Saturday, October 31, 2009

The War Of The Worlds, and the Golden Age of Radio

In what has become somewhat of a tradition here at LTR, I thought I'd share a little history with you.

Seventy-one years ago yesterday, October 30, 1938, a radio drama aired that really made an impact on the airwaves of America. The Mercury Theatre on the Air, led by Orson Welles, did an adaptation of the H.G. Welles classic science fiction work The War Of The Worlds.

I wrote about this the past two years, here and here. Here's some of what I wrote then:

Welles and company prepared an adaptation of H.G. Wells' science fiction thriller The War Of The Worlds, which told the tale of a violent alien invasion of Earth. And in keeping with the eccentric nature of their on-stage productions, which included Shakespearian works set in Fascist Italy and the Carribean, among various contemporary settings, this adaptation would be unique.

The broadcast, as envisioned by Welles, was to be done as a hoax. Welles was never a fan of overly-political radio commentators such as Father Charles Coughlin, and perhaps wanted to show people that they could not necessarily believe everything they heard on the radio. Most likely, he was inspired by the horrific thought of his ambitious dramas getting clobbered in the ratings by a radio ventriloquist. Something had to be done.

The show started with an ordinary ballroom concert performance (actually the CBS radio orchestra conducted by Bernard Herrmann) would be interrupted by live news reports and announcer cut-ins, reporters on the scene, sounds of ham radio operators and interviews with fictitious government officials – all relaying a fictional Martian attack on Grovers Mill, New Jersey.

Not much more can be added to what I wrote earlier. But audio dramas such as War Of The Worlds, to this day, speak of the power of really good "old time radio" presentations, done before the advent of television. The better ones really had no need for television, as they effectively drew pictures for the listening audience. For example, Dragnet, considered by many to be the best of the old-time radio shows, and definitely the best-produced, was arguably more effective on radio than in its later television incarnation.

The Internet Archive has a mind-boggling selection of old-time radio shows on their site, including drama, comedy, suspense, horror, sci-fi, crime stories, westerns, variety, news broadcasts and much more. And it's all free, allowing anyone to download old episodes of the comedy duo Bob and Ray, or enjoy the Red Scare camp of I Was A Communist For The FBI (highly recommended!).

Listening to radio these days can often be either depressing or boring (or both). Thankfully, the Internet Archive has preserved many, many examples of radio's Golden Age.

For your listening pleasure this Halloween, here is the original Mercury Theatre presentation of War Of The Worlds:

Breaking news, fun and frivolity, always on LTR's Twitter Page. If you have Twitter, please follow.

Vote for the Top Talkers of 2009

It is that time of the year. Time to cast your vote for the "LTR Top Talker of 2009."

It works the same as last year. Check out the poll in the middle column. You will see 40 or so personalities and/or shows listed on the ballot. To make things a bit more interesting this time around, I have added a few television personalities to the mix of typically radio, webcast and podcast personalities, seeing as much of the attention has been paid to the boob tube as of late.

The other names were all picked from the listings in the center column, and consist of all the entrants from last year that still maintain some sort of regular broadcast/webcast/podcast presence. They include some newer shows (Air America has added several this year) and a few local personalities. The names are all listed alphabetically.

Here's what you do: You can select up to ten names. If you only have three, or five, or eight, that's fine. Please go through the list carefully, and vote how you see fit. And don't stuff the ballot box. This ain't Tammany Hall here. One computer/IP address per bracket. Now, you talkers listed can wage campaigns if you'd like. I think it makes it more interesting. Not to mention, it brings the web traffic. But campaign efforts will likely be noted here by either myself or attentive readers, just so everyone knows what's happening.

At the same time, this is really all for fun. That's F-U-N FUN! Let's not take it all so seriously.

And please don't start any ridiculous debates about 'who's liberal' and 'who's not.' Anal retention is most certainly not fun.

The poll closes on December 24, Christmas Eve, at midnight. On January 1, 2010, the results will be announced here. Simple, huh?

For the curious, you can see previous results here.

So, Happy Halloween, and happy voting.

Follow the fun and breaking news on Twitter.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

National syndicator picks up Norman Goldman show

Norman Goldman's recently launched radio talk show has been picked up for syndication by Compass Media Networks. The show airs weekdays 6-9p ET, and is being aimed by Compass at progressive talk radio stations.

From the presser:

"Don't know Norman Goldman? You will soon," said Peter Kosann, CEO and Founder of Compass Media Networks. "Norman has compelling rags to righteous life-story, track record of success and -- if given the chance -- will help progressive talk stations win."

"We have methodically developed Norman's brand to give local affiliates a clear and compelling programming opportunity," said Bill Figenshu, President of FigMedia1 and advisor to The Norman Goldman Show. "After guest hosting for Ed Schultz frequently over the past four years, Norman is already well known and liked by audiences and advertisers of Progressive Talk stations from coast to coast. He has recently been added to the Huffington Post as a blogger in addition to his fill in work and full time show.

Affiliate benefits include: reduced network inventory, an all purpose fill in host at no charge, guaranteed market visits also at no charge and a prominent legal analyst made available to the entire cluster.

"I am honored and enthusiastic to work with Compass Media Networks and our radio affiliates." said Norman Goldman, "Each station carrying our show can expect extraordinary service, with a focused attention to audience and revenue development."

Follow the fun and breaking news on Twitter.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

When wingnuts get punk'd

Hey, remember all that brewhaha last week about some quotes right-wingers claim Rush Limbaugh didn't say?

Well, nobody really came forward with any proof that he did or didn't say a couple racist quotes attributed to him. Evidently, in in 1998, in the days before internet media watchdogs, someone didn't think of recording Boss Hogg's radio show for future prosperity. And because of just a few 'alleged' quotes, the tighty righties got all wound up, cranking the mockrage machine to 11. Never mind that they conveniently 'ignored' the really nasty quotes Limbaugh's critics did have recorded evidence for. Why let the truth get in the way of good spin?

And now, the tables have turned. The Right Wing Noise Machine has now been caught in a similar fiasco. This one emerged from the cesspools of the conservative smear machine. It claimed that Obama, while attending Columbia University, wrote a senior thesis attacking the Constitution. Here's the excerpt they latched on to:

[T]he Constitution allows for many things, but what it does not allow is the most revealing. The so-called Founders did not allow for economic freedom. While political freedom is supposedly a cornerstone of the document, the distribution of wealth is not even mentioned. While many believed that the new Constitution gave them liberty, it instead fitted them with the shackles of hypocrisy.

It took awhile, but this little thesis meme eventually snowballed around to other bloggers, who are always foaming at the mouth for anything to attack the president on. The meme went further up the food chain, to The FAUX Nation, then Lou Dobbs. And even the Grand Pillbaugh himself.

