The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

31 December 2006

Boston, Air America Radio Cancellation, Petition Drive


Boston Libtalk Fans Hope To Bring Back Dead Stations

Hoping to do for Boston what "progressive" counterparts were able to achieve in Madison, a group of liberal talk radio fans have launched an effort to bring the format back to Eastern Massachusetts.

Given the same economic realities that have doomed libtalk in so many other cities, however, do they really have a chance?

After all, the previous Air America Radio simulcast generated rock- bottom ratings and failed to attract advertisers. Both stations have now been replaced by Spanish programming.

Initiating a petition drive, "Save Boston's Progressive Talk" has issued this statement:

Hey! What happened to "Progressive Talk"?

Clear Channel has again dropped the Progressive format, this time from Boston's two simulcast stations, WKOX - 1200 AM and WXKS - 1430 AM, also known as "Boston's Progressive Talk". Among those featured on the stations were shows hosted by Al Franken, Randi Rhodes, Rachel Maddow, Bobby Kennedy Jr., Sam Seder, Laura Flanders and Thom Hartmann, all part of Air America programming; as well as Stephanie Miller and Ed Schultz from the Jones Radio Network.

"Boston's Progressive Talk" has been the only format of its kind here, since it debuted in late 2004. In a world where over 90% of talk shows are conservative, Boston's Progressive Talk provided viewpoints seldom heard on Boston radio. It has been a vital source for news, current events and issues of importance to this progressively leaning area. Unfortunately, weak signal strength (down to 1kW at sundown), poor management, unprofessional sounding automation, lack of local programming and advertising, and virtually no local hosts, sales staff or publicity have kept the stations from succeeding the way we know they could.

Finally, in a shocking move, without warning or regard for Progressive Talk's audience or any chance to further promote and preserve the format, Clear Channel has dropped progressive talk as of noon Thursday, December 21, 2006 and changed over to a Spanish-language format. Ironically, only a few days before, the station had sent out a survey to listeners, asking about future preferences for the progressive show line-up.

Here in Boston, progressives are the majority. It is absurd to think that we cannot sell progressive radio here. We must let Clear Channel know how much we need and value progressive radio in Boston. The airwaves belong to the people, to serve the public interest -- which includes serving the local community as well as offering an opportunity to hear diverse points of view. While there are already other Spanish-program stations in the Boston market and numerous conservative talk radio stations and shows, there are NO OTHER progressive talk stations here and other media are not giving progressive issues and points of view any coverage. It is for these reasons that WE URGE Clear Channel Radio to reinstate Progressive Talk Radio in Boston!

Funny enough, blasting Clear Channel's management for being incompetent might seem counterproductive, but that's exactly what seemed to work in Madison. The problem is that the company put more time, money and effort into making libtalk succeed than anyone else by far.

And yesterday, the Boston Herald noted their new effort:

Defenders of liberal talk fight to keep it on airwaves

By Jesse Noyes
Boston Herald Business Reporter
Saturday, December 30, 2006 - Updated: 02:10 PM EST

A newly formed local group is planning to fight a decision by radio broadcaster Clear Channel to drop liberal talk from Boston’s airwaves.

“I think it’s absurd and defies reason to think that progressive talk wouldn’t work in the market,” said Robin Bergman, who is heading up a group called Save Boston Progressive Talk. Bergman’s group plans to petition Clear Channel to put the liberal talk format back on WKOX-AM (1200) and WXKS-AM (1430).

Until recently, those frequencies carried programming from the bankrupt Air America Radio network, which has hosts like Al Franken, and the Jones Radio network, which features liberal talker Ed Schultz. But those programs were dumped for a Spanish-language music format.

Now Bergman - who owns an arts and crafts business called Robin’s Originals in West Concord - is leading a group of protesters to pressure Clear Channel into restoring the liberal talk format.

Bergman started an online forum last week, which already has over 150 members. Earlier this week, the group launched the Web site and started an online petition.

Bergman said she hopes to get 5,000 people to sign the petition before submitting it to Clear Channel. “In an area like Boston there’s no reason that we couldn’t get thousands and thousands of signatures,” she said.

The group is also holding meetings. On Wednesday about 20 people met at Panera’s restaurant in Watertown in an effort to organize a grassroots protest group. Another meeting is scheduled for Jan. 8 at the same restaurant.

The oft- repeated mantra of Boston- area progressives has been that progtalk didn't work because both stations had weak signal strength. But between them, there should have been enough daytime coverage to reach many of the heavily- populated areas. While still a hurdle, the signal issue could have been overcome through a grass- roots effort to alert local libs that the stations existed.

And that's where the same questions come up just as they did in Madison: where were you people a year ago? How much effort did you put into getting the word out to potential listeners and advertisers when it was clear your favorite stations were in trouble?

Through blogs, newspapers, political groups and by word of mouth, it could have been possible to boost the standings of these stations long ago.

Instead, inspired by the strange situation in Madison, local libtalk fans want the company to revisit a failed format that didn't attract listeners or sponsors while it was on the air. What would be different this time? Where are the advertisers?

Most of all, after Air America is finished with its restructuring, how would a full programming day be filled, anyway?

Given the success progressives had in Wisconsin, we don't blame their counterparts in Massachusetts for giving this a try. At the same time, since the format has already been switched to La Rumba, it seems hard to believe this effort will get very far.

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29 December 2006

Saddam Hussein Execution, Iraq, Talk Radio


Saddam's Execution Brings End To Brutal Era

*** Update below: HuffPo writer goes off deep end! ***

With Saddam Hussein's execution just minutes away, cable news networks have been well- positioned to capture the interest of Americans who ordinarily wouldn't be paying much attention to the news during a holiday week.

Update: it's over and was filmed! As of yet, no violence, only celebrations in Iraq. More here. FOX: Iraqi- Americans cheer execution

For talk radio, however, it's yet another squandered opportunity during evening hours when most are running syndicated reruns these days.

