Category Archives: talk radio

Steve Gill: Don’t Let The Door Hitya Where The Lord Splitya

Nashville-based syndicated conservative talk radio host/Tea Party hero Steve Gill is quitting his radio show. All together now: Awwwwwww. You’ll love the reason why:

He said the growing corporate influence on radio also has made it more difficult for small broadcasters to thrive.

“When we started 15 years ago, radio was a different animal,” Gill said. “The way corporations work, it’s difficult to have a grassroots, listener-focused show right now.”

Wow. The guy who never met a tax or regulation he couldn’t slam, who devoted his career to selling free market snake oil, who promoted the Tea Party every chance he got? That guy? He appears completely oblivious to the fact that the very policies he promotes has created an environment of corporate consolidation, which actually suppresses free markets and free speech.

Facepalm.

But sure, Steve. Remind me how the Muslim Brotherhood is behind the Murfreesboro Islamic Center, how we need to kill Julian Assange, or how Obama’s nomination of Hillary Clinton to be Secretary of State violates the Constitution. Or how high gas prices are Democrats’ fault. Dude, you were always focused on the wrong things. The foamy-mouthed, hate-spewing, fearmongering, bash-the-left stuff. Can’t believe WKRN hired him has a “political analyst.”

I mean, I could spend all day dredging up more of Steve Gill’s greatest hits, but I think you get the point. Gill is the worst sort of political hack who never missed a chance to twist a fact or gin up an outrage if it slammed liberals, President Obama, or any politician with a “D” after their name. Amazingly, people seem to be tired of that shit! Hoocouldanode?

The free market has spoken.

I’m not crying for Gill, he’ll no doubt benefit from Wingnut Welfare. But at least he won’t be spreading his crackpot ideas on the public airwaves anymore.

By the way, I dredged up this excellent 2009 piece from the memory hole. Mary Mancini saw it all coming. She predicted not just the decline of conservative hate ratio, but the destruction of the GOP brand overall.

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Filed under conservatives, Media, Steve Gill, talk radio, Tea Party, Tennessee

Alternately, You Guys Could Stop Being Assholes

Stop the presses! Sean Hannity and Ed Schultz agree on something, and it’s not their favorite flavor of ice cream. Nope, they want the hippies over at Media Matters to STFU and stop with all of those advertiser boycotts! (I couldn’t get the damn embed code to work, but the video is a little over a minute long, so give it a quick look at the link.)

Well, I guess that means they’ve been effective. Basically Sean Hannity says liberals have to reject Media Matters “crossing the line” (what line? Just telling the truth about you? Just repeating the poison that your side spews over the public airwaves every day?), or else the people who don’t like them will finally fight back.

Oooh. Didn’t know y’all had been holding yourselves back out of the goodness of your hearts.

And then we have Ed Schultz saying attacking advertisers of a radio personality “is the wrong thing to do.” He says he even called Media Matters’ David Brock and told him it was the wrong thing to do. Schultz says “a lot of people are getting hurt.”

Wowzah. I can only conclude that it’s been enormously effective. I’m so sorry the fee-fees of these high-paid political entertainers got hurt when people stepped forward and said they didn’t like hearing people viciously attacked as sluts and whores over the public airwaves. That’s not a matter of political disagreement, that’s the people telling you guys to stop being assholes. Maybe you should listen.

You know what I think Ed Schultz and Sean Hannity don’t like? They don’t like being told that their manner of discourse is hurting America. This reminds me an awful lot of that infamous Jon Stewart-Crossfire moment, when Tucker Carlson and Paul Begala were called out on their bullshit. CNN never really quite recovered from that, did they?

And now we have talk radio people facing the same sort of criticism. They don’t get it, either. They want to continue with their political theater, pretending it’s “journalism” not partisan hackery, and not have to be answerable to their viewers. They want to call women sluts and if we don’t like it, “just change the dial.” Just shut up, hippie and Teanut. Just change the channel and be quiet. Stay in your place. How dare you let anyone know your opinion. Don’t you know the opinions of Sean Hannity and Ed Schultz are the only ones that matter? Stupid listeners.

This is about power. They don’t like being reminded they don’t have it. They don’t like getting that phone call from the corporate office telling them to cool it, too many complaints have come in from big corporate advertisers. That’s who we’re all really slaves to, didn’t you guys get the memo? You thought you were different? Suckers.

