news. But the fact is it's going to take a couple of years to get every --

RUSH: You're talking about the wall?

SNOW: I'm talking about the wall; I'm talking about electronic surveillance; I'm talking about getting Border Patrol agents trained up, because at different places you're going to need different stuff. In some places you need a wall. In some places you need agents, and in some places where you've only got, you know, 200 miles of Sonoran desert and mountains, you probably need sensors and surveillance. You put in place what's necessary to make that part of the border secure. So it takes a while to do it. Now, I don't think anybody wants to sit around and wait to go after employers who are hiring people illegally and know it. You want to go after them right away, and I don't think people want to wait to figure out who the illegals are. You want to find out that is rapidly as possible, and I, frankly, don't think people want to wait to start figuring out what we do with the 11 or 12 million illegals, and that's really what the president... It's interesting. I've heard... Every conservative I talked to on Capitol Hill says, "We want to do that stuff, but we want to do it later." My answer is, "Why? Don't you want to go after employers now and don't you want to figure out who the illegals are now and don't you want to start solving this mess now?"

RUSH: But the Senate bill doesn't do any of this though!

SNOW: Well, sure it does. What the president's proposing does. I mean, you take a look, for instance, at the issue of illegals. You get these tamper-proof IDs with biometric stuff. You can't fake that. Now, once you have that in place, employers no longer can say, "Man, I don't know. That birth certificate looked okay to me, and that fake driver's license, I thought it was legitimate." Suddenly you've got something you can't fake.

RUSH: Wait, now who's going to get these cards? Is it legal employees going to get them or illegals?

SNOW: Well, see, it's going to be illegals.

RUSH: Well, how you going to find 'em?

SNOW: Easy. The employer's now under pressure.

RUSH: (Laughing.)

SNOW: If they don't have it, guess what? They get hit. Furthermore, as you know, in a marketplace like ours if somebody thinks that a competitor nearby is using illegals and undercutting them in terms of price and stuff, guess what they're going to do? Their first call is going to be to the immigration authorities to say, "You know, that go is hiring illegals and I'll bet he doesn't have the documentation for them." If you don't have it all of a sudden now, unlike in the old days, if you don't have that particular kind of ID, you're in trouble -- and so it gets enforceable in two ways. The employees have to find it if they want to work, and the employers have to make sure they got it if they don't want to end up paying big fines and wind up in jail.

RUSH: Why should we believe there's going to be enforcement now when there hasn't been since '86, there hasn't been in Simpson-Mazzoli?

SNOW: Well, a couple of reasons.

RUSH: Because the enforcement appears to be voluntary on the illegals. They've got to show up to pay the fine. They've got to show and up go to the back of the line. They've got to show up and do this. Now they've got to show up and get this card, this ID card. What's the incentive for them?

SNOW: There are several reasons. First, on the ID card, again, you get the discipline from the employer side. The employer doesn't have it, and they're doing it -- and you and I have seen places, you know, in our neighborhoods and elsewhere where guys were probably illegally, they get there they work early they do all the stuff but they're illegal! Now if all of a sudden somebody shows up and says, "Show me your cards," and they don't have it, that does change behavior. The other thing is, this issue is of far more concern now than it was in 1986. From 1986 until, what, eighteen months ago, most people didn't give a rip. I mean, they really didn't. Now all of a sudden it's top of mind, which means the people who see activity that they find objectionable and illegal, they now think, "Okay, I can call the government to do this. I can call the cops on this. I can call the Border Patrol. I can call the legal enforcement." They suddenly realize that you're going to have a government that also has gotten a message because for a long time people didn't the give a rip -- and, as you know, this town, Washington, response when people say, "Hey, you gotta do something," and I think the message has been received pretty loud and clear. We need to do something.

RUSH: Well, I've been aware of it for longer than a year and half, I haven't been able to go to California for the last five years and not have a conversation about this among people who are livid.

SNOW: Yeah.

RUSH: Prop 187 certainly older than a year and a half.

SNOW: Well, that's right. That goes back to Pete Wilson years, but I'm telling you: rising to the level of national concern. It's been hot in California for a long time; it's been heating up in Arizona, but now it's an issue. It's an issue in Iowa; it's an issue in Utah; it's an issue in Ohio; it's an issue in Maine. It's now an issue that has reached all around the country and people are concerned about it. So before, you just didn't have enough momentum to get everybody in Washington sort of focused on it. I mean, look, it has taken this long. Do you think that the House speaker was giving speeches on this three years ago? I don't think so. I'd have to go back and look at the record, but the point is issues like this take a certain amount of time to get to a boil.

