I've been listening to Randi Rhodes on Air America for a long time. Her show is entertaining and Randi has usually had a solid command of the facts -- she likes to brag about how well-informed she is, and until recently that was reflected in her rhetoric. Which is why I have no choice now but to conclude that over the last several weeks she has been intentionally misleading her listeners with a barrage of lies and absurd speculation.
Randi finally admitted last Friday that she's supporting Barack Obama for the Democratic nomination, something that had become obvious recently to even casual listeners, despite her frequent claims of neutrality. That's fine. It's her show and her perogative to support a candidate. But it's not okay for her to lie and mislead her listeners in order to bring down a Democratic candidate. Randi Rhodes is damaging her own reputation and damaging Air America.
Here are a few things that Randi Rhodes has said about Hillary Clinton in the past couple of weeks:
Hillary Clinton broke a "pledge" to remove her name from the Michigan ballot.
Hillary Clinton campaigned in Florida prior to the state's primary.
Hillary Clinton is responsible for the "Obama is a Muslim" email that has been circulating.
Hillary Clinton is "not exactly a Democrat".
Hillary Clinton intends to run as an independent candidate in the general election.
I only hear Randi Rhodes for about 45 minutes each evening during my drive home from work, so I have no idea if this is a comprehensive list. But even if there's nothing else, it's enough to characterize Rhodes as the Rush Limbaugh of the Left.
Her comment about Hillary Clinton campaigning in Florida was made at least twice. Perhaps she was confusing the two candidates:
Barack Obama hinted during a Tampa fundraiser Sunday that if he's the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, he'll seat a Florida delegation at the party's national convention, despite national party sanctions prohibiting it.
Obama also appeared to violate a pledge he and the other leading candidates took by holding a brief news conference outside the fundraiser. That was less than a day after the pledge took effect Saturday, and Obama is the first Democratic presidential candidate to visit Florida since then.
Obama and others have pledged not to campaign in Florida until the Jan. 29 primary except for fundraising, which is what he was doing in Tampa.
And, of course, there was also Obama's ad campaign:
The Obama campaign today began airing paid television advertisements in a national cable buy that include advertising in the state of Florida. There is no question that these ads are a clear and blatant violation of the early-state pledge that Senator Obama and the other leading Democratic candidates signed last year.
Among the list of prohibited activities are "electronic advertising that reaches a significant percentage of the voters in the aforementioned state." (According to Nielsen, there are 6,6 million TV households in Florida that receive CNN through either local cable systems or satellite dishes. This represents 92% of all Florida TV households.) The Obama campaign knows this, but has chosen to violate the pledge regardless.
Is Randi Rhodes that misinformed on this issue?
And what about her accusation that Hillary had broken a pledge to take her name off the ballot in Michigan? There was no pledge and no DNC requirement. Where is Randi getting this stuff?
Just last Friday, Randi told her listeners that she could no longer stay quiet about the tactics of the Clinton campaign and included in her litany of complaints the "Obama is a Muslim" email. Does Randi have any evidence that the Clinton campaign had anything to do with that email? If not, it was beyond irresponsible for her to make that charge.
Also last week, a caller complained to Randi that Hillary is behaving like a Republican. Randi's response? "Well, she's not exactly a Democrat." That just stupid. But it's gotten worse.
Today, Randi stated that she really believes that Hillary plans to run as an independent in the general election. And Randi couldn't leave it as speculation. "She will pull a Lieberman. She will run as an independent." This is just absurd. It's nothing more than a smear. And then Randi took it one step further, leaving no doubt that she has imbibed the Obama kool-aid. Randi Rhodes believes that faced with the [imaginary] prospect of Hillary running as an independent, that Obama may take her offer to be the VP (even if he's guaranteed the nomination), rather than risk splitting the Democratic vote and handing the White House to McCain. Yes, St. Barack will sacrifice his own presidential prospects and give up the nomination to stop the Monster Hillary's great conspiracy. Simply insane.
It's really time for somebody at Air America to give Randi Rhodes a reality check. If she's lying, she needs to stop. If she's just extremely misinformed, she needs to spend some time educating herself before going on the radio and misleading her listeners. Enough is enough.