Romney profits from Clear Channel and all the conservative shock jocks it broadcasts

via: gop-circus

Clear Channel Communications, Inc. is an American mass media company headquartered in San Antonio, Texas. It was founded in 1972 by Lowry Mays and Red McCombs, and was taken private by Bain Capital LLC and Thomas H. Lee Partners LP in a leveraged buyout in 2008. — Wikipedia

When the Great Talk Radio War of 2012 began

Because certainly dittoheads would be astounded to learn there could be such a thing as ‘staged’ callers!

Why are Fox “News” viewers so misinformed? Is it them, or is it Fox?


So you’re a misinformed Fox “News” viewer — but why are you so misinformed? Turns out, it’s a little bit you (because you’re attracted to a source like Fox in the first place) and it’s a little bit of Fox itself — a political operation which pretends to be a news channel, purposely misleading it’s base viewers, telling you what you want to hear but not necessarily what you should know. In other words, you’re in your own little world of paranoia and incorrect beliefs because you like that world. 

The Science of Fox News: Why Its Viewers are the Most Misinformed – Authoritarian people have a stronger emotional need for an outlet like Fox, where they can find affirmation and escape factual challenges to their beliefs.

[...] When are people most likely to seek out self-affirming information? Hart found that they’re most vulnerable to selective exposure if they have defensive goals—for instance, being highly committed to a preexisting view, and especially a view that is tied to a person’s core values. Another defensive motivation identified in Hart’s study was closed-mindedness, which makes a great deal of sense. It is probably part of the definition of being closed-minded, or dogmatic, that you prefer to consume information that agrees with what you already believe.

So who’s closed-minded? Multiple studies have shown that political conservatives—e.g., Fox viewers–tend to have a higher need for closure. Indeed, this includes a group called right-wing authoritarians, who are increasingly prevalent in the Republican Party. This suggests they should also be more likely to select themselves into belief-affirming information streams, like Fox News or right-wing talk radio or the Drudge Report. Indeed, a number of research results support this idea.

[...] PIPA’s study of misinformation in the 2010 election didn’t just show that Fox News viewers were more misinformed than viewers of other channels. It also showed that watching more Fox made believing in nine separate political misperceptions more likely. And that was a unique effect, unlike any observed with the other news channels that were studied. “With all of the other media outlets, the more exposed you were, the less likely you were to have misinformation,” explains PIPA’s director, political psychologist Steven Kull. “While with Fox, the more exposure you had, in most cases, the more misinformation you had. And that is really, in a way, the most powerful factor, because it strongly suggests they were actually getting the information from Fox.”

Indeed, this effect was even present in non-Republicans–another indicator that Fox is probably its cause. As Kull explains, “even if you’re a liberal Democrat, you are affected by the station.” If you watched Fox, you were more likely to believe the nine falsehoods, regardless of your political party affiliation.

[...] the Fox “effect” probably occurs both because the station churns out falsehoods that conservatives readily accept—falsehoods that may even seem convincing to some liberals on occasion—but also because conservatives are overwhelmingly inclined to choose to watch Fox to begin with.

At the same time, it’s important to note that they’re also disinclined to watch anything else… Continue reading…

It’s like a perpetual feedback loop of happy, Orwellian horseshit: Fox is anything but ‘fair and balanced,’ but as long as they tell you that’s what they are, you get to pretend that’s a valid description of your chosen news source.

If you’re happy knowing that about yourself, great. Just don’t be surprised or offended when your friends and loved ones won’t discuss issues with you anymore, or when they make the circling motion with their finger on the side of their head. As Paul Harvey would say, now you know the rest of the story.

Comparing Rush Limbaugh to Bill Maher is either remarkably dishonest or really stupid

For one thing, Bill Maher is a COMEDIAN! Yep, Maher has said mean things about Palin and sometimes he goes too far — but most of the time it’s funny — because that’s what he does for a living. By now, everyone who is not in a coma should understand that Maher’s a politically-based comedian who does a show on HBO (pay channel!) and stand-up comedy.

