Women, minorities, autistic children: Conservative radio's vitriol not reserved for Obama
Research ››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF
As Media Matters for America documented, the nationwide network of conservative radio hosts -- personalities without the national prominence of Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh -- engaged in an all-out effort to foment hate and suspicion of Barack Obama by participating actively in an echo chamber of smears and falsehoods about the primary candidate and then Democratic nominee. But these same radio hosts were by no means discerning in their vitriol and did not save their ire solely for Obama. The smears ran the gamut, both in the context of the 2008 election, as Media Matters noted in the previous report, and beyond. Immigrants, female politicians (and women in general), the LGBT community, the poor and homeless, minorities, progressives, unions, college students, and even autistic children were targets of these radio personalities' invective. Media Matters and Colorado Media Matters have compiled some of their more noteworthy attacks on these groups.
In discussing immigration reform or immigration in general, conservative talk-radio hosts have repeatedly smeared immigrants -- Latino immigrants in particular -- as violent, uncivilized, or having sinister motives against the United States. Media Matters has documented several instances of talk-radio hosts baselessly blaming undocumented immigrants for the mortgage crisis, citing bogus statistics -- refuted by the Department of Housing and Urban Development -- to claim that they held a significant percentage of subprime loans.
- G. Gordon Liddy
On the June 5 broadcast of his radio show, G. Gordon Liddy asserted: "[T]he problem that I have is with people who come over here and instead of wanting to become Americans, you know, fly the American flag, learn English, and so forth, they want to fly the Mexican flag, they want to speak Spanish, you know, and other varieties of illegal alien." Liddy later added: "They want to reconquer America, they say."
- Jim Quinn, Lee Rodgers
On October 10, KSFO's Lee Rodgers repeated a variation of the claim that the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) reported that it gave "5 million illegal aliens" subprime loans which have not been paid back. The same day, Quinn & Rose's Jim Quinn also claimed that "[f]ive million of these bad mortgages went to illegal aliens" without citing a source for the figure. But neither noted that HUD has reportedly stated that this statistic is false.
- Michael Savage
Discussing the Italian government's reported decision to deploy soldiers on city streets to combat violent crime allegedly committed by illegal immigrants, Michael Savage said during the August 4 broadcast of his radio show: "So they've done there what we need to do here. We need to get our troops out of Iraq and put them on the streets of America to protect us from the scourge of illegal immigrants who are running rampant across America, killing our police for sport, raping, murdering like a scythe across America while the liberal psychos are telling us they come here to work." Savage added: "[Y]ou turn on the cable news, they're covering again a missing child. Not a missing country but a missing child. ... We hear about the rape of a woman, but not about the rape of the Statue of Liberty. The Statue of Liberty is crying, she's been raped and disheveled -- raped and disheveled by illegal aliens."
Michael Savage asserted on the June 23 broadcast of his radio show: "We're getting refugees now who have never used a telephone, a toothbrush, or toilet paper. You're telling me they're going to assimilate? They will never assimilate. They come here and they bring their destitute ways to this country, and they never assimilate." He continued: "And then their children become gang-bangers. It is a disaster." Savage added that earlier immigrants to the U.S. "had used toilet paper and toothbrushes and they knew how to survive in this country. They took a job or they worked. They didn't come and sit and have 16 children and eat beetle nuts."
On the January 29 broadcast of his radio show, while discussing President Bush's AIDS spending proposal in the State of the Union address, Michael Savage responded to a caller's assertion that he "do[es]n't know anything about Africa" by unleashing a series of attacks on the continent and its people, including the claim that AIDS "got" to Africa "because it was spread from eating green monkey meat" and that "in Africa ... people settle arguments with machetes."
On September 16 broadcast of The Savage Nation, discussing a caller's claim that "Muslim fundamentalists" are "walk[ing] around Northern Virginia as if they own the place," Michael Savage asked, "Why would a nation that is as evolved as America, and as liberal as America is socially, want to bring in throwbacks who are living in the 15th century?" He also asked: "What is the societal benefit of bringing in throwbacks, some of whom are no doubt terrorists, and some of whom are gonna produce children who will become terrorists?"
Sex and gender
As Media Matters noted, right-wing talk-radio hosts have also repeatedly made sexist comments about female politicians -- Republicans and Democrats alike -- often highlighting a woman's physical characteristics, in one instance referring to Republican vice-presidential nominee Sarah Palin's "smoking-hot" looks while calling Obama a "little bitch." Others referred to Sen. Hillary Clinton as a "bitch" and, in numerous instances, remarked on her voice, with one describing it as "screechy, fingernails-on-the-blackboard voice." Also, as Media Matters noted, hosts and guests have attacked progressive women as "ugly skanks" or "whores," impugned women's abilities as political leaders, and some have even questioned allowing women the right to vote.
- Chris Baker
While discussing Palin's assertion that Obama was "palling around with terrorists" on the October 6 broadcast of his radio show, Baker called Obama a "little bitch" who "won't even stand up to a smoking-hot chick from Alaska." Baker did not note that The New York Times article Palin cited for her claim about Obama's association with William Ayers reported that "the two men do not appear to have been close," or that the Obama campaign did indeed respond to Palin's claim.
On the October 3 broadcast of The Chris Baker Show, Baker said Palin "shoulda had a little cleavage going" during the vice-presidential debate, and that he "noticed a panty line on her."
On the October 2 broadcast of his radio show, Baker said, "I don't think homeless people should vote. Frankly. In fact, I have to be very honest. I'm not that excited about women voting, to be honest." Baker later said: "But that's just me. I'm a pig, and that's fine. All right?"