Meanwhile, executives for the major television networks were unsure as to how they should proceed with these fast- breaking developments, reports the New York Times.

At the FOX News Channel, Bill O'Reilly has been busy monitoring the situation tonight, while his foes at the Huffington Post are busy doing the same kind of hand- wringing we've seen so often from them since September 11.

Countering their sad attempts to minimize Saddam's reign of terror is the Boston Herald, which has published a particularly astute personal account of life under Hussein's tyranny:

Iraq native: ’It’s about time justice came down’

By O’Ryan Johnson
Friday, December 29, 2006 - Updated: 08:20 PM EST

Anwart Diab, 67, of Natick was born in Iraq and lived in Baghdad most of his life. In 1980 he had seen enough of Saddam Hussein’s beheadings, executions and mass graves. He worked as a government official in a state-run construction business from 1970 to 1980. He says he met then-Vice President Saddam Hussein on a few occasions and was still employed by the government during Saddam’s bloody power grab in 1979.

Diab left Iraq in 1980 to get a management degree in the United States. He opposes capital punishment, he says, but supports Hussein’s execution.

“My feeling is that it’s about time that justice came down. I personally am against capital punishment, but there is an issue with ethnic cleansing, there’s mass graves, there’s persecution on a grand scale. He’s not a common criminal.

“I was a government official from 1970 to 1980. Saddam was a strong vice president. Everybody feared him. In official meetings I had the chance to see him. He inspired awe. He inspired fear. He was the master manipulator. The master of the carrot and the stick. Those he could not buy, he would just execute.

“For instance a doctor from Tikrit, Raji al-Tikrit, he was executed by launching on him wild dogs. (Saddam) used to behead women that were accused of being prostitutes and leave their bodies without their heads in front of their families’ homes.

“Or somebody would get executed and he would demand the bullet back from his family. . . . He used to publicize that to inspire fear. You know (the novel) ‘1984.’ Iraq is a dramatization of ‘1984.’ He was the Big Brother.

“The insurgency. This has nothing to do with them. The Islamists, they don’t care about Saddam. They care about defeating the U.S. That’s the aim. Saddam is immaterial.

“The second point is there’s a vast silent majority in Iraq. The silent majority, the vast majority of the silent majority, supports the execution. (Carrying this) out . . . gives (credibility) to the government. Saddam, let’s not forget, his main source of power was he created an awe and respect and fear inside the people.

“The government in Iraq . . . will gain respect from the people through this execution. The government is looked on as a paper tiger. A government that’s a paper tiger goes nowhere. A real tiger is a source of respect.

“Besides again, the story is that this is thousands of murders. Not one or two. Every day there were mass graves.”

From O'Reilly's latest report:

It is about 4 a.m. in Iraq and Saddam's fate is now in the hands of his countrymen, as American officials have or soon will hand him over to the Iraqi Central Authority in Baghdad.

We learned while we were in Iraq a couple of weeks ago that Saddam was being held near Camp Victory on the outskirts of Baghdad by U.S. forces. But, since the Iraqi justice system has condemned Hussein to death, the Iraqis themselves will execute him. And that's good because the people Saddam brutalized should take care of him.

Now, some people are objecting to Saddam's execution. I myself oppose capital punishment, but I also understand that in cases involving crimes against humanity — like this one — a statement has to be made to the world.

There is no difference between Saddam and the Nazis who were executed at Nuremberg. Mass murder is mass murder. Evil people who destroy thousands of lives must be held to account.

Politically, the government of Iraq must show the world that it is viable and this is a step in that direction.

From the Huffington Post's Sheldon Drobny, an Air America co-founder:

Sheldon Drobny

December 29, 2006: A Typical Day In Baghdad

While the MSM is reporting about the insane plan to execute Saddam Hussein, there is not a whimper about the consequences of executing him and making him a martyr. Any sane U.S. President would order him to be tried as an international war criminal by the World Court. The problem is we have a mentally unstable President who should also be tried by the same court.

In the meantime, life (and death) goes on in Baghdad.

Below is an email I received today from an investgative reporter who is working with John Loftus and Nova M Radio to get the truth out to the American people that is not being fully reported by the MSM. It is yet another reason to support the disssemination of the truth by independent media. I have redacted some of the expletives.


>> Bagdhad is grim as hell. At the moment I'm scuttling
>> from dead body to
>> dead body. Everywhere, miserable f-ing people with
>> miserable f-ing
>> stories and no hope for the future.
>> This city has gone from bad to worse. Christmas Day,
>> some Shiite kid
>> got shot down in his bakery by Sunni gunmen and we
>> turned up at the
>> scene a few minutes later; the blood was still wet
>> on the floor and
>> the body had been dragged out in the street. His
>> mother, little
>> brother and sister were mourning over the corpse. I
>> felt like a crap.
>> for taking photos, but I did it anyway because it
>> seemed important.

And from the HuffPo's Raed Jarrar:

Raed Jarrar

There Is No Victory in Saddam's Execution

Although news reports everywhere are contradicting themselves during this fluid situation, the truth is Saddam might be hanged very soon, within the next few hours or days.

This comes at a time when the Bush project is collapsing in Iraq. On the American side, the number of U.S. troops killed will reach to 3000 in the next few days.
On the Iraqi side, new attempts to create a pro-occupation coalition in the Iraqi government (led by Hakim, Hashimi, and Talbani-Barazani) failed after Sistani rejected the idea and refused to give his blessings. At the same time, an anti-occupation coalition is emerging inside and outside the Iraqi government and will include everyone except the failed pro-occupation alliance.

Clearly, there are problems.

* At the same time that millions of Iraqis were and are still being killed, injured, and displaced because of the U.S. interventions;

* At the same time that the Iraqi social fabric is being destroyed and turned into fragments;

* At the same time that the state Iraq is being literally "wiped off the map" and cut apart;

And here, the unhinged-athon continues at Arianna's Fun House, with Russell Shaw jumping in as well.

