Guest Blogged by Alan Breslauer
w/ Brad & Desi
w/ Brad & Desi
NATIONWIDE STUDY FINDS ALMOST NO VOTER FRAUD
Just 10 cases of in-person impersonation in all 50 states since 2000...
VIDEO: 'Rise of the Tea Bags'
Brad interviews American patriots...
'Democracy's Gold Standard'
Hand-marked, hand-counted ballots...
GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal 2012...
The Secret Koch Brothers Tapes...
|MORE BRAD BLOG 'SPECIAL COVERAGE' PAGES...|
Blogged by Brad from on the road...
Melinda Henneberg at HuffPo reports Air America Radio, currently under bankruptcy protection, will be bailed out by a new investor. As well, she reports that Al Franken is officially leaving to explore a bid for the U.S. Senate up in Minnesota. (But who is funnier? Franken or his expected Republican opponent, Sen. Norm Coleman? Tough call.0 UPDATE: Since asking the aforementioned question, as if the gods wished to underscore it, see this just-in hilarious Coleman-related story.)
Perhaps without the need to cover Franken's large salary --- his noon-3pm ET show slot is expected to be filled by our friend, the good Thom Hartmann --- AAR's top-down business model, which has crippled them from the beginning, may be eased a bit and bring a chance for profitability to the only large non-Rightwing media outlet of note.
Of course, with media monster Clear Channel putting AAR onto stations with some of the weakest signals in many of the major markets --- in our estimation, in order to limit their feasibility in such markets and keep other stations with stronger signals from carrying AAR programming --- it could still be an uphill climb.
On a related note: We're currently in Phoenix where we'll be Guest Hosting The Peter B. Collins Show later this week. The indie-owned Air America affiliate station out here, 1480 KPHX (flagship station for the new Nova M Radio network), is very difficult to pick up cleanly after sundown, even just on the outskirts of the city.
If the Fairness Doctrine ever returns --- as may be introduced soon in the Congress --- perhaps such stations and non-Rightwing programming will be given a legitimate shot to compete on a level playing field with their Republican-owned counterparts. They've not been allowed such a fair and balanced shot since Reagan dissolved the Fairness Doctrine in 1987 in order to make way for the Republican-owned media take-over of our public airwaves.
The disastrous decision --- along with subsequent vetoes by both Reagan and Bush I of Congressionally-passed legislation to restore fairness and balance to the publicly-owned airwaves --- has had an inestimably negative impact on America and our once-respected position of leadership in the world.
Blogged by Brad on the Road from Minneapolis/St. Paul...
Just a quick personal blog item to touch base from out here on the road. I'm currently in St. Paul for just a few more moments. We drove up Friday (from St. Louis) to tape two episodes of John Forde's Mental Engineering for PBS. Not certain when these episodes will air (some time this fall, I believe) but I'll try to let you know when I find out.
I was honored to sit on a four-person panel with the brilliantly hysterical comedian Tom Rhodes, the delightful and smart media literacy professor Renee Hobbs from Temple University and the lovely and deviously clever actor Desi Doyen (DISCLOSURE: Desi is also my girlfriend)...
I was in studio today with Marc Maron of Air America. First time on his show. A good guy (who got screwed by Air America, btw, when they dumped him from their national morning show.)
I thought I'd take the opportunity, while on Air America's air, to beat up a li'l on Air America, and Al Franken specifically, for not touching any of this Election Reform stuff.
That, Ann Coulter, and a few other rants in a very fast paced 12-minute appearance which I think you'll enjoy...
Guest Blogged by Lydia Cornell
Sex is sort of losing its appeal. Death is sexier these days, at least that's the impression I get from Ann Coulter, who makes a living calling for the "killing of Liberals" and repressing the free speech of Democrats. She may appear to be joking, but she is not. And Coulter actually claims to be a Christian. Like Pat Robertson and George W, she seems to take perverse delight in defining Christianity as the opposite of itself, so I suspect she belongs to the Antichrist trinity or the Taliban sect of Christianity.
