The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

04 February 2008

Huckabee Blames Bain Buyout Of Clear Channel For Romney Support


To Attack Romney, Huck Steals Kooky Conspiracy Theory

*** UPDATE: Rush Rips Apart Huck Over This ***

In an astonishing case of conspiracy- peddling by a major presidential candidate, Mike Huckabee is suggesting talk radio's support for Romney is tied to Bain Capital's takeover of Clear Channel Communications.

Taking this kooky theory a step further, Huck even singles out Sean Hannity by name, claiming the syndicated host is doing his employer's bidding.

Incredibly, this conspiracy actually originated with the far left nearly two months ago, spreading across the Internet via the Huffington Post. At the time, your Radio Equalizer covered the lefty kook- swarm, see it here.

Hot Air and NewsBusters set the stage below:

(Hot Air- Allahpundit) Even more amazing than the accusation is the fact that the embed who recorded it buried it in a post about Huck’s dopey Romney/Hillary comparison. Skip ahead to 1:31; the beginning of the question is cut off but it’s clear enough that Hannity, who announced two days ago that he’ll vote for Mitt, is the subject. Huck himself refers to “Sean” in his answer.

The background here is that Mitt’s firm, Bain Capital, owns Clear Channel Communications, which in turn owns all sorts of talent, Hannity included. Not until the last few weeks, though, when talk radio broke hard towards Romney to stop McCain (and, before him, Huck) was the Bain/CCC connection an issue. In fact, we’ve gotten several tips to the effect that Bain just recently bought CCC in a last-ditch effort to monopolize the media on Mitt’s behalf; for that lazy smear you can thank HuffPo, which duly repeated it on their site before googling for five seconds and discovering that Bain actually bought CCC back in November 2006.

(NewsBusters- Matthew Sheffield) peaking at a news conference in Oklahoma, Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee floated the idea that the reason the vast majority of America's conservative talk radio hosts aren't endorsing him or John McCain is because Mitt Romney's investment firm owns a significant share of Clear Channel Communications, the nation's largest radio syndication company.

"Some suggest that the fact that Bain Capital owns a major stake in Clear Channel is on Sean's network, maybe there's a correlation. I don't know."

The Sean he was referring to had to be none other than Sean Hannity, America's number-two talk radio host behind Rush Limbaugh.

Actually, Huckabee's even further off the mark than anyone realizes. Here's why:

Bain Capital and the rest of the private consortium intending to purchase Clear Channel have not yet been able to finalize the deal and as such are not yet in control of the company. That's why (NYSE: CCU) its shares still trade on Wall Street.

Though Mitt Romney retains some personal stake in Bain, he left the company prior to the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City. Romney has no say in the firm's operations.

Sean Hannity's show is syndicated by ABC Radio, which is owned by Citadel Communications, not Clear Channel. Some CCU stations do choose to carry Hannity through a distribution deal with ABC - Citadel.

Though Huckabee is thankfully now a distant third also- ran in the GOP primary, this level of rhetorical sloppiness is disturbing nonetheless. Any candidate that looks to the Huffington Post for guidance in forming one's positions is truly out to lunch.

That a Republican would do this adds another layer of pure shock value.

UPDATE: Rush addressed this very topic on today's show:

RUSH: This is Saturday in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and we move on to Governor Huckabee now. He held a press conference, unidentified reporter said, "Governor Huckabee, why are these conservative leaders going to Governor Romney's camp and not Senator McCain's?"

HUCKABEE: Some suggest that the fact that Bain Capital owns a major stake in Clear Channel is on Sean's network, that maybe there's a correlation. I don't know.

RUSH: Whew. Now, I happen to know something about this. This is just embarrassing. (laughing) It's shocking. There's so much ignorance, or if he knows that he's not telling the truth here, it's bold. But he was asked by an unidentified reporter why conservative leaders are going to Romney and not Senator McCain.

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  • Huckabee is unbelievable! I guess if he isn't busy cracking dumb jokes or sharing man-love with Chuck Norris, he is coming up with lame conspiracy theories.
    Vote for Romney!

    By Blogger LB, at 04 February, 2008 15:28  

  • Clear Channel Radio Renews Sean Hannity Through 2010

    Clear Channel Radio Renews Sean Hannity Through 2010SAN ANTONIO – September 28, 2006 -- Clear Channel Radio today announced that it has renewed radio talk show host Sean Hannity’s contract for another three years on 80 of its stations. Some of the major markets in which “The Sean Hannity Show” can be heard include Pittsburgh, Houston, Phoenix, Miami, Cincinnati and Minneapolis.

    Hannity commented, “Clear Channel program directors were early believers in my show five years ago, and I'm thrilled our partnership continues into 2010

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 06 February, 2008 20:54  

  • And now that Romney is headed to the glue factory, So will the deal between Bain and Clear Channel. The propaganda machine is out of business. You heard it hear first.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 06 February, 2008 21:30  

  • The Radio Equalizer wants to brown nose Clear Channel and Bain Capital.

    Sean, Rush and Laura, Levin, Beck were all looking out for their pocketbooks. It is not that they supported Romney, it is the absolute venom they used against mcCain and Huckabee that proves the point.

    They have no more credibility.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 09 February, 2008 01:42  

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