During the September 5 broadcast his show, Baker stated of McCain's speech at the Republican National Convention, "I'll tell you, though, in the speech -- the best part of the speech was when those Code Pink nuts -- another bunch that ought to have all their tubes tied. All right? I can't stand these Code Pink broads."
- Mark Belling
Milwaukee radio host Mark Belling declared on his September 11 radio show, "What's the process that determines which potholes get patched the fastest [in Milwaukee]? I'll tell you what it is. No, they don't go and judge it on severity. ... It's who -- can I use this word? When you think of [Sen.] Hillary Clinton what do you think -- what word comes to mind? Yes, can I use that word here? All right, it's who bitches the most."
During the September 4 broadcast of The Mark Belling Late Afternoon Show, Belling called Gloria Steinem a "grizzled old bag," "old witch," and "embittered old has-been" and also stated that the "previous generation" of feminists "were so ugly you couldn't stand to look at them." Belling made these remarks while discussing Steinem's September 4 Los Angeles Times op-ed, in which she criticized McCain's choice of Palin as his vice-presidential running mate.
- Jon Caldara
Appearing as a guest on the June 16 broadcast of Jon Caldara's Newsradio 850 KOA program, Ann Coulter asserted that women aren't "concerned with how capital is generated and created," and claimed that women's suffrage "explains the destruction of America." Her remarks echoed those in a 2007 blog posting that quoted her as saying, "If we took away women's right to vote, we'd never have to worry about another Democrat president."
Discussing the January 21 CNN Democratic presidential candidates' debate, Caldara during his broadcast that evening asked Coulter whether it was "fair to say" that Clinton "got bitch-slapped tonight."
- Bill Cunningham
On the October 29 broadcast of his Cincinnati-based radio show, host Bill Cunningham stated: "Traditionally, we think of women as Democratic voters because a lot of women who are single are vulnerable; they need like a daddy government to keep an eye on them."
- Mark Levin
Addressing his September 4 comments on Sean Hannity's radio show, in which he called the National Organization for Women, the "National Organization of Ugly Women," Mark Levin said on his September 8 radio show: "I just wanted to underscore that maybe I shouldn't have called them the National Organization of Ugly Women. For now on, it's the National Organization of Really Ugly Women." Levin first made his remarks while discussing with Hannity NOW's opposition to Palin.
- Quinn & Rose
On his syndicated radio show, Jim Quinn referred to the National Organization for Women as "the National Organization for Whores," and said of Philadelphia Daily News columnist Fatimah Ali: "[Y]ou know, Fatimah, what's your real name? Come on, seriously. I mean, get an American name, will you, if you want to be an American." He then asked: "You don't suppose she's a liberal black Muslim, do you?"
After reading from a blog post about a Georgia teacher who reportedly informed the school principal and campus police that a picture of a vampire one of her students had drawn might contain gang symbols, Quinn stated on the November 6 broadcast of Clear Channel's The War Room with Quinn & Rose that the incident is evidence of "the chickification of schools, the feminization of society, and the war on masculinity." He then stated that "the goal of the public school system -- the feminists in the public school system -- is to make male behavior illegal, a crime."
On the October 6 broadcast of The War Room with Quinn & Rose, Jim Quinn claimed that Gloria Steinem opposes Gov. Sarah Palin because Palin "refused the sacrificial right of passage, better known as the Eucharist of the feminist church: abortion. That's right. She declined to slaughter her own unborn child, Trig, to the goddess of feminism, even after doctors told her that he was one of those Down syndrome 'throw-aways.' "
On the September 15 broadcast of The War Room with Quinn & Rose, Quinn stated: "If you don't agree with the feminist scolds, then you're not a real woman -- even if you are a very feminine working mom. But even if you're an actual man, never mind a childless feminist who looks like a Bulgarian weightlifter in drag, you're a real woman solely because you nod your head like a windup clapping monkey every time you read the latest editorial from Ms. Magazine." Quinn made these remarks while discussing, among other things, prominent feminists' opposition to Palin.
On the August 27 edition of the syndicated radio program The War Room with Quinn & Rose, Quinn introduced a segment on Sen. Hillary Clinton by saying, "By the way, that brings us to our Hillary Heads-Up," and then playing audio of the Elton John song "The Bitch Is Back." Quinn then said, "I was going to play 'Ding Dong, the Witch is Dead.' But you know what, I -- you never know with the Clintons."
- Lee Rodgers
On the October 17 broadcast of San Francisco radio station KSFO's The Lee Rodgers Show, Rodgers said: "[Y]ou look at many -- perhaps most -- but many of the women who are professed leaders of the feminist movement in this country, and they're a bunch of hags." He added: "They couldn't get laid in a men's prison, let's be honest about it." Rodgers made these remarks while discussing, among other things, feminists' disapproval of Palin.
Returning to a previous claim he has made, Rodgers asserted on September 23: "I believe that the reason a bunch of puckered-butt Democrat women hate Sarah Palin is because her idea of choice was choosing not to have an abortion." Guest Steven Hayward of the American Enterprise Institute responded in part by saying: "[T]here is that very vocal segment of feminist opinion that celebrates abortion as a positive good in the same way that, you know, Southern slaveholders 150 years ago celebrated slavery as a positive good."
On the September 17 broadcast of his KSFO radio show, Rodgers said that "the female leadership of the Democratic Party" is made up of "ugly skanks." He also stated: "Sarah Palin's good-looking and they hate that." He also declared: "I think we have to ask: Would you like Sarah Palin better if she got pregnant again and did have an abortion, because it's obvious, with a lot of liberal women, killing babies is the main priority they have."
