Monday, November 10, 2008

Bill O'Reilly Attacks Everyone But Christians

Once again this loofa loving commercialist starts his season of hate.
Read about it here:

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Will Karel Keep His Job at KGO?

Read my latest blog entry here:

I'm thinking about moving my whole operation over to the Examiner Website. Frankly, it pays a lot more than these goofy Google and Amazon ads. None of you click on them and buy anything....
I make about a penny a hit at the Examiner, which is adding up fast.

Any feedback??

Find me over there and subscribe at, sf radio examiner.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Hannity and O'Reilly, Si; Rush Limbaugh, Savage, NO

The day after the majority of the country's voters celebrated the election of a new, Democratic president, talk hosts Sean Hannity and Bill O'Reilly took the high road.

Rush Limbaugh and Michael Savage went back to the sewers and, like monkeys in a cage, started throwing the dung.

It's sad that this is the state of "talk" radio, which really is less about discussion than shallow thought and the kind of name calling you would hear in a grade school playground.

In Hannity's first show he said he would wait to see what Obama does and instead of continuing his pre-election bashing, he started questioning what the Republican party should do to improve its standing with voters. (No one can make the case that these shows are anything but partisan.)

O"Reilly also stepped back, saying he would analyze anything Obama did with an open mind. On his TV show that night, he broke a story I didn't know about Sarah Palin: McCain advisors said she didn't know that Africa was a continent. She thought it was a country and that South Africa was the southern part of that country.

And this was the woman John McCain thought was capable of the presidency?

Also, O'Reilly's staff reported, Palin was talking to the person she thought was the president of France but was really a radio prankster, without clearance from McCain.

And lastly, that not only did she spend more than the $150,000 she claimed for clothes at Nieman Marcus, but that she shopped for her husband and family at the expensive haberdashers. "Wasila hillbillies" indeed.

(This is the first time I have ever used O'Reilly as a source for breaking news, the first time I saw he was fair and balanced.)


Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Obama Nation to Savage Nation: Shut Up, Liar

All last week after he gave his "endorsement" of John McCain, narcissistic talk show host Michael Savage claimed that his nod moved the Republican candidate up in the polls.

Over and over, in his school marmish way, the man born Michael Weiner claimed that his listeners would determine the election. Not could, but would. It was ridiculous on its face, but no one ever calls him on his lunacy.

He had me fearful that this country could really be that dumb. After all, it elected the failed administration of George W Bush not just once, and mounted an even more ignorant candidate in Sarah Palin.

It was a night of glee to see the Savage Nation for what it is. A load of bull, led by a charismatic but powerless demagogue.

Savage, by the way, is behind the energy drink Rock Star, which his son owns and the rest of his family sits on the board of.

You can buy plenty of other drinks, without supporting this racist homophobic hustler.

Letter to Right Wing Radio

Dear Rush, Sean, Ann, Bill et al:

I have a request in the interest of the country we all love so much. Give the new president 100 days, the time the mainstream media has traditionally laid off an incoming chief executive, the same amount of time you would ask for your candidate had he won.

Three months of unity, sort of like we had after 9/11, when people rediscovered what it meant to be American, as our freedom and peace were threatened.

As President-Elect Barack Hussein Obama said tonight, the country had been more divided during the Civil War, and it healed its wounds, under the leadership of another Illinois senator. How about letting Obama settle in a bit before you renew your junkyard attacks? I know, it may not help the ratings, propelled as they are by anger and fear. But you know, and I know, a truce and an open mind could be the best thing for a troubled country.

Give him the respect that John McCain gave him tonight, the acknowlegement that he is president to all of us, and that we need a leader who can mend the divide, but can only do so if we give him a chance. McCain showed class while his booing followers didn't, showing pride in serving a president, even one who just defeated him. You can lead those voters who now feel disenfranchised out of the hatred, into the kind of America you who profess to love so much in the name of patriotism.

You just spent a year calling him a socialist, a communist, a dictator, a Muslim, a terrorist, a Manchurian candidate, a follower of a white-hating preacher, a hate monger, a man supported by U.S. enemies, a man who will tax you to death. You heard little or none of the same vitriol from the other side. You saw instead a concerted, organized campaign that stuck to its message, included the Joe Sixpacks and real Joe the Plumbers and brought a surprising landslide of a vote.

How about stepping back for a bit and looking at the possibility of a united America, one that can take on its problems together, crossing party lines. Show some real patriotism. Support your new Commander in Chief as if he were your own---which he is. Give him the respect you would want from the other side, and show your listeners that you really do have some class.

Focus for a minute on the way Obama tried to include a great Republican, Lincoln, at least taking the first step toward mending the fence.

