The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

30 June 2006

Mike Webb, KIRO, Seattle


Blatherwatch: Webb Assaults Photographer in Courtroom


Former ultraliberal KIRO-AM / Seattle talk host Mike Webb has somehow managed to grab the headlines, once again!

According to lefty talk radio blogger Michael Hood at Blatherwatch, Webb allegedly assaulted a photographer upon entering the King County Courthouse today to face insurance fraud charges.

Hood, a longtime area reporter and critic, says he witnessed the attack.

What a scoop, Michael!

Meanwhile, Webb has now posted his side of the story, here. And Orbusmax has more coverage here.

Webb, an unapologetic supporter of extremist Rep Jim McDermott (D-Seattle), once used his radio program to call for President Bush's execution on "war crimes" charges. In addition, he also accused a Seattle police officer of assaulting him while visiting the Queen Anne Dick's Drive-In.

The talker also has a long history of refusing to allow his picture to be taken, which might shed some light on this alleged attack.

For more background on Webb, see Geov Parrish's recent Seattle Weekly cover story on the talk host's notorious antics. In addition, we'll most likely see further updates from Blatherwatch shortly.

There's really no joy to be taken from Webb's ongoing downfall. It's now clear his state of mind has not improved in recent months. Before things get even worse, will Mike finally recognize the severity of his problem?

UPDATE: Orbusmax says:


UPDATE: Blatherwatch has now posted his full account of what happened in the courthouse. Both Seattle papers somehow missed or ignored the story today. Are they protecting Webb?

Meanwhile, Webb, managing to do a webcast last night, apparently used the program for tirades against Blatherwatch, the Radio Equalizer and anyone else who dared to report on his latest out- of- control behavior. No matter what Mike does, it's always somebody else's fault. Why isn't he in jail right now?

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Janeane Garofalo, Sam Seder, Majority Report, Air America


Acerbic Host, 'Majority Report' Saying Goodbye

*** Exclusive To The Radio Equalizer ***

Has Janeane Garofalo's liberal talk show been declared FUBAR by Air America Radio? With one source indicating (via hard copy information) that it may leave the airwaves as soon as tonight, it appears very likely that the self- loathing and acerbic talker / actress / Hollywood political hothead may already have done her last show.

If the hate- filled Garofalo remains in any capacity at the network, it will be as an occasional political correspondent, perhaps for phone-ins during election season, for example. But she may very well be ready to walk away for good.

In addition, the "Majority Report" show appears to have been cancelled, with co-host Sam Seder possibly heading into a temporary late- evening hosting role in many Air America markets outside of New York City.

Seder has been working as a fill-in host for the Randi Rhodes Show this week, while a local personality from San Diego has taken over the "Majority Report" in Sam's absence.

If Seder's new show can find adequate financing from political groups, it may remain beyond the end of July. In addition, some program staffers may be allowed to stick around during this period to see how that works out.

Behind the scenes, Air America Radio has debated whether even to let the press know Garofalo and the show had been cancelled, or to simply claim that she had taken on an "important new role" at the network.

Air America Radio has never answered Radio Equalizer requests for confirmation and we've long since given up trying.

A casualty of low ratings, extreme revenue shortfalls, weird on-air behavior and the network's overall poor health, Garofalo's downfall is especially embarrassing considering that as a quasi- Hollywood star, she was once considered a key Air America selling point.

And unlike the wildly overpaid, pampered Al Franken and Randi Rhodes, Garofalo was only mildly overcompensated, with a $250,000 annual salary. Co-host Seder made the same amount.

For an evening show, where potential revenues are much smaller than during the day, that's still a beefy payroll, however. In addition, there was also a substantial budget for writers and other staffers connected to the show.

Not only did Garofalo not make the Franken- like outrageous demands that have plagued the liberal network, for some time, she hasn't been on the payroll at all!

If anyone has been paying her, it isn't clear, but it's a certainty that Air America has provided no compensation since some point earlier this year. Why? We don't know, but in addition to documentation provided by a source on this point, Garofalo herself recently disclosed it on the air.

One theory: by choosing to work unpaid, Garofalo may have felt less obligated to appear daily, instead taking a great deal of time off. It's also possible that her salary was directly covered by a political organization or supporter, which is very similar to the way Air America is increasingly doing business.

The head of "I Hate Myself Productions", Garofalo had shown increasingly bizarre on-air behavior in recent months, with a habit of using airtime to plug extremist causes that even supporters found strange. In particular, the former "Larry Sanders Show" co-star was frequently plugging Scientology-related projects during the program.

For that, she attracted the attention of cult expert Rick Ross, who has chronicled Garofalo's recent on- air antics. Ross reported that Garofalo may have fallen under the spell of friend and Scientologist Leah Remini, the trashy "King Of Queens" co-star.

While Garofalo's political stunts may not have attracted quite as much negative attention as those of Randi Rhodes (who managed to get the Secret Service to look into her show), they were every bit as sophomoric.