On the August 27 broadcast of his radio show, Rodgers said of Sen. Hillary Clinton's speech at the Democratic National Convention, "With that screechy, fingernails-on-the-blackboard voice of hers, it is impossible for Hillary Clinton to deliver a great speech." Rodgers later said that Bill and Hillary Clinton are hoping Obama "falls flat on his face so the Hilldebeest can have another run in four years, and Billy Bentpecker can hide behind the curtain in the Oval Office telling Hillary what he wants her to do as president of the United States."
On the June 11 broadcast of San Francisco radio station KSFO's The Lee Rodgers Program, host Lee Rodgers said: "[T]he historical voting records show that Democrats have, historically, enjoyed a huge advantage in women voters. Why is that?" Rodgers continued: "Well, some women may be offended by this, but here's another dose of reality. We have a lot of women in this country who get knocked up and they don't have a husband. In effect, the government becomes Daddy in terms of paying the bills. And that accounts -- that's not all of it, but that accounts for a large part of that vote."
Media Matters has identified numerous examples of smears pertaining to sexual orientation or targeting lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Americans that are routine among conservative talk-radio hosts. As Media Matters noted, legal rulings and ballot propositions regarding same-sex marriage prompted several radio hosts to target the LGBT community, in some cases suggesting that same-sex marriage will "lead to legal human-animal marriage."
- Jon Caldara
Referring to a National Enquirer report alleging that former Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards has an illegitimate child with "his mistress," a "blonde divorcée," Coulter told Caldara during his July 23 broadcast, "I just think John Edwards is an incredibly creepy individual and the very definition of faggy." Coulter's remark echoed her reference to Edwards as a "faggot" during a 2007 speech to the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC).
- Dan Caplis
During a discussion about same-sex adoption on his June 17 630 KHOW-AM broadcast, co-host Dan Caplis repeated his contention that gay "conduct is not natural," adding that "that conduct is immoral."
- "Gunny" Bob Newman
Discussing the California Supreme Court's decision invalidating a state statute banning same-sex marriage, Newsradio 850 KOA's "Gunny" Bob Newman on May 15 asserted that "under the crushing tyranny of the left, America will legalize gay marriage at the federal level -- or at a minimum recognize gay marriage in states with such laws." and that "[s]ome Americans fear that this will lead to legal human-animal marriage." Newman similarly warned of "[l]egal polygamy" and "[l]egal marriages between [parents] and their offspring."
- Michael Savage
On the October 29 broadcast of his radio show, Savage said of a California ballot initiative that would amend the state constitution to ban gay marriage, "[T]here's a ballot initiative on homosexual marriage that is more important than you could imagine. It's called Proposition 8, and you must vote 'yes' if you're sane. If you're insane, hate the family, hate man and woman, hate your mother and father, hate the Bible, hate the church, and hate the synagogue, of course you're in favor of 'no' on Proposition 8." The next day on his program, Savage stated: "[T]he people who don't have families don't understand that, as difficult as family life is, life is impossible without it. They don't understand that. They don't understand what the family unit is. It's the strongest bond on Earth, which is why homosexual marriage is such a threat to civilization itself."
On the October 1 broadcast of his nationally syndicated radio show, Savage said: "[Y]ou may say, 'Why should we care about homosexuals trying to destroy families through the mock marriage that they perform in order to mock God, the church, the family, children, the fetus, the DNA of the human species? Why should we care about it while we have a financial meltdown?' Because the spiritual side of the downturn on Wall Street is directly related to the moral downturn in the United States of America." Savage later said of San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom: "Today it's the gays, tomorrow it'll be a man marrying a horse."
Discussing the Folsom Street Fair, a leather-themed adult-entertainment event in San Francisco, Savage declared on the September 29 broadcast of his radio show: "This country today is far beyond the excesses of the Weimar Republic that led to Adolf Hitler. God forbid that should ever happen here. But the German people, who were not all Nazis prior to Hitler's arrival on the scene, were shocked by the degenerates of Berlin. They were sickened by the perverts, sickened by the artistes, they were sickened by the leather fetishists, they were sickened by the degeneracy, and they couldn't handle it."
Responding to a caller who said, "I had to explain to my young son why these two men were holding hands the other day," Savage stated on the June 16 broadcast of his radio show: "You've got to explain to the children ... why God told people this was wrong." He went on to say, "You have to explain this to them in this time of mental rape that's going on. The children's minds are being raped by the homosexual mafia, that's my position. They're raping our children's minds."
- Brian Sussman
On the June 16 broadcast of San Francisco radio station KSFO's The Lee Rodgers Show, guest host Brian Sussman hosted theologian Charlie Self, whom Sussman called "Dr. History," to discuss the California Supreme Court's May 15 ruling overturning the state's ban on same-sex marriages. In the course of the discussion, Sussman referenced a post on Self's blog and said to Self: "On your website -- it's interesting you're addressing this very topic, Dr. Self, and you talk about how gay and lesbian radicals actively recruit through our schools and the media in order to swell their ranks. Talk to us about that for a moment." After asserting, "It is amazing how little the traditional family is pictured in either drama or comedy on TV anymore," Self said that "[t]he only way that you are going to grow the ranks of this kind of movement is this kind of onslaught because it is simply not part of the nature of things as designed or as evolved or as historically recorded for thousands of years." During the interview, Sussman also claimed that "Darwinism just doesn't jibe with gay marriage" and asserted: "[I]n our society we say, here are the rules: man and a woman, you can't marry anyone under this particular age, you can't marry a family member. So, the rules are the same for all of us, Dr. History. But, for some reason, the gays want to change those rules. I just don't understand it."
