Randi Rhodes, the leftist talk-radio host who found herself in hot water yesterday for airing a skit that warned President Bush with gunfire, has joked about assassinating the commander in chief before.
Last May, Rhodes, who hosts a show on the struggling Air America network, imitated the sound of gunfire while saying somebody ought to take the president fishing and then shoot him.
On May 12, New York Daily News columnist Michael Goodwin wrote a piece criticizing Air America, saying he had listened to the liberal radio network one day for 10 hours.
Air America’s Randi Rhodes
“The queen of venom, Randi Rhodes, followed [Al] Franken in the host slot,” Goodwin wrote. “Her imitation of a cracker military type telling a soldier to ‘insert this fluorescent light bulb into that man’s buttocks’ was revolting. She compared U.S. prisons in Iraq to the ‘Nazi gulag’ and said, ‘The day I say thank you to Rumsfeld is the same day I’ll say thank you to the 12 people who raped me.’
Goodwin then notes Rhodes compared Bush and his family to the Corleones in the “Godfather” saga.
A review of the show’s recording reveals Rhodes said the following in a discussion with a caller:
“The Fredo of the family is the president of the United States, so why doesn’t his father or his brother … take him out for a little fishing, and let him say some Hail Marys – he loves God so much. … You know, Hail Mary, full of grace, God is with thee – pow [gunshot sound] – works for me.”
The announcer said: “A spoiled child is telling us our Social Security isn’t safe anymore, so he is going to fix it for us. Well, here’s your answer, you ungrateful whelp: [audio sound of four gunshots being fired.] Just try it, you little bastard. [audio of gun being cocked].”
According to the Drudge Report, government sources took the skit “very seriously,” though Air America denies there’s any federal probe taking place.
Rhodes has since apologized for the joke, saying it was a “stupid bit.”
“If the bit was understood to be a threat against the president,” Rhodes explained, “I need to apologize to the president of the United States, and I do. I also need to apologize to the Secret Service [which] has a very, very serious job. If they had to take two seconds out of their day to look into me, I apologize for that. … But where is the apology when they threaten judges from the Senate floor or from the House floor? Or where’s the investigation into [WND columnist] Ann Coulter’s mouth? …
“[My apology] is sincere. I feel bad that anybody would feel threatened by comedy. That’s one thing, but I also feel bad that it wasn’t funny. And I also feel bad that there could be a perception that I would be advocating violence against anybody, let alone the president of the United States of America. It’s no secret that I think he’s a terrible president, but I don’t think that anybody should have violence advocated against them in any way, shape or form ever! … That [skit] will never see the light of day again. It was bad.”
Alan Skorski is writing a book for WND Books about Rhodes’ colleague at Air America, Al Franken. In his book, Skorski notes Rhodes’ disdain for Bush, saying a promotion for her radio program last summer stated: “The difference between Hitler and Bush is that Hitler was elected.”