December 07, 2005

lou pate disappears, medved stays put, jim west takes dori monson's spot, pat o'day falls off the truck, michael savage is queen for a day, george soros buys christmas, robin & maynard still missing

~~We've been a rumor clearing house for Entercomers and goers. Inquiring minds need to know: Will they save the conservative KTTH format and bring in John Carlson in the afternoon drive? His contract is up this month and we hear there's been some hypermanic palaver (for you former Buzz listeners, that means 'heated talks).'  Will Dori Monson go to KTTH with Tom Leykis if they decide to blow up the format and make it all testosterone? New York Vinnie could fit in there...so could Lou Pate.

~~Which reminds us- wherinell IS Lou Pate? He disappeared of the overnight a couple weeks ago. It's rumored he went to Palm Springs for either a nosejob or an abortion. Nobody is saying anything, but he hasn't been erased off the website like a gulag-ed Soviet (the usual Entercom tactic when they want to rewrite the past) so we assume he still works there. With Bryan "Rhymes With Libel" Styble filling in, diehard insomniacs have taken to getting a good night's sleep. Even the raccoons in our neighborhood have become diurnal,(Buzzers: that means they sleep at night) eschewing their customary midnight garbage cans for hearty brunches. Styble "Nearly Rhymes with Trifle" has that kind of effect on folks and critters alike. 

~~The persistent rumor that Medved would go to KKOL when it goes to a 50k watts is apocryphal (Buzzers: that means false). Medved would swear to it on a Bible, we're assured- and the a Bible means a lot to him- it's like swearing on your Visa card for the rest of us. This rumor has apparently been spread by hopeful KKOLers looking for anchor shows to build the new conservative Salem Broadcasting talker reportedly going blowtorch in March. They need more than Dennis Prager,  Mike Gallagher and the Hour of Power.

~~There's always a reason to laugh at the vile tub of scum, Michael Savage (KTTH m-f, 3-5p), though that he has lots of listeners is not one of them.
Here's a conversation the "semi-famous gasbag" had with a waiter last week as reported on Tavern Wench:

"Is something wrong?" the server says.
"Yes, I need to move my dog's water dish, but I'm not going to touch it myself."
"Sir?"
"Well, how am I supposed to touch this food after touching the dog's bowl? Move it and bring him another one!" he yells. Literally yells...The manager actually kneels down and starts to move the bowl when the man screams out, "What are you doing!?? Make the busboy do that!!!" 

We love these conservative role-models.

~~Medved was humane- polite even- to our new favorite humanist, Wendy Britton, who went on the radio with the Cultural Crusader on Monday. Wendy is the atheist who found herself in the middle of a KTTH Karaoke Cruise last week much to her non-believing horror. She held her own, and he didn't mug her as he was well capable of doing. She brought him, sweetly, a chocolate salmon (thoughtfully kosher) to represent how she felt "like a fish out of water" both on the cruise and "swimming upstream" in studio with the crusty Crusader. "Wendy, who's a feisty redhead and as Irish as you can get, says her pugilistic talents were never called upon. "He didn't say anything to make me mad, she said, " I've heard how he can be." Indeed, Medved is a formidable debater, unlike so many of his talk radio peers. It didn't hurt, however, that she was a shana putrim sitting just across the table.

~~Whatever happened to accountability in this business? writes an old radio pro in an email to BlatherWatch. "If a program director and a general manager had let two properties like KIRO and KTTH get as low as they have, they'da been looking for work in the Anchorage market months ago." BlatherWatch sure was wrong the many times we predicted the demise of Entercom's Tom Clendening and Dave Pridemore- their survival skills are like a slug in a drought..a wonder of nature. Maybe it's another example of Entercom's abandonment of the Druckerian "search for excellence."   

~~The right keeps up the barrage of phony outrages and and anecdotes about the "war on Christmas movement." We hear it daily by the likes of Bill O'Reilly (the fine Christian gentleman who blames it on George Soros) John Carlson, Limbaugh, Michael Medved, the ghost of Mike Siegel (haunting so many stations around the country) and Siegel replacements Sytman and Boze. This is a perfect made-for-talk radio issue: 1) it's emotional for gullible people 2) it can be a filler for the holiday season when news isn't always hoppin' 3) it serves to change the subject when the real news is bad for conservatives (like it is right now) 4) they can cross-market with evangelicals like Jerry Falwell and James Dobson's holiday fundraising appeals based on Christians victimhood. Even lefty talkers use perfectly good radio segments discussing how phony this is as an issue. Even though it's a crock and they know it- it's useful to all involved- like Terry Schiavo wearing a Xmas sweater.   