Problem is, the thesis story was all bullshit. A hoax. Please, don't be so surprised.

So, how did it all happen? This bogus meme started out on an obscure blog back in August. The story told about how Time Magazine's Joe Klein had obtained ten pages of the thesis. This past Wednesday, Michael Ledeen, a bottom-feeder at Pajamas Media, found the blog entry via Twitter and wrote about it as if it were the holy gospel.

Here's what Ledeen said about it:

Maybe instead of fuming about words that Rush Limbaugh never uttered, the paladins of the free press might ask the president about words that he did write.  Maybe he’d like to parse “the so-called Founders,” for example.  I’d like to know what he thinks of those words today.  And what about the rest of the thesis?

Yeah, what about the rest of the thesis? And what about the persecution of Limbaugh by all those lefty meanies?

The story went viral. Really fast. Other blogs, The FAUX Nation, then Dobbs, then the Fat Man himself. Limbaugh said about the thesis, "This little boy in college" had "disdain" for Constitution. Yes, he called our black president "little boy." Now, if that ain't racist, I don't know what is.

Unfortunately, nobody on the right could pull their heads out of their asses and actually do a little 'fact-checking' before they went nuclear over the alleged smoking gun thesis.

Finally, Klein himself took Ledeen to the woodshed, claiming the whole thesis story was "nonsense."

"I wonder about what the willingness to take this cheesy crap as gospel says about Ledeen's--and Boss Rush's--sensibility," Klein wrote. "Actually, on second thought, I don't wonder all that much."


John Lennon once wrote, "Instant karmas gonna get you, gonna knock you right on the head." And that's what happened next. Yes, the story was bogus. In fact, it was initially labeled as 'satire.' Heck, the same blog had even done it before!

So, an obviously embarrassed Michael Ledeen, tail between legs, issued sheepish apologies all around.

But the fantasy was better than reality for some, as the story spread further. Bad enough that some pissant bloggers were spreading more fertilizer, but Lou Dobbs? Of CNN? Even after Klein stated the story was false? C'mon!

But one has to wonder, will Brent Bozell and the usual gang of idiots go after their own for spreading blatant lies about President Obama? Like he did when we justifiably went after Limbaugh? Of course not. It's nothing new really, since right-wingers spread lies about Obama everyday.

Come to think of it, didn't Dan Rather and his staff get the axe for reporting a story that actually had some truth to it? So, what about Dobbs? What about Fatboy?

Claiming "I have had this happen to me," Limbaugh said he didn't care if thesis quotes are fake, "I know Obama thinks it" Yeah, just like we don't care whether or not you condoned slavery, we just know you think it.

So, after weeks of whining and pissing and moaning about how that 'eeeevil librul meedya' gang-piled him to keep him from buying a football team, he knowingly went on his radio show and proceeded to spread lies about Obama, even after he found out they were fake. Sorry Rush, your credibility, whatever you had of it, is now even lower than a snake's ass.

As for attacking him on the constitution, Obama taught constitutional law in college. Limbaugh was a disc jockey. I'd put more faith in Obama's knowledge of how our country works rather than a guy who buys hillbilly heroin at the Denny's parking lot.

The best reaction on this comes from

It's not like anyone's behavior here is unexpected or even all that terrible, it's mostly just hilarious. Once again: if you make something up and put it on the internet, Michele Bachmann and Rush Limbaugh will believe it.

So true.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Update from Thom Hartmann

Just got this in my inbox from Thom Hartmann, and I thought I'd share in its entirety (as Sundays can be a bit lazy):

We haven't been issuing press releases as this stuff has happened, so if you want to be the one to break the news feel free to put this stuff into your own words...

1. In addition to our commercial Dial-Global syndication, we're now a Pacifica affiliated show, providing a 3-hour live and delayed show to Pacifica non-profit and community stations around the world *with no commercial content* through the Pacifica audioport. We're doing this by simultaneously generating two identical shows; one commercial and one non-commercial (where the commercial breaks are filled with content like Labor Radio News, Hightower comments, a Science show, etc.). As a result of this, we've picked up just in the past few months since this affiliation began several dozen new stations, including one that covers an eighth of England and one that covers about a third of Ghana. Yep - our show is the only US-based mainstream political talk show, left or right, that (so far as I know) is carried now on local independent radio stations on 3 continents. And we're on more stations, have more listeners, and have more live clearances then any other progressive show in the country.

2. We also started doing a TV show - simultaneous with our radio show. We first migrated it to our new channel on YouTube, with whom we started a commercial relationship a few months ago, at The show was picked up last week by Free Speech TV (on Dish Network satellite TV) and is now carried live from 2-3 PM ET following "Democracy Now" and "GritTV." We're also producing a half-hour TV show that will begin in the next week or two on FSTV, with most of its content cut down from our 3-hour radio/TV show. We'll also be offering this half-hour show as a video podcast.

3. We've re-established our relationship with Air America in that they're carrying my show on their Washington DC radio station and on their website. We're working on ways to strengthen that relationship, and pleased to see our name again on their brand new website at and that their DC listeners can hear our show on the weekends. (So our show is now "brought to our listeners - and viewers - by Dial-Global, Air America, Pacifica, YouTube, and Free Speech TV"...)

Keep up the great work with LTR, and if there's ever any way we can help, let me know!


Saturday, October 17, 2009

Formulating the "Top 10" of 2009 (a little help is needed)

Just like the end of every year, this very blog will once again do a readers' poll of the top liberal 'talkers' of the year.

This poll, the fourth edition, will be similar to the ones done in the past. But, to throw a little curveball, I added some extra names. In addition to all the radio and webcast notables you've seen and voted for in the past, I have taken into account the various notable television personalities that many watch and talk about. Therefore, this poll will introduce left-leaning television personalities into the mix.

But before the poll goes up, I need your help.

Below are an assortment of names under consideration for inclusion in the poll. Granted, not all of these names may make the poll, but it's where I'm starting from. If there are any notable names missing from this list, please let me know in the comment section.

Bear in mind that the poll will include only personalities that are currently doing a show or a regular podcast. Hence, some names from years past, such as Sam Seder, Peter B. Collins, Laura Flanders and others, will not be included, as they are currently not doing any regular gigs. Marc Maron, however, is included, as he has recently introduced a regular podcast following the demise of his webcast and radio shows.

