The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

16 May 2008

MSNBC Again Uses Cheap Debate Tactics Against Opponents


Sleazy MSNBC Anchor Matthews Sinks Deeper


Here's a neat trick for a sleazy MSNBC huckster: invite a low- rated conservative talk show host from a bottom- feeder radio outfit and "win" the debate with gutter- level debate tricks, the very sort one's high school debate teacher would have banned as too lowbrow.

From sewer- dwelling Chris Matthews, could one really expect more?

Sure enough, the Hardball hothead did exactly that during Thursday's show, setting up KRLA/ Los Angeles host Kevin James for a fall with a sneaky trick he would never play on a liberal guest.

Even worse, once James had walked right into the Scuzzball host's trap, Matthews handed the "victory" to Air America layabout Mark Green, who was all too happy to share the spoils.

Here's the segment in question:

Note how Neville Chamberlain was brought into the discussion by Matthews, not James. When the talker wasn't immediately able to answer his (actually quite unclear) question, the MSNBC host pestered him for several minutes.

The end result is shockingly rude and unprofessional behavior toward a guest.

In fact, before Matthews finally revealed the "answer" to his vague and sneaky question, your Radio Equalizer thought he was referring to Chamberlain's infamous 1938 "Peace For Our Time" speech, but that apparently wasn't the case.

In more reasonable, civil circumstances, it's hard to say whether James would have known the answer. He's a former Assistant US Attorney whose general grasp of history is unclear.

He's a radio host, most certainly not in his element in front of a camera. Because they involve dark walls and bright lights, the remote studios used for cable talk appearances are difficult enough to conquer, even for seasoned professionals.

Matthews must know he has a clear advantage in these circumstances, that's what makes his actions so inexcusable.

Here's another observation: why is MSNBC reduced to booking guests from bottom- feeder radio networks?

James, for example, works for Salem Communications (NASDAQ:SALM), a troubled media company with a "secular" conservative talk lineup that has largely failed. While it stubbornly sticks to a lineup the public has rejected, mostly because it is unwilling to pay market rates for first- tier talent, its stations remain among the lowest rated in the country.

Salem's financial performance is now so poor that it no longer provides forward guidance to industry analysts.

For his part, Green is n'er-do-well brother of wealthy Manhattan landlord Stephen L Green, who purchased Air America Radio so that Mark could have a job.

And what more do you really need to know about the eternally- ailing Air America?

To the left- wing websites that are busy snickering over Matthews and his dirty trick, your Radio Equalizer asks: what if it were you in the hot seat, with Sean Hannity or Bill O'Reilly doing the grilling?

Something tells yours truly the OUTRAGE (!!!) machine would be cranked up to "11".

As for Matthews, he owes James an fast apology for this wildly unprofessional treatment. But don't hold your breath waiting for that to occur, as this sleazy approach has become de rigueur at the ratings- challenged cable outlet.

And to conservatives who are so desperate for cable airtime that they are willing to appear on Scuzzball, it's time to GET A GRIP AND SAY NO THANKS.

FOR MORE BACKGROUND: see the Media Research Center's "tribute" to Matthews.

ELSEWHERE: KGO-7's Dan Noyes continues his top- notch investigation of the events that led to former KGO Radio host Bernie Ward's downfall.

THE CAMPAIGNS they wish they could run


New England regional talk radio updates, see our other site. NEW: Michele McPhee's support for Ted Kennedy comes up short.

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  • I am a bug fan of KRLA here in L.A. I grew up on WEEI in Boston in the late 60s and early 70s. I know from good talk radio.

    Brian - you say that the KRLA and/or Salem line-up is weak. I would love to hear specifics. KRLA airs Bennett, Ingraham, Prager, Medved, Hewitt. Time-shifted Dennis Miller goes at 1800, followed by James.

    I adore Dennis Prager, but he's up against Rush. Who, in conservative talk radio, stands a chance against Rush? Which of the above shows is lacking in intelligent, cogent, and passionate content?

    Salem may be hurting due to overpaying for properties, or other corporate financial idiocy, but I am truly at a loss as to your harsh words about the programming.

    By Blogger Ed, at 17 May, 2008 03:38  

  • Watching Kevin James being forced to eat his own unlaundered shorts was the best thing TV has done in years.

    Who would ever have thought that the moronic shill Chris Matthews would actually ask a good question, and force his guest to acknowledge it instead of spewing talking points?