Between the Iraqis and Americans alike, it doesn't appear the angry left is going to gain much traction with this line of "reasoning". But we're not surprised they're giving it a try anyway.

Meanwhile, it's too bad talk radio is in such a damaged state these days, otherwise it could join the cable networks in celebration of a major accomplishment: the elimination of one of the world's greatest- ever tyrants.

UPDATE: post- hanging, they're burning up over at the HuffPo! Get a load of this new one:

Martin Lewis

WELL HUNG! Saddam Hung To Prove Bush is BETTER Hung... (Than His Dad)

bush1.jpg (Photo of well-hung leader by

We Got Him!!!! Only $354 Billion & 3,000 US Military!
(I'd call that a Bargain. The best we've ever had...)

Some thanks are in order:

1) To George W. Bush. It only cost $354 billion (and counting) and the lives of 3,000 very expendable US military to enable the President to demonstrate to his dad that he has a bigger Dick. Or is one...

Isn't it ironic - don'tcha think? Saddam hung so that Dubya can prove that he's BETTER hung...

2) To George H.W. & Barbara Bush for raising a child with such wonderful values.

3) To Dick Cheney. If it wasn't for his remorse about his part in the "failure" in 1991 to kill off Saddam (one of the most-cherished allies of the Reagan-Bush administrations) - he might not have had his "fever" to expend thousands of American lives and hundreds of billions of American tax-payers' dollars getting Saddam this time around.

Meanwhile, here's a dose of sanity from Pirate's Cove. And many updates, including the president's statement, from Kathryn Jean Lopez and the rest of the team at NRO Online.

CNN notes that spectators were cheering and dancing:

Rubaie said the execution was videotaped and photographed extensively from the time Hussein was transferred from U.S. to Iraqi custody until he was dead.

Many of those who witnessed the execution celebrated in the aftermath.

"Saddam's body is in front me," said an official in the prime minister's office when CNN telephoned. "It's over."

In the background, Shiite chanting could be heard. When asked about the chanting, the official said, "These are employees of the prime minister's office and government chanting in celebration." (Watch what Hussein's death could mean in Iraq Video)

He said that celebrations broke out after Hussein was dead, and that there was "dancing around the body."

Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki did not attend the execution, according to an adviser to the prime minister who was interviewed on state television.

Saddam RIP: David A Lunde, Saddam photo: AP, Hanged: FOX, Saddam execution scene: Drudge, Noose: AP

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28 December 2006

Liberal Talk Radio, Central Coast, Paul Sanford


Why Did Libtalker Jump From Monterey Hotel?

On the day when a Moonbat Hall Of Fame is finally constructed, its first inductee ought to be libtalker, California civil rights attorney, White House correspondent and Pledge of Allegiance foe Paul Sanford.

After jumping from as high as the 12th floor of a Monterey hotel earlier this week, Sanford passed away at the age of 50. A longtime activist in Santa Cruz's perpetually- unhinged "progressive" community, he was originally from Boston.

Here is coverage from the Monterey County Herald and Santa Cruz Sentinel.

What in the world would have possessed him to make this leap? Between Sanford's various left wing causes, some of which kept him in the media spotlight, it's hard to believe he didn't have at least one fight to look forward to in the future.

This sounds like a mystery we're probably not going to get to the bottom of for some time.

In at least one way, it would be fair to consider him the left's version of Jeff Gannon, the conservative who obtained a White House Press Corp credential under murky circumstances. Claiming to represent Air America Radio affiliate KOMY- AM, Sanford also found his way into press conferences and asked particularly loaded questions about whether the Bush Administration was guilty of treason.

But according to KOMY owner Michael Zwerling, he did not have permission to represent the station at the White House. When pressed, Sanford claimed he worked for Air America Radio, but Zwerling later contacted the White House as the controversy over his presence there grew.

As a result, Sanford sued Zwerling and KOMY, over this matter and a contract dispute related to his deal with the station. A court date was set for February, 2007. From the Sentinel's coverage:

More recently, Sanford was in court on his own behalf, in a breach of contract and defamation lawsuit against Michael Zwerling, the owner of KSCO and KOMY radio stations. According to his attorney and friend Shawn Mills, Sanford alleged that Zwerling broke a 2005 agreement to sell airtime to Sanford and provide him with media credentials. Zwerling declined to comment.

According to media accounts, the disagreement between the men started after Sanford used a KOMY press credential to join the White House press corps and asked then-press secretary Scott McClellan if the administration's leak of Valerie Plame's identity was tantamount to treason. It's unclear what will happen with the case, which was set for trial in February.

"I know it was particularly troubling for him," Brennan said. "He felt he was treated very poorly and it was difficult for him to understand."

From the Herald's version:

Mills said Sanford decided in recent years to add journalism to his many occupations.

Almost immediately, he caused a stir after he joined the White House Press Corps in 2005, making waves as the first reporter to ask then-White House press secretary Scott McClellan whether the leaking of CIA agent Valerie Plame's name might be considered an act of treason.

"There has been a lot of speculation concerning the meaning of the underlying statute and the grand jury investigation concerning Mr. Rove," Sanford asked. "The question is, have the legal counsel to the White House or White House staff reviewed the statute in sufficient specificity to determine whether a violation of that statute would, in effect, constitute treason?"

McClellan was apparently flustered by the question and replied that "those are matters for those overseeing the investigation to decide."

The White House incident sparked controversy after Beltway bloggers incorrectly described Sanford as a reporter for the Air America radio network. At the time, he was associated with Watsonville radio station KOMY, an Air America affiliate, and Sanford told reporters he never claimed to work for Air America.

Sanford eventually filed suit against station owner Michael Zwerling after Zwerling was reported as saying Sanford had not been authorized to represent the station as a reporter, a statement Sanford refuted.

Mills represented Sanford in that suit, which was scheduled to begin in Santa Cruz County Superior Court in February. Mills said he did not know if the case will continue after Sanford's sudden death.

