Thursday, September 28, 2006

Conservatives find humor in terror scare

It all started with a gossip column in the New York Post:


September 27, 2006 -- MSNBC loudmouth Keith Olbermann flipped out when he opened his home mail yesterday. The acerbic host of "Countdown with Keith Olbermann" was terrified when he opened a suspicious-looking letter with a California postmark and a batch of white powder poured out. A note inside warned Olbermann, who's a frequent critic of President Bush's policies, that it was payback for some of his on-air shtick. The caustic commentator panicked and frantically called 911 at about 12:30 a.m., sources told The Post's Philip Messing. An NYPD HazMat unit rushed to Olbermann's pad on Central Park South, but preliminary tests indicated the substance was harmless soap powder. However, that wasn't enough to satisfy Olbermann, who insisted on a checkup. He asked to be taken to St. Luke's Hospital, where doctors looked him over and sent him home. Whether they gave him a lollipop on the way out isn't known. Olbermann had no comment.

Of course, Olbermann did not tell anyone about the scare. The police advised him not to, and he complied. He went in, got some Cipro as a preventative measure, and went on his way (and no, he did not get a sucker for his trouble). However, the Page Six author, Paula Froelich, obviously got the information somehow, and inadvertently messed up an investigation just to get a cheap laugh. And of course, help to encourage the lunatics who do this sort of thing.

And rightly so, there was outrage. Editor and Publisher thought it was extremely tasteless to make light of a major media figure being the target of a terror scare, or at the very least, a cruel prank. Especially since the anthrax scare that rocked several media outlets, including the National Enquirer, NBC News, AND the New York Post five years ago.

Of course, the Post is owned by News Corp, which in turn owns FOX News, a constant target of Olbermann’s barbs. Nonetheless, to poke fun at someone who received a legitimate scare is very bad journalism (if gossip columns are indeed ‘journalism’). To do this after the paper got it’s own scare years earlier is unconscionable. And to interfere with a pending federal investigation is appalling.

And yes, Olbermann did make mention of the incident later that evening on his show, “Countdown”, but only because he was backed into a corner:

The Rupert Murdoch-owned newspaper, The New York Post, may have just impeded an FBI investigation into terroristic threats.

I know this because I was a recipient.

I still cannot confirm many of the specifics -- again in order to make the jobs of the FBI and the New York Police Department a little easier. But I find it necessary to respond to the genuinely shocking tone with which Murdoch's paper reported the event, and the string of factual errors they made either through negligence or a premeditated disregard for the truth.

“Powder Puff Spooks Keith," reads the headline. The article then gives the details of the event which we were asked not to divulge.

Olbermann was not going to make any mention of the scare, because the authorities asked him not to. But since the Post decided to publish it, he felt he had to set the record straight.

…a New York Post reporter attempted to gain access to me by falsely identifying herself as a friend of mine.

And, most relevantly, the New York Post never called NBC News or MSNBC seeking any comment. They would have been told that the FBI had requested we try to keep this quiet.
But of course that would have interfered with the New York Post making fun of a terror threat.
It's almost melodramatic to ask why the New York Post would choose the side of domestic terrorism, rather than choose the side of the FBI…


…Murdoch's newspaper did not even make the single phone call that could've told it the potential damage it was doing.

One way of telling that a person has hit the big time is when that person gets his own attack blog. And Olbermann Watch, for lack of a more substantial blog, is it. But OW doesn’t think this scare is a laughing matter. Or do they?

And then there’s THIS asshole. Yep, Brian Baloney, the Radio Tranquilizer, the failed part-time talk show host who has created what loosely passes for his current blogging career by eliciting fake sympathy over the loss of his Sunday afternoon radio gig. Two years ago, he cried like a baby, claiming KIRO in Seattle canned him for badmouthing Dan Rather. In fact, he played this whole crybaby fest across the country! KIRO management, probably not used to fired weekend jocks throwing temper tantrums in the national media, replied that they were expanding Seattle Seahawks programming, and that the other Sunday shows were better than his. In other words, he was the weakest link.

Of course, instead of sucking it up and taking his dismissal like a man, Maloney became the first weekend jock drama queen, begging for sympathy from gullible freepers across America. And who better than to take out his vendetta on – Yep, you guessed it – THOSE DAMN LIBRULZ!!! So, anyone who has had more success in radio than him (well, that would be everyone, I guess) felt the Baloney Pony’s wrath. Even if he had to make shit up (the Gloria Wise thing was blown up to ridiculous proportions, and he missed many of the facts). You’d think that he was secretly in love with Al Franken considering how many times Baloney writes about him, or how many Photoshopped pics he has of him. Note to Maloney: You sucked in radio. That’s why you were on Sunday afternoons, when nobody was listening. Then you got fired because you couldn’t cut it. That’s life, get over it. I worked in radio. And I got fired once. Life sucks, get a helmet.

But I’m getting off track here. ‘YOUR Radio Has-Been’ took the NY Post route and decided to accuse Olbermann of being a drama queen. In his words, “...we'd never put it past Olbermann and his lefty friends to try and score partisan points over such a story.” Ironic, in that just the day before, he reported on another white powder scare, this time at the studio of his former employer, KSCO, a conservative talk radio station in Santa Cruz. The owners of KSCO, rabid conservatives Michael Zwerling and his mother Kay, also own KOMY, which airs a couple programs from Air America Radio. By coincidence, I had pondered writing an entry about this station the other day, but shelved it out of respect for what happened. The article is totally unrelated to the powder scare, but it’s still an interesting story, and I’ll eventually put it up, but not now. Nonetheless, ‘YOUR Radio Dramatizer’ certainly didn’t accuse the Zwerlings of playing the victim for brownie points, did he?

Technorati fun:

Morning shakeup at "The Quake"


CLEAR CHANNEL Talk KQKE-A (960 THE QUAKE)/SAN FRANCISCO expands its carriage of STEPHANIE MILLER's JONES syndicated show from 6-7a to 6-9a, starting OCTOBER 2, with AIR AMERICA RADIO's AL FRANKEN expanding from 10a-Noon to 9-Noon, replacing the local 7-10a show with former Mayor WILLIE BROWN and comic WILL DURST, who remain on the staff for special appearances.

What it looks like is KQKE is further shaking up its on-air schedule, in an attempt to become more competitive in a very tough market. Miller's show has been a strong performer all over the West Coast, so The Quake hopes that she will bring her magic to them.

The station's current morning show, Will and Willie have had a difficult time matching the success of other similarly-formatted stations. And the fact that Miller will obviously be cheaper to run (since she is syndicated) makes this move a no-brainer. Franken will also get back all three hours of his local clearance.

The Quake has recently done a complete overhaul on its schedule. The Quake took a cue from markets such as Portland and Seattle and added the popular Thom Hartmann to an evening delay. EcoTalk was also added to evenings, and the station also airs Bill Press' show live in overnights.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Mike Malloy update: 9/26/06

Mike, Molly, and Kathy - the entire Malloy family - have nasty colds right now and are concentrating on getting strong for the upcoming fight against the flying monkey right candidates in November!

As for media news: Mike was recently interviewed by for an article they're writing about Air America Radio past, present, and future. As is "Creative Loafing" here in Atlanta. We haven't been told the publication dates, but watch for them. Mike had some interesting observations.

We've recently heard drips and drabs of rather distrubing information about our former employer that - among other things - hint to another possible explanation for our shocking and sudden dismissal. We are hesitant to discuss the details until we can confirm them, and until all our financial interests with Air America are resolved. Unless we sell the story to E! "Behind the Scenes" first. If true, the intrigue and backstabbing and spying and double-dealing would make Caligula blush. You can't make this stuff up, Truthseekers.

Meanwhile, to say that we're eager to get back on the air would be the understatement of the century. With Chavez, Armitage, Bush, Powell, Intel reports, Osama et al, Mike is pulling stories faster than Limbaugh can pop little blues on a child porn tour of Micronesia.

Suffice it to say we can't wait to get back behind a mic!

We are still awaiting our next radio opportunity. Trust me, we're as eager as you are to get back on the air. Unfortunately, radio decisions often move at a snail's pace and we just have to wait as patiently as possible. Again, of the three possible radio outlets we've been in contact with, one is still more possible, one less possible, and one still remains unchanged. We do hope to have some actual news to report before the end of the week. We miss you all!

