Sunday, October 07, 2007

The Right Wing Talk Radio Echo Machine Comes to Rush's Aid

Updated, Saturday, October 13, 12:20 pm. Update set in Bold Face Italics

Since conservative talk accounts for over 90% of the programming on talk radio stations it is not surprising that the radio trade press sucks up to right wing talk hosts, their syndicators and the hundreds of radio stations that are dominated by the format.

After all, these publications derive much of their ad revenue from the big syndicators like Premiere Radio, Westwood One, ABC Radio Networks, and Talk Radio Network and talk radio, while flat in the ratings for the past ten years, still is the most listened to radio format.

In order to get an idea of how biased the radio trade press is to conservative talk radio, just consider the coverage of the events following Rush Limbaugh’s remark ten days ago when he apparently referred to soldiers opposed to the Iraq War as "phony soldiers."

The incident has been thoroughly chronicled in the mainstream media (or as Limbaugh calls it the drive-by media.) To be completely balanced we will link to articles in the "liberal" Washington Post and the "conservative" Washington Times. Also, Talking Radio has covered the flap and you can read our coverage by scrolling down.

Now if you didn’t read either newspaper, or don't follow this blog and your sole source of news coverage came from the radio trade press here’s what you would have learned:

On October 2 in the News-Talk-Sports Air Check, Al Peterson reported on the incident under the headline "Senate All Fired Up Over Rush"

"Senator Harry Reid (D-NV) took to the Senate floor yesterday to condemn talk host Rush Limbaugh for a recent remark Reid characterized as "an outrage." Last Friday (9/28), Limbaugh referred to Jesse MacBeth, who falsely claimed to be an Army Ranger and veteran of the Iraq war while testifying on behalf of the anti-war movement, as a "phony soldier."

Please Al. You know that’s not what happened. A complete transcript of Limbaugh’s remarks was posted on Media Matters for almost a week when you wrote this bs. You know that he said "phony soldiers" in response to the following comment made by a caller.

LIMBAUGH: I -- it's not possible, intellectually, to follow these people.

CALLER 2: No, it's not, and what's really funny is, they never talk to real soldiers. They like to pull these soldiers that come up out of the blue and talk to the media.

LIMBAUGH: The phony soldiers.
Jesse MacBeth’s name didn’t come up until over two minutes after this exchange. And at that time, El Rushbo didn’t even identify Macbeth as a ‘phony soldier!"

But it gets better. NTS Aircheck’s report continues:

Reid is now asking senators to sign a letter requesting Clear Channel CEO Mark Mays to "publicly repudiate" the comment and ask Limbaugh to apologize. Responding to Reid on his Premiere Radio Networks program yesterday, Limbaugh said, "You want to come on this program and call me unpatriotic, come on this program and call me unpatriotic. You want to call me a liar, you want to tell me that I did not say what I said, you come on this program and you tell me to my face that I said what I did not say. Stop hiding behind your special protections as a senator and spewing the talking points of an embarrassing, partisan hack media group called Media Matters for America. If anybody owes the military of this country an apology, Senator Reid, it is you and any and all who have joined your effort to secure defeat of the United States and the United States military in not only Iraq, but the war on terror."

Why doesn’t Peterson include any parts of Reid’s letter in his report or quote any of the other Senators who commented on the matter. How about a Republican like Norm Coleman of Minnesota who said.

"Limbaugh's suggestion that those who have served their country and express their opinions are 'phony soldiers' is wrong. There needs to be a level of civility and honest debate in this country about issues as important as this."If you were misinformed by the NTS Aircheck report, you wouldn’t have gotten any better understanding by reading the Radio Insider (an on-line newsletter provided by Inside Radio.) Under the headline "Rush Flap Linked to Fairness Doctrine," the Insider issued the following report of October 4.

