The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

29 April 2009

Keith Olbermann's New Anti-Hannity Attack Strategy


Ratings-Challenged Host Looks To Gain From Rival's Offer

*** Has A Fed-Up Left Begun To Turn Against Olbermann? ***

Boston Host Yanked Over Mexico / Swine Flu Remarks ***

Only in this ultra-partisan media environment could a liberal cable talker get away with pressing his rival in an overtly transparent and hypocritical manner. Aren't there any mainstream media insiders willing to question Keith Olbermann's motives?

This week's Olber-stunt has the ratings-challenged MSNBC host attempting to utilize an offer by Sean Hannity to be waterboarded in a benefit for a military charity. Used in overseas interrogations, waterboarding is considered by some to be an act of torture.

Because the FOX News Channel talker apparently isn't volunteering for his "torture" session fast enough, or in a sufficiently severe manner, Olbermann is on the warpath. That has the latter's elitist media pals eating of his hand.

In particular, the liberal women's site WOWOWOW has presented a one-sided view of Hannity as "chicken".

Today, in fact, TVNewser reports Olbermann has upped the rhetoric, saying he doubts Hannity "has the courage to even respond to this." This AP report on Olbermann's stunt doesn't even mention the fact that he's a direct timeslot competitor.

But the obvious question appears not to have been asked: why hasn't Olbermann himself volunteered to join Hannity in the waterboarding? If Hannity's aim is to prove that it isn't tortune while Olbermann believes that it is, why shouldn't the latter make his own case?

While he's at it, Olbermann can use his own waterboarding session to raise a potentially considerable amount for charity. So why is this a one-way street where only the conservative is subjected to discomfort?

From Olbermann's DailyKos diary:

But his offer the other night to Chuck Grodin to 'prove' that waterboardng [sic] isn't torture by allowing it to be done to him, is too important to pass up, because of the image it will certainly produce. No matter what he says afterwards or how he tries to laugh it off, Hannity's certitude will be smashed by Hannity's natural, human panic.

He doesn't have to become Dr. Sabin for more than ten seconds. And many, maybe most, of his viewers, will join him in the collective post-waterboarding lie that he never feared for his life. Regardless, the impact will be sufficient. If it changes the minds of one percent of his supporters, it will have been worth it. And think about the vast numbers of people who have no idea who he is, or who I am, or what this site is, who will know only that a boastful man literally had reality forced upon him.

Thus last night I made my offer to Hannity. He told Chuck he'd do it for families of the troops, and he'd let Chuck do it (Grodin demurred). Those were his only conditions. I'll add a few:

1. Hannity may be waterboarded live on his show. All I require is that a trustworthy outside observer be present to make sure the waterboarding is a legitimate recreation of what we did to detainees. Chuck Grodin is perfectly acceptable, or Hannity may nominate an alternate, but I must approve the identity of the observer.

2. Hannity may instead be waterboarded on tape if he prefers. In that event, I require that at least one non-Fox camera crew be permitted access to record all events, along with a trustworthy outside observer. Again, Grodin will be fine.

3. Hannity must identify the charity or charities, organization or organizations, to which he wants the donation made, so I can verify in advance that the money will indeed get to the families of American troops. The organization cannot be sponsored by, nor affiliated with, Hannity or his employers.

4. I will donate $1,000 (one thousand dollars) for every second of water-boarding Hannity endures. We will start the clock the moment the first water is poured on him. The clock will stop when Hannity confesses or begins to shout or scream on a prolonged basis, or the medical supervisor determines he is danger of organ failure.

5. If Hannity admits afterwards he was afraid for his life and that waterboarding is indeed torture, I will double my total contribution.

And I will repeat this offer each night on Countdown until he agrees or declines.

UPDATE, 12:54 PM EDT: I think we're going to have to have a simulated interrogator there. And yes, he's going to have to admit to something instead of just saying "stop."

6. A simulated interrogator will have to be present and vocal, insisting Hannity confesses.

7. Unlike those we waterboarded, Hannity need only admit to something factual to get the waterboarding to stop. He may choose among: "Obama is not a socialist," "Waterboarding is torture," or something else mutually agreeable between us.

Until Olbermann is willing to subject himself to the same kind of "torture", how does he deserve any response from Hannity?

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28 April 2009

Politicized Environment Turns News Issues Into Ammunition


Left Plays 'Gotcha' Game With Talk Radio Over Swine Flu


In an era where political spinmeisters look for opportunities to score points from almost any news event, a widely-publicized swine flu is too profitable to ignore. From the earliest outbreaks, some immediately look to smear their enemies.