On the other hand, Rush Limbaugh is broadcast on public airwaves for three hours a day, five days a week — including taxpayer-funded Armed Forces radio (AFN) — and has been allowed to set the tone and conversation on issues affecting everyone with the GOP establishment, while he sits atop the Republican Kingdom on his Big (huge!) Royal Throne of Grandiosity. There’s absolutely no comparison. Look at the influence that the GOP has given Limbaugh:

Limbaugh and George HW Bush: 

Early in the summer of 1992, Roger Ailes, who was working for President Bush, made the connection. The president invited Limbaugh to accompany him to the Kennedy Center and spend a night at the White House. Bush personally carried Limbaugh’s bag from the elevator of the White House residence to his room, a gesture Rush never forgot. That night he called his mother and brother from the Lincoln bedroom. “Guess where I’m sleeping tonight,” he said. Bush might not be Reagan, but he was the president of the United States. [page 81]

Limbaugh and Ronald Reagan: 

Limbaugh proudly read the letter to his audience on the December 21, 1992, edition of his television show [via Nexis]

LIMBAUGH: “Ronald Reagan, December 11th, 1992. Dear Rush, thanks for all you’re doing to promote Republican and conservative principles. Now that I’ve re” — and lis –and listen to this, folks. Listen to this. “Now that I’ve retired from active politics, I don’t mind that you’ve become the number one voice for conservatism in our country.”

I — I mean — you know, that’s — that’s — that’s not just a, “Hey, Rush, nice to know you. Hope you enjoyed my letter,” kind of sentence. There’s a — there’s something very serious in that, and I was – I — I was so proud.

It goes on, “I know the liberals call you the most dangerous man in America, but don’t worry about it. They used to say the same thing about me. Keep up the good work. America needs to hear the way things ought to be. Sincerely, Ron.”

Limbaugh and George W Bush — RECENT history: 

August 1, 2008: During his 20th anniversary show on August 1, 2008, Limbaugh received a surprise phone call from President Bush, Jeb Bush, and George H.W. Bush — “people who consider you friends and really appreciate the contribution you’ve made,” as the president put it. George H.W. Bush told Rush he was “proud of you, always,” and asked how “our man” Roger Ailes was doing. Jeb Bush told Limbaugh: “One of the great things about your show is it’s broadcast in the Sunshine State, for which a whole lot of Floridians are very grateful, including me.”

November 9, 2010: Bush’s most recent appearance (to date) was on November 9, 2010, as he was promoting his recently released memoir, Decision Points.

In the final days of the Bush presidency, Limbaugh traveled to Washington for what one of his guest hosts called a “secret meeting.” Limbaugh later revealed that the “meeting” was a private “farewell luncheon” at the White House with President Bush. As Limbaugh described it, the lunch was actually a surprise birthday party for Limbaugh, complete with a rendition of “Happy Birthday” sung by Bush and his aides, and “a little chocolate microphone.”

And the apologies, the tears, and the kissing of the ring!

  • Michael Steele
  • Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-GA)
  • Rep. Todd Tiahrt (R-KS)
  • Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA)

There’s MUCH more…

So if someone tries to say that Limbaugh’s an “entertainer” or “comedian” like Maher, it won’t work. He may be absurd and ridiculous to most of us, but he’s been taken very seriously by the Republican Party for two decades.

And that rather embarrassing fact is on them.

Sunday morning’s 6 disputably interesting things

1) Good Call: In 2008, Biden Said Bin Laden Was Hiding In Pakistan – In the 2008 Vice Presidential debate between then Senator Joe Biden and Governor Sarah Palin, Biden said Osama Bin Laden was hiding in Pakistan. He was right.

2) Catholics intensify campaign against same sex marriage – LONDON — The Roman Catholic Church stepped up its campaign against civil gay marriage, with a letter from two senior archbishops being read out at services in 2,500 churches on Sunday. The letter from Archbishop Vincent Nichols, the leader of the Catholic Church in England and Wales, and Archbishop Peter Smith, the Archbishop of Southwark, said it was their “duty” to defend the institution of marriage. “Changing the legal definition of marriage would be a profoundly radical step. Its consequences should be taken seriously now,” Nichols and Smith said in the letter, which was being read out at parish churches in England and Wales. “We have a duty to married people today, and to those who come after us, to do all we can to ensure that the true meaning of marriage is not lost for future generations.”

3) Santorum Easily Wins Caucuses in Kansas – Mr. Santorum captured 51 percent of the vote, easily eclipsing his rivals Mitt Romney, who had 21 percent; Newt Gingrich with 14 percent; and Ron Paul with 13 percent. Mr. Santorum was projected by The Associated Press to win at least 32 of the 40 delegates in play, raising the stakes for the Alabama and Mississippi primaries on Tuesday, which polls showed to be wide open. “We’ve had a very, very good day,” Mr. Santorum said in Missouri, retracing the ups and downs of a campaign in which he said many had questioned why he persisted. [image: thatslayerchick]

