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Remember the dust-up over John Edwards's two hires, Amanda Marcotte and Melissa McEwan? You know, the personal vendetta and charge for their firings led by bigoted Bill Donohue? That's right, the same Bill Donohue allowed yesterday by Air America host Lionel to repeatedly lie, make racist and homophobic statements and otherwise spew dishonesty unchallenged and unquestioned by his all-too-willing host. But the worst claim - the worst - made by Donohue was that he, unlike others, doesn't call for the firings of his group's targets. Sure you don't, Bill.

I would be remiss if I failed first to point you to posts about yesterday's shameful episode on Air America penned by Marcotte and McEwan, two friends and fellow bloggers subject to the kind of Donohue-led personal vendetta that the bigoted asshole himself yesterday denied in host Lionel's warm, loving embrace. I can't stress enough the insanity of the truly awe-inspiring Donohue claim - a claim unchallenged by Lionel - that he doesn't call for his targets' firings. Oh yeah? Here, for your reading pleasure (and I hope the reading pleasure of those asleep at the switch with Lionel's "show") are specific passages - quotes from Donohue himself - from four Catholic League press releases over an eight-day stretch earlier this year:

February 6: "John Edwards is a decent man who has had his campaign tarnished by two anti-Catholic vulgar trash-talking bigots. He has no choice but to fire them immediately."

February 8: "John Edwards has apparently decided that there is more to be gained by aligning himself with the cultural left than by standing on principle and firing the Catholic bashers on his payroll."

February 12: "John Edwards had better fire Marcotte and McEwan immediately. As I said last week on TV, these two foul-mouthed bigots are loose cannons with no particular loyalty to Edwards. I was just proven right." (From a release titled " EDWARDS BLOGGER STRIKES AGAIN: THEY MUST BE FIRED NOW!)

February 13: "It is not enough that one foul-mouthed anti-Christian bigot, Amanda Marcotte, has quit. Melissa McEwan must go as well. Either Edwards shows her the door or she bolts on her own. There is no third choice - the Catholic League will see to it that this issue won't go away. 

"The Edwards campaign is in total disarray and the meltdown will continue unless McEwan is removed from his staff. The fact that Marcotte had to quit suggests that Edwards doesn't have the guts to do what is morally right. He has one more chance - fire McEwan now." (From a release titled "EDWARDS NEEDS TO CAN McEWAN")

Sweet Jesus Christ Dressed as Bill Donohue, there can't be a more textbook example of a blatant, hypocritical, gutless fucking lie than that. And yet it was allowed to see the light of day today - on Air America and on more than one occasion. I repeat, on Air Fucking America. The entire premise of Donohue's appearance on Lionel's show was as bogus:

Hold onto your hats, we've got Bill Donohue from the Catholic League. He asks: why is it ok to bash Catholics when there's outrage every time someone hints at insulting Islam or Judaism.

Marcotte, in her post, knocks this ridiculous notion out of the ballpark, but, for a moment, let what happened yesterday settle in: On a show from a progressive radio network hosted by a "talent" apparently important enough to unseat true progressive and friend of the netroots Sam Seder, a known bigot and enemy of everything the network claims to stand for was given ample time to repeatedly lie, make racist and homophobic comments and avoid any and all scrutiny of his own sad record. What's more, by not doing his homework and instead insulting his audience for not getting it, Lionel did himself and his network a tremendous disservice. Tacitly endorsing disgusting bigotry is, in my mind, not a progressive ideal.

And you can spare me the replies that I must have a problem with airing all sides of an issue, a problem with the notion of equal time. Bullshit. I'm all for opposing opinion and for the idea of it being welcome on Air America. But what I'm not for is hosts uncritically allowing guests to repeatedly make easily-refuted claims. I'm also not for hosts allowing guests to make bigoted comments and then criticizing those who have the temerity to call them bigoted. Look no further than Thom Hartmann as an example of an Air America host who welcomes opposing viewpoints. Hartmann regularly spars with those holding contrary opinions, only he does his job and challenges them using intelligence and class, two concepts lacking in the host warming his chair each morning.

When new Air America president Mark Green trumpeted the new "Air America 2.0" in March, he wrote the following:

But [Air America will] be a business with a sharp point of view. The era of on-the-one-hand-on-the-other-hand liberalism is over - or as Robert Frost once wrote, "a liberal man is too broad-minded to take his own side in a quarrel." For all those who worry about messianic misleaders governing on a right wing and a prayer, Air America 2.0 will be an answer. For all those fearful of plutocracy and theocracy, the pro-democracy hosts of AAR's programs will be an answer. If the conservative media continue to spout propaganda and call it news, there's now the alternative of truth, justice and the Air American way.

