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It was a short week in talk radio, since most hosts took Memorial Day off and aired “best of” shows on Monday.

There was no shortage of controversy, however. More than 30 organizations, such as Free Press, the Media Access Project and the League of United Latin American Citizens, wrote to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), asking it to investigate “hate speech” and “misinformation” in the media.

Needless to say, talk radio comes in for particular criticism.

“Hate has developed as a profit-model for syndicated radio and cable television programs masquerading as ‘news,’” claim the complainants.

In a thoughtful analysis, the editors of Ars Technica warn,
“Despite claims to the contrary, such a proceeding will further burden the media reform movement with the perception that its campaigns for more localism and against broadcast media consolidation are really calls for back-door Fairness Doctrine-style content regulation. Again, why shouldn’t critics draw this inference, when the supporters of this inquiry link the hate speech problem to those very themes?”

Rush Limbaugh

If Rush’s hometown paper, Palm Beach Post, and other sources are right, Limbaugh is set to marry Kathryn Rogers this weekend. Congratulations!

The highlight of the week was Rush’s lengthy interview with Andrew McCarthy, author of “The Grand Jihad: How Islam and the Left Sabotage America.” McCarthy warned that anti-Western views are held by more than just a “tiny minority” of Muslims:

“Eighty percent of people in Pakistan said in a 2007 poll that they would like to see a strict imposition of Sharia law and that they thought the world should live under a global caliphate,” McCarthy said. “That’s a mainstream position in Sunni Islam.”

On the topic of Al Gore’s divorce from his wife Tipper after 40 years of marriage, Rush read aloud from a study that “proved” that divorce contributes to … global warming (FREE audio).

In a memorable turn of phrase, Limbaugh referred to the oil spill fiasco in the Gulf as “Obama’s Bay of Rigs” (FREE video).

Sean Hannity

Sean Hannity was highly critical of the response by the Obama administration and the mainstream media to Israel’s justifiable attack on the “humanitarian” Gaza flotilla. David Horowitz and Brigitte Gabriel joined him to discuss the condemnation of America’s ally.

“This will escalate to a war there, thanks in part to the perversity of the Obama administration, which has invited this,” Horowitz told Sean.

Other guests included Jay Sekulow, Ed Rendell and Karl Rove (who assured listeners that George W. Bush’s new Facebook account was in fact the real thing).

By the way, Sean Hannity’s Twitter feed is a good way to learn about upcoming guests, breaking news and more. You can join his 38,000 “followers” at @seanhannity.

Mark Levin

On Wednesday, Arizona Senate hopeful (and former talk show host) J.D. Hayworth called in to Mark Levin’s show to talk about his campaign.

Levin’s Landmark Legal Foundation recently petitioned the IRS to investigate several national labor organizations, who say they plan to spend “millions of dollars during the 2010 Congressional elections as part of a ‘massive [Democratic] incumbent protection program.’”

Mark joined Fox News’ Neil Cavuto to discuss this possible misuse of members’ union dues (FREE video).

Michael Savage

This week, Michael Savage wondered if terrorist-turned-Obama-supporter Bill Ayers had something to do with the ill-fated Gaza flotilla. Surprisingly, he also criticized Israel’s military tactics and strategy:

“The Israelis did not think this through,” Savage said. “The Israeli military looks weak” (FREE audio).

He also mocked one of his favorite targets, the “insane, bizarro” Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, who told reporters this week that policies she supports, such as partial birth abortion, are in line with the teachings of Jesus (FREE audio).

On a lighter note, Savage had fun with a caller who accused him of being “disinformed” (FREE audio).

G. Gordon Liddy

Marriage expert Rabbi Shmuley Boteach joined Liddy to talk about the Gore split and the legacy of his late friend, the troubled entertainer Michael Jackson.

This week, Liddy focused on the Gaza flotilla, with analysis from David Ridenour of the National Center for Public Policy Research, Israeli public relations guru Josh Hasten, former PLO member Walid Shoebat and WND’s Aaron Klein.

Liddy always has on expert guests you won’t hear anywhere else, and this week was no exception. He brought on drilling and pipeline experts Danny Davis and Jim Pryor to discuss the Gulf oil spill fiasco.

All G. Gordon Liddy’s audio archives are freely accessible at his website.

Laura Ingraham

As the author of “Shut Up and Sing,” Laura Ingraham was the perfect pundit to take on Paul McCartney’s Bush-bashing performance at the White House, and she didn’t mince words!

Laura hosted a concert of her own, as country music star Rockie Lynn joined her in the studio.

Plus, Ingraham’s publisher Simon & Shuster put out a promotional video for her new book, “The Obama Diaries,” due out June 15:

Glenn Beck

Andrew Breitbart and ACORN investigator James O’Keefe revealed to Glenn Beck that the Census is riddled with fraud, corruption and incompetence (FREE webcam).

Beck also interviewed Joel Rosenberg, a former adviser to Benjamin Netanyahu, to get the real story behind the Gaza flotilla and explore the agenda of radical Islam.

A self-described “independent progressive,” Alexander Zaitchik never watched Fox News or listened to conservative radio before he landed his latest well-paying assignment: to write a book bashing Glenn Beck.

The finished product, “Common Nonsense, Glenn Beck and the Triumph of Ignorance,” is now on the shelves. In an interview with the New York Press, Zaitchik insisted that Beck’s influence is waning, as some fans tire of his “shtick”:

“He is actually perverse about the way he brags about taking a private plane to sign a million-dollar contract,” Zaitchik said. “Some of those folks have had enough of it. As you may have read, he has lost a third of his television audience from last year, and that might be just people who are disgusted about hearing how much money he’s made.”

And now, on the left side of the dial

“Feeling nostalgic for the bad old days of the Soviet Union?” asks Brian Maloney of Radio Equalizer. “Then look no further than XM Sirius Satellite Radio.”

Maloney somehow managed to sit through a recent episode of Rosie O’Donnell’s radio show long enough to transcribe the host’s weird conversation with actor Euan Morton.

Morton gushed: “I’d love to have the federal government take over the oil companies, use the money to give our children free education and then in the future we can educate our children to start doing things like solar power, wind power.”

O’DONNELL: Exactly.

MORTON: I don’t know why it’s not being done, it’s plainly obvious.

A revealing conversation, not least because, in many ways, it was surprisingly critical of President Obama’s performance in office so far. Are even Hollywood denizens becoming disillusioned with “the One”?

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