The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

22 June 2007

KGO, Center For American Progress 'Structural Imbalance Of Talk Radio' Report


Talk Radio Report Downplayed Actual 'Progressive' Content

*** See Main Page For Updates, Including John Gibson Interview At 6:20pm EDT ***

In cooking up their now- infamous report on talk radio's "imbalance", what exactly was the Center For American Progress trying to accomplish?

Though your Radio Equalizer has argued the study should be ignored, it's getting so much attention that its overt flaws need to be addressed.

After the near- total failure of libtalk across the country, do they really believe they can force stations to carry what programmers already know won't work?

Short of the legislative action Hillary and Boxer are apparently planning, it just isn't going to happen. Any manager crazy enough to propose a libtalk format for one of their stations would be laughed out of the building.

Interestingly, libtalk still exists, though with few land- based affiliates. But it can be found on both XM and Sirius Satellite Radio, in addition to Internet streaming. Why doesn't that count?

That's why the whining is incredible. While your Radio Equalizer and syndicated host Mark Levin (photo right) have already revealed the personal connection one of the report's authors has to liberal talk radio, a quick glance at the study reveals something else: they've greatly downplayed the amount of lefty talk actually airing.

In fact, the mistakes are so obvious, they shatter the study's credibility. According to the methodology cited on page seven, "hosts were categorized as conservative, progressive/ liberal, or indeterminate/ neither based on self- identification, show descriptions, and listings in Talkers Magazine. Only hosts with evident and near- indisputable leanings were categorized."

That's where the survey's clear bias is exposed: they clearly have a much easier time labelling a "conservative" host than a "progressive" one. The results are comical:

San Francisco's KGO is listed as featuring only three hours of daily liberal talk! If this refers to Bernie Ward, what about the four hours of hyper- lefty Ray Taliaferro (shown in top- left photo)? Or two hours of liberal- leaning Pete Wilson? Finally, why don't the 17 hours or more of "progressive" weekend programming count?

The report lists KABC / Los Angeles as featuring no liberal talk, but morning host Doug McIntyre's four- hour show fits the study's "progressive" criteria, having sat on the "left" side of the Talk Radio Rumble panel at the recent New York City convention organized by Talkers.

In New York City, why weren't WOR- AM afternoon hosts Hennican & White listed in the "progressive" column? Ellis Hennican is not shy when it comes to promoting a leftist viewpoint.

In Washington, why isn't urban talker WOL listed on the liberal side as well? Take a look at the schedule: is there anything unclear about Al Sharpton's leanings? The same goes for the stations with this format in Detroit, Philly, Chicago and elsewhere.

In addition:

Why was Salem's lineup listed in the report at all? Like Air America Radio on the left, Salem is a network designed to provide syndicated conservative talk. Should Air America add righty hosts?

In the corporate survey, why leave out other major operators such as Entercom, where Seattle's KIRO features a considerable amount of lefty programming? Why was ABC Radio omitted? Yes, it did just merge with Citadel, but its stations aren't listed there, either.

And that's just scratching the surface in a report that is so full of holes it looks like a fence along the Mexican border.

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  • The licensing portion of the Center for American Progress [toward Marxism] reminded me most of Chavez's refusing to renew the licenses of networks in opposition to him.

    How envious the left must be of that kind of power to squelch dissent.

    By Blogger eLarson, at 22 June, 2007 14:41  

  • Ok. Brian good try at least, Im being objective

    first, face the reality that Marc levin's article is BUNK. First, the CFAP is a non-profit group and their mission (unlike swiftvote vets) is not to lobby for a candidate. I subscribe, I get everything they release, they do not support any candidate. Levin is full of crap, and Levin draws slanderous conclusions when he assumes just because the person who founded the group, used to work for Clinton automatically means they are campaigning for Clinton. If he still worked for a candidate, that wiuld be a different story. Levin should know better, he committed slander and used heresay, without any factual backing of his accusation. So if you want to be honest with the readers here, Levin's article holds no water, it is all slanderous heresay. Do not need a law degee to figure this out.

    now on to the report itself and the points you raised.
    Maloney's first point
    San Francisco's KGO is listed as featuring only three hours of daily liberal talk! If this refers to Bernie Ward, what about the four hours of hyper- lefty Ray Taliaferro (shown in top- left photo)? Or two hours of liberal- leaning Pete Wilson? Finally, why don't the 17 hours or more of "progressive" weekend programming count?

    mmmmm. Maybe those shows were not on at the time of the report. If they were it is a mistake and still does not close the gap between con talk and liberal talk, but a decent point.......