Boy, Mark, that sounds good when you write it for The Huffington Post, but it turns out a bit differently in practice, doesn't it? I'll cut through your self-congratulatory rhetoric and instead offer you this: It's all about legitimacy. The legitimacy Air America seeks and the legitimacy the network grants its most vocal defenders and most frequent listeners. To achieve the former, it's not smart business to insult the latter. And yesterday, we were all insulted. I hope you're happy with your choice to replace Seder. In time, I suspect you'll be as pleased as those responsible for bringing Jerry Springer on-board. Is it too much to ask that the progressive radio network be, well, progressive? I sure hope not.

Don't take this sitting down. Lionel's Web page can be found here. To contact the show, call 212-871-8283 or write at For another feedback form for Lionel's show, click here. Also, contact Air America itself at

Originally posted to BobcatJH on Thu Jun 14, 2007 at 07:40 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Lionel.... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mini mum, cookiesandmilk, corvo, lams712

    He already annoyed me anyway. I think he is doing the "I the cool guy with contraversial friends" routine, a sure sign that he cannot make up enough of his own material for a decent show.

  •  re (5+ / 0-)

    Don't take this sitting down. Lionel's Web page can be found .

    Lionel. Surprise. Surprise. That worthless hack of a turd would do something like this under the guise of being fair.

    I'm sorry, I won't write in, I cancelled my subscription with AA when then fired sam (from weekdays) for this buffoon. I emailed that joke called Mark Greene.. I posted to his letter / post online...

    I'm done with them...

    "Steve Holt is standing in line right now for his iPhone." - Steve Holt

    by cookiesandmilk on Thu Jun 14, 2007 at 07:44:19 AM PDT

  •  I'm glad I missed it... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rapala, mjd in florida

    ...I am usually listening to The Stephanie Miller Show at that timeslot. I too don't mind opposing viewpoints, but a gaping asshole like Bill Donohue should not get a public forum to spew his lies anywhere, especially a progressive radio network.

    "...if my thought-dreams could be seen, they'd probably put my head in a guillotine...." {-8.13;-5.59}

    by lams712 on Thu Jun 14, 2007 at 07:47:10 AM PDT

    •  You got it! (9+ / 0-)

      The problem with Donohue isn't that he has a diverse opinion. It's that he claims to represent Catholics, and he does not. He represents a narrow minded group of bigots. Go to the Catholic league and look at its Board of Directors--interlocked with half a dozen other far right hate groups. I've written to every Bishop I can think of, letting them know that as long as they allow Donohue to represent them they won't get donations.

      When Lionel introduces him, he creates the impression that the guy is representing Catholics, and perpetuates the lie.

  •  Its Called Balance (0+ / 0-)

    Quit expecting Air America to act like Fox.

  •  I find Lionel repulsive (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Inky, chumley, corvo

    I bought XM Radio just specifically to listen to Air America. Now that they have Lionel, I am back to scanning channels.

    I have written to Air America. Their link for comments is actually defunct--comes back! Or it was jammed. The new management is even more brain dead than the last. They have real stars like Rachel Maddow and Sam Seder, some up and coming and very interesting new people, and they put on that supercillious egomaniac.

    Who owns the stock? To whom can we scream?

  •  "Lionel" (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Inky, cookiesandmilk, corvo


    "Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power." -- Abraham Lincoln

    by chumley on Thu Jun 14, 2007 at 07:56:58 AM PDT

  •  You may be the only person in this country (7+ / 0-)

    who actually listens to Lionel.

    Air America (God bless 'em) has done some really stupid things in the past few years, but dumping Sam Seder and hiring Lionel to replace him was the worst.  To date.

    I'm sure there's a feedback email or contact form on the Air America website.  Hint, hint.

    "Do you know any reporters?" -- Jon Stewart to Matt Cooper, 4/23/07

    by Mehitabel9 on Thu Jun 14, 2007 at 07:57:31 AM PDT

  •  I've been boycotting Lionel since he came to AAR (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cookiesandmilk, corvo

    Stephanie Miller must be wiping the floor with him because Cenk Unger from The Young Turks put in a plug for the 9AM - Noon show, but Cenk didn't call it the Lionel show.  Cenk said that Stephanie was nice but she is not AAR.

    Stephanie Miller is a much better progressive talk show host than Lionel could ever dream of being.

  •  My car radio went out (0+ / 0-)

    A couple months ago. My blood pressure is down. I really haven't missed not having it. And I really don't miss all the snake oil commercials on AAR.

    Someone once asked me if I had learned anything from going to war so many times. My reply: Yes, I learned how to cry.
    Joe Galloway

    by BOHICA on Thu Jun 14, 2007 at 08:06:45 AM PDT

  •  Maybe it's just me.... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    but things have definetly gotten gloomier since Sam was taken off the air.