It was one of the highlights of a great speech, the kind of statesmanship, you must admit, that is too rare in American history and deserves to be celebrated when we see it.

"Let us resist the temptation to fall back on the same partisanship and pettiness and immaturity that has poisoned our politics for so long. Let us remember that it was a man from this state who first carried the banner of the Republican Party to the White House – a party founded on the values of self-reliance, individual liberty, and national unity.

"Those are values we all share, and while the Democratic Party has won a great victory tonight, we do so with a measure of humility and determination to heal the divides that have held back our progress. As Lincoln said to a nation far more divided than ours, “We are not enemies, but friends…though passion may have strained it must not break our bonds of affection.” And to those Americans whose support I have yet to earn – I may not have won your vote, but I hear your voices, I need your help, and I will be your President too."

Here's how Lincoln asked for the same thing from both sides of the Civil War in his second inaugural address. Maybe you could keep it in mind today and until next May.

"With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation’s wounds; to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan–to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace, among ourselves, and with all nations."

You are the opinion leaders and you know it. Your words on the radio ring through the population. This is your chance to show us how much of it is an act to scare the population into listening more, and how much is genuine love and concern for this country.

I'll be listening. And if it's back to the same old hate talk, I'll turn it off.

Monday, November 3, 2008

English radio prank lands DJs in hot water

Let's say that English radio scandals are a bit jucier than ours...and maybe harder for us to understand.

If I have this right, comedian Russell Brand, who hosted this year's MTV Video Awards, was fired for making a prank call to Fawlty Towers 78-year-old actor Andrew Sachs, saying he slept with his granddaughter.

This was after Sachs missed a scheduled radio interview, and it sounds like something Howard Stern would do.

But, in this case, not only has Brand and partner Jonathan Ross been suspended, but the granddaughter, Georgina Baillie, admited it was true, and apparently works as a pay by the hour dominatrix.

Check some of the details here.

In outrage about the scandal, Britains are also finding out that radio execs at government-funded BBC are making more than $1 million pounds each. It took a sex scandal for someone to realize that?

Meanwhile, Ms. Baillie, who is calling for Brand's firing for breaking a confidence (this is against the law?) is part of a burlesque troupe called the Satanic Sluts (which might be illegal in some U.S. states).

Howard Stern only wishes he was in the middle of a scandal like this here. People would remember him. You can hear his mind working...maybe if I slept with one of the Bush daughters....oh no...I'm married now....

Stern, by the way, used to be one of America's top shock jocks. He's now on Siriius Satellite Radio, which charges $15 a month to hear him.

Can anyone tell me if he's still funny?

AWAAAAAAYYYYYY: M.DUNG returns to the airwaves

M. Dung, who flew to San Francisco fame with his "Idiot Show" on KFOG-FM, will relaunch the wacked-out musical extravaganza Sunday November 16 on KYCY-AM (1550).

Dung, whose fans include Les Claypool of Primus, was last heard on KDBK in 1992--a 16-year hiatus.

He promises to bring the goods again.

Here's an excerpt from his bio at

My radio journey began in Allendale, Mi. I was a student at Grand Valley State Colleges now known as Grand Valley State. The year was 1977 and I was the Program Director at student radio WSRX, my overnight guy stopped showing up for his show from midnight till six am, so I started doing it myself to keep the station on 24 hours. I lasted about a week before chucking the station’s format to do something else...I went nuts...yelling...playing anything and everything...taking live calls on the air...just to stay awake for the 6 hour show.

How I got the name M. Dung is another story :) in 1977 everyone was punk and a guy named Dung caught on quick, soon the “Idiot Show” was the talk of the campus and I found myself with an unexpected hit.

During my senior year I landed my first professional radio job at WLAV in Grand Rapids, Mi. I was “Mike Richards” from 7-12pm :D WLAV was a top 40 station on the am dial. The sister station was WLAV-FM a 50,000 watt FM serving half of Michigan.

Enter Dave Logan... Dave came to work at LAV-FM from the LOOP in Chicago, his roommate used to listen to me on WSRX doing the Idiot Show! I would work at WLAV from 7pm-12mid, race over to WSRX to do the Idiot Show from 12mid-6am OOWWW!

Logan found out mild-mannered “Mike Richards” was really the crazed M. Dung he would listen to with his roommate and laugh his ass off...he hired me to do that very show on a 50,000 watt commercial FM radio station!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Big money to study the future of radio

Check out this conference being held Nov. 14-16 in Santa Cruz to study the ways the Internet can be used for radio news and for the future of media.

