The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

03 September 2006

Gloria Steinem, Greenstone Media, New York Times


Feminist Claims New Network Isn't "Air America II"

In a Sunday New York Times interview as noteworthy for its evasiveness as what it actually did reveal, ultra- feminist Gloria Steinem swears her new talk radio network won't simply be another version of Air America.

Or does she?

Just when are we to believe Steinem, however? After all, the Radio Equalizer's exclusive previous reporting on GreenStone Media, the venture she's backing along with Rosie O'Donnell, Jane Fonda and Billie Jean King, pointed to very close ties with Franken & Company.

And with players like this involved, how could it not degenerate into leftist / feminist political diatribes, especially after the fluff talk programming currently in place is finished bombing? As one prominent talk radio industry insider recently told the Radio Equalizer, it's an open secret that GreenStone intends to pick up where Air America leaves off.

From our exclusive March report:

How does GreenStone's potential success help Air America? By leasing unused New York City studio and satellite time from Piquant LLC.

After an upfront payment of $25,000, that same amount monthly for the first six and $35,000 for the next six, it gets access to facilities and airtime (not Air America's stations, however).

While that kind of dough will barely cover Al Franken and Billy Kimball's restaurant tabs, Piquant will take anything it can get to stay alive.

Since that March report, we've also learned from an inside source that GreenStone's ties go beyond simply leasing studio time and equipment at Air America's New York City headquarters. Air America staffers have been perplexed to find GreenStone executives assuming vacant offices at the very moment departing AAR executives box up their belongings and leave the building!

But Steinem, O'Donnell, Fonda and the rest of the outfit's backers have never mentioned the Air America connections. As far as we know, only the Radio Equalizer has ever established an ongoing relationship between the two firms.

Steinem is so adamant that GreenStone won't venture into Air America territory that she even goes one step further, actually taking a minor potshot at the liberal talk network:

NYT: So you see your radio network as the female version of Al Franken’s left-leaning Air America Radio?

Steinem: No. No. They are very Washington-directed, very argumentative. What we are doing is more populist, centrist and community-oriented.

Elsewhere in the interview, however, she slips up and does contrast GreenStone's offerings with that of right- wing talkers such as Rush Limbaugh:

NYT: It’s been a generation since you founded Ms. magazine and became the face of American feminism, so why, at this late and supposedly liberated date, do we need GreenStone Media, an all-female, all-talk radio network that you just started with Jane Fonda?

Steinem: The radio has become overbalanced toward the ultraright. AM talk radio does not reflect the fact that only 30 percent of the country, at the most, is anywhere near Rush Limbaugh.

Here, Gloria reveals the real truth about her network: it's a stealth version of Air America, with a temporarily fluffy focus. But when Air America folds, what will stop GreenStone from immediately filling the libtalk gap? Nothing- they'll even have Air America's physical operations at their disposal.

Meanwhile, many in the industry have wondered why GreenStone doesn't seem to have more than a few stations carrying its programming at this point. But that's where Air America again comes into play: when it folds, GreenStone will immediately gain potential access to dozens of affiliates across the country in fast need of programming.

It's no secret that Steinem, Fonda, O'Donnell and the rest are savvy businesspeople with big money to back ventures like GreenStone. And in this case, they're rather like sharks, circling around a wounded lefty radio network.

Who says liberals don't eat their own?

THANKS to the National Review's Kathryn Lopez for linking to this piece today. For more updates on our home page, click here.

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Bottom- right Steinem image: MacKenzie South / New York Times


  • The Times article mentions they had a show recently dedicated to internet dating. Hardly a political topic Maloney.

    By Blogger none, at 03 September, 2006 16:21  

  • The point is that the fluff talk is a cover for where they're really headed after AAR croaks: into political talk.

    By Blogger Brian Maloney, at 03 September, 2006 17:00  

  • If you examine the mass media news and political coverage, there has been a substantial ongoing shift toward the feminization of the news. Instead of telling us the facts and news, the mass media wants to tell us how the events should make us feel.

    This is just another reason why the mass media TV news is dying.

    Good luck, Gloria Steinem. I think we already know how your show's obituary will read.

    By Blogger The Benson Report, at 03 September, 2006 18:55  

  • I see Brian. They will be duping their listeners with the fluff so they can take cheap shots at Bush.

    I would imagine that there will be some subliminal messaging as well. During a relationship segment the listener will hear soundclips of "Bush is a dick" softly in the background.

    By Blogger none, at 03 September, 2006 20:13  

  • Why don't you let the free market decide if the channel is worth listening to? Why must you dictate that this is dangerous? Since the 1990's Republican/Neocon radio and TV has dominated. Many listeners believe these shows are of news and facts... but when something goes wrong, or the spectre of slander and libel come up... these conservative broadcasters hide under the guise of "This is only an entertainment show." Most conservatives boast that liberals have NPR and that gives balance. That is not true anymore, since the new republican leadership of NPR is limiting content now. What is wrong with other points of view?

    Radio is in deep trouble. With many listeners of all ages, going to podcasts, satellite radio, broadcasts from overseas. Unless the conservative programs cater to our immigrant populations... their ad values are going to go into more decline. The rush's, hannity's and beck's of the world really only cater to a population that is easy to terrify, white and Christian.

    A tenet of laissez-faire business practices is to let the listener decide if something should be in business. Why would you let this have that too?

    By Blogger muntz, at 09 September, 2006 19:45  

  • I am definitely anxious to hear the voices on this new network. Feminist opinions need not be leftist or rightist -- women fall on both political sides as well as down the middle.

    As for feminization of the news -- there is only one emotion we are directed to feel, and that is fear. Fear mongering turns seated politicians into saviors, and the conservatives love it as a political tactic.

    By Blogger amaya, at 12 September, 2006 22:48  

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