- Quinn & Rose
On the November 6 broadcast of The War Room with Quinn & Rose, Quinn said: "The only thing that -- the only thing that gay marriage produce -- well, gay marriage doesn't produce anything that the state has an interest in. Gay sex produces AIDS, which the state doesn't have -- or should have an interest in. They should charge homosexuals more for their -- for their health insurance than they charge the rest of us." Quinn made the comment while discussing the passage of a California ballot initiative to amend the state constitution to ban same-sex marriage.
Race and ethnicity
Several right-wing radio hosts have promoted insulting stereotypes regarding African-Americans, Mexicans, and other groups.
- Neal Boortz
On the May 29 broadcast of his radio show, while discussing reports that six Muslim women were fired from a Minnesota tortilla factory because of dress code violations, Boortz asked: "Muslims, making tortillas? You know, this world is really screwed up when Muslims are making our tortillas, folks." He added: "I mean, with all of the illegal Mexicans in this country, we can't find some Mexicans to make those tortillas?"
On the April 10 edition of his radio show, Boortz asserted, "I would make a lousy Mexican." Engineer and "sidekick" Royal Marshall asked Boortz: "Why is that?" Boortz responded, "Well, because I wanted to scrub the hangar floor the other day, so I went and rented one of these big buffers," later adding: "I turned on that buffer, and it damn near killed me! It was dragging me across the hangar floor, throwing me around like I -- it was like a dog shaking a cat or something like that. You know, that's skilled labor."
- Bill Cunningham
On the October 28 broadcast of his radio show, Cunningham stated of Obama's childhood: "[I]magine at the age of 1 or 2 seeing your father for the last time. See, his father was a typical black father who, right after the birth, left the baby. That's what black fathers do. They simply leave."
On the October 20 edition of Clear Channel's The Big Show with Bill Cunningham, guest Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson said of former Secretary of State Colin Powell's endorsement of Obama: "[H]e's clearly for the color of the man and not the character." Cunningham replied, "Great comments, and if Obama was white as chalk, do you think that Powell would be endorsing the Democrat? He didn't endorse [Al] Gore, he didn't endorse [Sen. John] Kerry. I think color trumps everything in his mind." Peterson responded: "That's right, because if it was about what Barack Obama stood for, then he would have endorsed Gore and all those guys, but he did not. You know, it's so sad, my friend, that most black people today are racist. Not all, not all -- but most of them are racist."
During the October 10 broadcast of The Big Show with Bill Cunningham, Cunningham stated: "I think there will be 100 cities burning if Barack loses. Yeah, that's what the black intelligentsia says." Cunningham also asserted that "Flavor Flav, 50 Cent, and Diddy" are "really in charge of the [Obama] Inaugural [Ball]."
- G. Gordon Liddy
On the October 7 edition of his radio program, Liddy discussed the detention of Jerome Corsi in Kenya and aired a sketch in which he said: "We've used the satellite connection to Kenya, and we are now focusing in on the trial of Dr. Jerome Corsi. ... [H]e's being accused of impersonating a human being. My Zulu's not -- not as good as Obama's, but -- yeah, they're really upset with him. You can probably tell." Liddy then aired a clip apparently from the 1950 movie King Solomon's Mines, which featured characters speaking in Kinyarwanda (not Zulu), one of the official languages of Rwanda, and playing music on drums.
- Quinn & Rose
On the October 20 broadcast of The War Room with Quinn & Rose, co-host Rose Tennent asserted that former Secretary of State Colin Powell endorsed Obama "because he doesn't want to be known as an Uncle Tom anymore. He wants to be black again." Co-host Jim Quinn later said of Powell, "He's tired of being called an Oreo."
- Lee Rodgers
During the October 3 broadcast of KSFO's The Lee Rodgers Show, arguing that "some things never change," Rodgers claimed O.J. Simpson was acquitted of murder because of a "racial vote" by the jury and said of polls that show "98 percent of black voters voting for" Obama: "[A]re we to assume they all agree with him on all his principles? Or could there be a hint of racial brotherhood in that vote? Come on, we know the answer to that." Rodgers also declared, "If any white person, for whatever reason -- because they think he consorts with terrorists or communists, or believes in all the things that black racist preacher said for 20 years votes against him for that reason -- no, no, no, no. If you're a white person voting against Obama, you are a racist."
- Michael Savage
During the October 27 broadcast of his radio show, Savage said: "Obama and I are on the opposite sides of the political spectrum, as you can well imagine. While he benefited from affirmative action, stepping over more qualified white men, I actually lost as a result of affirmative action, many times in my life. Although I'd get near 100s on certain exams, they put me at the back of the bus because they said -- the ACLU said -- certain people will have to put their futures on hold in order to let others advance, and take a look at where we are today -- we have America's first affirmative action candidate about to become president."
During the October 10 broadcast of his radio show, Savage baselessly accused Obama of running a "corrupt campaign," suggested that white liberals "hate white people," repeated the discredited charge that Obama "won't produce his birth certificate," and asserted "Kenya is going to move to America" if Obama wins the election.
Attacks on the poor
Several talk-radio hosts have attacked low-income and homeless Americans over the past year, characterizing them as "welfare broodmares" and "lack[ing] values, morals, and ethics." Some have advocated that the poor be disenfranchised, or even that the homeless be sent to "work camps."
- Chris Baker
On the October 2 broadcast of show, Baker said: "I don't think homeless people should vote. Frankly. In fact, I have to be very honest. I'm not that excited about women voting, to be honest." Baker subsequently added: "But that's just me. I'm a pig, and that's fine. All right? And we'll see that, I'm sure, on a lame-ass website very soon. But I don't think hobos ought to vote at all. They're nuts. And I think that there needs to be a little more care in who votes."