    By Blogger Repack Rider, at 17 May, 2008 11:48  

  • Brian,

    How can you claim Dennis Prager, Michael Medved, and Hugh Hewitt are secularists?

    Have you ever listened to their shows?

    By Blogger The Benson Report, at 17 May, 2008 12:13  

  • Salem Communications - a failed network?

    Salem Communications is a media company, specializing in talk radio, with a focus on an evangelical Christian religious and conservative political point of view, which operates in the United States, with 99 U.S. commercial radio stations (pending acquisitions) that are primarily concentrated in the nation's biggest markets, including 65 stations in 23 of the top 25 markets; in these markets Salem is the fourth largest radio station owner after Clear Channel, Cumulus Media, Citadel Broadcasting, and CBS Radio.

    The company focuses on acquiring radio stations with powerful transmitters, unlike most Christian broadcasters who tend to purchase many low-power translators. Salem owns slightly more AM than FM stations, and covers one-third of the U.S population.

    Doesn't look like a failure to me.

    By Blogger The Benson Report, at 17 May, 2008 12:58  

  • Stop the whiney, weapy baloney, Maloney!

    Bush b.s. generation idiots like Kevin James have been successfully pulling the wool over the eyes of people for decades, and it's about time folks like Matthews started showing America in stark and real terms that these blustering would-be emperors have no clothes, and that the sight isn't pretty.

    Matthews was masterful in exposing James's utter vacuity and stupidity, and now you're reduced to complaining about it. The man doesn't have even an elementary grasp of modern U.S. History, can't define the words he's throwing around (e.g. appeasement) ... in short, and in typical Bush b.s. generation fashion, he doesn't know what he's talking about but hasn't the integrity to stop shouting about it anyway, as if he's a veritable expert.

    How about insisting that ideological blowhards and idiots like James, et al get their facts straight before proclaiming themselves pundits that we all should follow? Neoconservative Bush b.s. generation deceivers like James want us all to follow them right over the steep cliff they've been steering us toward at 50 mph these past 28 years, beginning with actor (i.e. professional liar) Ronald Reagan.

    Click here for an excellent primer on "Right-Wing Cable News Punditry for Dummies." I'm sure James has read it cover to cover.

    It seems that conservatives like James and his idols O'Reilly, Hannity, Limbaugh, etc., etc. have no problem dishing it out ... but they sure can't take it.

    And neither can the right wing bloggers who support these bozos.

    By Blogger the democratic activist, at 17 May, 2008 13:08  

  • Wrong again, Maloney. Not only did Kevin James screw himself by weighing in on a subject which he was totally unknowledgable to comment on, he failed to know that Matthews routinely does this to anybody, liberal or conservative who is stupid enough to come onto his show without being smart enough to research the topic. He did this just a few months ago to a Texas Obama supporter.

    Kevin James fell to his own shallow stupidity. You see, like most insubstantive right wing blow hards, James is as shallow as a petrie dish and a regurgitator of other people's lines. James knew two buzzwords of the knuckle dragging right... appeasement and Chamberlain. Unfortunately like most people who talk out of their ass and spew other people's boiled down tripe, he had no clue how the two words linked together and the conjunctive facts between them. Why? Because like the typical right wing blowhard, James isn't much of a "reader".

    In my years of talk radio, I encountered too many right wing seminar callers who would spout the line of the day from Rush, Billo or Savage Weiner and, when you probe them to explain what their empty phrase means, they resprt to parroting the to same thing over and over again devoid of explanation and blithering like little boys caught in a painfully obvious lie. There's nothing more fun than letting them twist for a bit, defining what they think they're trying to say and then summarily eviscerating them with their own ignorance.

    James wanted his shot at the big leagues. Just like Texas State Senator Kirk Watson who got the same treatmentfrom Matthews back in February. Some right wing jingo spewer this Watson? No.... just a horridly uninformed Obama supporter who couldn't cite one legislative accomplishment of his candidate. The funny thing is, Matthews had been asking that same question for days demonstrating that Watson was an idiot for not doing his homework and having an answer for a question that was obvious to come. Like James he got his shot at the national scene and shot himself in his own mouth.

    The show is called Hardball. Matthews is a political historian. Only a freakin' moron would bring up a subject on which he has no working knowledge. James will just have to be happy working in market #2 but, it does beg the question, if he's this uninformed who'd he blow for that gig?

