The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

16 July 2008

Laura Ingraham Tirades Captured On Tape


Has Host's True Nature Been Exposed?

Has the real Laura Ingraham just been revealed for all the world to see?

After a summer of negative publicity for the nationally syndicated radio talk host, Ingraham is once again in the spotlight, this time for a dubious "highlight" reel made up of off-air outtakes from This Just In, a program she hosted on the Fox News Channel.

With no indication of how the montage made its way to the Internet, it has been uploaded to a little- known video website apparently connected to actor and comedian Harry Shearer.

The video has emerged just weeks after a possible contractual end- run around her radio syndication firm resulted in a one- month lockout from the program. Though the conflict was eventually resolved, this site has learned that some of the same issues may have since re-emerged.

Airing in the time slot formerly occupied by John Gibson, This Just In had a low- profile, three- week run on the network.

In the nine-minute clip, longstanding rumors in the broadcast industry and political realm about her volatile temper appear to be confirmed. Before this video was made public, your Radio Equalizer had heard that she had acquired an exceptionally difficult reputation during her time at FOX.

At one point, Ingraham even slams the very network that gave her the opportunity to host a program:

But is this a fair representation of Ingraham's personality? As some of her complaints appear justified, the answer is not as simple as one might imagine.

For one thing, a certain level of assertiveness is necessary in the high- pressure world of broadcasting. If her producers haven't supplied necessary background information on a guest or intro to a segment, shouldn't she complain?

And when two staffers are giving her different countdown indications, there's clearly a problem.

That's not to say she's in the clear, however: her meltdown over the person "hovering" in the studio doorway is ridiculous, as is anger over the man (apparently a guest gearing up for another program) mistakenly appearing in her monitor.

But frankly, there's no smoking gun here that convicts Ingraham in the court of public opinion.

Perhaps the most damning aspect of the montage is how it reveals a host who is exceptionally uncomfortable in a television setting, not good for a person who clearly harbors such ambitions.

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  • There isn't one utterance out of her mouth that is not fully justified.

    I've supported anchors in highly charged and urgent broadcast moments. Watching this took me right back to those times. It was pretty darn obvious when an anchor was being a diva (divo) and here LI was not. She was demanding really basic support.

    If I tell the floor manager (didja notice it was Shep Smith's famous Jessica!) that I want only a 30 second cue, and I tell the director and producer the same, then by God, don't give me other cues.

    If an anchor asks for stuff and it isn't happening, it is 100% on the producer to acknowledge the screw-up. If we agreed to script/prompter changes and they are not made, who is at fault? It sure as heck ain't the talent.

    A three minute-to-air cue that was, in actuality, a 30 second cue which was not heard by ANYONE? Are you freaking kidding me? If I am the stage manager and we are 30 seconds out and nobody is moving? I am SHOUTING.

    LI was surrounded by amateurs. It's that simple. If I am the production manager at FNC, heads are rolling.

    I have come to dislike LI as a host on radio and on tv. It would be fine with me if she never hosted again. But, right is right. She got hosed. This "leaked" video is further evidence of the duplicity I saw on the video.

    By Anonymous Ed, at 16 July, 2008 04:33  

  • Laura Ingraham ROCKS!!!

    She is the best thing on morning radio!!

    Who cares about the TV show? It didn't do Laura justice. Radio is where she really shines!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 16 July, 2008 18:39  

  • Wow. How could anyone possibly think this is evidence of a tirade!
    Laura is directing the crew from her host chair because IT NEEDED TO BE DONE. Her producer needs to go back to broadcast school. Most of the crew as well. They let her down.

    Apart from guest appearances, and some guest hosting duties, Laura is not a TV personality, but could well grow into one. Hell, MSNBC is littered with questionable talent that airs every night. But her production staff and crew do this for a living... shame on them.

    By Anonymous JK, at 16 July, 2008 18:51  

  • In viewing this video I didn't see a problem with Laura Ingraham so much as a huge problem with the support staff. Was she given all new employees and interns to work with?

    Laura isn't new to TV, she used to have a show on MSNBC. Now perhaps her working with the O'Reilly crew when she subs for him spoiled her, but the incompetent behavior of the floor crew, producers and others is apparent here.