    That seemed to be the start of the slide downwards...

    Any party that would lie to start a war would also steal an election.

    by landrew on Thu Jun 14, 2007 at 08:11:52 AM PDT

  •  Thank you for writing this (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Inky, cookiesandmilk

    I was actually at home yesterday when this was on, so I got to listen -- and I couldn't believe my ears.

    When I think about what AAR used to be -- smart, clever, informative progressive radio -- and what it is now, I could just cry.

    I don't know what Mark Green thinks he's doing, but running a progressive radio network is not it.  Bill Donohue gets PLENTY of air time on the major cable networks to spew his poison, he doesn't need to get it on AAR.

    It's time to boycott Lionel and all of his advertisers until Green admits his mistake and throws this idiotic, condescending, arrogant jackass under the bus.  His hiring was a blunder that dwarfs the infamous Danny Goldberg cancellation of Morning Sedition.

  •  The seattle line up will be in town (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    on Bastille day.

    "Panelists include; Stephanie Miller, Ed Schultz, Mike Malloy, The Young Turks and moderator Thom Hartmann"

    No Lionel.

    The ticket prices will keep me out, but the concept is interesting. 2 out of 5 are not AAR shows.

    The biggest threat to America is not communism, it's moving America toward a fascist theocracy... -- Frank Zappa

    by NCrefugee on Thu Jun 14, 2007 at 08:21:44 AM PDT

  •  I stopped listening (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cookiesandmilk, cosmic lattice

    when Al Franken & Sam Seder left.

    If you go to Lionel's AA page, he attempts a defense of the show:


    I was absolutely disgusted with some callers yesterday as I discussed Catholic-bashing with Bill Donohue of the Catholic League.  The issue was simple.  Is there a double standard as to criticism and mockery of Catholicism?  Mention Islam, apologize.  Do a poor imitation of a Chinese person, apologize.  Ridicule Catholics, that’s different.  Different?!  Why?  It was a simple question that required critical thinking.  And how I was let down.  Some callers were absolutely stuck in a so-called, self-styled progressive/liberal posture that was neither and as inane as anything exhibited by the right.  It seems they wanted to discuss the validity and legitimacy of Catholicism and/or the Church as opposed to the subject at hand.

    I made it real simple.  Even the Boeotian could decipher yesterday’s critical thinking exercise.  Are Catholics being defamed or libeled disproportionately more than other faiths?  Furthermore, Bill Donohue made it clear that he wasn’t a theologian, was not going to discuss theological issues (e.g. The Eucharist, The Trinity) and found it appropriate for others to disagree with the Vatican’s positions on political issues.  Such was fair game.

    There's more. I hope Lionel didn't hurt himself jumping to any of his conclusions.  But it's clear that if you don't agree, you're not able to think critically.

    Liberal: "I still think it's a respectable word. Its root is "liber," the Latin word for "free," and isn't that what we are all about?"--Mary McGrory

    by mini mum on Thu Jun 14, 2007 at 08:24:47 AM PDT

  •  I rarely listen to Air America any more (0+ / 0-)

    No Marc Maron or Mike Malloy, too little Sam Seder among other things. I love Rachel Maddow and I can only listen to Randi Rhodes in small doses. Plus the station output here in NYC is just pitiful.

    "By the pricking of my thumbs, something wicked this way comes" Wm. Shakespeare, "Macbeth"

    by TheMomCat on Thu Jun 14, 2007 at 08:55:39 AM PDT

  •  Just received an e-mail from Bill Clinton... (0+ / 0-)

    via AA, asking that we support AA. If this is the kind of crap they are going to be doing (that, and their seemingly new DLC bent), they can forget about me as a listener/supporter. In fact, I am going to write them right now, and demand they take me off their mailing list.

    NO MORE DYNASTIES! No more triangulation! No more lies! No more war! No more corporatists! ELECT PROGRESSIVES NOW!

    by Hornito on Thu Jun 14, 2007 at 09:53:22 AM PDT

  •  Lionel Today: Daily News "Reporter" (0+ / 0-)

    This morning, Lionel had on a reporter from the New York Daily News, whom he failed to challenge when that so-called uninformed reporter claimed that the Gonzoles matter was a "waste of time."  

    Perhaps Lionel would be able to challenge his guest as to the importance of the issue if he had done his homework.

  •  Democrats (0+ / 0-)

    I'm loosely Democratic (as in supporting the democratic party), partially because Democrats are fairer and more honest then republicans. If you refuse to even listen to what the other side has to say, that makes you just as bad as Rush Limbaugh or Bill O'Rielly.

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