Although the dispute with Zwerling caused Sanford a great deal of stress at the time, Mills said his friend was feeling fine about it and believed he would soon be vindicated in court.

In 2004, Sanford also made national news for his role in an infamous court battle against the Pledge of Allegiance. From the Sentinel:

In 2004, Sanford appeared before the Supreme Court with Michael Newdow, an atheist who sued the Elk Grove Unified School District, claiming that the mention of God in the Pledge of Allegiance violated the First Amendment's separation of church and state.

As to why a guy with a big court battle coming up in February would choose to take his own life, we do not have a good theory. It seems likely that others, including the local media, will continue to probe this very strange case.

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Pledge photo: CNN

27 December 2006

Al Franken, Star-Tribune, The Underworld


Franken Makes List Of 'Hell-Bound' Celebs

After taking a look at the kind of lefty foolishness that is deemed fit to print in the Minneapolis Star- Tribune, it's no wonder McClatchy Newspapers has just taken a huge bath on their investment in the publication.

For a great example, check out this review of what appears to be a new "progressive" book that attempts to spoof religious conservatives. Other than to advance a partisan agenda and smear the right, was there any real reason to write this piece?

Evangelical author names names, and Franken made No. 3

By C.J., Star Tribune

If author Joel Kilpatrick has it right, the only Minnesotan who has brimstone with his name on it is Al Franken.

We're talking the hell, not Hell, Mich., not Merry Hell, Miss., and not Hell's Gate, British Columbia.

Kilpatrick has written a book, "A Field Guide to Evangelicals & Their Habitat." It includes a handy-dandy alphabetical list of people (and groups) who are headed to hell, and the Minnesota comedian, radio personality, "SNL" and Blake School alum and possible Senate candidate comes in at No. 3. That's right after ACLU members and right before Barbra Streisand.

Franken could not be reached for comment.

Kilpatrick writes: "Evangelicals believe in many things: the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, church attendance, home-schooling, Fox News, abstinence, personal holiness, toupees, leisure suits, mission work, Dockers, golf, spanking and dinner, early and often. But the natural starting point for identifying evangelicals by their beliefs is with their best-known doctrine: hell.

"Evangelicals believe certain people are going to hell -- you, for example, unless you already happen to be an evangelical. But behind the hellfire and brimstone talk are core beliefs ... # 1 Every person has an obligation to accept Jesus as his or her personal savior ... # 2 Jesus is coming back soon, probably tomorrow ... # 3 If you have neglected Core Belief # 1, and Jesus does indeed come back tomorrow, you are going to hell."

The list of others accompanying Franken to hell is star-studded and even, depending on your religiosity, holier than thou: Catholics, the Dalai Lama, Mormons, Michael Moore, the Clintons, Dan Rather, divorce lawyers, Hollywood types, SpongeBob SquarePants, Ron Reagan Jr., the Osbournes, the New York Times staff.

And the only suspected hell-bound traveler worth pulling for is: O.J. Simpson.

Evangelicals, Jews for Jesus, Ronald Reagan and Mel Gibson are heaven-bound. Mel Gibson? Maybe that's why Kilpatrick is billed as an evangelical with a sense of humor.

Ron Reagan Jr? We thought he'd disappeared into soggy Seattle obscurity. And how did Jerry Springer get left off the list? Even the trashmeister himself admits he'll be headed downstairs someday.

Funny enough, at least one Star- Tribune reader missed the apparent joke (hey, we're not 100% sure about it, either), which resulted in this letter being published:

Letter of the day: And this earns Franken damnation?

C.J.'s Dec. 26 column features a book that says Al Franken is on a list of people headed for hell.

I'll leave it to the Higher Power to decide who's slated for eternal damnation. But, based in part on how he spent the last couple of weeks, if Franken is going to hell, well, then it may not be such a bad place.

Franken just returned to the United States on Christmas Eve after performing in a USO tour in Southwest Asia. Franken went to places that some might consider close to hell to bring cheer and humor to U.S. servicemen and women stationed in war zones.

I should be so lucky to have such service on my epitaph.


If there was a case for liberal talk show hosts to be doomed to eternal damnation, wouldn't it have something to do with standing by and watching a children's charity get raided so that their paychecks wouldn't bounce?

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President Ford's Passing, Moonbats, Bush


Ford's Passing Brings Out The Moonbats

As certain as another round of empty platitudes from Barack Obama, lefty moonbats can always be expected to surface at the most inappropriate times imaginable. And the passing of President Gerald R Ford last night has so far proven to be no exception.

Why does their anger boil over in circumstances like these? And why don't the folks running the Huffington Post, DailyKos and other lefty sites do more to contain moonbat outbreaks when they first occur?

After all, does it really bode well for their credibility when posters are allowed to trash the memory of American presidents mere moments after they have passed away? While not as bad as the "progressive" hatefest that followed Ronald Reagan's death (some are even praising Nixon's successor), Ford's departure from this Earth has still managed to bring out some truly unhinged anger.

At issue among the perpetually- outraged lefties: Ford's pardon of Richard Nixon and the fact that press reports have dared to call him the only unelected president.

Another batty contention: that the media will focus on this event to distract the public from Bush and the war in Iraq!

Like clockwork, a trip to one of these "progressive" hate sites can immediately produce a treasure trove of moonbat ravings after key news events. Don't believe us? Here are some examples from the HuffPo, a major left- wing site (we've made a few edits for language):

Comments :

The MSM network "News?" will use the death of this former pResident to bury important news they spend all their time not informing us about or reporting WH spin as news.

Wall to wall coverage and accolades for this nonentity Ford will have me renting more movies.

He's had 70 or more years of life than the kids in Iraq sacrificed by his fellow Repub. "The Decider" That's the tragedy, not this old mans death.
By: Michigan on December 27, 2006 at 12:47am

CNN and the rest of the news media, will play this out, until it seems like an eternity has passed, where Gerald Ford was the only President the US ever had. In the meantime, Saddam Hussein, will be hung, and the Bush family will breath a sigh of relief, that they were given a means of covering up a miniscule part of the huge mess of crap they have heaped on the American public. Ford may have pardoned Nixon, but no future President, should be ever allowed to pardon, George W. Bush. George W. Bush is by far worse than every other President that has ever existed period. It's a shame it wasn't him instead. Pretzels anyone.