    By Blogger Dave Carroll, at 17 May, 2008 20:10  

  • I don't care for Tweety, but James had it coming.

    By Anonymous hashfanatic, at 17 May, 2008 22:43  

  • "He's a radio host, most certainly not in his element in front of a camera."

    Yeah, and MSNBC's jackbooted thugs ripped him away from his microphone and frog marched him to a seat in a televisio studio, where he was strapped down and then the camera was turned on....

    Please, spare us your pitiful attempt to defend that blithering idiot called Kevin James for being stupid enough to walk into an ambush because he wanted the cable TV face time.

    By Blogger TC, at 17 May, 2008 23:38  

  • The media is in full protection mode for Senator Barack Obama, a man with a resume thinner than an anorexic super-model, but possessing all her foreign policy knowledge.

    So it's quite amusing to listen to the spittle drooling Matthews, Shuster and the rest of MSNBC's Obama worshipping hacks, who don't know much about history.

    The fact that James wasn’t that sharp doesn’t change that their igorance. Or yours either... "democratic ignorist."

    In particular, they manufactured some bogus offense at some fairly obvious remarks President Bush made to the Knesset. This would be Bush's contention that the idea of "talking" to raging dictators, in the insane hope you can change their minds, is somewhat, uh -- misguided. As proved by Neville Chamberlain.

    Remarks that garned long and loud applause from a bunch of Jews -- who you think might know something about "appeasement" and Hitler.

    That led spit-boy Matthews to have a hysterical fit whist "interviewing" a pretty dumb Radio jock who didn't quite understand what Neville Chamberlain did in the years prior Munich.

    Memo to Matthews and the other ignorant leftists: the actual policy of appeasing Hitler DID NOT begin and end with the Munich Agreement which shamefully recognized Hitler's right to the Sudetenland.

    Appeasement of Hitler began in 1933 and ran thru to 1939, with Chamberlain being an integral part of all the meaningless "talks" and "diplomacy," to which Hitler had NO intent of ever being persuaded by.

    He simply used that time to plot and build up his armed forces whilst breaking every treaty. It was what he planned all along, NO MATTER what France and England said, did, threatened, blustered or capitulated on.
    Just like Iran is doing today.

    The Munich agreement was simply the written CULMINATION of all that previous pointless activity, but hey... what the hell, it made the appeasers feel oh so good that they weren't like that horrible warmonger Churchill.

    And hey ho -- so six million Jews were exterminated, the world was plunged into a world war which killed another 30 million...

    Forget that -- the really really important thing is to ensure that a naive fool like Obama is protected by a spittle drooler and his audience, which knows even less than him. And that's saying something.

    So it is perfectly analogous to Obama's idiotic idea of him, personally, as President, talking with Iran face to face. What an ignorant dumbkopf Obama truly is.

    Well, he was, after all, a "community organizer," thus is perfectly trained to be a liberal appeaser.

    Yes, as Matthews was vaguely aware, Chamberlain did sign an agreement with Hitler, but that was merely a codified act of appeasement that followed on from all those fruitless "talks."

    Following years of "talks" and "diplomacy," the first appeasement by Chamberlain and others, was the Anschluss, (annexation) of Austria into Greater Germany by the Nazi regime on March 12, 1938.

    And seeing Iran has been annexing parts of Lebanon through its proxies for years, there again is another perfect analogy.

    So please, let’s have less of the self-satisfied grunts from leftists whose grasp of history is even less tenuous than Keith Olbermann's relationship with reality.

    By Blogger Jack Bauer/London Dave, at 18 May, 2008 08:39  

  • A little Justice took place for a change...

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 19 May, 2008 00:04  

  • Kevin James comes on to agree with a comment that Obama's interest in negotiating with certain nations is the equal of Nazi-era appeasement. So Matthews asks him to define what the Nazi-era appeasement was, and James cannot.

    Brian: There is no defense here. This is a talkshow host who sdoesn't even understand the basis for the talking points. Only thing in the gutter is your pathetic defense.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 19 May, 2008 11:12  

  • Now that was hysterical, as typical Jew baiting conservative mutant, smacked down on television. If I were Matthew's I would have asked him "Why are you Jew baiting?" "Do you actually think Obama is Anti-Israel?" "Why do hosts like you try to scare Jewish voters into voting Republican?"

