Month: March 2012

Tony Katz on Breitbart.com – City Of LA Joins Attacks On Free Speech, Talk Radio

Here is my latest article on Breitbart.com. The LA City Council tries to legislate morality, while simultaneously attacking the First Amendment and free enterprise. Not surprising from a group of people who so openly supported the Occupy Movement:

CITY OF LA JOINS ATTACKS ON FREE SPEECH, TALK RADIO

The City Of Los Angeles has passed a resolution on talk radio, putting themselves on supposed moral high ground after comments from syndicated radio host Rush Limbaugh on Sandra Fluke and LA juggernauts John and Ken on Whitney Houston. In both cases, the hosts apologized. John and Ken were suspended for a week. But apologies mean nothing to the Progressive Left, who are only interested in finding opportunities to shut down conservative talk radio.

The resolution (non-binding) from the LA City Council is based on bringing civility to the airwaves, as LA wishes to be:

….first in the nation to declare derogatory, sexist, misogynistic, and racist language as having no place on public airwaves in one of the most diverse cities in the world.

It’s a hard position to argue. Radio, when done right, doesn’t need any of those things. The problem is not the idea; it’s who decides what is derogatory, sexist, misogynistic, and racist. Shouldn’t that be a decision left to the listener?

The other problem is the people arguing it. The LA City Council supported the Occupy movement. The same Occupy movement that destroyed property and cost the city millions of dollars in clean-up. The same Occupy movement, nationwide, that engages in rapes, sexual assaults, drug use, and defecating on police cars.

On what level footing does the LA City Council expect to wield this new found morality?

 

Further, why is the city of Los Angeles getting involved? Week after week, we hear of teachers being arrested for sexually assaulting their children. In LA, the story has been going on for over a month as more and more teachers are being removed from the classroom. The police chief, Charlie Beck, believes that illegal invaders should be allowed driver’s licenses. Why? It will cut down on “hit and run” accidents. The LA Fire Department is on the hot seat for unacceptable response times and staffing issues. The LA City Council should be plenty busy with doing the actual work of the people and should have no time for pompous grandstanding.

The resolution is a testament to Progressivism, and is, in a word, racist: (emphasis mine)

WHEREAS, Clear Channel Media Holding’s commitment to diversity is not
being realized at its flagship station KFI 640 AM, where out of 15 on-air personalities,
only one is a female and none of them are African American

WHEREAS there are not any African Americans currently working in KFI 640
AM’s newsroom as full-time producers or engineers, or as outside paid contributors, fillin hosts, or other on air personalities

WHEREAS, when you have an absence of African Americans and other
minorities in the workplace, it is easy to become desensitized to what other groups find intolerable which ultimately fosters an environment where negative comments can go unchecked and corporate guidelines and policies are no longer being enforced

Translation: White people who work together, if left alone, will eventually become racists and sexists.

My parents have been married for 42 years and have been working together now for over 20 years. They are both white, and have no other employees. Are they racists, too?

After determining the “problem,” they quickly have the answers, too: (emphasis mine)

…a truly diverse work environment must include the hiring of a work force that reflects the diversity of Los Angeles which including women, African-Americans, Latinos and Asians

Translation: Don’t hire based on need or qualification. Hire on skin color and ethnicity only.

Is there anything more racist than that?

The purpose of the resolution is to continue an assault on conservative radio talk show hosts. The apologies of Limbaugh, and of John and Ken, are not enough for Progressives, who see clear their opportunity to silence opposing voices. It’s important to note, as done by DigitalJournal.com, that the resolution only goes after talk radio, and not TV:

As pointed out by the Daily Beast, there have been many mysogynistic statements made by liberal television personalities. Kirsten Powers gives examples such as MSNBC’s Ed Schultz calling Laura Ingraham “a right wing slut,” and Bill Maher referring to Sarah Palin as a “dumb twat” and a “c**t.”

Apparently, the 13 members of the Los Angeles City Council who voted in favor of the resolution don’t want to apply the same standards of restricted speech to liberals on television as they want applied to conservatives on the radio.

The LA City Council can’t set morality because they are not moral. Objectionable content is protected by the First Amendment, which the Council clearly wants to crush. Those who disagree with what they hear will change the channel, or turn off their radio or TV.

You can’t turn off the Los Angeles City Council, but you can vote them out.

