The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

14 December 2006

Sen Tim Johnson (D- South Dakota), US Senate


After Senator's Illness, Kooky Conspiracy Theories Fly

*** Updates below ***

Within minutes of the news that US Senator Tim Johnson (D- South Dakota) had been taken to hospital with an unexplained illness, some so- called "progressives" had clearly fallen into a state of panic.

Alternating between fretting about the fate of the incoming Democrat Party majority in the US Senate and looking for someone to blame, some commenters on well- known lefty websites immediately dove head- first into moonbat conspiracy theories.

Johnson's own health, however, seemed lost in all of this worrying.

From Think Progress, here are some examples:

Democratic Sen. Tim Johnson of South Dakota suffered a possible stroke Wednesday and was taken to a hospital, his office said.

If he should be unable to continue to serve, it could halt the scheduled Democratic takeover of the Senate. Democrats won a 51-49 majority in the November election. South Dakota’s governor, who would appoint any temporary replacement, is a Republican.

Oh Karl Rove you are a evil genius.

Here is our October surprise in December.

Thanks. You always come through.

Comment by Flaco — December 13, 2006 @ 5:52 pm

I am glad to the TP back. I was really con- cerned.

Regard- ing Senator Tim Johnson I wish him the best. But I smell foul play. As I just posted on huffington (there are plenty repoop maggets posting excitement about the Senator’s illness) I believe whoever gives a sh!ƒ about Americans dying in Iraq will sacrifice American lives here to remain on the trigger. Those guys are rightously asking for riots with the known consequences.

Comment by ItsJustKarma — December 13, 2006 @ 6:32 pm

I know I’m jumping the gun here but I’d like for some intrepid investigator to retrace every step Senator Johnson took the past day. Every person he talked to. I’d like to know every place he went, every food ate and every drug he took. I’d like a full medical, blood and toxicology report. You cannot help but be suspicious.

Comment by Larry from C — December 13, 2006 @ 7:11 pm

My God,these vultures are murdering to keep POWER.

BushCo`s CIA has all sorts of devious ways to induce a “stroke”

I am guessing this is no accident with the South Dakota senator.

Yea,Paul Wellstone all over again.

Comment by raymond collins — December 13, 2006 @ 7:18 pm

From the Huffington Post, here are more gems:

Its a sad commentary on this admin- istration that my first thought was "They pulled a Kremilin" to retake control of the Senate.

By: rockwell on December 13, 2006 at 05:05pm

Whaddaya wager our good Christian "president" and his deeply religious associates on the right are praying for this man to die (or at least be seriously incapacitated)?

They're probably already exulting over "God's will" trumping the people's, when really it's their will they want to prevail over the voters'.


By: andrewjlederer on December 13, 2006 at 05:05pm

Its a sad comment on this Administration that the first thing I thought was that this was a White House Kremlin job to keep control of the Senate.

By: rockwell on December 13, 2006 at 05:08pm

I just heard a cable FOX news person say a Republican could replace him and tilt the balance of the Senate, but we're not there yet.

Perhaps he meant to say our prayers go out to him and his family.

By: clumberfeet on December 13, 2006 at 05:09pm

You are far from the only one. Did they do it? Dunno. Could they actually assault their own country's democratic process in such a way? No sane person would say no.

By: Republicus on December 13, 2006 at 04:24pm

Meanwhile, at NewsHounds, an anti- FOX News Channel site, an immediate attempt was made at smearing Neil Cavuto over the way he aired his reports:

Neil Cavuto Giddy That Democrat Tim Johnson Had a Stroke

Reported by Melanie - December 13, 2006 -

At 4:10 p.m. EDT today (December 13, 2006) Neil Cavuto interrupted his "business news" show with this:

Alright. I just want to bring in this alert that's come into our newsroom right now. U.S. Senator Tim Johnson, he's a Democrat of South Dakota, has, we're getting reports that he had a stroke at his office today and is being hospitalized. That's all we know at this point. Nor do we know the 59 year old's condition. This happened just today.

Keep in mind that the new senate takes over on January 4 and it's right now 49 Democrats, 49 Republicans and 2 Independents, but ostensibly it will be a Democratic body.

We don't know how the fallout from all of this or, again, the severity of Senator Johnson's condition. We'll keep you posted.

At 4:14 p.m. EDT Fox aired the FOX NEWS ALERT graphic and Cavuto said:

Alright. We are getting some updates now that South Dakota Senator Jim Johnson, a Democrat, has checked out at a hospital -- was in a hospital -- after suffering a possible stroke. That's all we know at this point.