Finally, your email, calls, and petitions on our behalf are so appreciated. It certainly is a big boost to our morale and is noticed by potential radio outlets as well. Thank you thank you thank you so much, we'll be in touch.

Watch your back,


Suspicious white powder scares Santa Cruz stations

A KSCO radio station worker opened an envelope filled with a mysterious white powder Monday afternoon, prompting authorities to quarantine the station and close a half-mile stretch of Portola Drive for more than four hours.

The county Hazardous Materials Team and county Environmental Health Department officials sealed the area off because of concern the powder could be a dangerous substance, such as anthrax, said Sgt. Fred Plageman of the Sheriff's Office.

"We have no idea what it is," Central Fire Protection District spokesman Mike DeMars said Monday afternoon.

Three station employees were exposed to the powder, but none showed symptoms of exposure to a hazardous substance, authorities said. The three were hosed off with decontaminants and changed out of their clothes and into so-called clean suits. They were allowed to leave around 5:30 p.m. Monday, about 15 minutes after Portola Drive reopened. Three other workers at the station were not exposed to the powder.

Plageman said there was a "preliminary indication" the substance is not hazardous. Tests will be done today to determine what it is; a sample was sent to the FBI, authorities said.

"We're just erring on the side of caution," DeMars said.

The powder came out of a legal-size envelope with no return address delivered to the building Monday, DeMars said. An employee opened the envelope, which contained nothing but the powder, around 1:15 p.m., DeMars said.

The station is KSCO in Santa Cruz. KSCO's owners also own KOMY, which is an Air America Radio affiliate. KOMY is perhaps one of the weakest of AAR's affiliates, in that the station is hardly promoted, the owners obviously hate the programming, and complain about lack of advertisers, even though the station appears to have no sales department. The two-station cluster is a mom-and-pop operation (actually, a mom-and-son operation) owned by Michael and Kay Zwerling.

Some may remember a controversial dustup in October 2001, when Peter Werbe's then-syndicated show aired on KOMY in the mornings. The Zwerlings were appalled by Werbe's controversial attacks on the Bush Administration, and Michael Zwerling went on the air during Werbe's show and denounced the show and its host, 'apologizing' to the people of Santa Cruz for having him on "his" airwaves. On Oct. 18, Zwerling, called Peter an "asshole," because the station was allegedly receiving so many complaints. Local residents are considering a license challenge and a complaint for the owner's language.

If that wasn't enough, Mom went on the air with her own editorial, and bashed Werbe for being such a meanie.

Fast-forward three years later. KOMY and the Zwerlings give it another go. They affiliate with Air America after some tough negotiations (the Zwerlings wanted to put Michael Savage's show on the same station, and AAR would not allow it). Finally, KOMY cleared three shows from AAR - Franken, Rhodes and The Majority Report. But this was not the end of it. A couple months later, Michael Zwerling went on a whinefest to the local media, complaining that area liberals weren't beating down the door to buy advertising time on KOMY. In protest, they even pulled "Majority Report" and started airing infomercials in its place. After receiving some not-so-nice letters from listeners, Zwerling even went on the air again (the Zwerlings are fond of on-air editorials) and blasted the listeners who sent them. They aired another announcement that they have been receiving vicious hate mail critizing the Kay Zwerling editorials, and saying that they want hypocritical Air America listeners to send in money or they would yank the AAR programming off the station.

Of course, the conventional wisdom was that they amped up the drama a bit in 'playing the victim', and it was likely that the Zwerlings' over the top editorializing was turning off listeners. Nonetheless, yet another adventure in the continuing adventures of perhaps the country's weirdest progressive talk station.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Keith Olbermann: A textbook definition of cowardice

You can find this great Keith Olbermann commentary at MSNBC or Crooks And Liars. Here's the transcript:

And finally tonight, a Special Comment about President Clinton’s interview. The headlines about them are, of course, entirely wrong. It is not essential that a past President, bullied and sandbagged by a monkey posing as a newscaster, finally lashed back.

It is not important that the current President’s "portable public chorus" has described his predecessor’s tone as "crazed."

Our tone should be crazed. The nation’s freedoms are under assault by an administration whose policies can do us as much damage as Al-Qaeda; the nation’s "marketplace of ideas" is being poisoned, by a propaganda company so blatant that Tokyo Rose would’ve quit. Nonetheless.

The headline is this: Bill Clinton did what almost none of us have done, in five years. He has spoken the truth about 9/11, and the current presidential administration.

"At least I tried," he said of his own efforts to capture or kill Osama Bin Laden. "That’s the difference in me and some, including all of the right-wingers who are attacking me now. They had eight months to try; they did not try. I tried."

Thus in his supposed emeritus years, has Mr. Clinton taken forceful and triumphant action for honesty, and for us; action as vital and as courageous as any of his presidency; action as startling and as liberating, as any, by anyone, in these last five long years.

The Bush Administration did not try to get Osama Bin Laden before 9/11.

The Bush Administration ignored all the evidence gathered by its predecessors.

The Bush Administration did not understand the Daily Briefing entitled "Bin Laden Determined To Strike in U.S."

The Bush Administration… did… not… try.—

Moreover, for the last five years one month and two weeks, the current administration, and in particular the President, has been given the greatest "pass" for incompetence and malfeasance, in American history!

President Roosevelt was rightly blamed for ignoring the warning signs — some of them, 17 years old — before Pearl Harbor.

President Hoover was correctly blamed for — if not the Great Depression itself — then the disastrous economic steps he took in the immediate aftermath of the Stock Market Crash.

Even President Lincoln assumed some measure of responsibility for the Civil War — though talk of Southern secession had begun as early as 1832.

But not this President.

To hear him bleat and whine and bully at nearly every opportunity, one would think someone else had been President on September 11th, 2001 — or the nearly eight months that preceded it.

That hardly reflects the honesty nor manliness we expect of the Executive.

But if his own fitness to serve is of no true concern to him, perhaps we should simply sigh and keep our fingers crossed, until a grown-up takes the job three Januarys from now.

Except… for this:

After five years of skirting even the most inarguable of facts — that he was President on 9/11 and he must bear some responsibility for his, and our, unreadiness, Mr. Bush has now moved, unmistakably and without conscience or shame, towards re-writing history, and attempting to make the responsibility, entirely Mr. Clinton’s.

Of course he is not honest enough to do that directly.

As with all the other nefariousness and slime of this, our worst presidency since James Buchanan, he is having it done for him, by proxy.

Thus, the sandbag effort by Fox News, Friday afternoon.

Consider the timing: The very same weekend the National Intelligence Estimate would be released and show the Iraq war to be the fraudulent failure it is — not a check on terror, but fertilizer for it!

The kind of proof of incompetence, for which the administration and its hyenas at Fox need to find a diversion, in a scapegoat.

It was the kind of cheap trick which would get a journalist fired — but a propagandist, promoted:

Promise to talk of charity and generosity; but instead launch into the lies and distortions with which the Authoritarians among us attack the virtuous and reward the useless.

And don’t even be professional enough to assume the responsibility for the slanders yourself; blame your audience for "e-mailing" you the question.

Mr. Clinton responded as you have seen.

He told the great truth un-told… about this administration’s negligence, perhaps criminal negligence, about Bin Laden.

He was brave.

Then again, Chris Wallace might be braver still. Had I — in one moment surrendered all my credibility as a journalist — and been irredeemably humiliated, as was he, I would have gone home and started a new career selling seeds by mail.

The smearing by proxy, of course, did not begin Friday afternoon.

Disney was first to sell-out its corporate reputation, with "The Path to 9/11."

Of that company’s crimes against truth one needs to say little. Simply put: someone there enabled an Authoritarian zealot to belch out Mr. Bush’s new and improved history.

The basic plot-line was this: because he was distracted by the Monica Lewinsky scandal, Bill Clinton failed to prevent 9/11.

The most curious and in some ways the most infuriating aspect of this slapdash theory, is that the Right Wingers who have advocated it — who try to sneak it into our collective consciousness through entertainment, or who sandbag Mr. Clinton with it at news interviews — have simply skipped past its most glaring flaw.

Had it been true that Clinton had been distracted from the hunt for Bin Laden in 1998 because of the Lewinsky nonsense — why did these same people not applaud him for having bombed Bin Laden’s camps in Afghanistan and Sudan on August 20th of that year? For mentioning Bin Laden by name as he did so?

