The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

30 June 2007

Seattle Media, KIRO Talk Host Mike Webb Murdered


What's The Appeal Of A Dishonest Host?

As a fresh- faced newcomer to a talk station some years back, I received this brilliant piece of managerial advice: "be sincere, Brian. When you're a phony the audience will sniff you out very quickly. They're not stupid, don't ever forget that."

While the best hosts in this crazy business do understand that basic concept, others do not, or simply don't know how to be honest. If managers spent more time listening to their own stations, they might spot one of these shysters in the lineup, long after the audience has figured it out.

I've encountered a handful of hosts actually willing to "change" their political ideology to suit a particular station's needs. A liberal can become "conservative" for a few hours each day and who will know the difference?

Another scam is to call one's self a "libertarian" in order to hide clearly conservative standpoints from unsuspecting lefty programmers. Nearly every time, that one works like a charm.

Beyond that, there are more subtle forms of deception that pop up in talk radio, none more apparent than what's been heard on the Seattle airwaves since yesterday's revelation that former KIRO- AM libtalker Mike Webb was murdered.

For entirely self- serving purposes, at least two area hosts have been singing his praises, when both were actually far from friends or supporters of his work. In fact, one openly campaigned against Webb within the building.

At the time, that talker was correct in doing so, as Webb's behavior both on and off the air absolutely screamed for termination at least two years before it finally occurred. Many staffers had gone to human resources representatives, but the company was hesitant to fire him.

A common perception (whether true or not) was that his history of litigation against former employers had Entercom nervous about termination. For at least a few staffers, however, knowing that Webb carried a loaded gun actually made it safer to keep him around than have a disgruntled loose cannon outside the building, looking for revenge.

These hosts know all about Webb's destructive antics inside the station, which included sabotage, filing phony harassment complaints against co- workers, working to destroy the reputations of managers he didn't like through downright dirty schemes and much, much more. All of that was long before the felony fraud conviction.

Now that tragedy has unfortunately befallen Mr Webb, these hosts have rewritten history to show he was a fantastic guy whose work they greatly admired.

In our culture, when someone passes away (particularly after circumstances of this nature) it's typical to remember the best of what the person brought to those around him. If that were the case with these talkers, I'd have no argument.

Instead, it's clear they're using the situation to improve their own dubious public images, praising Webb while denouncing the blogger who doggedly attempted to hold Mike accountable for his actions when others were afraid of the consequences.

There's nothing more phony and outright dishonest than that. Worse, it's cowardly.

Think the audience is stupid? Guess again.

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29 June 2007

Talk Radio, Former KIRO Host Mike Webb Missing, Body Found


After Body Found In Seattle Home, Insane Accusations Fly

*** UPDATE: Remains Identified As Webb's, Death Ruled A Homicide, Many More Updates At Orbusmax, See Special Note Below ***

Do blogs kill?

That's the ridiculous question being asked by a number of hotheaded comment posters after a body was discovered at the Seattle home of missing former KIRO libtalker Mike Webb.

Rather than wait for the examiner's report (due later today and based on a DNA comparison), it's apparently easier for the perpetually- unhinged "progressive" set to play Blame The Blogger, suggesting Blatherwatch's Michael Hood is partly responsible:

(Seattle P-I Forum) Posted by AlbertCamus at 6/29/07 8:11 a.m.

Oh this is so sad. He was an abrasive personality on air but he also brought a lot of passion. He encouraged young people to participate in politics. Very few adults deign to talk to young people, afraid of the culture gap.

Don't know what happened to him to cause this crash & burn. There's a whole website out there dedicated to covering seattle radio talk show scene and taking particular pleasure in Mike Webb's hardship. There's also a few idiots here relishing the death of another human being.

From Blatherwatch's comments section:

Shame on KIRO for deliberately not talking about this subject.

This is a classic example of a corporation that doesn't give a rat's ass about the contributions (blood sweat and tears) of employees.

This blog is very much responsible for Mike's death.

I consider this blog the equivalent of passerby's on the Aurora bridge shouting "Jump...Jump...Jump" to a desperate sould ready to commit suicide.

Shame on all of you!

Posted by: Anti Kiro | June 29, 2007 at 11:37 AM

Yes, it made me kind of sick to see someone with the title of Blatherwatch standing outside of Mike Webb's house and being interviewed on TV all so concerned. My gawd how they have hounded him - what hypocricy! It was almost like an arsonist watching a burning fire that he lit and enjoying it!

Posted by: Mactwinny | June 29, 2007 at 01:21 AM

"Hood, this site and the hecklers who reside within were surely factors in whatever fate has befallen him."

Ok, so if he was murdered (which is unknown at this point) this blog had something to do with it?

Man, I wish I had started posting here earlier, if this place has such POWER!

Posted by: 8ball | June 29, 2007 at 01:41 AM

First off: Tonight, Hood showed just how sleazy and tacky an individual he really is. Of all the people who should have been on the evening news tonight, he should have been below the bottom of the list. He has a "bad feeling"? Good. He probably had as much to do with it as everything that Mike Webb legitimately brought upon himself.