This always takes on some added urgency with the new senate taking over in ah, January 4. That will be a senate as close to evenly divided as you can get, 49 Democrats, 49 Republicans, 2 Independents, who will essentially vote as Democrats, thereby the Democratic body. But keep in mind that if this situation with the senator were to worsen, the governor of South Dakota is a Republican, Michael Rounds and could, in an extreme case, appoint someone of his choosing within his party so this could even be a succession issue in the senate.

But, for now, let's not ponder that, more the senator's own health which we hope is good. He has suffered an apparent stroke. He is being checked out as we speak.

Beyond that, your Radio Equalizer found the mainstream media's primary focus on how Senator Johnson's incapacitation might affect the balance of power in Senate alarming. Other than to scare Democrats out of any potential complacency, what was their agenda?

From the New York Times, here's an example:

South Dakota Senator Is Hospitalized


WASHINGTON, Dec. 13 — Senator Tim Johnson, a Democrat from South Dakota, was hospitalized today after what his office at first called a “possible stroke,” leading to concern among Democrats that their new one-vote majority in the Senate could be in danger.

By the end of the day, after what his office called “a comprehensive evaluation by the stroke team” at George Washington University Hospital here, a spokeswoman for Mr. Johnson said that he had not suffered a stroke or a heart attack. The spokeswoman, Julianne Fisher, gave no further details about Mr. Johnson’s medical condition.

His office said that Mr. Johnson, who will turn 60 on Dec. 28, became disoriented during a conference call with reporters at midday. He stuttered, then seemed to recover before asking if there were more questions and then ending the call.

He walked back to his office, where he was examined by the Capitol physician, who decided that Mr. Johnson should be seen at the hospital. He was taken to the hospital by ambulance around noon.

On Capitol Hill, the news highlighted the fragility of the Democrat’s new majority in the Senate. If Mr. Johnson’s health problems are serious enough that he is not able to serve, his replacement would be named by South Dakota’s Republican governor, Mike Rounds. Assuming that Mr. Rounds named a Republican, the 51-49 Democratic majority in the new Senate would become a 50-50 split between the two parties, allowing Vice President Dick Cheney to break the tie, effectively giving Republicans control of the chamber.

Rather than the exception, this was typical of the reporting: even the first sentence contained speculation on the chamber's partisan fate. How can the GOP be blamed for a thought process that originated with the mainstream media and Democrats?

UPDATE: Johnson undergoes treatment, doctors say it was in fact a stroke.

Reports are coming in that Johnson is recovering, so why did the media go nuts speculating over the Senate's makeup? More from the Washington Post.

UPDATES: moonbattery not limited to the Internet, it was conspiracy central on this morning's The View.

The mainstream media seems obsessed with the balance of power angle. Here's the latest from MSNBC. Why are they pushing this so hard?

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  • Scathing criticism of Fox news and its Tim Johnson coverage, along with a useful history lesson, at

    By Blogger R.W. Twain, at 14 December, 2006 10:01  




    By Blogger Minister of Propaganda, at 14 December, 2006 10:16  

  • With Harry Reid acting like one of the Cuban Government's spokepersons describing Castro's condition, I wonder if Johnson is in real peril.

    I wonder if any Democrats would decry keeping Johnson on life support if he slips into a permanent vegetative state a la Terry Schiavo just to keep the Senate a Democrat majority?

    By Blogger PCD, at 14 December, 2006 14:14  

  • First, as MOP stated, you are completely pathetic to utilize blog comments (not posts) as evidence for your tripe.

    Secondly, why did you go to the trouble of posting only part of the NewsHounds post? You had to know that they had more quotes from Neil Cavuto that supported the title of their post - whether or not you agreed with it.

    However, you deliberatly STOPPED quoting just before the relevant part of the post.

    Whatever your position, their title about cavuto was not a "smear".

    How can you expect no one to notice your blatant dishonesty?

    By Blogger TJ, at 14 December, 2006 14:38  

  • The media ran with it because this is what you'd expect them to do with the Senate situation (balance of power)
    possibly being affected...

    >>The South Dakota senator, 59, suffered from bleeding in the brain caused by a congenital malformation, the U.S. Capitol physician said. He described the surgery as successful.
    The condition, usually present at birth, causes tangled blood vessels that can burst unexpectedly later in life...

    Johnson's condition, also known as AVM, or arteriovenous malformation, causes arteries and veins to grow abnormally large and become tangled.

