The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

07 October 2006

Conservatize Me, Michael Medved, Talk Radio, Seattle


Claim: Hates FOX News, Finds Other Hosts Embarrassing

Is syndicated talk host Michael Medved really a closet lefty?

Reviving an occasional past debate about the talker / columnist's true political leanings, a new book by leftist author John Moe portrays Medved as someone with an awful lot of negative things to say about the conservative media, according to the liberal Blatherwatch talk radio blog.

Moe's book, Conservatize Me: How I Tried to Become a Righty with the Help of Richard Nixon, Sean Hannity, Toby Keith, and Beef Jerky, features a novel concept: a 30 day immersion into "right- wing culture" to see what effect it would have on his Seattle sensibilities (or rather, lack of them).

The problem, of course, is that this concept is based primarily on cartoonish stereotypes of what conservatives actually enjoy. From someone living comfortably inside Seattle's sheltered, liberal bubble- world, what more could be expected? Not everybody on the right is necessarily listening to country music, driving a Hummer or spending weekends watching NASCAR.

Your Radio Equalizer, however, knows that it isn't easy explaining that fact to insular, provincial Seattleites, some of whom haven't left town in years and tend to look down upon other Washington state communities (where Rainier Beer is a lot more common than $4.50 lattes).

But Moe deserves credit for being open to experiences rarely considered by notoriously closed- minded Emerald City residents.

That, of course, brings us back to Medved, who apparently comes across as either an ideological faker and / or someone who is bitter regarding the success of others. A fair question, however, is to what extent a person must adhere to a certain set of lifestyle likes and dislikes in order to "fit in" with the cause.

Lefties are notoriously intolerant in this regard, for instance, admitting to eating meat (or even consuming dairy products) in Berkeley or Santa Cruz these days can lead to outright social ostracism.

Ordinarily, the account of a lefty book author alone wouldn't get much credence here, but your Radio Equalizer has past personal experiences to consider as well, some of which match Moe's contentions.

From Blatherwatch:

But Medved delivered to Moe what would be a scoop to BlatherWatch (pathetic as our scoops are) by confiding that he is a big fan of NPR- especially the newscasts, Morning Edition, and All Things Considered, which he listens to every day.

Everybody's heard Medved say on-air that he listens to NPR, and he frequently makes one of his repetitious little jokes, calling it National People's Radio, or when he's feeling his Zionist oats, he'll call it National Palestinian Radio. (John Carlson sometimes refers to All Things Distorted.

Maybe he was just lubing Moe, who works for NPR, but Medved really likes it, "He considers NPR the best source of news available on the radio, and better than newspapers in many cases."

Medved, in turns out, isn't much of a fan of Fox News; despite (or maybe because of) the fact that he used to work for another Rupert Murdoch enterprise, The New York Post as chief movie critic.

As a matter of fact, he and Steiner both dislike Fox News, and were that day, Moe reports, "morbidly interested" in how poor Fox's coverage was, flipping the studio TV back and forth between Fox and CNN.

He told Moe: "One of the things that people like to do is talk about 'conservative talk radio and Fox News'. First of all we're not fans of Fox News on my show. I know a lot of other talk show hosts who are not fans of Fox News and all of us are different. Talking about conservative talk radio as a unit is a mirror image of people talking about the 'liberal media." There is a difference between Pacifica (Radio) and NPR, thank God.

"I hope that everybody would make a distinction between the Michael Medved Show and the Michael Savage Show. Savage is an embarrassment. He's an embarrassment to our industry. He's an embarrassment to the human race. Basically I don't think he's for real. I really do believe the stuff I say on the air, I care about it. It's who I am. It's my life. I don't think it's true for him. I think he's playing a role on the radio. I think he's created a character and maybe that character has taken over.

Medved wasn't so complimentary to Limbaugh and Hannity. "Occasionally there will be stuff that I'll hear on the Limbaugh show that will embarrass me but I think it's wrong to equate Rush and Michael Savage. I think it's wrong to equate Rush and Sean Hannity. Rush is sophisticated, extremely well-read, smart, and don't ask me about that other show."

"You mean Hannity?" Moe asked.

"It's different," he said. Moe writes it was clear that "different" was not complimentary.

That's pretty damning, isn't it? Fine, not every conservative is compelled to like FOX News, but what exactly does Rush Limbaugh (who is quite tame these days) do on the air that is ever embarrassing?

