Thursday, 05 July 2007


Ken Berwitz

Poor wiwoo Bill Press.  He has a radio talk show, no one wants to listen to it, and he thinks that's unfair.

Press wrote this unbelievably whiney crybaby-fest last week (I just saw it today).  I don't care if you are to the right, center or left.  It is guaranteed to make you cringe:.

Morning Talk Radio Fair And Balanced
June 28, 2007

Have you listened to the Ed Schultz show lately? Or Stephanie Miller, Randi Rhodes or Bill Press?

If not, theres a good reason. Unless you subscribe to satellite radio, finding a progressive talk station today is about as easy as finding a Republican who agrees with George Bush on immigration reform. Theyre few and far between.

A new report, released by the Center for American Progress, tells why. In May 2007, listeners were offered 2,550 hours of conservative talk radio on commercial stations, Monday through Friday, but only 315 hours of progressive talk. In other words, for every one hour of liberal talk broadcast, there were eight hours of right-wing propaganda.

The center further found that almost 90 percent of all talk radio broadcast on stations owned by the five largest ownership groups is conservative. Most of their stations do not offer even one minute of progressive talk on any given weekday.

Houston, weve got a problem. But what to do about it?

One answer, proposed by Sen. Dick Durbin and others, is to bring back the Fairness Doctrine a possibility that makes right-wing commentators absolutely apoplectic. Calling it an assault on the First Amendment, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich accused Democrats who seek to restore the Fairness Doctrine of wanting to wipe out conservative talk radio. They want to kill it because every time we have an extended conversation with the American people, liberalism falls apart and its ideas collapse.

Has he ever read the Fairness Doctrine? From the history pages of the Museum of Broadcast Communication: The Fairness Doctrine, adopted by the FCC in 1949 and enforced till Ronald Reagan killed it in 1987, was nothing but an attempt to ensure that all coverage of controversial issues by a broadcast station be balanced and fair. Whats so unfair about that? Arent conservatives supposed to believe in fair and balanced?

In other words, all the Fairness Doctrine said was that individual stations, or station owners, could not present only one point of view on the major issues of the day. You could not feature, on any one station, all right-wing hosts, all the time. Yet that prospect, of having to share the airwaves with liberal talk show hosts, is so scary to conservatives that Indiana Republican Mike Pence has introduced a pre-emptive strike in Congress, the Broadcaster Freedom Act, which would ban the FCC from resurrecting the Fairness Doctrine.

Ironically, the center report doesnt call for returning to the Fairness Doctrine at all. It focuses on the more important issue of ownership, and suggests that Congress or the FCC cap ownership rights by limiting both how many stations any one corporation can own and how long it can operate them.

Whatever the solution, the fact remains: Theres a tremendous imbalance in talk radio today, and something must be done to correct it. Why? Simply because radio air waves belong to the public, not to any individual or corporation. As temporary trustees of the public airwaves, those who hold radio licenses have an obligation again from the Museum of Broadcasting Web site to afford reasonable opportunity for discussion of contrasting points of view on controversial issues of public importance.

But clearly there is no reasonable opportunity for discussion of contrasting points of view when 90 percent of talk show hosts are either Rush Limbaugh or little Rush wannabes, all spouting the same right-wing garbage. After all, 50 percent of Americans did not vote for George W. Bush. So 50 percent of the American people are not being served today by talk radio.

In the end, the only answer is to open up the airwaves and make room for more progressive talk. Can liberals compete with conservatives in attracting both listeners and advertisers? You bet. Head to head, for example, Ed Schultz regularly outperforms Sean Hannity in Seattle, Portland, San Diego, Denver, Albuquerque and Miami. But, of course, liberals cant compete where stations refuse to give them the opportunity.

And thats the real reason conservatives are in a state of panic today. Theyre so worried about leveling the talk radio playing field because theres one thing so-called free market conservatives are afraid of. Its called competition.  .

Let's forget for a minute that the "Center For American Progress" is not some neutral consumer group, it is a hard-left organization headed by John Podesta, who is about as neutral as as George Steinbrenner during a Yankee/Red Sox game. 

Let's also forget that the left predominates in virtually all major media other than talk radio - a little something Mr. Press hasn't got much to say about here. (Don't hang by your thumbs waiting for him to demand that half the personnel in network newsrooms be registered Republicans).

Instead, let's concentrate on why the people Press is whining about are not on radio stations all around the country.  It is because they HAVE been available and radio stations don't WANT them. 

Why don't they want them? Because, in most markets, they do not generate enough LISTENERS. 