    The condition is believed to affect about 300,000 Americans, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. The institute's Web site said only about 12 percent of the people with the condition experience symptoms, ranging in severity. It kills about 3,000 people a year.

    By Blogger raccoonradio, at 14 December, 2006 15:00  

  • Using comments as frequently as Maloney does for his content is lazy blogging.

    That why Maloney is the consummate hack blogger.

    By Blogger none, at 14 December, 2006 17:33  

  • Wishing Senator Johnson a speedy recovery!

    By Blogger hashfanatic, at 14 December, 2006 18:31  

  • My prayers go out to Senator Johnson and his family, and hope that he has a speedy recovery. As a survivor of a similar (though not exactly the same) type of brain surgery, it is a scary and humbling thing to go through, made worse by the fact that you are generally not aware of what is going on, while your family is all too aware of it. I hope the Senator recovers quickly and can get back to his work of serving the people by whom he was elected.

    That said...

    I guess I shouldn't be surprised that the potential of losing power drives partisans of the left into such a dither, considering how hard the GOP worked to give it back to them, but the left's ability not to accept anything - even one man's traumatic brain injury - at face value is truly frightening.

    And it is not lazy blogging to present examples of moonbats being moonbats - it doubles as entertainment and a look into how the typical Kossack or ThinkProgtard mind, er, "works."

    I have a suspicion that those who object to The Equalizer's examples posted here of such threads are angrier at how it makes them look by extension rather than their righteous indignation at The Equalizer demonstrating, in their "minds," how not to run a blog.

    In any event, Strawman, were the DUmmie Funnies or Kos to conduct a serious purge of Republican Trolls, their collective membership would decline by, oh, one half of one percent or so by my guess. What you see on DU and TP and Kos is the real "thought" process in the Libtard ranks these days - and the balance of energy and opinion between concerns for the Senator's health and the political ramifications of his condition was overwhelmingly tilted toward the latter.

    Don't blame the mirror because it reflects an ugly face.

    By Blogger SierraSpartan, at 14 December, 2006 21:33  

  • Ah, another good neocon and Shabbos goy remains true to his handlers...

    Methinks this blog has become infested with vermin.

    Do not waste your time explaining your corrupt filthy mind, and your stone jungle morals, jd. Do not speak of mirrors when we would have you slowly expiring, naked, hogtied, rolling across those very shards of glass that our liberation shall shatter. We know your tricks, your lack of personal honor, your willingness to rape, rob, and pillage. We have seen the bloodlust in your eyes.

    We are not looking to NEGOTIATE with you, jd, you smelly, putrid twat. We realize our very survival depends upon your annihilation...we behave and plan accordingly.

    You have stolen our treasury, committed unclean union of the flesh with that which was not yours to have, begotten many floating bands of protoplasmic, nascent evilians, polluted and befouled that which our Lord has beqeathed to us as birthright, nibbled at the linoleum of our proud culture and social fabric, and singled us out for your wicked false witnesses, vicious rants, and crafty distortions, cloaked in the most pedestrian, conventional, arrogant, foul-smelling, nasty, wingnut-appropriate jargon.

    You have no ideas. You have no reasons, and certainly no discernible morals or earthly purpose.

    But to lie, kill, rape, foul, steal, cheat, connive, and pollute.

    My "ugly face" isn't going away, for I have the power of the Greater One at my side.

    I resist you, jd. I command you to remove yourself from OUR country. I am correct, I am true, I have faith, I resist the power of the dirty neocon, the one who looks to slaughter the very One Above once more.

    The demise of your "ways" began as the rotted, syphilitic, crazed corpse of Ronald Reagan, may he continue to rot in hell and his name be forever erased, was shoved into the ground.

    Fare thee well, neocon parasites!

    I have realized, you have probably been defeated long ago...

    By Blogger hashfanatic, at 15 December, 2006 01:13  

  • I wonder if any Democrats would decry keeping Johnson on life support if he slips into a permanent vegetative state a la Terry Schiavo just to keep the Senate a Democrat majority?

    You're kidding, I hope.

    We are not looking to NEGOTIATE with you

    Then, given that you know the leanings of this blog, why ARE you here?

    My prayers go out to Sen. Johnson and family as well.