"There's a genuine feeling in talk radio the current congressional attack on Rush Limbaugh is part of a larger effort to revive the Fairness Doctrine. ABC Radio's Sean Hannity says "They pick on people one by one, and the person they want most is Rush because he has the biggest audience." Hannity thinks he's on the hit list too, along with other conservative talkers like Neal Boortz and Mark Levin."
I guess that Randi Rhodes andEd Schultz never got back to the "Insider". Their syndicators also advertise in this publication.

Also, on October 12, the Insider published the following item under the headline
Limbaugh Auctions "Smear Letter"

Rush Limbaugh has put up for auction the letter Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid sent to Clear Channel CEO Mark Mays demanding an apology for comments Limbaugh made on his radio show. The winning bidder also gets the Halliburton briefcase in which the letter is secured 24 hours a day and a personal letter of thanks from Rush. All the money raised goes to the Marine Corps-Law Enforcement Foundation, which helps the kids of fallen Marines and federal law enforcement officers

So I guess, the Insider agrees that the letter "smeared" his holiness Rush Limbaugh. Of course the item didn't mention that 40 other U.S. Senators signed the letter. Also, we're curious how Limbaugh got the original letter since it was sent to Mark Mays, CEO of Clear Channel.

What really disappointed us was the final paragraph in report that published in is our favorite radio trade journal and generally does a good job when covering political talk radio. On October 2 they concluded a fairly balanced report of the ‘phony soldiers" flap with the following statement:

"The controversy is being promoted by MEDIA MATTERS FOR AMERICA, the same liberal media organization that fueled the DON IMUS controversy."

So its Media Matters that’s "promoting the controversy." Not Limbaugh who will not concede an ounce of regret over the comment, who subsequently called Congressman Jack Murtha (D-PA) -- a decorated Vietnam veteran another "phony soldier," has compared Brian McGough, of to a suicide bomber, and is now working with Republican Party to use the "phony soldiers" flap as a fund raising vehicle.

Also, allaccess's reporters know that Media Matters had little to do with Imus' meltdown. When Imus called the Rutgers women’s basketball team "nappy headed hos," it made it to the front page of most major American newspapers the next day and dominated the print and electronic media for several weeks leading up to the Imus' termination by MSNBC and CBS Radio.

Finally, we can’t let the Talkers Magazine of the hook even though it will be a couple weeks before they release their next issue.
On their website Talkers published also suspected that phony soldiers was just a way to bring back the Fairness Doctrine.

"Some Americans wonder why Congress, with all the important things it could be doing, is wasting time on the comments of a talk host. On the talk radio side, some, including ABC Radio Networks and Fox News Channel superstar Sean Hannity, are concerned this is just another step toward reinstatement of the Fairness Doctrine."


Robert said...

If you wish to have any credibility at all, you should probably listen to Rush's defense or check out his website, instead of only parroting the Media Matters bullcrap talking points.

But something tells me that you're not looking for credibility.

portlandpunk said...

SCReW you ROBERT THE LIAR. Fats McBlimpbaugh st8 up called the soldiers a pack of fat PHONEYS because he HATES THEM and wont be happy until EVERY black or brown person is dead in the ARAB SANDS. YOU KNOW ITS TRUE you lying liar lie lie lie.

Anonymous said...

Good satire there, portlandpunk.

Anonymous said...

portlandpunk - thanks for those awe inspiring words. You are surely a graduate of a fine up standing liberal arts college with a degree in some thing like social work, right? I guess, just like in elementary school, when you run out of arguments you run right to name calling. My guess is that you have never listened to Rush, just the sound bites from some other outlet. Where he did not serve, he has honored those who did, and that puts him head and shoulders above those like Bill Maher, Richard Belzer, jeannine Garafalo and the rest who find military members beneath them in the ecnomic strata. I hope you little rant got it out so that your blood pressure goes down.

James A. Webster said...

I listened to the show where Rush talked about "phony soldiers". I "got it" as did most good Americans but the Rush haters of the world did not care about the truth and don't even to this day. Thus you have Harry Reid stupidly calling Rush names on the Senate floor which led to millions of dollars donated to one of Rush's favorite charities for children of fallen soldiers and law enforcement personnel. Thank you Harry.