The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

08 February 2008

Randi Rhodes Anti-Romney Skit Generates Fierce Reactions


Once Again, Differing Left - Right Standards Emerge

Since yesterday's revelation
that Air America Radio host Randi Rhodes aired a skit depicting conservative Mitt Romney supporters as ready to commit mass killings should John McCain emerge as the GOP's presidential nominee, some on the left have resorted to making excuses.

But at least that's better than during past "progressive" hate radio eruptions, where liberals refused to even acknowledge the incidents. Though our friends at Think Progress, (which recently took us to task) the Daily Kos and Huffington Post have yet to discuss the matter, the New York Times, Althouse and others have.

In addition, on the right, blog reactions have been substantial and quite vocal.

Nonetheless, evidence of a partisan double- standard has yet again emerged. Ann Althouse, for example, dismisses the recorded bit as mere "badly done comedy":

It goes on. You can read the whole transcript at the link and listen to it. It's not very funny, but I understand why it's supposed to be funny. Rush Limbaugh and others have been over-the-top these past few weeks exaggerating how terrible John McCain supposedly is. How do you parody something that already feels like a parody? The idea they went with — lamely — was that McCain's opponents would go completely insane, and the stereotypical thing completely insane people do is go on a killing rampage. The writers could have brainstormed a little longer and come up with something more creative, but this is what they cranked out.

Does it outrage you? I'm sure Randi's happy if it does, so why don't you join me in saying that this is just embarrassingly badly done comedy?

At the New York Times, one commenter tries the "everybody's doing it" excuse:

I am a Democrat and I’m not particularly amused by the Randi Rhodes ad. On the other hand, I have a hard time taking right-wingers seriously when their partisans have a habit of going over-the-top when it comes to their commentary. I presume Ann Coulter was just kidding when she called John Edwards a “faggot?”

Maybe the Republicans ought to get its own house in order before taking us on.

Another contributor, however, rewrote the Rhodes script this way:

Indeed, here is a sample of the script:

ANNOUNCER: The following is a paid advertisement from Kenyans for Mitt Romney, or mass suicide. If Mwai Kibaki is the Kenyan Presidential nominee, it will destroy the Republican Party. We’re Romney supporters and we know. Cause, if you vote for Mwai Kibaki, we’re going to go on a killing rampage. Hey, better dead then moderate.”

KENYAN CHARACTER VOICE: “Look, I for one don’t want to die in a hail of arrows and machetes from crazed Mitt Romney supporters, but it’s better than nominating a man who opposed the Bush tax cuts. Hell, Mwai Kibaki spent years in London School of Economics. A school? That doesn’t make him a hero. That makes him an economist.”

— Posted by jason kendall

Meanwhile, conservative bloggers had reactions similar to that of Tim Graham at NewsBusters, who saw this as a "shocking story".

Here's the problem: were Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Bill O'Reilly or anyone else not on the left to create and air a similar skit (substitute Romney and McCain for Obama and Clinton), the Media Matters / Think Progress / Soros crowd would be contacting advertisers and demanding the hosts be fired. The mainstream media would then be thrilled to pick up the story.

But when it happens on their own end, it's either "humor" that right- wingers somehow don't get, dismissed as not a big deal, or ignored altogether. The next time the "progressive" left is on a tirade about "hate radio", let's remind them of this and other past incidents coming from their own side of the political fence.

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  • Are you living in a tree trunk? Haven't you heard the hate speech right wingers are uttering these days? Limbaugh's paraodies are aired more often and they are much worse? Haven't you listened to the bile that comes out of Ann Coulter mouth? You righties can dish it out but you sure can't take it.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 09 February, 2008 16:46  

  • No way, pal. It's your side that spews the garbage. Rhodes has told kill-Bush jokes on-air. Malloy wants Drudge to be hung and has had "violent fantasies" about Dana Perino. This crap is a thousand times worse than what Limbaugh and the rest dish out.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10 February, 2008 21:17  

  • What did Randi Rhodes say on the air, immediately after the "skit" was aired?
    Your inital youtube clip would be a bit more complete if it included her reaction. Sometimes to make your point you have to leave out some important pieces of information. This doesn't lead to the whole truth though.
    Why don't you post what Randi Rhodes said after the clip aired? Or would you rather have someone else post the transcript?

    By Blogger Ezsuds, at 11 February, 2008 00:31  

  • Ezsuds, I refer you to this from the previous post:

    "Though Rhodes "apologizes" after the skit, it's clear she knew what she was airing.

    And even if she didn't, there's a cardinal rule in radio broadcasting: you can be forgiven for a gaffe that occurs during a live broadcast, but there's no excuse for running prerecorded bits you haven't first personally reviewed. Even if this is a case of her production team running amok, Rhodes is still ultimately responsible for her own broadcast."

    By Blogger Brian Maloney, at 11 February, 2008 11:29  

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