The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

09 July 2006

Sean Hannity, Ed Schultz, Huffington Post


HuffPo Dems Get Nasty With Lib Talkers, Guests

Are Sean Hannity's left- leaning guests little more than washed- up Beltway or Hollywood dupes who are desperate for the kind of publicity his show can provide?

And is one major lib- talker consistently being outsmarted by the Democrat Party's "conservative" wing and talking points?

In two seperate pieces by Steve Young and R J Eskow, that's the kind of rough treatment Huffington Post contributors are reserving for fellow Dems this weekend.

Why do they seem to be eating their own?

In both cases, these Friends- Of- Arianna (FOA) have their knives sharpened both for Sen. Joe Lieberman (D-CT) and anyone who would dare to defend him. With his supportive stances on the issue of troops in Iraq, he's been a particular target for the the Dean / Sheehan left, as he runs for re-election this year.

In Young's piece, Lieberman is described as "...the only elected Dem who regularly wades into the Hannity mire, which should tell you a lot."

Meanwhile, Eskow uses his space to attack syndicated liberal talker Ed Schultz, for supposedly succumbing to Lieberman's talking points: Ed Schultz - who I always figured would make a great fishing buddy - swallowed Lieberman's nonsense hook, line, and sinker.

Ed can support Lieberman, and we'll still be pals. The problem is that he bought a talking point that was custom-made by Lieberman's handlers, and by the Republicans (if, in fact, the two are different). A savvy talk radio guy should know better.

While I don't have a transcript of Ed's radio show on Air America today, he kept repeating this talking point: "Joe Lieberman says he's voted with the Democrats 90% of the time. If that's true, why isn't that enough? What is enough? 95%? 98%?"

Ed, Ed, Ed. This is wrong in so many ways. First, what does the statement even mean? Is Joe saying he voted with ALL the Democrats 90% of the time? Or is he saying that when all the OTHER Democrats voted one way, he went along with them nine times out of ten? And how many times is that?

If you don't understand a spin point, don't repeat it.

These guys despise Lieberman so much these days, they've almost forgotten to hate Bush!

Eskow repeats many recent leftist criticisms of Schultz: that he's a closet Republican who can't be trusted. Hobnobbing with the likes of Lieberman has probably done much to reinforce that view.

Young, meanwhile, reserves his anger primarily for those "dumb enough" to appear on Hannity's show, essentially calling Susan Estrich, Bob Beckel, Lanny Davis and others foolish for supposedly playing into Sean's hands:

So pounded by the Right, with Hannity and Fox News mate O'Reilly leading the way, it's become a given, even by many of those in the media. Want proof? Watch the MSM™ Sunday morning talk shows.

The Formula is perhaps the top reason why liberal talk radio that mimics the right just doesn't work - certainly not any way near as well. The liberal audience scoffs at anything that plays one note. That song doesn't pass the whole truth smell test and gets boring very quickly. A little like disco or so-called patriotic country western.

But the Right eats it up.

For a Democrat to appear at all on Hannity it feeds right into this equation and Sean's hands. Although ridiculed by many on the Left, it might just be that Alan Colmes handles it best because, by show rule, Sean doesn't get to interrupt (that much). But even for Alan to reveal some distortion Sean has hammered into place, it takes being on every night.

That Democrats who continue to come on Hannity don't get the math is unfathomable. They can't be that stupid. That they've traded their principles for a piece of the Right side of the pie is unforgivable, and if nothing else, they should have their Democratic credentials pulled.

I'm not saying that we should drop fighting the good fight intellectually, but if you're bent on using it on Hannity, the stupid one will not be Hannity.

In the subsequent comments section, some have challenged Young over his admission that he's no longer invited to be a guest on Hannity's show. Is it a case of sour grapes?

At the same time, he never answers the question of how Democrats would improve their fortunes by boycotting Sean's program. Isn't some presence better than none at all?

And of course, the (GOP) elephant in the room in Young's piece is the indirect admission that Democrat opponents simply can't beat Hannity in a debate.

Even if his contention is that the forum provides a stacked deck against liberal guests, it's really up to the left to hone their skills in order to counteract it, rather than taking their marbles and heading home.

NOTE: R J Eskow responds below, click the reader responses section to see it.

