The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

03 April 2009

NYC Media Promote Paterson's Deflection Tactic, Ignore Rush's Ratings Gains


While Paterson's NY Popularity Sinks, Rush's On The Rise

Though it didn't work for Obama, embattled New York Governor David Paterson seems to believe Rush-bashing will reverse his sagging fortunes. While conventional wisdom might view this as a successful strategy, especially in the Big Apple, the reality is quite different: as Paterson continues to sink, Limbaugh only gains strength.

Only too happy to take cheap shots at El Rushbo, the local media gleefully reported on Paterson's dig, while refusing to disclose the talk titan's number one ratings in New York City. The New York Daily News, for example, resorted to childish personal insults, while the New York Post has declined to cover Limbaugh's surging ratings.

In addition, the latter publication yesterday also refused to print an opinion piece detailing his performance. Though it may surprise some, the Post has traditionally been just as hostile to Limbaugh as its print rival.

The showdown began earlier this week when Limbaugh said he was fed up with New York City's shockingly high taxes and the annual audits endured, just for a second home used for occasional visits. From the New York Times:

Rush Limbaugh is fed up with taxes in New York and with Gov. David A. Paterson in particular. The radio talk-show host denounced the so-called millionaires’ tax in the new state budget and then announced on the air this week that he would be packing up and leaving town.

Aside from putting his New York condominium — a penthouse at 1049 Fifth Avenue — on the market, Mr. Limbaugh’s vow won’t change much, and it won’t mean a loss of a lot of revenue for a state awash in red ink. According to The Daily News, Mr. Limbaugh said he only stays in New York around 15 days a year, mostly to avoid hurricanes headed for Florida, where he spends most of his time. He told his listeners he would look for a backup studio somewhere else, maybe in Texas.

That led Paterson
to quip:

“If I knew that would be the result,” he said after a speech Thursday morning in Midtown, “I would’ve thought about the taxes earlier.”

On the air yesterday, this was Rush's response:

RUSH: Governor Paterson, if this is the case -- if you don't care about the revenue that you confiscate from me -- then call off your audit dogs, because I've been audited for 12 straight years by New York State and New York City! I've been audited 12 straight years. So call off your audit dogs, if you don't care about the money that you were confiscating from me for your wards of the state! So a governor -- a governor of a state! -- has actually told reporters that he's so happy I'm leaving, he would have raised taxes even sooner if he knew that would have forced me out of New York State. I'm wondering: Has a governor of any state ever said anything like that about a private citizen? Are you just as happy with all the other New Yorkers who are going to leave, Governor Paterson? Because there will be others.

Governor Paterson, do you know that you have an exodus on your hands from Long Island, and for a long time you've had an exodus on your hands from Long Island moving to southern states like North Carolina and Florida because they're sick and tired of the property taxes, the state taxes, the city taxes, and all the other taxes? So are you going to be happy that other taxpayers decide to leave New York, or just me? Just me? What an honor! What an honor. Folks, is there any other private citizen, any other -- who is not a criminal; you know, who is an upstanding citizen, a man for the ages. Is there any other governor who has ever excitedly said, "If I would have known he was leaving the state, I would have raised taxes sooner," or what have you? Hubba hubba. You know, I haven't even cracked any David Paterson jokes, unlike others in the media have.


RUSH: Well, it has happened again, folks. I've always said if you place a bag of manure in front of a Democrat they will certainly step in it, and New York Governor David Paterson certainly has. He's now joking about raising taxes an astronomical amount in New York State. I need to clarify something about this because, as is the usual case, the real crux of my comments here about leaving New York have been missed, on purpose. I am technically not leaving New York because I'm not there now. I moved out of New York in 1997. Every year I sent them letters saying, "Sorry. I miss you, but I've moved. I now live in Florida, and it's why I'm not filing a tax return." In 2002, I got a letter and an audit from 1997 through 2001 -- and it took two years to prove to them where I was every day of the year 14 different ways, and I have been audited every year since.

The way the first audit ended up is that when I do work in New York, I pay a per diem tax like athletes do, when they go in and play. They pay their taxes in New York State and the City, when they go to play the Mets or the Yankees. It's a mess, but that's what it is. We negotiated that; it's all done. Now I get audited every year on the number of days I'm there and I have to prove it, and it's just not worth it. And now he's raising taxes to boot on all of this, and finally I've reached the tipping point. So I am going to cease doing business in New York. I do not live there! That's what makes all of this ridiculous. I do not live there, and I've been audited by that state and the city for 12 years. So, with the tax increase and the fact that I'm rarely there and have to go through all this hassle, it's sayonara.

I'm not leaving. I already did. I'm just not going to be doing business in New York anymore. And if the governor is happy about that, then he can go tell the wards of the state that I'm supporting that they're going to have to find somebody else to provide the tax revenue.

