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Charlie Kireker Should Resign or Be Removed as Air America Chair

Posted by libhom Thursday, April 03, 2008

Hat tip to From the Left for pointing out this story.

Air America Chair Charlie Kireker actually has attacked the free speech rights of that company's talk show host by suspending Randi Rhodes for off air comments at an Air America sponsored event:


April 3, 2008

New York - Air America has suspended on-air host Randi Rhodes for making inappropriate statements about prominent figures, including Senator Hillary Clinton, at a recent public appearance on behalf of Air America in San Francisco which was sponsored by an Air America affiliate station.

"Air America encourages strong opinions about public affairs but does not condone such abusive, ad hominem language by our Hosts," said chair Charlie Kireker.

I disagree with what Randi Rhodes said, because of the way the comments were worded. In fact, Rhodes repeatedly said things in the past I found offensive, which led to me decide not to listen to her show anymore. I have decided not to repeat the particular comments that got Rhodes suspended, though you can follow the link to the From the Left above if you want to know specifically what Rhodes said.

Air America is supposedly this liberal network, yet it is acting like a typical right-wing corporation, punishing employees who don't toe the corporate line. The issue here is the loss of our personal liberties to corporations and the government.

It would be one thing to disavow Rhodes' comments. Air America would have every right to do that. I disavow the way she worded the comments. But, corporations, especially ones that are involved in talk radio, should have the absolute highest standards for free speech.

Contact Air America!



  1. Thanks LibHom. Skippy's got a pretty lively discussion going on about this also.
    Here's the Kireker Statement.


  2. Larry Says:
  3. Will Hillary Clinton use her power to have Rhodes fired now?

  4. RickB Says:
  5. This has been a recurring problem with Air America, liberal talk run by authoritarian corporate suits. Surely what she says out of the studio is her free speech and if there are issues then debate it on air, surely that is a liberal response. Also to some extent this was her quasi stand up act, does that mean anyone on AAR who does stand up has to be careful of what they say as it impacts their radio job? Stephanie Miller must be glad she is only carried on some affiliates not employed by AAR. I don't know if this is also a manifestation of how the Clinton's use influence but it is a stupid move regardless. Although personally I'm not massively upset as it means Sam Seder is on more, him and Rachel Maddow should be the real stars of AAR (and bring back Maron & Malloy).

  6. I read her remarks and although they were somewhat offense, she was not on the air and air america had no right to suspend her!

  7. PoliShifter Says:
  8. The Clinton's raked in $100 million over the past 7 years.

    Lincoln bedroom anyone? Randi's comments were not that far off base. Perhaps whore is too strong a word and she should have just said the Clintons are fucking sellouts.

    My issue with all of this is Randi made those comments OFF AIR. It was an event people paid to see Randi give a comedy routine.

    If she said it ON AIR I can see AAR having an issue and suspending her.

    Saying if OFF AIR I could see AAR issuing a statement sayging they do not necessarily agree with the expressed views of their hosts. They should probably say that anyway.

    My feeling is Mark Green and Kireker are Hillary supporters. Rhodes is an Obama supporter. They saw an opportunity to get her off the air and they took it.

  9. Anonymous Says:
  10. Rod Serling said back in 1959

    “I think it is criminal that we ( writers ) are not permitted to make dramatic note of social evils that exist, of controversial themes as they are inherent in our society.”

    Too True.

  11. Obob Says:
  12. this is going get me in wee bit of trouble:
    does it surprise you of liberal censorship? Look at the authoritarian inspired Fairness Doctrine. Orwell would be grinning with a prophetic smile.
    And I am not trolling.

  13. libhom Says:
  14. obob: The Fairness Doctrine was the exact opposite of censorship. The Fairness Doctrine kept corporations from censoring ideas they didn't like on airwaves owned by the public and only licensed by the corporations.

    The biggest censors in the US are corporations, not government. When corporations were able to buy politicians like Ronald Reagan, he supported their efforts to censor speech on the public airwaves.

  15. libhom Says:
  16. rickb: I agree with what you say about Sam Seder and Rachel Maddow. I also like Mike Malloy and Laura Flanders. I could do without Marc Maron. His politics are great, but his personality is so abrasive I end up changing the station every time I hear his voice.

    polishifter: I wouldn't put anything past the Clintons and the Bushes.

  17. RickB Says:
  18. I get what you mean about Maron, but the more I heard him it became clear he was probably the most annoyed with himself than anyone. I think he is best with a good foil so that irritating side is challenged. I've not heard many of the Seder/Maron things but I think it has possibilities, but my number one wish would be Seder daily again. Then with Maddow and Democracy Now! that's a good audio background each day. People should give Head On a listen too, they need support.

  19. libhom Says:
  20. rickb: What's Head On?

  21. Obob Says:
  22. good response. But, anyone form of regulation is indecent. Even the stuff my kids should not see. Please let it be known, I do monitor what my children watch/listen to. This includes what I watch/listen to in front of them. And for the some reason my oldest, age 7, does not like Neal Boortz.
    I'm failing in parenting skills.

  23. libhom Says:
  24. obob: Corporations regulate what political views we see and hear on our own airwaves unless we use the government to stop that censorship.

    Corporations shouldn't be allowed to regulate our lives. The idea that it is OK for corporations to have unchecked power over our lives but government should have no power over corporations makes no sense.

    In the case of the Fairness Doctrine, this is especially dangerous because the American people legally own the airwaves, not the corporations who have temporary licenses to broadcast on them.

    Conservative/libertarian views on corporations and their relationships with government and the general public are examples of following an abstract ideology in spite of the facts on the ground.

    I was a libertarian for a couple of years as a teenage until I saw how that ideological system contradicted historical and contemporary facts. The unintended consequence of libertarianism is a plutocratic totalitarianism where people have unlimited theoretical freedom and no operational freedom.

  25. RickB Says:
  26. headonradionetwork.com

  27. Anonymous Says:
  28. Google Charlie Kireker and the 2nd thing that comes up is a link to his myBarack page. So everyone harping on the Clintons needs to check their facts and stop whining. You're making asses out of yourselves.



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