RUSH: Well, they do. The history of this is it takes 20 years. Every 20 years it metastasizes. It gets to the point where people notice it, and it becomes a burden in their lives that they can't explain. They don't understand why "illegal" doesn't mean anything. They don't understand why they [people for enforcing the border] are called "nativists." I mean, Tony, just politically here, I'm talking about what's coming out of the Senate now.

While it's true illegal immigration is on the national front- burner these days, how can Snow say that few outside of California cared about it until recently?

Across the nation, it's been a hot talk radio topic for over a decade. As a former host, he should be well aware of that.

Overall, however, listening to these two talk titans clash was very entertaining. For Rush, it will go down as one of his most memorable shows in some time.

For more on the Limbaugh/ Snow clash, visit Michelle Malkin, Expose The Left, California Conservative and Dad29. Here, MSM liberals attack Snow.

Also: At LGF, hate mail from Reuters!

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Snow-Limbaugh image:

25 May 2006

Air America Budget Cuts, Al Franken, Jim Wiggett, Rob Glaser


For Interim CEO, It's Chainsaw Massacre Time

*** Exclusive to the Radio Equalizer ***

By Brian Maloney

Air America Radio's acting CEO has been ordered to either cut millions from the bloated network's budget or condemn the left- wing talk radio experiment to the ash heap of history, the Radio Equalizer has exclusively learned.

Taking marching orders from RealNetworks CEO Rob Glaser, who also oversees and often funds Air America parent Piquant LLC, interim head Jim Wiggett is in a surprisingly tough position.

If at least $5 million can't be sliced away soon, it could finally be curtains for Franken & Co.

According to a long-standing, reliable source who has supplied documented evidence, the clock is ticking on these coming changes.

Despite all of the potential fat just waiting to be trimmed, sadly, much of this network excess is untouchable, thanks to long-term contracts. Constantly- escalating budgetary "needs" just for the Al Franken and Randi Rhodes shows alone consume funds faster than Al Gore can burn jet fuel heading to his so- called "environmentalist" conferences.

Who says liberals don't know how to function in the private sector? At concocting self- serving and generally outrageous employment deals, Air America staffers have been brilliant.

It's enough to make an Enron exec salivate!

Unfortunately, it takes a village to create a viable leftist radio network, but its on- air hosts have long shared an every- man- for- himself attitude.

While to a major corporation, $5 million in cuts might sound like chicken feed, for what is still essentially a start- up operation, it represents almost 20% of Air America's annual $26 million operating budget.

To fill the huge revenue gaps, Air America has long turned to its sugar daddies: billionaire George Soros, insurance magnate Peter Lewis and especially in recent times, Glaser himself.

What has made the RealNetworks founder finally lay down the law is unclear, but the best theory is simply that he was tired of making trips to the ATM to pay the network's bills.

Even before the recent removal of free- spending left- wing activist and CEO Danny Goldberg, Wiggett was already working behind the scenes, assessing the network's sorry state of affairs.

From long- distance conversations with top Piquant executives, the picture that emerged must have frightened the longtime corporate suit: between back- stabbing managers, greedy hosts and expense accounts bloated beyond anything seen in modern corporate history, the prospect of fixing this sinking ship must seem overwhelming.

But don't let Wiggett's San Francisco address fool you: he's got a resume that could make Tom DeLay, G Gordon Liddy or Baroness Thatcher's son Sir Mark blush. From his corporate bio, just to watch how fast the needle moves into the red zone, try running this excerpt through your lefty PC analyzer:

Before founding Jackson Hole Group, Jim held a number of prominent senior executive positions. As Executive Vice President for the Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton (LVMH) Retail Group, Jim provided leadership to each of the 10 operating companies within the Group.

In addition to his overall operational responsibilities, Jim provided consulting support to the individual management teams and coaching to the key executives. He also provided consulting support to the non-retail organizations of LVMH including the LVMH/DeBeers collaboration, Phillips dePury & Luxembourg, Europatweb and Groupe Arnault.