That day, Republican Senator Grams of Minnesota invoked the movie "Wag The Dog."

Republican Senator Coats of Indiana questioned Mr. Clinton’s judgment.

Republican Senator Ashcroft of Missouri — the future Attorney General — echoed Coats.

Even Republican Senator Arlen Specter questioned the timing.

And of course, were it true Clinton had been "distracted" by the Lewinsky witch-hunt — who on earth conducted the Lewinsky witch-hunt? Who turned the political discourse of this nation on its head for two years?

Who corrupted the political media?

Who made it impossible for us to even bring back on the air, the counter-terrorism analysts like Dr. Richard Haass, and James Dunegan, who had warned, at this very hour, on this very network, in early 1998, of cells from the Middle East who sought to attack us, here?

Who preempted them… in order to strangle us with the trivia that was… "All Monica All The Time"?

Who… distracted whom?

This is, of course, where — as is inevitable — Mr. Bush and his henchmen prove not quite as smart as they think they are.

The full responsibility for 9/11 is obviously shared by three administrations, possibly four.

But, Mr. Bush, if you are now trying to convince us by proxy that it’s all about the distractions of 1998 and 1999, then you will have to face a startling fact that your minions may have hidden from you.

The distractions of 1998 and 1999, Mr. Bush, were carefully manufactured, and lovingly executed, not by Bill Clinton… but by the same people who got you… elected President.

Thus instead of some commendable acknowledgment that you were even in office on 9/11 and the lost months before it… we have your sleazy and sloppy rewriting of history, designed by somebody who evidently redd the Orwell playbook too quickly.

Thus instead of some explanation for the inertia of your first eight months in office, we are told that you have kept us "safe" ever since — a statement that might range anywhere from Zero, to One Hundred Percent, true.

We have nothing but your word, and your word has long since ceased to mean anything.

And, of course, the one time you have ever given us specifics about what you have kept us safe from, Mr. Bush — you got the name of the supposedly targeted Tower in Los Angeles… wrong.

Thus was it left for the previous President to say what so many of us have felt; what so many of us have given you a pass for in the months and even the years after the attack:

You did not try.

You ignored the evidence gathered by your predecessor.

You ignored the evidence gathered by your own people.

Then, you blamed your predecessor.

That would be the textbook definition… Sir, of cowardice.

To enforce the lies of the present, it is necessary to erase the truths of the past.

That was one of the great mechanical realities Eric Blair — writing as George Orwell — gave us in the novel "1984."

The great philosophical reality he gave us, Mr. Bush, may sound as familiar to you, as it has lately begun to sound familiar to me.

"The Party seeks power entirely for its own sake. We are not interested in the good of others; we are interested solely in power…

"Power is not a means; it is an end.

"One does not establish a dictatorship to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship.

"The object of persecution, is persecution. The object of torture, is torture. The object of power… is power."

Earlier last Friday afternoon, before the Fox ambush, speaking in the far different context of the closing session of his remarkable Global Initiative, Mr. Clinton quoted Abraham Lincoln’s State of the Union address from 1862.

"We must disenthrall ourselves."

Mr. Clinton did not quote the rest of Mr. Lincoln’s sentence. He might well have.

"We must disenthrall ourselves — and then… we shall save our country."

And so has Mr. Clinton helped us to disenthrall ourselves, and perhaps enabled us, even at this late and bleak date… to save… our… country.

The "free pass" has been withdrawn, Mr. Bush…

You did not act to prevent 9/11.

We do not know what you have done, to prevent another 9/11.

You have failed us — then leveraged that failure, to justify a purposeless war in Iraq which will have, all too soon, claimed more American lives than did 9/11.

You have failed us anew in Afghanistan.

And you have now tried to hide your failures, by blaming your predecessor.

And now you exploit your failure, to rationalize brazen torture — which doesn’t work anyway; which only condemns our soldiers to water-boarding; which only humiliates our country further in the world; and which no true American would ever condone, let alone advocate.And there it is, sir:

Are yours the actions of a true American?

I’m K.O., good night, and good luck.

Clinton takes little Wallace to school

YES! Leave it to the professional, former President Bill Clinton, to put FOX News weasel Chris Wallace in his place!

Former President Bill Clinton entered a heated exchange with host Chris Wallace on this week's episode of Fox News Sunday, leaving Clinton red-faced and fuming.

During the exchange, the former head of state attacked Wallace's criticism of Clinton's attempts to deal with terrorism, summing it up as "Fox's bidding," and a "nice little conservative hit job."

"At least I tried," Clinton argued. "That's the difference in me and some, including all the right-wingers who are attacking me now. They ridiculed me for trying."

"They had eight months to try," he continued. "They did not try. I tried. So I tried and failed. When I failed, I left a comprehensive anti-terrorist strategy, and the best guy in the country, Dick Clarke, who got demoted."

Clinton went on to attack Fox itself, questioning why it was holding him responsible for failings in US security, without holding current officials to the same standard.

"You've got that little smirk on your face," he blasted at Wallace. "You think you're so clever."

What Newsweek considers 'news' in America vs. the world

From Think Progress:

Bill O'Reilly's shit list (new fatwa issued in book form)

Bill O'Reilly is perhaps the most insecure man on the planet.

He is probably the most insane as well.

After years of simmering in hatred, self-pity and vengeance, the man of a thousand 'shut-ups' has finally lost what's left of his mind. First, reports came out about O'Liely's claims that al Qaeda put the Falafel King at the top of their hit list, which the FBI dismissed as pure nonsense. And now, he's pimping his newest book, 240 pages of nonsensical whining called Culture Warrior (not that he'd know much about being a 'warrior' anyway), to be released September 25.

In short, his own personal 240-page 'shit list'. And the theme of the book is to warn the unsuspecting lemmings who divine as gospel any thought that inadvertantly comes out of his head of all the scary, evil people out there (whom he refers to as (ahem) 'Secular Progressives', or 'S-P's'). In other words, an enemy of Bill is an enemy of the United States. Uh huh.

"My goal," Bill O'Reilly writes in the introduction, "is to expose and defeat people who have the power to do you great harm. My weapons will be facts and superior analysis based on those facts". Which of course tells you that Bill O'Really is really full of shit. Of course, one of his biggest adversaries, Media Matters for America, approached his publisher for a review copy, to which the insecure FOX News gasbag replied "Nice try. No book." Of course, the people at Media Matters obtained a copy, thumbing their noses at the 'No-Spin Spinner".

As much as I detest this flaming facist lunatic, this review almost makes me want to buy a copy, just for the unintentional humor in it. Of course, I'd wait to buy a really cheap used copy, or else I could probably get it dirt cheap from one of those so-called 'book clubs' that buy this crap in bulk to get high rankings on bestseller lists for books that target an audience that can barely read. The 'book' looks to be an absolute trainwreck, and powerful evidence that O'Liely has finally jumped the shark. Of course, he claims that he doesn't do 'personal attacks' like all of the enemies that attack him, but the initial appearance seems to suggest otherwise. It's nothing but attacks and cheap shots, in perfect Bill O'Loofah fashion.

Of course, many of his remaining fans will likely eat up. Conservatives, like Bill O'Nutcase, tend to be a thin-skinned and paranoid lot. Also extrememly arrogant. They always like to play the role of martyr, and think that they're constantly attacked. So a crappy little self-help manual such as this will always find a gullible audience.

"Because I criticize what I consider to be dishonest and unfair media, and extremist pundits on both the right and the left as well as corrupt and/or ineffective politicians," sayeth the Falafel King. And who better to know than...

But even for a right-wing stroke book, Culture Warrior sounds terrible. One glance at it shows that it's merely Bill O's personal shit list. "I mean, what I don't get about Susan Sarandon and her fellow S-P travelers," Bill O'Reilly writes in Culture Warrior, "is the constant anger" (Page 161). But let's be real here - Bill O'Really is one angry person! I mean, just look at some of the names on it.

For one, if you've ever punked Billbo Gasbag in a public forum, such as Air America host Al Franken, Jon Stewart, George Clooney, David Letterman, NPR host Terry Gross or Jeremy Glick, author, activist and son of 9-11 victim Barry Glick, then consider yourself 'on notice'.

Typical target of right-wing blowhards? Yep, he's talkin' about the ACLU, The New York Times, Air America Radio,, Cindy Sheehan, and Michael Moore.