Here are some of the names included thus far (in semi-alphabetical order):

Alex Bennett, Charles Binder, Angie Coiro, Stephen Colbert, Alan Colmes, Ana Marie Cox, Chuck D, "Democracy Now", Jeff Farias, Norman Goldman, Richard Greene, Sam Greenfield, Thom Hartmann, Guy James, Bob Kincaid, Lionel, Errol Louis, Rachel Maddow, Bill Maher, Mike Malloy, Marc Maron, Jay Marvin, Stephanie Miller, Keith Olbermann, Bill Press, Lee Rayburn, Ron Reagan, Randi Rhodes, Jack Rice, "Ring Of Fire", Nicole Sandler, Ed Schultz, Al Sharpton, Mario Solis-Marich, Jon Stewart, Ray Taliaferro, Mark Thompson, Johnny Wendell, Peter Werbe, Montel Williams and The Young Turks.

Now, if there are any notables missing from this list, please let me know. Keep in mind that I'm trying to list only the best-known personalities here (to list everyone would be chaotic). Therefore, if you happen to have a sporadically-scheduled webcast or podcast with ten subscribers, you will likely not be listed. If nobody's ever heard of you, how do you expect to get votes, right? However, if you'd like to pimp your podcast, well heck, you can do so in the comments as well. I'll open it up.

The poll will go up within the next week or two, and polling will run through sometime in December. I may even restart the poll from time to time to add an element of surprise (tallying up the totals from all polls at the very end). So, if there are any obvious omissions, please let me know. Thank ya.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Rush Limbaugh: No balls, no glory

Well, it looks like Rush Limbaugh's dream of being a football mogul has been squashed. Boo hoo.

Dave Checketts, chairman of the NHL's St. Louis Blues and the front man in the group attempting to purchase the Rams, has removed Boss Hogg from his potential role as a minority owner, in an attempt to get approval from other NFL owners. The move comes amid outcry from players, team executives, league commissioner Roger Goodell and the rest of the civilized world.

From the get-go, Limbaugh's efforts ran into stiff resistance. Various players around the league also stated that they would refuse to ever play for a Limbaugh-led Rams. Good luck with free agency, Rush.

The NFL Players Union also said no. DeMaurice Smith, the Executive Director of the NFL Players Association, wrote an email to the association’s executive committee, detailing his opposition to Limbaugh’s bid. "Sport in America is at its best when it unifies, gives all of us reason to cheer, and when it transcends. Our sport does exactly that when it overcomes division and rejects discrimination and hatred."

Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay also went on record as being dead set against it. "I, myself, couldn’t even consider voting for him."

Goodell also had concerns about Limbaugh, amid the many controversial and racist comments spoken on his radio show. "I've said many times before, we're all held to a high standard here. I would not want to see those comments coming from people who are in a responsible position in the NFL -- absolutely not."

Let's face it, the NFL doesn't want a repeat of the whole Victor Kiam fiasco.

Even many in the sports media denounced the Limbaugh bid.

But with the widespread outcry over the possibility of Limbaugh buying into the NFL, his  lemmings are crying foul. Many have denied that Limbaugh made many of those controversial statements attributed to his show. And not surprisingly, many of them, Limbaugh included, are playing the 'victim card.'

And they're also crying about a double standard. You see, the NFL and its owners yesterday approved the addition of one minority owner to the leagues ranks. Would you believe pop singer Stacy Ferguson, a.k.a. Fergie?

Now, rest assured, Fergie, of bubblegum hip-hoppers Black Eyed Peas, is not taking over the Dolphins. In fact, it's all part of owner Stephen Ross' crazy ongoing gimmick of selling token shares of the team to local celebrities (Ross owns 95% of the team outright). People like singers Gloria Estefan, Marc Anthony and Jimmy Buffett (who helped rename the home field Land Shark Stadium), and tennis players Venus and Serena Williams. And the stakes they own in the Dolphins are really ceremonial. In essence, they own about as much of the Dolphins as a typical shareholder does of the Green Bay Packers. So, relax Dolphins fans, Fergie's not going to order Executive VP Bill Parcells to start Tyler Thigpen at QB instead of Chad Henne on Sunday, or demand Coach Tony Sparano ditch the wildcat offense. Limbaugh's contribution to the Checketts Rams deal was, on the other hand, reported to be quite hefty. Big difference.

Not surprisingly, the tighty-righty crowd is up in arms about all this, and are pathetically attempting to smear Fergie in much the same way as they perceived their master to have been smeared. The Weekly Standard is even trying to put her on the same level as Limbaugh. Brent Bozell and the gang at the Media Research Center are hopping mad too (surprise, surprise). Sure, the Black Eyed Peas did do that song "Let's Get Retarded," which was later edited to "Let's Get It Started" for its single release. But really, is it that offensive? More offensive than Limbaugh saying "[I]n Obama's America, the white kids now get beat up with the black kids cheering."

And doesn't Fergie sing all those raunchy tunes, like "My Humps," a song basically about...well, her ass? Well, that doesn't sound as divisive as Limbaugh singing "Barack, The Magic Negro?" As irritating as "My Humps" is, it is only offensive to people with good taste, who have likely gotten over it by now.

Hey, she's confessed to having lesbian affairs in the past! No, that's not included with Dolphins luxury box sales. Pervert!

Well, she admitted that she had a past drug addiction. Hey, so did Limbaugh! Call it even.

But again, why Fergie, and not Limbaugh? She's a friend of Obama! Therefore, the NFL is discriminating because they're a bunch of liberal socialist Marxist communist terrorists! Yeah, right. Most of the owners are Republicans!

Well, if you have to ask further, well, perhaps you've been listening to too much Limbaugh.

Fergie has, as of late, been in the good graces of the NFL, donning a pink Dolphins jersey for the league's recent breast cancer awareness campaign. And unlike Limbaugh, she has never built a career out of hatred.

Limbaugh, who made his fortune stirring up racial hostility, attempted to buy into a league where 75% of the players are African-American. No problem with Fergie -- she's in a group with three black guys!

And really, what's more offensive or polarizing? Fergie's lady lumps or Limbaugh describing the NFL as "the Crips and Bloods without the weapons?" Again, if you have to ask, you've been listening to too much Limbaugh.

But some within the league wonder if Limbaugh was really all that serious about owning an NFL team. They viewed his attempt as nothing more than a dose of free publicity, no matter the outcome or the response to his involvement. "There was no downside in any of this for him,'' a league source said. "He gets a week of free publicity, and in the end, he'll frame his rejection to his benefit.'' As if that attention whore is that desperate for people to notice him. Yeah, he probably is. And we all know how he'll spin it on his next show.

Suffice it to say, Limbaugh has made tons and tons of money by using hostile and offensive rhetoric to divide people, all in the name of creating what he calls 'entertainment'. But all those millions of dollars he has stashed away does not mean he gets a free pass. This spoiled brat can't have his cake and eat it too.

New Air America site a winner; New GOP site, well...

