When we last left Bill Press, he was getting ready to put out his book “Toxic Talk: How the Radical Right Has Poisoned America’s Airwaves.”
Now the book is out. In an even-handed, non-partisan review in the Wall Street Journal, veteran broadcasting consultant Randall Bloomquist writes that “much of what Mr. Press, who hosts a liberal radio talk show, characterizes as hateful, venomous or deceitful is really just opinion – sharply stated for maximum provocation, to be sure – that doesn’t gibe with his own worldview.”
Bloomquist also dismisses Press’s bizarre conspiracy theory “that conservative talk radio was created and nurtured by a cabal of wealthy conservatives using a media strategy devised in the Nixon era by future Supreme Court Justice Lewis Powell and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.”
Brent Bozell’s review of “Toxic Talk” was blunter, citing instances when the “hate speech” was coming from distinctly left-leaning radio hosts, like Ed Schultz, Randi Rhodes and Bill Press himself, who once accused Tea Party organizers of “taking a page right out of a Nazi playbook.”
The big news this week was the release of Zev Chafet’s new book, “Rush Limbaugh: An Army of One,” which quickly cracked the “top 20” at Amazon.
The author spoke to NPR about Rush and the book (FREE audio and transcript).
I’m halfway through my review copy of “An Army of One,” and (no surprise) I’m enjoying it, despite some errors (like getting Rush’s nickname for Reagan wrong; it’s “Ronaldus Magnus” not “Ronaldus Maximus”).
Even if you’re a long-time fan, some of the revelations in this book will surprise you.
David Frum wrote a sarcastic review of “An Army of One,”for the Washington Post, one which was weirdly fixated on Rush’s tastes in interior decorating. The Post’s ombud was forced to apologize for the review, however, when readers complained that Frum was a notorious critic of Limbaugh who should never have been given the assignment.
Rush himself was away at the start of the week, but was back on the air Wednesday, slamming President Obama’s “reaction” to the oil spill: “He doesn’t act like he’s caring about it much. He doesn’t act like he’s sickened. If anything, he sounds angry that he is being distracted by this. As president, you sit there and say, ‘How is this gonna get fixed?’ He wants it fixed so he can move on with the rest of his destructive domestic agenda. This is all politically inconvenient, and we’ve reached the moment in crisis, gotta take charge. He’s an organizer and an agitator.”
There’s a new way to listen to Sean Hannity’s radio show, even if you’re on the go: The latest version of the “iheartradio” mobile streaming application “features commercial-free content from Hannity and lots of other talk radio favorites. Subscribers can stream the shows 24/7, download podcasts, and listen to archived content on demand.”
“I am forever in the debt of Sean Hannity and Mark Levin,” said author Andrew McCarthy this week, after the two radio giants helped launch his new book “The Grand Jihad: How Islam and the Left Sabotage America.”
Along with McCarthy, this week Hannity spoke to Juan Williams, Stuart Varney and Sarah Palin (audio is members only).
Sharron Angle spoke to Mark Levin about her campaign to become Nevada’s next Senator. Levin called her the best choice to defeat Democrat Harry Reid.
This is no time for moderates! Levin called upon listeners to vote, not just for Republicans, but for conservative Republicans.
Levin also accused Obama of lying about the oil spill and helpfully shared the personal email address of Joe McGinniss, Sarah Palin’s biographer-turned-stalker, just in case listeners wanted to give him a piece of their minds (FREE audio).
“Michael Savage hit it out of the park at [San Francisco’s] flagship XTRA Sports 860,” reports local media watcher Rich Lieberman.
Since moving to the new radio station, Savage has tripled their number of listeners in the valuable 25-45 age demographic, a development Lieberman calls “staggering”: “While Savage might not be the prototype sports lead-in to baseball, his impact on numbers has no doubt sent a shockwave into the Bay Area radio circuit.”
Savage was outraged when he learned that Obama wouldn’t be commemorating Memorial Day in Arlington National Cemetery and wondered why the President had suddenly decided to send the National Guard to the Mexican/U.S. border (FREE audio).
In a memorable segment, Michael Savage debated “hippie values” with a young, idealistic caller who defended marijuana because it was “natural.”
Ingraham had an unforgettable interview with Ryan Lambert, the owner of Louisiana’s Cajun Fishing Adventures. He offered a personal perspective on the oil spill and the White House’s failed recovery effort that’s unlike anything being heard in the mainstream media.
Calling him “Mexican President Calderon’s worst nightmare,” Laura welcomed Rep. Tom McClintock to discuss immigration (FREE audio).
This week, National Public Radio reposted a 2007 interview with Rush Limbaugh. They spoke to Glenn Beck about Limbaugh back then, and while Beck has often called Rush one of his heroes, he seemed less enthusiastic when he talked to NPR (FREE audio/transcript):
“Limbaugh says he is just using humor to make a point. But a rival conservative talk show host, Glenn Beck, says such severe rhetoric only drives people apart,” NPR reported. “‘I truly believe it’s going to be the death of us. It’s going to be the death of our industry, and the death of our country, if we don’t stop dividing ourselves like this,’ Beck says. ‘It’s not right.'”
Of course, this is NPR we’re talking about, and we don’t know for sure what extra audio was edited out of their chat with Beck.
Many listeners must have been shocked this week to learn that Glenn Beck doesn’t necessarily oppose the building of a mosque just beyond the site of the former World Trade Center. He argued about it vehemently with his co-host Pat Gray (FREE audio).
This week, WND’s Robert Ringer made a shocking prediction about Glenn Beck: “For quite some time now, I have believed that Beck has become so good at exposing the truth, so well-respected and so powerful that the Forces of Darkness in the White House and Congress view him as a major threat. … I hope I’m wrong, but I have long had the feeling that Glenn Beck will be leaving Fox News other than through old-age retirement.”
“There is a parallel here between talk show radio and pornography.”
So says Emmanuel Madan, a Canadian “sound artist” whose latest “installation” is an audio collage gleaned from ten years of broadcasts of American talk radio programs.
“The piece is not about these ‘idiots’ and their backward, anti-Muslim attitudes,” Madan explained unconvincingly to a sympathetic reporter for Canada’s largest, and notoriously liberal, daily paper. “They’re well known. America has always needed an external enemy.”
Lest anyone doubt Madan’s political leanings, he recently signed an anti-Israel petition, along with 500 other “artists.”
Research reveals that in 1993, he completed studies in “electroacoustic composition” and since 1998, according a source, his “primary activities have been centered [on] the reclamation and subversion or transformation of found sonic environments, attempting to regain a sense of agency and ownership within environments [that] are foreign or hostile.”
If you’re wondering if there is a call for that sort of thing, note that to celebrate the millennium, Madan and a collaborator were awarded a grant “to create a musical instrument using the acoustic properties of the Montreal Silo No. 5 grain elevator.”
A grant totaling $100,000 in taxpayer dollars. Oh, Canada!