The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

17 June 2008

Laura Ingraham Lockout Personal, Not Political


Fighting Ingraham's Battle, Activists Waste Valuable Time

At a time when conservatives face important political battles heading into November's election, one radio host would have the right waste valuable resources fighting for her lucrative syndication contract.

After playing her hand much too aggressively while courting a rival broadcast outfit, Laura Ingraham has found herself locked out at the Talk Radio Network, which has handled her show since an abrupt exit from Westwood One nearly five years ago.

While your Radio Equalizer certainly doesn't expect Ingraham to back down from her contention that she's done nothing wrong, attempting to drag the entire conservative movement into her contractual dispute is ridiculous.

Whether directly from Laura or via her lawyers and friends, this represents a profound misuse of the right's collective energy. Especially dubious are any assertions that the Talk Radio Network, a reliably conservative syndication outfit for many years, has shut her down for ideological reasons.

Not only is this absurd, it's frankly embarrassing. Already, some respected names on the right have been pulled in to this misguided "cause".

Today's Washington Post piece by Howard Kurtz underscores the silliness of this would-be crusade:

Laura Ingraham, the most popular woman on political talk radio, has been off the air for two weeks, and not by choice.

Ingraham's syndicator, Talk Radio Network, barred her from her Washington studio after talks about a new contract hit a snag, and some of her fans are mounting a campaign to get her back.

"The fact is, they took her off the air," says Eric Bernthal, her lawyer. "There's no doubt in my mind they did it as a tactic in contract negotiations."

Ingraham said on her Web site: "Rest assured, this absence is not of my choosing, nor is it health or family related. I am ready, willing and eager to continue the conversation we started seven years ago about politics and the culture. (Heck, if cancer couldn't keep me off the airwaves for long, nothing will.) . . . I would never voluntarily abandon you during such a critical time for our country." She declined a request for comment because of a confidentiality clause in her contract.

Neither Mark Masters, chief executive of Talk Radio Network, nor a lawyer for the company responded to requests for comment. Ingraham's five-year contract -- she previously worked for another radio company -- expires in September, and she is contractually barred from negotiating with other syndicators until later this summer.

Bingo! That's the apparent source of the dispute: early negotiating by Ingraham with Citadel- ABC stations based on earlier thinking that Sean Hannity's program would soon be leaving their stations. That alarmed Masters, who locked out Ingraham in a defensive move.

In a business where so many left- wing executives have moved to dilute conservative talk radio in order to suit their own partisan agendas, the last thing right- leaning activists need is a misguided crusade against a company that has done nothing to deserve it.

Ingraham has every right to push for the best deal she can within the conditions of her contract, but should leave the rest of us out of it.

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  • While I like Larua on the radio...
    I listen live via the interent.
    Her TV show yesterday was in
    need of something.....

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 17 June, 2008 14:15  

  • "us"? you're not on the radio, and you're not an activist.

    you're just a partisan regurgitator with a teensy-weensy website who sits by the phone waiting for invitations to appear on other partisan's talk-shows.

    this time, rather than kissing the ass of o'reilly or limbaugh, you're instead kissing the ass of the Talk Radio Network (my my my, you must have some large - and sore - lips) in hopes that they will give you a radio gig, steady or otherwise.

    and you're willing to throw ingraham under the bus to do it!

    I'm not saying she's doing right, I'm simply saying you're quite quick to throw her to the wolves for your own benefit, aren't you.

    How nice for you that your wife (you have one, don't you) did not want a husband of honor or integrity.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 17 June, 2008 16:50  

  • Laura's hubris is shining for all to see.

    Brian is a reliable man to get out her side of the story, but she declines to speak on the record ot him. Then, she has the temerity to go on air and blame a conspiracy!

    Wake up, people! If the phrase "Power to the People!" is to have any meaning, the people must think. Honor yourselves. Don't be sheep.

    Rush's genius is that he attempts to teach. Millions of his listeners are now more fully empowered. C'mon Laura listeners! Demand straight talk from the source!

    I love LI's politics, but more and more, I am dismayed by her character.

    Would Ann Coulter be similarly silent? Would she use innuendo and insinuation, or would she lay it all out there? Yet Ann is mocked and Laura tolerated by a majority of sheeple.

    Keep up the excellent work, Brian.

    By Blogger Unknown, at 18 June, 2008 18:51  

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