And with talk radio under the left's microscope, "progressives" have been watching it closely, looking for "gotcha" moments that will build their case for a crackdown against the popular medium.

Already, they've launched attacks on Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Fred Thompson and Michael Savage over swine flu comments deemed offensive, particularly those who might dare to criticize the Obama Administration's handing of the crisis.

Attacking talk radio is only half of the strategy, however: in addition, Republicans are being blamed for opposing pandemic funding in the pork-laden stimulus bill. Complicating that message, however, is the fact that some Democrats voiced the same objection, including Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY). That could make the partisan blame-game a bit tricky.

The left-wing Talking Points Memo was so eager to use swine flu to smear talk hosts and other conservatives that it didn't even wait for the programs, instead resorting to this supposed "parody":

Glenn Beck: "Am I mistaken or is Swine Flu one of the plagues that the ancient Egyptians used against the Jews? Could this be just one of several plagues that the Pharaoh Obama will unleash against the American people? I..I..fear for my country. I......don't want to see MY country......consumed by the pestilence of this president's Islamo-fascist communist Muslim agenda and the diseases that it will unleash."

Rush Limbaugh: "Here it is, folks. The nanny government is going to move in and tell you that you have to go get shots with dangerous vaccines against some made-up disease. 'Swine flu? Swine flu?' That was something that Jimmy Carter made up back in the 70s to try to distract everyone from his foreign policy disasters and blowing up the economy. There's no such thing, folks. It's a joke. And, even if there was, if you choose to live in a place where some disease from Mexico can come into your neighborhood and infect you and your family, you only have yourself to blame for it. For anyone that dumb, I say 'tough luck.' You should have known better. Stop looking for the government to save you from yourself."

At least the George "I'm having a very good crisis" Soros-funded Media Matters waited for the programs to get actual quotes:

Following an outbreak of swine flu in Mexico and subsequent confirmation of dozens of cases in the United States, conservative media personalities have baselessly blamed Mexican immigrants for spreading the disease across the border, continuing their long-standing trend of scapegoating immigrants while discussing major news stories. However, Rear Adm. Anne Schuchat, M.D., the interim deputy director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's science and public health program, stated in an April 26 media availability: "I know that we have confirmation of disease in people who have traveled to Mexico, and I don't know the numbers, but I know that that is definitely the case in some of our cases, and that's an important factor to consider." Indeed, several media reports on U.S. swine flu patients indicated that they had recently traveled to Mexico.

[second post]

Following the confirmation of swine flu cases in the United States, radio hosts Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, and Fred Thompson purported to detect possible political motivations in the U.S. and United Nations' handling of the situation, with Limbaugh suggesting on his April 27 show that the official response "is designed to expand the role and power of governments and schools" and accusing the media of "fall[ing] right in line here with amplifying the nature of the crisis."

Also on April 27, Beck asserted that there are "only two ways to look at" the government's response to the swine flu. First, he claimed that it "could be that because Barack Obama's administration is so incredibly efficient, could be that they know that this is much worse than we think it is." Second, Beck claimed the administration's response to the crisis "could be to move his Health and Human Services person [Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius] into the office rapidly." He added: "She can be confirmed right out of the gate because of this swine flu. So don't look over here, look at the swine flu, look at the swine flu, look at the swine flu. And she just goes right through the gate."

For his part,
Limbaugh made light of Obama's "not to worry" approach to the swine flu, taking particular note of the president's governing-from-the-golf-course strategy:

RUSH: Imagine a flu outbreak, swine flu, bird flu, Democrat flu, whatever, imagine a flu outbreak, and George W. Bush going to play golf and getting hourly reports on the golf course. This flu, folks, let me tell you something. Nothing to worry about. Nothing to sweat here.

I'm not going to worry about this outbreak of flu until Fox News puts Geraldo Rivera on 24 hours a day. Geraldo Rivera is the grim reaper, and when enough people start dying from this then we'll get Geraldo all day and night and he'll be in 15 different cities at one time to report on it. Great to be back with you, folks. How are you? Rush Limbaugh here behind the Golden EIB Microphone at the distinguished and prestigious Limbaugh Institute for Advanced Conservative Studies. Telephone number if you want to be on the program today, 800-282-2882, and the e-mail address,

Well, everybody's getting all caught up in the hundred days. The press is running numerous stories about the hundred days, and there's this giant disconnect, there's absolutely not one thing that has been fixed, not one thing that this administration has taken on has even been improved, and yet President Obama's approval numbers are higher than ever. This means, ladies and gentlemen, that there is a perception of President Obama that is nowhere near the reality of President Obama. And this phenomenon is going to continue until somehow, some way, President Obama can be tied to all of the failures that his administration is racking up, until he could be tied to them in terms that he will be held responsible. That's going to be very, very, very, very difficult because of the cult-like belief and status that President Obama benefits from. The situation is that he's trying, and he cares. And he's got a magic word. Barack Obama has a magic word: "Bush." He's actually got another magic word: "torture." Any time the administration wants to distract anybody from economic news, failures here, failures there, just bring up torture.