After months of work, and weeks after it was officially announced, Air America has relaunched it's online presence, complete with yet another web makeover.

The new layout sports a much cleaner interface, similar to other left-leaning sites, such as Huffington Post and Talking Points Memo, which currently rank among the top progressive websites. And the new web presence seems to be keeping with their goal of creating more of a web-dominated, rather than a strictly radio-based platform.

First thing noticed is the new look, which resembles that of WZAA, the station they operate in Washington, DC. There is a new logo and graphics scheme.

Also noticeable is a much more organized on-air schedule, modeled on the lineup of WZAA. A replay of Rachel Maddow's MSNBC show airs during the noon hour (as well as earlier in the morning), followed by the two-hour Jack Rice program. Former Air America host Randi Rhodes, now syndicated by Premiere, airs on the Air America feed during the 3-6P hours.

The new site also features three audio streams. The main one, the WZAA stream and an 'Air America Classics' stream, featuring old shows from the likes of Al Franken, Janeane Garofalo, Sam Seder, Marc Maron, Thom Hartmann, Maddow, and Rhodes.

The shows of Lionel and Montel Williams will also air in streaming video on the site. In addition, the site features thousands of various audio and video clips. Users of the multimedia stuff in non-Internet Explorer browsers (such as Firefox, Chrome and Safari) will have to install Microsoft's Silverlight add-on.

While Air America's previous websites have typically been downright awful at worst and just plain uninteresting at best, this one looks to actually be competitive with some of their contemporaries. Granted, it could use a bit more print comment for that to happen, but so far, it appears Air America has gotten the right idea.

The irony is that the much-ridiculed Air America did something the Republican Party couldn't, namely, put up a functional website. The GOP is currently roiled in embarassment, as its own much-ballyhooed web relaunch turned into a complete laughing stock.

Where should we begin? Oh, how about that little Michael Steele that walks on to the screen, ala Microsoft Office? Or his blog, humorously titled "What's Up?" There's that "Future GOP Leaders" page that featured a big white spot that says "404 Error: This page could not be found." To be fair, the page has been corrected, though the new version simply begs 'future GOP leaders' to email them and let them know that some actually exist.

Then there's that GOP Heroes page that sports quite a few African-America faces. Only thing is, most of those faces are from the 19th century! Jackie Robinson is pictured, however, but let's face it, Robinson wasn't a Republican. Strangely enough, all the women profiled under 'GOP Heroes" are from the 1800s too.In fact, the most recent face is that of Ronald Reagan. Too bad Steele didn't put his own mug up there.

And the home page? Good grief! As it stands now, it is nothing but source code! Then, a loading error. Yeah, really nice web presence there, fellas!

Needless to say, the new GOP website seemingly reflects the party's leader, the much-ridiculed leader, Michael Steele, who puts his foot in his mouth every time he opens it. And again, it is quite ironic that Air America, supposedly the gang that couldn't shoot straight, has their act together more than the Republican Party.

Perhaps the GOP just needs more web designers in their ranks.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

News Corp. buying NBC? Don't count on it

A little rumor floated by mainstream news organizations yesterday certainly scared the crap out of quite a few people. Yes, something even scarier than Orly Taitz without a wig.

In the latest curveball thrown in the NBC Universal sale negotiations, a couple new potential suitors were floated about. Namely Liberty Media, which seems to want to buy a stake in everything, and News Corp. Yes, that News Corp. The owners of the New York Post, the Wall Street Journal and the FOX properties. Including FOX 'News'.

So, what's the deal? Is Rupert Murdoch looking to acquire a competing movie studio? A rival broadcast network? A business news channel that people actually watch? Would he add more tits n' ass to "Law And Order"? Or, are they looking to squash once and for all MSNBC, that bastion of liberal subversion that competes with their right-wing propaganda organ that is FAUX 'News'? Or, are they just making a little noise, and using this opportunity to peek inside a rival?

Right-wingers are salivating over this one. Syndicated radio talker Mark Levin dreams of MSNBC becoming a branch of FAUX News

So, where does the "Australian Mafia" fit into the equation? Well, the deal is far from done, and News Corp. and Liberty Media have surfaced as possible bidders for NBC. Granted, neither company has approached GE.

And the thought of News Corp. buying a media conglomerate like NBC is beyond laughable.

First and foremost, I wouldn't bet on News Corp. being a serious suitor. As it stands now, it appears that Comcast looks to have the upper hand, though there is still quite a bit of wrangling to do before General Electric sells 51% of their 80% stake (Vivendi owns the other 20%). As part of a potential deal, GE could eventually sell their remaining stake to Comcast over the next three years.

So, let's say Murdoch were to buy NBC, he'd have to run through a major government gauntlet. Let's start with the Federal Trade Commission. It is headed by four commissioners, all appointed by President Obama. And we all know what the Obama White House thinks of FOX, right? So, getting through the Obama FTC with a deal to buy a major television network, film studio, station owner and media conglomerate is most certain to raise eyebrows. If you thought getting that Dow Jones purchase through the Bush FTC was a pain in the ass, hoo boy! You ain't seen nothing yet! And that was during the Bush Administration, which was always happy to do favors for them. FAUX hasn't done itself any favors with the current administration. Yesterday, one of their hosts, Glenn Beck, compared their treatment by the White House to Jews during the Holocaust!

But let's suppose they get through that roadblock. Next, it's on to the Federal Communications Commission. It consists of five commissioners, three of them Democrats. And Chairman Julius Genachowski is  a firm backer of media diversity. Among the agency's current goals is the encouragement of competition, rather than consolidation. Considering that a purchase of one network by another would entail haggling over buying not only two broadcast network (NBC and Telemundo), but broadcast properties (i.e. affiliate stations). The likelihood of News Corp. owning four stations in the country's biggest media markets is not going to fly past Obama's FCC (the current maximum is two). Four network affiliates and two newspapers in New York? Yeah, right! Unlike the Clinton White House, Obama isn't stupid enough to cave on deregulation. He obviously knows how that backfired on Clinton.

So, let's say they get past the FTC and the FCC. Well, News Corp. would have to unload stations, as they did last year when they spun off a number of their network affiliates. But in the markets where they still own stations, they own two. One station airs FOX programming (like "24" and "American Idol") and the other is affiliated with their MyNetworkTV, which for this season 'downgraded' itself from 'network' status and started carrying rerun leftovers from other networks (and wrestling!). So, a FOX/NBC combo would have to unload stations in many cities, in what is a buyers' market for broadcast properties. They could ditch a poorly-rated MyNetworkTV outlet and lose their shirts, but in some cases, they'd also have to unload a Telemundo affiliate owned in the same market by NBC. Two low-rated stations in a market at the same time? Yeah, good luck with that. And that's if they could get it approved. And even still, News Corp. would only be part-owner of NBC. Is it really worth it?