KUSP-FM's (88.9) Margaret Rosas got $327,000 for the study and conference from the Knight Foundation. You can see the other big winners here. She calls her project, Radio Engage, a way to collate news from other sources onto a station's website. Her station no longer has a news department and does a terrible job covering the local community, when it used to be a community beacon.

I don't know...what happened to hiring reporters, who are trained in synthesizing, organizing and critically analyzing material from sources into something credible?

I know that during the Santa Cruz fires she talks about here, I had to turn to the KSCO-AM to get some real live breaking news in my car. But she says her website went from 15,000 to 90,000 users a month, which is significant.

Sorry to say the deadline for new applications was this weekend, but there's always next year.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Sarah Palin Gets Pranked by Canadian Radio Team

Check it here:

No American show would have the balls to try this these days and face possible FCC licensing repercussions.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Jewish Radio Station Owners Upset by Swastika Cartoon

Read my column in today here.

Follow the link and search my name: Brad Kava and that will get you there. Don't ask me why it won't directly link....probably some right wing conspiracy.

I get paid for your a guy out!!!! I need it. Sign up for the RSS feed from I'm getting better pay at that site, although this one gets a lot of play. I don't know why I haven't earned one cent from Google ads, but I haven't. Not one.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

KGO (Yawn) Announces Solar Powered Transmitter

photo courtesy

San Francisco Number One rated talk station KGO-AM (810) had a big announcement today that left me less than thrilled.

They hyped it in ads, saying that it would come at 10:30 on 10/30...and the radio boards were abuzz with speculation.

Over at ba.broadcast, "experts" claimed that they were announcing who would be the new 10 p.m. host, the slot that has been fought over for the better part of a year, since embarrassingly vacated by Bernie Ward.

One claimed that Karel has bought a house in the Bay Area, so it would be him (a call to Karel proved that one false).

Another claimed that Alex Bennett, who was celebrated along with Mickey Luckoff by the Bay Area Radio Hall of Fame, would get the show. (ha. no way).

Still another claimed that his sources knew that KGO would open an FM signal.

(All these so-called experts "swearing" they knew the truth, tells you why reporting on the Internet can be so...shall we say...dubious?..and why traditional methods of fact-checking, sourcing and not reporting something until it is confirmed still are needed in our instant gratification culture.)

The speculation was a lot more interesting than the result.

At 10:30 House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a guest on the Ronn Owens show, tripped the switch that opened up the connection to a solar-powered unit, partly sending electricity to a transmitter. Great. Whatever. Good for them. It meant a whole lot more to the station than to the listeners.

Bravo. Anything solar is ok by me, but why waste self-congratulating airtime on it.

If I were them, I'd be a lot more worried about KCBS's announcement that it has put news on FM. What does that mean? That the news station may finally bump KGO off the top ratings slot, by combining ratings from the FM and AM. It will cut into the bottom line, which is the bottom line for the folks at Citadel, and the ad rates it can charge.

A little quote from Jack Swanson, KGO program director, today. He is going over the new People Meter figures, which can not only tell him who gets the highest ratings, but what listeners tune into when they push the button away from KGO.

"It's like we now have the Hubble telescope focusing on planets, instead of a telescope under cloud cover. We can see so much more."

Monday, October 20, 2008

Ben Fong-Torres Says Goodbye to KFRC

KFRC-FM (106.9) really had a great style for oldies, with some big name local talents, including Ben Fong-Torres, the former Rolling Stone editor and current SF Chron radio columnist.

He dropped me a sad note:

"If you haven't heard: CBS Radio just announced that KFRC is being replaced with the programming on KCBS; at a meeting this morning, KFRC staffers were told the station is over as of today. Since then, it's been just music, liners & commercials. Dave Sholin, Celeste Perry, Sue Hall, Jay Coffey, Dean Goss (fill-in/weekender)--all gone.

CBS is saying they'll keep the KFRC call letters on FM and run KFRC music online and on the HD-2 channel linked to 106.9. Up to now, it'd been the opposite. KFRC was on HD-1, KCBS on HD-2.

oh--needless to say, my show, Backstage, is out the rear door. 52 shows, 100 or so hours (there were some repeats); absolute fun. That's what radio is: fun and heartaches."



Ben Fong-Torres

CBS Puts News in Place of Oldies at 106.9

Ever since it lost Howard Stern, CBS has been stumbling around like a drunk trying to find his way home in a blizzard. Or like moody John McCain.

It keeps trying things and dumping them (remember David Lee Roth, Stern's first replacement?).

Well, a year after beefing up KFRC-FM (106.9) as an oldies station, it will now simulcast its AM news content on the FM signal.