During his tenure, Jim participated in several mergers and acquisitions, including the acquisition of Duty Free Shops (DFS) by LVMH. At DFS, Jim was Executive Vice President with functional responsibilities for Human Resources, Administration, Information Technology, Merchandise Planning, Business Process Planning and Logistics.

Yes, that's DeBeers, of South African diamond cartel fame. Those guys make the Halliburton gang look like Berkeley hippies, circa 1968. He's also had key roles at brokerage firm Chuck Schwab and the fur- selling R H Macy Corporation (now Federated Department Stores). Running with this crowd, there's no doubt Wiggett has had many cocktail parties in Atherton and Woodside to visit.

So ingrained is the free- spending atmosphere at Air America, however, that even during this dramatic belt- tightening process, staffers have still continued to push fresh budget- busting proposals.

Until you stop shaking food into the tank, does a goldfish know when to stop eating?

Inside the operation, there's simply been no recognition that additional expenditures need to at least indirectly result in increased revenue. If there's money, or even when there isn't, let's spend, spend and spend some more!

So who gets hit by these cutbacks? Essentially, anything not nailed to the office floor, via long- term employment or other types of contracts. In addition, once time runs out on deals still in force today, further cuts will be made.

Early signs of the new plan's implementation emerged this week, when it was announced that Air America will now handle affiliate relations in- house, rather than continuing to outsource the task to Envision Networks. The downside: this makes it even harder to potentially pick up new stations down the road.

This plan means reductions in obvious places like evening and weekend programming, but some surprises are coming, as well. Air America's on- air hosts have employment terms that vary wildly, with some absolutely sucking the place dry and others making (at least by comparison) far more modest salaries.

Rhodes and Franken provide particular challenges for any budget- cutter charged with making the company viable. Not only have they fought for incredibly high salaries and outrageous perks, but they've also successfully insisted on huge, contractually- mandated staffing levels for their shows.

For the moment, we're going to leave out specific names of staffers that may be cut, so that those potentially affected can first find out internally where they stand with the higher- ups, rather than read it on this website. Of course, it's quite possible some are already aware of what's coming.

We will say this, however: when asked where cutbacks should be made, managers have often disagreed. That's because the company is full of factions and fiefdoms they'd like to protect.

One big surprise: a host widely considered by lefty fans to be a rising star within the operation may now be in trouble. What happened?

From here, Air America Radio has two paths to choose from:

A) It can immediately change its doomed free- spending mentality and accept drastic cuts that give it at least a chance at survival.

B) Or, it can go ahead and croak now.

Of course, these changes don't address Air America's other huge problem: beyond Soros handouts and money from political groups, from where future advertising revenues are going to emerge.

Welcome to the world of free- market capitalism, guys, glad you could finally join the rest of us!

Elsewhere: from the NRO Media Blog, even as Hastert threatens a suit, ABC still won't back off of its phony "investigation" story.

Thanks to The Anchoress, Jonah Goldberg at National Review's The Corner and Ace Of Spades for link support today.

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Failures, Drain, Bitter: David A Lunde for the Radio Equalizer, Infidels, Businesswoman Janeane: Pete at IHillary for the Radio Equalizer

24 May 2006

John McCain, Rush Limbaugh, CBS Radio


Also: CBS Dumping Stations In Droves

Will bashing conservative talkers Rush Limbaugh and Michael Savage over the illegal immigration issue boost Sen. John McCain's 2008 electoral fortunes? Since it's obviously a part of his new presidential campaign strategy, the Republican from Arizona sure seems to think so.

Also included on his hit list: CNN anchor Lou Dobbs.

Coming from a state with perhaps America's biggest illegal alien crisis, is McCain really in a good position to attack commentators who merely reflect widespread voter sentiment on the issue?

Only upcoming polls will be able to say for sure.

To make his attacks, McCain used a New York Observer interview :

The exclusive audience included R.N.C. finance chair Lewis Eisenberg, Blackstone Group co-founder Peter G. Peterson, former Secretary of the Navy John F. Lehman and Gail Hilson, the politically influential socialite who has organized events for Mr. McCain in the past.

“What kind of a country do we want to be?” Mr. McCain asked his audience, walking around in the middle of a horseshoe-shaped table as he proceeded to answer his own question.

He cautioned against ghettoizing immigrants, which he noted has brought about disastrous results in France, and criticized elements in his own party as “nativist” before lambasting the punditry of Rush Limbaugh, Lou Dobbs and Michael Savage for helping to “fuel the problem,” according to two of the sources.