May former President Ford rest in peace.
By: RandyRanson on December 27, 2006 at 01:18am

RIP, Gerald Ford. A great american, a great president, and an eagle scout to boot.
By: csdeven on December 27, 2006 at 12:17am
"great president"? What did he do, besides pardon Nixon?

He wasn't in office long enough to do damage to America like Nixon/Reagan/Bush.

Okay, in the history books, Ford was one of the best Republican presidents of the 20th century because he did so little damage.

RIP Gerald Ford

Too bad your wife made a bigger impact with her rehab clinic than anything you ever did as president.
By: SeconLine on December 27, 2006 at 12:39am

Oh man... I know he was President but pardoning Nixon was brutal. Had he not pardoned the Tricky Dick and Milhouse went to jail for crimes against the Republic, perhaps W would have thought twice about breaking as many laws as he has and perhaps 3000 deaths and countless maiming would not have occured in Iraq because he would have known he couldn't get away with it...

Will we have the courage to try this scoundrel and erase the precedent the good natured and decent Gerald Ford perpetuated on the country.
By: bertieclem on December 27, 2006 at 01:25am



By: DickCheney on December 27, 2006 at 02:02am

Now we'll have to have the laying in state, the big ceremonial funeral etc. until everyone is bored to death. Nice of him to give bush some cover while he finds his comfort zone on Iraq. Tragedy? An old republican bastard dies at 93 after a useless dotage playing golf. Where's the tragedy in that?
By: BrandedOnMyFeet on December 27, 2006 at 12:24am

Ford was an apologist or a cheer- leader for every bad thing that has happened in American politics over the last seventy years at least.
Now he is praised for being too stupid to be a complete a--hole like Nixon, Reagan, and the two Bushes.
By: KRANKY on December 27, 2006 at 02:56am
"But let me ask you, what good does it do to be angry at him now that he's DEAD?"
By: Vincenzo26 on December 27, 2006 at 01:38am


A corporation has no soul to be damned and no body to be kicked.

But this bastard does.

So kick away. The world is much worse because he was here.
By: bobsmith on December 27, 2006 at 03:01am

Meanwhile, at the DailyKos, there's a bit more self- control, but not enough. And you're likely to hear at least a few of these people calling radio talk shows today.

So what is it that fuels this constant level of rage? When even the late President Gerald Ford can spark this kind of anger, just how healthy can these people be?

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26 December 2006

Sacramento, Public Radio, Rush Limbaugh


For Rush Support, Public Radio Exec Could Face Heat

*** BREAKING: President Ford passes away at 93 - Bio here - Musing Minds offers a prayer - NY Post coverage ***

Could past support for Rush Limbaugh doom a newly- hired local NPR executive? That's the reality facing Sacramento's Rick Eytcheson, who was recently tapped to head Capital Public Radio.

Already, according to the Sacramento Bee, Capital's supporters and staffers have made it clear that Eytcheson doesn't pass their politically correct smell test.

His crime? While running Sacramento's powerhouse newstalker KFBK clear back in the eighties, he openly supported talk titan Rush Limbaugh's career ascent.

Never mind the inconvenient truth that a number of those who backed El Rushbo at the time were left of center, especially at ABC Radio. Now, will it be partisan payback time?

Why did these lefties play such a key role in Limbaugh's climb to the top? Because they put professionalism first, opting for programming that would be popular and successful, rather than what reflected their own views.

In their recent push for liberal talk offerings, a number of industry executives have lost sight of that concept, at great potential cost to their own careers.

In the Bee's coverage, this ultra- partisan environment is made clear from the outset. Who says public radio doesn't have an agenda?

Media Savvy: Going public

KXJZ-KXPR's new boss stirs the air with his background in commercial broadcasting

By Sam McManis - Bee Staff Writer
Tuesday, December 26, 2006

What you are about to read may be highly upsetting or wildly amusing, depending on your ideological bent. But, without question, it is some eye-opening news.

To wit: The man who gave the world Rush Limbaugh is now in charge of the fate of Sacramento's public radio empire.

It's true. Rick Eytcheson, named two weeks ago as the new president and general manager of Capital Public Radio, was the boss at commercial giant KFBK (1530 AM) in 1985 when Limbaugh first started his ascent from being a middling midday talking head to a hugely popular nationally syndicated talking head.

You can under- stand, then, why many public radio listeners -- some still miffed over the downgrading of jazz in 2001 and switching KXJZ's signal with the classical station KXPR in September -- have their (high)brows furrowed over what might lie in the future.

Eytcheson, 56, found out right away the challenges this new gig entails. Two days after accepting the job, he appeared at a meet-and-greet with CPR's Leadership Circle -- major financial contributors who, by virtue of their largesse, put their mouths where their money is.

"I got an earful," Eytcheson says with a chuckle. "Play more jazz. Play less jazz. More news. Less news. Classical and more classical. Everyone has their own interests."

That initial experience just confirms what public radio veterans have long acknowledged: you can't please everyone.

But it appears as if Eytcheson is going to try.

The funny thing here is that we really have no idea whether Eytcheson harbors even a single conservative stance on the issues, in addition to the fact that he likely oversaw a number of other broadcasters over the years, many of whom were probably liberals.

Sadly, the taint of his past association with El Rushbo could very well doom him from day one in the intolerant world of public radio. And if any of Capital's staffers live in Rio Linda, this could really get ugly!

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Photo: Sacramento Bee - Randy Pench

New York Times, Air America Radio


Even Now, NYT Remains Upbeat On Libtalk

*** Happy Boxing / St Stephen's Day ***

Here's a lesson for bloggers and others who are convinced they can overcome the mainstream media's most obnoxious antics: never, ever underestimate the stubborn nature of the New York Times.