- Neal Boortz
On his August 19 program, Boortz described "single mothers receiving public assistance" as "welfare broodmares." The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines a "broodmare" as "a mare [a female horse] kept for breeding." Boortz made the comment while discussing a report that women in Georgia who received public assistance gave birth at more than three times the rate of women who did not receive public assistance, according to 2006 U.S. Census Bureau figures.
On the June 19 edition of Cox Radio Syndication's The Neal Boortz Show, host Neal Boortz asserted that "the real question" concerning the difference between the current floods in the Midwest and Hurricane Katrina in 2005 is as follows: "[W]hy is it that the people who are being affected by the floods in Iowa and the upper Midwest, why is it that they seem to be so much more capable of taking care of themselves and handling this disaster than were the people of Katrina in New Orleans?" Boortz continued, "I think the answer's pretty clear, is that up there in that part of the country, you find a great deal of self-sufficiency. Down there in New Orleans, it was basically a parasite class totally dependent on government for their existence." Boortz described this as being a "cultural issue, not a racial issue."
Boortz asserted during the January 30 edition of his radio show: "I am fed up with this conventional wisdom that Katrina and the disaster that followed was George Bush's fault. It was not. The primary blame goes on the worthless parasites who lived in New Orleans who you -- couldn't even wipe themselves, let alone get out of the way of the water when that levee broke."
- Bill Cunningham
On the October 28 broadcast of his radio show, Cunningham asserted that "people are poor in America ... not because they lack money," but "because they lack values, morals, and ethics." He also said that "unlike many countries in the world ... we have fat poor people. We don't have skinny poor people. Ours are fat and flatulent." Cunningham made similar remarks on the October 23 broadcast of his radio show, asserting that "[t]he reason people are poor in America is not because they lack money, it's because poor people in America lack values, character, and the ability to work hard."
After declaring on October 27 that "most responsible couples engage in birth control so they don't bring children into the world they cannot afford," Cunningham claimed that "[a]mong the so-called noble poor in America, just the opposite is true. Birth control is not used so illegitimate children can be brought into the world, so the mom can get more checks in the mail from the government." Cunningham then added: "And then once the child is born, that is the key to financial riches in the poor communities -- white and black -- in America. And that key is Section 8 housing and vouchers; the key is food stamps, no work -- if you work you're punished."
- G. Gordon Liddy
On his October 30 program, Liddy said of Obama's electoral prospects in Pennsylvania: "Pennsylvania has been described as Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, with Alabama in the middle. Obama is counting on the urban elites and the welfare class to win the state for him. But he's putting on a show for the rest of Pennsylvania."
- Quinn & Rose
On the November 6 broadcast of The War Room with Quinn & Rose, Quinn compared "slave[s] in the Old South" to welfare recipients today, stating that the "difference" is that "[t]he slave had to work for" the benefits Quinn said they received. Quinn said: "You know, if you were a slave in the old South, what did you get as a slave? You got free room and board, you got free money, and you got rewarded for having children because that was just, you know, tomorrow's slave. So, you got a free house, you got free money, and you got rewarded for having children. Can I ask a question? How's that different from welfare? You get a free house, you get free food, and you get rewarded for having children. Oh, wait a minute, hold on a second. There is a difference: The slave had to work for it." The show then aired an audio clip of a buzzer sounding and a voice repeating, "Insensitivity!" Quinn then stated: "Ah, the truth stings, does it not?"
On the November 7 broadcast of The War Room, Quinn addressed comments he made on the previous day's broadcast comparing "slave[s] in the old South" to welfare recipients today, the "difference" being that "[t]he slave had to work for" the benefits Quinn said they received. Quinn said: "Now, naturally, the point that I was making was that there are two forms of servitude: There's the servitude that you can be forced into, and there's the servitude you can be coerced into, I mean, the horrors of slavery notwithstanding -- naturally, that was my point." He later added: "[W]hen you think about it, the slave had more personal nobility than the welfare recipient, because he or she had no say in their station in life. The welfare recipient actually volunteers for it. It is the liberal plantation."
On the October 30 broadcast of The War Room, Tennent said of the families featured in Obama's 30-minute ad: "Well, OK. They were sad stories, but I'm looking at the background. I'm not looking at the person talking in their home, I'm looking at what they have in their home. They have color television sets; they have everything that I have in my house. I'll bet you they have an iPod, I bet you they have, you know -- I'll bet they have a lot of luxuries in that home. They are not poor." Tennent later said: "So don't put -- don't put that jive out there in front of me, devil, and tell me that these people are hurting when they are not hurting. All they need to do is make some cuts and figure out a way to do this."
On the October 21 broadcast of The War Room, while reading from an opinion column by conservative blogger Scott Johnson that discussed the history of taxation and property rights in the United States, Quinn declared: "Originally, if you didn't own land, you didn't vote, and there was a good reason for it: because those without property will always vote away the property of other people unto themselves, and that's the beginning of the end." Quinn added: "But, oh no, that was -- that was just too mean-spirited." Moments earlier, Quinn said, "Now -- I mean, I can hear the appeal to the masses: 'It's not fair, it's not the American way that you don't get to vote,' but let me ask you a question: If I don't own anything, what kind of a problem do I have with voting for a measure -- a tax, a law -- that takes somebody else's property and gives it to me? I have no stake in personal property ownership 'cause I don't have any. Now, back in the day, when this was the law of the land, anybody who wanted to vote needed to step up to the plate, achieve, get a stake in America, and then vote."
- Michael Savage
On his October 22 show, Savage asked: "Do you think a person on welfare has the right to vote? I don't. Why should a person who is on public assistance maintain the right to vote? Tell me why. Where is it written that they should have the right to vote?" He added: "I support them, and they should have the same vote I do? That would be like saying an infant has the right to vote or an insane person has the right to vote. Why should a welfare recipient have the right to vote? They're only gonna vote themselves a raise."