Michelle Malkin, who has closely tracked Garofolo's unhinged behavior, wrote this in November:

Janeane Garofalo, left- wing actress- turned- Air America radio host, is a miserable woman. Last week before the holidays, she turned up on cable TV. No, not to count her blessings but to rant against conservative journalist Bob Novak, author Ann Coulter, and the Fox News Channel. She didn't have anything better to do for Thanksgiving?

Accessorized by a permanent scowl (hard to believe she was once considered a comedienne), Ms. Garofalo accused conservatives of having "an anger management problem. Without a trace of irony, the frowning Garofalo griped about "right-wing partisan hacks who are always on the verge of punching somebody or always behave as if they've just been cut off in traffic."

In addition, we discussed Garofalo's weird anti- Jonah Goldberg stunt a year ago. In another odd crusade, a petition was placed online to demand a Hollywood Walk Of Fame star for her.

Where might Janeane go from here? We won't pretend to know, but with all of this baggage, another shot at talk radio seems quite unlikely.

WELCOME National Review Online, RedState, USSNeverdock, Mark A Kilmer, GOPinion, Orbusmax, BitsBlog, Rightwingnews, Rathergate, Moonbat Monitor, Cabal Of Doom, Viking Pundit and TTLB readers!

For other stories, see our main page.

UPDATE: Based on posts found at the Majority Report's website, listeners seem to be under the impression Garofalo is on extended jury duty! Some aren't sure what to believe.

BREAKING: liberal Seattle talker allegedly assaults photographer in courtroom!

MONDAY UPDATE: No sign of Garofalo, while Seder seems to be settling into an ongoing fill-in role at Air America. What's left of "Majority Report", for now, is guest- hosted by a local host from KLSD-AM/ San Diego. Posters at the program's website seem to suspect that something is amiss.

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Garofalo For Dummies: David A Lunde, Janeane's Star: Pete at IHillary for the Radio Equalizer

29 June 2006

Glenn Beck, Ratings, CNN - Headline News


Beck's TV Ratings Trend Not Promising

Has CNN's decision to hire "conservative" host Glenn Beck for the Headline News Channel proven to be a disaster? Based on recent ratings data, the answer appears to be a big yes.

According to TVNewser, a left- leaning cable news blog, the numbers don't look good:

When he premiered in May, he averaged 81,000 demo and 167,000 total viewers. In June, he sagged a bit, averaging 76,000 demo and 163,000 total viewers.

Now his show airs several times a night -- at 7, 9, and midnight -- so Headline News will point out that he actually gets three times as many viewers. But let's look at his individual time slots. At 7pm, Beck averaged 79,000 demo viewers in June. Showbiz Tonight averaged just a few thousand less last June. And he's actually down 19 percent among total viewers for the hour.

At 9pm, Beck is losing viewers for Headline News. In June 2005, Prime News Tonight averaged 110,000 demo and 317,000 total viewers. In June 2006, Beck averaged 82,000 demo and 196,000 total viewers -- declines of 25 and 38 percent respectively. Maybe Beck's premiere poll, "When Will the TV Show Get Cancelled," wasn't a joke...

From the beginning, the Radio Equalizer has questioned CNN's motives in hiring the cartoonish Beck, who has a history of making foolish statements that damage the conservative cause. We've argued that the right shouldn't be held accountable for either his crazy statements or professional failings.

Beck also lacks a history of working with the right on important issues in a constructive manner. In fact, even now, many Republicans have still likely never heard of him. So where's his built-in cable audience base?

While his radio show does perform well in certain cities, Beck is largely the creation of a particular corporate radio executive. As a result, when it comes to this syndicated talker, we're in the awkward and rare position of agreement with several lefty websites.

Why does Beck so frequently provide fodder for leftist critics? We have no idea, but here's the latest example, from Media Matters:

From the June 28 broadcast of Premiere Radio Networks' The Glenn Beck Program:

BECK: Everybody always thinks if you're in the press, you just -- you have to believe that the government is evil, don't you think? I think that's the first thing in Journalism 101 they teach you -- the government is evil and you must take them down at all costs. Or, how is it that they all have that attitude? That's what I'd like to know. That's, you know -- that's the number-one thing on the declaration of principles that I would like to see The New York Times print. Because, you know, we're always saying, "Aw, they don't understand us." Well, I don't understand them. I don't know who these people are.

How can you be fighting for the same things that Al Qaeda wants, you know? Can you imagine -- can you imagine The New York Times coming out and saying "Hey, the ovens aren't so bad," back in World War II? Can you imagine that? I don't know; sure, there are some Jews in there, but I bet they might make some good pizzas in there too. What are you -- what? The New York Times is just -- I don't get it. I don't understand it. Except that I really truly believe that they believe that we're a bad nation, or at least our government is bad and has always been bad. "You know, we've been passing out those smallpox blankets to Indians."