By the way, I need to point out here on this flu stuff, we've got some Obama sound bites coming up where he says not to worry, it's cause for alarm, but not panic. Obama has not yet chosen a Surgeon General or even put in a director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (interruption) How does that affect you, Mr. Snerdley? I'm just running a little test here. Well, but no, no, no, no. No, no, no, no, no. It's a good thing I asked the question. We don't have a Surgeon General. We don't have Centers for Disease Control director. I asked Snerdley, "What does this mean?" He said it means we don't need one; we can handle it without them. I understand what you're saying. But to me the concern over not having -- what's a Surgeon General do anyway but teach kids how to masturbate so as to prevent AIDS? Hello, Joycelyn Elders. What's a Surgeon General do except run around and attack Joe Camel to get kids not to smoke? What's a Surgeon General do? The Surgeon General doesn't even perform surgery. I have yet to see the Surgeon General in this country in my lifetime actually operate on anybody.

UPDATE: the cheap shots continue as WOWOWOW, a liberal site for women, took Limbaugh's tongue-in-cheek commentary and turned it into this week's OUTRAGE (!!!!), using Media Matters as a supposedly credible source:

Rush Limbaugh is doing his best to pin the swine flu outbreak on President Barack Obama.

The radio host used his show yesterday to suggest that Obama’s recent trip to Mexico caused not only the flu pandemic, but also an earthquake. "[E]verywhere Obama is spreading Obamaism, there is a deadly disease taking place, either in the TARP community or in the newspaper business … Obama goes to Mexico — they have an earthquake. Obama goes to Mexico — get pig flu," according to The Huffington Post.

[second post]

While Rush Limbaugh and other right-wingers want to blame Barack Obama for the swine-flu pandemic, medical authorities say they’ve traced the illness back to its true source: a four-year-old Mexican boy, Edgar Hernandez.

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23 April 2009

Randi Rhodes Returns To Radio Syndication


Libtalker Randi Rhodes Back In Radio Syndication

Not everybody gets
three shots at radio syndication, but for whatever reason, that's the fate of libtalker Randi Rhodes.

Late today, Premiere Radio Networks, home of Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and many others, announced that it has signed Rhodes to a new deal involving nationwide distribution of her resurrected program.

Even within the still-fledgling and internally-competitive world of liberal talk radio, Randi is a controversial figure, especially as a result of a number of high-profile public flaps.

Between her bizarre "mugging" incident in the streets of Manhattan to her habit of airing disturbing prerecorded skits and record of extreme rhetoric, including calling Hillary Clinton a "big f--king whore", the former Air America and NovaM talker will prove a handful for her new employers.

Rhodes thinks highly of her own abilities, once comparing her "irreplacability" to that of the late Tim Russert on NBC.

During the past
five years, your Radio Equalizer has often seemingly been pulled into these conflicts, as libtalk insiders eagerly fed tips on Rhodes and her antics to this site, while others attacked her from the right. Moreover, Randi's attorney has even utilized yours truly to break news regarding her show, especially during the collapse of NovaM Radio.

In recent weeks, one person claiming inside knowledge of negotiations predicted that she would soon be signed by Premiere, but yours truly failed to take it seriously.

At least one station has already said it will carry the new program: East Bay Air America affiliate KKGN (Green 960) AM. Here, it has reprinted Premiere's press release:

LOS ANGELES, April 23, 2009 – Premiere Radio Networks is proud to announce that beginning May 11, The Randi Rhodes Show will join its lineup of nationally syndicated radio programs. Airing weekdays from 3-6pm ET, Rhodes will enlighten and entertain listeners with her trademark candid, incisive opinions, as well as her biting sense of humor, as she discusses everything from news and current events, to politics and hot topics. The Randi Rhodes Show will broadcast live from Washington, D.C., and will be heard on more than 25 affiliates including KTLK-AM/Los Angeles, Green 960 Online and Radio/San Francisco and KPOJ-AM/Portland.

“Right now, America needs a voice that reflects its hopes and concerns. It will be my privilege and pleasure to provide vital information to the public about everything that is possible in the 21st century, and also have a few laughs along the way,” commented Rhodes. “Premiere is an incredible family of radio pros, and is truly the most talented and experienced radio syndicator in the nation. I’m exited about this decision and Premiere’s enthusiasm for this partnership. It’s truly a dream come true.”