On the June 6 broadcast of The Savage Nation, Savage responded to a caller's question about how Savage would address the "problem with the homelessness in this country" by asking, "Why not put them in work camps? Most of them are able-bodied." He went on to say that "since they're already receiving public assistance, I'd pay them nothing." He later asked: "Why do you have to pay a man who's right now living off the fat of the land?"
Beyond smears of Obama, his supporters, racial and ethnic minorities, women, gays and lesbians, and the poor, talk-radio hosts often directed their ire toward a broad range of other groups of people: those with HIV/AIDS, people with autism, teachers, other radio hosts, comedians perceived as progressive, Democrats in the House and Senate, and the organizations that document their attacks.
- Chris Baker
On the October 8 broadcast of The Chris Baker Show, Minneapolis radio host Langdon Perry stated, "I'm convinced that Magic [Johnson] faked AIDS," to which Baker replied, "Yeah, me too." Perry then called Johnson "the only cured AIDS guy ever."
Responding to a Media Matters item documenting previous remarks he made about House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Baker said on the September 19 broadcast of his show: "Media Matters people can kiss my supple buttocks. What I say is what I say, and if they don't like it, instead of hiding like a bunch of commie girls, they can challenge me if they like."
- Mark Belling
On the August 12 broadcast of his show, Belling referred to schoolteachers who talk to their students about global warming as "idiot union teacher[s]," "liberal unionized hack[s]," "greedy, overpaid unionized schoolteacher[s]," and "fruitcake[s]."
- Neal Boortz
While discussing the issue of public education with a caller on the April 16 broadcast of his radio show, Boortz stated: "I think the most dangerous -- the single most dangerous entity, group of people in this country right now are the teachers unions." He continued: "I think teachers unions do more damage to this country than the Los Angeles Lakers. They do more damage to this country than all the drug pushers together. ... If I had a button right now, two buttons -- push this button and it gets rid of all the drug dealers; push this button, it gets rid of the teachers unions -- I'm getting rid of the teachers unions."
- Mark Levin
On the July 16 broadcast of his radio show, Levin said, "As you know, from time to time, we monitor Jon Leibowitz, a.k.a. Jon Stewart, as well as some of the other nudniks out there." While discussing remarks Stewart made on his Comedy Central show, Levin stated, "I'm really tired of these phony intellectuals -- and that's what they are, phony -- arrogantly looking down their sizable noses at our armed forces."
- "Gunny" Bob Newman
Commenting on Air America Radio's April 10 announcement that host Randi Rhodes would be leaving the progressive network following her April 3 suspension for using vulgar language to insult Sen. Hillary Clinton at an off-air event, Newman on his April 10 broadcast suggested possible replacements for Rhodes, to "stay true over at Air America to their programming ideology." In addition to Clinton, Obama, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and former President Jimmy Carter, Newman's suggestions included "Osama bin Laden. [bin Laden collaborator] Ayman al-Zawahiri. Robert Mugabe, the dictator down in Zimbabwe ... [former Ugandan dictator] Idi Amin," and "[a]dmitted terrorist Nelson Mandela." Newman also stated that former cult leader "Charles Manson would be a fantastic Air America host" and included Joseph Stalin among "those characters [who] would fit right in at Air America."
- Lee Rodgers
On the September 18 broadcast of his KSFO radio show, responding to a Media Matters item documenting his comments that "the female leadership of the Democratic Party" consists of "ugly skanks" who "hate" that "Sarah Palin's good-looking," Rodgers stated that "one of the little left-wing websites" "inferred that I had said that these women, prominent women in the liberal movement, are prostitutes. And of course I didn't say any such thing as that because I am a gentleman." Rodgers also said that "left-wing bloggers ... are men in their 30s and 40s who are single and likely to stay that way" and are "[s]till living at home with one or both parents." He added: "And, of course, handwriting analysis has revealed that ... they have to use tweezers to masturbate."
- Michael Savage
On the September 29 broadcast of his show, Savage said of Rep. Frank's role in proposed federal financial bailout legislation: "Barney Frank should be in the gallows for this. Barney Frank should be in jail for doing this."
On his August 25 radio show, Savage said, "The Democrat [sic] Party is the minority party. ... Obama is a minority, a half minority at least. The membership is made up largely of minority blocs, the Hispanic caucus and the gay caucus -- caucuses that are all against the white person." Savage also claimed: "Now, the white women generally are not as hard-nosed about things as the white male, and so many white women don't even understand that they're being duped, and they vote for a Democrat, not knowing that they're digging their own grave."
A July 22 WorldNetDaily.com article reporting on the controversy over Savage's July 16 remarks about autism stated that Savage "told WND that Media Matters itself is as much a part of the story as autism," adding: "Acting like the HIV virus, he said, 'they invade the body politic and mimic the defense cells until they poison the entire organism.' "
On the July 21 broadcast of his radio show, Savage repeatedly attacked Media Matters, calling the group a "Stalinist," "anti-family," "illegitimate, dangerous fascist group," and asserted that Media Matters "ha[s] no place in America." His comments came after Media Matters documented, with transcript and audio, his July 16 remarks describing autism as "[a] fraud, a racket." Those comments have sparked protests and generated widespread media attention.