With this sort of irresponsible language, why does Beck consistently sabotage otherwise sound viewpoints? We have no idea, but it couldn't be more harmful to the cause, if it's one he actually subscribes to.

UPDATE: sure enough, Beck is providing fodder for the likes of Olbermann tonight. This situation stinks.

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Some images:

Bill O'Reilly, Rush Limbaugh, Talk Radio


For Rush Limbaugh, Talk Hosts In Rare Team-Up

In order to back
one of their own in a time of need, what does it take to get conservative talk hosts to put aside longstanding personal and professional differences?

Quite a lot, it turns out.

Even when talkers sound similar on the issues, the inside- baseball truth is that very few get along with each other. That's because old and unsettled scores, competitive instincts and general egotism are usually in the way.

That's why getting talk hosts together on any issue is a bit like herding cats.

All of this makes the amount of support openly expressed for Rush Limbaugh this week especially remarkable. Even conservative hosts at stations that don't carry the talk titan have joined the effort.

So far, the biggest case- in- point is Bill O'Reilly, who hosts a nationally syndicated radio show that directly competes with Limbaugh's. In the past, the two mega- personalities have not been known to team up on much of anything.

Yet O'Reilly has not only jumped to Limbaugh's defense, he's offered supportive personal advice, as well. From WorldNetDaily:

"He is an American," O'Reilly said of Limbaugh last night on "The O'Reilly Factor," "and I believe powerful people in his home county are trying unjustly to harm him."

Though Limbaugh was not arrested, O'Reilly noted it was unusual authorities checked the shaving kits of people flying on private planes, and that the story was leaked to the press almost immediately.

"This is malicious, and this is unnecessary," said O'Reilly. "I only can conclude that in Palm Beach, where Mr. Limbaugh lives, they're out to get this guy."

O'Reilly said he had no vested interest in coming to Limbaugh's defense, having met the fellow broadcaster only "once for about 10 seconds," but he ripped local officials for trying to destroy the most listened to man in the history of radio.

"It was a malicious, cheap, cheap tactic by the Palm Beach authorities, and they ought to be ashamed of themselves," he said. "If I were Limbaugh, I'd move right on out of there. I'd get out of there. ... This is a political persecution. That's what this is."

Expose The Left has video of this FOX News Channel segment.

So why, at least for the time being, have past differences been overcome? For one thing, it represents a clear case of overzealous big government intruding into a person's private life.

How can rivals not denounce that?

In addition, megahosts such as O'Reilly likely realize it's only a matter of time before they too become the next victims of politically- motivated prosecutorial abuses of power.

Meanwhile, where are the liberal hosts on this clear invasion of a person's privacy (an issue they claim to care so much about)?

Bypassing an opportunity to score badly- needed credibility points by appearing fair and reasonable, they can't seem to get past Rush = Fat + Drugs + Viagra.

ALSO: our buddy Les Kinsolving actually asked Tony Snow about the Rush / Viagra issue at the White House!

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28 June 2006

Rush Limbaugh, Drugs, Palm Beach County, Viagra


Rush's Enemies Not About To Let Go

*** UPDATED ***

Not about to let go this time, Rush Limbaugh's political enemies clearly feel they have him on the run.

After his detention at the Palm Beach airport Monday evening for an alleged possession of Viagra without a prescription in his name, moonbats instantly went into overdrive.

Between emails, comments, blog posts and calls your Radio Equalizer took on WRKO-AM/ Boston Tuesday, it's obvious the left is going to milk this for all it's worth. While most callers were in agreement (it is a Rush station, after all), some denounced yours truly for defending a supposedly arrogant and hypocritical druggie who openly flouts the law.

In addition, some "progressives" are accusing Limbaugh of engaging in sexual tourism in the Dominican Republic, but beyond the bottle of Viagra, they offer no evidence. More than one moonbat caller raised the "issue" on Tuesday.

Do they have prepared talking points, or is this merely coming from lefty blogs?

One problem: has Rush even broken the law? According to MSNBC (of all places), the answer is most likely no:

It is generally not illegal under Florida law for a physician to prescribe medication in a third party’s name if all parties are aware and the doctor documents it correctly, said Mike Edmondson, a spokesman for the state attorney in Palm Beach County. He would not discuss specifics in the Limbaugh case Tuesday.

The sheriff’s office was continuing its investigation and would soon turn the case over to prosecutors, Edmondson said. The alleged violation could be a second-degree misdemeanor if Limbaugh’s doctor doesn’t confirm the prescription.

Under last month’s deal with prosecutors, authorities will dismiss a “doctor shopping” charge if Limbaugh doesn’t get arrested for 18 months, among other terms. Prosecutors had said he illegally deceived multiple doctors to get overlapping painkiller prescriptions. Limbaugh denied the charges but admitted he was addicted to painkillers.

This latest case may simply be dismissed if prosecutors can confirm with Limbaugh’s doctor that the prescription was indeed for Limbaugh, said Kendall Coffey, a former U.S. attorney in Florida.