And why the attack on Hannity? In June, your Radio Equalizer sat at a restaurant table for several hours with Hannity, Medved and a group of other radio professionals in Manhattan. Sitting right next to Sean for most of the evening was Michael himself and there was no apparent indication of personal dislike on either end.

Also in the personal experiences category, your Radio Equalizer has worked with Medved in two different station settings and observed some of the same curious ideological ambiguities as those indicated in Moe's book. And beyond that, Medved has a bad habit of seeing himself as the only sensible person in a land of extremists.

While he could call himself a "moderate", some of these statements seem to go a lot further than where a mere centrist would stand.

If conservatives were to seize upon one particular statement here, it would be the assertion that there is a distinct difference between NPR and Pacifica Radio. Perhaps there may be in the tone of their presentations, but otherwise, one is merely slightly more to the left than the other. Would anybody on the right ever "thank God" for that?

In the end, does any of this really matter? In fact, it does, from the standpoint that it's important to know who's legit in this business and who isn't.

After the initial wave of conservative talk radio success led by Rush Limbaugh in the early 1990s, a number of people jumped on board, including some with questionable backgrounds. Now, we're even seeing a few suspect individuals claiming to be on the left in order to get "progressive" talk shows. There is fakery on all sides.

While the jury's still out on Medved, Moe's book adds to previous questions about his leanings, which he should answer honestly. So far, there's been no response to the book on his blog, but we hope that will soon change.

If Moe has it wrong, we should hear about it.

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  • Medved has been preaching the conservative message on his hideous radio show for years but that isn't good enough for self-righteous Maloney.

    By Blogger none, at 07 October, 2006 11:43  

  • I watched for my Friday night Huge air america update.

    I'm so, so disappointed it didn't get here last night.

    By Blogger TJ, at 07 October, 2006 13:37  

  • I wouldn't be surprised.

    But for Medved to call Savage a disgrace to the human race? WHAT A DEADHEAD! In fact if Savage gets wind of this that's what he should call Medved!

    Now Al Franken, Randi Rhodes, in fact Air America Radio--NOW THAT'S A DISGRACE TO THE HUMAN RACE!

    By Blogger The Real Bob Anthony, at 08 October, 2006 10:12  

  • Conservative talk radio is a glorious mosaic!

    By Blogger Greg Toombs, at 08 October, 2006 12:34  

  • Zionazi blather. Pay no attention, folks.

    Just a distraction from torture domes and pedophiles.

    By Blogger hashfanatic, at 08 October, 2006 15:02  

  • "Lefties are notoriously intolerant in this regard, for instance, admitting to eating meat (or even consuming dairy products) in Berkeley or Santa Cruz these days can lead to outright social ostracism."

    Now who's stereotyping. I know many people who are on the left among my dozens of friends, and NONE of them are vegetarians or vegans. Personally, I can't stand vegetarianism, but personally vegetarians are usually NOT evangelistic about it. Do you just pull this stuff out of your ass? What a silly rhetorical question that was.

    No, I don't live in Berkeley, Santa Cruz or Seattle. But I would live in any of those places. And eat a nice big juicy hunk of charred cattle flesh while walking down the street proudly. (Okay, it'd probably have to be a steak sandwich if I was walking with it.) And I bet the other lefties living there wouldn't even care.

    By Blogger Scott, at 09 October, 2006 07:43  

  • Medved has recently posited that no good can come from defying Obama Care and the Congress forwarding a budget to the presidents desk which has zero funding for Obama care. In my view, Medved has become an apologist for Obama and his lap dogs ... a wolf in sheep's clothing, a closet progressive planted by some leftist committee. As to the lose-lose outcome of de-funding Obama Care? ... the same attitude embraced by the Vichy French, the rank-and-file citizens of Hitler Germany ... "nothing can be done ". I thank the Creator that the founders of this country did NOT believe that confronting George III, and arguably the MOST POWERFUL nation on the earth at the time, did NOT dissuade them from defying THAT despot. EVERYTHING worthwhile has a cost.

    Let Obama shut down the government ... forever if necessary ... it will give the other 390 million of us a well deserved break from abusive taxation, rules and illegal search and seizure.

    By Blogger Unknown, at 12 September, 2013 21:52  

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