From the June 29 edition of Premiere Radio Networks' The Sean Hannity Show:
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From the June 27 edition of Fox News' Your World with Neil Cavuto:
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Back in November, a man referring to himself as "Jeff" called right-wing radio host Mark Levin's show claiming to have information about President Obama's health care law. Jeff claimed to be a "brain surgeon" who had just "returned from Washington, D.C.," where he and other neurological doctors had reviewed a document allegedly issued by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) regarding "Obama's new health care plan for advanced neurosurgical care."
Jeff went on to claim that the document "did not call [patients older than 70] patients, they called them units" and stated that "if you're over 70 and you'd come into an emergency room and you're on government-supported health care that you get comfort care" instead of medically necessary neurological surgery. Jeff further claimed the document mandated "ethics committee[s]," to which Levin replied: "So, Sarah Palin was right. We're going to have these death panels, aren't we?" Jeff responded, "Oh, absolutely," and made a comparison to Nazi Germany.
The interaction was picked up by the usual right-wing media outlets, hungry for new fodder to keep their long-debunked "death panel" myth alive. On November 29, Fox Nation posted audio of thecall on Levin's show under the headline, "Neurosurgeon Dishes on Obamacare 'Death Panels', Administration Calls Patients 'Units.' " From Fox Nation:
From the October 5 edition of Citadel Media Network's The Mark Levin Show:
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Right-wing commentators have repeatedly claimed that the best thing President Obama could do during his September 8 speech to Congress is tender his resignation.
From the August 18 edition of Citadel Media's The Mark Levin Show:
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From the February 3 edition of Fox Business' Follow the Money:
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In the wake of protests in Egypt, right-wing media have compared President Obama to corrupt Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, who has ruled that country as a police state for 30 years. Conservative media have long accused Obama of being "anti-Democratic" and a "dictator."
Right-wing radio host Mark Levin is reportedly "threatening to sue Chris Matthews" for saying that radio hosts like Levin play a "role" in "fueling the heated language" because they "are furious" and regularly engage in "ugly talk." Levin, however, regularly engages in defamation of Media Matters, among many others.
While discussing extreme rhetoric and the tragic shooting in Tucson, Arizona, Chris Matthews singled out right-wing radio hosts Michael Savage and Mark Levin for their "ugly talk." While Savage and Levin have reacted by calling Matthews a "loudmouth fraud" and an "A-hole," Matthews is right: Savage and Levin are regularly "in some rage" filled with "ugly talk."
While the tragic shooting at a public event for Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) was done by a mentally unstable individual, and while there is no apparent connection to any political party, the current political rhetoric has reached an unacceptable level. Media Matters revisits instances in which conservative media figures ignored or minimized security threats against Nancy Pelosi in order to attack her for using a military aircraft. In fact, the Department of Defense provided the plane as a security measure after the 9-11 attacks -- a measure that was also provided to former GOP Speaker Dennis Hastert.
The Daily Caller's Amanda Carey details the "Rise of conservative displeasure over Politico/NBC debate," quoting several conservative activists who worry (or pretend to worry) that Republican presidential candidates won't be treated fairly in a debate hosted by Politico and NBC.
Carey quotes conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt: "Can we be honest? They are all liberals. All of them. Not one of the questioners that could or would be proposed by Politico or NBC would be remotely in touch with the cares, concerns, and passions of the GOP's primary electorate." And Grover Norquist: "All the debates should be open to the media, but they should be held for the purpose of letting Republicans explain to Republicans why they should vote for them in the primary. … Instead, we'll get nitpicking from left-of-center journalists asking questions that will impress their fellow journalists." And Mark Levin: "There's no question that Politico and NBC are leftist and I'm not excited about their participation."
As usual, Media Research Center Brent Bozell out-shrilled them all: "When, oh when will Republicans learn? Every four years the presidential debate season takes place. Republicans dutifully line up for debates moderated by liberal 'moderators' except there's nothing moderate about these moderators who mercilessly attack them."
If this really takes place "every four years," there should be plenty of examples. And yet neither Carey nor anyone she quoted offered a single example of inappropriate questioning during debates moderated by Politico or NBC journalists. Certainly no "merciless attacks."
In fact, Carey never got around to mentioning that both Politico and NBC participated in GOP presidential debates during the 2008 campaign. This being the Daily Caller, it is of course possible that neither Carey nor her editors are aware of this basic fact, and that neither thought to check. And this being the Daily Caller, it's also possible Carey never mentioned those debates because they completely undermine the inane premise that Politico and NBC would attack Republican candidates during a debate.
Consider the May 3, 2007 Republican presidential debate moderated by Chris Matthews and Politico's John Harris and Jim VandeHei. Matthews kicked things off by asking Rudy Giuliani "Mayor Giuliani, how do we get back to Ronald Reagan's morning in America?" Then he moved on to John McCain: "Let me go to Senator McCain. We're in the house of Ronald Reagan. Every cab driver in America knew what Ronald Reagan stood for: defeat communism abroad; reduce big government at home. Can you, Senator McCain, restore that kind of unity of purpose?" That, apparently, is what Brent Bozell considers a merciless attack: Asking Republicans if they'll be like Reagan.
Later in the debate, Matthews invited the Republican candidates to "mention a tax you'd like to cut, in addition to the Bush tax cuts, keeping them in effect." He never asked how they'd pay for those tax cuts -- though during a Democratic debate a week earlier, NBC's Brian Williams demanded to know how the Democratic candidates would pay for their health care proposals (while never actually asking them to explain the proposals.)