Indirectly compete against Bill O'Riled-Up? Dan Rather, Tom Brokaw, Ted Koppel, ABC News producer Rick Kaplan, Walter Cronkite, Sam Donaldson, Bill Moyers, Ted Turner and CNN. CNN? And I thought Billy Boy had a good relationship with them! Even foreign networks cannot escape his wrath. Also included are the CBC (must be that damned "Hockey Night In Canada") and the BBC.

Ever give tons of money to left-leaning causes? Consider yourself on notice, George Soros and Peter Lewis.

And don't think he's forgotten about the Hollywood crowd! So add the usual suspects Susan Sarandon, Alec Baldwin, Jane Fonda and Barbra Streisand.

High-profile Democratic politicians do not escape his wrath either, as Howard Dean, Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, and House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi make the cut.

Bill O'Constipated hates the print media. Which makes sense, since it's likely that he and his audience can barely read anyway. He despises the Boston Globe, Washington Post, Baltimore Sun, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Miami Herald, New Orleans Times-Picayune, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Kansas City Star, Minneapolis Star Tribune, Houston Chronicle, Denver Post, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, The Oregonian, San Francisco Chronicle, Sacramento Bee, Los Angeles Times, and the St. Petersburg Times. He especially hates the New York Times. I mean, he REALLY hates the Times! Damn, he practically names the entire staff! And he issues a blanket 'falafel fatwa' to the the "majority" of the Vermont press. Sheesh!

If that isn't enough, the entire Associated Press incurs his wrath. Hell, he could have just simplified much of the list with just the AP reference, then again, he does have 240 pages to fill.

Ted Baxter er... Billy Bonehead seems to hate the legal system, since Alan Dershowitz, Ninth Circuit Judge Stephen Reinhardt and the entire Washington State Supreme Court make the list. Surprisingly, the court that heard that handled Andrea Mackris' sexual harassment suit against the Falafel Warrior/phone sex fiend. Shockingly, neither Mackris nor her attorney, Benedict P. Morelli, appear to be on the list. Though that would be way too transparent.

A few token conservative hacks make the list, as Michael Savage and Ann Coulter make an appearance. Ironically, Ann has appeared on the 'Factor' quite a few times.

Mr. Shutup-Shutup-Shutup's biggest current adversary, a person so dreaded by him that he refuses to even allow mention of his name, appears to be AWOL from the list. Keith Olbermann will be sorely disappointed. And I imagine FOX Security is too.

Oh, and did I mention that Olbermann has his own book out? Look for The Worst Person in the World: And 202 Strong Contenders wherever good (and <'>not-so-good) books are sold.

So, let it be known America. If Bullshit O'Reilly hates it, so should you. After all, it is your patriotic duty!

Friday, September 22, 2006

The conservative radio chop shop

As much as know-nothings like THEEE Radio Tranquilizer and their ilk like to claim that Air America Radio has no money and they're going bankrupt, or that they steal money from little kids, I notice that they don't peek around in their own backyards.

Case in point is an obscure network called Radio America. Never heard of them? Well, they seem to keep a pretty low profile. Ever hear of Steve Gill? You're not alone. He's the afternoon drive host. How about Michael Reagan? Yep, the guy who's made what loosely passes for a living off his adoptive father's name has his own show. G. Gordon Liddy? Yep, the Watergate felon is there too. And of course, the moderate Doug Stephan.

According to their website, they broadcast via three satellites and have over 400 affiliates. Of course, G. Gordon Liddy is not blasting his trainwreck of a radio show over 400 stations. Much of these affiliates pick up weekend lifestyle programming like Car and Driver Radio, The Money Pit (insert joke here) and Good Parenting. In other words, 'Talk Radio Helper' for the weekends when few are listening. You know, stuff like Ben Ferguson.

But the kicker is that they claim to be a 'non-profit' organization. Well, I guess that's one way to get away from all the financial scrutiny. Write it all off and get tax breaks up the wazoo! Allegedly, they're a division of something called The American Studies Center, a non-profit, 501(c)(3) educational foundation. Of course, the vaguely-named 'Center' has no web presence except for Radio America.

Radio America is funded by contributions from foundations and individuals and advertising revenue. So if any wingnuts rag on you about Shel Drobny and others seeking private donations for their radio station startups, just show 'em this article.

And... here's the kicker (there always is one, right?). They'll even take your junk car as a donation! Yes, you read that right. They want your piece-of-shit car! In other words, one man's trash allows more trash to be broadcast over the airwaves! They'll even send someone out to pick it up, which I guess explains what Ben Ferguson does during the week.

Old car donation is a common method of donating to non-profits. But most of these non-profits are truly organizations that need it, like ones that help inner city children. By taking in a car donation that could easily go to a much more needy group, are they taking money out of real community organizations to fund their conservotalk venture? And might I say as well that Radio America also sells advertising time on their shows? Who's more deserving here?

I assume the promise of a company car is what lured the likes of Gordo to the confines of Radio America. Unfortunately for him, he didn't realize what they considered to be "a company car". Is Ben the chauffeur as well?

a>Ooops! Time to call Xzibit at MTV. "HELP ME! PIMP MY RIDE!"

They take in boats and yachts as well, so I guess that explains where this hideous picture was taken.

Sorry, the jokes just write themselves today. Enjoy the weekend! And remember, there is still hope for your beater!

Air America Radio maintains strong Webcast presence

Even as smarmy, uninformed right-wing bloggers are foaming at the mouth waiting for Air America Radio to go belly-up, and even mainstream news sources (hello, NY Daily News!) can't get their fact straight, recent webcast ratings give the upstart network some good news.

Webcast Metrics, a firm that tracks internet listening habits, has released its "Internet Radio Top 20" rankings of the top audio streaming services on the internet, for the month of July 2006.

In the current ratings, Air America Radio finishes at #12 overall from 6AM-Midnight, and #11 from 6AM-8PM. The rankings are computed by AQH (Average Quarter Hour), meaning how many listeners are tuned in for at least five minutes in any 15 minute period. Rankings are not computed by total cume (total amount of listeners in any given time period), due to issues in computing the numbers. If this were the case, AAR would rank at roughly #8 or #9. Still, the nature of webcasting is probably more accurate than Arbitron ratings for terrestrial radio.

It should be noted that many of the services ranked have multiple channels with full-time programming. The only single-stream service that ranks higher than Air America is ESPN Radio.

Here's how they stacked up, from 6AM-Midnight:

1. Digitally Imported (Electronic/Dance)
2. AccuRadio (Multiple formats)
3. 1.FM (Multiple formats)
4. (Multiple formats)
5. Club977 (Multiple formats)
6. ABC Radio Group (Multiple formats)
7. RadioIO (Multiple formats)
8. Big R Radio (Multiple formats)
9. ESPN Radio (Sports Talk)
10. EMF Broadcasting (Multiple religious formats)
11. Soma.FM (Electronic/Dance)
12. Air America Radio (Political talk)
13. WNYC (Public Radio)
14. (Classical music)
15. (Multiple Formats)
16. (Multiple Formats)
17. WFUV (Public Radio)
18. Saga Networks (radio station group)
19. (two alternative rock streams)
20. KPLU (puclic radio)

On a side note, WOXY was ranked #19 on the list. Unfortunately, this great station turned off its webstream last week as it was unable to generate enough revenue to continue. My condolences to the legendary and its faithful listeners. As Dustin Hoffman said in Rain Man, "97X -BAM! The Future Of Rock & Roll".

You can see Kurt Hanson's report on the July rankings here, or go directly to the Webcast Metrics site.

And finally, it should be noted that the numbers provided are for the official Air America streams only. They do not include the webstreams of individual affiliates, which make up a sizeable percentage of online listening.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

KXEB sold, "Air America Dallas" to end

Thanks to the Gonzo Muckraker for this.

It appears that "Air America Radio Dallas", KXEB 910 AM, has been sold by the Border Media Partners. The sale was confirmed by the station's Sales Manager, Tony Migura.

"Yes, it is true. The station has been sold," he said. "Call me tomorrow and we'll do a whole press release." He refused to answer any further questions.

This news also was confirmed by several of Air America Dallas' advertisers, including multiple Congressional campaigns. Though referred to as "rumor" by Nancy Cunningham, who manages the Dallas AAR grassroots website, the situation looks grim for progressive talk radio in North Texas.