Limbaugh, for his part, didn't waste any time firing back. From a rough transcript prepared by the Rush Limbaugh Echo:

McCain is trying to drive a wedge. 'Nativists' are the last things we are. I have told you about my grandfather debating 'Immigration' in high school in 1904. I have supported the president's speech.

McCain is making it more complicated than it is. Just tell us how many immigrants you want to come in each year. Then explain enforcement.

For both Limbaugh and Savage (pictured right), the senator's ill-conceived antics are just what the doctor ordered. Heading into what would ordinarily be a slow summer season, the hosts now have in McCain a better target than they ever could have imagined.

Over at the Huffington Post, they're busy eating up whatever McCain has to say.

From the right, more at Isn't It Rich.

Elsewhere, why is CBS Radio so inclined to bail out of some of America's fastest growing metro areas? In medium- market regions across the country, it's now looking to sell a large number of stations.

Included on the newly- released list are outlets in San Antonio, Austin and Fresno.

In my latest Inside Radio column, we take a look at the firm's possible motives, as well as Wall Street's reaction.

Also: TVNewser reports ABC is partly digging in its heels on their now widely- discredited report that House Speaker Hastert was facing a corruption investigation. More from Powerline and Riehl World View.

--- At LGF: is the Voice Of America radio service merely a pro-Islamofascist propaganda tool?

--- In a station editorial, news/talker CJME/Regina wonders why Prime Minister Stephen Harper feels taking on the liberal (and Liberal) media is worth the hassle.

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23 May 2006

Talk Radio, KVI, Seattle, Bryan Suits, Jessie MacBeth, Jesse MacBeth


Lefties Work To Undermine Right From Within

Two "soldiers", one fake and the other genuine, are in the news today for their attempts to undermine the conservative movement from within. By appearing as disaffected right- wingers, or patriotic Americans disillusioned by the "neo-con" cause, leftists hope these guys can inflict significant damage from an atypical angle.

While the lion's share of headlines belong to phony anti- war "vet" Jesse MacBeth (update: Peace Films links apparently no longer work), exposed by hard- working bloggers as a fraud, a real soldier is sadly seeking to dismantle one of Washington State's few checks against a repressive liberal regime.

For over a decade, Seattle's KVI radio has actively and often successfully taken an activist role against total Democrat Party control of the Evergreen State.

By getting behind initiatives that have put a cap on rising taxes and dismantled public racial preference programs, among other issues, KVI has also served as a rare opposition voice against the Emerald City's liberal media domination.

While not as effective today as it was the past, KVI is still pretty much the only game in town for live and local conservative talk. More recently, the station has greatly suffered by not having a dedicated and qualified program director to run it.

Naturally, its track record has made the station a prime target for so- called "progressives", who have spent years trying to cook up ways to eliminate it, including FCC license challenges and other slimy tactics.

In KVI talk host Bryan Suits, it seems Washington liberals have found a potent ally behind enemy lines. Regardless of what he might have done for his country in Iraq, at home, he's providing aid and comfort to the enemy.

In a move that delivered instant ammo to area leftists, Suits denounced his conservative KVI co- hosts before a group of liberal "Dan Evans Republicans" (meaning RINOs: Republicans In Name Only) for using the airwaves to build support for a gas- tax rollback initiative:

My radio station crossed the line in my book in terms of going from advocacy to leadership on a political issue, which is why the 912 talk stopped at 6 p.m. when I came on the air and my name was never on the initiative.

Memo to Bryan: with a statement like that, you've proven you don't belong at KVI radio. If you were a DJ at a country station, would you speak out against Hank Williams, Jr.? As KVI was built on activism, that's the most appropriate comparison.

Given that fellow KVI hosts Kirby Wilbur and John Carlson have had to endure a nasty court battle to defend their rights to free speech over this very issue, what Suits has done is the ultimate in backstabbing.

If it was simply about Mr. Suits taking a principled stand that we merely disagreed with, that would be one thing, but his questionable track record strongly suggests something sleazy occurring here.

With Suits as the left's new poster child, it's ironic to think that just over a year ago, the ultraliberal Daily Kos did a well- researched hit piece on him. In it, they found Suits had given the media conflicting statements on even the most mundane of details, including whether or not he was married.