    Doug McIntyre: Never heard the show, will stream to determine if he is liberal or not

    Maloney's second point:
    New York City, why weren't WOR- AM afternoon hosts Hennican & White listed in the "progressive" column?

    give me a break, they do not have a political talk show, if you want to count them as "libs" because once in a while a host shows he has leftie tendencies, than count shock jocks, because every once in a while they reveal their political leanings. So in that case add : Opie and Anthony as conservative talkers, their side-kick Jim Norton is clearly a conservative. Also count Mancow as a conservative talker, he is clearly a Republican...... and how about sports hosts, some of them tend to lean right or left and occasionally mention things which could reveal their political leanings.

    Why was Salem's lineup listed in the report at all? Like Air America Radio on the left, Salem is a network designed to provide syndicated conservative talk. Should Air America add righty hosts?
    Salem broadcasts to millions of listeners, that is why. Irrelevant point Brian. you are now grasping at straws, the report was just counting hours, and Salem counts

    Last point
    the corporate survey, why leave out other major operators such as Entercom, where Seattle's KIRO features a considerable amount of lefty programming? Why was ABC Radio omitted? Yes, it did just merge with Citadel, but its stations aren't listed there, either.

    fair enough

    Point remains that Con talk dominates radio and it has nothing to do with ratings. It has to do with big business and monoploy, more owners, more viewpoints, that is the point of the report. More ownership would bring more viewpoints. The report does not advocate the fairness doctrine, they are advocating TRUST BUSTING....

    I can prove my point, that big business and not ratings is why radio is conservtive and cable news as well...........

    remember Phil donohue, he used to have the highest ratings on cable television and when he was fired he was still #1 on his network, I believe MSNBC, he was fired because of he was a liberal, prove me wrong.

    Big business conglomerate media puts on hosts which benefit their agenda, de-regulation to increase their monopoly, liberals for the most part respect the Anti-trust laws and are anti-monoploy. Why would clearchanel want a stable of talkers advocating dismanteling their empire???

    Dispute this fact. And no AAR ratings do not prove a point. Most of AAR affiliates are crap stations with low power. Lib talk NEVER HAS HAD a fair shake in competing, PERIOD.

    put lib talk on every flame thower in the country, than we will see just how much of a failure lib talk is, until they are equal in coverage, you have no argument about lib talk being a failed format.

    By Blogger Minister of Propaganda, at 22 June, 2007 14:53  

  • elarson

    Weak sauce, go back to Hannity, you functionally brain dead ditto head.

    bu bu bu Chavez, i noticed something, most americans do not hate Chavez, the right failed in their attempt to demonize him, BIG TIME

    By Blogger Minister of Propaganda, at 22 June, 2007 14:54  

  • MoPoop,

    All you proved is that you are an idiot, and a lying one at that.

    No one believes the manure you spew.

    By Blogger PCD, at 22 June, 2007 15:06  

  • MOP said
    Most of AAR affiliates are crap stations with low power. Lib talk NEVER HAS HAD a fair shake in competing, PERIOD.

    It's just not fair! Boo Hoo! Air America was not allowed to start off on a silver plate with the largest and biggest radio power stations. You probably think that Rush Limbaugh just walked into the radio biz 20 years ago and was given the top dog position automatically.

    Why don't you use the same straw man argument that you've used to promote Olbermann? It's not the total numbers, it is the percentage change.

    Well, probably because AAR could not even play that card. Their meager total numbers dived as well as the percentage.

    Did you ever consider that just perhaps CONTENT might have played into the demise of AAR?

    By Blogger The Benson Report, at 22 June, 2007 15:33  

  • Weak sauce, go back to Hannity, you functionally brain dead ditto head.