Then, News Corp. would have come up with money. And after shooting their load on Dow Jones last year for the Wall Street Journal, and a very soft market for media advertising, they'd have to come up with part of the $30 billion or so it would take to buy NBC Universal. Not likely. But on the bright side, it could bankrupt Murdoch once and for all, and live will be better for all.

So, Keith Olbermann can relax. He probably won't have to work for Murdoch again. The new host of "Meet The Press" will not be Glenn Beck. "Law And Order" won't be resorting to bare tushy shots. And Rachel Maddow won't be forced to wash Sean Hannity's car. The News Corp. Death Star won't be swallowing this planet.

Essentially, Murdoch, often one to make a lot of noise while seemingly standing in the shadows, is just trying to scare the crap out of people.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Five Years

To celebrate today, the fifth birthday of this very blog you're reading, I thought I'd do something a bit different. Namely, I am writing a hypothetical letter to myself, to be delivered (via time machine, of course) on October 12, 2004, the day this bad boy hit cyberspace.

Now if I can only locate a time machine...

Dear Myself of 2004:

About that crazy blog you just started... Well, here I am exactly five years later, and wouldn't you know it? It's still here, stronger than ever, and celebrating its fifth birthday today, October 12, 2009. Yeah, no joke.

The readership is growing by leaps and bounds. Okay, small leaps and bounds, but a lot more than on this day in 2004. The various articles posted here (over 900 so far!) have been read, cited, lauded, criticized and quoted by blogs both big and little, websites, print publications and even mainstream media sources covering all sides of the ideological spectrum. Things have gotten so prosperous here that I have become a multi-millionaire, and am preparing to retire to my new villa on Italy's Lake Como.

Okay, just kidding about that last one. Gotta give you hope, right?

In fact, the economy just plain stinks right now. We're in the middle of perhaps the worst recession in recent memory. Things got so bad that the government had to step in last year and bail out Wall Street, the banking industry and the country's big automakers. Jobs are tough to come by, credit is tight, and health care costs are through the roof. Yes, the Bush Administration really drove this great country into the ground during his second term.

Oh, did I mention that Bush won in 2004? Crazy, huh? Especially since we all had such high hopes that Kerry would prevail (though he was a pretty milquetoast candidate). Needless to say, Bush was even worse in his second term. And one would think that he would have learned after terrorists used our own planes to kill 3000 people on American soil, right? Wrong! In 2005, Hurricane Katrina slammed into the Gulf Coast and almost wiped New Orleans right off the map. What was our president doing while that was going on? Goofing off in Arizona while he and his inept FEMA crew watched people drown. Yes, for a time it looked as if the Republicans were going to turn our country into a third world basket case.

To answer your question, yes, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are still plodding along. Still doesn't look like either will end soon. And just last week, we even shot a missile at the moon (don't ask...). To answer your next hypothetical question, no, we still haven't found Osama bin Laden, though it looks like Roman Polanski will finally be brought to justice. Oh, and we also locked up Phil Spector, Martha Stewart and Paris Hilton. Yes, we are just a little bit safer.

Well, people grew tired of the Republicans' elephant and pony show in 2006, and voted to turn over Congress to the Democrats, who elected the first female House Speaker in American history (Nancy Pelosi). And finally, Republicans had people to blame for all the problems facing the country.

The 2008 election was one of the most fascinating in history. The Republicans were hauling water uphill after two disastrous Bush terms. Nonetheless, they all rallied begrudgingly around John McCain (yeah, I know he's old). And the McCain campaign essentially defeated itself, with a candidate that was clueless as the economy completely fell apart in September 2008. And his choice of running mate, the ditzy governor from Alaska, Sarah Palin, was a disaster. She actually bragged that she had strong foreign policy experience due to the fact that, if one were to stand at the western-most point of her home state and squint really hard, they could actually see the part of Russia where nobody lives.

On the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton couldn't quite pull it all together. And neither could John McCain. Because you see, the one person who finally grabbed that brass ring, and the presidency, and won with more votes than any other person in U.S. history, was a man named... Barack Obama. Barack Hussein Obama.

Needless to say, this didn't sit well with those white suburban Republicans. They were no doubt horrified at the idea of a black liberal Democrat, and his black family, living at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. And remember back in your day when the 'tighty-righties' (as I/you like to call them in 2009) got all heated whenever anyone tried to compare Bush to Adolf Hitler? Well, guess what they're calling President Obama. Pretty silly, really. Things have gotten so ridiculous that these same so-called 'patriots' (or hatriots) are actually rooting for America to fail, if only to spite the president. How's that for patriotism?

We're getting closer and closer to something resembling health care reform, along with something called the 'public option'. The wingnuts have called this idea everything from Marxist to socialist to Nazi. Funny, I didn't realize Stalin and Hitler were known specifically for their health care plans.

But enough about politics. What about the state of liberal media. After all, that's why you started this silly thing, right? Believe it or not, Air America is indeed still around. Yeah, I know -- shocking, isn't it? Granted, they have gone through quite a few ownership changes, and even a bankruptcy, but they're still alive and kicking. Granted, they're quite different now on the air. People like Randi Rhodes, Janeane Garafalo and Mike Malloy are no longer there. There has been a little internal turmoil, and quite a few people went elsewhere. Rhodes, in fact, is now syndicated by Clear Channel. Crazy, huh? But Air America has regrouped, with people like Lionel (yes, you heard that right), Montel Williams (yes, the TV guy), Ron Reagan and others. What about Al Franken? Oh, you mean Senator Al Franken from Minnesota. Yeah, he's really kicking ass so far. Just passed his first amendment last week, as a matter of fact.

Shows and stations have come and gone. People like Malloy, Ed Schultz, Thom Hartmann and Stephanie Miller are still around, and doing better than ever. Clear Channel flipped a bunch of their libtalk stations to sports talk over the past few years (the new AM format du jour), but a few others have risen in their place. MSNBC has experienced a renaissance of sorts, building around the popular Keith Olbermann, and added shows featuring Schultz and their hottest new star, Rachel Maddow (yes, the same one from "Unfiltered" back in the day). FOX is still the right-wing paranoia channel. That much hasn't changed.

Speaking of television, that's changed quite a bit now. For one, there's no more static. All the channels are digital now. And good luck finding one of those big tube television sets. Everything's flat-panel, and they are getting cheaper and cheaper. As a result, all Americans can see really terrible 'reality' shows in hi-definition.

