The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

31 March 2008

Andy Chung Faces 15 Charges In KXL Vehicle Attack


KXL Attack Suspect Hates Microsoft, Paul Allen

A Washington state man accused of intentionally ramming the lobby of KXL-AM with his vehicle has a long history of hatred toward Microsoft and co-founder Paul Allen, according to news reports and his own Internet rants.

Earlier today, suspect Andy Chung was charged with 15 criminal counts during his appearance before an Oregon Grand Jury, where a trial date was set for 12 May. He has entered a not guilty plea.

Through Rose City Radio, Allen owns both KXL and Jammin' 95.5 FM, housed together in Portland's city center.

Particularly disturbing is Chung's alleged YouTube page, where he seems to tape himself making threats and defacing Microsoft's corporate signage. Here's one example:

Even more bizarre is Chung's apparent website, where a long list of grievances against Rose City Radio and Microsoft are spelled out in rambling detail. Here's a sample:

A few nice waitresses hit on me at work and I heard them saying something about some radio station, and that I could represent Vancouver. I had no idea what they were talking about. But I was soon about to learn. I worked at that restaurant for about a month. One day, I was listening to one of the Portland radio stations. I didn’t usually listen to this particular radio station, and most of the time I listened to my own CD’s, but I started hearing the radio station FM 9x.5 talk about an Asian who dressed like a skater, going to Clark College, who’s hair and style sounded similar to my own.

Then I remembered one time, I was going to the Vancouver shopping mall for a pair shoes. I turned around and I was being followed by some people. They followed me around and talked about me. I started hearing some of my co-workers calling up the radio station and talking about me. Sometimes, the radio station Fm 9x.5 would make fun of me for being an Asian skater. Sometimes I heard them say that I was a gangster. Sometimes I’d hear them say I was a player, or a pimp. I was hearing the radio station talk about me and I was being followed, and I was starting to get confused and little paranoid. I didn’t like being followed and I really cared about my privacy. So I decided to move away for a while.

I had a friend named Frank and my sister and her boyfriend to stay with in the Seattle area. I talked to the manager at the beachside restaurant. I told him I had to quit the job immediately. He understood. He told me with a smile, “Andy, you know everybody likes you here, right?” “I kind of know,” I said. “But I don’t play games like that.” The next day, I went back to Clark College to pick up my class transcript. I saw a few students and heard them talk about me. They had heard of me on the radio. I was so confused; I didn’t know what was going on. The next day, I packed up my stuff and moved to Seattle.

Whether anyone at 95.5 FM or KXL-AM discussed Chung on the air before the ramming incident isn't known, but staffers at Jammin' FM say they'd received threatening emails, according to Willamette Week:

Police arrested Chung at his home in Vancouver, Wash., just before a hostile encounter with a reporter from KOIN 6. Chung was sent to undergo mental testing but was released this morning.

P.K. is baffled that Chung is released and declared sane. “I’m so baffled that anyone could say that he’s sane. He makes specific death threats against the morning show,” P.K says.

For the last six months, P.K. says the show was receiving threatening emails — the most recent one on Wednesday, March 5 — but they were deleted and regarded as junk.

“Our show is not a political show," P.K. says "I mean yeah, we piss people off, but not to the extent that they want to take action ... This last one was talking about dropping babies in hot oil and cutting our lips off or something. The emails would come in every six months—it wasn’t an everyday deal.”

Though broadcasters are in the business of drawing attention to themselves for the sake of ratings and revenue, they can also become targets of dangerous individuals. This incident is a reminder to everyone that it is important to take threats seriously and maintain tight security at all times.

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Chung booking photo: KGW-8

29 March 2008

Zimbabweans Ready To Vote In Rigged Election


Radio-In-Exile Helps Zimbabweans Learn The Truth


It isn't easy watching Zimbabweans head to the polls today, hoping for one final chance to save their country from complete collapse.

Between thuggish dictator Robert Mugabe (supported by the American left for years), mass starvation, hyperinflation and the brutal intimidation of anyone who dares to oppose his racist regime, news reports can be hard to stomach.

Just yesterday, for example, 10 children were arrested merely for playing an anti- Mugabe song.

Now, what's left of its citizenry will vote in an election that was stolen in advance, with little hope of bringing down Mugabe and restoring any semblance of a functioning economy. Unemployment currently stands at 80% or more and few people can afford to buy anything. Millions have fled to South Africa and other countries.

Despite the misery, there are many exiled citizens who do believe their country can be restored to its former glory, once one of the most successful African states. And without a functioning free press at home, it's up to them to provide the truth to as many as possible.

Here in America, we are lucky to have talk radio programming to provide opposition voices, but Zimbabweans have no such opportunity.

Instead, it is up to broadcasters thousands of miles away to bring those voices to the people.

Utilizing several shortwave frequencies, SW Radio Africa has established itself as a key source of news and talk content to bypass government- controlled media. In addition, its website provides continual updates on the latest atrocities occurring inside the country. They seem determined to restore hope to their once- proud land.

But Mugabe has gone as far as to confiscate radios in order to keep the public from hearing their transmissions. His regime has also jammed SW Radio Africa's signal, forcing them to switch frequencies in order to remain a step ahead of the government. The jamming devices were built by Communist China.