Tony on Breitbart.com – Radio Lefty Advises On Limbaugh: Go After Program Directors

Here is my latest article on Breitbart.com. Leftists of all stripes are pushing an advertiser war against radio host Rush Limbaugh. Another host, Michael Smerconish, is advising Leftists to leave the advertisers alone and go after the program directors. You know, “Occupy” style:

Radio Lefty Advises On Limbaugh: Go After Program Directors

The words of radio giant Rush Limbaugh regarding contraceptive dilettante Sandra Fluke, and his subsequent apology for calling her a derogatory name, have created an all out frenzy from Leftist-Progressives who call for him to be thrown off the air. Close to 100 advertisers, national and local, have left his program. However, one radio host is advising Leftists to get after the Program Directors, not the advertisers.

Philadelphia based radio host Michael Smerconish penned an article for the Philadelphia Inquirer that tells readers that the advertiser boycott on Limbaugh will not have the effect they desire. They must focus on the program directors. Said another way, they must “pick the target:”The words of radio giant Rush Limbaugh regarding contraceptive dilettante Sandra Fluke, and his subsequent apologyfor calling her a derogatory name, have created an all out frenzy from Leftist-Progressives who call for him to be thrown off the air. Close to 100 advertisers, national and local, have left his program. However, one radio host is advising Leftists to get after the Program Directors, not the advertisers.

Though the advertising boycott of Rush Limbaugh is significant for its size and scope, it will ultimately prove ineffectual in dislodging him from his commanding perch above the talk-radio world. That kind of movement would require a different type of acquiescence, namely on the part of program directors, not advertisers

Smerconish believes that there is,”…a strong case to be made for such a course correction (removing Limbaugh)” and that, “… it would be healthy for the country should the backlash against Limbaugh take hold.” Further, he blames Limbaugh for the current political hostility across America.

He talks about Limbaugh’s effect on Congress [emphasis mine]:

The National Journal documented in 2010 that the Senate was more divided than at any point in the three decades since it has been evaluating legislators’ key votes…. And, no, the climate has not always been like this. According to the Journal, in the early 1980s, with Ronald Reagan as president, 60 percent of the Senate was somewhere in the middle.

So Congress wasn’t always like this, and neither was talk radio. Coincidence? I think not.

The connection supposedly being made here is before Limbaugh was syndicated in 1988, radio was a super-happy-fun place and everyone loved and respected each other:

Philadelphia was the last major market to welcome Limbaugh when he came aboard at WWDB-FM (96.5) in 1992. The station was then home to “Evil” Irv Homer, a libertarian before Ron Paul made it fashionable; Dominick Quinn, a conservative known more for his expansive vocabulary than his ideology; Frank Ford, an acerbic liberal; and Bernie Herman, whose moniker was the now seemingly anachronistic “gentleman of broadcasting.” Personality was king, and sustaining a conversation was more important than talking points.

Then, Limbaugh showed up [emphasis mine]:

Limbaugh’s success on radio led to polarizing imitations on cable TV. Politicians imitated what they saw and heard, and took the nation down with them.

Yes, Smerconish is pointing to Limbaugh as the reason for the lack of civility. It was Limbaugh that made President Obama say Republicans think the earth is flat. It’s Limbaugh that made Ed Schultz call Laura Ingraham a “slut,” made Maher call Sarah Palin a “c*nt,” made former Rep. Alan Grayson (D-FL) say that Republicans want old people to die, made The Agenda Project create commercials showing a Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) look-alike pushing “grandma” off a cliff. It was Limbaugh that made Obama make fun of the tea party, Limbaugh that made Keith Olbermann and Janeane Garofalo call everyone in the tea party “racists,” Limbaugh that made Obama say the Cambridge police acted “stupidly.”

Smerconish wasn’t done. He also took to task all the big conservative hosts [emphasis mine]:

Still, the hosts identified (referring to Mark Levin, Rush Limbaugh, Tom Leykis, Michael Savage, Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity) constitute the starting rotation at many talk stations across the country. Their programs, strung together, amount to 15 or more straight hours of daily kicking the crap out of President Obama (whether he deserves it or not). The only diversity they offer is in their voice inflections.

And that is the crux of Smerconish’s argument; Radio doesn’t offer enough diversity! And since, as an “independent?” radio host, he can’t overtly support the Fairness Doctrine, he instead supports the thug mentality of Occupy Wall Street. Get the Programming Directors! Perhaps the Leftists should organize, and protest at the stations? Or, find out where the PD’s live, and protest at their houses? Or, perhaps, protest at their houses when they aren’t there, scaring the hell out of the children inside!

Smerconish warns that “there are no guarantees those who determine content (PD’s) will stray from their current business model.” He’s right. Why? Stations like to make money. And while you and I may not understand or like a station’s line up, if those hosts draw sponsors, then those hosts will be around for a long time. It’s called the Free Market; Smerconish, and the Left-Leaning compatriots he is advising are opposed to it. Limbaugh lost sponsors, and many of them have crawled back (some even rejected!) because Limbaugh draws an audience. PD’s want to make money for their respective stations, but how important is that compared to getting a “visit” from an unruly mob?