Yes, Mike Webb had issues, of which we can only guess. His later shows were becoming more and more irrational. You couldn't talk to him unless you agreed with everything he said. He was as obsessed with President Bush as this web site is about KIRO. If he hadn't made a habit of heading out to the quickie-mart in the middle of his show, who knows? He might still be on the air over there.

Yes, Mike Webb is surely responsible for the situation he created. However, Hood, this site and the hecklers who reside within were surely factors in whatever fate has befallen him. Knowing Webb's obsession about being photographed, Hood nonetheless went out of his way to get, and publish as close to being first as possible, a picture of Webb in the courtroom. Webb's reaction to seeing Hood was predictable, and Hood gleefully reported on every moment of Webb's discomfort.

Were it not for Bla'M, would Mike Webb still be here? Who knows? I'm convinced it didn't help any though, and that's a sad commentary on this web site. It seems clear that the bulk of the content here is posted at the expense of others, and done so in the name of journalistic freedom.

Attaching political alignment to this site's contents isn't the point, though I'm sure there are those who have pretty strong opinions there. The fact that Hood had the nerve to show up on TV, acting the concerned citizen over anything having to do with Mike Webb shows what a totally worthless s**thead he is.

Posted by: rhumbaseat | June 28, 2007 at 11:52 PM

Somehow, if Blatherwatch's Hood hadn't so thoroughly covered Webb's past antics, which included a fraud conviction and his more recent disappearance, he would still be here today.

Does that make sense? Of course not. So what has possessed so many people to make this point, particularly with the evidence pointing to murder? Does Blatherwatch employ its own hit squad?

However this kill- the- messenger crowd might like to lay the blame, there's no sugar- coating Webb's past: a nightmare at work and reckless in his personal life with a clear self- destructive bent.

That said, nobody wanted this to happen to Webb, or anyone else. Thorough investigative reporting isn't a crime, but knee- jerk accusations not supported by fact sure are sleazy.

SPECIAL NOTE: both within media circles and in the community, the finger- pointing going on in Seattle today is sickening. Just about everyone needs to take a deep breath, relax and let the Seattle PD do their investigation.

Mike's "friends", some of whom were classic enablers of his outlandish behavior, are out of control and are doing everyone a disservice today. And some of his media enemies (he had many) have been on the air trying to rewrite history about their own supposedly terrific working relationships with him. That's just plain dishonest.

Here's a reality check:

-- Mike chose to live a risky, self- destructive lifestyle. There's just no way to dispute that. He got into scuffles with police, made enemies around town and carried a loaded gun. He often didn't pay his bills, including union dues, even when employed full- time and making a fairly substantial salary at KIRO.

-- In his professional life, Mike spent far more time undermining and sabotaging managers and co- workers than promoting his own career or even prepping for his show. Targeting certain employees, he impersonated his boss through phony instant messages to staffers, antagonized other hosts and drove AFTRA crazy, all while touting his supposedly superior "progressive" values. Webb also asserted on- air that President Bush should be "executed".

What happened to Mike was terrible, we all hoped he would get the help that he needed, but somehow that didn't happen. In the meantime, it is crazy to accuse people of murder, just as it is downright dishonest to declare him a saint over the airwaves today.

Webb house / police: KOMO

UPDATE: first "right- wing conspiracy" comments begin to be posted:

I'd bet almost anything whoever did this was a conservative extremist who couldn't take anymore. If that was the case, this only goes to prove some of Mike's points. Some people simply cannot handle the truth. There were people that threatened his life on air - proof positive that some of those who claimed those views Mike professed against also had character issues as well, and the two all too often seem to go hand in hand.

In particular, though, Mike being anti-war and anti-violence only to be killed by violence further proves his message.

Posted by: Mark L. | June 29, 2007 at 08:37 PM

UPDATE: even the mainstream media (MSM) has been swept into the nuttiness. Hood has emailed your Radio Equalizer regarding a Seattle Times interview: "Times reporter Jonathan Martin said, 'you know I have to ask you, this- but did you have anything to do with this?'"

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Seattle Talk Radio, Mike Webb Disappearance


Body Found In Former KIRO Host's Home

*** Updates Here 1pm EDT: KING 5 TV Has New Details ***

With the discovery of a badly- decomposed body inside his home, the mystery over the whereabouts of former KIRO / Seattle libtalker Mike Webb has only deepened this morning.

Seattle TV newscasts have been leading off with details of the grisly find, with some speculating the body could be Webb's. He's been missing since April, leaving family and friends wondering where he could be.

*** The Seattle Post- Intelligencer has just posted an update here. ***

But the Queen Anne Hill home had already been searched a number of times in recent weeks and there was no indication a body was inside. So where did this one come from? Who is it?

As of yet, Seattle Police haven't a clue, even to determine its gender.