This effort drained the station's financial resources and it has since struggled to survive.

While we take press freedom for granted, potentially even to allow a new Democrat regime to shut down talk radio via the Fairness Doctrine's reimposition, others make huge sacrifices just to give their people the truth.

Even more heroic are those who dare to oppose the regime in public, despite the risk to themselves and their families.

Western rulers have been afraid to take decisive action against Zimbabwe's thugs for years, aided by a general lack of awareness of the issue in America. Will the misery finally become so severe that we can no longer ignore it?

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Images: al-Reuters, CBC

28 March 2008

No Chance Of Voter Fraud Charges Against Limbaugh


No Chance Of Ohio Prosecution, Even Rush Disappointed!

Even if they knew it would be a longshot, there must be some disappointment with the announcement that Rush Limbaugh will not be prosecuted for voter fraud in Ohio. So much for the left's biggest fantasy.

That's the word from the Buckeye State, where officials delivered the news wrapped in a partisan Democrat message:

Limbaugh safe from voter-fraud charges

Radio host encouraged fans to vote Democratic

By Mark Niquette

Radio talk-show host Rush Limbaugh has been telling his audience for days now that he could be indicted for encouraging Ohio Republicans to take a Democratic ballot in the March 4 primary in what he calls "Operation Chaos."

Could that actually happen?

Not likely, Ohio officials say.

"We have no intention of prosecuting Rush Limbaugh because lying through your teeth and being stupid isn't a crime," said Leo Jennings, a spokesman for Democratic Attorney General Marc Dann.

When asked whether she has concerns about what Limbaugh did, Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner, a Democrat, replied, "I think it's very bad form, but I think most voters are intelligent enough to make their own decisions."

Limbaugh's "Operation Chaos" in Ohio, Pennsylvania and other states holding presidential primaries is designed to help presumptive Republican nominee John McCain win the Nov. 4 election.

Here, the Columbus Dispatch goes into further detail about Ohio's complex system of election laws.

While you might imagine Limbaugh himself would be relieved to hear the news, he actually expressed disappointment on today's show, saying he was hoping to be arrested. Obviously looking for a free speech showdown, Rush listed several reasons why any such prosecution would be both unreasonable and unconstitutional.

Nonetheless, the publicity this received is bound to further boost Limbaugh's program during an already white- hot election year. Don't expect him to give up Operation Chaos anytime soon.

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Left, Right Attack Hannity Over Alleged Supremacist Ties


Supremacist Teases Hannity "Friendship" For Fun And Profit

A kooky white supremacist apparently in need of quick cash is ready to spill the beans on his supposed "friendship" with talker Sean Hannity- but only if the price is right.

And in an odd twist, it's not just the usual gang of liberal suspects eating this up, even a few conservatives have taken the bait.

Hal Turner, a former shortwave radio host who once allegedly threatened to assassinate a substantial number of elected representatives in Congress, is peddling what he claims are tapes of conversations with Hannity that occurred years ago. Opening bid for the recordings is $100,000, with all rights to the material available as well for $250,000:



Since more than 100,000 of you read the story on Huffington Post about me being friendly with Hannity years ago, I made an offer on my radio show tonight:

I will release to the public, all the tape recordings I have between me and Sean Hannity both on and off the air IF, by April 15, 2008, those 100,000 readers of Huffington Post send me one dollar (or more) each until such time as I receive One-Hundred-Thousand Dollars ($100,000.) AND the deadline for the money arriving is April 15. If I receive the $100K by April 15, I will release via tape, CD and download from this site, all the "dicey" conversations we had. If I do not receive at least $100,000, by April 15, I will not release the tapes.

I will not speculate or make any representations about what is on those tapes, but suffice it to say I think there is material on them that you will find VERY useful!

In addition to the offer above, I am willing to SELL the tapes, complete ownership of their content and all broadcast rights forever to anyone willing to buy them for two hundred fifty thousand dollars ($250,000).

If there is a conflit between the $100,000 coming and and the $250,000, I agree to REFUND the $100K less postage to whoever donates.

I am willing top post a LIST OF ALL DONATIONS citing only the amount, form of payment and postmark so all of you can see each day how much comes in. Complete transparency!

That's the offer. Those of you who hate Sean Hannity have a chance to pony-up. Those of you who want to conceal these tapes forever also have a chance to buy them.

WIth regard to the legality of the tapes, I live in New Jersey and under our law, it is LEGAL to record telephone conversations if one party to the call allows it. Since I was one party to each call, I authorized it and so the tapes are legal.

Funny enough, Turner's clear monetary motives haven't stopped both liberal FOX News foes and even a few conservatives from taking the bait. And in a sign the story has grown beyond the blogosphere, it has been referenced in CNN's campaign coverage.

Conservative pundit Debbie Schlussel used the flap to accuse Hannity of "stealing" her work and otherwise slam the Hannity & Colmes host:

Why is Sean Hannity lying about his close relationship with a Neo-Nazi who openly proclaims his desire to exterminate and eradicate all Blacks and Jews from the planet?

Last year, when conservative bloggers all over the Internet--especially those Hannity regularly plagiarizes (including me, here and here)--and on the airwaves were denouncing Ron Paul for accepting a campaign contribution from a self-avowed Neo-Nazi and White Supremacist, one commentator was notably silent: Sean Hannity, himself.

