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Thursday, April 01, 2004


Lame Talk Radio Versus Dynamic Talk Radio
Last week, I found out that pseudo-Democrat Tammy Bruce just got a nationally syndicated radio show (it’s on Saturdays from 4-7PM PST).

BRUCE’S MODUS OPERANDI: For those of you not familiar with Bruce, she’s a right-wing shill who poses as a Democrat for fun and profit. Let me discuss Bruce’s balancing act: she acts like a loyal Democrat but does nothing but slam Democrats as intolerant (e.g., Bruce’s book The New Thought Police). At the same time, Bruce gives credibility to people who have nothing less than the goal of the destruction of the Democratic Party (e.g., Scaife errand boys Chris Ruddy and David Horowitz as well as Roger Ailes, Sean Hannity and G. Gordon Liddy). The books listed on her web site’s books selections include tomes by Dr. Laura Schlessinger, Ann Coulter, Bernard Goldberg, and David Horowitz. Yuck.

THE CONSEQUENCES OF BRUCE’S MEDIA WHORING: For Bruce, it means book deal as well as radio and Fox News gigs in which she kisses George W. Bush’s ass. For people like Fox News’ Ailes, it means a defense against charges that he’s not “fair and balanced” because Bruce is ostensibly a Democrat; at the same time, Ailes and the right benefit because supposed Democratic “balancers” like Bruce have nothing but vitriol for Democrats. The results for the American public: painful rectal itching due to all the smoke blown up their butts.

THE SOLUTION: Media hackers like me who aren’t afraid to take the fight to the right; we should expose shills like Bruce. I’ve had the chance of confronting Bruce on these matters a couple times in the past when she was on talk radio. A couple months ago, I suggested that since she had such a good time rubbing elbows with and whoring for the most noxious media people on the right that she should take the plunge and get her lame ass out of the Democratic Party and the progressive movement. My most recent action was to call into the debut of Bruce’s radio show the Saturday before last. I took a different strategy this time: instead of confronting her as I had done previously, I acted like a live one—I took the role of a mouthbreathing Freeper-type in order to find out how Bruce would respond. I made sure to bring up some of the nefarious activities of her right-wing cronies. I also wanted her input on the Air America radio network, which was starting up a few days after her show debuted. I only got a couple sentences in before she muted my line. Here’s how the transcript of my call to her show [I posed as Harold]:

BRUCE: Let’s take some more of your calls here. To Harold, calling from KABC, our flagship in Los Angeles, you’re on with Tammy Bruce. What’s on your mind, Harold?

SCOOBIE: Congratulations on your new show. I predict that your show will succeed and that forthcoming liberal talk radio network [Air America] will fail miserably. And the reason is because conservative talk radio and the internet succeed because they report what the mainstream media doesn’t report.

BRUCE: Yeah.

SCOOBIE: And one example of that is: if it weren’t for people like G. Gordon Liddy, Roger Ailes, and Chris Ruddy, we wouldn’t know how the Clintons were responsible for the death of Vince Foster and [suppressing a snicker] other kinds of Clinton scandals during the 1990’s.

BRUCE: You know, even if there is disagreement, because I also write a column which runs on NewsMax.com and also on David Hororwitz’s site FrontPage Magazine.com—the other reason why the so-called liberal network won’t work is because people who listen to radio talk shows—whether they be liberal or conservative—expect details to be able to be dealt with; they expect to be able to hear honest discussions about what’s going on. And part of my contention—Harold, thank you so much for the call—one reason why liberals—actual liberals, leftists—don’t do well, is because they can’t deal with details. One of my biggest indications and what I’ve been complaining about in my first book, The New Thought Police, and this is why I can state a question directly and know why I’m not going to vote for John Kerry because I don’t feel safe if he was president. The left for so long has been used to dealing with serious issues by name-calling. . .So what’s happened is that liberals, consequently, and that name-calling has worked, have not had to deal with the details of serious social issues and the ability to debate has atrophied, and it remains a name-calling debacle.

REALITY: Will Air America succeed? If and only if progressives are smart. When El Rushbo and Bruce’s friends were running roughshod over Bill Clinton in the 1990’s, progressive pundits and Democratic politicians stood by and did very little. It took a comedy writer, Al Franken--not a politician or pundit—to stand up to Limbaugh. Franken has done much more since then—taking on Coulter, Bush, Hannity, Ruddy, Ailes, and O’Reilly in Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them (I downloaded the audio of Franken’s confrontation with O’Reilly on Kazaa and it is hilarious). Progressives owe a big debt of gratitude to Franken.

However, I don’t think people should listen to Air America radio out of a feeling of obligation; they should do it because it’s radio that slams. The Air America radio network has been around for just one week and it is da bomb. I work days so I haven’t heard much of the O’Franken Factor but the shows I have heard were excellent. Far from name-calling, the hosts discuss the issues. It’s the opposite of right-wing hate radio shows and their paranoid conspiracy theories (which are also shared by Bruce’s friends Ruddy and Ailes). Here are a just a few of the things I heard in my limited listening time:

Randi Rhodes mocking and haranguing Ralph Nader (I’ll discuss this later). . . An interview with John Carlos Frey, director of the film, The Gatekeeper. . . An interview with Larry David. . . Janeane Garofalo on Laura “Shut up and sing” Ingraham. . . In an interview with Madeline Albright, Randi Rhodes asked the former UN ambassador if she was concerned that so many on the right have an apocalyptic view of the Middle East inspired by the Book of Revelation. . . Janeane Garofalo and Sam Seder discussed how a man with degrees from two Ivy League schools like Bush could claim the jury was still out on evolution. . . Hilarious parody public services announcements skewering Rush Limbaugh, Jerry Falwell, O’Reilly, and John Stossel. . . Garofalo and Seder talking about John Dean’s new book Worse Than Watergate. . .A discussion of paperless voting machines. . . In an interview with Helen Thomas, Sam Seder asked Thomas about her departure from UPI when self-proclaimed messiah Sun Myung Moon took it over. You won’t hear those kinds of things on NPR.

THINGS TO DO:

1) Check out Air America radio. Listen on the web if it not available on the radio in your area.
2) If you’re a blogger, link to Air America.
3) Email Tammy Bruce at heytammybruce@yahoo.com and tell her to get a life and get off of the I’m-a-principled-Democrat/right-wing-shill gravy train.


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