So how did Suits reinvent himself as a "KVI conservative"? That's a good question. During his previous stint at Seattle's KIRO-AM, his evening show was a watered- down cross between the on- air sex antics of Howard Stern and "guy talk" utilized by Tom Leykis. Generating some of the lowest ratings KIRO had ever witnessed, he didn't belong there, either.

With no previous talk radio experience, he'd apparently been an FM morning show producer on music stations in California before his curious KIRO hiring.

Around the newsroom, Suits was known for looking at porn on his computer and running to management with anything he'd overheard other staffers discussing. He allied himself with fringe- left talk hosts and producers in the building.

For reasons that are still baffling, Suits suddenly appeared on KVI as a would- be "conservative", but never seemed to know how to do more than a weak imitation of what other hosts were saying.

Now, of course, Suits has outed himself as a phony. Will KVI management wake up and smell the fraud in latteland?

Disclosure: yes, your Radio Equalizer worked at KVI during the 1990's and later for KIRO-AM.

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Publishers Weekly, Randi Rhodes, Janeane Garofalo, Sam Seder, FUBAR


Before Coming Collapse, AAR Hosts In Book Race

Before it all comes crashing down, particularly in New York City, several Air America hosts had better get their new books into the shops- fast!

With only one cover image actually featuring the words "Air America", separate efforts by Sam Seder, Randi Rhodes and Janeane Garofalo will soon be hitting bookstores.

A question for their publishing companies: have you guys been following Air America's troubles? What happens if they're placed on shelves after their respective shows have been cancelled?

With release dates scheduled for August and September, both The Encyclopedia of Republican Hypocrites by Randi Rhodes and a paperback version of Wait! Don't Move to Canada : A Stay-and-Fight Strategy to Win Back America, co- authored by Janeane Garofalo (according to Amazon) fail to mention their Air America ties upfront.

In Randi's case, that seems particularly strange, as her notoriety is entirely based on the network association.

Is this a case of book peddlers hedging their bets, or a simple oversight?

As for Sam Seder's F.U.B.A.R. : America's Right-Wing Nightmare, however, it may his employer that takes the biggest hit. We've seen the hardly- conservative Publishers Weekly pound some right- leaning books recently, but nothing like the full thrashing reserved for the leftist FUBAR:

In this manifesto, which is occasionally hilarious but more often stale diatribe, Air America radio's Seder and (Stephen) Sherrill have increased the scope of liberal rage to not only our elected leadership, but all those who elected him—the "Rapture Right" as the authors dub them.

To read this volume, which uses sarcasm as its main analytical tool, one would think the American right was composed solely of born-again Christians. And that take would indeed justify the title of the book, which is a military acronym meaning "F----- Up Beyond All Recognition." But devoting more than 40 pages (albeit funny ones) to problems plaguing gay Republicans, for example, seems excessive.

Where the authors' blistering irony works best, paradoxically, is in the chapter "The Media Is Not Your Friend": the authors discuss in particular the New York Times's Adam Nagourney ("If you want to see why the liberal media is... not liberal") and columnist Thomas Friedman ("what he's really writing about is Tom Friedman"). And here the authors hammer home their best point: the need for so-called "objectivity," which translates as the need to present both sides of an argument, no matter how patently inane.

Does that sound like a book that will do much to reverse Air America's sorry fortunes?

Released today, Seder's effort does indicate his radio association. A Radio Equalizer suggestion for publisher HarperCollins: should his "Majority Report" face cancellation in the next few weeks, have booksellers scribble out the words "Air America" wherever they're found.

Of course, by then, they may already be topping off the remainder bins.

For all of these volumes, what has been the biggest oversight? Easy: failing to use the cover to call anybody on the right "fat". To entice liberals to buy their hate- filled diatribes, it's certainly worked in the past.

ALSO: evil, partisan Google is again shutting out conservative sites. Newsbusters has the details.

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22 May 2006

Sheldon Drobny, Air America Radio, Nova M LLC, Milwaukee


Drobny Goal: Salvaging Air America

For Air America co-founder/ Lyndon LaRouche sympathizer/ Democrat Party operative Sheldon Drobny, propping up Air America Radio isn't proving so easy this time.

According to a report in today's Business Journal of Milwaukee, efforts to bring its programming to America's Dairyland simply aren't panning out.

So how will the New York Times spin the situation this time?