“It’s perhaps a little embarrassing but not highly incriminating,” Coffey said.

Meanwhile, it was incredible to watch news outlets once again use the previous plea deal Limbaugh booking photo, as though he'd been arrested at the airport on Monday! Yes, we have done the same thing here, but as a joke.

Talk about misleading! Limbaugh's media enemies are working overtime to discredit him, so journalistic ethics are once again out the window. They got their "Rush with drugs" headlines, accuracy be damned.

Did you feel Rush handled the situation properly on the air Tuesday? Instead of addressing the incident directly, Limbaugh told jokes about ending up with Bob Dole's luggage by mistake.

Was the whole matter so silly that there was really no other way to approach it?

Leave comments below.

--- Sister Toldjah is at a loss.

--- TTLB rankings for this topic.

According to the Palm Beach Post this morning, Rush will have to wait to find out whether any charges will be filed.

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"Funny" Oxycontin spoof: Air America

26 June 2006

Rush Limbaugh, Dominican Republic, Miami, Drugs


Were Illegal Drugs Found At Airport Monday Evening?

*** UPDATED Tuesday Evening With Audio and Video Links, PLUS: What Law Was Broken?***

Matt Drudge is quickly pouring cold water on a breaking news report from CBS-4 / Miami that claims Rush Limbaugh was being held at Palm Beach's airport tonight after authorities found illegal prescription drugs upon the mega-talker's return from the Dominican Republic.

From CBS-4:

Limbaugh Detained At Airport

Joy Purdy

(CBS4 News) WEST PALM BEACH Sources have confirmed to CBS4 News that conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh has been detained at Palm Beach International Airport for the possible possession of illegal prescription drugs Monday evening.

Limbaugh was returning on a flight from the Dominican Republic when officials found the drugs, among them Viagra.

Limbaugh entered a plea deal back in April in a previous case where his charge of fraud to conceal information to obtain prescriptions was dropped under the condition he continue undergoing treatment for addiction.

Limbaugh had admitted to being addicted to pain killers on his radio program and had entered a rehabilitation program prior to that arrest.

According to Drudge:

UPDATE: Rush Limbaugh 'had no illegal drugs or prescription drug obtained illegally in his possession,' source says, contrary to a claim by CBS-TV in Miami... MORE...

If the report turns out to be inaccurate or outright untrue, it will most certainly bring back memories of the "Rush Limbaugh arrested" network news flashes from earlier this year, which resulted in the misleading images shown here.

Will there be another "mugshot" to plaster across CNN, MSNBC and other liberal networks?

And was he really caught with Viagra? What a scandal!

Watch for updates...


Rush Limbaugh’s Attorney Roy Black Responds to Media Inquiries

Miami, FL -- June 26, 2006 -- Roy Black, Rush Limbaugh's attorney, issued the following statement today in response to several inquiries by the media:

While going through routine Customs inspection of luggage at Palm Beach International Airport upon his return from an international trip, Rush Limbaugh was detained by customs agents after they noticed a non-narcotic prescription drug, which had been prescribed by Mr. Limbaugh's treating physician but labeled as being issued to the physician rather than Mr. Limbaugh for privacy purposes. After a brief interview, Mr. Limbaugh was permitted to continue on his journey.

Source: Roy Black

Amir Forester
Vice President, Public Relations
Premiere Radio Networks


Filled with hate, liberals are already salivating over this one. Has Olbermann already taken his cheap shots? Yes, from MSNBC tonight, see top-left image.

From the right, AMERICABlog thinks Rush could be in trouble. Assorted Babble sees bias at work.

Macsmind says Google News is link-happy over the story. Also, more from The Moderate Voice.

Michelle Malkin wonders what happened to the ACLU personal- privacy types.

NEW this morning, from the AP:

Limbaugh detained at Palm Beach airport
Associated Press

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Rush Limbaugh was detained for more than three hours Monday at Palm Beach International Airport after authorities said they found a bottle of Viagra in his possession without a prescription.

Customs officials found a prescription bottle labeled as Viagra in his luggage that didn't have Limbaugh's name on it, but that of two doctors, said Paul Miller, spokesman for the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office.

A doctor had prescribed the drug, but it was "labeled as being issued to the physician rather than Mr. Limbaugh for privacy purposes," Roy Black, Limbaugh's attorney, said in a statement.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection examined the 55-year-old radio commentator's luggage after his private plane landed at the airport from the Dominican Republic, said Miller.

The matter was referred to the sheriff's office, whose investigators interviewed Limbaugh. According to Miller, Limbaugh said that the Viagra was for his use, and that he obtained it from his doctors.

Investigators confiscated the drugs, which treats erectile dysfunction, and Limbaugh was released without being charged.

The sheriff's office plans to file a report with the state attorney's office. Miller said it could be a second-degree misdemeanor violation.

CNN's version is here.