As for radio, it still sucks, and even more than before. Clear Channel sold itself to private investors, and had to dump a ton of stations in the process. And the radio dial nowadays sounds crappier than ever. Most music formats and disc jockeys are piped in from other cities. No diversity. No innovative music. And it's obviously pissing off the record labels. So much that they're biting the hands that feed them, by first trying to extort money from webcasters, and now, from the stations themselves. No wonder why so many FM stations are flipping to talk and sports formats. My advice? Buy an iPod. They're getting cheaper and better anyway.

Yeah, the music industry is suffering too. Perhaps it's because there isn't a whole lot of compelling new music out there, at least the stuff that's being promoted. Pretty sad when today's hottest musical talent is the teenage daughter of the guy who sang "Achy Breaky Heart". In 2009, so far, the biggest selling acts are Michael Jackson (who died - yeah, really!) and the Beatles (who just last month re-released their entire catalog in beautifully remastered form with very attractive packaging).

So, what else is going on in the world? Well-known business entities such as Circuit City, Knight Ridder and Pontiac are no more. I can no longer use Radio & Records as a reference. That's gone. And I can't go to the store and pick up a copy of the Weekly World News at the checkout. That's gone too.

But at least there's always sports. Believe it or not, the National Hockey League is still around, though nobody really cares. And would you believe that the Chicago White Sox and the Philadelphia Phillies have both won World Series in the past five years? Yeah, right, you say, and Brett Favre is the quarterback for the Minnesota Vikings. Well, funny you should mention that...

All in all, that's what's been going on the past five years (or, five years into your future leading up to October 12, 2009). It's been a crazy five years. And it almost makes me wonder what's going to happen in the next five.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I just got an email. Looks like it's from myself in 2014. Hmm....


Your 2009 self

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Hate! Envy! Spite! (and other conservative values)

When Barack Obama was surprisingly named the recipient of the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize, well, one could almost hear the heads exploding across the "Frank Burns Wing" of the nutosphere that currently makes up the core of the conservative movement. Funny thing is, they agree with the terrorists.

Some things are best left without comment from yours truly, particularly the ridiculous reactions from the Greek chorus over Obama receiving the award. So, here's a sampling of the pro-America love showed by the spiteful right:

"Mikhail Gorbachev won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1990. A year later, he was out of power and the Soviet Union had dissolved." Bill Kristol

"The Nobel Peace Prize should be turned down by Barack Obama and given... to the Tea Party goers and the 9-12 Project." Glenn Beck

"(Obama) has to turn it down -- because it is such a joke -- that he'll turn it down and it's the only way for him make a win out of this. Only his arrogance will stop him from doing it." Glenn Beck (himself an authority on arrogance)

“The Nobel gang just suicide-bombed themselves. Gore, Carter, Obama, soon Bill Clinton. See a pattern here? They are all leftist sell-outs. George Bush liberates 50 million Muslims in Iraq, Reagan liberates hundreds of millions of Europeans and saves parts of Latin America. Any awards?” Limbaugh says “Obama gives speeches trashing his own country and for that gets a prize, which is now worth as much as whatever prizes they are putting in Cracker Jacks these days.” Rush Limbaugh, in an email to Newsweek.

"I think that everybody is laughing. Our president is a worldwide joke. Folks, do you realize something has happened here that we all agree with the Taliban and Iran about, and that is he doesn't deserve the award. Now that's hilarious, that I'm on the same side of something with the Taliban, and that we all are on the same side as the Taliban." Limbaugh

Now Barack, Im really happy for you, and imma let you finish, but Beyonce had one of the best videos of all time. One of the best videos of all time! Kanye West (oops, sorry!)

"We all know what the Nobel Prize committee is ever since Yasir Arafat won. It's a radical leftist front group that hijacked Alfred Nobel's prize." Michael Savage.

"I did not realize the Nobel Peace Prize had an affirmative action quota." Erick Erickson,

"It is unfortunate that the president’s star power has outshined tireless advocates who have made real achievements working towards peace and human rights." Republican National Committee chairman Michael Steele

"Before they break out the champagne at the White House, they may want to pause over the fact that Obama now shares this honor with Mohammed el-Baradei, Yasser Arafat, and flagrant liar Rigoberta Menchu Tum." Mona Charen, National Review

"Europe wants to reverse the American Revolution and re-colonize us, and it sees in Obama a kindred spirit willing to do its bidding." Dick Morris

"What do Barack Obama and Yassir Arafat have in common? They both hung out with anti-Semites who think Israel should be pushed into the sea. Oh, yeah—and they both were given the Nobel Prize for Peace." Michael Graham

"This makes three times, incidentally, in just seven years that the committee’s turned the Peace Prize into a “f*** Bush” award by bestowing it on a liberal American Democrat." Allahpundit

"He's sided with Marxists Castro, Chavez, Morales and Ortega. ... Obama's bankrupted the US economy and destroyed the morale of our military. No wonder he was awarded the Nobel." Gateway Pundit

"If Obama had an ounce of real humility, he’d refuse to accept the award." Michelle Malkin

"The Nobel committee is preaching at Americans, but they won’t be deceived. He should decline it and then ask to be considered again in three or four years when he has a record." Former U.N. ambassador John Bolton

"Obama did make a big show of appeasing Iran during its election crisis.  Perhaps they should change the award’s name to the Neville rather than the Nobel." Ed Morrissey

"I don't know what it does for us, for the country. I don't care what the French think of us and I could care less what the people in Oslo think of us." Republican strategist Chris LaCivita

"(Obama) got the prize for "de-emphasizing defense in favor of multi-national cooperation." Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK)

"Congratulations to President Obama on his prize. I'm not sure what the international community loved best; his waffling on Afghanistan, pulling defense missiles out of Eastern Europe, turning his back on freedom fighters in Honduras, coddling Castro, siding with Palestinians against Israel, or almost getting tough on Iran." Rep. Gresham Barrett (R-SC)

"It's not Republicans that are throwing their lot in with terrorists -- it's the White House." Michael Goldfarb

"If today's headlines said, "Barack Obama Wins Yasser Arafat Prize," that would be perfect." Andy McCarthy

Obama's hope of achieving peace was all that was required, presumably making countless Miss Universe contestants equally eligible." Former Bush spokesman Tony Fratto

"Most people actually tend to think the world is a more dangerous place than, say, it was a year ago." Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX)

Again, why do Conservatives hate America?

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Thursday Tweeting

And here's a look at the week that was (so far), via the LTR Twitter page...