See this 2006 Seattle Weekly cover story for important background details on Webb's strange life and behavior.

His website carries this update:

Today there have been reports of a body being found in Mike Webb's home. At this time we have not heard any details as to where the body was found in the house, or a confirmation of identity. This is very important information we must obtain before we can determine Mike's whereabouts. Mike's family and friends are very concerned and are hoping Mike is still alive.

There are many questions to be answered, but the house has been searched several times prior to today and there wasn't evidence of foul play in the home until now. Police, Fire, and friends have been through the house many times since mid-May without incident. This discovery today brings many more questions to this mystery. For the sake of Mike's family and friends, please leave the speculation to the Seattle Police department. They are looking into this as a "suspicious death" and have NOT confirmed it is Mike.

After his arrest on insurance fraud charges, Webb was fired from KIRO and ultimately convicted. The Seattle- based Blatherwatch liberal talk radio blog has been tracking the case from the beginning, but now has some "progressives" posting nasty comments attacking lefty proprietor Michael Hood:


BLATHERWATCH is partly at fault for his death!! Shame on you!!

Posted by: riame47 | June 28, 2007 at 06:59 PM

His family was there cleaning up the house, the police have been there several times...all spent a lot of time searching for him...I dont understand... How could you not find a dead body if you search the whole house, especially one that had supposedly been there long enough to decompose that badly??
I hope it is not Mike, and Im sorry for whoever it turns out to be.

Posted by: sparky | June 28, 2007 at 07:10 PM


Nice Work!

Posted by: spooky11 | June 28, 2007 at 07:13 PM

It could be anyone's body. Earlier reports had said people had moved into the home.

Posted by: Some Guy | June 28, 2007 at 08:01 PM

What kind of idiotic police department do we have here? How come they didn't find him earlier.

Michael Hood drove that man to his death. You just had to take things too far.

Posted by: I am me | June 28, 2007 at 09:08 PM

If it turns out to be Mike, Hood and the rest of Blatherwatch should feel sick about themselves. Look back on this blog at the relentless personal attacks and harrasment toward this individual with mental health issues. It may or may not have contributed to this potential tragedy, but was it really necessary to be so cruel?

Posted by: so so 55 | June 28, 2007 at 10:13 PM

Keeping in mind that some of these folks spend every waking moment believing George W Bush planned the 9-11 attacks, it's still important to note that Hood has consistently stuck to the facts about Webb, even in the face of threats.

While Hood is a known "progressive", sharing many political beliefs with Webb, he nonetheless covered the story in a meticulous and objective manner.

Though he was a workplace nightmare for many, no one wishes Mike harm and our thoughts and prayers are with him this morning.

Webb house with police command tent: KING 5 TV Seattle, Webb photo: Seattle Times

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28 June 2007

Fairness Doctrine Funding Ban Passes In House Vote, Rep Mike Pence (R-IN)


Symbolic Fairness Doctrine Vote Favors Free Speech, For Now

Take that, Nancy Pelosi, John Kerry and Harry Reid!

At least for the moment, any attempt at bringing back the FCC's former Fairness Doctrine (known as "Hush Rush") has been shelved.

But over the long run, this largely symbolic, 309-115 House romp may not stop increasingly- determined Democrats from shutting down talk radio as we know it today. While today's vote prevents using taxpayer dollars to fund any reimplementation of the agency's past policy, the real test will come after the 2008 presidential election.

That's when an elected Democrat president would have the opportunity to stack the FCC with the party's own directors, which would mean an almost certain reimposition of free speech- stifling regulations. If Congress remains in Democrat hands, this scenario would be even more likely.

For now, however, we can savor what may prove a pyrrhic victory in this nation's culture wars. From The Hill:

Fairness Doctrine hammered 309-115

By Alexander Bolton

June 28, 2007
The House voted overwhelmingly Thursday to prohibit the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) from using taxpayer dollars to impose the Fairness Doctrine on broadcasters who feature conservative radio hosts such as Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity.

By a vote of 309-115, lawmakers amended the Financial Services and General Government appropriations bill to bar the FCC from requiring broadcasters to balance conservative content with liberal programming such as Air America.

The vote count was partly a testament to the influence that radio hosts wield in many congressional districts.

It was also a rebuke to Democratic senators and policy experts who have voiced support this week for regulating talk radio.

House Democrats argued that it was merely a Republican political stunt because there is little danger of the FCC restricting conservative radio while George W. Bush is president.

Republicans counter that they are worried about new regulations if a Democrat wins the White House in 2008.

Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) said on Tuesday that the government should revive the Fairness Doctrine, a policy crafted in 1929 that required broadcasters to balance political content with different points of view.

“It’s time to reinstitute the Fairness Doctrine,” he said. “I have this old-fashioned attitude that when Americans hear both sides of the story, they’re in a better position to make a decision.”

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), chairwoman of the Senate Rules Committee, said this week that she would review the constitutional and legal issues involved in re-establishing the doctrine.