But as we detailed on March 26, Rush Limbaugh now ranks number one in New York City among all listeners 12 and older. According to Arbitron, he has an average of 693,000 Big Apple listeners, with the number expected to grow as a result of his recent showdown with the White House.

How does that contrast with the public perception that Rush is hated in New York? That figure represents Rush's highest concentration of listenership of any region in the country. It may be the biggest metro area, but it's also where the largest number of his fans live.

Contrast that with Governor Paterson, who according to a recent Siena poll, has seen his popularity plunge. Just 19% of voters now approve of his performance. Only 14% would like to see him elected to a full term, according to the Daily News:

ALBANY - Gov. Paterson's job performance ratings have crashed thorough the floor, with less than one in five New Yorkers saying he's doing well, a new poll shows.

Just 19% of those polled gave him a positive rating, while 78% turned thumbs down, the Siena College poll found. That's down from 51% positive and 45% negative in the same poll just two months ago.

How bad have things gone for a governor?

New York's first black governor trails Attorney General Andrew Cuomo 55-22% among black voters in a potential 2010 primary.

Overall, he would lose to Cuomo 67% to 17%, the poll found. In late January, Paterson held a small lead over Cuomo.

"The speed of his falling numbers is staggering," Siena Poll spokesman Steven Greenberg said.

Two months ago, voters viewed Paterson favorably by a 54% to 34% margin. The latest poll has him at 29% favorable and 58% unfavorable.

A whopping 67% of voters say they'd prefer someone else for governor next year, compared to just 14% who say they would vote to elect Paterson to a full four-year term.

Is this a person who should be picking a fight with Rush Limbaugh? Beyond that, it's terribly short-sighted for a nearly-bankrupt state to encourage political dissenters to move elsewhere.

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  • All this certainly does help the cause of conservatism!

    Let Patterson prattle on. Rush is getting great exposure and as you note, his ratings are increasing. When Obama's economic plans are finally revealed to be a disaster, Rush will have such an incredible audience, that nothing will be able to stop conservatives in 2010.

    It is already starting with the Tea Parties. Look for more!

    By Anonymous MAS1916, at 03 April, 2009 12:43  

  • On a different topic, the mediamatters Rush-live-blog clued me in to an appearance by Stephanie Miller on "Larry King It's Alive". Steph's show was the best feature on WXKS-AM/WKOX, even the Saturday morning rerun. Yet some stations are content with tired D-list right wingers when they could broadcast her show! Some stations, so far in the south only as far as I can tell, are happier going broke and going dark, rather than carrying anything but right-wing bilge. I hope the owners don't go on unemployment or welfare.

    By Anonymous Laurence Glavin, at 03 April, 2009 16:23  

  • All this hoo-hah from the liberal extremists just further proves how classless and clueless they truly are. I guess self-delusion is a way of life for the liberal extremists.

    By Blogger Carl, at 04 April, 2009 14:16  

  • Why is Limbaugh surprised that the Democrats will step in a bag of manure? They know in that bag of manure is "Rushbo's" smiling face.

    By Blogger Unknown, at 04 April, 2009 16:04  

  • Yeah Rush has great pull, just look how good Operation Chaos did. LOL. Rush speaks to the choir as does any other talk show host - right or left.

    By Anonymous pbrauer, at 04 April, 2009 19:11  

  • Hahaha, right. Miller couldn't even keep her audience in MOTHERFZCKING SAN FRANCISCO, getting axed for local talent. Yes, local "talent." In San Francisco. Where a baboon could draw radio ratings if you told everyone it was a progressive.

    Of course, the irony is that the baboon's inane shrieks would be barely distinguishable from Miller's show.

    By Anonymous brandy night rocks, at 05 April, 2009 11:57  

  • "liberal extremists"??coming from the crowd that thinks Obama was born in Kenya, and a president(Obama) that gave billions to the loan and banking industry is a "socialist" !! A corperate capitalist like Obama is a socialist to the insane wing nut crowd, you people are sick and talk radio destroyed your brain.

    Karl, you and your fellow wing nuts are the extremists. Now please do not buy a gun, like your fellow wing nut in Pittsburgh did

    I can not stand "liberals", but you people are seriously mentally ill. Patterson is a disaster, but comparing Patterson to Limbaugh is silly. Remember 12 million people live in NYC alone, and ditto has under a million listeners, while that is a good number for the dead radio medium, is irrelevant in the large scope. NYC is 12 million people alone, never mind the entire state, and Long Island. Many listen to Rush to hate him, that is a big concept behind talk radio and shock jock radio. Keep that in mind wing nuts. The format was created that way, find the most obnoxious moron, and people will be hooked to hear what the moron will say next. At least 1.4 of Rush's listeners "love to hate him"

    A tiny sliver listens to the pig man, is that around 1%? Sounds like less than 1% without doing the math.

    but if it makes you feel better, and stops you from killing people, be happy! Rush rules!