  • Watching Willard Romney have to reinvent himself as a barbarian is going to be the best show in town – And, also, this is the casual slander that passes for political thought among the people with whom Romney cannot be nominated for president. In his appearance in Topeka, Santorum lashed out at Romney, saying that the former Massachusetts governor “can’t wait” for the primary season to be over so that he can “get back in his comfort zone.” He added, “We already have one president who doesn’t tell the truth to the American people. We don’t need another nominated by our party to do the same. Gov. Romney reinvents himself for whatever the political occasion calls for.”  It is now permissable in the Republican party to say anything you want about the incumbent president of the United States. I’m going to open comments for someone to prove to me that a Democratic candidate in, say, 2004 came that close to calling George W. Bush a liar. The general election campaign is going to be the most savage and truthless exercise that money can buy, and the money involved is going to be able to buy a lot. The GOP is one small step from having one of its politicians drop an N-bomb on TV.

4) Romney struggles with improved economy – The first is that Romney’s refusal to even acknowledge the new job numbers suggests he has a problem. Romney has already said, more than once, that he believes the economy has improved since President Obama took office, and whether the Republican candidate ignores reporters’ questions or not, the facts are hard to dispute. Second, Romney likes to throw around that claim about “he would keep unemployment below 8 percent,” but it’s just not true. Repeating a lie does not make it more accurate. And third, if we’re really going to have a conversation about who “has failed” at job creation, we should probably talk less about the guy who prevented an economic collapse, and more about the governor whose record on job creation was something of a fiasco — during Romney’s tenure, Massachusetts’ job creation was “one of the worst in the country,” ranking 47th out of 50 states in job growth. [image: liberalsarecool]

5) James Wolcott | Julianne Moore’s Sarah-dipity – The chief reason to see Game Change (HBO, Saturday March 10th) is that it’s fun. It has nothing new or profound to say about the runaway train of a presidential campaign, it doesn’t paint any rainy moments of a candidate’s somber reflection on the toll of his soul as the an aide prattles on the latest polls, it doesn’t peel any of the crab shell off of John McCain for a look under the psychological hood, or show us a side of Sarah Palin that will send us to the rewrite pages of history. It doesn’t drip oil from the ceiling like Ides of March, implicating everyone including the audience in collusion and corruption. It’s a slow-burn comedy of exasperation, finally blossoming into cursing frustration when Palin, the rock-star treatment from her rabid fans pumping her up into believing that she’s bigger than the campaign, wants to make her own concession speech the night of the losing election…

  • The relevant comments come from these two: Other aides who worked on the campaign – campaign manager Steven Schmidt and top aide Nicolle Wallace – have said the film is a generally accurate portrayal of Sen. John McCain’s selection of Palin, whom they allege was emotionally and intellectually not up for the job. Let’s be clear: Palin is absolutely right. The film doesn’t matter.
  • ‘Game Change’ and the realities of political decisions – What matters is that John McCain picked someone so totally and completely unfit for the position of vice president. That disastrous decision disqualifies McCain for the position of “senior wise man” that he so loves to play. But what this choice tells us, reinforced by his behavior during the September 2008 financial meltdown, is that McCain’s instincts are abysmal and his judgment is worse. Why anyone would continue to take McCain seriously from a political standpoint is unanswerable. He’s never going to live down this choice. And the reason he’s so dismissive of the movie and the book is for all the right reasons: the chatter may be all about Palin, but the implications are all about McCain. In fact, that’s actually what happened in 2008, in case anyone has forgotten.

Your average rightwing talk-radio fan.

6) 98 Major Advertisers Dump Rush Limbaugh, Other Right-Wing Hosts – This helps explain why, on Rush Limbaugh’s flagship station WABC, almost of the commercial breaks were filled with unpaid pubic service announcements. You can check out the list of the 50 advertisers who were known to have dropped Limbaugh before this report here. But it’s not just Limbaugh that these advertisers want to disassociate with, but other big names in right-wing radio too. As the Daily Beast’s John Avalon notes, this is unprecedented in the 20-plus years that Limbaugh and his imitators have been on the air and could spell real trouble for an industry that’s already suffering demographically. Women ages 24–55 are the prize advertising demographic, but Limbaugh and other conservative hosts have steadily alienated these listeners over the years, so the sexist attacks on Sandra Fluke were “a perfect storm.”