Sen. John Kerry (Mass.), the Democratic Party’s 2004 presidential nominee, also said recently that the Fairness Doctrine should return.

In 1985 the FCC discarded the policy after deciding that it restricted journalistic freedom and “actually inhibit[ed] the presentation of controversial issues of public importance to the detriment of the public and in degradation of the editorial prerogative of broadcast journalists,” according to a Congressional Research Service report.

Thursday, the House firmly rejected the prospect of requiring balanced views on talk radio.

Before the passage of the amendment, which he sponsored, Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.), a former full-time radio host, forecast a big majority and took a shot at the Senate, saying: “This House will say what some in the other body are not saying, that we believe in freedom on the airwaves. We reject the doctrines of the past that would have this federal government manage political speech on the public airwaves.”

Especially after their bruising defeat on the amnesty bill for illegal immigrants, don't expect Democrats to give up this fight for even a moment. With right- leaning blogs for now considerably smaller than their liberal counterparts, taking out talk radio could deliver a knockout punch to the conservative movement.

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Senator George Voinovich (R-OH) Hangs Up On Sean Hannity, Talk Radio


Testy Voinovich / Hannity Exchange Has 'Net Buzzing

*** Update: Amnesty Bill Dead? Rush predicts talk radio will be blamed for any violent fallout, says bill's defeat a blow to Harry Reid's leadership ***

Rather than back down in the face of unprecedented, nationwide opposition to their fishy amnesty plan for illegals, why do elected officials now prefer to make asses of themselves on radio and television?

Sunday morning, it was Trent Lott and Diane Feinstein plotting ways to shut down talk radio. Then, Senator Ted Kennedy made a foolish attempt at singing in Spanish on a Hispanic radio station:

Yesterday, Senator George Voinovich (R-OH) tried to top them all with a rude and obnoxious performance on the Sean Hannity Show. Even worse, he hung up on Sean, according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer:

Voinovich hangs up on Hannity

Posted by Sabrina June 28, 2007 07:01AM

Sen. George Voinovich took heat in the GOP blogosphere last night after a testy exchange over immigration with conservative talker Sean Hannity. The curmudgeonly Cleveland Republican ended up hanging up on the radio host.

The conversation begins to degenerate about halfway through the interview.

"Thank you very much and I hope that the next time around, we have another subject that we can be more rational about," Voinovich said as he got off the phone.

"So I'm irrational because I disagree with you, the almighty senator," Hannity replied. "OK. I got it. Thank you."

Perhaps he was in a hurry to sing some of his own canciones.

Here, Hot Air provides
its own analysis and a number of reader comments, in addition to this clip:


And here, FrontPage's Ben Johnson unloads on Voinovich for his dubious performance:

During his appearance yesterday on The Sean Hannity Show, Sen. George Voinovich displayed a rare public trifecta of vices: he was ill-mannered, ill-informed, and condescending. In other words, he was the perfect image of those who oppose securing our borders, winning in Iraq, and keeping our economy out of recession.

In the most elegant and dignified talk show appearance since Lester Maddox walked off The Dick Cavett Show, Voinovich demonstrated profound ignorance, indicted an entire communications medium, and told his constituents not to trouble their political masters.

Sean Hannity opened his program by asking the Republican senator’s position on the free speech-stifling Fairness Doctrine. Voinovich replied, “I’m all for the Fairness Doctrine, whatever that is.” The move to censor talk radio has been in the news since its revival was first broached by Dennis Kucinich, a member of Voinovich’s Ohio Congressional delegation and his predecessor as mayor of Cleveland. It gained infamy all week long, as Senators Feinstein, Boxer, Kerry, and Clinton openly or covertly pledged their support. To Voinovich, it was a mystery wrapped in a riddle inside an enigma.

He then insisted the Hutchinson amendment to the Senate immigration bill passed the Senate that morning. When confronted with the fact that it failed 53-45 – and a talk show host knew more about Senate proceedings he’d participated in that morning than he did – Voinovich responded, “I thought it passed, because, frankly, I voted for it.” When asked if the failure signaled this is an amnesty bill, Senator Fiat responded defensively, “Well, the fact of the matter is that we are gonna continue to have more amendments, and we’ll see how that all works out.” How reassuring.

The interview’s defining moment, though, came when Voinovich lashed out at Hannity specifically and talk radio generally, demanding they stay in their place:

I’ve had people at my back calling because of programs like yours saying, “If you vote for this bill, then it’s the end of your political career.” And I just want you to know, and I want everyone else to know: You. Do. Not. Intimidate. George Voinovich. This is my 40th year in this business.

… I’ve gotten calls from people that, basically, are intimidating me. They’re saying, “If you do this [vote for the bill], I’ll do that [vote against you].”

How did these elected officials get so out of touch with reality? And why have they so casually disregarded the power of talk radio? Does Voinovich really think it's a good idea to treat so shabbily a host heard on hundreds of radio stations, including in his home state of Ohio?