Matt Drudge's brief transcript:


Rush Limbaugh, comedian. Audio at The Media Crunch.

Outside The Beltway has video.


Per MSNBC, of all places:

Limbaugh joked about the search on his radio show Tuesday, saying Customs officials didn’t believe him when he said he got the pills at the Clinton Library and he was told they were blue M&Ms. He later added, chuckling: “I had a great time in the Dominican Republic. Wish I could tell you about it.”

It is generally not illegal under Florida law for a physician to prescribe medication in a third party’s name if all parties are aware and the doctor documents it correctly, said Mike Edmondson, a spokesman for the state attorney in Palm Beach County. He would not discuss specifics in the Limbaugh case Tuesday.

The sheriff’s office was continuing its investigation and would soon turn the case over to prosecutors, Edmondson said. The alleged violation could be a second-degree misdemeanor if Limbaugh’s doctor doesn’t confirm the prescription.

Under last month’s deal with prosecutors, authorities will dismiss a “doctor shopping” charge if Limbaugh doesn’t get arrested for 18 months, among other terms. Prosecutors had said he illegally deceived multiple doctors to get overlapping painkiller prescriptions. Limbaugh denied the charges but admitted he was addicted to painkillers.

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Al Franken Radio Challenge, Randi Rhodes Change For Change


Rhodes, Franken Now "Care" About Kids!

Okay, let's get this straight: it's okay to care about children overseas, or to support Habitat For Humanity's Katrina rebuilding efforts, but inner- city kids deserve to be railroaded?

Excuse us for a moment, as it's not easy making sense of the inconsistent philosophies of Al Franken and Randi Rhodes.

The same talk show hosts who did everything possible to help Air America Radio cover up the Gloria Wise Boys & Girls Club scandal, where $875,000 in taxpayer grants were diverted to the liberal radio network's coffers, now claim to have "compassion" for the kids.

Now, the infamous Stuart Smalley is behind an "Al Franken Radio Challenge" to encourage 100 listeners to sponsor poor kids through Children International, a non- profit organization. So far, 35% of the goal has been reached.

Meanwhile, Randi Rhodes's "Change For Change" effort, to support Habitat For Humanity's post- Katrina rebuilding projects, also continues.

While both look to be good causes, how transparent could this possibly be?

If they still can't be honest about what happened to the now- shuttered Gloria Wise Boys & Girls Club, which served poor kids in the Bronx, why should anyone believe they care about others now?

After all, Rhodes and Franken each have a long history of putting themselves first. Rhodes has just seen her salary trebled, while Franken makes over $2m a year. Why should anyone believe they are sincere?

According to a note from Franken at Children International, he is sponsoring a grand total of one child for this effort:

For many of us, the blessings of life in America are abundant. We don’t worry about dying from hunger or having a roof over our heads. Diseases don't run rampant through our communities and the opportunity for an education is available to everyone, regardless of social class.

In many countries however, this is not the case. Poverty is an epidemic and unfortunately those who suffer most are the children.

But thanks to a wonderful and caring organization called Children International and people just like us, these children have hope. I am proud to be associated with Children International and thankful for the opportunity to reach out and help one of these children.

Will you join me in sponsoring a child? My child's name is Maria, a 6 year old girl from Guatemala. Her family income is just $115 per month. You can see why Maria and her family desperately needed our help.

For a contribution of $18.00 a month, just sixty cents a day, you will provide a needy child with food, clothing, healthcare and much more.

So join me, won't you? Call 1-800-864-9456 or visit this page to find your special child. See how a small contribution of just sixty cents worth of change a day, can make a big change in a small child's life...and yours too!

Al Franken

Al, here's an idea: why don't you and producer Billy ($625,000 annual salary) Kimball donate some of those lunch expense reimbursements you're constantly demanding from Air America? That amount alone would likely cover your 100- child goal.

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Greed, AAR Help: David A Lunde, Frankentincup and Driving Miss Randi: Pete at IHillary for the Radio Equalizer

25 June 2006

UC-Santa Cruz, Denice Dee Denton, San Francisco


UCSC Chancellor's Suicide Raises Unpleasant Questions

*** Monday Updates ***

While it's hard to imagine what would compel a highly- paid university head to plunge 44 stories to her death, University of California Santa Cruz Chancellor Denice Dee Denton's suicide yesterday should hopefully force the increasingly- corrupt UC system to answer tough questions about its incredible lack of public accountability.

In addition, UC- Santa Cruz's 40- year legacy of overall failure simply must be addressed, as taxpayers deserve no less. Infamously derided as "Uncle Charlie's Summer Camp" and "UCk-SuCk" by area residents long fed- up with the spoiled brats the campus has a reputation for attracting, there's no longer any way to sugarcoat its shortcomings.

After all, with her $30,000 dog path and $600,000 in taxpayer- funded home improvements, it was Denton who had become the poster child for bureaucratic corruption in the university system. Add to that her ability to secure a fishy, high- paying position for girlfriend Gretchen Kalonji, in addition to an enormous amount of public money to move each from their Seattle residences to California and the situation quickly began to resemble Third World- style governmental abuses of power.