Even as what's left of liberal talk radio network Air America Radio makes a last- gasp effort to survive, our Gray Lady is happy to trumpet the rare bit of good news that might occasionally emerge from Franken & Company headquarters.

And in this case, the paper couldn't be bothered to mention the increasing number of stations that have dropped libtalk programming in recent weeks. Instead, the NYT has made an example of Madison protestors who were able to restore its programming in Wisconsin's far- left outpost and state capital.

When it comes to the so- called "newspaper of record", this isn't exactly a new battle, as bloggers and the paper have been duking it out over the latter's Air America Radio coverage for almost two years. That was especially the case when it came to reporting on the network's sleazy Gloria Wise Boys & Girls Club scandal.

This time, the NYT seems to emphasize the idea that Air America's libtalk programming can succeed, if only advertisers can be convinced it is safe to support.

Here's an excerpt from the piece:

Air America Wins Reprieve From a Station in Wisconsin

Published: December 25, 2006

While ongoing negotiations to buy the beleaguered radio network Air America have kept its future in a state of limbo, the company had one bit of good news last week.

WXXM-FM, a station in Madison, Wis., owned by Clear Channel Communications, rescinded a decision to drop the liberal network in favor of Fox Sports Radio. The station, known as “the Mic” 92.1, was preparing to switch to a local sports format on Jan. 1. But last Friday, in a surprise statement, the station manager, Jeff Tyler, announced that the station had decided to continue with the progressive talk format of Air America into 2007.

Soon after the initial announcement to drop Air America was made on Nov. 7, a 28-year-old-student, Valerie Walasek, began an an online petition campaign that gathered more than 5,000 signatures and also organized a large rally. She said she was shocked at the outcome.

“I’m still trying to get used to the idea of it, that it actually worked, that I got big business to change their mind,” she said.

Mr. Tyler said the initial decision to change formats was made because he thought listeners wanted more local sports coverage and because he had felt for some time that Air America had not been growing as it should have. Most important, there had been problems with what he called a “struggling advertiser base.” Mr. Tyler said that those issues, taken together with an overall lack of revenue, had led to the decision to switch to Fox Sports.

Mr. Tyler said his mind was changed when he saw that advertisers were encouraged by the local support.

“It helped them get over their fear,” he said, “Rush Limbaugh, other shows — Howard Stern — shows with a tinge of controversy, all went through this, but they’ve been at it longer. This helped us circumvent that wait and get past it quicker.”

Sure, but Stern and Limbaugh have consistently been generating top- notch ratings, while Air America simply hasn't. Where is the audience?

With this reporting, the New York Times has made it clear it subscribes to the theory that libtalk's content isn't its problem, it's instead the managers behind Air America's programming (with Madison's local station as a rare example of enlightenment).

As an excuse to explain away "progressive" radio's poor performance, we've seen this one thrown about quite a bit recently. Too bad the Times can't come up with something a bit more original or convincing.

In Bed: David A Lunde, Frankenfluff: Pete at IHillary

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24 December 2006

Libtalk Cancelled In Columbus Ohio, WTPG


Ohio Station Drops 'Progressive' Talk

*** Have a happy Christmas, thanks for your support! ***

As yet another station drops liberal talk radio for more successful programming, it seems even Christmas can't put a stop to this increasingly- common format switch.

This time, as WTPG radio in Columbus dumps Franken and Friends, it's an especially significant blow for "progressives", as Air America will be replaced by conservative programming!

Thanks to Ironman and Robert S in Columbus for their tips on this one.

From the Columbus Dispatch, here's the latest on WTPG's fate:

Station’s format to turn right

Tim Feran

Liberal listeners in central Ohio will lose their only radio voice next month when WTPG (1230 AM) drops its format of "progressive talk" and makes a hard right turn.

Out: Al Franken, Stephanie Miller, Ed Schultz and Randi Rhodes.

In: Michael Savage, Laura Ingraham and a mix of sports and consumer shows featuring Jim Rome and Dave Ramsey.

The station will change its call letters to WYTS on Monday; the new format will begin at 9 a.m. Jan. 9.

WYTS will be promoted as "the Talk Station in Central Ohio," said Bruce Collins, program director of Clear Channel Columbus stations WTPG and WTVN (610 AM).

"Whether it’s politics or sports, financial information or general advice, central Ohio listeners will have the opportunity to talk about it on Talk 1230," he said.

Most of the new shows have larger national audiences — and, therefore, promise higher local ratings and profits — than any in the previous lineup.

The progressive-talk format, in place at WTPG since September 2004, never took off here despite live broadcasts in Columbus by Franken, Miller and Schultz.

One of the main program suppliers, Air America Radio, filed for bankruptcy reorganization in October. Afterward, some affiliates — including one in Cincinnati also owned by Clear Channel — announced plans to drop the progressivetalk format.

In Savage and Ingraham, the station will have hosts familiar with controversy.

Savage was fired from a short-lived weekend TV show on MSNBC after referring to a caller as a "sodomite" and saying he should "get AIDS and die."

Ingraham raised a furor when she criticized reporters covering the Iraq war just two months after ABC anchorman Bob Woodruff and his cameraman were seriously injured.

Note the story's emphasis on pointing out the controversies behind WTPG's new conservative hosts. How about some background on the self- destructive flaps that helped to kill off Air America's talkers?

Fresh off their station- restoring victory in Madison, one wonders whether we can expect funeral processions and other protests from their fellow- travellers in Ohio. Stay tuned.

ELSEWHERE: one hundred years ago this evening, in Brant Rock, Marshfield, Massachusetts, the first voice radio broadcast occurred. Many ships at sea, some a thousand miles away or more, were said to have heard the transmission coming from Southeastern Massachusetts. Here's the story from the Yorkshire Post's Chris Bond.

In addition, at Marshfield's WATD- FM, the first broadcast was re- enacted yesterday.