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27 June 2007

Talk Radio, Elizabeth Edwards Calls Ann Coulter During Hardball, Fairness Doctrine


Edwards Call: For Fundraising Or Fairness Doctrine?

*** Update: Rush Limbaugh addresses topic, transcript here ***

Why did MSNBC allow the wife of a presidential candidate to launch a sneak attack against a key conservative pundit on live television? And just what was the campaign's reason for this sleazy, televised tactic?

Without alerting guest Ann Coulter in advance, MSNBC's Hardball allowed Elizabeth Edwards, wife of Democrat presidential candidate John Edwards, to confront her during the show. Utilizing a variety of cheap debate tactics, she phoned Coulter "to ask her politely to stop the personal attacks."

The resulting exchange has the Internet on fire today.

Because the Edwards campaign has previously used Coulter as a lefty fundraising tool, conservatives are wondering whether Elizabeth's trick will be incorporated into a campaign ad. In addition, at NewsBusters, there's concern this might be related to attempts by Democrats to shut down talk radio:

After seeing the coverage of this matter Wednesday morning, a revelation made at MSNBC’s “Hardblogger” emits a bit of a rodent aroma leading one to believe that this entire incident was set up not just to embarrass Coulter, but possibly to advance the current Democrat push to squash conservative talk radio.

From MSNBC's First Read, here's a partial transcript of the exchange:

CHRIS MATTHEWS: You know who's on the line? Somebody to respond to what you said Edwards yesterday morning -- Elizabeth Edwards. She wanted to call in today we said she could. Elizabeth Edwards go on the line you're on the line with Ann Coulter


CM: You wanna say something directly to the person who's with me?

EE: I'm calling you … in the south when we -- when someone does something that displeases us, we wanna ask them politely to stop doing it. Uh - I'd like to ask Ann Coulter -- if she wants to debate on issues, on positions -- we certainly disagree with nearly everything she said on your show today -- um but uh it's quite another matter for these personal attacks that the things she has said over the years not just about John but about other candidates -- it lowers our political dialogue precisely at the time that we need to raise it. So I want to use the opportunity … to ask her politely stop the personal attacks.

ANN COULTER: OK, so I made a joke -- let's see six months ago -- and as you point out they've been raising money off of it for six months since then.

CM: This is yesterday morning, what you said about him.

AC: I didn't say anything about him actually either time.

EE: Ann, you know that's not true. And once more its been going on for sometime.

AC: I don't mind you trying to raise money. I mean it's better this than giving $50,000 speeches to the poor.

EE: I'm asking you

AC: Just to use my name on the Web pages…

EE: I'm asking you politely…

AC: … but as for a debate with me, um yeah, sure. Yeah, we'll have a debate

EE: I'm asking you politely to stop personal attacks.

AC: How bout you stop raising money on the Web page then?

EE: It didn't start it did not

AC: No you don't have cause I don't mind

EE: It did not start with that you had a column a number of years ago

AC: OK, great the wife of a presidential candidate is calling in asking me to stop speaking

CM: Let her finish the point...

AC: You're asking me to stop speaking stop writing your columns, stop writing your books.

CM: OK, Ann. Please.


EE: You wrote a column a couple years ago which made fun of the moment of Charlie Dean's death, and suggested that my husband had a bumper sticker on the back of his car that said ask me about my dead son. This is not legitimate political dialogue.

AC: That's now three years ago

EE: It debases political dialogue. It drives people away from the process. We can't have a debate about issues if you're using this kind of language.

AC: Yeah why isn't John Edwards making this call?

From KXMC-TV's Say Anything blog:

Here’s the best reaction to the back-and-forth I’ve read yet from Bart Hinkle at the Richmond Times Dispatch:

In case you had any lingering doubts about Ann Coulter’s approach to politics, watch this video. Elizabeth Edwards asks Coulter to stop making vicious personal attacks and debate the issues instead. Coulter’s response: “The wife of a presidential candidate is asking me to stop speaking.” Uh, no. That’s precisely not what Edwards said. The wife of a presidential candidate asked Coulter to speak about issues

Coulter could have responded that she does just what Al Franken, Steven Colbert, and plenty of other entertainers do: Use humor to raise questions about the behavior of people in power.

Asking why John Edwards has charged $50,000 a pop for speeches is a legitimate question. But Coulter isn’t interested in actually debating opponents. She just wants to put words in their mouths and then ridicule them for what they didn’t say.

My sentiments exactly.

Actually, this is far from the case: during radio and TV interviews, your Radio Equalizer has repeatedly heard Coulter debate all comers (even earlier yesterday on the Howie Carr Show), taking opposing callers without hesitation. And there are plenty of bona fide issues discussed during these exchanges.

At the same time, MSNBC is guilty of unprofessional behavior in failing to alert Coulter that Elizabeth Edwards would be among the callers. That put the author / pundit at an unfair disadvantage.