On his July 16 program, Savage claimed that autism is "[a] fraud, a racket," and went on to say, "I'll tell you what autism is. In 99 percent of the cases, it's a brat who hasn't been told to cut the act out. That's what autism is. What do you mean they scream and they're silent? They don't have a father around to tell them, 'Don't act like a moron. You'll get nowhere in life. Stop acting like a putz. Straighten up. Act like a man. Don't sit there crying and screaming, idiot.' " Savage concluded: "[I]f I behaved like a fool, my father called me a fool. And he said to me, 'Don't behave like a fool.' The worst thing he said -- 'Don't behave like a fool. Don't be anybody's dummy. Don't sound like an idiot. Don't act like a girl. Don't cry.' That's what I was raised with. That's what you should raise your children with. Stop with the sensitivity training. You're turning your son into a girl, and you're turning your nation into a nation of losers and beaten men. That's why we have the politicians we have."
On his July 15 show, Savage referred to Pelosi as "Nancy Mussolini." As Media Matters noted, during the June 27 broadcast of his program, Savage similarly referred to Pelosi as "the Mussolini in a skirt," "Nancy Pelosi Mussolini," and the "Mussolini-like woman of the day." During his June 27 show, Savage also said of Obama: "We don't know whether he'd be more like Mussolini or Stalin, but one of the two would work."
On his May 21 show, Savage stated of Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-MA), "His poor health does not excuse him from what he has done to our nation, and so, now, the Soros-run media sets on Michael Savage for daring to disclose the truth about Ted Kennedy's legacy." Savage added: "Just as in a Soviet show trial, Michael Savage is now being persecuted for refusing to take the party line that the great lion of the left must be praised -- all praise, all praise." On May 20, Savage aired the Dead Kennedys song "California Über Alles" while discussing Kennedy's diagnosis with a malignant brain tumor. Savage again aired the song during his May 21 broadcast.
On the March 31 broadcast of his radio show, Savage stated: "Cops are getting knocked off all over the country because of the rules of engagement, written primarily by the scummiest class in America, the vermin of vermin, which are the left-wing lawyers who should be put in Abu Ghraib with hoods over their head, as far as I'm concerned." He then stated: "If I had the power by executive order, I would round up every member of the ACLU and of the National Lawyers Guild, and I'd put them in a prison in Guantánamo and I'd throw the key away."
Discussing the death of Rep. Tom Lantos (D-CA), Savage stated on February 11, "You're not supposed to talk badly about the dead. I generally wouldn't do it. But in the case of Tom Lantos, I'll make an exception. I think he was one of the most -- he was a scoundrel. And I'll tell you why I detested Tom Lantos. The man survived the Holocaust of World War II and used it as a weapon the rest of his life."
The Chris Baker Show is a Minneapolis-based talk-radio show that airs weekdays from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. CT on KTLK-FM. Baker previously hosted two different Houston-based radio programs before reportedly being dismissed in November 2007. Baker joined KTLK in February and was nominated to the Texas Radio Hall of Fame in June. Since moving to KTLK, Baker discussed with a co-host being "convinced that Magic [Johnson] faked AIDS"; claimed that "it's very rare to find a woman worthy of serving in political office"; said that Gov. Sarah Palin "shoulda had a little cleavage going" during the vice-presidential debate; and declared "I don't think homeless people should vote."
The Mark Belling Late Afternoon Show is carried on News/Talk 1130 WISN-AM in Milwaukee, which is owned by Clear Channel Communications. Talkers Magazine includes Belling in its "Heavy Hundred," which it describes as "the 100 most important radio talk show hosts in America." According to 1130 WISN-AM, The Mark Belling Late Afternoon Show "is regularly rated number one in its time slot in the Milwaukee radio market and is the highest rated afternoon drive talk show host in the country." In 2001, Belling was awarded National Association of Broadcasters' Marconi Radio Award for medium-market "Personality of the Year." Belling has said "[w]hen you think of Hillary Clinton" the word "bitches" comes to mind; has called Gloria Steinem a "grizzled old bag," an "old witch," and an "embittered old has-been"; and has smeared teachers who have talked about global warming as "idiot union teacher[s]," "liberal unionized hack[s]," "greedy, overpaid unionized schoolteacher[s]," and "fruitcake[s]."
The Neal Boortz Show is an Atlanta-based program that airs weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. ET. The program is nationally syndicated by Cox Radio Syndication, which says that it "partners with the Jones Radio Network to service more than 200 affiliate stations with programming listened to by several million people each week." According to Talkers Magazine, the show is the seventh-rated talk-radio program and averages at least 4.25 million listeners a week. Boortz has repeatedly referred to Hurricane Katrina victims as "parasites"; commented that he would "make a lousy Mexican" because of his inability to use a floor buffer; and described "single mothers receiving public assistance" as "welfare broodmares."
The Jon Caldara Show airs on Denver's 850 KOA-AM on weeknights from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. MT. Caldara is president of the "free market" Independence Institute and has had a public role in numerous anti-tax and anti-government spending campaigns. Caldara also hosts a "current affairs" television program, Independent Thinking, on Denver's KBDI-TV. Caldara has asked a guest if it was "fair to say" that Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (NY) "got bitch-slapped" during a primary debate; and he described Colorado Media Matters as a "hate group" for highlighting his remarks.
The Caplis & Silverman Show airs weekdays from 3 to 6 p.m. MT on Denver's 630 KHOW-AM. Co-host Dan Caplis, an attorney who in 2007 publicly discussed running for U.S. Senate as a Republican, has also made occasional appearances on Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor. Caplis has asserted that gay "conduct is not natural" and is "immoral." While discussing a photograph of Obama wearing Somali clothing, Caplis questioned why Obama would "put on similar clothing to the outfit worn by the man [Osama bin Laden] who personally ordered thousands of Americans, including women and kids, to be burned to death."
