See Video montage of right wing talk radio, Below.
As Media Matters for America documented, the nationwide network of conservative radio hosts — personalities without the national prominence of Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh — engaged in an all-out effort to foment hate and suspicion of Barack Obama by participating actively in an echo chamber of smears and falsehoods about the primary candidate and then Democratic nominee.
But these same radio hosts were by no means discerning in their vitriol and did not save their ire solely for Obama. The smears ran the gamut, both in the context of the 2008 election, as Media Matters noted in the previous report, and beyond. Immigrants, female politicians (and women in general), the LGBT community, the poor and homeless, minorities, progressives, unions, college students, and even autistic children were targets of these radio personalities’ invective. Media Matters and Colorado Media Matters have compiled some of their more noteworthy attacks on these groups.
In discussing immigration reform or immigration in general, conservative talk-radio hosts have repeatedly smeared immigrants — Latino immigrants in particular — as violent, uncivilized, or having sinister motives against the United States. Media Matters has documented several instances of talk-radio hosts baselessly blaming undocumented immigrants for the mortgage crisis, citing bogus statistics — refuted by the Department of Housing and Urban Development — to claim that they held a significant percentage of subprime loans.
* G. Gordon Liddy
G. Gordon Liddy.
G. Gordon Liddy smeared undocumented Mexican immigrants, claiming they “want to reconquer America, they say”
On the June 5 broadcast of his radio show, G. Gordon Liddy asserted: “[T]he problem that I have is with people who come over here and instead of wanting to become Americans, you know, fly the American flag, learn English, and so forth, they want to fly the Mexican flag, they want to speak Spanish, you know, and other varieties of illegal alien.” Liddy later added: “They want to reconquer America, they say.”
* Jim Quinn, Lee Rodgers
Quinn and Rodgers.
Conservative radio hosts claimed HUD said 5 million illegal immigrants were given subprime mortgages, despite HUD’s reported denials
On October 10, KSFO’s Lee Rodgers repeated a variation of the claim that the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) reported that it gave “5 million illegal aliens” subprime loans which have not been paid back. The same day, Quinn & Rose’s Jim Quinn also claimed that “[f]ive million of these bad mortgages went to illegal aliens” without citing a source for the figure. But neither noted that HUD has reportedly stated that this statistic is false.
* Michael Savage
Savage: “Illegal aliens” have “raped and disheveled” the Statue of Liberty
Discussing the Italian government’s reported decision to deploy soldiers on city streets to combat violent crime allegedly committed by illegal immigrants, Michael Savage said during the August 4 broadcast of his radio show: “So they’ve done there what we need to do here. We need to get our troops out of Iraq and put them on the streets of America to protect us from the scourge of illegal immigrants who are running rampant across America, killing our police for sport, raping, murdering like a scythe across America while the liberal psychos are telling us they come here to work.” Savage added: “[Y]ou turn on the cable news, they’re covering again a missing child. Not a missing country but a missing child. … We hear about the rape of a woman, but not about the rape of the Statue of Liberty. The Statue of Liberty is crying, she’s been raped and disheveled — raped and disheveled by illegal aliens.”
Savage: “We’re getting refugees now who have never used a telephone, a toothbrush, or toilet paper. … [T]hey never assimilate. And then their children become gang-bangers”
Michael Savage asserted on the June 23 broadcast of his radio show: “We’re getting refugees now who have never used a telephone, a toothbrush, or toilet paper. You’re telling me they’re going to assimilate? They will never assimilate. They come here and they bring their destitute ways to this country, and they never assimilate.” He continued: “And then their children become gang-bangers. It is a disaster.” Savage added that earlier immigrants to the U.S. “had used toilet paper and toothbrushes and they knew how to survive in this country. They took a job or they worked. They didn’t come and sit and have 16 children and eat beetle nuts.”