That wasn't the only double-standard apparent in those two debates. During the Democratic debate, Brian Williams asked Barack Obama a loaded question about his personal finances -- a question that managed to smear the other Democrats on stage as well. A week later, Matthews, VandeHei and Harris failed to ask the Republicans a single question about their business dealings, personal finances, or ties to controversial figures. Those types of questions were reserved for Democrats only -- and this in spite of the fact that Giuliani's close relationship with the breathtakingly crooked Bernie Kerik was very much in the news.
The last time NBC and Politico participated in presidential debates, they lobbed softballs to the Republicans and held Democrats to a higher standard of fiscal responsibility. That's just a fact. It's what happened. And so, in whining about NBC and Politico participating in a 2011 Republican debate, the Daily Caller, Brent Bozell, and several other conservative media critics don't mention a single thing about those 2007 debates. Because conservative media criticism isn't about reality, it's about blind hatred of the media -- and about working the refs.
A November 9 Wall Street Journal article sheds more light on the ongoing ethics problem involving Fox News personalities, who have relentlessly endorsed, raised money, or campaigned for Republican candidates or organizations.
The Journal reports that Glenn Beck and Sean Hannity -- along with Rush Limbaugh and Mark Levin -- "are being paid to use their voices and faces to promote politically motivated groups." The Journal also reported Fox News' response to Beck's actions:
"Because Glenn Beck's Mercury Radio Arts agreement predates his agreement with Fox News, Glenn has certain radio obligations with which he needs to comply," said Dianne Brandi, Fox News executive vice president for legal and business affairs.
From the Journal article:
Cable-news network MSNBC briefly suspended liberal host Keith Olbermann last week for crossing a line between the media and politics when it learned he donated $2,400 each to three Democratic Party candidates. But that line is increasingly porous--especially in the rough-and-tumble world of talk radio.
In radio, a lot of money is already flowing in the other direction. A handful of the top talk-radio hosts in the U.S.--including Glenn Beck, Mark Levin, Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity--are being paid to use their voices and faces to promote politically motivated groups. Messrs. Beck and Hannity also have highly rated television programs on Fox News.
Mr. Beck, whose radio program averages 10 million weekly listeners, has given paid endorsements on the show since May for FreedomWorks, a Washington, D.C.-based libertarian advocacy group that worked closely with tea party groups to support dozens of conservative candidates in last Tuesday's election. As part of what are called "live-read" advertisements, Mr. Beck has urged listeners to join FreedomWorks--a group he also had expressed support for prior to the commercial advertising arrangement.
Mr. Beck declined to comment directly, but Christopher Balfe, president and chief operating officer of Mr. Beck's production company, said in a statement the spots are no different than any other advertising and Mr. Beck won't endorse any service or product he doesn't believe in. Mr. Beck previously has also dropped at least one advertiser after he no longer supported the company, the spokesman said.
TV news networks generally do not allow live-read sponsorships like those in the radio world--though there are sometimes exceptions for hosts who also have radio shows.
"Because Glenn Beck's Mercury Radio Arts agreement predates his agreement with Fox News, Glenn has certain radio obligations with which he needs to comply," said Dianne Brandi, Fox News executive vice president for legal and business affairs. (Fox News and The Wall Street Journal are owned by News Corp.)
On his radio program last night, conservative host and close Sean Hannity friend Mark Levin tore into Bill O'Reilly for purportedly failing to give him credit for his attacks on lawyer Gloria Allred. Levin called O'Reilly "a fraud" and asked, "Why is the 8 pmer so scared of me?" Levin also said O'Reilly is welcome to come on his program to debate "anything. Including your legal issues." From Levin's radio program:
LEVIN: Why is the 8 pmer so scared of me? Why is Bill O'Reilly so fearful of me? My name can't even cross the man's lips, not that I want anything to cross his lips, but you get the point. I laid out the whole Gloria Allred thing; it's been all over the internet.
I'm just watching this fraud during the break before I come on the program. That's what he is - a fraud. Tell you what, fraud. Anytime you want to come on here, more than happy to debate you on anything. Including your legal issues.
Who the hell would put Bill Maher on his program? That piece of crap. That loathsome piece of crap who is nothing but brutal and vicious to conservatives, who had the worst things to say about the U.S. military. Who would put that piece of fecal matter on their program in giddy conversation? The point being what, exactly? Unless you're going to kick his ass for the whole world to see, what kind of a quote, unquote, news program does that? Yeah, Rush nailed it, absolutely nailed it. Ted Baxter. That's about right.
The happily combative Levin has attacked not only progressives (including yours truly), but also conservatives such as John McCormack ("ass"), Steve Hayes, Powerline's Paul Mirengoff ("small-minded"), David Frum ("nuts"), and Glenn Beck ("clown"). Levin has previously lobbed attacks at O'Reilly, as well.
In the run-up to Delaware's Republican Senate primary, conservative media figures noticed that their colleagues are "lazy and unfair" "idiot[s]" and "mouthpieces for the Republican establishment" who engage in "ranting, not serious arguments" and whose commentary consists of "smear tactics," "mischaracterizations," "exaggerated claims," "slander," and "attributing sinister or corrupt motives to those who disagree with them."