The buyer is the Guadalupe Radio Network. No word on when the changeover will take place, but sources say it could happen as soon as Oct. 1, 2006. GRN confirms on their website that they will put English-language Catholic-oriented programming on KXEB and similar Spanish language programming on daytime-only KJON. People from GRN will be in the Dallas area Thursday through Sunday to hold open meetings about the stations. Anyone interested in attending can call them at (972)757-2990 to get the lowdown.

There is no word as to what will become of Border Media Partners' other two liberal talk stations - KOKE in Austin and KTXX in San Antonio. GRN is already rolling their format out on KFNI (1380AM) in San Antonio sometime this year. It appears that the only station they're purchasing from BMP is KXEB.

Speaking of Border Media Partners, there is an article in the Austin Chronicle about recent changes at Air America and BMP's commitment to progressive talk programming. You can find it here. No mention is made of any pending sale of any of the three stations that make up "Texas Progressive Radio".

Where's Jerry?

Well, the whole Air America Radio bankruptcy is behind us (for now), and the wingnut vultures have stopped circling the expected corpse.

Since the whole bankruptcy thing was sooo last week, and AAR's schedule is finally set (except for that late night shift - why don't they just bring back Mike Malloy and be done with it?), there's not a whole lot of stuff to write about. But Ohio Media Watch chimes in with a very interesting topic, and one I'm sure is keeping many up late at night.

Namely, where's Jerry Springer?

In case you haven't been keeping up, or just didn't really care, Springer is still around (contrary to the bankruptcy story last week). And he's still being carried by Air America. Sort of. With the new schedule in place, Sam Seder will now take Springer's spot on the official network feed, as Jerry is sent off to the syndicated feed with Thom Hartmann. Affiliates (or at least the ones that haven't opted for Stephanie Miller or a local show instead) now have the option of taking either Seder or Springer.

In the fallout, it looks like Seder picked up a few affiliates (though many of them delayed) including flagship station WWRL in New York. Jerry's whereabouts are yet to be fully determined, though Jerry's people remain fairly optimistic. I reported last week that Jerry could be lost in this whole linup shuffle, as affiliates were likely to go in other directions. It was a given that WSAI in Cincinnati would carry him (as Cincy is Jerry's old stomping grounds, and WSAI considers him the closest thing to a local show that they really see fit to spend money on). And WCPT in Chicago (Jerry's current stomping grounds) was also a likely affiliate. But what about the rest?

Allegedly, Springer is still on WWWW (which still refers to itself by its former call letters WDTW - don't ask) in Detroit. They unveiled their new schedule that appears to carry the entire Air America lineup. As I do not live in Detroit, I have no idea how accurate this thing is. It almost appears that the webmaster got lazy, or just plain doesn't give a shit, and just cut and pasted the AAR lineup. I had even heard that Miller is on that station, but I'm really not sure (any Detroit listeners out there that can set me straight?) Furthermore, is Ed Schultz really gone from that station? Hmmm...

"WDTW"'s nearby sister station, WLBY in Ann Arbor, has more or less been a carbon copy of its Detroit sister, and it's obvious they haven't updated their site in a while. They do appear to be airing Miller's show. Again, help set me straight!

The listing of stations on Jerry's site, which is extremely out of date and chock full of errors, are as follows:

Cincinnati, Ohio: 1360 WSAI - a given
Detroit, Michigan: 1310 WXDX - Two call letter changes later...
South Florida: 940 WINZ - Dropped Jerry long ago
San Antonio, Texas: 925 KRPT - Now playing "Texas Music" a.k.a. country
Sarasota & Bradenton, Florida: 1450 WSRQ - just flipped to adult standards Monday, also dropped Hannity
Boston, Massachusetts: 1200/1430 WKOX/WXKS - Switched to Stephanie Miller a while ago
San Diego, California: 1360 KLSD - live and local in the morning
Memphis, Tennessee: 680 WWTQ - Ugliest website of all affiliates. Did Entercom really OK this?
Albuquerque, New Mexico: 1350 KABQ - I doubt they even know. This station's site is always slow to update.

New Haven, Connecticut: 1300 WAVZ - Updated schedule. Miller has the mid-morning shift
St. Albans, Vermont: 1070 WTWK - I'm not really sure this station still exists, but they have Miller on.
Ann Arbor, Michigan: 1290 WLBY - Miller has the shift
Key West, Florida: 1500 WKIZ - Out-of-date website
Northampton, Massachusetts: 1200/1400/1600 WHMP - Very up-to-date site. Miller affiliate.
Willamette Valley, Oregon: 990 KRKT - out-of-date site
Brattleboro, Vermont: 1490 WKVT - not updated yet
New York, NY: 1190 WLIB - Umm... HELLO?
Dallas-F. Worth, TX: 910 KXEB - Springer affiliate, but site needs updating
Philadelphia, PA: 1340 WHAT - Dropped AAR a long time ago
Detroit, MI: 1310 WDTW - Deja vu? This is listed further up the page!
San Antonio, TX: 92.5 WHTY - Ditto.
Austin, TX: 1600 KOKE - Runs same programming as KXEB in Dallas
Akron, OH: 1540 WJMP - Affiliation went to WARF a long time ago. Currently FOX Sports.
Burlington, VT & Plattsburg, NY: 1070 WTWK - More deja vu. Already listed.
Corpus Christi, TX: 1150 WCCT - Who knows?
Eugene, OR: 1450 KKXO - Now KOPT. Runs local programming in mornings.
Portland, ME: 870 WMTW - Has been WLVP for awhile. Runs straight AAR schedule, including Seder in the 9-12 slot.
San Luis Obispo, CA: 1340 KYNS - Unknown. Site has been down for awhile.
Sante Fe, NM: 1260 KTRC - No website.
Chapel Hill, NC: 1360 WCHL - Miller affiliate.
And no, WCPT in Chicago is not listed.

Now, keep in mind, this listing is straight from Springer's AAR site. And it is horribly out of date and full of errors. Of course, there is nothing wrong with Springer being on only two affiliates (though there may be more). Being on the air in Chicago and Cincy is a pretty nice gig for most shows. The mid-morning shift is highly competitive, with the red-hot Stephanie Miller show being the most popular option and Seder's AAR show. Factor in the west coast stations running local morning shows, and it's plain to see that Springer is in a fight for any affiliates.

Who is the power behind Springer's show? It's more or less a Clear Channel show, having started out on WCKY in Cincy (since moved to WSAI). But instead of being syndicated by Clear Channel's syndication arm, Premiere, it's distributed by Air America.

In the beginning, I was surprised that Premiere did not jump on liberal talk. Given that they have some very strong talk show hosts in their massive cluster, such as Jay Marvin, Cary Harrison, Jon Elliott, and Will and Willie, and the fact that they own quite a few 'progressive talk' stations as well, it is somewhat baffling that they did not try to corner the market on syndicated liberal talk. Keep in mind that Ed Schult, Randi Rhodes, Stephanie Miller and Bill Press started out on Clear Channel stations, but went with other syndicators instead.

I have heard rumors in the past about Premiere's 800 lb. gorilla, Rush Limbaugh, forbidding Premiere from doing anything resembling left-leaning talk, but it's an old rumor, and seeing as Rush is a radio business guy first, would likely encourage it (plus give him more ammo for his drug-fueled three hour bloviation fest). The fact that Clear Channel/Premiere is notorious for foisting ridiculous programming concepts on the masses does make one wonder why they didn't go for progressive talk, which would have been an obvious choice for them.

In ThinkProgress' (since retracted) story about Air America's alleged bankruptcy and financial reorganization last week, the Center for American Progress (which runs is teaming up with Clear Channel and MSS Inc. to conduct a nationwide search for the next "Progressive Talk Radio Star". Whether this means Premiere is finally getting serious about syndicating liberal talk, or is looking to put more local programming on their stations (a very good idea, IMO), remains to be seen.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Introducing... The Big List of Live Streaming Shows

Have you ever wondered where and when you can access your favorite talk shows? Are you constantly searching for alternate audio streams when one seems a bit sluggish? Do you prefer one media player over another?

Well, good news! I have finally compiled a list of some of the most popular liberal talk radio shows streaming on that massive series of tubes known as the 'internets'. On this list, you can find the most popular streaming talk shows anywhere, whether they're from Air America Radio, Head-On Radio Network, or even your favorite local radio station.