For those who have forgotten, here’s the infamous “stop hurting America” moment. Tucker Carlson, still hurting America over at The Daily Caller, seemed least able to grasp the concept of public responsibility. No surprise there. Enjoy:

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Filed under boycotts, Media, talk radio

Al Gore Is Fat: The Movie

Local talk show blowhard Phil Valentine, last seen circling our state capitol while repeatedly honking his car horn, has a hilarious new anti-climate change film that is a 90-minute attack on Al Gore, liberals and environmentalists. It’s in one theater here in Nashville (because he lives here), and probably won’t be coming to a theater near you, but I’m sure it will be hitting the wingnut DVD distribution circuit soon. The Tennessean did a story on it, which you can read here.

This was funny:

In Michael Moore fashion, Valentine in the film goes to a book signing for Gore to try to talk to him and also to Gore’s Belle Meade home, where he says he wants to see him.

“Yes, this is Arlen Specter,” he says at one point, speaking into the intercom at the entrance. “Can Al Gore come out and play?”

He imitates different voices, including pretending to be Jesse Jackson. An employee comes out and says Gore is out of town and gives him information for the contact person he needs to call.

Har dee har har! That’s so funny! What’s really funny is that despite their professed hatred of prominent liberals like Michael Moore, the right has accepted their cultural superiority. They wouldn’t be copying them otherwise. As I’ve said many times before, conservatives are constantly co-opting the messaging and tactics of the left because they’re culturally irrelevant themselves, and are incapable of creating anything new. Instead of coming up with their own ideas they need to come up with a conservative version of whatever the left has already been successful doing. It’s kinda sad, really.

So, Valentine has basically made a documentary with an all-volunteer crew to debunk climate change by saying it’s phony because Al Gore is fat. Really, that’s it in a nutshell. As Michael Vandenbergh, director of Vanderbilt’s Environmental Law Program and the Climate Change Research Network, is quoted as saying in The Tennessean:

“Whatever you think about Al Gore doesn’t affect that there’s scientific consensus about climate change, and it won’t make it go away,” he said.

Al Gore has been a great straw man for the deniers, but they look beyond silly as climate change has become reality, as anyone with a vegetable garden knows.

What’s funny to me is Valentine’s own inconsistencies on issues like energy.

Little is sacred on the green front. Valentine at one point makes fun of people who recycle plastic bottles and own hybrid cars.

Valentine said he doesn’t recycle, but he does drive a restored 1985 Mercedes-Benz, which was highlighted in the film. It runs on biodiesel that he makes from old restaurant oil.

It’s strictly to save money, he said.

He backs solar, wind and nuclear energy along with drilling for traditional fuel sources as ways to ease the nation’s dependence on foreign oil. He said he is not for cutting back on energy use.

Dude, you’re a moron. You’re for saving money but only the way YOU do it? Hybrids’ better gas mileage saves money. Making buildings more energy efficient saves money. How come that’s not okay, but driving on vegetable oil is?

Recycling plastic bottles saves money. It means you don’t have to make new ones. Why is that not okay?

This is why I don’t worry about the troglodytes of conservatism who claim to support free market solutions to everything, but then are critical when the free market decides something they don’t like. I spent $8 fueling my car last month. Who wouldn’t want that deal? It doesn’t matter what your politics may be, the pocket book has already won the argument. You guys lost. Attacking Al Gore isn’t going to change a thing, except put you on the wrong side of yet another issue. We’re used to seeing that from you guys. Thanks for staying consistent on at least that one point.

This is why I’ve decided to stop worrying and love the climate change deniers. I’ve realized the people who need to know about this stuff, the people who matter, are not the people with their head in the sand. And by people who matter, I’m not talking about the champagne-swillers in Davos. I’m talking about engineers and biologists and agricultural scientists and medical doctors. I’m talking about the folks who are building city storm sewers, who know devastating floods are the new normal and are adjusting their plans accordingly. And yes, I’m talking about business leaders.

Climate change isn’t just real, it’s been decided. There’s no going back at this point, it’s too late. All we can do is prepare for its impact. And people are doing that. Phil Valentine can try to propagandize to his faithful, but he’s preaching to the choir. We already know these people are out of touch with reality. So keep it up. Because you’re just backing yourselves into a corner, showing yourselves to be even more irrelevant.