    Essentially, the hack was trying to use the typical psuedo-conservative talking point knows as "we love Jews more than you", the tatic is to paint the democratic candidate as a Hammas loving, terrorist appeaser. It will not work, it is the economy at home in America which will drive Jewish voters away from the G.O.P. Matthew's should have pointed out how friendly obama is with A.I.P.A.C and mentioned Obama's pro-Israel speech's at A.I.P.A.C. This hack knows not a thing about the people of Israel to begin with. To the disappoint of war-hawks everywhere, Israel itself is turning left-of-center, as the results of the war in Lebanon woke a lot of people up.

    I suppose all the Republican party has left is using Isreal, to divide Jewish voters. Bush conservatives, don't give a crap about Jews or the people of Israel in the least. They are used for political purposes. I think Matthew's understands this and should have been even harsher.

    Thier researchers determined they must get the Jewish vote. So far, after all the Jew baiting, and Anti-semite label flinging, the Republican party has only mustered up 30% of the Jewish vote.

    In reality, no candidate could EVEN run for president with an Anti-Israel platform in the Democratic party. This is a NON-ISSUE. All candnaites in both parties are pro-Isreal. You can not even question Isreal's tatics without being labeled an Anti-Semite and cast away into obscurity, let alone being against the state of Israel itself!!

    What that little wing-nut hack was shrieing is no different than what any wing-nut talk rshow host would be shrieking about Obama. "Hammas, appeaser blah blah blah".

    Obama is piss poor "progressive", he is a step away from being a Republican..... The issue is the ecoonomy at home... Foreign policy of Obama, McCain and clinton are identical. All 3 support global free trade without rules.... $4 gas, $4 a gallon for Milk, the lack of ability to save money in the average American family's home, lower income and the lowest GDP for wages since the great depression, will drive voters to the Democratic party. All the Jew baiting in the world will not change this.

    Will Obama improve the economic situastion for average Americans? This is a big question mark. Still, most Americans would rather take a chance with a supposed "new direction" than more psuedo-conservative economic policies of tax cuts for the rich.
    Maybe if McCain did not morph into George W Bush, I would have myself considered him. I used to respect McCain, especially when he stood up against torture and against removing the inheritance tax on milionaires.... As soon as he won the nomination, he turned into Bush. I will never vote for McCain.

    The days of con pundits shrieking on the top of their lungs without retort are comming to an end. Thank Hashem! (haahaha)

    By Blogger Minister of Propaganda, at 19 May, 2008 11:13  

  • First of all, Matthews has been uninformed in past interviews, including his infamous one with Michelle Malkin, where he was discussing what the Swift Vets had said while clearly not having read their book. He refused to answer Michelle's direct question about whether or not he had read the book.

    Secondly, Matthews has talked about the thrill going up his leg while hearing Obama speak. I wonder if he is still thrilled after Obama's statement that he had "been in 57 states, (with) I think one left to go."

    By Blogger Missouri Show Me, at 19 May, 2008 18:26  

  • and Matthews also drooled over Rudy Guiliani, practically got on his knees for Rudy. Remember "we all need a little fascism" "this man is Mr. 9/11, an American hero"??? ohhhh how quickly you forget.

    Chris matthews is hard to peg politically but at least he sometimes holds his guests to the fire.


    Credit where credit is due, he exposed a HACK, he exposed EXACTLY what RNC pundits are all about, repeating a metaphor or expression without even grasping it. This is why the entire media must be brought down to it's knees at the will of the American people. Hacks; such as this fool, belong nowhere on the airwaves. Qualifications mean nothing; only the ability to recite RNC talking points matters.

    Vile, this man is vile, Chris Matthews did America a service

    By Blogger Minister of Propaganda, at 20 May, 2008 09:32  

  • WOW, lets spill the dirt on Air America.

    I applied to be an intern with the Lionel show, and was not hired because i was TOO OLD.

    So i talked to Mark Green and he lied about their EEOC policy.

    All i wanted was an answer to "Am I too old to be Lionel's Intern?"

    We older people need a recent job or internship on our resume to keep up our skills too. so why should only 22 years old be able to apply to get those jobs? It's Not right or fair anymore in America.

    So much for being a liberal station and protecting the working people.

    I am so glad he never became mayor of NYC...Whew we dodged a bullet on that one.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 23 May, 2008 09:46  

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