    Wow. Crushing. And I'm a ditto head, too. Heart-rending.

    Point remains that Con talk dominates radio and it has nothing to do with ratings.

    I contend that it has everything to do with ratings. What station have you ever managed?

    By Blogger eLarson, at 22 June, 2007 16:25  

  • Equalize your research!

    If you listen to Doug Mcintyre for 10 minutes you will find him to be far from left-leaning.

    Doug's red eye radio show, which ran before his morning drive show, was an absolute minefield for liberal thinking. He is likely a republican, and certainly not a liberal. Please, please contact Dough yourself and clarify for yourself.

    I appreciate the tenor of this posting, but you are just wrong to call him left-leaning, just because he is not wholly partisan.

    I am pretty ticked right now that you would mischaracterize such a well-known radio personality in a major market.

    Unfortunately ABC radio is still in the paleolithic era regarding podcasting or you could download streams of his show. However, since I am a certified news talk junkie, you can contact me for your fix.


    By Blogger Unknown, at 22 June, 2007 18:30  

  • The only way I could see someone putting McIntyre on the left side is if left=doesn't like Bush. Looking at the current immigration debate, that doesn't seem like a good formula to me.

    By Blogger Robert Spuhler, at 22 June, 2007 18:48  

  • MOP,

    Take a look at the Seattle area ratings. CBS Radio has multiple channels, and this is the same outfit that stood behind Dan Rather during Rathergate.

    Entercom carries KTTH - Rush Limbaugh. But it also carries KIRO which has Dave Ross, Mike Reagan, used to have Mike Webb, and is definitely on the left side of the political spectrum.

    Fisher carries KVI, the other big conservative talker, but also KOMO which is a neutral-to-slight-left news station.

    Progressive radio just doesn't seem to work in most markets, and I think it is because of the hosts. Clearly there should be a demand for the product, if done well; witness the closeness of elections over the last 20 years.

    Conservatives have slowly and methodically built up a large contingent of quality hosts who know how to attract, engage, and keep an audience. That hasn't happened on the liberal side. Until that happens - and it takes a decade of slow, hard work - liberal talk will be a non-starter because it won't attract enough of an audience. Which means ad revenue will be low, meaning stations simply won't survive.

    By Blogger Shanghai Dan, at 23 June, 2007 02:04  

  • I disagree on one key point.

    AAR is NOT a liberal network anymore.

    Through infilitration and now outright crypto-neocon proxy ownership, most progressive hosts have been fired (against listeners' specific wishes), like Malloy, Seder, Winstead, and Maron. Non-progressive replacements like Alan Colmes and Lionel (whose show bears absolutely no resemblance to his prior work on WOR and WABC, and is clearly a bought-and-paid for neocon plant, masquerading as a libertarian) have been brought in to provide platforms for racist bigots like Bill Donahue.

    Lionel has had several segments this week about how gays can be "reprogrammed to go straight", complete with guest experts. Like all conservative hosts, he is incapable of doing research and has demonstrated a flair for quoting blogs and news articles verbatim and claiming them as his own.

    He is vicious and abusive to callers, has an obnoxious, jealous, shyster-esque manner toward good callers, and has singlehandledly succeeded in alienating virtually all progressives in a way Springer never could have.

    Does this sound like a typical neocon tactic to destroy the ONLY liberal talk radio network, folks?

    Lionel believes that Libby should be pardoned, refuses to discuss 9/11 truth (a subject he was supposedly hired for) and believes Israel is such a righteous nation (mind you, EVERY SINGLE FIRED HOST was, like Rosie O'Donnell, critical of Israel's role in decades of Middle East conflict and AIPAC's stranglehold on American foreign policy.

    Sound like a progressive to you?

    Incidentally, Lionel's old spot on WOR was suddenly filled by Steve Malzberg, an unpopular neocon war hawk with a seedy, combative style,
    who has been unable to obtain employment for several years after being let go for his lackluster performance on other stations.

    So the neocon interlopers are being brought in, while more thoughtful, intelligent hosts like John Batchelor are allowed to fall by the wayside, simply because they refuse to follow the right's narrow interpretation of journalistic ethics, inability to SELF-criticize, and spout anti-intellectual rantings that justify simple answers to complicated problems.