In addition, you'll notice the cute little icons next to the names of the shows. Simply click on your preferred media player, whether it be Windows Media, RealPlayer or Winamp, and you can enjoy your favorite shows however you want. Simple as that.

I should note that all times listed are Eastern Time, so if you live on the Left Coast (PT), just subtract three hours. For the Mountain Time Zone (MT), subtract two. And Central Time Zone residents can subtract one hour. For Alaska, Hawaii and around the world, you can do the math.

For the most part, I sought out the best sounding streams that I could. For example, the web links for The Stephanie Miller Show are KPTK, KTLK and WXXM, all of which have great sounding streams. I also sought out Winamp/iTunes links that work in most media players. The Air America shows feature the same links, but there are good local affiliates out there with great streams.

I hope this list isn't too confusing, and it is still a work in progress. I'm going through and testing the streams to make sure they're adequate (I may even tough it out and try the RealPlayer links - UGH!). And I'll probably add more shows as well, since I didn't really touch on Pacifica or some of the public radio shows.

This list contains only live programming, except for the overnight shift, where there is none. I may add delayed or best-of programming at a later date, as many stations delay certain shows. And to qualify for this list, the show must be live. I'm working on a Podcast category for good pre-recorded liberal/progressive talk shows, so if you have a decent one, or have a personal favorite, drop me an email (see link at the top of page).

And if you know of any better links for streaming, let me know as well. Enjoy!

Monday, September 18, 2006

The continuing adventures of Mike Malloy

First, an update from Malloy's site:

No big news to report as this week comes to a close, and Mike has no scheduled upcoming guest radio appearances to announce. He was, however, just interviewed by about an article they're writing re: Air America radio past, present, and future. We haven't been told the publication date.

Speaking of which, we will share all the details of our personal experiences with Air America once our financial and other mutual business issues are resolved; hopefully sooner rather than later. You deserve to know the truth and as you would imagine, there's quite a story to tell.

We now have three potential radio opportunities to consider and are cautiously optomistic that we'll be back on the air soon. Can't wait to talk with you all again! Your supportive email and calls and petitions are being noticed and just might hasten our return to radio.

Many thanks and have a great weekend Truthseekers!

Watch you back,


Malloy did an interview Wednesday with Lee Rayburn of WXXM in Madison. You can hear it here. And when the interview is published, I'll give you all a link to it.

And today, September 18, he got a little funnier:

Mike was recently interviewed by for an article they're writing about Air America Radio past, present, and future. We haven't been told the publication date, but watch for it. Mike had some interesting observations. Speaking of which . . .

Strange things can happen when certain corporate entities fire much of their website editing department without first making sure at least one remaining employee knew how to operate the darned thing. I'm just sayin' . . . . .

And be sure to tune into Peter Werbe at 10 PM ET on Air America Radio while you can. He's a good guy and a premier talk show host and you should check him out, wish him luck, and pray his checks cash.

And again - for all the kind folks who keep emailing wanting to know the awful truth, rest assured: we will share all the details of our personal experiences with Air America once our financial and other mutual business issues are resolved; hopefully sooner rather than later. You deserve to know the truth and as you would imagine, there's quite a story to tell.

While there is no definite job news to report, we now have three potential radio opportunities to consider and are cautiously optomistic that we'll be back on the air soon. Can't wait to talk with you all again! Your supportive email and calls and petitions are being noticed and just might hasten our return to radio.

Watch your back,


Speaking of the Air America web site, he decided to pop in to his old Air America Radio blog, and say hello as well. I'll post the whole thing, because the folks at Air America might eventually figure out how to control and update their website. In about six months or so. In the meantime, enjoy!

(UPDATE 9/19: Looks like I was right. Air America's webmaster got in and put the brakes on that little party. Malloy's show is no longer listed on the drop-down menu of programs, and his AAR blog is now gone. Oh well, it was fun while it lasted.)

Invasion of the Talk Show Snatchers
by Mike Malloy on September 18, 2006 - 6:42pm.

Hi. Malloy here. It’s Monday, September 18, 2006. Well, it’s been almost three weeks since we were fired by the really, really strange pod-people who have temporarily taken over Air America. Tonight’s program will be hosted by my good friend Peter Werbe. Not sure what he’s talking about tonight, but do tune in. If you’re wondering how we’re writing and posting this mini-blog it’s simply because the airheads in Air America’s executive suites – the pod-people mentioned above – are too, um, stupid to figure out how to handle their own website access. The door’s wide open. So we dashed in just for the hell of it to post this “howdy, how is everyone?”

Frankly, we think the suits are too stupid to stop us so we’ll probably do this every day and also post a longer blog inside the site where we used to. Until they figure out what we’re doing and stop our fun. Bastards. Just mean ol’ right-wing bastard pod-people running our Air America. Well, eventually their bodies will start to react to Earth atmosphere and they’ll have to leave. Meantime, Mike and Kathy here saying, stay tuned!

Well, ummm... at least Air America updated their schedule. Must have finally paid the webmaster or something. And as of September 19, it seems all references to Malloy on the site are now nonexistent.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Air America Radio acknowledges some layoffs, cash problems

UPDATED 9/15/06

Financially strapped Air America Radio acknowledged Thursday, after star commentator Al Franken said publicly that his paycheck had stopped coming, that it had suffered a small number of layoffs but insisted there were no plans for the liberal talk show network to declare bankruptcy.

Spokeswoman Jaime Horn, without getting specific, said there were "a handful of layoffs" that followed a move of the network's New York outlet from WLIB-AM to WWRL-AM, a station with a less powerful signal. The network launched in March 2004.

Franken, broadcasting Thursday from New York, said he was aware of the bankruptcy rumors. "We may or may not, that's what I'm hearing," Franken said at the start of his noon broadcast. But he assured listeners that the financial problems wouldn't silence the network.

"Let me say one thing, if we do go into bankruptcy: I've flown on United (Airlines)," he said. "They went into bankruptcy."

United operated for more than three years before it came out of bankruptcy last February.

In a recent interview, Franken admitted that Air America was suffering from a "cash-flow problem," and that he was not paid last week.

According to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, Air America is "one paycheck" late to him:

"How late are they on the paycheck? Not very," said Franken, who claimed he was making a joke when he told Radar online reporter John Cook that he knew the network was having cash-flow problems because "there's no cash flowing to me."

The last time the network missed a paycheck to Franken (and others) was in 2004, shortly after it launched. It was discovered that then-chairman Evan Cohen hadn't raised as much money for the network as he claimed.

Franken referred questions about his company's health to Air America officials, saying, "I'm not involved on a management level."

Air America has made "no decision to make any filing of any kind," a spokeswoman said Thursday. "We continue to operate, we just announced our fall schedule and are doing everything we can to move forward." She would not comment on Franken's missing paycheck.

The AP article touches on the Gloria Wise Boys & Girls Club controversy, which happened during Cohen's brief involvement with Air America. Ironically, the Gloria Wise Boys & Girls Club is perhaps the only inner-city non-profit organization that conservatives really seem to give a rip about. Gee, I wonder why...

You can read more of the Associated Press article here.

NOTE: ThinkProgress has retracted the story. Right-wing bloggers can stop masturbating now. Here's their update:

On Wednesday, ThinkProgress reported “Air America Radio will announce a major restructuring on Friday, which is expected to include a bankruptcy filing.” We made a judgment that our sources were knowledgeable and reliable. We regret the error.
We wish Air America a long and successful future.

Liberal talk radio stations shuffle lineups

UPDATED 9/18. All times local.

In response to recent lineup changes at Air America Radio, several affiliates have announced their own schedule changes.

First, Clear Channel-owned KTLK in Los Angeles has adjusted its on-air roster, picking up Rachel Maddow's new evening show for 6-8PM and picking up WOR Radio Network's Lionel for 10PM-1AM. Cary Harrison's local show moves up the schedule to the 8-10PM slot.

Further north, after conducting an online vote on their updated lineup, KQKE in San Francisco, also owned by Clear Channel, adds Stephanie Miller to weekdays, airing an hour of her show from 6-7AM, displacing the locally-produced "The Progressive News Hour". The Quake will air the last two hours of Al Franken's midday show from 10AM-12PM followed by Ed Schultz live, add "EcoTalk" in the 6-7PM slot. Thom Hartmann's show, which has experienced great success in West Coast markets, will air delayed from 7-10PM, and Lionel comes to the station for the 10PM-2AM shift, including a repeat of one hour of the three hour show. Mark Riley's one hour show will follow at 2AM, and Bill Press is added live 3-6AM. Air America's new morning show, The Young Turks, will not be picked up by the station.

