The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

12 December 2009

Left Has New Approach To Undermining Talk's Sponsorship Base


Lefties Attack Talkers For Endorsing Gold

In their never-ending quest to destroy conservative talk radio, our "progressive" friends have attempted every trick in the book. Boycotts, public pressure campaigns targeting station owners, congressional resolutions, you name it, they've tried it.

Since none have brought down the medium, a new approach was needed, which they now believe they've found: a targeted effort designed to cut into ad revenue by discouraging talkers from endorsing gold products.

Why gold? Simple: liberals, led by the usual suspects at Media Matters, noticed that conservatives were plugging a lot of precious metals on the air. Reworking this into a somehow shameful practice could result in big losses should the ads be removed.

Further troubling the "progressive" left is how Glenn Beck and other talkers have worked more general discussions about the rising value of gold into their regular programming, which then leads into spot breaks featuring firms that sell it.

From Media Matters, this supposed "scandal" was then covered at a number of other sites, including the Los Angeles Times, Politico, the Huffington Post, ex-righty sites Little Green Footballs and Andrew Sullivan, in addition to others covering broadcasting and politics.

That culminated in this Daily Show segment featuring Jon Stewart:

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Beck - Not So Mellow Gold

For his part, Sullivan made sure a number of other conservative hosts were included on the "naughty" list:

Beck could be in trouble with Fox over the conflict of interest. Other gold profiteers include O’Reilly, Mark Levin, Michael Savage, Laura Ingraham, Dennis Miller, Fred Thompson, and G. Gordon Liddy.

Unfortunately for Media Matters and their fellow-travellers, this is especially selective criticism. First, conservative talk radio is hardly alone in shilling for gold.

Ever heard of CNBC? It has featured an almost-daily parade of guest analysts who are bullish on precious metals, with the network then featuring ads for similar, if not the same outfits. And identical spots run on many other cable and broadcast channels.

A key question: what exactly is wrong with promoting gold? While some may argue that its rapid ascent this year may represent a bubble, it repesents a historic hedge against inflation and financial calamities.

Especially important: conservative talk radio listeners were already interested in gold long before these programs began to air. There's a historic connection that predates the medium itself.

As for blurring the line between advertising and editorial content (the talk show itself) on air, this has been occurring for some time on both sides of the aisle. While Rush Limbaugh might mention a Sleep Comfort bed during the program, libtalkers such as Ed Schultz have taken it much further, turning his show into a virtual informercial at times.

From Jack Coleman at NewsBusters:

Whenever I hear lib radio talker Ed Schultz introduce a guest, I wonder if the person is paying to be there -- seeing how many of Schultz's most frequent guests are advertisers on his radio Web site.

Mark Graff, for example, president of a company called Bio Green Clean, as in cleaning products. Since July 24, Graff has appeared on the Schultz radio show 13 times, most recently on Dec. 1.

Given such ubiquity, it's not surprising Graff might resort to hyperbole in making his pitch, as he did Sept. 17 (click here for audio) -- "Let me tell you, it cleans better than any product that's ever been created in the history of our civilization." (As our crack team of chemical archaeologists will attest ... and just look at that shine!)

It's not just Graff making frequent stops -- so has advertiser Ted Massinello, president of USA Coffee Company, appearing on Schultz's radio show 12 times since July 10. And advertiser Michael Moss, co-founder of Brooklyn Bagel Slicer, eight times since Aug. 14.

Two recent advertisers dropping by were comedian Peter Lipsey, three times in the last month, and Roger Simmermaker, author of "How Americans Can Buy American: The Power of Consumer Patriotism," twice since Nov. 25.

In fact, at least one advertiser has been a guest for every single one of Schultz's radio shows since Nov. 17 (except for rebroadcasts on Thanksgiving and the day after). On the day before Thanksiving, all four guests were advertisers -- as was guest host Norman Goldman, who just launched his own radio show.

Not only are advertisers becoming fixtures on the top-rated liberal radio show in the country, Schultz rarely tells his listeners that the person he is interviewing helps pay his salary.

This advertising strategy by Schultz appears to have emerged from a weekly segment he initiated last year but which rarely appears anymore. For an hour of every "Recession-Busting Friday", Schultz would take calls from business people across the country who would have a minute or two to pitch their products and services.

How much time has Media Matters spent covering this? Take a look for yourself, here.

And how about some of the shady outfits featured during liberal talk shows?

This phony flap is a classic case of creating controversy out of thin air and using it to shame political opponents. Unless a moral case can be made against the promotion of gold, there's no substance to the charges, it's simply a new element to the ongoing smear campaign against conservatives.

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  • Psycho-libs bitchslapped once again!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 14 December, 2009 15:19  

  • As a conservative independent I am with Stewart on this one...Poor behavior as exhibited by Beck fuels the the real dangerous policies from the left...Where is decent conservative Political leadership?

    By Anonymous ingsynar, at 16 December, 2009 10:07  

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