    Randi is phenomenal and a true progressive, but I predict she will depart AAR by the fall. Thom Hartmann is an intelligent, moderate liberal with strong labor sensibilities who is willing to debate cons, but I believe he enjoys the 12-3 spot opposite Rush and offering a fair and balanced alternative too much to leave. He self-syndicates anyway...but I believe he will continue to enjoy the extra outlets AAR affords, for as long as it is there...

    Now...who else on AAR is really a liberal or a progressive?

    Do you see my point? This is about ironing out the rough edges of the extremist hosts. And it just so happens, that the extremists in American talk radio today happen to be neocons. That's where the abuses and the untruths lie.

    By Blogger hashfanatic, at 23 June, 2007 02:55  

  • I don't take Lionel all too seriously, he says a lot of things in jest, part of his gimmick I guess, but I would not call him progressive. Alan Colmes is not part of Air America, i think he still comes from Fox radio, have not heard his show in years. I think Lionel purposely has non traditional liberal talk guests on to "stand out" from the other hosts, I don't think he is a neo-con plant, just an effort to get a bigger name on the network, I liked Sam Sedar better, Lionel I maybe catch 1-2 hours a week. I think your reading too much into Lionel, I stick with Pacifica in the mornings now adays, I cant stand the AAR morning show Young Turks, and the local NYC show on WWRL is the worst radio of all time. Sam Greenfield is a complete hack, a bigger hack than his right wing co-host Armstrong Williams, you know the show is bad when the "progressive host" is a bigger hack than the CON!! Lionel is usually not my thing either, so its Pacifica for me, a little Thom Hartman, and Rhodes. The "Air Americans" is a snooze fest, Riley is horrible. With some of the new shows on AAR, the right wingers have a point, AAR programming is at a low point. Hartman and Rhodes are the 2 most listenable shows at this point. John Elliot is dull as well. Rachel Maddow's show has gone down Hill, with the annoying Kent Jones. I do think though Lionel is a better radio host than Springer, Jerry sounded like a hack, Lionel at least (as rude as he is) has a good radio "personality". AAR should hire people like Amy Goodman, since they lost Malloy, they need an actual reporter on their network, Amy Goodman would great for AAR,and make them more progressive and make up for Lionel. These magazine style shows like Air Americans and Madow's show do not make for compelling radio in general, but if you are going to have shows like that, at least hire aexpert like Amy.

    Well since AAR has become so lame, always check me out!! I think our little show is more compelling than The Young Turks

    By Blogger Minister of Propaganda, at 23 June, 2007 03:15  

  • The Greens (and those the Greens report to) would NEVER hire anyone like Amy Goodman! Ever!

    Such a thing is simply not permitted.

    I've watched this almost obsessive need to destroy AAR from within, from both the mainstream Rethugs and the out-and-out neocon movement. This is no secret among anyone who's actually worked there for any period of time. They simply either underplay their suspicious, for fear of running afoul of the DLC types, who are alarmed at the emergence of the "netroots" movement and their inability to control it. Or they do not speak of it in absolute terms, or speak of what they see only off the record.

    But that certainly doesn't mean it isn't happening, and it certainly doesn't mean that AAR is unique in this regard.

    What's stunning is the sheer number of AAR listeners defecting, or having a visceral negative reaction toward anything the network puts out, because of the rapid decline of quality of the programming.

    Even Randi has openly admitted to being censored, on the air, in person, during actual interviews (the Kerry interview was a perfect example of this in action....)

    Minister, I read somewhere where Jay Diamond was arguing for a need for more on-air balance to moderate the current excesses, and George Weber was countering by using very vague terms to describe what is truthful and what is not on the air.

    Now, a substantial number of New Yorkers hear George Weber on the air and think they are getting the NEWS, not opinion, because George Weber is telling them so (I would argue that, with a certain dumbell there to egg him on in his revisionism, the listens take it as gospel).

    Surely, you see we have a serious problem here. These clowns have a responsibility to get it right the first time, and are paid well to do so, are so arrogant and so divorced from any sort of consequences for their distortions, that they can openly discuss this on an open message board, and continue to get away with it?

