Air America, the progressive talk radio network, said Thursday that it would cease broadcasting immediately, bowing to what it called a “very difficult economic environment.”
“It is with the greatest regret, on behalf of our Board, that we must announce that Air America Media is ceasing its live programming operations as of this afternoon, and that the Company will file soon under Chapter 7 of the Bankruptcy Code to carry out an orderly winding-down of the business,” the chair of Air America Media, Charlie Kireker, said in a memorandum.
Although many of the images are striking and well worth viewing, there's also a dose of the liberal politics of the New York Times on display in its "Year in Pictures" in today's paper.
The very first photo sets the Times' tone, depicting a Ferguson demonstrator with hands up confronted by a heavily-armed phalanx of police. But it is the commentary accompanying another photo that really gives the Times' game away. Seen from the inside of a car, the text reads [emphasis added]: "Ignacio, an illegal immigrant, pulled into a convenience store in Tulsa, where a simple traffic stop could lead to deportation." Well, yes. Be the infraction large or small, drawing police attention can lead to the discovery that someone is in the country illegally and thus subject to deportation.
Remember back in the Bush years when the left deemed dissent to be the most glorious form of patriotism? As every conservative knew, that allegedly principled belief was contingent upon a Republican serving as president.
Once a Democrat returned to the White House, this ardent trumpeting of dissent as humanity's highest calling oddly began falling into disrepute, as to be expected whenever cults of personality take hold around leaders of dubious strength. (Audio after the jump)
As easy as it might be to forget them in the cobwebs of the AM radio dial, the liberal pretenders to the Rush Limbaugh throne are still broadcasting, and they're often utterly, shamelessly ridiculous. Case in point: Even Al Sharpton lamely used his radio show to defend Joe Biden's anti-Republican "they want to put y'all in chains" race baiting in front of a black audience.
Another case in point: Liberal radio hosts adore Harry Reid for making utterly unsubstantiated ugly charges that Mitt Romney evaded taxes for a decade. Bill Press has routinely declared his love for the tactic — even on CNN, where someone might have noticed. On "Reliable Sources," Press taunted the journalists who might want to play by the rules of evidence.
As he appeared as a guest on Friday's Piers Morgan Tonight on CNN, moments after decrying Rush Limbaugh's recent "slut" comment, liberal talk radio host Montel Williams defended his infamous suggestion that Michele Bachmann should kill herself by decapitation as being unrelated to the recent Limbaugh matter.
While he was discussing his encounter with a wounded American soldier, he bizarrely brought up Limbaugh as if to suggest that the conservative host's strong words were a dishonor to the people who fight to defend the country. Williams:
NPR pretended that there wasn't a single supporter of Pope Benedict XVI in Spain on Friday's Morning Edition, choosing to devote an entire report on the "many people are grumbling at the cost" of the upcoming papal visit to the country. Correspondent Lauren Frayer not only failed to mention the 428,000 people from around the world who are registered for the World Youth Day event with the Pope, but also omitted the leftist bent of the protesters who are organizing a boycott.
Host Steve Inskeep, after delivering the "grumbling" line, highlighted how "local priests, though, have issued a rare complaint. The Pope's visit will cost Spain millions, at a time when the government is also slashing public salaries and public services." Frayer then explained at the beginning of her report that "more than 100 priests from Madrid's poorest barrios posted a letter online, saying they disagree with the cost and style of Pope Benedict's visit. Father Julio Saavedra says it's unfair how the Spanish government is giving tax breaks to companies like Coca-Cola and Santander Bank for sponsoring the visit."
"Rush Limbaugh needs to choke to death on his own fat," deranged left-wing radio show host Mike Malloy hissed on his February 18, 2009 program.
Michele Bachmann should "slit [her] wrist!" Montel Williams told his Air America radio show audience in September 2009.
"We ought to rip [Dick Cheney's heart] out and kick it around and stuff it back in him," MSNBC's Ed Schultz blustered on his February 24, 2010 radio program.
Those are just three examples of left-wing hate that the mainstream media haven't denounced while accusing conservatives like Sarah Palin of engendering violence in the wake of the Rep. Gabrielle Giffords shooting.
"Have you ever heard any reporter... denounce these examples?" NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell asked Fox News' Sean Hannity after watching the montage during last night's "Media Mash" segment on "Hannity."
[For the full segment, watch the video below the page break or listen to the MP3 audio here.]
Republican strategist Ron Christie on Monday demonstrated why Keith Olbermann is smart to not have conservatives on his program, for most MSNBC hosts are just not up to the challenge.