Savage: “Bring in 10 million more from Africa. … They can’t reason, but bring them in with a machete in their head”
On the January 29 broadcast of his radio show, while discussing President Bush’s AIDS spending proposal in the State of the Union address, Michael Savage responded to a caller’s assertion that he “do[es]n’t know anything about Africa” by unleashing a series of attacks on the continent and its people, including the claim that AIDS “got” to Africa “because it was spread from eating green monkey meat” and that “in Africa … people settle arguments with machetes.”
Savage on Muslim immigrants: 15th-century “throwbacks, some of whom are no doubt terrorists, and some of whom are gonna produce children who will become terrorists”
On September 16 broadcast of The Savage Nation, discussing a caller’s claim that “Muslim fundamentalists” are “walk[ing] around Northern Virginia as if they own the place,” Michael Savage asked, “Why would a nation that is as evolved as America, and as liberal as America is socially, want to bring in throwbacks who are living in the 15th century?” He also asked: “What is the societal benefit of bringing in throwbacks, some of whom are no doubt terrorists, and some of whom are gonna produce children who will become terrorists?”
Sex and gender
As Media Matters noted, right-wing talk-radio hosts have also repeatedly made sexist comments about female politicians — Republicans and Democrats alike — often highlighting a woman’s physical characteristics, in one instance referring to Republican vice-presidential nominee Sarah Palin’s “smoking-hot” looks while calling Obama a “little bitch.” Others referred to Sen. Hillary Clinton as a “bitch” and, in numerous instances, remarked on her voice, with one describing it as “screechy, fingernails-on-the-blackboard voice.” Also, as Media Matters noted, hosts and guests have attacked progressive women as “ugly skanks” or “whores,” impugned women’s abilities as political leaders, and some have even questioned allowing women the right to vote.
* Chris Baker
Baker called Obama a “little bitch” who “won’t even stand up to” “smoking-hot” Palin
While discussing Palin’s assertion that Obama was “palling around with terrorists” on the October 6 broadcast of his radio show, Baker called Obama a “little bitch” who “won’t even stand up to a smoking-hot chick from Alaska.” Baker did not note that The New York Times article Palin cited for her claim about Obama’s association with William Ayers reported that “the two men do not appear to have been close,” or that the Obama campaign did indeed respond to Palin’s claim.
Baker on Palin’s appearance at VP debate: “Shoulda had a little cleavage going … I noticed a panty line on her”
On the October 3 broadcast of The Chris Baker Show, Baker said Palin “shoulda had a little cleavage going” during the vice-presidential debate, and that he “noticed a panty line on her.”
Baker: “I don’t think homeless people should vote”; “I’m not that excited about women voting”
On the October 2 broadcast of his radio show, Baker said, “I don’t think homeless people should vote. Frankly. In fact, I have to be very honest. I’m not that excited about women voting, to be honest.” Baker later said: “But that’s just me. I’m a pig, and that’s fine. All right?”
Minneapolis radio host said Code Pink protesters “ought to have all their tubes tied”
During the September 5 broadcast his show, Baker stated of McCain’s speech at the Republican National Convention, “I’ll tell you, though, in the speech — the best part of the speech was when those Code Pink nuts — another bunch that ought to have all their tubes tied. All right? I can’t stand these Code Pink broads.”
* Mark Belling
Belling: “When you think of Hillary Clinton,” the word “bitches” comes to mind
Milwaukee radio host Mark Belling declared on his September 11 radio show, “What’s the process that determines which potholes get patched the fastest [in Milwaukee]? I’ll tell you what it is. No, they don’t go and judge it on severity. … It’s who — can I use this word? When you think of [Sen.] Hillary Clinton what do you think — what word comes to mind? Yes, can I use that word here? All right, it’s who bitches the most.”