I give it a year.

Two years ago the signal was an FM talk station, home to Adam Carolla, the Doghouse and Darian O'Toole, which fizzled out. I liked that one. The ratings didn't.

The New York based network is moving the San Francisco oldies programming to its HD2 station, and online at

“With this announcement we are ensuring our listeners will have access to the superior news and information they’ve come to rely on no matter how they choose to receive audio content,” said Doug Harvill, Senior Vice President and Market Manager for CBS Radio San Francisco. “And not only that, having the station on the FM radio platform will afford us the opportunity to amass even more consumers of the station.

“The benefits of this move are plentiful – from improved sound quality and ubiquitous distribution, to increased brand exposure. We’ve always had a great product and we’re thrilled more people will be able to experience what in excess of one million already do on a weekly basis.”

I don't really get it. The only way I'd look for news on FM is if I was on that band for NPR and wanted to catch CBS without having to push the extra button over to AM. Not exactly a big motivator.

What do you think?

PS: speaking of Howard Stern, did you see that the New York Times chess column Sunday was about him? Check it here.

By the way: CBS was fourth in the San Francisco ratings for listeners over 12; KFRC was 23rd. If CBS combines both signals, it could possibly beat KGO, which is No. 1, in the ratings.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

SuperBooty Versus Skippy: My Column in SF Weekly Today

This turned out to be a fascinating story. Who knew?

You can find press about the history of the Skippy legal battle here. What ran as a short column in the SF Weekly could be a bigger story, I think....Check it out here.

The sad thing is: I really like both characters I interviewed. Mark O'Hara is a colorful, charismatic guy trying to make ends meet in the world. Among his other projects, he is starting a company to lease electric cars. Smart idea, since the cars require more maintenance, at first, than others. Hear his music here.

Joan Tibbetts is a classy woman, sharp as a tack, who went through the first depression and sees a lot of similarities to current times. Check her views at the afforementioned She owns the right to the site, not the peanut butter company.

They are both passionate about their subject. Tibbetts has spent years fighting for the Skippy name; O'Hara has been a touring and recording musician with a 15-piece band, in an era when that means a lot more work than money.

(Drawing: the original Skippy, courtesy

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

KBAY Cuts Traffic Reports

Brad Kava

S.F. Radio Examiner
Brad Kava has been a journalist for 26 years, with the Kansas City Star, the Bradenton Herald and the San Jose Mercury News. He wrote music and radio columns for the Mercury News until July 2007. His work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, the New York Times and Rolling Stone.


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KBAY Cuts Traffic Reports: Says Listeners Don't Want Them.

courtesy Kbay
In answer to a reader here, KBAY (94.5) general manager John Leathers says the easy listening music station has cut traffic reports during its popular Sam and Lissa Morning Show, not because of costs, but because that's what listeners want.

Says Leathers:

We felt traffic reports were not a core reason our listeners were either tuning into us or staying with KBAY

· Although people certainly may have “appreciated” the occasional traffic report, statistics show most people in Silicon Valley in 2008 get their traffic info from sources other than a “music focused” station like KBAY (Handhelds, In car services like Navteq, online, stations that do traffic every 5 minutes, etc.)

· Had there been no other viable source(s) for South Bay traffic, we would not have considered such a move. As such, there are NUMEROUS/COUNTLESS sources for South bay traffic as it is

· As such, we wanted to devote the bulk of our morning airtime to the things an overwhelmingly majority of our listeners told us were important: music, the chemistry/interplay between Sam and Lissa, Sam and Lissa’s phone interaction with listeners, etc.

· We believe eliminating the relatively few traffic reports we did every morning helps us broadcast a better morning show.

Radio Equalizer Owes KGO an Apology

Brian Maloney, the self-proclaimed "Radio Equalizer" predicted back in August that KGO would fall from its perch atop the San Francisco ratings heap this fall. He was wrong, according to the latest ratings.

I told you back then that he would be proven wrong.

This is the preliminary report from Arbitron,
by way of Radio-Ink, which shows that news stations were stronger than one could expect. KGO, KCBS and KQED were in the top four.

In a study of 18-34 local ratings show heavy listening to urban (read minority) stations, something that has provoked a battle in New York, where Attorney General Andrew Cuomo has claimed that minority stations were being treated unfairly in the new ratings system.

Monday, October 6, 2008

New York to Sue Arbitron over PPMs

New York State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo says he plans to sue Arbitron over its use of the new Portable People Meters, which use a beeper-like monitor to determine exactly what stations listeners have tuned in. The new techology replaces a system where people kept diaries to tell surveyers what they had on---leading often to people "voting" for what they liked, rather than an actual fair study.