In particular, Chris Matthews should have known better. Would he throw surprise guests into the mix when liberals appear on his program? Worse, Matthews is outright aiding the Edwards campaign by providing fodder for their next fundraising letter.

It's one more reason not to trust the Hardball host.

Frankenstew: David A Lunde, Coulter with sunglasses: MSNBC

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Illegal Immigration Amnesty Bill, Laura Ingraham, Sean Hannity, Alan Colmes


Hosts Are Doing Their Homework, Senators!

One of the biggest fallacies in the Lott / Feinstein party line on talk radio and the illegal alien amnesty bill is that hosts are spreading misinformation because they haven't actually studied the proposal. Are talkers really not doing their homework?

In some cases, it's possible, but who could claim to fully understand a circa- 700- page piece of legislation? Have the senators read it cover to cover?

And even if everyone has digested it thoroughly, it's clearly subject to one's own interpretation, especially when its potential impact is less than clear.

On the Hannity & Colmes program last night, syndicated talker Laura Ingraham demonstrated that she has in fact studied the bill and is closely following its movements. In an impressive manner, Ingraham summerized where it stands and what we can expect next:

(Transcript via RealClearPolitics, excerpted)

SEN. TED KENNEDY, (D) MA: This may not be perfect, but it's the best opportunity we have to do something significant and substantial, and I believe that the bill is good.


COLMES: That was Senator Ted Kennedy pushing for the immigration bill which was resurrected in the Senate earlier today. It is too early for proponents of the deal to celebrate as some major hurdles still need to be cleared, like the House.

Joining us now is radio talk show host Laura Ingraham. Laura, they voted 64 to something to reintroduce it. But is the House ever going to pass this bill?

LAURA INGRAHAM, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Well, it looks increasingly doubtful. The longer this goes on, despite the fact that cloture obviously was approved today, tomorrow there will be another cloture vote, so it will be late Thursday, there will be another cloture vote, I guess that's the day after tomorrow. And then Friday will be the vote on the entire bill.

So there are 24 amendments. I have a list of the amendments in front of me. There are 24 amendments, Alan, and there are a couple that are likely to be killer amendments. There is an amendment by Senator Menendez to essentially extend chain migration, bringing more family members in. And then there are others from Senator Hutchison and Senator Thune that are going to be tough for the liberals to swallow. So this is going to be a wild ride.

COLMES: I don't like it for the opposite reasons that you don't like it probably.

INGRAHAM: Good. We agree though. In principle we agree.

COLMES: In principle it's a bad bill. But I don't like it for other reasons. It's a big spending bill $4.4 billion extra in this bill. The fence they are talking about, the 700-mile fence is probably going to cost five to 25 times more than they are already saying it's going to cost.

INGRAHAM: Alan, do you know how much illegal immigration costs us?

COLMES: Whatever you are going to say, are you going to subtract the amount of money these people bring into the economy.

INGRAHAM: Twenty billion.

COLMES: And the taxes they pay.

INGRAHAM: Twenty billion. Alan.

COLMES: They also pay taxes. They also send money into the economy.

INGRAHAM: Here is the deal. Here is the deal. We either decide that we are a country or we are not a country. If we want to be part of just some global marketplace of ideas and economics, then we can do that and that's fine. But if we want to be a country, then countries have borders. And if we have borders, then the borders should be enforced. And we haven't been doing that.

COLMES: This doesn't do it.

INGRAHAM: And I think you can see, Alan, from the reaction across the country, left, middle and right, people, basically don't want this bill. And all these Republican senators, Lindsey Graham and, you know, the list goes on, Trent Lott, et cetera, et cetera, I'm telling you, a lot of people are now calling them former senators. Former Senator Graham.

COLMES: If you think a fence is going to do it. If you think the billions of dollars we are throwing at the problem is going to do it .

INGRAHAM: We have a little acronym on our show called ETL, enforce the laws.

COLMES: How are you going to do it?

INGRAHAM: Employers shouldn't be hiring illegal also obviously. We can enforce the laws. We can hit home plate in Yankee Stadium with a nuclear weapon if we want to. We are so accurate militarily. You don't think we have the ability to enforce our borders?

COLMES: I don't know that we can.

INGRAHAM: Oh, come on.

COLMES: Not with a 3,000-mile border.

INGRAHAM: So you are saying, Alan.

COLMES: And you've got to do something about .

HANNITY: Hang on a second. Laura, finish your thought and I have a question for you.

INGRAHAM: Alan is saying the world's greatest super power cannot secure her borders. I'm stunned that Alan Colmes is saying that on national TV. It's ridiculous.

HANNITY: Listen. I've worked with him long enough. Nothing he says stuns me.

INGRAHAM: I know. We still love him.

HANNITY: Here's -- let's look at the political side of this for a second, Laura.


HANNITY: The president now, since they started this debate has lost 10 points. His approval rating was already low. Congress is now what, seven or eight points below that. The American people by a margin of 80 percent could not want this bill but they keep forcing it down our throats. Why would they do that just for pure political reasons would they not see that they're on the wrong side of the issue here?