I never mix religion with politics, but for Christ's sake, don't they know that Jesus was a Democrat? In fact, a bleeding heart liberal?!! The Great Peacemaker was the very essence of love and compassion; he was revolutionary in his softness and forbade vengeance of any kind. How the Christian right has twisted Christ's peaceful message is one of the riddles of our times. I've been bewildered to the point of jaw-gnashing agony at how certain fundamentalists can call themselves Christian, when they do not follow the teachings of Christ! I feel I'm going insane. Right after the 2004 election when You-Know-Who was elected, I actually developed a nervous tic in my left eye, like the Police chief in the Pink Panther, who was driven berserk by Inspector Clousseau. Of course there's no comparing the lovable Peter Sellers with the witless, war-mongering leader of the free world, but I don't want my eye twitch to come back so I'm trying to stop hating him so much. I think I figured out a way to talk to Ann Coulter: turn the other cheek and let her hit that one.
But it's so twisted and malevolent that Bush called himself a Christian and did the exact opposite of what Christ would do by rushing to war with 'shock and awe' --- and claiming he had an audience with God in this decision! The other day a plumber came to fix our sink and told me his wife has breast cancer; since I've had many miracles from prayer I told him I'd pray for her. Then I quickly apologized, "I'm a democrat --- but I pray." He laughed really hard and said, "Yeah well I think Bush is a war criminal."
Are we in the Twilight Zone? The only God I know is the God of Love. These right-wing "Christians" are engaged in the most dangerous perversion of Christianity I've ever seen! And despite what Cheney said recently defending our mission in Iraq --- all successful revolutions start from within; nothing is ever truly won by force. We could have gained allies in the underground and hovered over Saddam for years instead of carpet bombing precious Iraqi children, entire cities and looting ancient Babylonian museums. And by the way, whatever happened to that warehouse of weapons that was 'misplaced?' Does anyone remember what I'm talking about?
Anyway, Coulter seems to be a turn-on for certain young Republicans (the ones that go on field trips to hear Coulter spew hate..."with jokes" at anywhere between $16,000 and $30,000 a pop.) It was bad enough when our heroes were just anorectic models and athletes, but now we have a new generation of hate-speak-worshippers. It's true, hate sells, but I predict that the most exciting thing on the horizon is peace, even between Republicans and Democrats. Fighting and divisiveness are getting boring; 'moderate' is the new sexy. I mean in a world where everything is so intensely fringe, the only way to go is to the center, toward harmony. Think of Halle Barry, the most gorgeous mixture of black and white. Think of the 'Gang of 14': meeting in the middle, working things out, getting along --- it's ground-breaking! In other words, loving your enemy --- which is what The Great Peacemaker taught and what any good Christian would advocate.
So it was with peacemaking in mind --- that I returned the call from Bryan Harman, Vice-Chairman of the Alachua Republican Party...
It's official. Just in from the folks at Conyer's office...Fighting on every front...God bless him...In the DC area next week? Go help 'em make some noise!
Better yet, write to C-SPAN today and ask them to cover this event!!! We spoke with Conyers' office earlier this morning, and they made it clear they would appreciate any help that "6 or 7" of you might be able to provide in encouraging C-SPAN to be there!
WASHINGTON, D.C. - On Tuesday, May 24, at 1 p.m., Rep. John Conyers, Jr. and other Members will host a forum concerning the state of the freedom of the press in this country.
There are few liberties which are more precious to our citizenry or important to our democracy than a free and independent press. Unfortunately, in the present environment, the fourth estate appears reticent to cover numerous issues of genuine public import, and has frequently retreated in the face of criticism and threats from government officials.
For example, the mainstream media has largely ignored the implications of the "Downing Street Memo," which points to a secret agreement between the Bush and Blair Administration to not only go to war, but create the conditions necessary for the war. Similarly, in the wake of the Newsweek "retraction" of the Koran story, the Administration has sought to mandate that the magazine alter its coverage of our involvement in the Middle East.
Tuesday's Forum will provide a timely opportunity to assess the nature of media bias and the extent that press freedoms are at risk in the post-9/11 world.
WHAT: Forum: "Media Bias and the Future of Freedom of the Press"
WHEN: Tuesday, May 24, at 1 p.m.
WHERE: 2226 Rayburn House Office Building
If you've been following O'Reilly since his recent fall from pretend grace, you've probably noticed the side-effect as his troubles have smacked him back a few yards closer to reality. His once barely veiled dilligent Pro-Bush spin is now entirely out in the open. I guess he figures since everyone in America now knows what he sticks up his ass, why bother hiding who he supports in this election?