However, Cuomo says, according to Radio Ink, that a "significant and improper decline in ratings under a PPM system would cause minority stations to suffer drastic reducttions in advertising revenues," which would "distort the marketplace and severely harm and possibly destroy minority broadcasting in New York."

I don't buy it.

So far PPM results have been skewing more toward rock than urban stations, but I suspect it's because white males were being underreported in the diary studies. They just didn't bother to fill out the paperwork. Women did, and it led to a plethora of soft rock and urban stations.

Minority station owners claim that their listeners are less inclined to wear the monitors because they aren't fashionable. I don't buy that either. Minorities are often early adaptors to a lot of technologies (although they may argue that if they are still listening to conventional radio, not satellite or Internet, that would show they are in the late wave of adaptors).

San Francisco has been using the PPMs all summer, and I'll be curious to see the final results here. They should come out next week.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Leo Laporte on the Computer is Better than on the Radio

I'm at this morning, watching Leo Laporte, "The Tech Guy," tape calls for his weekend radio show, which I usually tune in.

But why listen, when I can watch at my leisure and hear all the calls, not just the ones that make the show. Plus, his feeds during the commercials are funny. You see him in his studio, eating brown rice sushi and getting a feel for what the show is REALLY like.

Also: he's taping his December 27 Segment 2 right now...amazing that I'm watching it three months early.

He's on 40 hours a week doing tech talk, on the web. I can't hear it in my car, but while I'm doing chores around the house, it's awesome. You can also twitter him during the show and get a response.

The web is becoming more and more competitive with commercial radio, and it's got to be frightening. It's a matter, though, of making it a habit. I forget to tune in a lot of my favorites on the computer, but always remember in the car.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Save Pandora

Here's a letter from Pandora founder Tim Westergren asking for help:

Hi, it's Tim from Pandora;

Today, thanks to the extraordinary support of many Pandora listeners, we took a giant step forward when the House of Representatives supported Pandora and Internet radio and passed the Webcaster Settlement Act of 2008. Now we need your help so that the Senate will pass it also - and quickly... The finish line is in sight!

After a yearlong negotiation, Pandora, SoundExchange and the RIAA are finally optimistic about reaching an agreement on royalties that would save Pandora and Internet radio. The legislation would give us the extra time we need to finalize the deal.

Please call your Senators Monday morning starting at 9:00 (Eastern) and ask them to support the Webcaster Settlement Act of 2008.

The person who answers the phone in your Senator's office may ask for the bill number - it's H.R. 7084 (if they ask for a Senate bill number, you can assure them that in this unusual case, the Senate is actually voting on the House bill number).

Senator Barbara Boxer: (202) 224-3553

Senator Dianne Feinstein: (202) 224-3841

If the phone is busy, please try again until you get through. These calls really do make a difference.

Thanks so much for you ongoing support.


Friday, September 26, 2008

Dennis Erectus Needs Help

The great KOME-FM DJ Dennis Erectus has been hospitalized since having a heart attack almost two years ago, and his friends are trying to put together a collection of his great moments on the air to sell and help pay the bills.

They are asking fans to send any tapes of Dennis's old shows. Contact if you have some and can help out.

Erectus, was wild and crazier than Howard Stern in the 80s and his shows were like weird Goth plays. They were a highlight on the San Jose radio dial, and helped KOME become a nationally known station.

He was doing overnight engineering at KEZR-FM and was on his way to the station after Thanksgiving dinner, when he had a heart attack, collapsed alone, and lost oxygyn to his brain.

He is beloved in the San Jose and San Francisco radio markets.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

"This stinks..." David Letterman catches John McCain in a big lie

watch this to the end.

America: The New Nigeria

Great Internet email, forwarded by David Sturtz, CEO of RepairPal:

Dear Mr. Taxpayer,

I need to ask you to support an urgent secret business relationship with a transfer of funds of great magnitude.

I am Ministry of the Treasury of the Republic of America. My country has had crisis that has caused the need for large transfer of funds of 800 billion USD. If you would assist me in this transfer, it would be most profitable to you.

I am working with Mr. Phil Gramm, lobbyist for UBS, who (God willing) will be my replacement as Ministry of the Treasury in January. As a former U.S.congressional leader and the architect of the PALIN / McCain Financial Doctrine, you may know him as the leader of the American banking deregulation movement in the 1990s. As such, you can be assured that this transaction is 100% safe.

This is a matter of great urgency. We need a blank check. We need the funds as quickly as possible. We cannot directly transfer these funds in the names of our close friends because we are constantly under surveillance. My family lawyer advised me that I should look for a reliable and trustworthy person who will act as a next of kin so the funds can be transferred.

