- The Washington Times - Tuesday, February 18, 2003

Liberal radio network
"A group of wealthy Democratic donors is planning to start a liberal radio network to counterbalance the conservative tenor of radio programs such as 'The Rush Limbaugh Show,'" the New York Times reports.
"The group, led by Sheldon and Anita Drobny, venture capitalists from Chicago who have been major campaign donors for Bill Clinton and Al Gore, is in talks with Al Franken, the comedian and author of 'Rush Limbaugh Is a Big Fat Idiot.' It hopes to enlist other well-known entertainers with a liberal point of view for a 14-hour, daily slate of commercial programs that would heavily rely on comedy and political satire," reporter Jim Rutenberg writes.
"The plan faces several business and content challenges, from finding a network of radio stations to buy the program to overcoming the poor track record of liberal radio shows. But it is the most ambitious undertaking yet to come from liberal Democrats, who believe they are overshadowed in the political propaganda wars by conservative radio and television personalities. …
"The new liberal radio network is initially being financed by the Paradigm Group, of which the Drobnys are the principal partners. Ms. Drobny is the chairwoman of the venture, which is being called AnShell Media LLC. Jon Sinton, a longtime, Atlanta-based radio executive, will be its chief executive. He helped start the nationally syndicated radio program of Jim Hightower, the former Texas agriculture commissioner. Liberals had hoped that would be their answer to Mr. Limbaugh, but it was canceled shortly after its start in the mid-1990s."

Liberal 'civility'
"One of the key elements in some left-liberals' view of the world is that, whatever their foibles, their hearts are in the right place," Andrew Sullivan writes at www.Salon.com.
"Unlike the haters to their right, they are tireless supporters of the weak. If left-liberalism means anything, it means an aversion to cruelty," Mr. Andrews said before singling out "one Eric Alterman, Nation columnist, blogger-cum-lately, conservative-hater, and George Stephanopoulos' best man."
Mr. Alterman, in an interview published in Esquire magazine, said: "I hate to say it, but I wish [Rush Limbaugh] had gone deaf. I shouldn't say that, but on behalf of the country, it would be better without Rush Limbaugh and his 20 million listeners."

American jihad?
Eric Alterman believes there is no such thing as liberal bias in the media. He also compares conservatives to Islamic suicide bombers.
Mr. Alterman, an Internet contributor to third-rated cable-TV news network MSNBC, is currently promoting a new book, "What Liberal Media?" The book claims conservatives "are extremely well represented in every facet of the media," and that a "massive conservative media structure … more than ever, determines the shape and scope of our political agenda."
Appearing last week on the Fox News Channel's top-rated "O'Reilly Factor," Mr. Alterman conceded to host Bill O'Reilly that the success of conservative media is "market driven" and not a conspiracy.
Mr. O'Reilly then suggested, "Perhaps we're right because we have the highest ratings in the country."
To which Mr. Alterman responded: "Well, a lot people in Arab countries think that if they blow themselves up in Tel Aviv, they'll be visited by 72 virgins. … It doesn't make them right."

The cookies of wrath
The UCLA Bruin Republicans riled up a top California Democrat and other liberals by holding an affirmative-action bake sale.
"The sale, held on Bruin Walk on Feb. 3, offered cookies at different prices depending on the customer's race and gender," reporter Nicolas Taborek writes in the Daily Bruin.
"Black, Latina and American Indian females were charged 25 cents for cookies that cost males of minority descent 50 cents. White females were charged $1, and white males and all Asian Americans were charged $2.
"Students selling the cookies were assigned name tags portraying them as 'Uncle Tom,' 'The White Oppressor' and 'Self-Hating Hispanic Race Traitor.'"
The event infuriated Art Torres, chairman of the California Democratic Party.
"I am deeply saddened and disheartened at the activities of the Bruin Republicans," he said.
"It is a shame that Republicans at UCLA have chosen to mimic the extreme views of their Republican leaders," Mr. Torres added.
Robertson surgery
Religious broadcaster the Rev. Pat Robertson, underwent 5 hours of successful surgery yesterday for removal of a cancerous prostate gland.
The operation "went very well," said Barry T. Ryan, academic vice president at Regent University in Virginia Beach, where Mr. Robertson, 72, is chancellor and president.
"Hopefully, I will be back up and around in two weeks and all will be well, but I would appreciate everybody's prayer," the host of Christian Broadcasting Network's "700 Club" told his audience last week. Mr. Robertson, who sought the Republican presidential nomination in 1988 and later founded the Christian Coalition, said the cancer was diagnosed just after Christmas and had not spread.
The gland was removed through laparoscopic surgery, according to Angell Watts, a CBN spokeswoman, who declined to identify the hospital where the surgery took place.
Many prominent men in recent years have publicly discussed their prostate cancer, including Sen. John F. Kerry, Massachusetts Democratic and presidential candidate, who underwent surgery last Wednesday; former New York Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani; former Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole; retired Army Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf; New York Yankees manager Joe Torre; and Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan.

Republicans redux
Just months after a Georgia colleague ousted him from Congress, Republican Bob Barr announced yesterday he will run again for the House. Meanwhile, former Republican National Committee Chairman Haley Barbour entered the Mississippi governor's race.
Mr. Barr, who was defeated by Rep. John Linder in last year's Republican primary, is running for the 6th District seat being vacated by Johnny Isakson. Mr. Isakson is running for Senate next year.
Mr. Barr expects the race will be much more expensive than his last run for office, in which he spent more than $3.28 million and lost to Mr. Linder, according to the Associated Press.
Mr. Barr said his experience and seniority are key points qualifying him to run again.
"Our president doesn't need people in Washington who require a learning curve," he said. "He needs people in government who have been there and done that."
In Yazoo City, Miss., Mr. Barbour announced his campaign, saying he aims if elected to improve the state's economy and restore fiscal stability in state government.
The former aide to President Reagan said he is running for governor "because I know we can do better."
Democratic Gov. Ronnie Musgrove is expected to seek re-election. The state's party primaries are set for Aug. 5 and the general election will take place Nov. 4.
Mr. Barbour, a lawyer and lobbyist, traveled the state for several months last year to gauge public reaction to a possible gubernatorial bid. He ran unsuccessfully for the U.S. Senate in Mississippi in 1982.

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