As Michelle Malkin and the Radio Equalizer revealed last August, Sheldon and wife Anita have been there at every turn to rescue the liberal radio network. And each time the company's financial situation deteriorates, their carefully- planned shell game strategy once again kicks into high gear.

This time, it's called Nova M Radio LLC and is being used as a vehicle to purchase stations that will carry Franken & Friends. By sidestepping Air America parent Piquant LLC's ugly balance sheet, Nova M (at least in theory) allows deals to be made that are otherwise unthinkable.

But who's funding Nova M?

And for a company that fails to turn a profit, or generate listener ratings growth outside of Portland and Seattle, why fight to keep Air America alive? Because it's really about ego and political ideology: remember, this was going to be the network that could finally take on Rush Limbaugh and other conservative talkers.

Especially during an election year, giving up now means making an unpleasant admission that liberal talk radio simply isn't going to find a significant audience.

According to today's Business Journal report, Drobny's attempts to purchase a Milwaukee- area station aren't getting off the ground:

The owners of liberal talk radio network Air America are seeking local investors for a "Green Bay Packer community model" of joint ownership in a Milwaukee radio station.

However, Air America backers have yet to find a station to buy and already have been rebuffed by Packers Hall of Famer Willie Davis, the owner of black talk radio station WMCS-AM (1290).

Wisconsin is among the states they've targeted with Milwaukee being their first priority, the couple said in an interview. Anita Drobny met recently in Milwaukee with a group that includes members of the Milwaukee County Democratic Party.

"We believe very strongly that Wisconsin needs to have much more balanced information on the radio waves," Anita Drobny said.

In Milwaukee, the Drobnys are seeking larger investors as well as average folks who would invest $10 to $100 toward acquiring a station. Nova M wants to lease with an option to buy, and struck such a deal in April for a station in Little Rock, Ark.

Air America representatives contacted WMCS and "we have absolutely no interest whatsoever," said general manager Bill Hurwitz.

Doesn't it seem odd that Air America is constantly looking to bump off ethnic programming for its white liberal- dominated lineup?

In addition, keep this in mind: even if the Drobnys find 30 medium and large market stations for the network's offerings, it still won't make up for the impending loss of its flagship New York City outlet, WLIB-AM.

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NYT & AAR in Bed: David A Lunde

21 May 2006

Cape And Islands, Nantucket Film Festival, Al Franken: God Spoke


Once Again, It's Franken Vs. The Kids

What exactly does Al Franken have against the Boys & Girls Clubs of America?

Wherever Stuart goes, it seems, the kids come second! As this one's a laff riot, you may not need your Sunday comics section today.

Last year, as you might recall, the Radio Equalizer and Michelle Malkin helped to expose Air America Radio's sleazy funds transfer scandal, where $875,000 in taxpayer grant money was diverted from the Bronx- based Gloria Wise Boys & Girls Club to the liberal talk radio network.

Since then, the club has been forced to shut down and a city investigation remains open.

While Franken never appeared directly involved, compelling evidence did emerge that just as the struggling company was determining how to repay it before the scandal became public, he successfully pushed for a huge compensation increase.

By obtaining a notarized document, Malkin and the Radio Equalizer were able to prove that Franken was at least aware of the situation during this time.

Because Al's salary has always represented a major element of Air America's budget, it is very likely that Gloria Wise money went to cover at least some of his compensation.

While there's no swindle this time, at the very least, it's good for a head- shaking Sunday funny.

From the Nantucket Inquirer and Mirror:

On opening night of the 11th Annual Nantucket Film Festival June 14, the Dreamland Theater’s doors will be closed. A building permit snafu with the town caused festival organizers to seek another venue for its largest screenings and events, and they found one in the Nantucket High School auditorium.

“We’re disappointed in so many ways in not being able to use the Dreamland, because to me that has always been the heart of the festival, and it is right smack in the center of town,” festival executive director Jill Burkhart said last week.

“But I think the high school will work. It’ll certainly accommodate more people.”

In addition to being the site for the Saturday and Sunday staged readings, the auditorium will be the venue for the opening and closing films. The documentary “Al Franken: God Spoke,” will open the festival, with the liberal commentator and comedian himself scheduled to attend.

Screenings at the high school and church will be shown on video tape, due to a lack of film projection capabilities at both venues. Screenings at the Casino will be on film.