Please reply with all of your bank account, IRA and college fund account numbers and those of your children and grandchildren to so that we may transfer your commission for this transaction. After I receive that information, I will respond with detailed information about safeguards that will be used to protect the funds.

Yours Faithfully,

Minister of Treasury Paulson

Monday, September 22, 2008

Did any radio money show predict the crash??

I listened to a lot of Monday morning quarterbacking on the radio this weekend by the longest-running syndicated business show host, Bob Brinker, of "Money Talk," who has been broadcasting for two decades.

Brinker was largely blaming the current crash on Senator Phil Gramm (R-Texas) and President Bill Clinton for a 1999 bill that repealed the 1933 Glass-Steagall Act, which prevented banks from owning other businesses and creating a conflict of interest.

No problem there. Deregulation has allowed bank and money CEOs to play fast and loose with the American people's money, and is now letting them continue to have their jets and mansions, funded by the taxpayers.

But here's my question. I don't recall Brinker complaining about this in 1999 and encouraging his listeners to take action. Nor did I hear the man, who is a market timer, warning his audience to get out of the financials six months or a year ago.

But I admit, I may have missed these things. I'm not a religioius enough listener, so I need your help. Did any of you get warned by Brinker or another analyst to sell before the crash? If so, drop a comment here, so the rest of us can start listening to a prognosticator with a real clue, not just another person with 20-20 hindsight.

Brinker claimed yesterday to run a nonpartison show, but that's a lot of bull. I listened enough over the years to know he was a huge Bush supporter over the past two elections, so clearly his future money vision isn't that great, unless you consider flushing 10 billion a month into an Iraqi toilet a smart move.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Michael Savage got it right

I have to say, the man I usually consider to be the slimiest on radio, got this one right. He posted a commentary from Air America on his Web site, and launched his own campaign supporting the work of Elliot Spitzer today.

I've always suspected that special interests took care of HE was the ONLY politician using expensive hookers? No way. But he was the one taking on fraud in banks and insurance companies, including AIG.

This great article points out how the Bush administration helped its friends in the banking industry, while avoiding at all costs bailouts for the home buyers who were steered to predatory loans.

And you should have heard Rush Limbaugh today, trying to blame the problem on the Clintons for forcing banks to abandon policies of not lending to minorites!!!! and going too far the other way and making them lend to minorities who couldn't pay the bills.

That blowhard is worse than Hurricane Ike.

NPR explains AIG

You know I listen to way too much commercial radio--so you don't have to. But when you really want to know about something complex, you usually have to turn to the noncommercial dial.

But, with all the talk about AIG's failure and the government bailout, I heard no one, until today, explain what AIG did wrong.

Finally, on Morning Edition, NPR economic expert Adam Davidson explained that the problem was AIG's fairly recent entry into bond default insurance, which it began a decade ago. The gist of it is this 70 trillion industry covers banks when bonds default, called credit default swap.

And unlike, say, when a house burns down and it doesn't mean that all houses in the area burn, when a bond fails, it shakes confidence in bond buyers and many fail together. Thus, AIG, which started this often cloaked level of insurance, takes a big hit.

The global economy is based on banks lending each other money all over the world, and if their insurance policies don't pay off, the system could seize up. That's why the government was compelled to help AIG.

This is the first and most clear appraisal of the current economic crash that I've heard. You can catch more at NPR's Planet Money blog:

Monday, September 15, 2008

Pink Floyd's Richard Wright Dies

Here is the New York Times' obit

Here is Wired Magazine's

I'm going to go listen to Dark Side of the Moon in his honor. Now there really won't ever be a real Floyd reunion. Sad days indeed.

Anyone have any special Wright memories??

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Google Monopoly: About Time Someone Jumped on This

Here's a great NY Times column about Google's ad monopoly, and it's search to stretch it even further with a Yahoo deal. READ HERE.

The gist of it is that Google gives NO customer service and is arrogant when a customer tries to get help with Ad words or Ad sense or any of its businesses. I know. I've called and emailed to find out why this blog makes zero money, and been rebuffed.

I've been waiting for consumers to rise up and protest, and am glad to see it's happening finally. How about you? Have you cracked the Googleplex's walls and figured how to make your blog live up to the hype of creating riches...or anything??

In my dealings with the company that promises to do no wrong, I've found plenty that is bad. I hope the justice department hears plenty of complaints from others if they agree.