Belling called Gloria Steinem a “grizzled old bag,” “old witch”
During the September 4 broadcast of The Mark Belling Late Afternoon Show, Belling called Gloria Steinem a “grizzled old bag,” “old witch,” and “embittered old has-been” and also stated that the “previous generation” of feminists “were so ugly you couldn’t stand to look at them.” Belling made these remarks while discussing Steinem’s September 4 Los Angeles Times op-ed, in which she criticized McCain’s choice of Palin as his vice-presidential running mate.
* Jon Caldara
On Caldara’s KOA show, Coulter claimed women’s suffrage “explains the destruction of America”
Appearing as a guest on the June 16 broadcast of Jon Caldara’s Newsradio 850 KOA program, Ann Coulter asserted that women aren’t “concerned with how capital is generated and created,” and claimed that women’s suffrage “explains the destruction of America.” Her remarks echoed those in a 2007 blog posting that quoted her as saying, “If we took away women’s right to vote, we’d never have to worry about another Democrat president.”
Caldara asked Coulter if Clinton was “bitch-slapped” in debate
Discussing the January 21 CNN Democratic presidential candidates’ debate, Caldara during his broadcast that evening asked Coulter whether it was “fair to say” that Clinton “got bitch-slapped tonight.”
* Bill Cunningham
Cunningham on Democratic women: “[A] lot of women who are single are vulnerable; they need like a daddy government to keep an eye on them”
On the October 29 broadcast of his Cincinnati-based radio show, host Bill Cunningham stated: “Traditionally, we think of women as Democratic voters because a lot of women who are single are vulnerable; they need like a daddy government to keep an eye on them.”
* Mark Levin
Levin on his “National Organization of Ugly Women” remark: “[F]or now on, it’s the National Organization of Really Ugly Women”
Addressing his September 4 comments on Sean Hannity’s radio show, in which he called the National Organization for Women, the “National Organization of Ugly Women,” Mark Levin said on his September 8 radio show: “I just wanted to underscore that maybe I shouldn’t have called them the National Organization of Ugly Women. For now on, it’s the National Organization of Really Ugly Women.” Levin first made his remarks while discussing with Hannity NOW’s opposition to Palin.
* Quinn & Rose
Quinn and Rose.
Quinn called NOW the “National Organization for Whores,” said columnist Fatimah Ali should “get an American name”
On his syndicated radio show, Jim Quinn referred to the National Organization for Women as “the National Organization for Whores,” and said of Philadelphia Daily News columnist Fatimah Ali: “[Y]ou know, Fatimah, what’s your real name? Come on, seriously. I mean, get an American name, will you, if you want to be an American.” He then asked: “You don’t suppose she’s a liberal black Muslim, do you?”
Quinn: “[T]he goal of the public school system — the feminists in the public school system — is to make male behavior illegal”
After reading from a blog post about a Georgia teacher who reportedly informed the school principal and campus police that a picture of a vampire one of her students had drawn might contain gang symbols, Quinn stated on the November 6 broadcast of Clear Channel’s The War Room with Quinn & Rose that the incident is evidence of “the chickification of schools, the feminization of society, and the war on masculinity.” He then stated that “the goal of the public school system — the feminists in the public school system — is to make male behavior illegal, a crime.”
Jim Quinn: Steinem opposes Palin because Palin “declined to slaughter her own unborn child, Trig, to the goddess of feminism”
On the October 6 broadcast of The War Room with Quinn & Rose, Jim Quinn claimed that Gloria Steinem opposes Gov. Sarah Palin because Palin “refused the sacrificial right of passage, better known as the Eucharist of the feminist church: abortion. That’s right. She declined to slaughter her own unborn child, Trig, to the goddess of feminism, even after doctors told her that he was one of those Down syndrome ‘throw-aways.’ “
Quinn: To feminists, even “a childless feminist who looks like a Bulgarian weightlifter in drag” can be a “real woman”
On the September 15 broadcast of The War Room with Quinn & Rose, Quinn stated: “If you don’t agree with the feminist scolds, then you’re not a real woman — even if you are a very feminine working mom. But even if you’re an actual man, never mind a childless feminist who looks like a Bulgarian weightlifter in drag, you’re a real woman solely because you nod your head like a windup clapping monkey every time you read the latest editorial from Ms. Magazine.” Quinn made these remarks while discussing, among other things, prominent feminists’ opposition to Palin.