Entercom-owned KCTC in Sacramento lists Peter Werbe in the live 7-9PM slot, followed by a replay of Franken's show from 9PM-12AM. Press will air live 3-5:30AM, followed by the local morning show, "The Morning Retort", hosted by Scott & Sims.

And CBS Radio's KPTK in Seattle also shuffles it's schedule, The new weekday lineup adds The Young Turks (who had been on weekends) to weekdays live 3-6AM PT and Rachel Maddow live 3-5PM. KPTK moves Al Franken's delayed show to 5-8PM and Randi Rhodes 8-11PM.

Dave McDonald, senior vice president and market manager for CBS Radio's Seattle stations, said he's pleased to be able to add Maddow's show to the lineup. The new lineup also helps KPTK shift more of its programming to live, he added.

KPTK listeners have also expressed their disappointment over the loss of Mike Malloy, whose show was dropped by Air America, McDonald said.

In Portland, KPOJ substitutes live airings of Riley and The Young Turks for the current Air America Mornings bloc from 2-6AM. Seder's new show will air on delay around the time of the Majority Report's former shift, from 6-9PM. And following the success of Hartmann's local morning show, KPOJ adds his national show to evenings, delayed to 9PM-12AM, and taking over Malloy's former shift. Maddow follows from 12-2AM.

Meanwhile, on the opposite coast, WINZ in Miami picks up Maddow for 9-11PM and moves Sam Seder from overnights to the 11PM-2AM shift. The rest of the schedule remains unchanged, except for the shortening of Rhodes' show.

At WXXM in Madison, Maddow, "Politically Direct" with David Bender, and "EcoTalk" with Betsy Rosenberg will be added, along with a few other changes.

KTNF in Minneapolis/St. Paul adds Press for mornings, following Riley. Hartmann's show is also added, airing from 6-9PM, bumping Rhodes to 9Pm-12AM. Seder's show airs on delay from 12-2AM. The station does seem to remain open to Malloy's return, if he indeed does.

KKZN in Denver/Boulder CO adds Maddow from 7-9PM, followed by EcoTalk 9-10PM, Politically Direct 10-11PM, Werbe 11-1AM, and a replay of Franken from 1-3AM. Riley airs live from 3-4AM and The Young Turks air 4-6AM, followed by local host Jay Marvin. The rest of the schedule remains the same.

As reported earlier, KRFT in St. Louis, currently airing Franken's show, adds Randi Rhodes to the 3-6PM shift. St. Louis listeners can see Franken as he does a live broadcast from St. Louis on Tuesday 9/19.

KLSD in San Diego updated their own schedule, picking up Maddow for 6-7PM, sending Jon Elliott back to weekends and airing Werbe evenings 7-9PM. A Franken replay airs from 9-10PM, followed by The Lionel Show. Mark Riley and The Young Turks air live during the early morning hours. Seder's show will air on weekends as 'best-of' programming.

In Columbus, WTPG picks up The Young Turks for mornings. Maddow gets the 6-8 shift, followed by Politically Direct and EcoTalk. Fans of Rhodes will be disappointed, as her show moves to overnight hours (3-5AM) in a surprise move.

WXKS/WKOX in Boston adds Riley and The Young Turks for mornings and EcoTalk from 9-10PM. The 10PM-12AM shift is undetermined, but for now, Werbe will have the shift.

The WHMP trimulcast in central Massachusetts is also altering its lineup, moving Maddow to evenings. Stephanie Miller debuts on the station and picks up Maddow's previous timeslot, 10AM-12PM.

KPHX in Phoenix will air the straight Air America feed live for much of the day, outside of Mike Newcomb's morning show. Hartmann will air from 9PM-12AM in delay.

In the Buffalo/Niagara Falls area, WHLD adds Seder to mornings and will also air Franken, Rhodes and one hour of Maddow live. Democracy Now follows at 7PM, followed by various non-commercial shows, including Flashpoints, Building Bridges, Uprising Radio, Counterspin and others on a daily rotating basis.

Chicago's WCPT switches out morning shows, adding Bill Press. Jerry Springer remains in his mid-morning shift. The station is a Class D AM station, meaning it signs off the air from sunset to sunrise.

WRVC in Huntington, WV adds a second Air America show to the lineup, as they bring in The Young Turks for morning drive. The station currently carries Franken, as well as Ed Schultz. The rest of the schedule is heavy with local programming and ESPN Radio and other sports programming.

And syndicated host Lionel picks up a few new affiliates, including the aforementioned KTLK and KQKE. He also lands on WKJK in Louisville KY, WWKB in Buffalo NY, WHNZ in Tampa FL and WCRN in Worcester MA weekdays and WOND in Atlantic City NJ, KTLK-FM in Minneapolis MN on weekends. It should be noted that WKJK, WHNZ, WCRN and KTLK-FM air predominantly conservative talk shows.

And what about Jerry Springer? The bankruptcy rumors this week claimed that Air America and Springer have parted ways. It looks like the previous story about Springer being taken off the main Air America feed and shuffled to their syndication arm is actually correct, at least according to Springer's Cincinnati sales team in The Cincinnati Post, who claim that almost all their 50-some affiliates are staying with the show, while Springer will be dropped at the New York affiliate in favor of Seder. Whether Springer actually has 50 affiliates (I count twenty or so at most, and this is a very old list) is probably something that can be debated. Nonetheless, Jerry is still out there, plugging away, and will likely stay at WSAI in Cincy.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

ThinkProgress: Air America To Declare Bankruptcy?

Air America Radio will announce a major restructuring on Friday, which is expected to include a bankruptcy filing, three independent sources have told ThinkProgress.

Air America could remain on the air under the deal, but significant personnel changes are already in the works. Sources say five Air America employees were laid off yesterday and were told there would be no severance without capital infusion or bankruptcy. Also, Air America has ended its relationship with host
Jerry Springer.

The right wing is sure to seize on Air America’s financial woes as a sign that progressive talk radio is unpopular. In fact, Air America succeeded at creating something that didn’t exist: the progressive talk radio format. That format is now established and strong and will continue with or without Air America. Indeed, many of the country’s most successful and widely-syndicated progressive talk hosts —
Ed Schultz and Stephanie Miller, for instance — aren’t even associated with Air America.

Radio giant Clear Channel is so committed to progressive talk radio that, this week, it will announce a partnership with the Center for American Progress, Jones Radio, and MSS Inc., to conduct a nationwide search for the next Progressive Talk Radio Star.

UPDATE 9/14: Asked for comment on the ThinkProgress reports, Air America Radio spokeswoman Jaime Horn told Radio & Records, "If Air America had filed for bankruptcy every time someone rumored it to be doing so, we would have ceased to exist long ago. It may be frustrating to some that this hasn’t happened. No decision has been taken to make any filing of any kind. We are not sure of the source of these rumors and frankly cannot respond to every rumor in the marketplace."

And Cenk Uygur, member of "The Young Turks", who just signed with Air America for mornings, dismisses the story:

A lot of you have seen the rumors put out by Air America's competitors about the financial well being of the network. I am here to say the rumors of our demise are greatly exaggerated.
The Young Turks will be on the air on Monday, Sept. 18th 6-9AM. And we are loaded for bear.

Air America's Sam Seder also weighs in:

ThinkProgress is reporting that AAR is entering chapter 11 on Friday. I don't know if this is true and am looking for new info. So far I've heard conflicting reports. If air america does enter into chap. 11, I expect things will continue more or less in the present fashion during re-organization.

In the final analysis, air america is not the last word in progressive talk but only the beginning of a new genre of talk radio.

AAR has been plagued by poor upper management and an ill defined business strategy. However, what is clear from our ratings is that there is a market out there for left talk and undoubtedly someone will capitalize on it.

NOTE: What will be the outcome of all of this? This certainly does not mean the end of Air America Radio. Many companies go through bankruptcy or restructuring and resurface stronger than before. Air America will likely continue for some time, since they are too established an entity to completely fold. Believe it or not, Air America's brand name is pretty strong, and thanks to extensive promotion by lunatic fringe right-wing bloggers that somehow feel threatened by them, they get massive amounts of promotion. However, I would not be surprised if Air America were sold to an outside party. This would probably be the best case scenario for the long run.