DEMOfall jam:me and don clark, from the wall street journal

Thursday, September 11, 2008

NPR hits a homerun on 9/11

While right wing rant radio hosts were doing another a pig in a poke and ignoring any issue deeper than fake charges and name-calling, NPR did some remarkable programming for the seventh anniversary of 9/11.

Terry Gross on Fresh Air had a self-proclaimed "conservative Catholic," ret. U.S. Army Col Andrew J. Bacevich talking about foreign policy, with a level of depth and insight you won't find anywhere else.

Now a professor at Boston University, Bacevich lost his son in the Iraq war and has written a potent book: The Limits of Power: The End of American Exceptionalism.
Hear and read part of it at the link.

Among the points this West Point graduate made were that the move since 1776 of American globalism is less about the spread of freedom than about capitalist expansionism.

"The foreign policy implications of our present- day penchant for consumption and self- indulgence are almost entirely negative," he says.

He also did something you would never hear on reactionary radio: He praised Jimmy Carter for taking a stand during the energy crisis and asking Americans to cut back and be less wasteful and more contemplative about the overuse of resources. For that he was reviled by the right and by Ronald Reagan, who asserted that it was America's role to use whatever it wants, conspicuous consumption be damned. There will always be more, Reagan and his minions asserted. And there was more: more debt, more spending, more passing off the problems to future generations.

A truly refreshing take from a military man who still defines himself as a staunch conservative.

Later, NPR followed up with a report on the West Point class of 2002, the first officers to take charge after 9/11. Fascinating. Simply great radio. A college class on the airwaves.

It was impossible to switch back to the same old stupid talk about pigs and lipstick and really showed the lack of depth on commercial airwaves.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Lipstick on a Horse's Ass

I was blissfully away from the electronic media for three days, perched with the best and the brightest entrepreneurs in the country, at the DEMO conference in San Diego. One of the 72 websites debuted was one that detected spin in the media,, an interesting application that looks at printed media, and supposedly sorts out words that indicate bias.

LIke we need a Web site to do that?? Just turn on the radio, as I did today. It's all spin, lies and videotape.

The lipstick on a pig quote was all I heard about, one of the dumbest chapters in a media world that seems to have no bottom.

For the record, you can see in this story, that the expression "lipstick on a pig" was used by Dick Cheney and John McCain (who used it about Hilary Clinton twice). You could also hear the quotes at "All Things Considered."

BUT what I heard disgustedly today was hosts playing Obama's comments out of context (in fact, his talk has NOTHING to do with Sarah Palin or any woman. He was referring to the Republican party trying to pass off the same old ideas and dressing them up.

Any media member who played that quote without the context before it is at best irresponsible, but more likely just a shill for the Republican party, which has its claws into the broadcast industry nearly 24/7 (and they once called it the liberal media).

Barack Obama called it what it was, another Republican out of context hit piece, like the Swift Boat campaign that turned John Kerry into a coward, and George W Bush, who hid from the Vietnam War, into the President.

Maybe KGO-AM's afternoon host Gil Gross said it best. With the new People Meter, which measures exactly what people are listening to, radio managers can tell that a conversation about the economy gets far fewer listeners than one about an out of context, inflammatory hit piece, like the pig comment.

Sadly, if he's right, we've become a country of horses asses...and no lipstick is going to fix that.

If only the Republicans could run a country as effectively as they run a smear campaign.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

John McCain vetted her???? Perez Hilton really vetted her

Check this picture, and start the goodbye Sarah clock.

Also, I have a friend who lives very near her in Juneau, who told me that the people there don't care for her much because they are more liberal and because she wants to move the state capital to the larger and more accessible Anchorage.

If that picture is for real....which I guess it is....I don't know what to say. According to reports, Palin's daughter is following in her footsteps. Sarah got married eight months before having her first child.

Finally, we have someone who makes George W. seem classy. And GW makes a lot of us miss Nixon. Sad days indeed. Most peculiar mama.

More Perez Hilton here.

And another Palin post here.

Man, talk radio is going to have a FIELD DAY with her. Maybe McCain IS a genius. No one will notice he's incontinent with her around.

I guess all this really brings one thing home. It's like our parents used to say when we were kids. ANYONE can be president.

This woman is one heartbeat away from it. If McCain won and she ended up the leader of the free world, that would be more outrageous than the most outrageous novel's plot line.

Then again, we have a president who can't pronounce the word NUCLEAR and speaks with a Texas accent even though he was raised and schooled in New England boarding schools. That's pretty ludicrous too.

Big Shock: Limbaugh Blames Liberal Media for Knocked-Up Candidate's Daughter Investigation

I should have known. The drug addict Rush Limbaugh blamed the liberal media for his candidate's problems.
It's the same tactic he uses all the time, including when he was being investigated for his drug addiction (remember when he bought hillbilly heroin in a Denny's parking lot?)

