December 3, 2005

About Right-Wingers Who Smear Cindy Sheehan

Posted by Eric Jaffa
August 18, 2005 @ 6:53 pm
Filed under: Right Watch, Media Watch

SpeakSpeak News has quoted dubious comments about Cindy Sheehan by Bill O’Reilly and John Gibson of Fox News, and Rush Limbaugh of WABC radio.

A letter in yesterday’s Minneapolis Star Tribune implies that these pundits are damaging their own credibility with smears against Cindy Sheehan:

Republicans, conservatives, neocons and propagandizing pundits should keep smearing Cindy Sheehan. The more lies they tell about a Gold Star mother, the more people will see them for what they are.

And President Bush should keep pretending the slain soldier’s mother isn’t there as he speeds off to GOP fundraisers. He’s giving the best illustration possible of his contempt for military families.

Eric Ferguson, Minneapolis.


Air America Minnesota Host Quits

Posted by Eric Jaffa
August 18, 2005 @ 6:26 pm
Filed under: Media Watch

My local station for the network “Air America Radio” is “Air America Minnesota.

They mostly play the national hosts, but they add Minnesota’s Wendy Wilde and North Dakota’s Ed Schultz.

Until recently, they also played Minneapolis Star Tribune columnist Nick Coleman from 7-9 AM.

He quit and says he was being censored by local manager Janet Robert.

From Nick Coleman quits radio show; censorship claim disputed” by Eric Black, Star Tribune, August 17, 2005:

Nick Coleman, the Star Tribune columnist who hosted a radio talk show on the Twin Cities Air America affiliate station, has quit his radio gig because the station owner tried to control the political content of his show, according to Coleman. Janet Robert, owner and manager of KTNF-AM-950, says she never censored Coleman.

Coleman said Robert tried to ban the station’s talk show hosts from discussing abortion, gay marriage and gun control. Over the spring and early summer, he said, Robert was “increasingly determined to have every word broadcast over her air reflect her thinking.”

Robert ran for Congress in 2002 as a Democrat but did not embrace the party’s liberal positions on abortion and gun issues.

“How can you have a radio station that claims to be liberal and progressive that is owned and micromanaged by someone who is neither?” Coleman said. And how can a liberal talk show host defend the liberal side of the political argument, he added, if he is barred from discussing some of the most prominent positions on which liberals are attacked?

Robert said anyone who listened to Coleman’s show would know that he talked about the topics he maintains she had banned.

The irony of Nick Coleman being driven off the air by conservative Democrat Janet Robert (if that’s what happened) is that the replacement show is to the left of Coleman’s. In that time-slot is “Morning Sedition,” in which Marc Maron calls the Bush Administration a “neo-con death cult.”


Naomi Klein Speaks to IWT News About Iraq

Posted by Eric Jaffa
August 18, 2005 @ 5:10 pm
Filed under: Media Watch

“Independent World Television” is a news network planned for 2007. It will broadcast on the internet and on the channel “Link TV.”

IWT will have no ads, no corporate sponsorhip, and no government sponsorship. Instead, it will take internet donations.

In a video at the IWT website, you can watch Naomi Klein, a journalist and advisor to IWT, talking about Iraq.

Author & IWTnews Founding Committee member Naomi Klein talks about Iraq, democracy, and the “amplifying effect” IWT can bring to the world’s best print and online journalism.

Length: 10:36″

IWT is asking people to sign up for email updates.


Behind the Scenes in Montgomery County

Posted by Amanda Toering
August 18, 2005 @ 9:28 am
Filed under: Right Watch, Montgomery County

The Nation has published an in-depth history of the Montgomery County, MD, sex ed debate. In the article, The Nation takes issue with local papers’ representations of anti-gay groups PFOX and Citizens for a Responsible Curriculum as “community groups.” Nation journalist Liliana Segura delves deeper into the backgrounds of the two right-wing groups.

Days before the new curriculum was to enter classrooms, the CRC, joined by a Virginia-based group called Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays and Gays (PFOX), sued the school board. The central charge: “endorsing a homosexual lifestyle.”

In a stunning ruling on May 5 (the day before classes were to begin), a federal judge sided with the plaintiffs, invoking their First Amendment rights and writing, “The Revised Curriculum presents only one view on the subject–that homosexuality is a natural and morally correct lifestyle–to the exclusion of other perspectives.” A restraining order was placed on the curriculum. The Florida-based religious nonprofit — and Jerry Falwell brainchild — Liberty Council, which provided pro bono legal representation for the lawsuit, called the ruling “the most significant curriculum decision ever rendered.”


Citizens for a Responsible Curriculum was founded by Michelle Turner, a born-again Christian and mother of six — as well as a former member of the Citizen’s Advisory Committee who voted against the final version of the curriculum, largely because of its take on homosexuality. (”Our bodies are not meant or created to be used in that way,” she recently told the Washington Post.) In December Turner organized a local meeting unsubtly titled “Recall Montgomery Schoolboard.” The strident right-wing atmosphere surprised Christine Grewell, a local mother and now leader of an opposition group called Teach the Facts. “We came out of there thinking, ‘Here come Dobson and Falwell,’” she recalls, “and damned if we weren’t right.”

Soon thereafter, Citizens for a Responsible Curriculum was born. The group scheduled meetings, started a petition and launched a website. CRC’s innocuous name and catchy tag line, “Safe Schools, Safe Students,” helps obscure the group’s ideology. Not only does it blast the curriculum’s “forceful advocating [of a] pro-gay agenda”; a blog, written by multiple authors, includes everything from potshots at Hillary Clinton to references to Massachusetts’s “diversity police state.” A prominently displayed question: “What is wrong with the new Curriculum?” appears on the homepage. The number-one grievance: It “normalizes homosexuality and presents it as natural and a morally correct lifestyle.”

The battle over sex ed in schools is spreading. Read more about the granddaddy of them all in The Nation.

1 Comment

Stern Feels Fine a-Comin’

Posted by Amanda Toering
August 18, 2005 @ 9:20 am
Filed under: FCC

According to Howard Stern, the whiff of money is in the air. The shock jock told his audience this week that he’s heard rumors of an impending FCC fine against his show.

“I heard a rumor yesterday, the FCC’s coming down with another fine against us. They’ve come up with some sort of fine or something, or some sort of notice of apparent liability, they’re after me again … I don’t care how many times, as long as they don’t come after me personally.”

Stern added, “We should be out of here by the time all the other DJs have to deal with it. I think a going-away fine will help us. It’s like it’d just motivate me even more to do a better job at satellite.”

When he brought up the possibility of an FCC fine again on this morning’s show, the “King Of All Media” also took a shot at the FCC’s recent hiring of Penny Nance, a lobbyist for conservative Christian organizations. Since Nance’s hiring, many have felt this would signal an impending round of pressure on the broadcast industry to clean up “indecency,” with a new round of fines not far behind.

From FMQB.


Whistling Dixie

Posted by Amanda Toering
August 18, 2005 @ 9:14 am
Filed under: Right Watch

TownHall columnist Mary Katherine Ham reviews “The Dukes of Hazard” and its unabashed good-ol-boyness.

It wouldn’t be all that funny — except for her complete lack of irony.

“Let’s be serious,” Ham says, “there has never and will never be another Tom Wopat. But they did what they could.”

Read the whole thing at

1 Comment