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23 December 2006

California Anti- Christmas Protestor Sets Himself Alight


Unhinged Protestor Burns Up Over Christmas

*** Return Later For Libtalk Updates ***

What is is about the word "Christmas" that brings out truly unhinged behavior in some people this time of year? From where does this intense level of inner anger emerge?

In Bakersfield, a man was so incensed over a skool board's decision to rename winter and spring breaks for Christmas and Easter that he set himself on fire.

From the AP:

Man sets self aflame in Calif. protest

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (AP) -- A man used flammable liquid to light himself on fire, apparently to protest a San Joaquin Valley school district's decision to change the names of winter and spring breaks to Christmas and Easter vacation.

The man, who was not immediately identified, on Friday also set fire to a Christmas tree, an American flag and a revolutionary flag replica, said Fire Captain Garth Milam.

Seeing the flames, Sheriff's Deputy Lance Ferguson grabbed a fire extinguisher and ran to the man.

Flames were devouring a Christmas tree next to the Liberty Bell, where public events and demonstrations are common.

Beside the tree the man stood with an Amer- ican flag draped around his shoulders and a red gas can over his head.

Seeing the deputy, the man poured the liquid over his head. He quickly burst into flames when the fumes from the gas met the flames from the tree.

The deputy ordered the man to drop to the ground as he and a parole agent sprayed him with fire extinguishers.

"The man stood there like this," the deputy said with his arms across his chest and his head bent down, "Saying no, no, no."

The man suffered first degree burns on his shoulders and arms, Milam said.

Kern County Sheriff's Deputy John Leyendecker said the man had a sign that read: "(expletive) the religious establishment and KHSD."

Does that seem like a reason to burn up in anger? And who says there's no war on Christmas?

Garoelf: Pete at IHillary

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22 December 2006

Madison's Liberal Talk Station, Clear Channel, AP


After Station's Change Of Plans, Theories Abound

*** With Updates Below ***

After last night's surprising announcement that Madison libtalker The Mic FM would stick to its format, many are wondering what led to the move. And with the planned January switch to sports programming now on ice, many questions remain.

Did the recent protests have an effect? If the station couldn't make money before, how will it do so now with scaled- down Air America programming?

And was this from the beginning a mere stunt designed to generate publicity?

One thing is for sure: the Frankensanta has arrived early this year!

On this end, your Radio Equalizer enjoyed the emails "daring" us to write about this change of plans, as though we were afraid to report on it. Actually, we were among the first to note it when the news first hit last night.

Since then, it has become a major story, with a Drudge Report link and an AP story carried today in most major newspapers. For his part, Drudge seems surprised that anyone would keep Air America's shows. After all of the recent bad news for liberal talk, perhaps this headline is a bit shocking.

From the AP's Ryan J Foley:

Air America Station to Stay in Madison

Associated Press Writer

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- After a backlash from this liberal city, Clear Channel Radio is keeping its Air America affiliate on the air instead of switching the progressive talk format to sports on Jan. 1.

Citing the overwhelming negative reaction to the planned change, the nation's largest radio station operator said it would keep The Mic 92.1 FM on the air as a progressive talk station.

The planned change to Fox Sports Radio, announced three days after the Nov. 7 election, had sparked outrage in Madison, a city long known for its liberal activism. Clear Channel said the station, WXXM-FM, had struggled to attract advertisers despite high ratings and a sports format would be more profitable.

But thousands of people protested the end of their favorite station through e-mails, phone calls and a petition delivered to station officials this week. A rally last week drew 500 people, and politicians such as Mayor Dave Cieslewicz and U.S. Rep. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis., denounced the decision.

The two-year-old station is among the most popular affiliates of Air America, which launched two years ago as an alternative to conservative talk show hosts like Rush Limbaugh. It is now undergoing a reorganization after filing for bankruptcy protection in October.

In addition to Air America personalities like Al Franken, WXXM features local shows that focused on progressive causes from city politics to animal rights.

"We are overwhelmed by the recent outpouring of support for our progressive talk format from the public, some of our community leaders and some dedicated local advertisers," said Jeff Tyler, Clear Channel's market manager in Madison. "We deeply appreciate the local business leaders who are pledging their advertising support. They are playing an enormous role in helping to keep progressive talk on the air in our community."

Tyler planned to announce the decision on the airwaves Friday morning. He said Clear Channel had to end an agreement with Fox Sports Radio to make the deal possible.

The announcement came just as the opponents of the change appeared to give up, staging a mock funeral procession from the Capitol to Clear Channel's local offices Wednesday to mourn the death of the station.

Valerie Walasek, a 28-year-old listener who organized the protests, said she had shifted her focus to other options, such as trying to buy a new station. She was shocked by the company's last-minute change of heart.

"It's evidence that as people stand up and demand what they want and demand they are going to take back the airwaves, somebody will listen," she said. "Maybe Clear Channel just came to their senses because it never made sense for them to get rid of it. They were making money."

But the truth is that The Mic wasn't making money, a point station management had emphasized in the past:

Tyler said the station would aim to increase its share of the local market but it had no deadline to increase earnings, which were 14th out of 14 local stations that report them despite the station being rated second among the market's news-talk stations and 11th out of 25 stations overall. About 30,100 listeners tuned into the station during any given week, according to the latest ratings from Arbitron Inc.

With no indication that revenues will increase anytime soon, however, what could be Clear Channel's real reason for the change of course? From the New York Radio Message Board, here's one theory:

Posted by Harvey Rice on December 22, 2006 at 08:28:27:

In Reply to: Clear Channel Changes Its Mind posted by Allan D on December 22, 2006 at 00:09:29:

>>I'm curious about what they were and why their owners reversed themselves.<<

They're in the midst of selling the company. They are probably avoiding a public controversy.

One last point: our real agenda at the Radio Equalizer from the beginning has been to counter the mainstream media's pro- Air America hype, not to celebrate libtalk's collapse.