The only thing left for him to do is come out and say "I am going to vote for George Bush and will do anything I can to help him win". Other than that, a few minutes listening to his "Radio Factor" or suffering through the TV show make it clear that he's not even trying to hide his bias anymore.
Now that he realizes he will never get the John Kerry interview that only O'Reilly could make himself believe that he was entitled to, he's given up all pretense. Announcing on both radio show and TV today that George W. Bush is now going to win this election. If you listen to O'Reilly, it's now all over but the recounts.
Sure, he still gives lip service to some mythical "fairness" that he'd love us to believe that he and Fox offer, but you can tell that even he knows he's spinning. Next week, he promises, he's going to make up an interview with Kerry in lieu of getting a real one. That's "the most trusted name in news" for ya.
Tonight, he went out of his way to remind Juan Williams (who actually did get an interview with John Kerry) that it was "Fox News" who broke the Bush DUI story in the days prior to the 2000 election. That, he claimed, showed all those Liberal Fox Haters how "faaaaair" FNC really is.
Too bad he's wrong about that too. It was not FNC, but a local Fox Affiliate (who does not work for FNC in NY) who broke the story. He and Brit Hume, however, have been going out of their way to pass off that particular fiction for quite some time.
In non-fiction related O'Reilly news, his evil nemesis, the much funnier-on-purpose Al Franken, once again beat the "Radio Factor" in the latest NY Arbitron radio ratings, as reported by Drudge. That despite No Spin Boy's repeated assertions on the air over the past year about "Stuart Smalley's failed little radio show". Please stop! I'm dizzy from all that No Spinning!
But apparently there's some things even O'Reilly can't spin his way out of. That seems to be his, as of yet, uncontested guilt in the Andrea Mackris Sexual Harrasment case. His silly cries of "extortion" in his pre-emptive suit against her didn't bother to deny any of her charges. And yesterday's "Radio Factor" featured this moment that should haunt him for a while, as caught by the always vigilant Media Matters (audio here):
O'REILLY: Well, thank you. I appreciate that.
CALLER: You gotta take Sister Mary Peters with you when you're with single women.
O'REILLY: Listen, I have to say this --- I had to protect my family, this is my fault. I was stupid, and I'm not a victim, but I can't allow certain things to happen. And I appreciate your support, we get thousands of letters, but I'm not --- I am stupid. I am a stupid guy, and every guy listening knows how it is. That we are very stupid at times.
But there comes a time in life where you gotta stand and fight. And I knew these people were gonna do this, I knew they were gonna do everything they could to try to destroy me and the channel. And I just made the decision that I'm just gonna ride it out. And I'm gonna fight 'em, because what's right is right.
Trademark false machismo and bloviation aside...Since he's now all but come out and admitted guilt in the matter, what exactly are the "certain things" he "can't allow" to happen? "What's right is right?" - What the hell is he talking about? He's a married man, with "kids", admitting to making obscene phone calls, while servicing himself with a vibrator, to an underling employee of his. Is he implying that if she'd asked for a few million less, that would have made it all "right"? But since she didn't, he's "gonna fight 'em, because what's right is right?" Apparently so. Just as he forced Fox to file their embarrasing law suit against Franken which was quickly laughed out of court, again he has allowed his over-inflated ego to back him into a No Spin Corner from hell.
But hey, sex scandals with prostitutes didn't seem to hurt tonight's O'Reilly's Fair and Balanced guest Dick Morris, much! Neither did millions in secret gambling losses cause too terribly much shame for Hannity & Colmes' featured weekly guest, William Bennet, just a few minutes later. So perhaps O'Reilly will survive this as well. After all, in the fairy tale Land of Fake Conservatism, "Values" is just a word cynically pulled out every few years to help win elections. Don't make the Red State mistake of thinking these people actually have any.
Perhaps you can fool about 48.9% of the people (MoE 3-4%) all of the time.
Hubris is a funny, yet often predictable, thing. Last February on this blog, I asked:
Well, it looks like I was wrong. His downfall is a Live Girl. Looks like there may be several of them at that. I was close anyway.
Though I know that these charges have not yet had their day in court, that never stopped Fox News from covering similarly unsubstantiated charges against their political enemies like Bill Clinton or CBS or others (Kobe Bryant, Michael Jackson etc.) so I see no reason why turnabout isn't fairplay.