Quinn introduced segment about Hillary Clinton by playing Elton John’s “The Bitch Is Back”
On the August 27 edition of the syndicated radio program The War Room with Quinn & Rose, Quinn introduced a segment on Sen. Hillary Clinton by saying, “By the way, that brings us to our Hillary Heads-Up,” and then playing audio of the Elton John song “The Bitch Is Back.” Quinn then said, “I was going to play ‘Ding Dong, the Witch is Dead.’ But you know what, I — you never know with the Clintons.”
* Lee Rodgers
KSFO’s Rodgers said many “professed leaders of the feminist movement” are “hags” who “couldn’t get laid in a men’s prison”
On the October 17 broadcast of San Francisco radio station KSFO’s The Lee Rodgers Show, Rodgers said: “[Y]ou look at many — perhaps most — but many of the women who are professed leaders of the feminist movement in this country, and they’re a bunch of hags.” He added: “They couldn’t get laid in a men’s prison, let’s be honest about it.” Rodgers made these remarks while discussing, among other things, feminists’ disapproval of Palin.
KSFO’s Rodgers: “[P]uckered-butt Democrat women hate Sarah Palin … because her idea of choice was choosing not to have an abortion”
Returning to a previous claim he has made, Rodgers asserted on September 23: “I believe that the reason a bunch of puckered-butt Democrat women hate Sarah Palin is because her idea of choice was choosing not to have an abortion.” Guest Steven Hayward of the American Enterprise Institute responded in part by saying: “[T]here is that very vocal segment of feminist opinion that celebrates abortion as a positive good in the same way that, you know, Southern slaveholders 150 years ago celebrated slavery as a positive good.”
KSFO’s Rodgers: “[F]emale leadership of the Democratic Party” consists of “ugly skanks” who “hate” that “Sarah Palin’s good-looking”
On the September 17 broadcast of his KSFO radio show, Rodgers said that “the female leadership of the Democratic Party” is made up of “ugly skanks.” He also stated: “Sarah Palin’s good-looking and they hate that.” He also declared: “I think we have to ask: Would you like Sarah Palin better if she got pregnant again and did have an abortion, because it’s obvious, with a lot of liberal women, killing babies is the main priority they have.”
KSFO’s Rodgers: “With that screechy, fingernails-on-the-blackboard voice of hers, it is impossible for Hillary Clinton to deliver a great speech”
On the August 27 broadcast of his radio show, Rodgers said of Sen. Hillary Clinton’s speech at the Democratic National Convention, “With that screechy, fingernails-on-the-blackboard voice of hers, it is impossible for Hillary Clinton to deliver a great speech.” Rodgers later said that Bill and Hillary Clinton are hoping Obama “falls flat on his face so the Hilldebeest can have another run in four years, and Billy Bentpecker can hide behind the curtain in the Oval Office telling Hillary what he wants her to do as president of the United States.”
KSFO’s Rodgers on voting gender gap: For “a lot of women in this country who get knocked up … the government becomes Daddy in terms of paying the bills”
On the June 11 broadcast of San Francisco radio station KSFO’s The Lee Rodgers Program, host Lee Rodgers said: “[T]he historical voting records show that Democrats have, historically, enjoyed a huge advantage in women voters. Why is that?” Rodgers continued: “Well, some women may be offended by this, but here’s another dose of reality. We have a lot of women in this country who get knocked up and they don’t have a husband. In effect, the government becomes Daddy in terms of paying the bills. And that accounts — that’s not all of it, but that accounts for a large part of that vote.”