Premiere Radio EVP of Affiliate Marketing Julie Talbott stated, “Randi has carved a niche in Talk radio with her straight-forward approach, intelligence, wit and fact-driven content - qualities that attract audiences. We can’t wait to deliver The Randi Rhodes Show to stations nationwide.”

A Brooklyn native and former U.S. Air Force aircraft mechanic, Rhodes began her career in radio at a Country music station in Seminole, Texas. She enjoyed stints in Mobile, Alabama, as well as New York’s WAPP-FM, Milwaukee’s WQFM and West Palm Beach’s WJNO-AM. In 1992, she landed at Miami’s WIOD-AM, where she took over the station’s 8 -11 p.m. In 2004, Air America Radio began nationally syndicating her program, and she later joined Nova M Radio’s lineup in 2008. In addition, Rhodes starred in the HBO documentary Left of the Dial, and was named “Woman of the Year” by Talkers Magazine in 2007. timeslot and was ranked #1 in the market.

As for Premiere Radio's intentions, this remains a mystery. The company generally syndicates existing (currently on the air somewhere) programs with a track record of success, neither of which apply to Rhodes.

In addition, the current media environment is not favorable to left-leaning programs, as evidenced by MSNBC's plunging ratings.

That's why the move is likely to lead to criticism that hiring Rhodes may be a way of appeasing the Obama-led FCC ahead of a widely-expected crackdown on free speech in broadcasting. Rhodes was an outspoken Obama supporter, particularly during the primary season.

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22 April 2009

Matthews, Maddow, Schultz, Olbermann Lead MSNBC's Decline


Mainstream Media Finally Notice MSNBC's Sagging Ratings

After close to a year of fawning praise driven by relative ratings "success" and election year hype, the mainstream media has suddenly noticed MSNBC's rapid audience erosion. With the seeming flick of a switch, the far-left cable network's once-puffy press coverage has made a 180-degree turn.

Between today's Los Angeles Times, the Baltimore Sun and Chicago Tribune, our MSM friends are not afraid to label evening host Rachel Maddow yesterday's news, for example.

But much of the rest of their coverage gives NBC suits every opportunity to make the case for the fading cable network's future. Since Maddow's views (often derived from astonishing ignorance) match those of the reporters covering her, how could it be any other way?

From the Chicago Tribune:

"I think Rachel is a rock star," said Phil Griffin, president of MSNBC, where the show airs weekdays at 9 p.m. Eastern. "We've never had success anywhere near that in our 12-year history at 9 p.m. right out of the gate. From Day One, she established herself."

And even though Maddow's ratings slipped last month, she still beat out CNN's "Larry King Live," a consistent cable news heavyweight, among the 25- to 54-year-old demographic. But she's still a good distance from Fox News' "Hannity's America," which continues to dominate the time slot.

The shift in her ratings fortune hasn't changed her attitude toward the show, said Maddow. And, despite her political similarities with the new president, there is a president to hold to account. She's already gone after Obama on issues such as wiretapping and torture.

"She has not at all been afraid to be critical of Obama when she disagrees with him," said Martin Kaplan, director of the Norman Lear Center at the USC Annenberg School for Communications. "It's a place for people to tune in and hear intelligent conversation about differences of opinion."

A former AIDS activist and Rhodes scholar, Maddow's journey to becoming MSNBC's ratings darling began on a whim, when she auditioned for a job as a morning radio sidekick in Massachusetts. By 2004, she had made it onto Air America, a liberal talk radio network.

The platform brought her to the attention of a cable news producer. She eventually became a frequent substitute host for "Countdown with Keith Olbermann"—a stint that would lead to a show touting her own name in the title.

Seven months since the show's launch, Maddow said she has yet to "find her groove" in television hosting. But her bosses are confident she'll find it.

"She's still in infancy of knowing this medium," Griffin said. "The show will evolve as she continues … but, honestly, I can't believe where we are right now. I can only imagine where we'll be a year from now."

Who in their right mind could call Larry King "a heavyweight"? His time passed years ago and beating him means little.

As for Phil Griffin, he's made the same mistake that kept Air America from building strong ratings: allowing one's personal feelings and political viewpoints to interfere with good programming judgment.

At the Baltimore Sun, television critic David Zurawik isn't quite so accommodating:

MSNBC show host Rachel Maddow has suffered some steep audience erosion in recent months, down more than 40 percent in viewership from her peak last fall during the election.