To that end, I've been reviewing O'Reilly's pre-emptive complaint filed this morning, and his accusers complaint also filed today. I will be updating you shortly after I've finished reviewing the materials, but for the moment, I'd say things don't look too good for Mr. No Spin. I'll explain why in an follow-up shortly after I've finished my review.
For the moment though, O'Reilly has the upper hand with three hours of national TV and Radio per day on which to make he's case, and he already began to do so at the beginning of his radio show this morning. As well, he has the enormous resources of the Fox News and Newscorp legal team and their friends in the powerful body politic that will undoubtedly use every resource to defend him as long as possible.
To that end, consider this passage from the Plaintiff's complaint which quotes O'Reilly at a dinner meeting:
"If you cross FOX NEWS CHANNEL, it's not just me, it's [FOX President] Roger Ailes who will go after you. I'm the street guy out front making loud noises about the issues, but Ailes operates behind the scenes, strategizes and makes things happen so that one day BAM! The person gets what's coming to them but never sees it coming. Look at Al Franken, one day he's going to get a knock on his door and life as he's known it will change forever. That day will happen, trust me."
During the course of this conversation, Defendant BILL O'REILLY bizarrely rambled further about Al Franken: "Ailes knows very powerful people and this goes all the way to the top." Plaintiff queried: "To the top of what?" Defendant responded: "Top of the country. Just look at who's on the cover of his book [Bush and Cheney], they're watching him and will be for years. [Al Franken's] finished, and he's going to be sorry he ever took FOX NEWS CHANNEL on."
For those just jumping in, further info on Roger Ailes is here. There is reason to believe the quotes above may have been tape recorded, and thus, available soon. More on that later.
In the meantime, as you see above, O'Reilly, Fox and Friends will have a huge PR and Power advantage in this case. I, however, will be looking out for you. Stay tuned as we help you decipher from the facts from the spin.
Related BRAD BLOG Updates on this story:
10/13/04: "Bad Vibrations for Bill O'Reilly"
10/14/04: "O'Reilly - In Our Unresolved Problem Segment..."
10/19/04: "O'Reilly - In the Personal Story Segment Tonight..."
10/20/04: "O'Reilly's Case Gets Weaker: Mackris files additional charges."
While I look forward to his interview with Bush tonight (and for the next three!), I've had a few "No Spin" items spinning on my brain for a few days that I'd like to toss out.
A quick check of the Air America Radio website, would have told O'Reilly that they are on "32 Stations Nationwide" according to the banner headline on the front page of their site. After his statement the first day we could have been generous and called it a mistake. Repeating it verbatim the next day, however, was no mistake. It was just spin.
The answer (that the guest didn't have at hand) is Sean Hannity who lent his imprimatur to the Republican National Party by narrating videos for the GOP Convention website. I wrote O'Reilly to name the name, but so far, I haven't noticed any on-air corrections or condemnations for it. You can still hear Hannity at the GOPConvention website right here.
O'REILLY: I do. I think France has really hurt the USA, to be...
O'REILLY: Yes, I do.
STEWART: More than like Saudi Arabia? You would advocate a boycott...
O'REILLY: No, I'm not going to say more than Saudi Arabia. But I'm saying we do a lot...
STEWART: So why not boycott them?
O'REILLY: France is supposed to be our friend.
...And he didn't have anymore to say on the matter as the subject was then changed. But Stewart makes an excellent point there. Why aren't all those ridiculous French Bashers out there calling for a boycott of products from Saudi Arabia --- who is also "supposed to be our friend" --- instead? $1.97 a gallon says you know the answer. Hypocrites.
The spin goes on...
First he's made to look like a boob in the new documentary, OutFoxed, which outs the Republican Fox News channel and it's Number #1 Republican for what they really are.
Then MoveOn.org collects signatures to send to the FTC to complain about the false and misleading labelling of the Fox news product as "fair and balanced". They use an hysterical clip from OutFoxed to help make their case. (Feel free to join that petition, by the way)
And then comes the news, as reported by Drudge, that O'Reilly's greatest nemesis (one of 'em, anyway) Al Franken trounced po' po' O'Reilly on the radio in New York City. Yes, Al's little-bitty show that "nobody wants to listen to", as so many frightened and silly Right-wingers will tell you, and indeed have posted here, cleaned O'Reilly's clock in the largest market where they actually go head to head.
I guess nobody's looking out for Bill O'Reilly.
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