Interestingly, the accusations against Hannity aren't new: they were first raised several years ago in a piece by Max Blumenthal for The Nation, a leftist publication. And the Huffington Post, which has done much to push the story this time, has previously used Turner to smear conservatives as a whole.

So why is this being dredged up now? There are two obvious reasons: Turner's looking for income and for the left, portraying Hannity as a racist takes attention away from Obama and his hatemongering pastor. Why anyone on the right would fall for this is a true mystery.

As to the "evidence", it's all theoretical until Turner coughs up his tapes. And it certainly isn't unusual for talk hosts to have kooky regular callers.

Turner was a carryover from previous WABC programming and if Hannity found him entertaining enough, it's possible to believe he would have been given the studio hotline number. But that's a far cry from an "association" or "friendship" with the host in question.

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27 March 2008

Talk Radio Likely To Pounce On McDermott - Saddam Ties


Kooky Congressmen Fingered In Saddam Payment Scheme

Providing fresh ammo for hosts nationwide today, a longtime talk radio target has been implicated in a scheme that saw ruthless dictator Saddam Hussein fund his pre- invasion "fact- finding" trip to Iraq.

Kooky Seattle Congressman- For- Life "Baghdad" Jim McDermott has been fingered as one of three Democrat representatives whose 2002 Iraqi holiday was apparently funded by the regime, according to the Washington Post and many other news agencies late Wednesday:

Federal prosecutors on Wednesday accused a Michigan nonprofit executive of funnelling money from Saddam Hussein to pay for a 2002 trip to Iraq by three House Democratic lawmakers, according to the Associated Press.

The AP says the dates of the 2002 Iraq trip correspond to those of an infamous visit to the country by Reps. David Bonior (Mich.), Jim McDermott (Wash.) and Mike Thompson (Calif.). Their trip, which came in the heated run-up to the war, sparked controversy and drew heated criticism from many war supporters who suggested that they were doing the public relations bidding of Hussein.

Referring to the true source of the trip's funding, McDermott's spokesman told the Associated Press: "Obviously we didn't know it at the time."

According to the travel database maintained by CQ Moneyline, McDermott took a trip to Baghdad and Basra as well as Amman, Jordan, from Sept.25-Oct. 1, 2002. The trip -- which cost $5,040 -- was funded by a group called LIFE for Relief & Development. The Moneyline database does not contain any filings by Thompson or Bonior for the trip, though their visit was documented in the press at the time.

"LIFE was founded in 1992 by concerned Iraqi-American professionals in response to the humanitarian crisis that developed in Iraq as a result of the 1991 Gulf War conflict," according to the group's Web site.

According to a Post story written at the time of the trip, the congressmen were part of a delegation organized by the Interfaith Network of Concern for the People of Iraq, a project of the Church Council of Greater Seattle, as well as Life for Relief and Development.

Interestingly, the mainstream media now seems slightly less willing to cover for the three Democrats, as it did then. Perhaps the smoking gun evidence has proven a bit too overwhelming this time around.

The best defense they can come up now with is to claim the three didn't know about Saddam's role, but it's unlikely the public will believe that.

Seattle- based newspapers, however, are continuing their traditionally- supportive stance, with the Seattle Times posting its headline with a question mark: "Did Iraq's spy unit pay for McDermott's trip?" And the rival Seattle Post- Intelligencer has so far chosen not to highlight the story at all.

Between his key role in the "tapegate" scandal and extreme positions on issues, McDermott has long proven an easy target for talk radio, both in the Northwest and nationwide. He's even dabbled in the medium himself, working as a guest host and regular visitor to Seattle- based programs.

Don't count on Seattle voters to remove their civic embarrassment anytime soon, however: it remains one of the nation's most extreme- left cities and some of its citizens aren't likely to see a problem with McDermott's ties to the murderous dictator.

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25 March 2008

After Deal Collapse, Radio Industry Wonders What's Next For Clear Channel


For Beleaguered Radio Industry, New Uncertainty


After over a year of anticipation, hundreds of layoffs and station sales, the deal to end all deals in the radio business has apparently collapsed in a spectacular manner.

While the reasons are still being sorted out, it appears the takeover of industry giant Clear Channel by Bain Capital and Thomas H Lee is a victim of the changing economic climate, as well as an increasingly- dark outlook for radio broadcasting outfits.

The company owns a number of major talk stations, including KFI/ Los Angeles, KFYI/ Phoenix, KOGO/ San Diego and KTRH/ Houston. Its syndication arm, Premiere Radio Networks, is by far the most successful distributor of talk programming nationwide.

Meanwhile, the lefty kooks who in December asserted across dozens of websites that Mitt Romney was using Bain to take control of Clear Channel's stations and push a right- wing political agenda look even more foolish today. Don't hold your breath waiting for retractions, however, they'd rather you forget the whole thing.

From the AP:

SAN ANTONIO (AP) -- Shares of Clear Channel Communications Inc. plummeted in late trading Tuesday, following a report that the media company's private buyout is on the brink of collapse.

Shares fell $1.89, or 5.5 percent, to end regular trading at $32.56, then fell more than 21 percent in after-hours trading to $25.60 -- far below the $39.20 per share the buyout firms promised shareholders.