According to the Los Angeles Times, Maddow's audience has gone from a high of 1.9 million viewers in the fall to just over 1.1 million in March. That's a big drop.

Readers of this blog know I am just as troubled by Maddow's brand of ideologically driven partisan propaganda as I am by that of Bill O'Reilly and Sean Hannity on Fox. Maddow was at her worst last week, falsely minimizing the tea parties held across the country as "the fizzle in the drizzle" and mocking the participants.

Nine months ago, this site wondered whether Maddow's relentlessly-fluffy press coverage (particularly from the New York Times) would ultimately damage her career. While that certainly didn't help, it now seems more likely she simply rode the Obamist wave in 2008, only to come crashing down to earth as the euphoria subsided.

Maddow herself doesn't offer much of a defense, except to play dumb and pretend they don't follow the ratings, nearly impossible to believe in the cutthroat world of cable news.

But why stop with Maddow? Where are the stories noting the disastrous start to fellow libtalker Ed Schultz's program, or the embarrassingly-low audience figures for Chris Matthews? Mr Leg Thrill had just 117,000 average viewers in the key 25-54 demo during Tuesday's show.

Meanwhile, even some of parent company GE's shareholders are wondering what is going on, calling particular attention to Keith Olbermann's ridiculously soft interviewing style and the network's overall bias.

Ultimately, what has caused MSNBC's downfall is its cozy relationship with the Obamists. A smarter strategy for a liberal network would have been to chart an independent, nonpartisan course where hosts are not afraid to hold Barack's feet to the fire.

For her part, Maddow has occasionally dropped hints that she'd like to like to follow this path, but it's not clear the network will allow that kind of independence.

During George W Bush's second term, this approach was taken by conservative talk hosts and kept the medium from sinking along with his poll numbers. That divide became especially apparent when Bush pushed amnesty for illegal aliens, which talkers and their audience adamantly oppose.

Clearly, NBC and GE have placed protecting Obama's reputation ahead of its own best interests. But the price for that posturing could be steep, especially as MSNBC's ratings continue to sink.

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21 April 2009

Libtalker Ed Schultz Sees MSNBC Ratings Plunge


With Libtalker's Hire, NBC Suits Make Bad Call

When former Air America
host Rachel Maddow briefly rode a wave of cable ratings "success" before the presidential election, the drive-by media couldn't get enough, smothering her in fawning coverage that has only recently subsided. Hey, it's not often that one of their own actually generates an audience, even if just for a brief period.

Now that one of liberal talk radio's key figures has absolutely bombed on cable, however, the mainstream media hasn't a word to say about it. In this case, it's hot-headed Ed Schultz, who has taken a small MSNBC audience base and rendered it truly invisible, with ratings barely perceptible even when analyzed by a microscope.

If the formerly Fargo-based faux populist and paid union hack has an excuse, it's that MSNBC's overall audience has dropped like a rock since the Obamist regime took over in January.

In both the key 25-54 and overall audience demographics, the far-left NBC outlet is losing big to its competitors, especially FOX News Channel, often attracting one-half or even one-third of the latter's viewership. That includes declining figures for Maddow.

Standing out like a sore thumb, however, is Schultz's performance to date. On Friday, his worst day so far, he scored the lowest 25-54 ratings of any cable news show between 6pm and midnight: just 75,000 average viewers nationwide. Overall, it wasn't much better: 365,000. For every person watching the Ed Show, there were more than four tuned into his competition at FOX.

And even Maddow's declining numbers look positively robust next to Big Eddie's: she beat him nearly four to one as well.

Unless Schultz can somehow turn around his so-far dismal showing, it's hard to believe NBC can afford to keep his fledgling program on the air for long. Which corporate suit will be first to have his neck chopped off over this bad call?

If and when he is cancelled, can we expect to read about it in the New York Times, home of nearly endless Maddow-fawning? Don't hold your breath.

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17 April 2009

Former Air America Host Once Again Shooting Off Mouth


Unhinged Garofalo Back On The Warpath

*** NEW: Boston Globe's Sympathy For Left's Limbaugh Monitor ***


Providing an invigorating shot in the arm for conservatives, perpetually unhinged hothead Janeane Garofalo has emerged from her cave just long enough to hurl personal insults at anyone with differing viewpoints.

Here at the Radio Equalizer, all we can say is welcome back, Janeane! And thanks again for the fodder.

This time, the former Air America talk host has managed to fuel our fire for months to come with these gems:

She's labeled taxpayer advocates as racist, according to the Washington Times:

"Let's be very honest about what this is about. This is not about bashing Democrats. It's not about taxes. They have no idea what the Boston Tea party was about. They don't know their history at all. It's about hating a black man in the White House," she said on MSNBC's "The Countdown" with Keith Olbermann Thursday evening. "This is racism straight up and is nothing but a bunch of teabagging rednecks. There is no way around that."