March 31, 2005

no glee around here...

No Rush Limbaugh--liberals are not “gleeful” about the death of Terri Schiavo.

We have not  “gotten our wish,” that she be dead nor, as Big Pants accused, will we see this shameful event as freeing us up to work on “saving Scott Peterson,” the convicted killer at the locus of the last prurient 24/7 cable channel snore-orgy.

It’s not glee that fills my heart today, but relief. Relief that Terri Schiavo’s poor carcass will finally be put to rest.

Relief that her family, now useless to the political and media axe-grinders, ox-gorers and ideological opportunists, can simply be grieving husband, parents and siblings.

These shameful opportunistic ghouls propped up this woman like Frankenstein and used her body like a whore’s. It was top-down equal opportunity opportunism. 

President Bush: rushed back early to DC from Texas like Roy Rogers riding Trigger all night bringing the doc to the rancher’s dying wife. As usual from the faux Texan--it was all hat, no cattle--or, as Frank Rich wrote in the NY Times:

The same Mr. Bush who couldn't be bothered to interrupt his vacation during the darkening summer of  2001, not even when he received a briefing titled "Bin Laden Determined to  Strike in U.S.," flew from his Crawford ranch to Washington to sign Congress's  Schiavo bill into law. The bill could have been flown to him in Texas, but his ceremonial arrival and departure by helicopter on the White House lawn allowed  him to showboat as if he had just landed on the deck of an aircraft carrier.

Tom Delay: a moral midget with a heart of carnival glass and a meanstreak the width of the Rio Grande, needed a values-rich issue to change the subject from his disturbing and deepening ethics problems in Congress.

Dr. Bill Frist: is Senate Majority Leader, a heart surgeon, who stunningly made a grave neurological diagnosis of Schiavo from videos of her running relentlessly on Fox News. And oh yeah--he’s running for President.

Randall Terry: slithered out from under his rock to flack his pro-life point of view by spokespeeping for the parents. You’ll remember him as the anti-abortion media whore of Operation Rescue, repeatedly jailed in the ‘90’s for well-publicized attacks on abortion clinics. The clownish, homophobic, evangelical Christian needed press redemption after his IRS problems; his son’s very public coming out as a gay; and, according to the Washington Post, his censure by his Binghamton, NY church in 2000 for a  "pattern of repeated and sinful relationships and conversations with both single and married women." 

Sean Hannity: is always on the lookout for stories that he can give the appearance of controlling. With skillful earnestness, tiny Irish lips, deeply-felt smarm, great hair, and a lot of impressive sheeves of paper, he seemed to be in charge of the moral, legal, and family matters for the Schindlers. I almost felt sorry for MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough pitifully begging over the air to the Schindlers to talk to him. As a "friend of the family," Hannity had them exclusively, heartbreakingly, endlessly, tediously. The sad part is that Fox drove the so-called story that highjacked real news for the better part of two weeks.

Jesse Jackson: It was revolting to see the craven Jackson, and Hannity fellating each other in a circle of mutual self-promotion. He's usually Hannity's favorite example of liberal depravity, flawed black leadership. and here’s-what’s-wrong-with-the-Negros. Jackson, stranger to neither media whoring nor pimping, insinuated himself at the last minute into the Schiavo case sucking the air out of the room for the lifeless politicians and media suck-ups milling about hoping to get some juice from the circus. The Rev got his face in front of every camera; and in the end, gained nothing but some very temporary favor from the religious right.

The aforelisted excluded, there are many sincere people deceived into believing that this issue should be debated and decided by politicians and government.

Now maybe we can get back to tending to the real matters of state: the bloody war; the Bush attempt to kick the spokes out of Social Security; and whether breast enhancement should be allowed in the NFL.

The circus hasn't folded up its tents, yet. The mellerdrammer will continue as they deal with Terri Schiavo’s body over the next few days. The need for the Celebrity Death Channel will never have been so obvious. It’s an idea who’s time has come.

March 30, 2005

feeding tubes are hot

The Pope has one, Jerry Falwell has one, President Bush is trying to get one for Terri Schiavo. Rush Limbaugh wishes he had one just so he could remove it.

Feeding tubes are hot.

“Colostomy bags are so “’90’s,” said Nicki Hilton. “Even the ones by Prada.”