    By Anonymous WingNutKillingoverObama, at 06 April, 2009 11:50  

  • Well once again a liberal extemist, in this case "WingNutKillingoverObama" (a choice of ident which further supports my assertions and opinions of liberal extremists), happily and proudly proves me correct once again concerning their overall classlessness and cluelessness.

    He (or she) claims that he (or she) cannot stand "liberals" however the comments made show the ultra-leftist stance he (or she) has taken so...

    Thank you liberal extremists for proving Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, and every other conservative talk show host to be absolutely 100% correct in their assessments of the mentality and deeds of the liberal extremists. And thank you as well for proving me correct again.

    By Blogger Carl, at 06 April, 2009 17:27  

  • "Rush speaks to the choir as does any other talk show host - right or left."

    Huge difference being that the right talk show hosts actually have audiences.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 07 April, 2009 10:00  

  • I'm not a liberal Karl.
    I hate labels,
    I own 6 guns, I'm NOT LIBERAL, I do not think Global Warming is REAL, I'm not a liberal.
    however i support unions, and organize for a union representing 3000 workjers in NYC, I support taxing the wealthy and placing salery caps on CEOS
    I fit no description, lib or con

    We are all not little robotic sheep, being fed ideas by Hannity, Limbugh or on the other side Maddow, Olberman

    Unlike you I THINK FOR MYSELF

    TRY IT SOMEDAY sponge brain

    Can you understand, one can have ideas from both sides? You are a little brinless robot. Not a single talk show host (who you worship is a conservative, they are lemmings for the RNC)

    Im such a "liberal extremist", I doubt Global Warming, own weapons and mock Keith Olberman on my radio show.

    I despise wing nuts, get it? From your side, and the lefty as well

    You are so brainwashed by Hannity, you can't fathom the idea of independent thougt

    By Anonymous WingNutsWithGuns=BadIdea, at 07 April, 2009 11:53  

  • Im a liberal, because I mock Rush's "huge audience? How brainless are you?

    Im an extremist, because I state the obvious, a capitalist like Obama is NOT a socialist. I have a Master's degree in Poli-Sci. Obama is not a socialist. I have the credibility to discuss politcs, Im an independent nort a kool aide drinking Hannity or Olberman sheep

    By Anonymous NotAsheepLikeU, at 07 April, 2009 11:55  

  • WingNuts, let me just say based upon not only what you have written but also how you presented the content, I seriously doubt your claims. If what you have written is any indication of your thought process, we can safely conclude:

    a) You're not very intelligent
    b) You're not very honest
    c) Facts seem to elude you
    d) You lack civility
    e) You lack eloquence
    f) You lack logic
    g) You take delight in misrepresenting and denigrading those who disagree with you
    h) You are crude
    i) You lack social graces

    You claim to mock Olbermann yet you behave quite similiarly.

    If what you wrote is anything like the content of your "radio show" (more likely a podcast or webcast and not broadcast on the public AM or FM airwaves) you obviously have no chance of gaining much of an audience.

    FWIW, and frankly I could not care less if you believe me or not, but I have had a 20 year career in radio followed by 10 years in television. I have done just about every radio format imaginable including talk radio. I hosted and co-hosted local talk shows for two different stations here in Tallahassee during the 90's and my ratings were quite respectable for AM stations. So color me unimpressed if you represent yourself on your "radio show" similarly to how you present yourself in the comment section of "The Radio Equalizer."

    And frankly, if you are indeed conservative (which I doubt) you are the kind of conservative WE DON'T NEED NOR DESIRE TO HAVE.


    One final note re NotASheep:

    You may or may not have a Master's in PoliSci, but you exhibit little to no business acumen if you truly consider Barack Obama a capitalist. Because he's not. His background as a "community organizer" and his stated promises & goals are indeed closer to socialism than capitalism. However an unarguable fact is that Obama is indeed a far-left liberal who rapidly abandoned the centrist charade he used to get elected. Some political experts (real ones, not some claiming to have a Master's in PoliSci and then make an erroneous denial of Obama's socialistic tendencies) believe that Obama is the most liberal President ever.

    Now a final comment to NotASheep & WingNuts:

    Both of you individuals felt it necessary to engage in ad hominem. One shared belief you both espoused is that I and other conservatives are unable to think for ourselves. Such an accusation is not only absurd and erroneous but immature as well. Although I no longer host a talk show, I still read and analyze current events of importance to me and also to this country. Admittedly I don't research those events as massively as I did when doing show prep but enough to be up-to-speed on the news. I think for myself just fine, thank you. And neither of you have shown any evidence of any ability to espouse a viewpoint without engaging in ad hominem, personal attacks, smears, immature name-calling and other quite unintelligent behaviors.

    Basically, you both just prove me correct.

    I still believe WingsNuts is a far-leftist.

    By Blogger Carl, at 07 April, 2009 15:48  

  • Maybe Al Sharpton would be happy to move to Somalia and lead the country. His radio show might be popular there.


    By Blogger Mark, at 14 April, 2009 19:51  

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