Olbermann did not once try to challenge her on those assertions.

The actress went on to describe the brain size of typical "right-winger, Republican or conservative or your average white power activist."

"Their synapses are misfiring. ... It is a neurological problem we are dealing with," she said. This isn't the first time she's offered this analysis, either. Ms. Garofalo said similar things about Alaskan GOP Governor Sarah Palin's brain last February in an interview with an environmental blog.

The actress went on to bash the GOP on MSNBC Thursday because it had "crystallized into the white power movement" as well as Fox News, which she said has captured the "Klan demo[graphic]."

And according to the Los Angeles Times, Garofalo is making excuses for her willingness to accept work on 24, a program with a conservative reputation:

In an interview with the Village Voice yesterday, Garofalo discusses the apparent disconnect between her politics and the show's, saying, "At first I passed on it because of the right-wing nature of a couple of the writers."

Eventually, however, Garofalo relented. "There's only one or two right-wingers in the whole show, in the writer's room. There's nobody else whose opinions reflect that in the cast or the crew. And then midway through when I was working there the main right-winger left the show anyway," she says.

Here, she is referring to series creator Joel Surnow. In the interview, Garofalo is complimentary of Surnow, however she draws the line at set visits from his pals, Rush Limbaugh and Lynne Cheney.

"When Rush Limbaugh visited the set, and when Lynne Cheney visited the set, I refused to have my picture taken with them or meet them or anything," Garofalo tells the Village Voice.

Before the left gets too excited about the diminutive loudmouth's return to the public eye, however, they might take a Garofalo 101 refresher course:

The demise of Garofalo's already low-rated lefty talk show on Air America was sped up by her use of the program to promote Scientology, which had even liberal supporters baffled.

Her program was known for childish antics more at home on an elementary school playground than in the adult world.

A bizarre online crusade to place Garofalo on Hollywood's Walk Of Fame has generated less than 200 signatures in over three years.

Garofalo angily denounced her former employer, Air America, when it fired Randi Rhodes for calling Hillary Clinton "a big f---ing whore".

With this kind of track record, conservatives should welcome the return of Hollywood's ultimate toxic asset.

After having seen this piece, Limbaugh emailed your Radio Equalizer late Friday evening with this reaction: "The last time I visited the set of 24, Garofalo had not been hired to appear in the series. She was not there, she was not a member of the cast the last time I visited. I wouldn't have wanted to meet her anyway.

"The last time I visited the set, Kim Raver was still in the cast and CTU was the primary "location" of the show. This current season, seven, has been in the can since last summer or fall and I have been nowhere near the 24 set for any shoots for this season, which is this lunatic's first season," Limbaugh added.

Did Garofalo make up her story about Limbaugh visiting the set during her stint as a member of the cast?

Classic Garofalo images:
Pete at IHillary

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15 April 2009

Liberal MSNBC Host Says Shooting Pirates 'Like Deer Huntin'!'


Called McCain 'Warmonger', But Enjoys Somali Executions


What is it about Somali pirates that brings out the worst in our libtalk friends?

First, we caught the Reverend Al Sharpton calling the violent maritime thugs Somalia's "voluntary Coast Guard", which was hilarious, except for the fact that he wasn't laughing.

Now, it's hotheaded MSNBC host Ed Schultz's turn to enter the realm of the bizarre: he's enjoying the pirate executions, saying they're "like deer huntin'". This from a guy (and corrupt union hack) who last year called John McCain a "warmonger".

Here's the caught-on-tape clip (NOTE: several extended dead-air pauses have been edited out and the caller reaction actually came later in the program):

SCHULTZ (13:05): Barack Obama is a dude. And the next time someone takes an American, they know what's gonna happen when the Navy comes around. They know that there's gonna be some Seals out there. It's gonna be kinda like deer huntin'. That's right. When the United States Navy shows up, now other terrorists around the world know that Barack Obama will give the green light to shoot you in the freakin' head! I LOVE IT!

(lowers voice, creepily) And he's a liberal.

SCHULTZ (21:52): So now we know, now we know if by some chance American special forces happen to spot Osama bin Laden in the Afghan mountains, hell, he's gonna get shot in the head! I'm really excited about that! I mean, his method of budget cutting is outstanding. Judge, jury, executioner, on the spot, it's over, boom! Ain't no trial 'cause the trial took place at sea, where they were messing with an American.