    They are controlling the people with mistruths and distortions, and feeding them with lies to fan the flames of their own fears, on the public airwaves.

    I think this is what the Center For American Progress's report is hoping to address. And I believe that any conversation between Clinton and Pelosi (if true) would have focused on the problem, as opposed to fixing blame.

    By Blogger hashfanatic, at 23 June, 2007 03:38  

  • Another point.

    Neocons have a history of intimidating and even "disappearing" liberal talk show hosts (ex. Webb)...

    But what about a show that supposedly airs with two hosts, one allegedly liberal and one conservative, like Williams?

    Greenfield sucks up to Williams and throws arguments so frequently it is sickening. Now, that's a liberal show?

    What about Hannity and Colmes? Is that going to be categorized as conservative, even when Colmes wins the debate and Hannity just shouts him down?

    Yet, they bill themselves as "fair and balanced", yet there's not a soul dense enough to believe it is true.

    When they say they are "fair and balanced", they are lying.

    When Santorum claims there are WMDs and Hannity shakes his head like a bobblehead doll, he is LYING.

    He knows Santorum is wrong, and he knows Santorum is lying.

    Hannity is lying too.

    By Blogger hashfanatic, at 23 June, 2007 03:45  

  • Hash,

    Since you want balance, I assume we can expect you to be just as vociferous against the print and TV journalists, since the vast majority (over 90%) are on the political left.

    I assume you want equality in your news, not just in the opinion shows? That we need more broadcasters like Brit Hume, more writers like Michelle Malkin and Charles Krauthammer to reach a "balance" of voices?

    By Blogger Shanghai Dan, at 23 June, 2007 12:19  

  • The more I look at this "report" the more it's obviously a slanted hit-piece against conservative talkers.

    1. Paul Woodhull PRODUCES Ed Schultz, and he's the lead researcher for this report. Think there's a bit of conflict of interest? What if Rush Limbaugh's producer issued a "report" through some supposedly "non-partisan" front group decrying the lack of conservative voices on the evening news? Would you accept it?

    2. The reports COMPLETELY ignores Air America and Pacifica, who have 64 and 47 stations, respectively. And neither of which carries ANY conservative voices.

    This is simply a front so the extreme left in Congress can have cover to try to introduce a new "fairness doctrine" that will, of course, only apply to conservatives, and we won't see ANY change in the mainstream media such as ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, and 90% of all print...

    By Blogger Shanghai Dan, at 23 June, 2007 13:28  

  • Da:, and we won't see ANY change in the mainstream media such as ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, and 90% of all print...

    Now, you are tossed into the pile of hacks like PCD...... Implying that the media is "liberal", absolute CRAP, only the usefull idiot buys that one.......

    this is the same MSM that calls Giuliani "America's mayor", the same print media that allowed Judy miller to declare "saddam has WMD's' for a year non-stop on the front page of the NY times, the same media that hires Chris Matthew's to masturbate on the airwaves to Fred Thompson's "manly smell", the same media that ignored the downing Street memo, Ahamad Chalabi's lies, ignored Bush's violation of the presidential records act, ignored the fact that Douglas Feith cooked up pre-war intelligence, ignored the Plame incident until the story was almost over, ignored what the GOP did to Ashcroft while in the hospital.

    I can give you over 100 examples to dis-credit your old RNC #1 talking point, "liberal media"......

    and No, save your time, reporters donating to democrats does not make the media "liberal", save it for someone as functionally retarded as yourself, nobody buys that crap.

    The reporters no longer report, they follow orders and cover what their masters find acceptable.... I proved it already, I can continue listing important stories ignored by broadcast television which are HUGE stories but since they look bad for "team con", do not make it on the air.

    If the media was "liberal", Bush would have been impeached a long time ago, the public would have DEMANDED IT, but the media has ignored all stories which would turn the public violently against this crime regime.....

    Prove me wrong

    You can't and you won't

    and no covering the war and the carnage associated with it, does not mean "lib media" , I know how badly you filthy Anti-American, "R" over America freaks, despise WAR coverage. Cons crave a media that is 100% like O'riley and Chris matthews.