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Hannity / Davis / KABC photo: HuffPo


  • You do me - and more importantly, Schultz - a serious disservice by your sloppy reading of my piece.

    "Eskow repeats many recent leftist criticisms of Schultz: that he's a closet Republican who can't be trusted."

    Actually, I'm very complimentary of Schultz. I explicitly do NOT repeat these "leftist criticisms." Many of my commenters do -- to the point that I added an update to refute them.

    I think Ed's a good guy. I say so explicitly. You owe both of us an apology for not reading - and writing - more carefully.

    By Blogger RJ Eskow, at 09 July, 2006 14:22  

  • Face it, the Dem's expect their little follower's to do as they say. Free speech is cited by Dem's when they want to make an ass out of themselves, but when another Dem has an opinion that conflicts with 2 Demster's, he is attacked.Free speech? You guys get funnier by the minute..............

    By Blogger Owen, at 09 July, 2006 17:10  

  • Hve you forgotten how fellow Republicans and conservative bloggers attacked the couple of senators who were opposing the Bolton nomination?

    Apparently so.

    By Blogger none, at 09 July, 2006 18:07  

  • RJ, it's pretty clear in the piece that you're sharply critical of Schultz.

    You accused him of providing a weak defense of Lieberman, one that follows establishment talking points:

    "The problem is that he bought a talking point that was custom-made by Lieberman's handlers, and by the Republicans (if, in fact, the two are different). A savvy talk radio guy should know better."

    Don't see how I misread that, R J. That paragraph very much echoes criticisms of Schultz I've seen from the left elsewhere on the Internet.

    By Blogger Brian Maloney, at 09 July, 2006 18:14  

  • I am surprised by R K's concern about sloppy reading. I thought Brian was right on the money. So I went back and re-read R K's article.

    Besides the legitimate response made by Brian, I noticed several other comments in the article that cause confustion regarding the author's view toward Ed Schultz. For instance:

    * Two usually reliable sources went way off-track this week

    * Ed, Ed, Ed. This is wrong in so many ways. First, what does the statement even mean?

    * If you don't understand a spin point, don't repeat it.

    * Ed, buddy, I love ya - but don't buy into this nonsense.

    * Ed, I'm Jewish ... I take offense, pal. This is old-fashioned ethnic stereotyping.

    * So how about knocking off all this nonsense

    If this article is really a compliment to Ed, then I shudder to think what would a criticism would look like.

    By Blogger The Benson Report, at 09 July, 2006 18:33  

  • You write that I say Schultz is "a closet Republican that can't be trusted." I wrote the opposite - that he's a "usually reliable source." What part of your mistake don't you understand?

    Yes, I'm critical of Schultz. You and your commenters should take note that I never denied that. That was my point!

    But not only didn't I echo the "usual lefty" spin" that he's a "closet Republican," but I said he'd a "great fishing buddy", that "we'll still be pals if (Ed) supports Lieberman," that "you'll come around like you did when you stopped being a conservative," and that "Ed, buddy, I love ya."

    I wrote that you got sloppy. That's the generous interpretation. The other is that you've got an ethics problem. That's the appropriate term when somebody deliberately misrepresents another's words.

    If you were a careless reader, the right thing to do is to apologize and move on. If you were unethical, that's duly noted.

    So, Brian - which is it?

    By Blogger RJ Eskow, at 09 July, 2006 19:27  

  • RJ,

    I read your article and hardly considered it as an attack of Ed. As usual this blog exaggerates the facts in order to build support for the RNC talking point that there are trouble in the ranks of the Democrats.(Yawn)

    It is quite reasonable for the voters of the RNC and DNC to hold their candiates accountable for their voting record in the primaries and Lieberman has been on the side of the RNC on key issues.

    That being said I don't think an apology is warranted since this is the blogosphere and people write hyped up garbage all the time.

    By Blogger none, at 09 July, 2006 20:35  

  • RJ.

    I can answer your question on Brian's behalf. He's unethical.

    Just in the past weeks he has claimed to have secret sources at Air America Radio which would divulge important news of Randi Rhodes contract. He even did a part one which was all teaser. Not one fact that Randi herself was not reporting. When time came for part two... nothing.

    Brian has never disclosed who pays the bills for this blog ther has been some conjecture here that political opponents of Al Franken fund this site.