Media Matters has identified numerous examples of smears pertaining to sexual orientation or targeting lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Americans that are routine among conservative talk-radio hosts. As Media Matters noted, legal rulings and ballot propositions regarding same-sex marriage prompted several radio hosts to target the LGBT community, in some cases suggesting that same-sex marriage will “lead to legal human-animal marriage.”
* Jon Caldara
On Caldara program, Coulter called John Edwards “the very definition of faggy”
Referring to a National Enquirer report alleging that former Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards has an illegitimate child with “his mistress,” a “blonde divorcée,” Coulter told Caldara during his July 23 broadcast, “I just think John Edwards is an incredibly creepy individual and the very definition of faggy.” Coulter’s remark echoed her reference to Edwards as a “faggot” during a 2007 speech to the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC).
* Dan Caplis
KHOW’s Caplis again asserted that gay “conduct is not natural” and is “immoral”
During a discussion about same-sex adoption on his June 17 630 KHOW-AM broadcast, co-host Dan Caplis repeated his contention that gay “conduct is not natural,” adding that “that conduct is immoral.”
* “Gunny” Bob Newman
“Gunny” Bob Newman.
KOA’s “Gunny” Bob repeated concern that “crushing tyranny of the left” could “lead to legal human-animal marriage”
Discussing the California Supreme Court’s decision invalidating a state statute banning same-sex marriage, Newsradio 850 KOA’s “Gunny” Bob Newman on May 15 asserted that “under the crushing tyranny of the left, America will legalize gay marriage at the federal level — or at a minimum recognize gay marriage in states with such laws.” and that “[s]ome Americans fear that this will lead to legal human-animal marriage.” Newman similarly warned of “[l]egal polygamy” and “[l]egal marriages between [parents] and their offspring.”
* Michael Savage
Savage: “If you’re insane, hate the family … hate your mother and father, hate the Bible, hate the church, and hate the synagogue,” you oppose CA gay marriage ban
On the October 29 broadcast of his radio show, Savage said of a California ballot initiative that would amend the state constitution to ban gay marriage, “[T]here’s a ballot initiative on homosexual marriage that is more important than you could imagine. It’s called Proposition 8, and you must vote ‘yes’ if you’re sane. If you’re insane, hate the family, hate man and woman, hate your mother and father, hate the Bible, hate the church, and hate the synagogue, of course you’re in favor of ‘no’ on Proposition 8.” The next day on his program, Savage stated: “[T]he people who don’t have families don’t understand that, as difficult as family life is, life is impossible without it. They don’t understand that. They don’t understand what the family unit is. It’s the strongest bond on Earth, which is why homosexual marriage is such a threat to civilization itself.”
After railing against gay marriage, Savage said “the spiritual side of the downturn on Wall Street was directly related to the moral downturn”
On the October 1 broadcast of his nationally syndicated radio show, Savage said: “[Y]ou may say, ‘Why should we care about homosexuals trying to destroy families through the mock marriage that they perform in order to mock God, the church, the family, children, the fetus, the DNA of the human species? Why should we care about it while we have a financial meltdown?’ Because the spiritual side of the downturn on Wall Street is directly related to the moral downturn in the United States of America.” Savage later said of San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom: “Today it’s the gays, tomorrow it’ll be a man marrying a horse.”
Savage linked San Francisco event to the “artistes” and “leather fetishists” of Weimar-era Germany, whom he blamed for Hitler’s rise
Discussing the Folsom Street Fair, a leather-themed adult-entertainment event in San Francisco, Savage declared on the September 29 broadcast of his radio show: “This country today is far beyond the excesses of the Weimar Republic that led to Adolf Hitler. God forbid that should ever happen here. But the German people, who were not all Nazis prior to Hitler’s arrival on the scene, were shocked by the degenerates of Berlin. They were sickened by the perverts, sickened by the artistes, they were sickened by the leather fetishists, they were sickened by the degeneracy, and they couldn’t handle it.”