So, what else is going on?
  • Hey, did you know that the state of Mississippi actually subsidizes a low rated commercial right-wing talk show network? That's what Republicans consider 'welfare.'
  • Happy birthday to Monty Python, still lookin' good at 40!
  • Paste Magazine counts down Rachel Maddow's Ten Greatest Moments.
  • Here's a rather interesting article about the many different web browsers on the market, and how each of them is doing in market share.
  • Corrupt former congressman Tom Delay's a quitter, and is also hoping to avoid another upcoming reality show, Dancing Behind Bars.
  • Move over, Chuck Norris. Step aside Sylvester Stallone. John Elway is now a bonafide terrorist fighter.
  • The latest Rock Band game, featuring The Beatles, is obviously inspiring other artists to get in on the act. U2, after turning down an offer to appear in the game, is rethinking their stance. Not to be outdone, look for David Bowie and Iggy Pop to appear in a new Rock Band game - Lego Rock Band. Pop admitted that he always wanted to have the freedom of being a toy. Speaking of The Beatles, your humble blogger (that's me) has made it through most of the band's remastered catalog, and hopes to have a follow-up review coming soon. Consider yourself warned.
  • Finally, Sarah Palin may be "Going Rogue", but Levi Johnston, who formerly was bangin' her daughter, is "going commando" in an upcoming issue Playgirl. Soon, ladies (and lots of gay men) across the land will see Johnston as only Bristol Palin has. That is, if they really, really want to.
Remember, you can follow all the fun at the Twitter page, updated daily.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Pittsburgh businessman to bring African-America voice back to local airwaves

Following the demise of two local stations catering to African-American listeners, Pittsburgh media executive Eddie Edwards Sr. promised to give the community a new radio outlet for the disenfranchised listeners. And so far, he's delivered.

Edwards has struck a deal to purchase WPYT (660AM), licensed to nearby Wilkinsburg, for the daytime-only AM station, with the intent of creating a news/talk format focusing on Pittsburgh's African-American community. The purchase price was reportedly $500,000.

The new format will not hit the airwaves any time soon, as Edwards needs to construct studios and hire a staff. He hopes to have that accomplished by early January.

In addition, he is also seeking out an FM station to fill the void left by the sale of WAMO-AM and FM several months ago. The two stations, purchased by Catholic operator St. Joseph Missions, have since changed to religious formats.

A proposed FM station would carry an adult-oriented classic R&B format, in contrast to WAMO-FM's more contemporary approach.

Edwards was highly motivated by bringing a black voice back to the local airwaves. He claimed, with a big mayoral election coming up in Pittsburgh, not having a radio voice for the local black community was "shameful."

All in all, it just goes to show how one person can respond to grassroots outcry, and deliver to a potential audience.

KGO taps Rothmann for late night slot

Catching up with a weeks-old news story (hey, if it took this long for the San Francisco Chronicle's Ben Fong-Torres to cover it, well...), John Rothmann is now the official replacement for imprisoned night-talker Bernie Ward at Citadel’s KGO (810AM) in San Francisco. He is now holding down the 10P-1A (PT) time slot.

Rothmann intially did weekend overnights for KGO, and got the full-time gig permanently last month after a long period of fill-in hosts. And, good news for the people who read this blog, Rothmann is a self-described "liberal Democrat," though he was a Republican years ago.

Speaking of Ward, he is currently serving a seven-year sentence at a low security prison in Beaumont, Texas following a conviction on possession of child porn.

Monday, October 05, 2009

TV GM to run, eventually buy WCHL

The owner of WCHL (1360AM) has sold a minority stake in the station to Barry Leffler, who is stepping down as president of TV station WNCN-TV (NBC17) and will run day-to-day operations at the community-oriented mostly liberal talk station, according to the Raleigh News & Observer.

Current owner Jim Heavner eventually plans to sell the station outright to Leffler.

"The opportunity to become a media owner doesn't come along very often," said Leffler, who has worked in television for nearly 25 years. "To be able to do it in a community I love makes it even better."

At WCHL, Leffler plans to continue WCHL's "hyper-local" news and information approach and expand it's online presence. The locally-focused approach, along with local sports and syndicated programming such as Ed Schultz, Stephanie Miller and Air America, has been doing well in advertising sales, particularly in the sagging media market.

"Local advertisers find that their ads on WCHL continue to work."

No other programming changes have been announced, or are forthcoming.

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Teabag terrorism: Why do conservatives hate America?

How's this for phony patriotism?

Radical right-wingers across the land have been blasting President Obama for personally lobbying the International Olympic Committee on behalf of his country and his hometown of Chicago, as he and many others hoped to land the 2016 Olympic Games.

The spin leading up to the moment has been quite ridiculous. They claimed that Obama was taking his eyes off problems at home, though they didn't complain when the last president read childrens' books in a photo op as terrorists flew planes into New York skyscrapers. Or when he ate birthday cake and strummed the guitar while New Orleans drowned. It's quite baffling that the rabid right would rally against something that would bring increased international prestige, jobs and pride to our shores. But their seething hatred for the current president trumps all, and if they could spite Obama at the cost of the U.S. crumbling, so be it.

But events yesterday could quite possibly be the conservative movement's proverbial 'shark jumping' moment. When the IOC, a day after Obama appeared before them to stump for our country, passed over Chicago and gave the games to Rio de Janeiro, wingnuts everywhere cheered and danced. See, this isn't about the U.S. losing the games, it's about feeble attempts to chip away at Obama's perceived ego, America be damned!

Never mind the "Miracle on Ice" at the 1980 Lake Placid, NY games. Never mind Olympic heroes like Carl Lewis and Michael Phelps. Obama got stiffed! Ha ha! Seriously, these people have lots of ego and no pride.

What these feeble-minded fools don't realize is that it's not all about Obama. It was about our country -- their country. Yes, it was a U.S. defeat, not an Obama defeat. But don't let a stupid little thing like facts get in the way of good spin, right?

Here's a sampling of some of the sickening right-wing reaction to yesterday's news:

Upon being informed of the news, a gathering of conservatives at the Americans For Prosperity -- one of the main organizing groups behind the tea party protests -- erupted in applause. They cheered once more after they were told that Chicago had been eliminated during the first round of voting.

RedState's Erick Erickson took glee in Chicago - and, by extension, Obama's - rejection. "Hahahahaha," he wrote. "I thought the world would love us more now that Bush was gone. I thought if we whored ourselves out to our enemies, great things would happen. Apparently not. So Obama's pimped us to every two bit thug and dictator in the world, made promises to half the Olympic committee, and they did not even kiss him."

Michelle Malkin, meanwhile, wrote that the news effectively ended the Obama campaign motto of "Yes We Can" by dawning in a new slogan: "No, You Can't."

Rush Limbaugh spent Friday's show gloating about the loss, calling the snub a "bitch slap," a "metaphor for weakness" and the "worst day in his presidency." "Obama demeaned the office of the presidency, going on this sales pitch," said the glorified disc jockey.

