Radio talk-show host Bill Press is the tiniest of fish in the radio ocean, but this minnow's all over the place complaining about the whales. The problem is, of course, that if the market is any kind of measurement, no one knows, or cares, that he's written a book. So he's written a column to self-tout "Toxic Talk: How the Radical Right Has Poisoned America's Airwaves."
Press writes about the good ol' days of civil discourse, but "that's not what we hear nonstop today." And who's to blame? "Honest disagreement on the issues has been replaced by a barrage of ugly name-calling from today's ministers of hate on the right."
OK, then let's see the evidence. But first, let's dispense with the Michael Savage examples, shall we? Press cites this phony as screaming to a gay activist, "You should get AIDS and die, you pig!" That is true, but Press doesn't tell you that a) that was not on his radio show; it was on MSNBC, and b) Savage was loudly condemned by conservatives (like yours truly), and MSNBC was congratulated when he was fired, though some of us also pointed out that MSNBC should never have hired this bigot in the first place. That example is evidence Press is doing a clip job, not a research project.
Besides, it's Limbaugh that Press is after. He bestows on Rush the title of "Hate Monger Number One." Why? Horrors. Rush called Elena Kagan a "socialist," a woman being rushed to confirmation "before her radicalism is understood by the public." Rush also said Obama is "plotting to overthrow core American values." I'm not kidding. Those are Press' examples.
What other "toxic" proof does he have? Sean Hannity asked about Obama: "Is there anything that he likes about this country?" Dear Bill: This might seem more outrageous if Obama wasn't skipping the traditional Memorial Day observance at Arlington Cemetery so he can be in Chicago.
Press said Mark Levin attacked Sonia Sotomayor as a "radical leftist" and a "bigot." Again, if Sotomayor had not said "a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences" could judge better than white guys, maybe she wouldn't stand accused of bigotry.
Glenn Beck said Obama is "trying to destroy the country" and is "pushing America toward civil war." He warned Christians to leave their churches if they hear the words "social justice." Honey, hide the kids!