The Wall Street Journal reported on its Web site Tuesday that the private equity firms leading the $19.5 billion buyout were having difficulty reaching terms with the banks committed to financing the deal. The report cited unnamed people familiar with the matter.

For the already- beleaguered radio industry, this is not good news, as Clear Channel (NYSE: CCU) was the only major radio operator holding on to most of its market capitalization while shares of its peers spent the year in a state of free- fall and have yet to recover. In fact, it remains one of the few not officially in penny- stock territory.

Already, remaining radio industry insiders wonder how the collapsed deal will affect them, even after hundreds were terminated in 2006 and 2007 in anticipation of the deal's closing. A large break- up fee is now on the table, which could bolster Clear Channel's bank account, but litigation seems far more likely in the short term.

Could the company look for a new buyer? Or might it break up into pieces, with individual stations fetching more than the firm could as a whole?

The least likely scenario for Clear Channel is to do nothing and watch its stock price fall by 80 to 90% over the next year or two, which has been the recent fate of almost all of its competitors. Status quo isn't going to save the firm, so what will it do?

UPDATE: The Independent inserts its liberal agenda into coverage of the story:

The Mays family grew to dominate the US radio market thanks to an acquisition spree in the wake of the 1996 deregulation of the industry, since when Clear Channel bought more than 70 companies. Its scale and market power has brought with it criticism, and most recently the company has been fighting accusations of pursuing a right-wing agenda. It syndicates the right-wing shock jock Rush Limbaugh and some of its stations banned Madonna and Dixie Chicks records after they made anti-war comments.

UPDATE: Clear Channel and the buyout partners aren't going down without a fight. Will the courts force these banks to see the deal through? Or, is all of this a mere negotiation tactic to hammer down final terms that all parties can accept?

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24 March 2008

Obama Defenders Resort To Bashing Catholics, Talk Hosts


Thin-Skinned Obama-ites Lash Out

Apparently unaccustomed to seeing their beloved candidate on the defensive, Obama fanatics in the lefty blogosphere and mainstream media have taken to lashing out against critics, with downright ugly results.

While there's nothing new about so- called "progressives" attacking Bill O'Reilly, Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh and other conservative talk show hosts, the level of venom is certainly on the rise. Adding an extremist element to the mix, a healthy dose of Catholic- bashing has also now been included.

Slithering in the left's sewer is the Huffington Post's Chris Kelly and this attempt at "humor":

O'Reilly Attends Easter Services At Church Lead by Ex-Nazi

The Huffington Post has learned that Bill O'Reilly -- who claims to love America -- spent Sunday at a "church" run by a former Hitler Youth named Joseph Alois Ratzinger. Ratzinger has gone to elaborate ends to hide this connection, including taking on the absurd pseudonym "Pope Benedict XVI." Which, even if it doesn't prove anything, certainly makes you think.

This shocking revelation comes only a week after Barack Obama admitted he attends a church formerly run by Jeremiah Wright, who talks smack about America, although probably less than Goebbels did.

This would all be holy water under the bridge, except for one disturbing and undeniable fact: Bill O'Reilly is a Roman Catholic, and Benedict "Joey Ratz" XVI worked for Hitler, as did Unity Mitford, whose baby sister was Jessica Mitford, who knew Maya Angelou, who knew Betty Shabazz, who was married to Malcolm X, who knew Louis Farrakhan.

Is there any place in our public discourse for men like Bill O'Reilly, who won't even repudiate their links to Louis Farrakhan? I'll give you the last word, and then cut you off in the middle of it: No there isn't.

At NewsBusters, Tim Graham notes that Kelly has pulled this stunt in the past:

Remember Chris Kelly, the mudslinger at the Huffington Post who mocked Ann Coulter's father as a Nazi right after he died? On Monday, Kelly took up mocking Pope Benedict as a Nazi in attacking Bill O'Reilly, and by extension, every Catholic who attended an Easter Mass, as a way to deflect criticism of Barack Obama's poor taste in ministers [...]

Meanwhile, Graham also notes that Newsweek has taken to bashing Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh over the Obama issue, proving there's very little difference between lefty blogospheric kooks and the mainstream media:

Newsweek's snarky "Conventional Wisdom Watch" column has once again displayed the inaccuracy of its title. "Pathetic Liberal Spin In 20 Words Or Less" is more accurate, but not very catchy. In the new (March 31) edition, Barack Obama gets a sideways arrow -- like he had an okay week instead of a down-arrow week??? -- while "Hannity" is singled out for a down arrow with these twelve words of supposed wisdom:

Along with Rush, uses race-baiting to score ratings. Now that's hating America.

Is this a case of follow the leader? As Limbaugh noted on Friday, Obama himself has begun to attack Hillary Clinton in a particularly harsh manner:

As His Poll Numbers Sink, Obama Lashes Out

RUSH: Try this headline. ABC News: "Obama Campaign Claims Clinton has Character Gap, Assails Rival as Untrustworthy and Duplicitous."

Can you imagine how horrible Obama's internal polls must look right now? So it's time to lash out at Hillary -- and by telling the truth. That's no big deal.

How times have
changed: in the past, talk radio and the Clintons were never trashed at the same time by the same people! Perhaps Obama really is a unifier, bringing Democrats and Republicans together against his hollow candidacy.