On his show yesterday, Thom Hartmann stated that he has been doing his show for four years now, first with the defunct I.E. America Radio Network, then self-syndicated (borrowing Jones Radio Networks (JRN) satellites), and currently with Air America. Hartmann owns his show, and vowed that he is not going anywhere. He also hosts a local morning show on KPOJ in Portland, OR, and gets very good ratings in West Coast markets such as Seattle.

It should be noted that is part of the Center for American Progress, which is cited as teaming with other groups listed above to develop new talk talent, and also helps syndicate Bill Press' weekday show (with JRN), though I don't see it helping their cause by reporting wrong information on Air America.

Keep checking back for more on this.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Keith Olbermann: "We Have Not Forgotten, Mr. President"

Keith Olbermann's commentary on MSNBC last night is currently the talk of the internet. He held nothing back when he blasted the administration for how they handled the aftermath of the terrorist attack of September 11, 2001. Here's a sample, from The Nation:

Keith Olbermann is without a doubt the best news anchor on television today. Two weeks ago, echoing the spirit of the legendary Edward R. Murrow, Olbermann took Donald Rumsfeld to task for comparing critics of the Iraq war to Nazi appeasers. Tonight, broadcasting live from above a desolate and still demolished Ground Zero, Olbermann delivered a stirring eight minute commentary indicting the Bush Administration's shameful and tragic response to 9/11.

You can see this blistering video for yourself at Crooks and Liars, YouTube, and of course, at MSNBC. Given the power of his commentary, I am reposting it in whole below:

Half a lifetime ago, I worked in this now-empty space. And for 40 days after the attacks, I worked here again, trying to make sense of what happened, and was yet to happen, as a reporter.

All the time, I knew that the very air I breathed contained the remains of thousands of people, including four of my friends, two in the planes and -- as I discovered from those "missing posters" seared still into my soul -- two more in the Towers.

And I knew too, that this was the pyre for hundreds of New York policemen and firemen, of whom my family can claim half a dozen or more, as our ancestors.

I belabor this to emphasize that, for me this was, and is, and always shall be, personal.

And anyone who claims that I and others like me are "soft,"or have "forgotten" the lessons of what happened here is at best a grasping, opportunistic, dilettante and at worst, an idiot whether he is a commentator, or a Vice President, or a President.

However, of all the things those of us who were here five years ago could have forecast -- of all the nightmares that unfolded before our eyes, and the others that unfolded only in our minds -- none of us could have predicted this.

Five years later this space is still empty.

Five years later there is no memorial to the dead.

Five years later there is no building rising to show with proud defiance that we would not have our America wrung from us, by cowards and criminals.

Five years later this country's wound is still open.

Five years later this country's mass grave is still unmarked.

Five years later this is still just a background for a photo-op.

It is beyond shameful.

At the dedication of the Gettysburg Memorial -- barely four months after the last soldier staggered from another Pennsylvania field -- Mr. Lincoln said, "we cannot dedicate, we cannot consecrate, we cannot hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract."

Lincoln used those words to immortalize their sacrifice.

Today our leaders could use those same words to rationalize their reprehensible inaction. "We cannot dedicate, we can not consecrate, we can not hallow this ground." So we won't.

Instead they bicker and buck pass. They thwart private efforts, and jostle to claim credit for initiatives that go nowhere. They spend the money on irrelevant wars, and elaborate self-congratulations, and buying off columnists to write how good a job they're doing instead of doing any job at all.

Five years later, Mr. Bush, we are still fighting the terrorists on these streets. And look carefully, sir, on these 16 empty acres. The terrorists are clearly, still winning.

And, in a crime against every victim here and every patriotic sentiment you mouthed but did not enact, you have done nothing about it.

And there is something worse still than this vast gaping hole in this city, and in the fabric of our nation. There is its symbolism of the promise unfulfilled, the urgent oath, reduced to lazy execution.

The only positive on 9/11 and the days and weeks that so slowly and painfully followed it was the unanimous humanity, here, and throughout the country. The government, the President in particular, was given every possible measure of support.

Those who did not belong to his party -- tabled that.

Those who doubted the mechanics of his election -- ignored that.

Those who wondered of his qualifications -- forgot that.

History teaches us that nearly unanimous support of a government cannot be taken away from that government by its critics. It can only be squandered by those who use it not to heal a nation's wounds, but to take political advantage.

Terrorists did not come and steal our newly-regained sense of being American first, and political, fiftieth. Nor did the Democrats. Nor did the media. Nor did the people.

The President -- and those around him -- did that.

They promised bi-partisanship, and then showed that to them, "bi-partisanship" meant that their party would rule and the rest would have to follow, or be branded, with ever-escalating hysteria, as morally or intellectually confused, as appeasers, as those who, in the Vice President's words yesterday, "validate the strategy of the terrorists."

They promised protection, and then showed that to them "protection" meant going to war against a despot whose hand they had once shaken, a despot who we now learn from our own Senate Intelligence Committee, hated al-Qaida as much as we did.

The polite phrase for how so many of us were duped into supporting a war, on the false premise that it had 'something to do' with 9/11 is "lying by implication."

The impolite phrase is "impeachable offense."

Not once in now five years has this President ever offered to assume responsibility for the failures that led to this empty space, and to this, the current, curdled, version of our beloved country.

Still, there is a last snapping flame from a final candle of respect and fairness: even his most virulent critics have never suggested he alone bears the full brunt of the blame for 9/11.

Half the time, in fact, this President has been so gently treated, that he has seemed not even to be the man most responsible for anything in his own administration.

Yet what is happening this very night?

A mini-series, created, influenced -- possibly financed by -- the most radical and cold of domestic political Machiavellis, continues to be televised into our homes.

The documented truths of the last fifteen years are replaced by bald-faced lies; the talking points of the current regime parroted; the whole sorry story blurred, by spin, to make the party out of office seem vacillating and impotent, and the party in office, seem like the only option.

How dare you, Mr. President, after taking cynical advantage of the unanimity and love, and transmuting it into fraudulent war and needless death, after monstrously transforming it into fear and suspicion and turning that fear into the campaign slogan of three elections? How dare you -- or those around you -- ever "spin" 9/11?

Just as the terrorists have succeeded -- are still succeeding -- as long as there is no memorial and no construction here at Ground Zero.

So, too, have they succeeded, and are still succeeding as long as this government uses 9/11 as a wedge to pit Americans against Americans.

This is an odd point to cite a television program, especially one from March of 1960. But as Disney's continuing sell-out of the truth (and this country) suggests, even television programs can be powerful things.

And long ago, a series called "The Twilight Zone" broadcast a riveting episode entitled "The Monsters Are Due On Maple Street."

In brief: a meteor sparks rumors of an invasion by extra-terrestrials disguised as humans. The electricity goes out. A neighbor pleads for calm. Suddenly his car -- and only his car -- starts. Someone suggests he must be the alien. Then another man's lights go on. As charges and suspicion and panic overtake the street, guns are inevitably produced. An "alien" is shot -- but he turns out to be just another neighbor, returning from going for help. The camera pulls back to a near-by hill, where two extra-terrestrials are seen manipulating a small device that can jam electricity. The veteran tells his novice that there's no need to actually attack, that you just turn off a few of the human machines and then, "they pick the most dangerous enemy they can find, and it's themselves."

And then, in perhaps his finest piece of writing, Rod Serling sums it up with words of remarkable prescience, given where we find ourselves tonight: "The tools of conquest do not necessarily come with bombs and explosions and fallout. There are weapons that are simply thoughts, attitudes, prejudices, to be found only in the minds of men.

"For the record, prejudices can kill and suspicion can destroy, and a thoughtless, frightened search for a scapegoat has a fallout all its own -- for the children, and the children yet unborn."

When those who dissent are told time and time again -- as we will be, if not tonight by the President, then tomorrow by his portable public chorus -- that he is preserving our freedom, but that if we use any of it, we are somehow un-American...When we are scolded, that if we merely question, we have "forgotten the lessons of 9/11"... look into this empty space behind me and the bi-partisanship upon which this administration also did not build, and tell me:

Who has left this hole in the ground?

We have not forgotten, Mr. President.

You have.

May this country forgive you.

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