Randi Rhodes, for example, has been on Air America for years.  And for years she has had little more than hardcore left listenership.  Not because people couldn't listen to her, but because they chose not to

Let's say you're a program director at a radio station and you have a show with lousy ratings.  What do you do?  Leave it on or replace it with something else?  You know the answer.  An average 5 year old knows the answer.  I have to assume Bill Press does too. 

As far as Press' own radio talk show, the nasty, obnoxious, whinefest you just read is fully reflective of the way he talks when he's on TV and, I would therefore assume, the way he does talk radio.  It doesn't generate listeners, so it doesn't get picked up by radio stations.  There, that was easy to follow, wasn't it?

The answer for people like Press is to do better radio.  Not to cry that if people don't want to hear them they should be forced to.

Bill!  Grow up, for god sake.  You're a big boy.


Ken Berwitz

Let's get past this one real fast.

Al Gore III, the 24 year old son of Al and Tipper Gore, was arrested yesterday for drug possession, after he was stopped for speeding at something like 100MPH - in a Toyota Prius, no less.

This is far from the first such incident concerning this troubled young man.

I hope that Al Gore III is able to overcome his obvious problems. 

I also hope that his problems are not exploited as a political opportunity by his father's opponents. 

End of story, as far as I'm concerned.


Ken Berwitz

Here, courtesy of the London Telegraph, is some new information concerning the "bumper sticker slogan", as john edwards and other Democratic presidential aspirants call it, of global terrorism:.

45 Muslim doctors planned US terror raids

By John Steele, Crime Correspondent

A group of 45 Muslim doctors threatened to use car bombs and rocket grenades in terrorist attacks in the United States during discussions on an extremist internet chat site.

Police found details of the discussions on a site run by one of a three-strong "cyber-terrorist" gang.

They were discovered at the home of Younis Tsouli, 23, Woolwich Crown Court in south-east London heard.

One message read: "We are 45 doctors and we are determined to undertake jihad and take the battle inside America.

"The first target which will be penetrated by nine brothers is the naval base which gives shelter to the ship Kennedy." This is thought to have been a reference to the USS John F Kennedy, which is often at Mayport Naval Base in Jacksonville, Florida.

The message discussed targets at the base, adding: "These are clubs for naked women which are opposite the First and Third units."

It also referred to using six Chevrolet GT vehicles and three fishing boats and blowing up petrol tanks with rocket propelled grenades.

Investigators have found no link between the Tsouli chat room and the group of doctors and medics currently in custody over attempted car bomb attacks in London and Glasgow.

However, sources said it was "definitely spooky" that the use of doctors for terrorist purposes was being discussed in jihadi terrorist circles up to three years ago.

Part of the inquiry into the London and Glasgow incidents will focus on whether al-Qa'eda has recruited doctors or other medical professionals because they are less likely to attract suspicion and can move easily around the western world.

The three "cyber terrorists" - a British national and two who had been given the right to live in Britain - are facing lengthy jail sentences after admitting using the internet to spread al-Qa'eda propaganda inciting Muslims to a violent holy war and to murder non-believers.

They had close links with al-Qa'eda in Iraq and believed they had to fight jihad against a global conspiracy by kuffars, or non-believers, to wipe out Islam.

The three are the first defendants in Britain to be convicted of inciting terrorist murder on the internet. They waged cyber-jihad on websites run from their bedrooms 


Does edwards, or do any of his fellow fantasists, ever admit that global terrorism is real?  Or is it easier to ride the cover most mainstream media give them, and just sort of forget it was ever said?

The answer is:  Have you heard any admission?  Me neither.


Ken Berwitz

Are you calmed down by now?  I hope so.  I would hate to think you're still upset by the terrible things Ann Coulter said about John Edwards, the things that caused his wife Elizabeth to plaintively beg that Coulter try to be nicer and kinder towards him.

Well, if so, get ready to revert.  Because you are about to see what Ms. Edwards has said about President Bush.

Personally, I had no idea at all of her stream of hate and invective.  Or, put another way, I read mainstream media.

But L. Brent Bozell has put together a compendium of such comments from Ms. Edwards, along with the two internet bloggers her husband proactively put on his staff and then was forced to remove because of their hatefulness.

You can read Mr. Bozell's column at, and what an eye-opener it is.  But here are a few excerpts, showing what Ms. Edwards - that pious, aggrieved party - has said:.

We needed uncompromising rage, and we got silence. We needed courage, and we got silence. And that silence was, have no doubt about it, a betrayal: of the soldiers, of the voters in 2006, of humanity and morality.

Accusing someone of betraying our soldiers (never mind all of humanity) that registers as hateful and ugly in my book. So who said that? The author of those words would be one St. Elizabeth Edwards, on June 8, accepting the Rage for Justice Award from the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights, a Naderite consumer lobby.

