Sunday, January 31, 2010

Undermining the Right from Within

I have long had misgivings about "conservative" talk radio. I still listen, although less now than before, because I need to know of news that I won't hear from  Sinister-Wing Media, but also because I need to know what bad stuff might be said there that could redound to harm our cause for what is right.

Let the following serve as another warning about Michael Medved in particular, and his radio network, Salem Broadcasting, in general.

I reported at the Belmont Club's "Obama at the GOP retreat" thread, the following :
At times combative and confident -- Wretchard [referring to Obama] in original post
McCain at a bit past 3 PM EST, on the Medved show, being offered the opportunity to comment on Obama’s “I am not a Bolshevik” said it reminded him of Nixon’s “I am not a crook.” He avoided further comment.
Why is that news?

John “no, he’s a nice man” McCain said it.

Well, a few posts later, I notice that some guy I've not seen before at BC reports something different. I immediately checked, found he was right, and corrected the record as shown by the following:

Ragspierre @ Jan 29, 2010 – 3:11 pm:
Obama also made the Nixonian declaration, “I am not an ideologue”. This is an awful mistake, as it is so readily shown to be a lie.
Thanks for setting the record staight.

I was wondering why “I am not a Bolshevik” did not come up with a recent hit. Now I know. I took your clue and changed the search to “I am not an Ideologue” and got many hits.

I listen to Medved primarily to discover in what manner this “former” Leftist agit-proper will next undermine our cause.

To be fair to Medved and McCain, where I suspect neither would be so charitable to most of us, Obama himself, as reported by Reuters, did use the phrase “some Bolshevik plot.”

That could have been the source of Medved’s mangled quote. Still, this misquote of Obama to McCain was how Medved opened his show, and given his history in agit-prop, well… YMMV. You can be sure that Media Matters will hammer us over it while ignoring the true quote which is nearly as damning.

Jan 29, 2010 - 3:51 pm

When my first comment was remembered and later repeated by others on the thread, it greatly saddened me. It means few read my follow-up and remembered the inaccurate report (probably because first one was closer to what the reader wanted to hear). Thus I felt compelled to write additionally about the experience here, on my blog. 

As I noted above, a few minutes after I'd heard Medved, I could not find the phrase "I am not a Bolshevik" on the web that was not years old.

But today, it's different. If you search the web with that phrase, and add 2010 after the quotation marks, you will find very many repetitions of that phrase. And I am in part to blame as witnessed by this guy's quoting me (highlighted here) without attribution:

jennis psycho
John McCain, formerly the MSM's favorite maverick/moderate, was on the Medved show, and being offered the opportunity to comment on Obama’s “I am not a Bolshevik” said it reminded him of Nixon’s “I am not a crook.” He declined further comment.
Yes, he changed avoided to declined, but every other word was identical. And I am grateful for his oversight since “I am not a Bolshevik” is inaccurate.

Anyway, the Sinister-Wing takes advantage of every error by us, even when a good faith effort is made to correct the record.

Bottom line: Michael Medved provided misinformation. There is a possibility he is providing disinformation. Be extra skeptical when he says something.


  1. Unfortunately I have to rely on accurate reporting of what the man actually said, because I had no time nor inclination to actually watch the STFU speech. Life is too short. And like the rash of trolls we just had on the BC, it is already fading into the mists of forgetfulness.

  2. Exactly. I'm pretty sure you go elsewhere than Medved to get your news. It can be detected from your phraseology where you go. I get much from the same place. And even there I know to be skeptical because everyone slips now and again.

  3. I gather Bill Bennett is on Salem, but I don't hear him on a Salem network. I've got no problems with him.
    Mubarak Hussein Obama did complain that republicans were painting him as a "bolshevik" which is where Medved may have gotten confused.

  4. Yes, Bennett is on Salem, though only for 2 early hours out here (that's 3-5 AM PST). And I'm not down on all Salem equally: I still favor Prager, despite his shortcomings as we all have them, as he's still the least RINO in their stable.

    With Bennett, I once questioned him about the then North Korean treaties (ca 2006), after coming undone with their nuke exporting and missile firing, he must have given his most garbled answer of his career. He felt trapped, and I felt for the guy, and I didn't make a stink about it at all. He is indeed a careful and caring guy in my estimation, but he also is establishmentarian -- which often gets in the way of true reform -- and thus didn't want to criticize Bush's handling of the Norks. Being on air AND conservative means you don't feel free to address all things frankly.

    As for Medved, I already allowed up top "To be fair to Medved and McCain, where I suspect neither would be so charitable to most of us, Obama himself, as reported by Reuters, did use the phrase 'some Bolshevik plot.'"

    Something I failed to mention but I did notice at the time, Medved chuckled as he misquoted. It sounded more to me like a mischievous chuckle than a amused one. YMMV.

    At any rate, I am sure you agree with me that we need to be careful of our news sources. With Sinister media that's a no brainer. But with media that is allegedly conservative requires reporting such as I have done. It reminds us to be careful lest we find ourselves embarrassed by repeating stuff said by the likes of Medved.


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