Glenn Beck, mere days after being called out on one of his usual lies by the White House, practically did his usual insane happy dance when he announced the news on his radio show. "Please, please let me break this news to you. It's so sweet," he gloated.

Weekly Standard blogger John McCormack published a celebratory post on the magazine’s blog, titled "Chicago Loses! Chicago Loses!." The blog entry was soon edited to a more sedate "Chicago loses," lest anyone think they were rooting against their country.

The Drudge Report giddly exlaimed in a big red headline, "The Ego Has Landed." Matt Drudge is evidently dancing more over this than he does in the Miami discos.

The likes of Malkin, Beck, Drudge and Sean Hannity have resorted to blasting the city of Chicago, working overtime to comb the Chicago crime blotter in feeble attempts to tarnish the city.

I should say that at least a few conservatives, particularly MSNBC's Joe Scarborough, thanked the president for helping to land the games, and chastised partisan critics hoping for his loss. And to Mitt Romney, who helmed the Salt Lake City games of 2002 and also supported Obama's efforts.

Now, what these naive souls don't realize is that Obama was not the one who initiated the Chicago bid in the first place. The effort goes back years, long before Obama was even considering a run for the White House. In April 2007, Chicago was selected as the United States' bid city for the 2016 games. That Obama is from Chicago is mere coincidence, but who could blame him for trying to bring the event to his own city, let alone his own country? Hey, if former British Prime Minister Tony Blair could personally lobby (successfully at that) to bring the 2012 games to London, why shouldn't Obama do likewise? Our last president, George W. Bush, made a feeble attempt to bring the 2012 Olympics to New York City, by way of a videotaped plea, yet we heard no squawking from the right-wing peanut gallery when his efforts fizzled.

But it all seems so clear now. After witnessing their ongoing battle to torpedo health care reform, the war in Afghanistan, economic stimulus and other priorities of the current president, I think we've learned quite a bit about the right-wing. Suffice it to say, conservatives don't give a shit about you. They don't need to. They've got good jobs (well, most of them do anyway). They've got health care. They've got their punditry gigs on high-profile media outlets. They've got their dinner party invites. And they've got their own massive egos. They don't care about supporting our president, as they demanded the same of us for our last president. They don't care about the middle class. They don't care about America. And they certainly don't give a shit about anyone except themselves. As stated earlier, if America becomes a big, stinking hole in the ground, they don't care. If it brings down their adversaries and further feeds their own oversized egos, so be it. It's all about them, and fuck everyone else. And it's narcissistic thinking like this that will eventually kill the rabid right once and for all. Then perhaps we can get some level-headed civility back into ideological discourse.

CNN's Roland Martin nails it:

So, to all the critics happy about us losing the 2016 games, turn in your flag lapel pins and stop boasting of being so patriotic. When an American city loses, like New York did in the the last go-round, we all lose. And all you critics are on the same level as the America haters all across the world.

You should be shouted down for not backing your own country. The next time any of you bang out a press release about "Buy American" or "Support our troops," remember this moment when your cynical, callous and small-minded brains happily rejoiced when America lost the 2016 Olympic Games.

Seriously, why do conservatives hate America?

Mark Riley returns to WWRL

Former Air America talker Mark Riley has returned to radio with a new Saturday afternoon show on WWRL (1600AM), New York titled "Working New York", a show focusing on people "who are working, looking for work, and people who have worked all their lives and are now retired."

WWRL is also undergoing further weekend changes, days after renewing their deal with Air America. The station is harking back to its earlier roots by adding some Caribbean-oriented talk programming to weekends, both local and syndicated.

Weekend tweeting

Gee, has it been a week already since I did one of these things?

Well, here's the latest from the LTR Twitter page, now with 100 followers and growing:

  • We all know that right-wing pundits, particularly the high-profile ones on radio and television, have major insecurity complexes. Here, Huffington Post wonders if Sean Hannity is starting to feel intimidated by partner-in-grime Glenn Beck. So much that Scrappy Doo's trying to amp up the rhetoric. Okay, lies. As they say, what comes up, must come down.
  • The big talk this week has been a Florida congressman named Alan Grayson. On the House floor Tuesday night, Grayson claimed that the Republicans' proposed health care reform amounts to "don't get sick" or, failing that, "die quickly." The thin-skinned Republicans immediately demanded an apology, and threatened a resolution condemning him. Grayson didn't back down , as he further called Republicans "knuckle-dragging Neanderthals," and stuck it to the morality crusades with "let's remember we should care about people even after they're born." The only apology he gave was to the American people for not getting health care reform done. The sudden spine growth among the Democratic rank-and-file must have been contagious, as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi gave her support the freshman congressman.
  • Funny, the Repulicans have expressed no outrage over one of their own congressmen, Trent Franks, who called President Obama "an enemy of humanity."
  • Only a week or so following Sarah Palin's own 'Dixie Chicks moment', where she blasted the president at a Chinese economic summit, ancient crooner Andy Williams said in an interview that "Obama wants the country to fail," and called him a socialist Marxist, or something like that. The interviewee? The London Telegraph, a foreign newspaper. So, using right-wing logic, does this make Williams a traitor? Will he get death threats from wingnuts? Like it matters, the guy's almost dead anyway. Well, at least his career is.
  • Speaking of Palin, hear about that new book she's' writing'? I thought "Going Rogue" was slang for not wearing underwear. Hear about the book's ghost writer? One of her projects was a little piece by a notorious white supremacist. Not much of a departure.
  • If you're FOX Noise, you know you're full of shit when right-wing media shit-stirrer Bernie Goldberg says you're full of shit.
  • Speaking of shit, wingnuts are known to sling a lot of it, but now they're literally doing it.
  • As FOX's alleged 'news' channel delights in their constant airing of a bunch of right-wing pussies, they're also showing the real thing on the entertainment division's 'reality' shows (NSFW video and pic).
  • Remember all the fuss about that video of schoolchildren singing songs about President Obama? Here's that video. Oh wait! Those schoolchildren are singing songs to President Nixon, a Republican!
  • Are some right-wingers escaping from the nut house? Some seem to be coming to their senses, including Sen. Lindsey Graham, David Brooks and this guy, who's blog, ironically, is called Right Wing Nut House. All of them are chastising the actions of the fringe elements of their party. Naturally, they're being tossed under the bus by said nuts.
  • One of the people Lindsey Graham ripped was Glenn Beck, for being just plain crazy. The definition of crazy? Constantly crying on-air. Even crazier? When the tears are fake.

  • The best take of the week comes, not surprisingly, from the oft-brilliant Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times. "The anger of the festering fringe" is a must-read.

  • Join the fun on Twitter, as I update quite often.

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