    Further, this site claims to cut through media spin, it seems to me that he only adds to the spin. Your criticisms of Ed Schultz are not the generic left criticisms, which I happen to share, but rather, are specific to the use of specific taliking points. Brian knows this but it would not make for an interesting story.

    Finally, several days ago, based on comments at this site that posts attributed to a well known radio host is that of an imposter, I asked this blog if people here suspected that the poster known as "samseder", was, in fact, Brian Maloney.

    Since that time "samseder" has not posted. One wonders if Mr Maloney was caught in a serious breach of ethics, impersonating a subject of his reporting, and decided to "lay low".

    Mr. Maloney must come clean on these issues or his entire site's credibility is nil.

    By Blogger TED, at 09 July, 2006 21:11  

  • Ted -

    Hello Ted... Hello?

    Brian has never disclosed who pays the bills for this blog

    Blogger is free Free got it, Free

    SadSam Seder is a moron, (whether he's the real Sam Seder, or not), but he's not Brian. By the way, I don't recall anyone agreeing with your conjecture. I suspect that you're Randi Rhodes, anybody here agree with me? No? That must make it true then. By the way, it appears recently that (the 'real') Sam Seder has been doing everybody's show in Air America. Perhaps he's too busy to make up something stupid enough to post here.

    As for the funding... you say, "ther (sic) has been some conjecture here that political opponents of Al Franken fund this site."

    Well, two points:

    1. No one has to pay me, or a lot of other people to dislike Señor Franken.
    2. Ever wonder who pays the bills at KOS, which isn't on a free server.... There's been a lot of
    conjecture that it must be the Martians who pay the bills at KOS, but that doesn't make it true....

    Why do you guys always go for personal attacks? Yeesh.

    By Blogger Lokki, at 09 July, 2006 22:20  

  • I'll stick up for Eskow, a little bit. He never did EXPLICITY call Schultz a "closet Republican." He did, however, claim that "he's a right-winger and a neoconservative."

    That one sentence fits right into the new and improved Huff Po agenda.

    Read the comments on any post at Huff & Puff, and you see that among the bloggers that now control the left side of the internet, Huff Po is completely lacking in "street cred." "Completely useless" is the most common description.

    Huff & Puff is late to the game for what true liberals want to read about. KOS made an ad for Lamont weeks ago. The FOA's came in way after the fact.

    In an attempt to recover with the Kossacks and DUers, not to mention Ariana's real audience, any advertiser's whe can get a couple bucks from, HuffPo has attacked Tim Russert for months. Chris Matthews is a recent addition to the hit list, as are Leiberman and anyone who may be in his corner.

    Don't take any of the postings too seriously. Eskow is a prime example of one who writes on thing on Ari's site, then attempts to back peddle somewhere else. Mostly because, like a majority of the FOA's, he doesn't seem that sold on his posting.

    By Blogger Scott, at 09 July, 2006 22:42  

  • Lokki,

    First off, you saying that Brian Maloney does not post under other identities here certainly is not dispositive. How could you possibly know. I think Mr. Maloney should address the charge. Or has he, Lokki?

    Secondly, it is well known that Maloney has been unemployed for some time and only recently did he begin to use blogads. I am not the first person here to question whether he is on the payroll of a politician (I apologize if I was unclear earlier).

    Finally, why do you have no response as to Mr. Maloney's vaunted part two of the Randi Rhodes story? You claim to know that he doesn't post under aliases. You claim to know that he isn't paid to blog on certain topics. Why don't you know about this part 2.

    Posting in your comments section under various names is certainly no crime. I don't even think it unethical, Lokki (if that is your only identity), but I think you'd agree, posting as a subject of your reporting certainly is unethical.

    By Blogger TED, at 09 July, 2006 23:03  

  • Scott, thanks for the half of what you said that's a defense. As for my saying that Schultz is a "right-winger" and a "conservative" - wrong again.

    Show me the sentence where I say that, and I'll donate $100 to Lieberman's camapign.

    I say LIEBERMAN is a "neocon right-winger and a conservative." I say Ed "used to be a conservative."

    Jeez, you guys are all going to fail reading comprehension.