INGRAHAM: Well, the Democrats want to do it because this electorate is not as liberal as the Democrats need it to be to get all their social policies enacted. It's just not working. So they need a new electorate. That's what the Democrats are doing.

HANNITY: Do you think they are really thinking that long term?

INGRAHAM: Sean, they are in it for the long-term. This is long-term. Some people think it's morally the right thing to do. And that's fine. I'm sure President Bush thinks that others really believe that globalism and the global economy requires that we have essentially an unlimited supply of cheap labor coming into the United States at all costs, at sovereignty costs, at national security costs, health care costs, education costs, all of it. That's what it is. It's globalism with morality and, you know, a little bit of electorate protection thrown in.

Let's face it: when politicians say their opponents are "misinformed", it really means they're taking a differing viewpoint. If hosts were in favor of amnesty, these senators would be singing talk radio's praises.

In tune with the nearly 80% of the public that opposes this bill, talk radio doesn't deserve to be attacked by some of the same elected officials who owe past victories to support from this very medium.

FOR Boston- area talk radio updates, see our other site.

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26 June 2007

Air America Radio, Atlantic City, Liberal Talk Radio


Maybe The 'Imbalance' Crowd Should Clam Up

For the first time in ages, a station has actually added Air America Radio to its lineup. From All Access:

Atlantic City AM Gambles On Air America

ACCESS.1's WTAA-A (formerly WTKU-A, and before that WUSS-A)/ATLANTIC CITY flips from a simulcast of sister Oldies WTKU (OLDIES 98) to Talk using AIR AMERICA RADIO.

ACCESS.1's WWRL-A/NEW YORK serves as AIR AMERICA's flagship.

If there's such a conspiracy to keep libtalk off of the airwaves, what explains this?

Should the "structural imbalance" crowd shift their focus to providing outlets for lefty programming, or is it more fun to whine about radio's unfairness?

SAVE Internet radio: it's almost too late! Today: the Internet Radio Day Of Silence is underway.

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Rush Limbaugh, Trent Lott, Talk Radio


Back From Golf Trip, Rush Feeling Powerful

After a week away, Rush Limbaugh clearly couldn't wait to return to the airwaves and resume running the country. For the occasion, his website was redesigned and new graphic images now proclaim the talk titan as our nation's leader.

But instead of merely joking about Senator Trent Lott's assertion that talk radio is calling the shots in America, Limbaugh tore into the Republican from Mississippi yesterday, accusing him of "trying to slither out of this" in a weekend news show appearance:

RUSH: All right, Trent Lott. He made this comment actually before last week, but only yesterday did he show up on Fox News Sunday to discuss this. What he said was talk radio is running America. We have to deal with that problem. It's about the immigration bill and how the people on talk radio got the immigration bill killed. And Lott thinks it's a problem. So he shows up on television yesterday with Chris Wallace and Senator Dianne Feinstein.

One of the questions that Wallace asked Trent Lott was this. "Let's start with the controversy over talk radio because Senator Lott you stirred up quite a hornet's nest this week when you said, 'Talk radio is running America, we have to deal with that problem.' Here was the reaction from a conservative talk show host."

RUSH ARCHIVE: Talk radio is the American voter. That's what bothers Trent Lott.

WALLACE: Senator, your response.

LOTT: One of the mistakes that we have made many times on legislation is it's introduced, it comes out of committee, we bring it to the floor, we never bother to explain what we're trying to do and what is in it. I think that was the mistake that was made with immigration. Talk radio defined it without us explaining that there were reasons for it and the good things that were in it. So the onus is not on them. It's on us to do a better job of communicating what we're trying to do.

RUSH: Trying to slither out of this.

LOTT: -- look, I've been defended by talk radio many times --

RUSH: Damn right.

LOTT: -- and I will support their right to tell their side of the story, right, left, or the middle, forever. I don't think in this Fairness Doctrine it would try to require that there be X-amount on both sides is fair. So, you know, it's caused quite a stir, but, you know, it goes with the territory.

RUSH: What a slither job that was. He slithered out of that. Well, I can't describe how things in my life have slithered out of my control and keep it family oriented, but I'm telling you, this is -- (laughing) -- he did not want to be held account to this. "Oh, that's not what I mean." So the next question, "Senator, I'm not going to let you off the hook quite that easily. You said this also last week. 'I'm sure senators on both sides of the aisle being pounded by these talk radio people don't even know what's in the bill.' Now, I talked to some of the talk radio people, and they say you make it sound like they're leading around their listeners like a bunch of sheep. They say, look, they know what's in the bill, the listeners know what's in the bill, and they don't like it."