You’ll see feed tubes down the elegant gullets and up the re-deviated noses of supermodels,  glitterati and chic Manhattan shop girls in midtown eateries such as Comatose, offering “pourable” chicken salad, liquid brunch, and sablefish smoothies.

“I used to be vegetarian, said Tree, a spokesmodel for the Emesis Institute, “now I’m vegetative.”

Out in Connecticut, Martha Stewart used a glue gun to make her feed tube out of cattails, nylon net and a half dozen condoms in tropical colors.“I’m sensing that food processors are coming back,” the Household Diva told reporters while "tubing" a liquified free-range squid. She wouldn’t say whether it would be Cuisinart or Robot Coupe to get the nod from her portfolio.

“That’s between a girl and her broker,” she said.

Donald Trump bought a matched set of gold and platinum Tiffany tubes for Melania.
“She can choose the stone, but now she’ll eat whenever and whatever I want,” he said.

Word from the Vatican that the Pope was having a breathing tube inserted caused a sensation today in New York.

“That's awesome," said Tree, “The world is going totally tubular.”

March 24, 2005

R.I.P. terri schiavo, karla faye tucker

With the Supreme Court’s ruling today, the emotional roller coaster of the Terri Schiavo trials may be over. This despite the impelling political show put on by Congressional and White House social conservatives that's hijacked the news for a week.

Brian Baird, the liberal Congressman from Washington’s 3rd District, defended his vote for Tom Delay and Pat Robertson’s jam-it-back-down-Terri Schiavo’s-throat bill on Dori Monson (KIRO m-f, 12-3p) Tuesday.

Dave Reichert, Republican from the 8th District was busy all day on the radio defending his vote against it. (see blatherWatch, 'dave reichert: a real man,' Mar. 21, 2005)


Both had deep feelings that transcended reason for voting the way they did.

You’d expect a vote based on emotions from a liberal like Baird. He assured Monson that he wasn’t pandering to his pro-life swing district. And we, (me and Dori) believed him, because we don’t want to think the conscientious Baird, a former Poli Sci prof would be involved in an egregious political plot hatched by Delay and the White House.

He was acting on orders from his liberal heart and so was Reichert.

But a heartfelt vote like that would’ve brought only scorn from the right if it didn’t happen to jibe with their cynical and disengenuous posturing built to sucker the emotions of the believers.

Remember when liberals were slammed for being too emotional?

Conservatives, they claimed, were the stalwart bulwarks of reason and we were weak, touchy-feely lady-boys ruled by our wives, the vagaries of hysteria and momentary fits of sentiment. They’d scorn us for hugging trees and children; giving peace a chance and squatting to pee.

Now Republicans have let loose the dogs of feelings. They’ve launched a shameblitz against those of us who dare oppose them on Schiavo.

It’s a set up. Now they get to paint Democrats, and one of their favorite punching bags, the judiciary, as unfeeling monsters “embracing the culture of death,” and murdering this poor disabled woman. No matter that the opposition is advocating the constitutional balance of powers and the principles of 10th amendment states’ rights the Republican Party used to tout.

The neo-Republicans “embrace the culture of life” only when someone’s watching or when it’s helpful winning the votes of the non-partisan middle or steeling the hearts and minds of their committed base.

The hypocrisy is stunning. With tooth and claw, conservatives opposed the Americans With Disabilities Act, the l964 Civil Rights Act, the minimum wage, the federal school lunch program, school lunches, and Headstart--all in the name of states’ rights. The Bush Congress is still trying to kill or maim these life-affirming programs.

These are the zealots trying to bust Roe V. Wade to make women’s rights to their own body into a state’s right.

These are the same “l choose life” politicians who plead “states’ rights” when confronted with evidence that might exonerate a death row convict.

These are the folks who are stopping stem cell research, a lifegiving technology that gives hope to someone like Terri Schiavo.

Here’s a president preaching “erring on the side of life,” but who, as Texas governor, chose retributive justice over clemency for Karla Faye Tucker, a born-again convicted murderer who’d undergone a life-changing religious conversion; was a model prisoner for 14 years; had been ordained in prison and had carried on an energetic prison ministry.

Bush ignored pleas to show mercy on Tucker by the likes of the Pope, Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell, one of his own daughters, most of the civilized world and Bianca Jagger. They pled: couldn't she spend the rest of her life helping other prisoners change their lives? 