CALLER (44:03):
I'm kind of upset about how you've been reacting to (inaudible) You've said that you were, you've been excited about it, that you love it, that it's kind of like deer hunting. I kind of don't get that. Three people were shot in the head, you know ...

SCHULTZ (interrupting):
No, no, no, three people were deserved to be shot in the head, Jim. OK? OK, so three people deserved to be shot in the head.

CALLER: Who are you taking your ...

SCHULTZ (hangs up): Goodbye, Jim. I'm not, I'm not going to have, I'm not going to have this conversation.

Pouring it on as thick as he can, Big Eddie's Herculean task is to make Obama appear tough. But what would happen were a conservative to give this kind of over-the-top pat on the back to a Republican president?

It's one thing to support tough action against seafaring thugs, including lethal force, but Schultz actually enjoys seeing African teenagers shot in the head. Put those words into the mouth of Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity or Bill O'Reilly: what would be the reaction from the media?

Who exactly is the real "warmonger" here?

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13 April 2009

Sharpton Has Unique Term To Describe Somali Pirates


Covering For Pirates, Al Sharpton Goes Overboard




Are Somali pirates dangerous, violent, greedy thugs, or merely misunderstood public servants?

To most Americans, this matter isn't even up for debate, but in the bizarre world of Al Sharpton and friends, they aren't necessarily pirates at all. During today's syndicated Al Sharpton Show, the reverend made sure he covered "both sides" of the issue:

SHARPTON (12:08): You can call me now at 1 877 532 5797, (to say) something about the so-called pirates. They call themselves voluntary Coast Guards in Somalia, which may be more apt. Ah, whatever your view.

If you think Sharpton is alone in his sympathetic view, guess again: at NewsBusters, P J Gladnick has been compiling his own examples of pirates as "misunderstood" individuals:

This portayal of Somali pirates as ecological warriors, not greedy robbers was also picked up by the usual suspects in the leftwing blogosphere. Michael Vazquez today used his Huffington Post blog to reprint an essay on the subject by a Canadian-Somali singer, K'naan:

Can anyone ever really be for piracy? Outside of sea bandits, and young girls fantasizing of Johnny Depp, would anyone with an honest regard for good human conduct really say that they are in support of Sea Robbery?

Well, in Somalia, the answer is: it's complicated.

The news media these days has been covering piracy in the Somali coast with such lop-sided journalism, that it's lucky they're not on a ship themselves. It's true that the constant hijacking of vessels in the Gulf of Aden is a major threat to the vibrant trade route between Asia and Europe. It is also true that for most of the pirates operating in this vast shoreline, money is the primary objective.

But according to so many Somalis, the disruption of Europe's darling of a trade route, is just Karma biting a perpetrator in the butt. And if you don't believe in Karma, maybe you believe in recent history...

...But while Europeans are well in their right to protect their trade interest in the region, our pirates were the only deterrent we had from an externally imposed environmental disaster. No one can say for sure that some of the ships they are now holding for ransom were not involved in illegal activity in our waters. The truth is, if you ask any Somali, if getting rid of the pirates only means the continuous rape of our coast by unmonitored Western Vessels, and the producing of a new cancerous generation, we would all fly our pirate flags high

Remember, these are
the activists who pushed for Obama's election last year. How far off the deep end will they take America and the world?

Interestingly, on today's show, Rush Limbaugh referred to "merchant marine organizers", but he was joking:

RUSH: I have a preliminary idea here on the movie that will be made by Hollywood that will immortalize this brilliant episode in American foreign policy led by President Obama. We don't have a working title of this movie. I'm been thinking about President Obama turns on Somali counterparts. The merchant marine organizers, the Somali version of ACORN, and yet President Obama rose to the occasion and saw to it that the Somali merchant marine organizers would not get away with the same tactics that domestic American organizers get away with. Do you realize the Somali pirates -- one way to look at this, the Somali pirates tried to hold us up for $2 million ransom for the captain, Mr. Phillips.

The Beltway pirates are looking for $10 trillion from the United States and her people, and even if we pony up the $10 trillion ransom demanded by the Beltway pirates, they still wouldn't release us. We would still be held captive. So the Somali pirates, the merchant marine organizers, I know three of them are dead, but that's a small price to pay for advancing the notion that the Obama administration is quick and decisive and cool and can handle foreign policy emergencies (snapping fingers) like that.