    Brian you seem to delight in tearing into Laura Ingraham. Whether it be jealousy of her being successful in her radio show or your not liking women to be on the radio I am not sure, but your comments come off more as sour grapes or schadenfreude than good information on the state of the radio industry.

    By Blogger Skeptical One, at 16 July, 2008 22:25  

  • Someone wants to make a big deal about that!?

    Granted, I have no idea what the "behind the scenes" goings on are like on a live TV show, but that hardly seems a tirade. Laura never throws anything, yells, screams, screeches or barely raises her voice. She was firm, she was critical of support she received, but she never personally attacked any of the staff. She just said what she wasn't getting that she expected to get and chides the staff for not getting it for her.

    This whole thing is a non-starter as a scandal or image buster.

    I'm not the hugest fan of Laura. I like her okay, but this is NOTHING, IMO.

    Who did Fox have working on her production? People fresh out of school and a bunch of interns? Seems to me they gave her short shrift on personnel.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 16 July, 2008 23:10  

  • The more I think about what went down here, the more I suspect a big, fat, corporate, rat.

    Methinks Fox owed LI and/or her agent a favor and gave her this "shot." They wanted to give Kelly and Hemmer a break and needed a Summer fill anyway. So, throw her into this claptrap of a show, give her an indifferent producer and crew, and LI would decide she really doesn't need the aggravation.

    If she still expressed an interest in hosting more shows? Cite the problematic work environment she "fostered" when you decline to proceed.

    By Anonymous Ed, at 17 July, 2008 03:00  

  • I see the comments on here and, though I didn't see the video in question, I get the suspicion Laura has been given a raw deal in terms of staff for the show.

    But you know in some ways it reminds me of a time when the late Jessica Savitch of NBC News, went on a couple of tirades. One of which is seen on YouTube:

    I've seen this before and boy does she lay it on thick against the dopey crew.

    Then again, she worked in Philadelphia. And I can say that sarcastically. Having worked in radio with a woman from that city, if I offend anyone from there, I'm not sorry.

    By Blogger The Real Bob Anthony, at 17 July, 2008 07:08  

  • This was a program that was just getting started. It had a lot of things that needed ironing out. The staff was not working as a team, but they would have, given time. And it was a live show to boot, so I don't blame her for being a bit irate at the foul ups. Nobody wants to look bad or incompetent as host of a national TV show. I would hardly call her reactions a meltdown. This is just another petty attempt by the left at character assassination because they are not capable of addressing what she SAYS.

    By Blogger Lone Ranger, at 17 July, 2008 10:12  

  • That "little-known website" has far more readers than this website, according to Alexa. In fact, it's ranked 22,000. So much for little-known.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 17 July, 2008 10:40  

  • whether or not you like her, this clip really doesn't defame her as it looks much worse for FOX than it does for her

    By Anonymous C-Hayes, at 17 July, 2008 11:23  

  • I work at a news station. I wish our anchors were this calm. Stuff happens... when production screws up, the talent is the one that looks bad. I think the crew needs to pull their heads out and think about their jobs. Our scripts are loaded in the prompter with hardcopies on the desk and in the studio no less than 20minutes before air. If they aren't there... things get chaotic.

    Much respect to Laura for keeping her sanity!

    By Blogger cford, at 17 July, 2008 20:18  

  • Just my $.02 but I thought that Laura seemed extremely composed throughout those clips.

    By Anonymous Richard Evans, at 18 July, 2008 01:03  

  • Can someone explain how Laura's off the air utterances make it to the internet, yet Jesse Jackson's off the air utterance of the "N" word in reference to Barack never does. Yet Fox says they are "fair and balanced". Hmmm.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 19 July, 2008 07:37  

  • I wish my teenage son were only as temperamental as Laura Ingraham.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 23 July, 2008 23:20  

  • I am so pleased at how many supporters that Laura has on these comments. Laura is not a diva here or ever.

    The only negative comment to FOX or Laura comes at the expense of a Anonymous cowardly commenter.

    By Blogger Michael, at 27 July, 2008 21:16  

  • OK. Enough time has passed. The Radio Equalizer owes Laura an apology for trying to rub some dirt all over her credentials. Obviously the entire post was biased against her, and the readers all smelled a rat.

    Own up and say you are sorry, Brian.

    By Anonymous Joel, at 28 July, 2008 19:39  

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