In a story that has spread around the world, news coverage today has focused on a variety of potential reasons for her fatal leap, possibly including personal relationship issues. Denton, after all, jumped from the top of Kalonji's luxury San Francisco apartment building.

We're sorry Denton moved to end her life this way, but at the same time, we wish she hadn't chosen to use divisive hate to further personal and political causes while alive. Her widely- publicized tirades against Larry Summers at Harvard University provided but one example.

In an attempt to gain insight into the events that led up to yesterday's final conclusion, the Radio Equalizer asked a faculty contact for more information, with this response (due to the campus environment, we are leaving out the member's name):

We should soon begin to learn what the proportions of the despondency were: how much was due to professional frustration and how much to Gretchen Kalonji.

What was clear was that she had alienated almost everyone by now. One leak out of the Council of Chancellors said they were all fed up with her -- anyone who disagreed with her was met with shouting, rage and denunciation for homophobia (her universal response to being thwarted). Another insider said much the same thing -- turnover in what had been thought to be plum jobs was astonishingly high.

Dean-level meetings on campus produced similar reports. Significantly, she fired her number two person within minutes of meeting her and installed in his place perennial yes-man David Klieger--a pathetic character respected by almost nobody. (On becoming Dean of Natural Sciences some years ago, Klieger immediately instituted a "Campus Scientist of the Year" award and then gave the first such award to himself.)

The picture of Denton from all levels of the university was of an arrogant, high- handed person who had no inter-personal skills whatsoever, and who was obsessed with a single issue, to which she reduced everything else.

And while her inability to secure the campus from violent anti- military protestors received widespread national publicity, today's Santa Cruz Sentinel notes that Denton faced trouble from the extreme left regarding "racism" issues.

Since it's hard to believe that anyone could have found her politics insufficiently radical, it again exposes the long- doomed UCSC campus to more charges of merely serving as a taxpayer- funded haven for fringe characters:

The pay perk was seized upon by state legislators in a systemwide executive-pay controversy about how UC rewards top ranking officials. That controversy has not yet settled.

Campus employees criticized the expenditures as lavish while the university is raising student fees, cutting budgets and, workers and their supporters say, underpaying staff.

Criticism of the chancellor escalated to the point that Denton worried about her personal safety.

"People were coming to her house and banging on the door wanting to talk about issues," Regan said.

Denton took the job in the midst of a multi-year process to update the university's long-range growth plan, which could bring 6,000 more students to the campus. She repeatedly defended the plan when it was challenged by city leaders, residents, faculty and staff.

In April, she received dozens of threatening phone calls and e-mails from people upset that student anti-war protesters forced military recruiters off campus, a campus spokeswoman said. And earlier this month, Denton was followed across the campus by chanting protesters against "institutional racism" at the university. They blocked her from leaving until she agreed to watch them perform a skit. She left before the performers finished.

(Santa Cruz Sentinel)

No amount of spin from the university's PR department will be able to undo the damage caused by Denton's final decision. UCSC's many shortcomings are now bound to again emerge in a public setting.

Cursed almost from the beginning, the campus now has a 40 year legacy of failure. Isn't it time for California to cut its losses at UCSC and move on?

UPDATE: New AP story (via The Guardian): Searching for answers, some see Santa Cruz's cutthroat political environment as too much to bear.

MONDAY: Seattle Times and Santa Cruz Sentinel pieces emphasize that Denton fought for "diversity", whatever that is supposed to mean. Unfortunately, the evidence points to a person who was quick to accuse opponents of "homophobia" and any other label that could effectively shut down critics of her corrupt rule.

Disclosures: Brian Maloney is a UCSC grad, former Sentinel writer and former resident of both Santa Cruz and Seattle.

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Photos: San Francisco Chronicle (Mike Kepka, James Irwin)

24 June 2006

Gary Krantz, The Radio Equalizer, Air America, Bill O'Reilly, New York City


In Fresh Turmoil, AAR Head Abruptly Tossed

*** Exclusive Radio Equalizer Reporting ***

Throwing even the liberal radio network's most stubborn defenders for a curve, Air America Radio President Gary Krantz was abruptly shown the door yesterday.

And not only do we have exclusive details to report on his sacking, it's a great time to share with readers his recent anti-Radio Equalizer campaign.

Following a recent pattern of executive departures, including now- former CEO Danny Goldberg, his sudden removal has been shrouded in mystery. While his contract was in fact due to expire, there was no indication he would face immediate termination.

And in a departure from the past, the press announcement was not made available on Air America's website. Typically, when a company releases news late on a Friday, it does so to avoid substantial media coverage.

As with all of the other recent turmoil, each move fills in a few more of this strange corporate puzzle's missing pieces. With so much instability in the upper- management ranks, the company has been far too distracted to focus on building any hoped- for future.