The Big Show with Bill Cunningham is a weekday Cincinnati-based radio program that airs from 12:25 p.m. to 3 p.m. ET on Ohio's WLW-AM. The program is also simulcast on XM Radio Channel 173. Cunningham, a former Ohio assistant attorney general, also hosts a nationally syndicated Sunday-night talk program titled Live on Sunday Night, It's Bill Cunningham, which is broadcast live on 325 affiliates, according to its syndicator, Premiere Radio Networks. In 2001, Cunningham received the National Association of Broadcasters' Marconi Radio Award for large-market "Personality of the Year." Cunningham has alleged that "Obama wants to gas the Jews;" compared Obama to Hitler; has repeatedly suggested that if Obama lost the election "there will be 100 cities burning;" has invoked "six-six-six" and "the beast" while discussing Obama; has asserted that "a typical black father... simply leave"; has repeatedly claimed that poor people "lack values"; and has claimed that "the so-called noble poor" don't use birth control so that "the mom can get more checks in the mail from the government."
The Mark Levin Show is a nationally syndicated program hosted by Landmark Legal Foundation president Mark Levin. Based in New York City, The Mark Levin Show broadcasts from WABC-AM Monday through Friday from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. ET and is syndicated by ABC Radio Networks. According to Talkers Magazine, The Mark Levin Show reaches a weekly average audience of at least 5.5 million listeners and is tied for the ranking of fifth among talk-radio programs nationwide. Levin has compared Obama to Hitler; has referred to the National Organization for Women as the "National Organization of Ugly Women" and "the National Organization of Really Ugly Women"; and while discussing Comedy Central host Jon Stewart complained of "phony intellectuals" who are "arrogantly looking down their sizable noses at our armed forces."
The G. Gordon Liddy Show is hosted by convicted Watergate felon G. Gordon Liddy, who often refers to himself as "the G-Man," and is nationally syndicated through Radio America. Talkers Magazine lists Liddy in its "Heavy Hundred 2008." Liddy has advanced claims that Obama was not a U.S. citizen; has said that undocumented Mexican immigrants "want to speak Spanish, you know, and other varieties of illegal alien" and "want to reconquer America, they say"; and claimed that Obama was relying, in part, on "the welfare class to win" Pennsylvania. In the 1990s, Liddy reportedly advised his radio audience on multiple occasions on how to shoot Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms agents.
The Gunny Bob Show, hosted by "Gunny" Bob Newman, airs weeknights on Denver's 850 KOA-AM from 7 to 10 p.m. MT. Newman is the author of Minefields to Microphones: Global Asymmetric Warfare, the Radical Left, and Winning the War on Terror (Paladin Press, September 2006), which, according to its publisher, "exposes the treason and treachery of America's maniacal liberal machine while laying out a roadmap to victory in the war on terror that will stun the enemy and infuriate America's wild-eyed left." Newman has described Obama as "just another blowhard, make-believe thug" and "a far-left, terrorist-hugging politician"; has asserted that "there will be an invasion of Muslim terrorists" if Obama is elected; posted doctored photos of Obama on his website depicting Obama as meeting with Osama bin Laden and dressed as "Che Obama"; has suggested that legalizing gay marriage could "lead to legal human-animal marriage"; and declared that "every Muslim immigrant to America" should be "required by law to wear a GPS tracking bracelet at all times."
The War Room with Quinn & Rose is a syndicated radio program based in Pittsburgh on Clear Channel's 104.7 WPGB-FM. Talkers Magazine lists Quinn & Rose on its "Heavy Hundred." According to the show's website, it airs on 18 radio stations and XM Satellite Radio Channel 158. Jim Quinn, who co-hosts the show with Rose Tennent, has repeatedly described the National Organization for Women as the "National Organization for Whores"; told columnist Fatimah Ali to "get an American name"; has said that, in the past, "if you didn't own land, you didn't vote, and there was a good reason for it"; and often introduces segments on Hillary Clinton by playing audio of the Elton John song "The Bitch Is Back."
The Lee Rodgers Show is the morning drive-time talk program for San Francisco's 560 KSFO-AM and airs Monday through Friday from 5 to 9 a.m. PT and from 5 to 7 a.m. PT on Saturdays. The show features co-hosts Lee Rodgers and Tom Benner, known on-air as "Officer Vic," and is listed as one of Talkers Magazine's "Heavy Hundred." The program is sometimes guest-hosted by KSFO's Brian Sussman. Rodgers has described many "professed leaders of the feminist movement in this country" as "a bunch of hags," who "couldn't get laid in a men's prison"; has said that "the female leadership of the Democratic Party" is made up of "ugly skanks"; and has referred to Hillary Clinton as "the Hilldebeest" who has a "screechy, fingernails-on-the-blackboard voice."
The Savage Nation is a top-rated nationally syndicated radio program hosted by Michael Savage. The program, which airs from 4 to 7 p.m. PT, is based in San Francisco and is syndicated through Talk Radio Network. Talk Radio Network claims that Savage is heard on more than 350 radio stations, and, according to Talkers Magazine, The Savage Nation reaches at least 8.25 million listeners each week, making it one of the most listened-to talk shows in the nation, behind only The Rush Limbaugh Show and The Sean Hannity Show. Savage has attacked everyone from politicians to children with autism. He has insisted that Obama was a Muslim; has described Obama as an "unknown stealth candidate who went to a madrassas in Indonesia and, in fact, was a Muslim"; has referred to Obama as an "affirmative action" candidate and complained that "affirmative action" stole his "birthright"; has claimed that "illegal aliens" have "raped and disheveled" the Statue of Liberty; has linked "homosexuals trying to destroy families through the mock marriage" to "the downturn on Wall Street"; has claimed that "[t]he children's minds are being raped by the homosexual mafia"; has asserted that "welfare recipient[s]" should not "have the right to vote;" and has described autism as a "fraud, a racket," and said, "In 99 percent of the cases, it's a brat who hasn't been told to cut the act out."