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23 March 2008

Liberals Fantasize About 'Voter Fraud' Charges Against Rush Limbaugh


Left's Latest Fantasy As Real As The Easter Bunny

Like an adult who still believes in the Easter Bunny, our lefty friends sure have vivid imaginations. How else can one explain their latest fantasy: that "Operation Chaos" will result in "voter fraud" charges brought against Rush Limbaugh.

Can you hear that bunny hopping along? Yes, there he is, with a basket full of eggs!

Sure, Limbaugh's intentional plan to destroy the Democrat Party by extending their nasty presidential primary battle for as long as possible may be mischievous, but against the law? Dream on.

Nonetheless, this idea is spreading across the Internet, even as Rush himself boldly begins to sell "Operation Chaos" merchandise through his website. From the "progressives" at Alternet:

Will Rush Limbaugh Be Indicted for Voter Fraud?

By Steven Rosenfeld, AlterNet

As the board of election in Cuyahoga County, Ohio, where Cleveland is located, launches an investigation into illegal crossover voting in the state's 2008 presidential primary, a big open question remains unanswered: Will county officials go after the ringleaders of apparently illegal electioneering where thousands of Republican voters swore -- under penalty of law -- allegiance to the Democratic Party in order to vote for Hillary Clinton?

In case you missed it, Rush Limbaugh, the nation's top-rated talk radio host, was urging Republicans in Texas and Ohio to skip their party's primary on March 4 and instead cast a vote for Hillary Clinton in order to prolong the fight between her and Barack Obama. And that Tuesday, as media in both states reported, thousands of Republicans did just what Limbaugh and others had suggested -- they changed parties to vote for Clinton.

"I want Hillary to stay in this, Laura," Limbaugh told Laura Ingraham on Feb. 29, near the start of his Hillary crusade. "This is too good a soap opera. We need Barack Obama bloodied up politically, and it's obvious that the Republicans are not going to do it and don't have the stomach for it, as you probably know."

And on Wednesday, the day after the Ohio primary, Fox News asked Clinton if she owed Limbaugh a thank you. "Be careful what you wish for, Rush," she replied. Later that day, Limbaugh played the Fox tape on his show and said, "How do you interpret this, folks? She could have said thank you. She could have said thank you! In fact, I was expecting in her victory speech last night to be thanked.

"I helped give Mrs. Clinton the biggest and happiest moment and night of the campaign season so far, maybe her life, and she tells me, "Be careful what you wish for, Rush"? Why, that sounds like a threat, does it not? I've got a Democrat presidential candidate threatening your host. Why, I am stunned! After all I did ..."

While this all makes for great talk radio and sounds like fun, there is one catch: What Limbaugh encouraged Republican voters to do in Ohio was a fifth-degree felony in that state, punishable with a $2,500 fine and six to 12 months in jail. That is because in order to change party affiliation in Ohio, voters have to fill out a form swearing allegiance to that party's principles "under penalty of election falsification."

On Thursday, March 20, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reported that the "Cuyahoga County Board of Election has launched an investigation that could lead to criminal charges against voters who maliciously switched parties for the March 4 presidential primary." According to the report, "One voter scribbled the following addendum to his pledge as a new Democrat: "For one day only."

At AOL's Political Machine, Dave quickly pours cold water on the concept:

To call this a stretch is a gross exaggeration. This is the longest of long shots. Any prosecution would have to delve into the state of Limbaughs mind and whether he thought that folks would actually do what he told them. And that without any power of coercion over them at all! Tough to convict.

Limbaugh won't be indicted. No prosecutor will touch it. All this is is one slow news day and a liberal wild fantasy.

And at Wired, Kim Zetter also believes this is going nowhere:

Dan Tokaji, a law professor at Ohio State University's Moritz College of Law who specializes in election law, says it's debatable whether Ohio's law is enforceable and says that even if it is enforceable the likelihood that anyone would be prosecuted under it is "infinitesimally small."

First of all, the law pertains only to a voter who was challenged by poll workers as to his sincerity and signed an affidavit swearing to that sincerity. The secretary of state's office told me that poll workers are supposed to have anyone who switches parties at the polls sign such a statement. The Cleveland Plain Dealer also reported that any voter who switches parties must sign an affidavit.

But Tokaji says it's not clear from the law that the poll worker has an obligation to challenge the voter and have them sign such a statement, and many poll workers did not do this.

But the mainstream media is increasingly picking up on the idea that Limbaugh may have done something wrong, with the The Observer in London grabbing onto the concept that this supposed "shock jock" influenced the outcome:

America's top right-wing 'shock jock' Rush Limbaugh has been leading the charge. 'We want all the disruption in that party possible. It is about us winning,' he told his listeners recently. Other shock jocks have followed suit, telling Republicans in states still to hold their primaries to jump in and vote for Clinton.

Limbaugh has admitted that it is a tough task to persuade his fans to vote for a candidate that he has built a whole political career around viciously attacking. 'I've got a big challenge here to try to get Republicans to change their minds on this and vote for Hillary to keep her in the race, to keep that party at war with itself,' he confessed.