As soon as the announcement was made, readers began to email the Radio Equalizer, with a few wondering if there was any connection to the newly- signed Randi Rhodes contract. To fund her outrageous new deal, was it necessary to let somebody go?

It certainly is possible. Already, Randi herself has announced that two writers were sacked in conjunction with her increased compensation level. Watch for part two of our report on Randi Rhodes, coming Monday.

With Krantz making $400,000 a year plus perks and other benefits, Air America saves some money, but not a great deal. After all, it pays Al Franken's executive producer Billy Kimball substantially more.

As part of a larger series of cuts by acting CEO / head-chopper Jim Wiggett, however, this move may be better explained as part of an ongoing survival strategy.

Meanwhile, while other Air America managers have long attempted to ignore our reporting on its sleazy corporate antics, Krantz has been a clear exception.

Particularly incensed by our FOX News Channel guest appearances on Bill O'Reilly's show, Krantz has written letters to the media and listeners, attempting to discount our reporting. In addition, using leverage as an advertiser, he has pushed to have trade publications cover Air America- related issues his way.

Recently, the situation had escalated as Krantz attempted to put pressure on Inside Radio, a weekday publication where your Radio Equalizer works as a columnist. Both in person at an industry convention in Las Vegas and via more recent phone calls and emails to my immediate supervisor, Krantz demanded to know the details of my employment, what I would be covering for Inside Radio and what connection it might have to the Radio Equalizer.

Despite the pressure, my employer made it clear to Krantz that personnel decisions are not made based on the wishes of advertisers (Air America currently has a contract with the publication to run ads for Al Franken and others). In addition, he was told that the Radio Equalizer and Inside Radio are distinct, unrelated entities.

Was Krantz working to get yours truly fired? It certainly appeared that way.

ELSEWHERE: Because the Radio Equalizer previously covered corruption at UC-Santa Cruz (as a UCSC grad, International Politics, Cowell College), many Google and FOX News Channel online searches are reaching this site at the moment. It is very sad to hear of Chancellor Denice Dee Denton's suicide plunge from a San Francisco highrise and our sympathies are with her family tonight. This site will have more to say on the subject shortly.
New York Times coverage here. Santa Cruz Sentinel story here. Los Angeles Times here. Seattle Times here.

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Krantz Mystery, Adios Goldberg: David A Lunde for the Radio Equalizer, Frankenship: Pete at IHillary

23 June 2006

Randi Rhodes, Air America, Contract Renegotiation


While Air America Struggles, Rhodes Grabs What Remains

*** Exclusive To The Radio Equalizer - Part One ***
*** Updated With Breaking News Below ***

It has long been reasonable to characterize Air America Radio as having an every man- for- himself work environment, where the name of the game is to see who grab the most cash before the whole mess finally comes crashing down.

Add to the mix a nearly- constant stream of financial support from Real Networks honcho Rob Glaser and billionaire currency raider George Soros and the greedy temptation to push for obscene salaries, perks and benefits simply becomes too great to resist.

Central to this rampant mentality among staffers and managers is the idea that somebody else is unfairly being paid more. Instead of viewing that as a reason for obvious cutbacks that could help to sustain this floundering operation, it has become an egotistical battle of the wits, to see what it will take to match the next guy's bloated salary.

Never mind the unpleasant fact that other, non- Air America syndicated talk hosts might be paid a fraction of their salaries while producing substantially more revenue and higher ratings, it's all about a short-term money grab: get it while you can!

Yet when it comes to giving something back to the network, such as spending time networking with corporate executives who might consider actually carrying Air America's shows, Randi can't be bothered to help out. Nor did she care in the slightest how distracting and emotionally- draining her crazy demands have become, at a crucial make- or- break time for the network.

Missing from the internal compensation debate has been a consideration of what Randi is actually bringing to the network. How are the ratings and revenue for her show? Is she worth this kind of money?

Amazingly, as Randi's 2004 contract wasn't even due to expire until March 15, 2007, all of this energy expended on a new, four-year contract was simply to put an end to her tantrums.

Nothing demonstrates Air America's internal greed- game more than the antics of Al Franken and Randi Rhodes, who have continually pushed for more, without regard to the damage they might be doing to the overall operation.

Indeed, even as acting CEO Jim Wiggett has been forced into the nearly- impossible task of cutting 20% from the network's budget, Franken and Rhodes are moving the "progressive" talk network in the wrong direction, with more spending.

These multi-year talent contracts are the precise reason why Air America is having so much trouble making needed cuts: most of the expenses are locked in long- term.

For the Bush- bashing (and sometimes incoherent) Rhodes, learning about Franken's amazing compensation escalation strategy surely must have been too much for her to bear.

In part two of this series, the Radio Equalizer will examine more of the astounding (and previously untold) circumstances that have brought Al, Randi and the network to this unsustainable point. In many ways, the background details are even more interesting than the final, bloated result.