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Filed under Al Gore, climate change, conservatives, Phil Valentine, talk radio

>They Said It Wouldn’t Last

>Progressive talk radio is catching up. Yes, right-wing radio still dominates the talk airwaves, but liberal talkers are making big strides, according to the trade journal Talker’s Magazine. A survey in the current issue shows Ed Schultz receiving the same audience as Bill O’Reilly, and liberals like Randi Rhodes, Thom Hartmann, Lionel and Stephanie Miller with the same audience as G. Gordon Liddy and Hugh Hewitt.

This is a huge jump over last year for Schultz, according to Raw Story:

A new survey by Talkers Magazine listed Schultz’s weekly audience at 3.25 million weekly listeners, the same number of listeners enjoyed by O’Reilly, host of the Fox News Channel’s The O’Reilly Factor. [ … ] The same survey in 2006 pegged the Fargo talker’s unique weekly listeners at 2.25 million, sharing the number 10 slot among radio hosts nationwide.

[…]

Limbaugh, who had 14.5 million weekly listeners in 2005, has not recovered from his loss of audience reported in the 2006 survey. His audience has been holding steady at 13.5 million listeners since that report.

I’m a big fan of Ed Schultz; he’s not as strident or polarizing as Randy Rhodes (who I confess to also liking, especially on days when I’m really pissed off). Schultz actually lets people talk instead of cutting them off mid-sentence, and he’s based out of Fargo, which gives him that “flyover country” perspective. If you don’t get Schultz on regular or satellite radio, you can give him a listen online here.

In the meantime, Nielsen ratings show Keith Olbermann consistently beating conservatives like Glenn Beck and Tucker Carlson, and even giving Bill-O a run for his money in the key audience demographic.

It’s pretty amazing when you remember that conservative talk has an enormous advantage with its established infrastructure (Fox, ABC Talk Radio Network, etc.) built over the past few decades.

This doesn’t necessarily mean that people are turning off Rush and switching to Big Ed; rather, I think it shows there’s a growing market for progressive talk, whereas the market for conservative talk has probably maxed. What I don’t understand is why local talk radio stations like WLAC don’t offer both kinds of programming. Why cater to just a portion of the market in a city like Nashville, which skews liberal? I’ve been told that local station management has been approached about airing shows like Thom Hartmann and Ed Schultz (or even the awesome local show Liberadio) but they’ve refused, reasoning that liberals listen to big stars like Rush Limbaugh too. All that kind of thinking has done is drive me to satellite radio, where I now enjoy advertiser-free music programming, too.

The dearth of stations willing to program someone like Ed Schultz is a shame but it may be changing soon: on today’s show, Schultz announced he has investors looking to buy stations in some key markets. Think Nashville will be one of them?

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Filed under Bill O'Reilly, ed schultz, Rush Limbaugh, talk radio

>O’Reilly Yanked In D.C.

>A follow-up to yesterday’s story about Bill O’Reilly: apparently, his Weekly World News-style program is wearing thin, at least in the nation’s capital. Today’s Washington Post reports on the train wreck that is Bill O’Reilly:

…WJFK (106.7 FM) yesterday dropped Bill O’Reilly’s nationally syndicated show, “The Radio Factor,” and replaced it with a sports-talk program hosted by Jim Rome. O’Reilly, an avowed independent who takes many conservative views, occupied a two-hour afternoon slot on WJFK.

The popular Fox News Channel TV host never attracted much of a radio following in Washington — in the most recent ratings period, his program had about 1.2 percent of the audience. But then, neither have many other conservatives, whose programs are popular in many cities but barely move the ratings needle in the Washington area, the nation’s eighth-largest radio market.

In defense of Bill O’Reilly, the article goes on to say that political talk radio isn’t especially popular in Washington D.C. at all; liberal talkers haven’t fared much better than the conservative ones. That’s understandable: when you work in politics all day, who wants to listen to politics in your leisure time?

Still, I can’t resist a bit of schadenfreude at hearing Bill O’Reilly got yanked from a radio station in Washington D.C., of all places. That’s more than irony; it might explain why he’s so unpopular:

Chris Berry, president and general manager of WMAL, says there’s nothing particularly unusual about Washington and political talk radio, except that “people in D.C. are smarter” than talk audiences in other towns. “In Boston, Chicago, even L.A., it’s more emotional,” he says. “In D.C., people really do know the issues.”

Oh, snap!

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Filed under Bill O'Reilly, talk radio