    By Blogger RJ Eskow, at 09 July, 2006 23:14  

  • Getting back to R J's original complaint that Brian owes him and Ed an apology for not reading the article thoroughly:

    Based on the responses so far, it certainly appears that there is substantial confusion on what the main thrust of the article really was. Perphaps some of the comments (fishing buddy, etc.) were overpowered by comments about ethnic stereotyping, etc. The author has one view and some of the readers have another.

    By Blogger The Benson Report, at 10 July, 2006 00:06  

  • Nice try, Benson Report. At least you're not calling me "RK" anymore, which means you've stepped up your proofreading skills.

    But not much. Why such tortured and weak defenses instead of just saying "I was wrong"? Honestly!

    Now you're using your own misrepresentations as proof there's something wrong with the article!


    By Blogger RJ Eskow, at 10 July, 2006 00:28  

  • R.J.
    Anybody that has followed this blog for any length of time can surmise that B.M. is hen-pecked. Apparently his wife went to school with former Air America host and co-founder Lizz Winstead, and something about the relationship has forced B.M. to go on a constant AAR attack.

    Beyond that, it's an absurdly unintentionally funny web site that keeps its purity at extreme levels.

    By Blogger @whut, at 10 July, 2006 00:38  

  • Ted-

    I don't have a reason for why there's been no follow up on the Randi Rhodes story, since I don't know why.

    However, I do have a response for you - So What?

    The news is funny stuff, Ted. It doesn't always follow a schedule. It changes too - sometimes what you thought was going to happen doesn't happen. Sometimes you decide not to write a second story. Sometimes there's something more interesting about to happen that makes it worth delaying publication so as to include that element. I can only speculate. However, unless it's an important element of your conspiracy theory, any story about Randi Rhodes is not very important stuff. So, who, except for you, who really cares much?
    You're simply using it as another reason to attack Mr Maloney. Strung together with your other little gems, you've made quite a fantasy necklace.

    As your charge regarding Brian posting under different names here; generally the burden of proof falls on the person making the accusation. What, exactly,(in detail, please) do you have that supports your thesis? An analysis of vowel useage? Certain sibilants surreptitiously avoided? What? A feeling in your gut can't be considered proof as that may be just be the result of too many sour apples.

    As I pointed out earlier - it's easy to make charges...(Ms. Rhodesit's proof for your theories that you're failing to provide.

    By Blogger Lokki, at 10 July, 2006 08:48  

  • RJ, actually that line in my post is a typo. In editing my comments I inadvertantly left out "of Leiberman".

    Not sure, however, why you seem to be so angry about the way a small group of conservatives view your opinion. Near as I can tell, it wasn't written for us.

    By Blogger Scott, at 10 July, 2006 08:52  

  • RK said "Why such tortured and weak defenses instead of just saying "I was wrong"? Honestly!"

    OK, you were wrong! Happy now?

    This is just another example of your confusing grammar skills. You think you are 100% clear, but your reading audience is scratching their collective heads wondering what in the world you are trying to say.

    Sounds like John Kerry jr. - I actually liked Ed Schultz before I slammed Ed Schultz.

    (but I like him now)

    By Blogger The Benson Report, at 10 July, 2006 11:56  

  • With friends like that, who needs enemies? But that maybe what Lieberman starts thinking too. Which will drive the moonbats further into the oblivion they have worked so hard to obtain.

    By Blogger Seriouslyunserious, at 10 July, 2006 12:34  

  • Having no "dog in this fight", I just wanted to confirm two radio-related comments about this situation:

    * Ed Schultz, Stephanie Miller and for that matter, Bill Press, are all syndicated by Jones Radio.

    I don't know who "owns" Press' show, but Ed's show is owned by "Product 1st" (P1)...which bought the show from Democracy Radio, the originator, a few months back.

    Steph's show is owned by WYD Entertainment.

    None of the above shows have been associated with Air America, aside from sharing affiliates with the AAR folks...including some local stations which use the "Air America" branding full-time.

    None of these stations are owned by Piquant LLC, the parent company of Air America Radio. (This doesn't include the Nova M effort by Sheldon Drobny...I think Sheldon's up to two stations right now under his control or ownership.)

    I hope that clears up that often confusing world.

    * No one's "paying Brian's bills", at least when it comes to Blogger. It's 100% free to the blog owner. Thankfully, as I couldn't afford OMW right now!


    By Blogger Ohio Media Watch, at 14 July, 2006 00:39  

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