The opening film will start at 8 p.m., a little later than usual, because the auditorium had already been booked by the Nantucket Boys & Girls Club for its annual awards ceremony. The club moved their program ahead by half an hour to accommodate the festival’s needs.

However minor this time, what were the odds of Franken having another run-in with the Boys & Girls Club?

And if the Nantucket club had any idea of Franken's past history with their organization, would they be so happy to accommodate a showing of his film?

To the children of Cape Cod and the Islands, fair warning: hang on to your piggy banks. Al and friends are on their way!

By the way, your Radio Equalizer is often asked about the status of the Gloria Wise investigation.

In recent months, we've been unable to obtain additional information from the New York City Department of Investigation, but the case seems far from closed. As always, we'll continue to follow the latest developments.

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Hello Kitty: Pete at IHillary, Frankenlies, DRS: David A Lunde

20 May 2006

Cindy Sheehan, Air America


Does Moonbat Momma's Story Check Out?

Without applying even the slightest shred of intellectual scrutiny, have so- called "progressive" activists been conditioned to absorb anything moonbat momma Cindy Sheehan says? Is she really a political leader, or an emerging cult- like figure?

Running on leftist websites today, here's a partial transcript of a speech Sheehan delivered Thursday to the Spiritual Activism Conference in Washington. Does anything here strike you as a tad bit improbable?

Make Me an Instrument of Peace

By Cindy Sheehan

Not too long ago, I was listening to Air America when a caller to the religious right of war supporter/evangelist Pat Robertson said it didn't bother him that George Bush doesn't follow the law of our land because when we have a man who is a "Christian" in office, we don't need the rule of law!

The caller and, I am afraid too many more people in America are saved from the responsibility of democracy because they believe that George follows a higher law than our Constitution. The person who called in really meant that.

I found that call disturbing for several reasons, but to think that a man who kills his pretend enemies and is a warmaker with wanton disregard for the teachings of Jesus Christ is a Christian flies in the face of everything that I was taught about Jesus of Nazareth and about the Christian faith.

Thinking about how unloving, punitive and unjust the brand of Christianity that George Bush practices is reminded me of an experience that I had in Assisi the first time I visited Italy in January of this year. The Franciscan model of Christianity is totally the opposite of Bushianity.

On that sunny but cold January day, when I awakened in the back seat of the silver BMW that picked me up from the airport in Rome, I was in a charming plaza in front of the Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi. The Basilica was heavily damaged in an earthquake in 1997 but is now almost entirely restored.

My hotel room overlooked the same magnificent view of Italy's "Green Heart" in Umbria as the plaza of the Basilica. In the distance I could see all the way to the hills of Perugia, where I would visit next. Breathtaking is merely a word that cannot adequately describe the views!

Beyond merely obnoxious, with her detailed description of touring Europe in a BMW, Sheehan's words deserve to be examined for the sake of accuracy.

Did she really hear a far- right caller make such a statement on Air America? Note Sheehan's lack of specifics.

Cindy, if you don't mind, we have some questions:

Which Air America program aired the call?

When did you hear it?

Rather than a parody or recorded skit, are you sure it was a real person? Could it actually have been during an opening monologue?

To such an outlandish statement, what was the host's reaction? Surely that would have been equally memorable.

If anyone actually managed to hear this alleged call, please use the comment section below to provide us with the details.

Why are we suspicious? For a number of reasons:

Even to a conservative host, much less during Air America's liberal talk programming, we've never heard anyone make such a bizarre statement. Right- leaning shows these days are full of scathing criticism of the GOP and Bush, so when she isn't touring Europe in upscale sports cars, perhaps Ms. Sheehan might care to tune in.

In fact, even outside of talk radio, we've yet to hear any conservative or right- winger make this assertion that Bush's religious views supercede the American Constitution.

While some Air America shows take calls only on an occasional basis, others don't air any at all. Overall, there really aren't that many opportunities to talk with its hosts.

What in the world would motivate this "religious right" follower to even listen to Air America's extremist programming, much less call one of its personalities?

If this right- wing Air America caller really exists and specific details can be provided, we'll be happy to drop this matter. Otherwise, it sounds a bit too much like a cartoon caricature of what Cindy Sheehan thinks a conservative would say on the radio.

To get to the bottom of this, any help would be appreciated.

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Cindy's Postcard: Indymedia, AAR Spin: David A Lunde

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