For this initial overview, we can say this: even while Air America has long been willing to give Randi a virtual blank check in terms of salary, benefits and staff, she chose to tie up negotiations for many months, with a bizarre series of highly unusual demands.

Even when these often- petty issues seemed to be resolved, they were again resurrected by Rhodes and her agent / attorney Robert V Gaulin.

Moreover, Air America repeatedly adjusted to her requirements on the fly, months before she actually signed a final version of the contract. This means that even as negotiations continued, the company implemented Randi's mandated upgrades, pre-deal.

As we reported in May, for example, Rhodes has insisted that Air America's programming run on WLIB-AM in New York City. To the company, of course, that's simply impossible to guarantee, as its deal to broadcast on the network flagship runs out at the end of August. For now, there's no indication that Air America has found a new home in the nation's biggest market.

In addition, Rhodes and Gaulin pushed for a truly twisted indemnification clause, which would protect Randi from damages caused by Randi's own weird behavior!

One of the biggest fights has been over her huge program budget, which has escalated to $900,000 annually and is exclusive of her own salary. Many syndicated hosts with shows of her size are lucky to have a staff budget of one-tenth that amount, but this didn't stop Randi & Co. from pushing to have many of her program's basic expenses excluded from that cap.

For some crazy reason, Air America has always believed that its talk hosts need "writers" and how many each personality is assigned seems to indicate how "important" they are to the company. Even though non-AAR shows generally don't use them, here, they've long insisted upon this expensive option.

That's why to Rhodes, fighting to maintain the budget was just as important as the newly- trebled salary she has been able to secure (more on this in part two).

Adding to her exercise in egotism: a successful insistance on a new car- and- driver service to shuttle this limousine- liberal around Manhattan in style. You won't find Randi on the subway anytime soon!

Not stopping there, Air America has now been compelled to spring for personal image- oriented services, including both a stylist and makeup person. For radio, that may seem odd, but Randi's recently been working hard to beef up her television appearances.

*** To Be Continued ***

NOTE: Information used for this series has been provided by a longtime and reliable internal source who has supplied documented evidence to support the claims.

BREAKING: Air America President Gary Krantz has just exited the network. Details to come, including our own bizarre and previously unreported recent experiences with him.

Welcome to readers from National Review's Media Blog as well as Viking Pundit!

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How To Lose NY: David A Lunde, Driving Miss Randi, RandiHummer, SugarDaddy: Pete at IHillary for the Radio Equalizer

22 June 2006

Randi Rhodes, New Contract Signed, Air America Radio


Outrageous Terms And Perks Mark New Contract

*** NOTE: There is a newer post on this subject ***

So that Randi Rhodes can enjoy her fat new contract, how many Air America staffers will lose their jobs?

Just as Air America Radio has been forced to determine where to cut 20% of its budget, the Bush- bashing host has demanded and received an outrageous new deal that only Al Franken could truly admire.

While we put together our full report, the Radio Equalizer has a note of caution: do not believe the media spin you're likely to see regarding the terms of her agreement.

As the truth will be far too embarrassing for the shameless Rhodes to honestly reveal to her listeners and co-workers, expect deception.

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Images: David A Lunde

Bill Handel, KFI, Los Angeles


KFI - Los Angeles Reaches First Place

In Southern California, conservative radio has reached a new ratings high: first place.

That would be KFI-AM we're talking about, home of Rush Limbaugh and morning host Bill Handel.

With an overall share of 4.9 revealed in the lastest monthly Arbitron trend report, KFI has rocketed into the number one position, surpassing Spanish language formats and FM music stations. As far as we can tell, it's the first time this has occurred in Los Angeles.

Because these figures represent the second phase of the all- important spring ratings period, to see if this holds, we'll have to wait until the full book is released next month.

Meanwhile, liberal Air America Radio affiliate KTLK turned in a flat 1.0 share and long- dormant KABC scored another 2.2 among all listeners 12 and older.

For any English- based radio format, overcoming the near- total dominance of Spanish radio in Southern California has always been extremely difficult.

According to Inside Radio, Handel's morning show played a major role in KFI's sudden upsurge. Moving from 5.6, to a 6.1 share month- to- month, the controversial conservative talker's now in first place in the LA market.

While there has been some minor tinkering by Arbitron over its ratings calculation formulas, the Radio Equalizer wonders if the massive publicity and controversy over Handel's Muslim jokes earlier this year has contributed to his increased popularity.

While Handel and KFI faced immense pressure from Islamic extremist group CAIR over the incident, the longtime morning host was ultimately able to hang on to his job.

If these numbers hold for another month, KFI, Rush and Handel will truly have new bragging rights.

ELSEWHERE: after nearly a year of intense bickering and outrageous demands, Randi Rhodes and Air America have apparently finally come to a contract renewal agreement. For exclusive details, check back with the Radio Equalizer, very soon.

Randi hopes you won't!

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