At one moment, Smerconish tries to explain the necessity of the independent host:

Meanwhile, the nation seems poised for something more multidimensional. Jon Stewart nailed it when, at the Rally to Restore Sanity he cohosted with Steven Colbert in 2010, he proclaimed:

“Most Americans don’t live their lives just as Democrats or Republicans, liberals or conservatives.”

Jon Stewart is not an independent, he is a Liberal, and so is Smerconish. He is advocating for pressuring the bosses to fire Limbaugh, to change the programming on their station (one wonders with furrowed brow who they could get to replace him. Who I say?!) He is promoting Alinsky’s Rule #13 (or #12, depending on your source,) and stating that the only effective course for his fellow Leftists is, once again, a “personal” attack.

The person who values free speech recognizes that Evelyn Beatrice Hall was right when she wrote in the biography of Voltaire, “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” As a man building a radio career, I couldn’t agree more. Not so for Michael Smerconish. He will defend your right to say it until he can threaten your boss and take your job.

Tony on TownHall.com; Gingrich Dangles Perry To Get Tea Party Vote

Here is my latest article on TownHall.com. As Newt Gingrich fights for victories in Alabama and Mississippi, along with continued relevance in the race for President, he has enlisted a new tactic – Get the Tea Party by Offering up Rick Perry as Vice President:

Gingrich Dangles Perry To Get Tea Party Vote

While Mitt Romney is isn’t making any special effort to attract Tea Party voters, Rick Santorum is trying to convince them that social conservatism is integral to Tea Party values. But Newt Gingrich is floating a new strategy – tempt Tea Party voters with Gov. Rick Perry and a Gingrich/Perry ticket. It may just change the course of the election.

FOX News is reporting that Gingrich and Perry might announce their ticket before the RNC convention in order to appeal to Tea Party and conservative voters, thereby capturing enough delegates to ensure that no nominee is chosen prior to the August GOP convention. A convention without a pre-determined nominee is far different from a brokered convention, in which other players (Palin, Daniels, Christie, fill-in-the-blank-with-someone-you-like) could get in on the action. This would involve the same four players (Santorum, Romney, Gingrich and Paul). Their delegates, however, would be free to vote for any of the candidates after the first round. A Gingrich/Perry ticket could give them a reason to change their minds.

According to the report:

Gingrich aides hope forming a predetermined ticket with Perry will unite the evangelical, Tea Party and very conservative voters that make up the core of the GOP.

Some Perry insiders seem wary:

As discussions got underway, two senior aides to Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who dropped out of the race and endorsed Gingrich, had not heard of the potential ticket and seemed dismissive. One noted that in the past, Perry has likened the Vice Presidency to a bucket of warm spit. Still, Gov. Perry volunteered his services when he endorsed Gingrich in South Carolina, so he may be on board if it’s little more than a joy ride in a trial balloon.

A Santorum aide has referred to the speculation as a Hail Mary pass, intended to get some buzz ahead of the Alabama and Mississippi primaries. According to American Research Group, Gingrich has aslight lead in Mississippi, and a Wall Street Journal survey has a virtual tie between Gingrich and Romney in Alabama.

Whatever its intended purpose, the strategy could turn out to be a stroke of genius. Although his debate performances sunk him, Perry was a Tea Party favorite from early on, and the clear favorite of new media, with endorsements from Mike Flynn of Breitbart.com’s Big Government, Dan McLaughlin ofRedState.com and AceofSpadesHQ.

The Tea Party has no candidate that can sufficiently rally them in voice and numbers and dollars. To date, they are not as vocal in this election as they were in 2010 because, like America, they are waiting for a nominee before they go full out (as well as focusing their attention on winning the Senate and keeping the House as a hedge against an Obama re-elect.)

Introducing Perry into the discussion may be a hail mary pass. It’s a high risk play with a small chance of success. But if it connects with voters, it’s a winner.

Tony Katz on Town Hall: Leftists Take Steps To Prevent You From Learning Anything

Here is my latest article on TownHall.com. The Breitbart organization stayed true to Andrew’s words and has begun the process of “vetting” President Obama, including releasing a video of Obama as a college student at Harvard introducing with high praise a radical professor. The Left has immediately denounced the video as racist, and the editors of Breitbart.com as “clowns.” Tony is asking; Why is the Left so intellectually uncurious?:

Vetting Obama: Leftists Take Steps To Prevent You From Learning Anything

In partial fulfillment of Andrew Breitbart’s promise to “vet” the President this time, the Breitbart.com team posted a video of President Barack Obama as a law student at Harvard. It also ran on Hannity tonight. The video shows the young Obama asking his fellow law students to “Open up your hearts and your minds to the words of Professor Derrick Bell.”

