Newsweek’s cover story also carried a half-page feature on page 29 about the "Leaders of the ‘Shock Jock’ Pack." (I could not find the article online.) Writer Jessica Ramirez wrote, "Don Imus’s world imploded last week after he made racist and sexist remarks." Ramirez used data from Talkers Magazine, including a list of "Up-And-Comers." Note the labeling contrast:
Mark Levin was "An ultraconservative in the Sean Hannity style. This best-selling author’s show is syndicated through ABC Radio Networks."
Stephanie Miller was "One of the most popular and funny liberal radio hosts in the country. Miller is syndicated by Jones Radio Networks."
Ed Schultz was "A dominant liberal voice with a political bent similar to Al Franken’s. Schultz is syndicated by Jones Radio Networks."
Lionel (one name) is touted as "An intellectual known for his irreverent political and social humor. His show is currently broadcast via the WOR Radio Network." Newsweek doesn’t explain that Lionel’s website is boasting he’ll soon join Air America (on May 14), and he loves 9-11 "truth" websites, as he says "Keep an open mind and remember....think!"
The fifth up-and-comer is Jack Rice of WCCO in Minneapolis, who doesn’t seem to be located on either ideological pole. Rice, Miller, and Schultz were pictured. Levin and Lionel were not. But all five are – gasp – white. Is this more "racism" from the "white hands" of Newsweek ownership?
Next to that is a chart called "Voices Carry," listing the new Talkers ranking of top talk shows by listenership. The list is topped by the sentence "Some of America’s top talkers – and who might be next in the cross hairs."
Right below that is a red color bar, which designates who is "On the ‘most outrageous comments of 2006' list compiled by Media Matters." Somehow, in the top eight, only six of them are on the red list: Limbaugh, Hannity, Savage, Beck, Boortz, and O'Reilly are in red. Laura Ingraham and Dr. Laura Schlessinger are not.
What other conclusion can the reader draw but that Newsweek thinks Media Matters should be the definitive arbiter of who's allowed to be on talk radio?