The exact impact of the HillPublicans and the 'Limbaugh effect' is hard to define precisely in recent races and the contests still to come. They can only have an effect in elections that are 'open' - where Republicans can opt to go and vote in the Democratic race and eschew their vote in the Republican ballot. But in recent key Clinton victories in Ohio and Texas some Republican commentators have hailed the strategy as a success. In those states exit polls showed some 9 per cent of voters were Republicans.

That number is roughly twice as large as in most previous contests. They were also split almost evenly between Obama and Clinton, although Clinton has traditionally had a much more difficult time in appealing to such crossover voters than Obama. Therefore the 50-50 divide could easily show the Limbaugh effect in action. If so, the actions of the HillPublicans could have greatly helped Clinton. Her stunning comeback victories in Texas and Ohio saved her political life as her candidacy had seemingly been on the brink of political extinction.

At least the Easter Bunny brings baskets of chocolates and other treats, believing in "progressive" kookdom, however, brings only disappointment and defeat.

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21 March 2008

State Department Scandal Overshadows Obama's Extreme Comments


State Department Clods Hand Bush-Haters Major Ammo

*** UPDATE: McCain, Clinton Files Also Breached ***

If not for a late- breaking scandal involving State Department staffers violating his privacy rights, tonight's focus on Barack Obama likely would have been for a different reason: an extreme comment made during a Philadelphia radio interview.

Instead, a few snooping clods in Washington have succeeded in handing major ammunition to every Bush- hating conspiracy theorist on the left. Nice job, guys! Three staties have been punished so far, with no clear indication that the breach stops there.

Already, the snooping incident has been used to attack the president, with even Obama himself taking the opportunity:

“This is an outrageous breach of security and privacy, even from an Administration that has shown little regard for either over the last eight years. Our government’s duty is to protect the private information of the American people, not use it for political purposes. This is a serious matter that merits a complete investigation, and we demand to know who looked at Senator Obama’s passport file, for what purpose, and why it took so long for them to reveal this security breach,” Obama campaign spokesman Bill Burton said in a statement.

The Associated Press is reporting that two contract employees for the Statte Department have been fired and a third disciplined for inappropriately looking at the passport file. Spokesman Sean McCormack said the department itself detected the instances of "imprudent curiosity," which occurred separately on Jan. 9, Feb. 21, and March 14.

This bone- headed security blunder not only brings unwanted attention to the Bush Administration, but the instant public Barack-lash also hurts McCain and Clinton, by creating otherwise undeserved sympathy for the Illinois senator.

If not for this mainstream media- friendly development, it's possible that public attention would have instead been focused on one of Obama's most inflammatory statements to date. NewsBusters has more:

Obama: Grandma 'Typical White Person' Fearing Everyone She Doesn't Know

By Noel Sheppard

It seems the more Barack Obama tries to explain the peculiar statement he made Tuesday concerning his white grandmother's "fear of black men who passed by her on the street," the more he's assuring attention regarding the matter.

Though it remains to be seen how much focus a media clearly looking to move beyond this subject will give, Obama called into a Philadelphia sports radio station on Thursday making comments that, if publicized, might get him in even more trouble with white voters.

As transcribed by Breitbart moments ago (audio available here):

The point I was making was not that my grandmother harbors any racial animosity. But she is a typical white person. If she sees somebody on the street that she doesn't know. . .there's a reaction in her that doesn't go away and it comes out in the wrong way.

Wow. Is this really how a "typical white person" behaves?

Since then, Obama has tried to explain his remarks, but now, the mainstream media's Obama cheerleaders have a great excuse to ignore the entire matter and focus instead on enjoying days of Bush- bashing to come.

Absolutely brilliant, guys, a few more moves like this and Barack can count on becoming president.

BLOGGERS react: Malkin, Ace, Patterico

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20 March 2008

For Now, Obama Talk Maintaining Strong Ratings


Talk Radio, TV Ride High On Obama Talk- Could It End?

For many weeks, he has dominated talk radio airtime, as well as cable news and traditional broadcast network coverage. Turn on CNN and sure enough, there he is. Scan the AM radio dial and before you can count to ten, you'll probably hear his name.

Could Barack (No Middle Name) Obama's tremendous overexposure ultimately hurt his campaign, taking with it the huge ratings television and radio outlets have recently enjoyed?

Here's one test: when channel surfing, does Obama's presence now have you sticking with a station, or moving on as quickly as possible?

So far, at least for cable news, there's no sign of O-boredom, at least not yet, according to TVNewser:

For the past few days, Sen. Barack Obama has been ratings gold. On Friday, it was FNC. Last night, it was ABC. Tonight, he'll be on with Anderson Cooper on CNN.

Yesterday afternoon, huge numbers turned out to watch Obama's speech on race relations, with the 11amET hour garnering more than four million Total Viewers between FNC, CNN and MSNBC combined. FNC won with 2,061,000 viewers, compared to 1,291,000 for CNN and 978,000 for MSNBC (which took the average from 10:53-11:31amET).

Tomorrow night, Obama is booked for Larry King Live on CNN at 9pmET for the full hour. And save the date — just a couple hours ago, Obama was confirmed as a guest on ABC's The View on March 28.

And for radio, filling airtime with Barack- talk also seems good for ratings, based on interim reports released this month. Moreover, talk hosts have found themselves generating significant amounts of press attention as they react to his latest flaps.