Appearing on the "Ed Show" to address some comments Newt Gingrich recently made about President Obama, Christie refuted former Air America host Jack Rice's contention that Gingrich was being racist.
"I disagree with what he had to say this past weekend, but to suggest that the former Speaker of the House is trying to say, 'Oh the President of the United States is black and and I'm white' I think is so far out of bounds and so untrue," scolded Christie. "This has to stop."
Minutes later, when the host asked his Republican guest what the "con" was that Gingrich accused Obama of perpetrating on the American people, Christie hit the ball so far out of the park that by the end of the segment, his liberal antagonists were left laughing in astonishment (video follows with transcript and commentary):
It's a simple law of economics, right? If there's a demand for a certain service or good, that business has a strong shot at thriving. Since the now-defunct Air America shut down for the last time earlier this year, the casual observer must conclude that no one wanted to hear left-wing diatribes over the broadcast airwaves.
But that's not the case according to a panel on HLN's April 5 "The Joy Behar Show." This meeting of the minds, consisting of Behar, GQ's Ana Marie Cox and liberal talk show host Randi Rhodes, accused conservative talker Rush Limbaugh of playing victim in responding to an interview President Barack Obama conducted with CBS News in which the president mentioned Limbaugh and Glenn Beck by name - calling them "troublesome."
But why is this newsworthy, according to Rhodes? Limbaugh has huge audience where people are allegedly forced to listen to him because he is on "every station."
"So now they're saying oh, you know, we're going to accuse them of doing everything we did. And that's how people become these victims," Rhodes said. "You know, it's like - an idea that, you know, people listen to him. They listened to him because, Joy, they have no choice. He's on every radio station. He's on - they have no choice."
The former CEO of Air America, Danny Goldberg, has been kind enough to provide us with some comedy entertainment in an article, Air America Radio, RIP -- It Didn't Have to Be This Way. Actually, Danny, it did have to be that way due to those market forces at work that you castigate. However, we all owe you a vote of thanks for coming up with several incredibly lame but laughable excuses to explain away the failure of Air America in particular and "progressive talk radio" in general.
First the donor quality excuse:
Democracy Radio folded in 2006 as a result of a lack of financial support from progressive donors.
Some blame bad management for the failure of both Air America and Democracy Radio, and since I spent one unhappy year midway through Air America's life as its CEO I suppose I am one of a dozen or so who are in that category. But if progressives really wanted to address talk radio they could have started competing companies with different management. Instead, most of the monied progressive community did the opposite of their conservative counterparts and bought into the notion that media should stand or fall based on media market forces.
Bad content? Bad business model? No, those reasons aren't why Air America is no longer with us. Air America, a radio network advertised as the next talk radio juggernaut in 2004, was supposed to revolutionize the format and provide a "counterweight" for those left-of-center politically.
But there's another reason according to HLN host and "The View" panelist Joy Behar. In the usual fashion of citing no statistics and making sweeping generalizations, Behar blamed the collapse of liberal talk radio outlet Air America on a gender gap in listeners on her Jan. 25 HLN broadcast.
"Ok, but can I say that men listen to talk radio more than women and men are more conservative, generally speaking," Behar said, proposing a reason for Air America's bankruptcy.
To use a euphemism beloved by El Rushbo, Air America has assumed room temperature.
Brian Stelter of New York Times's Media Decoder with the story:
Pro-life activists most likely cheered upon seeing this week's In Touch Weekly. The magazine, usually devoted to the latest celebrity shenanigans, featured Sarah and Bristol Palin on the cover holding their baby boys under the headline, "We're Glad We Chose Life."
But for the media, who find everything about Sarah Palin controversial, including, now, holding her own baby, it's one more attack opportunity that includes calling her daughter a "privileged" teen mother.
Sarah and Bristol were "schlepping those babies around like crazy," said Joy Behar. No friend of the Palins on any day, on the Jan. 13 edition of her show Behar predictably found fault with the magazine cover and complained of Palin's youngest son, Trig, "That baby, they passed that baby around more than a joint at a Grateful Dead concert." To her guests, liberal talk show host Stephanie Miller and Huffington Post editor Roy Sekoff, she asked, "Is she going to bring that baby on the set of Fox?"
Mary Elizabeth Williams at Salon.com called the cover a "jaw dropper" and questioned the appropriateness of showing the Palins on it. "Hey, we're all for mothers loving their babies, but if it's not 1984 and you're not in a Wham! video, [in which George Michael wore a shirt that said "Choose Life"] you might want to reconsider whether that sentiment is appropriate in a pop culture context," she wrote in a Jan. 14 post.