LOTT: As a matter of fact, I do talk radio in my own state in particular, but others, and I'm sure Diane does, too. I was doing one interview, and the talk radio host said to his credit, "What are you trying to do here?" And I explained that we were trying to improve a bad situation. And that's a summation of it. And he said, "Well, tell me four things in this bill that you think are significantly better than the current law." So I ticked them all. He said, "That's in there?" I said, yeah. See, that's the point. It's not that they are maliciously trying to --

RUSH: Oh, here we go.

LOTT: -- distort it, and this is a complicated bill with a lot of moving parts. Some of it I don't like. You know, I'm not committed to voting for the final product. The wheels may come off. But I am committed to trying. That's what the United States Senate should be trying to do.

RUSH: Well, Senator Lott, ladies and gentlemen, has asked to say something to those of you in this audience as a result of this controversy. (Trent Lott message spoof.) You know what I thought about doing today? I ought to not tell you; I'll just do it one day. No, I'll tell you. I actually thought about showing up here today with a gag in my mouth and still talking to you. To speak as though I am being gagged, sort of like I used to put the condom on the microphone to illustrate safe talk or the absurdity of safe sex and to put the gag in my mouth and say, "Hi, folks, this is Rush Limbaugh, the man who is running America." And, by the way, when they say talk radio, they mean Rush Limbaugh.

Coming back from Vermont on, I guess Thursday afternoon after we played up there, we had Fox News on the airplane, and I'm watching, they're playing videotape of me in the studio doing the program and talking to somebody about this Think Progress report or this Center for American Progress, the John Podesta group that thinks that there's a big problem with talk radio, needs to be handled legislatively.

One of the gentlemen on the airplane, one of the guests said, "Why are you in this?" I said, "Because I am talk radio." He's a Connecticut guy, not sure what this was all about, reads the New York Times. I'm watching this, and it is kind of surreal. So I thought about showing up here with a gag in my mouth, as the man who runs America. But let me say this.

As the man who runs America, and Trent Lott I don't think successfully slithered out of that comment -- if I'm running America, here are my decisions today. I'm going to have more decisions for America tomorrow and maybe even some the day after that. I have decided today as the man who runs America to move Trent Lott from the Senate back to the House. I have decided that tax cuts are no longer temporary. They are permanent. I have decided that September will be American Excellence Month. I have decided that energy independence will be a reality and not a slogan. Therefore I am authorizing ANWR on a fast track and we're going to build ten new nuclear plants starting tomorrow. Number five, I pronounce speaker Nancy Pelosi a failed leader of the House.

To your Radio Equalizer, what was most alarming was the amount of agreement between Lott and Feinstein during their weekend interview. Is there any difference between the two parties at this point?

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Salem Communications, Conservative Talk Radio


At Conservative Radio Network, Major Upheaval

A long- awaited management reshuffling has occurred at Salem Communications, a syndicated provider of conservative talk radio shows and owner of hundreds of stations.

With most of the company's secular talk stations struggling and few of its shows performing well, Salem's overdue for a fairly radical overhaul.

Here, we look at the fallout and possible changes ahead.

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25 June 2007

Bill O'Reilly Speaks At National Society Of Newspaper Columnists Conference


At Media Conference, O'Reilly Takes No Prisoners

Somehow managing to avoid drowning in their venom, Bill O'Reilly took on a room full of hostile mainstream media types, speaking Truth To Paper (to borrow one of the left's most obnoxious slogans) at an industry convention held in Philadelphia.

Knowing full well that most of the attendees were bitter enemies, O'Reilly went on the offensive. Because of his schedule, some of his appearance was apparently done by telephone.

From's Dan Gross:

WHILE Bill O'Reilly saw a lot of homeless during his half-hour stroll around Center City Thursday night, the Fox News Channel talk host was glad that "when you wave them off, they don't curse at you like in San Francisco."

O'Reilly was in town to deliver the keynote address for the annual National Society of Newspaper Columnists conference, headquartered at the Sofitel. Friday morning, the confrontational TV/radio host greeted a roomful of columnists who he was sure already had negative opinions about him. Judging by crowd reaction and later comments about his address, he was right.

O'Reilly, who has written for newspapers since 1974, spoke about what he sees as a liberal bias in mainstream media and suggested that ideology has caused readers to abandon papers.

O'Reilly ran out of the Sofitel to head back to New York, but was able to speak by phone from the New Jersey Turnpike. We asked why he doesn't consider "The O'Reilly Factor," which has 10 million viewers nightly, part of the mainstream media he criticizes.

"We look at ourselves as renegades, mavericks," he said of the "Factor" and Fox News' "traditionalist" perspective toward news.

O'Reilly's point about newspaper readership is frankly dead- on and it's something the print media needs to accept. The excuses they use for declining circulation have grown tiresome.

There's no reason a quality publication, without the rampant bias, can't grow along with its Internet counterpart (where readers often go for blogs, message boards and other non- news sections). First, these guys will have to come clean and admit to the problem.

AT NEWSBUSTERS, will Rosie join MSNBC?

SAVE Internet radio: it's really, really, really almost too late! Tuesday: the Day Of Silence begins.

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