But no. A deaf ear and an "eye for an eye" won the day and after taking it to the Lord in prayer, the pious Christian Governor George W. Bush chose the “culture of death,” sending Karla Faye to the Texas execution production line in 1998.

In 1999, in an unguarded moment during the presidential campaign, Bush shocked conservative Tucker Carlson by derisively mimicking and mocking Karla Faye Tucker. Carlson later said he lost all respect for Bush, the man he'd been most impressed with in the campaign.

This is the moral highground hogged by the self-righteous Bush/Rove political machine and the soulless Republican Party. The only solace we have is that according to all the polls, the American people aren’t buying it. 

And neither is a brave judiciary--if you wanna pray for someone, today, pray none of these "we-choose-life" bigots shoot a judge.

RIP: Terri Schiavo and Karla Fay Tucker.

March 21, 2005

dave reichert: a real man

Kudos and accolades to freshman Republican Rep.Dave Reichert from Washington’s 8th District (Bellevue, Mercer Island). He took a brave and principled stand Sunday night--1 of only 5 House Republicans to vote against the troglodyte leadership on the ill-considered Schiavo bill.

MSG TO SHERIFF DAVE: I wouldn’t have voted for you in November, but keep this up and you’ll rival Sec.of State Sam Reed for the honors as blatherWatch’s Favorite Republican! If Majority Leader Tom Delay’s reputation for meanspirited tactics is worth its salt, you won’t be getting many bills out of committee this year...but if you should chance decide to change parties in ‘06, Democrats would be more than welcoming, though you’d probably have to check your sidearm at the door.

terri schiavo, rabbi lapin, birth control, and the horrors of tattoos

Listening to the longwinded Rabbi Daniel Lapin (KTTH Sun 7-10p) last night was informative about the actual agenda of the religious right and the  Republican Party.

(Wandering off the main road to explore the grubby by-ways of talk radio is frightening, yet intensely boring. Treading these dank interstices is what blatherWatch is willing to do for you, dear reader).

According to Lapin, the rabid Mercer Island rabbi, you can forget the legal blather about Terri Schiavo having to continue to take breaths in her hellish limbo because she didn’t make a Living Will.

(That’s a document that, if she’d had the forethought to draw up, would have spelled out what measures could or could not have been taken if she ended up in the state she’s in. Of course, being a vibrant  20 something at the time of her tragedy, she, like most of us, never made one).

No matter. To the hyper-orthodox Lapin and his orthodox Christian cohorts, Living Wills are for sinners. They say they're the same as suicide and should be just as illegal; as they wish abortions were. Assisted suicide, of course, is murder.

To them, your body is on loan from God and you must return it in the same condition as you got it. Terri Schiavo (or you, or me) have no right whatsoever messing with our own bodies other than to keep ‘em tuned up and lookin’ good-- presumably to attract a mate of the opposite sex. 

Making a Living Will, to the legalistic Lapin, is playing God--and even more amazing--so is birth control and tattoos!

He crowed last night about the new political power of the religious right and threatened extinction for Democrats for opposing Sunday’s grandstanding Congressional actions in the Schiavo case.

(It WAS impressive--we haven’t seen Congress move that fast since the last pay raise.)

Lapin isn’t just some kook crawling out of the polished woodwork of the moneyed Eastside suburbs.  He addressed the 1996 Republican Convention, and is a conservative of national standing who runs with conservative elites in the highest positions of power. He has a low profile locally, has done off-night and fill-in talk radio in Seattle on KVI, KKOL and now KTTH for years.

Veteran Seattle Weekly investigative reporter Rick Anderson wrote a revealing piece (“The Preston Gates Mates “ Seattle Weekly Feb.23 - Mar.1, 2005) about shady lobbyist Jack Abramoff, formerly of Seattle’s prestigious Preston Gates, who’s in over his Guccis in the shit of the Tom Delay Indian Casino/corporate “political giving and taking” scandal that’s fetching indictments in Texas and elsewhere.

What’s this got to do with Rabbi Lapin? Anderson says Lapin introduced Abramoff to Delay ten years ago.
   