  • (VIDEO) SNL’s Rush Limbaugh and his “new, better” sponsors:
  • The Young Turks: A Challenge to Rush: Prove Your Ratings - So, Rush is in big trouble now as more and more advertisers peel off. He’s in a tail spin. Why else would you triple down on the “slut” comments from Wednesday to Friday and then issue an apology on Saturday? He has over-reached (in his offensive comments) and undelivered (in his ratings). That’s a lethal combo. But Rush can easily prove me wrong. So, I’m issuing a challenge to him – show us your ratings. He won’t do it because he’s embarrassed by them. He has never produced evidence of his ratings and he certainly won’t do it now. In fact, I’ll make a Mitt Romney like wager. I’ll give him $10,000 if he can show us his 20 million listeners. Rush’s audience is a myth. He is a paper tiger. Do some people listen to him? Of course. Is it anywhere near the hype? Not remotely. Talk radio is a dying business. I wouldn’t be surprised if his daily listeners didn’t even reach a million.

Saturday morning’s 6 somewhat interesting things

1) “Things are strange… things are happening to me.” — Mitt Romney, campaigning in southern states. Look, at least the President can visit ANY state in the nation, including southern states, without appearing like he’s desperately trying to entertain strange and terrifying lifeforms from a planet outside our solar system that’s known for sudden, violent attack. And cockroaches in an agricultural building… is that where Romney thinks all the cockroaches are typically kept, stabled for the night, if you will? Or what? Señor Romney thinks agricultural buildings = cucarachas?

2) Rush Limbaugh Scandal Proves Contagious for Talk-Radio Advertisers – Rush Limbaugh made the right-wing talk-radio industry, and he just might break it. Because now the fallout from the “slut” slurs against Sandra Fluke is extending to the entire political shock-jock genre. Premiere Networks, which distributes Limbaugh as well as a host of other right-wing talkers, sent an email out to its affiliates early Friday listing 98 large corporations that have requested their ads appear only on “programs free of content that you know are deemed to be offensive or controversial (for example, Mark Levin, Rush Limbaugh, Tom Leykis, Michael Savage, Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity).” This is big. According to the radio-industry website, which first posted excerpts of the Premiere memo, among the 98 companies that have decided to no longer sponsor these programs are “carmakers (Ford, GM, Toyota), insurance companies (Allstate, Geico, Prudential, State Farm), and restaurants (McDonald’s, Subway).” Together, these talk-radio advertising staples represent millions of dollars in revenue.

3) Republican primary voters older, over 90% white – The National Journal ran the numbers: So far, according to exit polls posted on, whites have cast at least 90 percent of the votes in every Republican primary except Florida (83 percent) and Arizona (89 percent). In every other state except Michigan (92 percent) and Nevada (90 percent) whites have comprised at least 94 percent of the GOP vote this year. That includes Georgia (94), Virginia (94), Ohio (96), Oklahoma (96), Tennessee (97), South Carolina (98), Massachusetts (98), Iowa (99), New Hampshire (99), and Vermont (99). By comparison in the 2008 general election, whites cast only 74 percent of the total vote. [...] The GOP has been trying to keep their nearly-all-white base riled up with race baiting statements (see: Newt versus Juan Williams; Santorum and “blah” people; the entire birther conspiracy theory; the current attempts at generating outrage over Barack Obama once “hugging” some black guy). It may inspire their current members, sure, but there’s clearly no long-term future there. Eventually that base is going to start, well, dying.

4) Fox Doubles Down On Fluke Conspiracy Theories – On Thursday, Bill O’Reilly speculated that Sandra Fluke — the Georgetown law student who testified about the need for insurance coverage for contraception and was then subjected to unrelenting misogynistic attacks by Rush Limbaugh — was a White House plant. O’Reilly based his suggestion on the fact that Fluke is now being represented by former White House communications director Anita Dunn’s PR agency. As we’ve noted, that conspiracy theory imploded when it became clear that Dunn’s PR firm started representing Fluke pro bono on Monday and that prior to that Fluke was fielding media requests herself. Nevertheless, O’Reilly and fellow Fox News host Eric Bolling were still trying to push Fluke conspiracy theories tonight.