    By Blogger Snowed In, at 15 December, 2006 09:49  

  • Maloney

    The MSM agenda was to excite right wingers who are still crying themselves to bed every night after the electon. The MSM reported the whole thing 10000% wrong. Fox, NBC and CBS reported that the Gov can replace the senator if he is 'incapacitated', irresponsible and 1000000000% wrong. And yes, Cavuto and the fountain of mis-information Hume were inded thrilled at this prospect.
    Hume is the biggest fucking hack in the histroy of news casting. He butchered the whole issue of the 17th amendement, never explainedto the audience that the Senator has to RESIGN or DIE in order for the Govorner to replace him with a temporary than have a special election. Hume LIED, mislead the radical right got them into a foaming at the mouth frenzy at the prospect of regaining the senate. Same thing happened on Kuriks show, she had a femlale RNC pundit gleefully spouting the same lie as Hume.
    And as far as the bloggers, nobody trusts the GOP at all. It is far sicker to hope the man dies, such as many right wingers on message boards have been hoping, and yes, at least 2 right wing hosts have implied this. MARK LEVIN, last night on his show, was tellng his audience to pray for a Republican senate, implying pray for his death, SICK BASTARD, and Prager did a similiar thing.

    This crop of reporters arethe worst ever, lazy and doing the bidding of the GOP
    no Lib media
    its a strawman argument

    By Blogger Minister of Propaganda, at 15 December, 2006 12:17  

  • The Fox coverage of this situation has been irresponsible, revolting, and totally inappropriate.

    By Blogger hashfanatic, at 15 December, 2006 12:21  

  • Since I don't have Fox News, what exactly did Brit Hume say about the 17th Amendment? Just curious.

    As for whether this story proves that the media is biased one way or another, am I the only one to remember the overly drawn out coverage of Jim Jeffords five years ago?

    Oh, and if anyone is actually praying for his death just so we can have a GOP Senate, that is reprehensible.

    By Blogger Snowed In, at 15 December, 2006 13:02  

  • Let's see. I'm trying to remember how much of an outcry there was from the left when Julianne Malveaux publicly said she hoped Clarence Thomas died soon of heart disease. Can't say that I remember any.

    By Blogger James Jones, at 15 December, 2006 16:17  

  • The difference is that Clarence Thomas deserves to die and Senator Johnson does not.

    By Blogger hashfanatic, at 15 December, 2006 16:59  

  • And what qualifies you to make that judgment?

    By Blogger Snowed In, at 15 December, 2006 23:04  

  • Gotta love the Kos Kiddies and other denizens of the fever swamps coming over here whinging about Brian reposting some of what passes for "intelligent commentary from the reality-based community".

    I think the real reason they are so upset is that these posts show them for exactly who and what they truly are. Paranoid, psychotic, vapid nihilists with empty hearts and dead souls.

    By Blogger Nahanni, at 16 December, 2006 05:40  

  • It's a righteous thing, snowbaby. You wouldn't understand....

    By Blogger hashfanatic, at 16 December, 2006 23:13  

  • I guess I don't understand "righteous" the way you mean it, since your meaning seems to have nothing whatsoever to do with reality. What part of wishing for anyone's death for political purposes is righteous?

    By Blogger Snowed In, at 17 December, 2006 20:54  

  • C'mon, snow - the hashfanatic just ooooozes righteousness. You can tell - just ask him.

    By Blogger SierraSpartan, at 17 December, 2006 23:19  

  • It's a divine thing, JD, and you DEFINITELY would not understand...

    By Blogger hashfanatic, at 19 December, 2006 00:59  

  • I'm still waiting for you to answer my question...

    By Blogger Snowed In, at 19 December, 2006 09:49  

  • Simple.

    A despot's end, if it means an end to genocide, complete lawlessless, lack of accountability, and unprecedented human suffering, is decidedly a good thing.

    It's about saving life, as opposed to increasing profit margins.

    All you need to know is that the Bush Crime Family's war on Iraq was based on a lie, and everything else falls into place.

    Why would anyone even consider sacrificing MORE Americans' lives into an unwinnable war, if not for the fact that they are operating on behalf of an entity other than the United States?

    How does anyone even QUESTION the rectitude of removing this evil from our helm, even by any means necessary at this point?

    How many more must die, snowed?

    By Blogger hashfanatic, at 20 December, 2006 00:55  

  • I'm not getting into an Iraq debate here. At this point the situation is too convoluted simply to throw one-sentence positions around, as both sides are wont to do.

    My question, if you recall, was regarding your qualification to state that Clarence Thomas (who, you may recall, had nothing whatsoever to do with Iraq) deserves to die, and how in the world it is righteous to hope for his death.

    One last thing--you may want to rethink your "by any means necessary" statement, as the Secret Service just might take an interest in it...

    By Blogger Snowed In, at 20 December, 2006 09:04  

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