Limbaugh blasted the media for ruining the life of Britney, uhh, Bristol Palin, by covering her pregnancy. He also claimed that the media kept hands off the children of Democrats.

He seems to have forgotten his own jokes at Chelsea Clinton's expense, recounted here by Molly Ivins:

On his TV show, early in the Clinton administration, Limbaugh put up a picture of Socks, the White House cat, and asked, "Did you know there's a White House dog?" Then he put up a picture of Chelsea Clinton, who was 13 years old at the time and as far as I know had never done any harm to anyone.

When viewers objected, he claimed, in typical Limbaugh fashion, that the gag was an accident and that without his permission some technician had put up the picture of Chelsea--which I found as disgusting as his original attempt at humor.

And here, courtesy of a great story in Fairness and Accuracy in Media:

LIMBAUGH: "You know the Clintons send Chelsea to the Sidwell Friends private school.... A recent eighth grade class assignment required students to write a paper on 'Why I Feel Guilty Being White". '... My source for this story is CBS News. I am not making it up." (Radio show, quoted in the Chicago Sun-Times, 1/16/94.)

REALITY: When Richard Roeper of the Chicago Sun-Times called CBS, the network denied running such a story. Ellis Turner, the director of external affairs for Sidwell Friends, told Roeper: "There is no legitimacy to the story that has been circulating.... We're anxious to let people know that this story is not true." The essay topic would be particularly difficult for the 28 percent of the school's student body that is not white.

And today, in the guise of reporting about coverups, he mentioned Al Gore's teenaged son's problem with drugs and driving, and Joe Biden's son's problem with lobbying for the banking industry (he helped pass the worst bankruptcy bill in history, signed by George Bush).

Limbaugh got both of these stories from...duh...the mainstream media.

Monday, September 1, 2008

What will Rush Limbaugh say about Bristol Palin???

The last thing I heard Rush Limbaugh talk about last week was what a great job John McCain did in picking unknown Alaska governor Sarah Palin and keeping the pick a big secret.

He was implying, that McCain's campaign was better than Obama's because some press found out about Obama's VP pick a few hours before the message went out in text messages. (Not that McCain knows how to text, or use a computer.)

Anyway, the 17-year-old daughter of this potential VP is five months pregnant and the news broke on Labor Day (no pun intended).

I'm dying to hear what El Rushbo has to say about this one. Any guesses? Will he suddenly celebrate 17-year-old children running out and getting pregnant? Will he praise parents for not teaching about birth control and not supervising their teenagers? Will he claim, as McCain is doing, that the presumptive nominee really knew about the pregnancy when he was picking his vice? Will he claim that family matters should be kept out of the election, as Barack Obama has already said?

You tell me, I'm dying to know.

And what about the rumors that Palin's four-month-old, Trig, is actually Bristol's first born? That was floating around Mr. Bush's Internets Monday....and apparently triggered the Palins to tell the truth about their daughter

My bet? McCain didn't vet her carefully enough, anymore than the Republicans vetted what to do in Iraq, and she will be off the ticket, replaced by either Joe Lieberman or Mitt Romney.

Here's an interesting excerpt from a New York Daily News story about Baby Daddy Levi Johnston.

Besides his hard play on the ice, Levi Johnston was also a bit of a hell-raiser off it - another reason Bristol may have been smitten.
State troopers popped Johnston last year for snagging some king salmon out of season in Moose Lake, records from Alaska wildlife enforcement show. He had to pay $370 bail.
On his MySpace page, Johnston proudly declares: "I'm a fuckin' redneck."
"I live to play hockey. I like to go camping and hang out with the boys, do some fishing," he says on the site.
He also warns that if anyone messes with him, "I'll kick ass."
The Web site, before it was removed, appeared not to have been accessed for a year.
On it, he admits to having a girlfriend.
On the part where it asks about children, he wrote, "I don't want kids."
Mark Okeson, the assistant principal at Wasilla High School, told the Chicago Tribune that Bristol started her junior year last fall, in the town where Sarah Palin grew up.
He said Bristol inexplicably transferred to an Anchorage high school midyear, leaving Levi behind.
"I never heard the story why," he said.

All of this would be moot, except for the hypocritical family values crowd, going on about abstention and claiming kids shouldn't be taught about sex. Now, they laud this 17-year-old for keeping her baby.

These are the same folks who think gays shouldnt get married or have kids and conveniently choose to ignore the fact that the Dick Cheney's daughter is gay and has a kid.

Who can blame us for pointing out the hypocrisy?