5) Most of Obama’s “Controversial” Birth Control Rule Was Law During Bush Years – In December 2000, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ruled that companies that provided prescription drugs to their employees but didn’t provide birth control were in violation of Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which prevents discrimination on the basis of sex. That opinion, which the George W. Bush administration did nothing to alter or withdraw when it took office the next month, is still in effect today—and because it relies on Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, it applies to all employers with 15 or more employees. Employers that don’t offer prescription coverage or don’t offer insurance at all are exempt, because they treat men and women equally—but under the EEOC’s interpretation of the law, you can’t offer other preventative care coverage without offering birth control coverage, too. “It was, we thought at the time, a fairly straightforward application of Title VII principles,” a top former EEOC official who was involved in the decision told Mother Jones. “All of these plans covered Viagra immediately, without thinking, and they were still declining to cover prescription contraceptives. It’s a little bit jaw-dropping to see what is going on now…There was some press at the time but we issued guidances that were far, far more controversial.” [image: sandandglass]


6) It Is a War on Women, and It Is Not Stopping – Anyway, the ladies from Becket want us all to know that this isn’t about contraception. It’s about religious liberty, which is now threatened because secular insurance companies have to provide birth control free as part of a general health-care package even to those people who work in Catholic institutions. [...] The point of this is to show that, as heartening as the polls on these issues might be to Democrats, and especially to the Democrat in the White House, the people who seek to truncate brutally the right of women to control their bodies and, specifically, their health care, are organized, well-financed, and they simply do not stop. There is nothing on the other side of the argument that compares to the network of organizations that apparently have decided that this is their last best chance to roll those particular rights back, and that are prepared to fight that battle on every front possible. This is not encouraging. [images: sandandglass]

  • They just don’t know when to quitHouse Speaker John A. Boehner signaled on Thursday that House Republicans would continue the fight. “I think it’s important for us to win this issue,” Mr. Boehner told reporters just before the Senate killed a Republican measure with a vote of 51 to 48. “The government, our government, for 220 years has respected the religious views of the American people, and for all of this time there’s been an exception for those churches and other groups to protect the religious beliefs that they believe in, and that’s being violated here.”
  • Georgia Lawmaker Compares Women to Cows and Pigs - “Life gives us many experiences,” he explained. “I’ve had the experience of delivering calves, dead and alive — delivering pigs, dead and alive. … It breaks our hearts to see those animals not make it.” [...] House Bill 954 easily passed last week by a vote of 102-65.  Opponents have said that the so-called “fetal pain” bill would force women to carry stillborn fetuses or to have a Cesarean delivery. Doctors could also face 10 years in prison if they are involved in illegal abortions.
  • SMALL WONDER THEN that the GOP is losing women  – When the Wall Street Journal/NBC News survey asked last summer which party should control Congress, a slim 46-42 percent plurality of women said it should be the Democrats. But in a survey released Monday, compiling polling since the beginning of the year, that figure had widened considerably to a 15-point advantage for the Democrats, according to polling by the team of Democratic pollster Peter Hart and Republican Bill McInturff. Fifty-one percent favored Democratic control; only 36 percent wanted to see the Republicans in charge.

Female veterans call for American Forces Radio to drop Rush Limbaugh

“Rush Limbaugh has a freedom of speech and can say what he wants, but in light of his horribly misogynistic comments, American Forces Radio should no longer give him a platform. Our entire military depends on troops respecting each other – women and men. There simply can be no place on military airwaves for sentiments that would undermine that respect. When many of our female troops use birth control, for Limbaugh to say they are “sluts” and “prostitutes” is beyond the pale. It isn’t just disrespectful to our women serving our country, but it’s language that goes against everything that makes our military work. Again, we swore to uphold our Constitution, including the freedom of speech, and would not take that away from anyone – even Limbaugh. But that does not mean AFN should broadcast him. In fact, it shouldn’t.”

–  A group of female veterans have released a statement today through Vote Vets (a progressive coalition of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans) calling for AFN to drop Rush Limbaugh’s show in light of his repulsive statements about Sandra Fluke and women using contraception. AFN is owned and operated by the Pentagon, and according to spokesman George Little, currently has no intention of dropping Limbaugh.

Source: ThinkProgress 

Of course the Pentagon would have no problem with Limbaugh calling a young woman a slut. It’s not like the DoD doesn’t have its own internal problems with how women are treated in the military. It’s interesting though, that Rush’s listenership is everywhere because he’s so popular, right? It’s actually radio’s dirty little secret that Limbaugh’s show was given away for free (and still is) on many small and medium stations. That’s why he’s everywhere.

“Rush’s audience is a myth. He is a paper tiger. Do some people listen to him? Of course. Is it anywhere near the hype? Not remotely. Talk radio is a dying business. I wouldn’t be surprised if his daily listeners didn’t even reach a million. I wouldn’t be surprised if we have more online viewers on The Young Turks (which are100 percent Google verifiable) than he has radio listeners. Rush is a sad, old man that a couple of other sad, old men listen to. His days are numbered. Rush, it definitely wasn’t nice knowing you. Tick tock, tick tock.”

– Cenk Uygur: A Challenge to Rush: Prove Your Ratings

via: randomactsofchaos