“Abramoff also was a founder and chair of Toward Tradition, the nonprofit Mercer Island faith-based, right-wing political coalition run by Lapin...a GOP fund-raiser, and a native South African. Toward Tradition started in 1991 after Lapin moved here from California, where his then-followers included such Hollywood heavyweights as devout liberal Barbra Streisand. Paid $165,000 a year, according to a 2003 IRS filing, Lapin calls his Mercer Island organization a coalition of Jews and Christians formed to counter antireligious bigotry and preserve the social fabric. He is also co-chair of American Alliance of Jews and Christians, created with former GOP presidential also-ran Gary Bauer. Its board of advisers includes Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, Watergate conspirator Charles Colson, Abramoff, and Lapin's longtime friend and fellow radio talker Michael Medved. Lapin did not respond to repeated phone calls and e-mails to him and his staff the past two weeks.”

The extreme positions taken by this jocular, gaseous, Sunday evening didact are not the rantings of someone that far out of the right wing mainstream.

While there’s nothing to indicate that Lapin and Toward Tradition have anything to do with the scandalous troubles of Abramoff and the pitbull House Majority Leader, Lapin’s associations are revealing--and he should be judged by the company he keeps.

We’ve witnessed a mighty flex of governmental power by Lapin’s friends. Last night, Tom Delay and his Congressional posse brought the extreme sectarian dogmas of Lapin, Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell, Ken Hutcherson, Joe Fuiton et al, down from the ether of zealous rightwing wetdreams to the full-powered reality of Congressional boots on the ground.

The Southern-dominated Republican Party gets more arrogant everyday. They believe their populist success is not only because of their righteousness in God’s eyes, but also because of their on-going efforts to please the bottom feeders of the Bible Belt.

We used to discount right-wing religious activists because they were so far from getting a hold on power and they always overreached when they got a taste of it. We no longer have this luxury.

Please join me in a prayer for secular government, then get the hell out there and register a liberal! 

March 19, 2005

the appearance of righteousness

It should be no more than local Florida news, but thanks to the unholy trinity of the religious right, talk radio, and cable news the Terri Schiavo story has been elevated into a national soap opera with a sectarian and political agendum totally managed by the Republicans.

Schiavo is the brain-damaged woman who's been in a persistent vegetative state for 15 years caught in a bitter family fight made into a cause celebre by the religious right and the GOP. Her husband, Michael has fought her parents in an attempt to remove a feeding tube and give her body a chance to join her brain in death. Schiavo says that was her wish, though there's no living will to prove it. 

Republicans are salivating at another "culture war" wedge against Democrats. It's politics by piety with soundbites designed to please abortion-rights opponents who want to sustain Schiavo's non-life.

Talk radio couldn't get enough of it, Friday.  Designated GOP liar Sean Hannity painted Michael Schiavo as opportunistic and greedy even though he's turned down offers of millions of dollars to relinquish his wife's guardianship. Hannity, John Carlson and many others gave air to unsubstantiated speculations that Schiavo caused her brain damage through acts of domestic violence. He wants her dead, goes this theory, so she won't wake up one day and implicate him. 

Conservative Congressional busybodies like Little Rickie Santorum and Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner; cynical operatives (cyn-ops) like Senate and House Majority Leaders Bill Frist and Tom Delay butted into this family dispute, Friday, striving to shove the feeding tube back down Schiavo's throat and give the fundamentalist GOP base the appearance that the party really cares about their issues. 

This media farce is in lieu of fulfilling any of their thornier promises to the religious right--like passing the anti-gay marriage amendment.

Their last ditch efforts lost Friday, when the Florida judge ignored Congress and ordered the feeding tube pulled. Delay, a sanctimonious meanie with the morals of a reptile, promised to work through the weekend to "bring a Congressional solution."

Cable news and talk radio cheered at the prospect of a weekend of the breathless 24/7 coverage the news business used to save for really important events like say, The Second Coming.

The hypocrisy of this unprecedented overreach of Congressional power is stunning. Conservatives champion "states' rights," when it suits them. They used it in the '50's and '60's as pretext for opposing the civil rights movement to end the American apartheid in the South. The right uses states' rights arguments to oppose Roe v. Wade or uphold the death penalty. Supreme court conservatives forsook those alleged principles by meddling in 2000 in Florida's local electioneering with Bush v. Gore..

Now that they're in power, they have no compunction about using heavy federal hand against locally passed medical marijuana laws; Oregon's assisted suicide law; and are dying to put the federal foot on the neck of "community standards" in obscenity laws to standardize what's wholesome in San Francisco with what's acceptable in say, Salt Lake City.   
 
Such flagrant demagoguery from the right is commonplace these days. But the spectacle of Congress passing a law for one citizen in a single situation and sending U.S. Marshals to enforce it is chilling.