We have a country that is complacent about the creation of a permanent underclass, largely an underclass of color, while paying lip service to words like equality and opportunity.

Anyone who resents an association, direct or otherwise, with policies that acquiesce to racism would find those words hateful and ugly, to say the least. OK, so who said them? Elizabeth Edwards, meet Elizabeth Edwards.

How about comparing the Bush administration to the slaughtering nomads of Darfur, with the poor as victims of Washingtons genocide? The White House has led the charge against working people, in their own class war. The late, great Molly Ivins once wrote: If there was class warfare, that war was long over. And it was a massacre a genocide to which there have been words of acknowledgement, as there have in Darfur, but as with Darfur, no meaningful action.

Even Chris Matthews would find those words hateful and ugly. I can only hope he was ignorant of them or it would have been most embarrassing asking St. Elizabeth to denounce herself.

More rage from St. Elizabeth, this time against America: A country made great by men and women who work with their hands now debases and ignores them, and celebrates instead the investment banker, the money changers, while holding a Bible (which would teach them otherwise) as a sword against gays and lesbians, against women, and even against science itself.  .

Unbelievable.  This is the woman who demands CIVILITY of Ann Coulter?  That Coulter tone down HER rhetoric?

Now, ask yourself why media have barely, if at all, reported any of these comments.  And know the face of blatantly biased reporting that is intended to manipulate you into a point of vew, facts notwithstanding.


Ken Berwitz

."On May 17, NBC reported a blockbuster exclusive on the superiority of Dragon Skin body armor over Interceptor, the body armor that the US Army issues to soldiers in combat zones. But NBCs story has a major flaw:  it's wrong about nearly everything." .

That's pretty damning, isn't it?

It is the introduction to a "vent" segment from, which shows the NBC report to be fraudulent.  Not mistaken, not exaggerated, not careless, but fraudulent.

Please click on the image below and watch their report (maybe 3-4 minutes long).  It is devastating.  (if you have problems doing so, link to


Do these people have any shame?  Any honor?  Do they care about what this does to troop morale, or to the emotional state of families of troops serving in places like Iraq and Afghanistan?

Can they possibly hate President Bush, or the Republican administration, or the military, or this country so much that they air a fraudulent report like this, and then do not address the fact that it has been debunked?   

Which side are they rooting for, anyway?


Ken Berwitz

Sometimes you read something and don't believe it's actually there for you to see.  It must be a mirage.  And this article from the northwest Arkansas Morning News is a classic case in point (bold print is mine):.

NAACP Head Skeptical Of Judicial Selections

By Aaron Sadler

WASHINGTON -- The head of the Arkansas NAACP on Friday challenged 3rd District Rep. John Boozman's commitment to diversity in the judiciary after the congressman announced six candidates for a vacant federal judge position.

Boozman, R-Rogers, forwarded the names of three whites and three blacks to President Bush, who will select one person from that list to replace the late U.S. District Judge George Howard, who was black.

Dale Charles, president of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People's state conference said he thought only blacks should have been on the list.

Howard, who held court in the Little Rock-based Eastern District, was the first black federal judge in Arkansas.

Boozman said he looked for the best candidates for the job, regardless of race.

"I recall him saying race would not be his first criteria for a replacement, which I strongly disagree with," Charles said. "Him having said that then gives one the mindset to question whether he believes in diversity."

Arkansas Court of Appeals Judge Brian Miller, former U.S. attorney Chuck Banks, Little Rock attorneys Leon Johnson, Marie-Bernarde Miller and Kevin Crass and Jonesboro attorney Jeannette Robertson were selected.

Johnson, Brian Miller and Marie-Bernarde Miller are black. The others are white.

"I'm committed first of all to picking the very best candidate from Arkansas we can to fill that spot," Boozman said Friday. "I think that's what the Arkansas public wants."

Howard, of Pine Bluff, died in April at 82. He was appointed to the federal bench by President Carter in 1980.

Charles warned against the state reverting to "a segregation phase" with only white federal judges. The three black candidates should be given special consideration, he said.

"I would urge them to narrow it down to one of the African-American judges because we rarely have had an opportunity," Charles said. "I would have been much more comfortable with just African-Americans being submitted."
Let me say this again, for the 5,491,386th time:  You cannot end racism by creating more of it.  Let me say it again with more emphasis:
Would I like to see a Black judge in Arkansas?  Yes, very much so. 
Do I want the judge to be qualified?  Yes, very much so. 
Do I want the selection process restricted by excluding Whites, regardless of whether THEY are qualified, based on their skin color?  What do you think? 

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