Savage: “The children’s minds are being raped by the homosexual mafia”
Responding to a caller who said, “I had to explain to my young son why these two men were holding hands the other day,” Savage stated on the June 16 broadcast of his radio show: “You’ve got to explain to the children … why God told people this was wrong.” He went on to say, “You have to explain this to them in this time of mental rape that’s going on. The children’s minds are being raped by the homosexual mafia, that’s my position. They’re raping our children’s minds.”
* Brian Sussman
KSFO’s Sussman invited guest to talk about his claim that “gay and lesbian radicals actively recruit through our schools and the media”
On the June 16 broadcast of San Francisco radio station KSFO’s The Lee Rodgers Show, guest host Brian Sussman hosted theologian Charlie Self, whom Sussman called “Dr. History,” to discuss the California Supreme Court’s May 15 ruling overturning the state’s ban on same-sex marriages. In the course of the discussion, Sussman referenced a post on Self’s blog and said to Self: “On your website — it’s interesting you’re addressing this very topic, Dr. Self, and you talk about how gay and lesbian radicals actively recruit through our schools and the media in order to swell their ranks. Talk to us about that for a moment.” After asserting, “It is amazing how little the traditional family is pictured in either drama or comedy on TV anymore,” Self said that “[t]he only way that you are going to grow the ranks of this kind of movement is this kind of onslaught because it is simply not part of the nature of things as designed or as evolved or as historically recorded for thousands of years.” During the interview, Sussman also claimed that “Darwinism just doesn’t jibe with gay marriage” and asserted: “[I]n our society we say, here are the rules: man and a woman, you can’t marry anyone under this particular age, you can’t marry a family member. So, the rules are the same for all of us, Dr. History. But, for some reason, the gays want to change those rules. I just don’t understand it.”
* Quinn & Rose
Quinn: “Gay sex produces AIDS”; “They should charge homosexuals more for their … health insurance”
On the November 6 broadcast of The War Room with Quinn & Rose, Quinn said: “The only thing that — the only thing that gay marriage produce — well, gay marriage doesn’t produce anything that the state has an interest in. Gay sex produces AIDS, which the state doesn’t have — or should have an interest in. They should charge homosexuals more for their — for their health insurance than they charge the rest of us.” Quinn made the comment while discussing the passage of a California ballot initiative to amend the state constitution to ban same-sex marriage.
Race and ethnicity
Several right-wing radio hosts have promoted insulting stereotypes regarding African-Americans, Mexicans, and other groups.
* Neal Boortz
Boortz: “Muslims, making tortillas? … [W]ith all of the illegal Mexicans in this country, we can’t find some Mexicans to make those tortillas?”
On the May 29 broadcast of his radio show, while discussing reports that six Muslim women were fired from a Minnesota tortilla factory because of dress code violations, Boortz asked: “Muslims, making tortillas? You know, this world is really screwed up when Muslims are making our tortillas, folks.” He added: “I mean, with all of the illegal Mexicans in this country, we can’t find some Mexicans to make those tortillas?”
Boortz’s commentary on his inability to use a floor buffer: “I would make a lousy Mexican”
On the April 10 edition of his radio show, Boortz asserted, “I would make a lousy Mexican.” Engineer and “sidekick” Royal Marshall asked Boortz: “Why is that?” Boortz responded, “Well, because I wanted to scrub the hangar floor the other day, so I went and rented one of these big buffers,” later adding: “I turned on that buffer, and it damn near killed me! It was dragging me across the hangar floor, throwing me around like I — it was like a dog shaking a cat or something like that. You know, that’s skilled labor.”
Go here for all of this article (there’s lots more!) including direct links to all the programs mentioned: Media Matters.
Radioactive: A Video Montage by Ben Fishel
Also see It’s not just Limbaugh and Hannity / Nov. 6, 2008
And for more information on the radio right wingnuts, go here.