Catching your Radio Equalizer's eye this week was how talkers in a number of cities found reporters interested in their reactions to Obama's speech.

At the New York Daily News, David Hinckley even claimed that both liberal and conservative hosts were happily showering Obama with praise:

Sean Hannity of WABC (770 AM), who was playing provocative clips by Wright a year ago, said Obama's failure to fully repudiate him said it all.

Obama "came across as cool, calm, likable and agreeable," said Hannity. But he called the speech "a Madison Avenue propaganda campaign to salvage his career. Don't buy the nonsense."

Rush Limbaugh of WABC said Obama "has made himself the candidate of race" and added, "He says we all want the same things. But he doesn't believe the same things I do. He doesn't believe in individual freedom. He believes in government."

Bill O'Reilly of WOR (710 AM) also hit on Obama's decision not to separate himself fully from Wright.

"It's like sitting with [KKK leader] David Duke," said O'Reilly. "You can't give people who preach hate any credibility.

"I like Obama. I think he's good for America. But the speech was a mixed bag. I don't think he hit it out of the park."

Mark Riley of WLIB (1190 AM) did.

"It was a masterful speech as political strategy," said Riley. "But I didn't hear it as a political speech, because he put the subject of race into a much larger context."

Riley called it "risky" that Obama didn't separate himself fully from Wright. "That would have been easy. But he didn't do it, because a lot of his supporters would have seen it as pandering."

He took the harder but better course, said Riley, calling the speech "extraordinary - no two ways about it."

Randi Rhodes of Air America (WWRL, 1600 AM) also praised Obama "for opening up a conversation on race that's long overdue ... and for showing us it's possible to kick someone off the bus without throwing them under the bus."

WABC evening host Bob Grant predicted, or warned, that yesterday's speech could propel Obama to the top.

"His appearance in Philadelphia today was the finest moment in his campaign," said Grant. "I do believe after watching his speech that he will be our 44th President."

In Boston, however, talk radio apparently took a more critical view:

Barack Obama’s pointed speech on race relations may have moved some but it provided even more fodder for his toughest critics up and down the talk radio dial.

Yesterday’s speech came as the firestorm over the presidential candidate’s longtime pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, and his hate-filled sermons reached a boiling point.

WTKK-FM (96.9) host Michael Graham called it a “fine speech” on race relations in America, but said it didn’t answer why he was at the Rev. Wright’s church.

“He never explained why it was significant to him,” said Graham, who broadcast Obama’s entire speech on yesterday’s show.

“He did not convince me that he has a problem with Rev. Wright’s theology. In fact, he did more to embrace Rev. Wright in his speech than I’ve seen him do before.”

And in the major leagues, Rush Limbaugh has been able to generate headlines with almost every comment he makes regarding Obama and his campaign. New stories have appeared connecting the two almost daily, with no end in sight. Here's one from ABC News.

Bloggers and columnists such as Kathryn Jean Lopez seem less enthusiastic about what many call "Glow-bama". Leading the way is Michelle Malkin, who believes the glow is fading quickly. That sentiment is shared at Right Wing News, as well as Ace Of Spades.

The big question: is there a point where the public will grow so tired of hearing Obama recycle his speech that they will tune away from programs that cover him? How many times can you stand to hear the same song repeated before it becomes unbearable?

Yes, your Radio Equalizer realizes he is very likely to secure the Democrat Party nomination, so continuing coverage is a given. But John McCain has already clinched the GOP's presidential nod, yet has largely been forgotten by the Barack- obsessed media.

Can the mainstream media's Obama- mania, in addition to talk radio's backlash, continue to sustain a large audience?

FOR New England regional talk radio updates, see our other site. New: misreading talk radio's audience yet again

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18 March 2008

Crusty Don Imus Schmoozes With Kerry, Goodwin


Wildly Differing Coverage Of 'Ailing' Fossil-Talker's Visit

Proving once and for all that he resides comfortably in the liberal camp, fossil- talker Don Imus schmoozed with leftist cronies in Boston yesterday, receiving wildly divergent press coverage as a result.

Beyond politics, however, a big new question has Bostonians buzzing: is Imus in poor health? The Boston Herald reports he had "oxygen on hand" during the St Patrick's Day (Evacuation Day) appearance:

Imus, who is rumored to be in poor health and reportedly had oxygen on hand yesterday, returned to the air in December with a new cast, including two black comedians.

Though your Radio Equalizer is certainly not known as an Imus fan, this site does not wish him any harm and hopes he remains well. Actually, this is the first we've heard of any significant health issue related to the I-Man.

In fact, Imus's oxygen tank only served to underscore the differences between the way his event was covered in both the Herald and Boston Globe.

While the former included mixed reactions to the state of his morning radio show, choice of words and guests, the ultra- snooty liberal competition at the Globe presented an unquestioning view of his schmoozing / phony sniping at / with Senator John Kerry (who Imus endorsed in 2004) and lefty plagiarist Doris Kearns Goodwin. The Globies also said nothing about his physical condition:

Pulitzer-winning historian Doris Kearns Goodwin gave it back to radio blabber Don Imus as good as she got today. "Why do I only get in trouble when I'm on your program?" Goodwin said during the annual "Kiss Me I'm Imus" show at the Ritz-Carlton, Boston Common. The four-hour show, which usually airs from New York, was hosted by WTKK-FM (96.9) and included local Irish rockers Gobshites and a parade of local politicos and WTKK hosts.