So who would play President Obama in this movie? Only one actor comes to mind at the top of my head, and that would be Will Smith. I thought about maybe Danny Glover. I thought about Morgan Freeman, a little bit too old. Will Smith would be ideal to portray Obama. Who would portray the leader of the Navy SEALs that got the orders from Obama's sharpshooter czar to take out the merchant marine organizers? Well, again, Will Smith as Barack Obama portraying the SEAL leader that shot the three Somali pirates. By the way, the captain is the one who made this possible. The captain jumped overboard, thereby exposing his naked targets, the four Somali merchant marine organizers. So you have President Obama portrayed by Will Smith, the SEAL leader in this movie that Hollywood will make will also be portrayed by Will Smith as Obama. The captain, Mr. Phillips also portrayed by Will Smith, as President Obama, for jumping over and risking his own life so that President Obama could get the credit for ordering his rescue czar after consulting with the sharpshooter czar to take out the three merchant marine organizers and then capturing the one remaining and bringing him to trial as a criminal.

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Activism- Oriented Talk Sees Revenue Surge In Los Angeles


KFI's Blockbuster Revenues Contradict Industry Sentiment

For years, talk radio programmers have clashed with station sales managers over controversial political content: while the former understands it is key to generating ratings, the latter fears nervous advertisers.

In many cities, shortsighted corporate radio operators allowed salespeople to win the argument, even to the point of firing program directors. That led to watered-down content, particularly where local talk radio was concerned.

With managers from sales backgrounds now in charge of both departments as general managers, a few top-rated syndicated shows would remain for their ratings-generating potential, surrounded by fluff or "brokered" (syndicator pays station to carry it) content. Local hosts were considered too likely to upset the area power structure and therefore eliminated.

Lost in all of this was the talk radio listener, whose needs were completely shut out by the account executive's need to feel comfortable at the next chamber of commerce mixer or Rotary function.

But thanks to Los Angeles powerhouse KFI, the truth has been revealed: activism-based conservative talk not only generates top ratings, but in the right hands, it is immensely profitable as well. In new data just released, the Clear Channel megatalker turned in the third-highest sales figures in all of radio, just behind two Southland FM music outlets.

According to BIA Financial Network, which tracks radio revenue for the industry, KFI generated a stunning $54.4 million in billings during 2008. During a recession, that's not an easy feat. It wasn't long ago that news-talk stations never appeared in the top ten nationwide, lagging significantly behind music formats.

Why is KFI so successful? A few reasons:

Between 5am and 7pm, the station delivers a one-two punch of top-rated local and national programming, with almost no fear of generating local controversy. KFI understands that strong personalities are key to ratings and revenue.

KFI's local hosts combine political activism with entertainment value and most importantly, immediacy: afternoon drive hosts John & Ken devote countless hours of programming to bringing down corrupt politicians and reforming California's troubled state government. Recently, they've been placing "heads on a stick" as a way to kick off recall efforts against legislators in Sacramento.

From noon to 3pm, KFI airs Dr Laura Schlessinger's controversial advice program, still going strong after many years. In fact, Dr Laura is once again making headlines, appearing on the Today Show, an interview in Time Magazine and a visit with Sean Hannity on the FOX News Channel, all in the past week alone.

And of course, anchoring the lineup is talk titan Rush Limbaugh, turning in stellar ratings and boosting KFI's overall listenership.

KFI isn't perfect (it could use some help at night), but it does generally listen to its audience, with a lot to show for it at the end of the day.

As New York City outlets were left out of the top three revenue rankings this year, the new data has added shock value. In particular, the complete absence of WABC from the top ten has the industry buzzing. Worse, it didn't even make the Big Apple's top ten, coming in at number 14.

Some reasons:

WABC is badly mismanaged by Citadel Communications, the troubled and infamously inept firm that took over ABC Radio several years ago.

Though WABC benefits from a block of highly successful syndicated programming featuring Limbaugh, Hannity and Mark Levin, it has almost entirely dumped local talk in the nation's number one market. With hundreds of fantastic regional issues now largely ignored, it is badly underserving its audience.

In a possibly-deliberate move to clash with its core audience, Citadel forced WABC to carry MSNBC host Joe Scarborough's terrible midmorning talk show, with exactly the results one would expect.

Years past his prime, talk fossil Don Imus has failed to generate the sales that once kept his former home, sports talker WFAN, in a top-ranked revenue position. Recently, the program has become more unlistenable than ever, with no sign of improvement in sight.

WABC has cluttered its schedule with other programming, including infomercials, that serve the parent company's shortsighted interests, but undermine the station's overall success.

Now that we know controversial programming can be enormously lucrative, sales managers have no excuse for steering stations away from it. In fact, with that mentality, they are leaving millions on the table for their respective outlets. Talk radio that matters to the listener works, fluff and other force-fed garbage only chases them away.

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