    Cons would be satisfied with the media talking about Fred Thompson's "manly smell" 24 hours a day. I guess that would make PCD and the rest thrilled!!!

    Fred Thompson has manly smelling underwear!!!!

    This is the kind of news "cons" demand!!!!!

    so, who is up for proving to me the media is liberal, without the talking points I mentioned already, you can't use those.......

    By Blogger Minister of Propaganda, at 25 June, 2007 12:05  

  • MOP,

    Unlike your "facts" I actually post things to back up my claims:

    125 of 144 journalists gave money to the Democrats; 17 gave money to the Republicans.

    I'd say that is the Media being overwhelming Democrat.

    Oh, and here you can find a series of polls and surveys showing:

    1. The mainstream media votes overwhelming in favor of Democrats.

    2. Considers itself Liberal.

    3. Admits it is liberal.

    4. Is seen by the vast majority of America as liberal in bias.

    To deny otherwise shows that you live in a pretty narrow world!

    So other than your rants, do you have ANY references to back up your claims? Because here's several hard FACTS that show the exact opposite of what you claim.

    The mainstream media - ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, MSNBC, and most print - are heavily liberal leaning and biased.

    So when does the political right get its voice on these mainstream shows? Who's the evening news anchor who voted for President Bush or President Reagan? I mean, don't we want to be fair and balanced?

    Or is the Left's demand for "equal time" on talk radio only applicable in one direction?

    By Blogger Shanghai Dan, at 25 June, 2007 13:25  

  • DA,

    I fully proved to you that there is no liberal media, I just gave you a whole list of TOP NEWS STORIES, fully ignored by the MSM....... you came back with the same poll I told you, can't be used in the debate.

    The "reporter"' do not report any longer, so their political affiliation is irrelevant.
    100% irrelevant, you ignored my rule for this debate by using a HACK RNC talking point, which PROVES nothing.

    focus on the news directors, and the decision makers as to what makes the T.V. The reporters are not "reporters" they are smiling faces, idiot. Your RNC bullshit talknig point, does not work with anyone who understands how NEWS works.
    The smiling anchor makes ZERO decisions, the "reporter" follows orders, their political ideologiy is 100% irrelevant, they have ZERO say in the news...

    can you refute me, without the bullcrap talking point?

    Give me a single example of "lib media"...........................

    Show me how the media is liberal

    I showed you a huge list of stories that would have been FRONT PAGE top stories if a Democrat was in charge

    Refute my original post, dont toss me RNC talking points, I walk with my 2 legs, not my knuckles, dont insult me with your RNC bullcrap.

    Show me how my original post was wrong and the media is "liberal"

    i knew you could not do this, without runnig over to RNC for you hackery "reporter servey".

    I see with my own 2 eyes what makes the news and nothing of real news about this administration has made it in 6 years.............

    Show me "lib bias"

    something tells me, you are going to run with your tail between your legs to some hack blog!!

    Come on!!!!
    lib media!!!!

    This can't be hard right???????

    Try again, I showed you CON media bias by omission...........

    you gave me a tired 30 year old RNC gag "lib reporters"

    I'm not a knuckle dragger, I function at a higher level of thought than the typical right wing hack you talk to, showing me a bogus 30 year old argument "the reporters are lib" will not cut it, might work for a Hannity listener, not me.

    So the same way, I quickly listed several omitted major news stories, if you are so sure the media is liberal, Im sure you have some examples............


    or is the only talking point you know the old "reporters are liberal" gag??????

    As I said I'm qualified to debate ANYONE, including your best radio hack, including Limbaugh, and I can debate without thw aid of talking points.......

    Can you?

    Remember it was only on Friday, when I humiliated the host of this site about the Fairness doctrine, whuch ius a non-issue, it took him 72 hours to admit the fairness doctrine is not the issue, but rather ownership......

    How many more times to I need to do this?

    By Blogger Minister of Propaganda, at 25 June, 2007 13:50  

  • Neocons just repeat the same lies over and over and over, until the people just swallow the pill to shut them up.

    By Blogger hashfanatic, at 25 June, 2007 22:15  

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