John Kerry didn't fare as well. During a soliloquy about Barack Obama's virtues, Imus shot the senator down. "You're overselling the guy," Imus said but added that he's an Obama fan. When the subject of Obama's minister came up, Imus wondered aloud how the Illinois senator could have missed some of the more controversial remarks made by the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr. Kerry joked that maybe Obama had slept through a sermon or two.

To which Imus retorted: "How many interviews have I slept through?" If you want some more conversational stuff: after Kerry's time on the show he worked the room and was even conducting interviews in the lobby of the hotel for about 30 minutes after he was off-air.

As for Wright's comments, Kerry said, "that's not Obama." And Kerry also went on a long stretch of Obama's credentials, such as how he'd be older than Jack Kennedy if elected and that Obama has more legislative experience than Hillary Clinton.

By contrast, the more sensible Herald covered more of what actually counts- listener sentiment:

Legendary talkmeister Don Imus hosted his show in the Hub yesterday but even his most diehard fans say the cranky cowboy has gone tamer and lost some of his edge the second time around.


While Cape Cod restaurant owner Nick Nickerson said seeing Imus live was a “dream” come true, he said the show has changed. “Unfortunately, it’s tempered. It isn’t like it used to be but I guess it can’t be,” Nickerson said. “We’re living in an age of political correctness and he saw what happens when you make a mistake.”

In the past, Regina Zahran of Braintree said she’d sometimes wince when her kids overheard Imus on the air. “It’s a lot tamer now but that’s not a bad thing,” Zahran said.

Even better, Herald fotog Mike Adaskaveg caught Kerry in a truly bizarre pose, as seen top- left. The image directly above was also snapped by Adaskaveg.

Aside from the fact that it is high time for the Imus camp to admit they reside firmly on the left, the bigger issue may prove to be his possibly declining health. With faltering Citadel - ABC Radio having placed all of its eggs in Don's basket, what will the 65+ demo- pandering firm do if he is forced to leave the airwaves?

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16 March 2008

Liberal Irish-Americans Still See Conservatives As Traitors


Are Conservative Irish-Americans Betraying Their Own?

Are conservative Irish- Americans, including Sean Hannity, Bill O'Reilly and even your Radio Equalizer, betraying their own ancestors by "straying" from a "true Irish" set of political beliefs?

Though you might think this kind of partisan sentiment had gone the way of Tammany Hall, sadly, the Irish- American- conservative- as- traitor rhetorical weapon is still used to this day.

At our regional sister site
, your Radio Equalizer has frequently been labeled a "self- hating mick" for daring to denounce a crooked former Irish politician (a convicted felon, no less) who now works as a radio talk show host. In addition, yours truly has been slammed many times for daring to support the "Yankee" (as in English Protestant) party, better known as the GOP.

And at the New York Times, the concept of the irresponsible Irishman who abandons his own people to support the enemy has also been extended to present times. Why let this famine- era notion die when it can be used to slam the FOX News Channel?

Take a look:

“The thing about the Irish,” he said, “is that we have always been there for the little guy. We go through life as underdogs. We die as underdogs. There is no other way for the Irish.”

Every family, every ethnic group, every country needs a guiding narrative — sometimes more mythic than real. For the Irish, misery is our currency, and the key to all Irish story-telling. Thus we love the book about the most wretched Irish Catholic childhood — Frank McCourt’s “Angela’s Ashes” — because it solidifies our identity.

It is only when the Irish forget about the underdog, as the keeper of the graves said, that they stray. In the 1930s, there was Father Charles Coughlin, a virulent anti-Semite who had a radio audience larger than that of Rush Limbaugh’s today. He used his microphone for hate. In the 1950s, another man with a link to Ireland, Senator Joseph McCarthy, twined ignorance and fear to make a mockery of congressional inquiry. Today, there are television bullies with Irish surnames on Fox, backing more tax cuts for hedge fund managers, and doing everything they can to keep the poorest of Americans from getting health care.

Of course, thrown in for good measure is a quick connection between Father Coughlin and Rush, just to make sure the point about "hate" is hammered home.

Eagle- eyed NYT critic Clay Waters was the first to notice the partisan rant by Timothy Egan and has more about his background here.

Most interesting is the comments section below the Egan piece, where a few smug, Brussels- loving Europhile Dubliners are quick to point out the obvious differences between the "enlightened" citizens of today's Ireland, as opposed to the Neanderthals who left for America and are stuck in a backward era.

Apparently, selling out one's sovereignty and culture in exchange for a few road-widening grants and agricultural subsidies is the "advanced" route. Never mind that much of Ireland's current prosperity came from emulating American- style free- market principles (in frequent defiance of the EU), as well as strong connections to Irish- Americans in Silicon Valley, who led the charge to build high- tech facilities on the Emerald Isle.

Instead of being sidetracked into a EU versus US debate, we ought to discuss why Hannity, O'Reilly, yours truly and millions of others should feel compelled to follow a partisan ideology on the sole basis of ethnic identity.

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Volume Two in Robert Ferrigno's "Assassins" Trilogy is finally available! See the Amazon box in the top right corner for details.

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