If Clear Channel or anybody else wants to run libtalk on their stations, it's not an issue to this site. They should, however, expect us to provide an alternative to the Frankenfluff reporting that even now permeates the mainstream news media.

UPDATE: The Capital Times adds this:

'Mic' fans celebrate decision
Clear Channel kills plan to pull progressive radio
By Judith Davidoff

The timing of Clear Channel's decision to keep its progressive radio format on the air couldn't have been better for Maggie Thomas.

"Yesterday was my birthday, and that was the best present I got," said Thomas, who turned 45.

Thomas, who lives on Madison's east side, was one of thousands of local listeners who urged Clear Channel in recent weeks to reverse its decision to replace "The Mic" at WXXM/FM 92.1 with Fox Sports Radio on Jan. 1.

Activists delivered a petition with 5,466 signatures to Clear Channel on Wednesday, and hundreds of listeners rallied against the move last week, with U.S. Rep. Tammy Baldwin, Mayor Dave Cieslewicz and Air America co-founder Terry Kelly also denouncing the move.

Local advertisers also organized to show their support, and Clear Channel, in a move that is being watched nationally, listened.
"Madison is really a microcosm of what could be taking place around the country," popular radio host Ed Schultz said this morning. "There is a mindset with the progressive format that it's shaky territory for advertisers, and it's simply not true."

Schultz, whose show reaches 2.25 million listeners nationwide, said he was excited about Clear Channel's move and "how it all came to work together."

"It's really encouraging to see listeners so passionate for the radio industry and to be so vocal and organized."

Activist Valerie Walasek, who spearheaded the petition drive, said she hoped Madison's experience would inspire activists elsewhere.

"The other communities facing a similar loss of their progressive talk radio stations can do this," Walasek said.

Boston and Cincinnati lost Air America programming recently and Gary Tipler, who also helped organize opposition to Clear Channel's move, said other cities are facing similar threats.

The problem is that Madison simply isn't typical of the rest of the country, instead, it's a hotbed of radicalism. By contrast, there has been almost no outcry at the loss of libtalk stations in Boston and Cincinnati and certainly no protests or petition drives.

And talker Schultz is also wrong here: we have not seen a strong advertiser interest in libtalk at any level. He knows this as well as anyone else. Could it happen down the road? Perhaps, but after three years, one wonders what would make that happen.

Frankensanta: Pete at IHillary, Protest image: Channel 3 Madison, Madison libtalk rally dancers: Michelle Stocker, The Capital Times

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21 December 2006

Madison Protestors Denounce Libtalk Cancellation


Libtalk Cancellation Protest Is Dead On Arrival

*** Update Below ***

The good news was that there was no need for riot police or tear gas.

But with yesterday's poorly attended protest, Madison's radical leftists may actually have sped up their beloved liberal talk radio's demise.

With so few demonstrators to voice rage and anger over the cancellation of so- called "progressive" programming in Wisconsin's capital city, their "mock funeral" succeeded only at making a mockery of political activism.

And it certainly couldn't have done much to convince station managers to refrain from pulling the plug on The Mic FM's lefty talk.

According to an area television station, only about 30 activists took part, but at least they carpooled:

Mock Funeral Procession Mourns Air America
Leaders Say They Will Fight For Liberal Talk Radio

MADISON, Wis. -- Some Air America supporters held a fake funeral procession Wednesday, saying that a Madison radio station pulling the plug on the liberal Air America Radio programming is the "Death of the free speech."

A small group of supporters of the Mic 92.1 FM put signs that read "The death of free speech" on their backpacks, car dashboards, bumpers and windows for the procession.

The fake funeral procession was also marked with black crepe paper, supporters said to indicate a somber occasion as a local station prepares to shut down liberal talk radio in the area.

One driver in the mock processional, Judy Skog, of Madison, said she is devastated by the news that her favorite station is losing the programming she loves.

"I can't stand right-wing talk radio. Other than public radio, this is the only radio I listen to," Skog said.

"I'm just real sorry to see this station go off the air, or essentially go off the air, change its format," said Jeff Lange, of Madison, who attended the mock procession.

With their car radios tuned to 92.1 FM, about 30 people in 15 cars drove with their lights flashing to the source of their disappointment -- the local version of radio giant Clear Channel Radio.

Supporters rolled into the front office parking lot on Wednesday, car after car, carrying one message: Don't dump The Mic's Air America Radio network, hosted by liberals like Al Franken.

They were greeted by Clear Channel FM Operations Manager Mike Ferris. The group presented him with a petition with over 4,500 signatures asking Clear Channel to keep Madison's only liberal talk radio station and not replace it with an all-sports format from Fox Radio.

Clear Channel managers have said in the past that the decision was based on audience research and a lack of advertisers.

"We are hearing your voices, and your voice has been heard. We appreciate you coming out and supporting this," Ferris said as he accepted the petition.

Ferris was cordial but refused further comment. The doors to the offices were locked and a police officer was visible inside, WISC-TV reported.

Here at the Radio Equalizer, we're having a great time chucking over their "free speech" complaint, given that liberals have long called for reinstatement of the FCC's Fairness Doctrine, which would have the effect of shutting down talk radio.

Some believe that Democrats will push for it once they have taken control of Congress in coming weeks.

Also from the left, we often hear about the "public airwaves", with the crazy idea that corporate owners should be compelled to carry leftist radio programming. But at the time of conservative talk radio's initial surge in popularity, the same argument was used in an attempt to force it off the airwaves.

These activists should open up and be honest: if they had a way to kick Rush Limbaugh, Bill O'Reilly, Sean Hannity and others off the radio dial today, they would do it.

In addition, they've had a chance to support liberal talk radio during the almost three years Air America has been on the air, but didn't do nearly enough to make it viable.

As a result, a real funeral should be held, this time to mourn their own faded cause.

UPDATE: the protestors succeeded! Here's the story.

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The Mic image: David A Lunde, Protest image: Channel 3 Madison

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