Professor Derrick Bell, the object of young Obama’s adoration, was an associate of Reverend Jeremiah Wright and a committed radical. Bell was a proponent of Critical Race Theory, which views virtually all relationships through a lens of perceived race-based oppression.

As Ben Shapiro wrote on Breitbart.com about Bell:

“This is a close associate of Jeremiah Wright, a man who was quoted by Jeremiah Wright regularly. This is a man who posited that the civil rights movement was too moderate because it accepted the status quo, and believed that the entire legal and constitutional system had to be transformed in radical fashion. This is a man so extreme that, as we’ve reported, he wrote a story in 1993 in which he posited that white Americans would sell black Americans into slavery to aliens to relieve the national debt, and that Jews would go along with it.”

(That story became a video, complete with former President Ronald Reagan as the slave trading alien.)

An edited version of the video – minus the section in which Obama heaps praise on Professor Bell – was posted earlier on the BuzzFeed.com. Leftists and Obama apologists dismissed the video as inconsequential and racist. Eric Boehlert of Media Matters for America tweeted:

Boehlert can’t argue with the video’s content; after all, it documents actual events. Instead, he resorts to the standard Alinsky tactic of ridiculing the messenger. He doesn’t begin to address whether Obama’s association with Bell should have been revealed before the 2008 election.

Shapiro reports what Harvard Law Professor Charles Ogletree, a close associate to the Obama campaign, had to say about hiding the tape during the 2008 campaign: “We hid this throughout the 2008 campaign. I don’t care if they find it now.”

Isn’t watchdog Boehlert curious about why a tape would be hidden by the campaign? Exactly what does interest a Senior Fellow at Media Matters for America?

The liberal website HyperVocal.com couldn’t wait to recycle the Racer script. Slade Shomer, whose column is predictably entitled ‘What’s the Right-Wing End Game of This ‘Racist Obama’ College Days Video?’ lacks even the slightest curiosity about Obama’s association with Bell and why the ’08 Obama campaign wanted it hidden. Instead, keeping with true intellectually dishonest tradition, Shomer plays the race card: (emphasis mine)

While everyone fights this out in partisan terms via Twitter and their websites, we’ll instead ask a more pragmatic question: What is the end game here? Let’s even say there’s more footage that shows Obama standing there in a shirt that reads “Kill Whitey.” Let’s say he professes his deep hatred of Caucasians and says Jeremiah Wright didn’t go far enough. What then? Hasn’t this man been President of the United States for more than three years and white people as we know them are still hangin’ around?

What was Breitbart, and now (editor-in-chief Joel) Pollak and Shapiro, trying to prove exactly? How does digging up 20-year-old video change anything? There’s only one goal here, and that’s to stoke white fear. It’s almost as if the people promoting a “damning” video and the people who want to believe it most are legitimately scared that a racist, classist Barack H. Obama will wipe white people off the map … in his second term.

Certainly we all acknowledge that class warfare is a major component of Obama’s re-election campaign strategy. It’s not scary, just dishonest and destructive. But how does the release of this video stoke white fear? The assertion is as ludicrous as it is ignorant (assuming Mr. Shomer actually believes his bizarre allegations).

Try as they might, the video is out and the conversation is being had. Just exactly what do we know about President Obama? Does this video change our minds about him leading up to Election Day? If there is one video, are there others? Who is Derrick Bell, and what do we know about him?

These are just some of the legitimate questions that Eric Boehlert and Shomer, and their fellow Leftists and Apologists, will never ask, and would prefer you didn’t either.

On the Death of Andrew Breitbart

I was awoken today with the news that Andrew Breitbart had died. I was not close friends with Andrew, but we did speak when we saw each other, and, certainly, my respect for him was boundless.

I had the pleasure of speaking on stage with him in Madison, WI, on Tax Day 2011, and again in Washington DC at the Defending the Dream Summit in November. It never dawned on me that the experience of seeing him before going on stage would be limited to two experiences.

As a society, we are better off because of Andrew and his work at Big Hollywood, Big Government, Big Journalism, and Big Peace. As a society, we are better off because of not just the stories he broke, but how they were delivered; the clear contrast between today’s journalist and a real journalist.

We are also better off because Andrew is the reminder of how to fight. On this, Andrew and I shared the same belief: never accept the premise of their question, or their statement. If, and when, you are told a lie, confront the lie. His life is a primer for those who will come next, to continue the fight for Truth, Justice and the American Way.

I hope that Andrew has peace, and that his family is comforted in knowing that he was loved. His legacy endures. Our fight continues.

With Love,
 – Tony