In her January 12 WorldNetDaily column, conservative radio host Melanie Morgan described herself as "the target ... of an effort by liberal bloggers to get me fired for engaging in what these far-left activists are calling 'hate speech.' " Morgan stated that this "move by liberal activists to silence conservative radio hosts comes after the failure of the left-wing Air America radio network." The column follows a brewing controversy involving a cease-and-desist letter apparently sent by ABC Inc. in response to Spocko, a San Francisco-based blogger who last year attempted to spotlight the extremist rhetoric common to Morgan and other hosts on KSFO, the ABC-owned Bay Area radio station that broadcasts her show. Spocko posted audio clips of some of their most inflammatory remarks on his weblog and highlighted these examples in letters to various KSFO advertisers. Media Matters for America has also posted several examples of Morgan's rhetoric, and included Morgan in a petition against "hate merchants" on the airwaves that has garnered more than 33,000 signatures to date.
In her January 12 column, Morgan suggested that these audio clips had been doctored to make her look bad. Referring to an example in which she said of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) "We've got a bull's-eye painted on her big, wide laughing eyes," Morgan claimed that an "anonymous blogger" had "edited" the clip "to make it look like I was calling for the murder of Nancy Pelosi." Media Matters documented Morgan's November 14, 2006, attack on Pelosi, providing both a full audio clip and transcript of the remarks.
Morgan did not address the numerous other examples highlighted by Spocko, including her statement that she "would have no problem" with New York Times executive editor Bill Keller "being sent to the gas chamber" if he "were tried and convicted of treason" and her suggestion that someone "dig ... up" late environmentalist Rachel Carson "and kill her all over again."
Also absent from Morgan's column was any mention of the basis for the current controversy surrounding KSFO and Spocko. Specifically, Morgan ignored the allegations that -- after several major sponsors reportedly pulled their advertisements from the station -- ABC issued a cease-and-desist letter to Spocko that ultimately led his Internet service provider to shut down his blog, as Media Matters documented.
During a special "no-holds-barred" January 12 program at noon PST, Morgan and her fellow KSFO hosts -- Lee Rodgers, Brian Sussman, and Officer Vic -- will supposedly "hit back against those people who are trying to silence us and take away our free speech rights, get us fired, thrown off the air, because they don't like what we have to say." During the January 11 broadcast of the KSFO Morning Show, Morgan announced the special program and invited "the public as well as the media as well as bloggers to participate in this," which she said would last "three hours or however long it takes to answer all the questions." As the blog Halfway There noted, however, Morgan sent an email to her supporters on January 11 imploring them to call in during the program and voice their support:
To respond to growing pressure from these ruthless liberal bloggers and political activists to silence us, we are going to do something unprecedented. We are opening up our airwaves, cancelling our normal programming and having an open forum where the public, news media, bloggers, critics and friends alike can call in and address any issues surrounding this matter.
I am asking you to call in and voice your support!
The media will be covering this event live, and I want to make sure you are invited to weigh in on this matter.
From Morgan's January 12 column:
I've been the target, as have a number of other conservative talk-radio hosts, of an effort by liberal bloggers to get me fired for engaging in what these far-left activists are calling "hate speech."
The move by liberal activists to silence conservative radio hosts comes after the failure of the left-wing Air America radio network. Given that liberalism couldn't compete and win in the marketplace of ideas, liberals now want to silence conservative radio hosts.
One anonymous online blogger compiled audio clips edited to make it look like I was calling for the murder of Nancy Pelosi, when I did no such thing. (You can listen for yourself and understand how they are now trying to impugn my credibility by misrepresenting my words).
Despite the efforts by liberal censors to silence me, I will never back away from what I believe in: a strong national defense, respect for the men and women of the United States military, a secure border and enforcement of our nation's immigration laws, lower taxes, less government regulation in our lives and in business, respect for the values of decency, honesty and morality.
Any efforts to silence me are just further proof of how desperate and pathetic liberals have become.
Following are several examples of Morgan's eliminationist rhetoric originally highlighted by Spocko, including her remark about Pelosi (see full transcripts below):
- Morgan on Keller and other Times editors: "Hang 'em." (6/27/06)
- More Morgan on Keller: "I would have no problem with him being sent to the gas chamber" if he was convicted of treason. (San Francisco Chronicle, 6/29/06)
- Morgan on the proper punishment for those who "publish classified information": "Fry 'em." (7/10/06)
- Morgan on her co-host's suggestion that an arsonist responsible for a forest fire be burned to death: "Hog tie 'em first. That would be good." (10/27/06)
- Morgan on Pelosi: "We've got a bull's-eye painted on her big, wide laughing eyes." (11/14/06)
Beyond Morgan, Spocko documented numerous additional comments by her fellow KSFO hosts. In these clips, the hosts suggest torturing and killing a Nebraskan criminal, ask a caller to prove that he is not Muslim by calling Allah a "whore," and advocated the murder of millions of Muslims in Indonesia.
From the June 26, 2006, broadcast of KSFO's The Lee Rodgers & Melanie Morgan Program:
RODGERS: President Bush is very annoyed at the news media and the disclosure of the Treasury Department's ability to secretly monitor financial transactions of suspected terrorists.
[begin audio clip]
BUSH: For people to leak that program and for a newspaper to publish it, does great harm to the United States of America.
STEVE TAYLOR (ABC News): President Bush, defending the financial surveillance as legal and useful.
BUSH: What we were doing was the right thing. Congress was aware of it, and we were within the law to do so.
TAYLOR: The idea was to follow the money, Mr. Bush said. And now that's harder.
BUSH: The disclosure of this program is disgraceful.
TAYLOR: Steve Taylor, ABC News, Washington.
[end audio clip]
MORGAN: Get 'em.
RODGERS: Yeah, yeah. As [conservative lawyer and writer] Peter Mulhern said earlier, "Prosecute."
MORGAN: Yes. Hang 'em.
RODGERS: Don't make grumpy noises. Do it.
From the July 10, 2006, broadcast of KSFO's Sussman, Morgan & Vic:
MORGAN: You know I really do believe that anybody who publishes classified information that results in -- you know, treason, a charge of treason --
OFFICER VIC: Yes.
MORGAN: -- should be just fried. Fry 'em. I don't care. I don't care.
SUSSMAN: Trial. Conviction. Fried.
MORGAN: Trial. Conviction. Death penalty.
OFFICER VIC: And originally, I think you said they should be put in the gas chamber -- rattled around in the gas chamber.
MORGAN: Yeah, my original -- the original question posed to me.
SUSSMAN: Well, we like -- we like the old sparky better.
OFFICER VIC: Well, yeah.
SUSSMAN: I'm kinda wondering, what do you think that would -- what do you think that would sound like, OV? I don't know.
OFFICER VIC: Well, this is a -- you know -- great old sparky with the faulty wiring, and they'd set people down and, you know, take care of them on old sparky and their hair would go up and everything.
MORGAN: Yeah. Smoke.
OFFICER VIC: Smoke -- [imitates buzzing sound].
OFFICER VIC: And jets -- electrical jets coming out of their eyeballs. And so we'd just -- we'd take Bill Keller and we'd put him in the electric chair -- after the trial -- and fire it up. [imitates person being electrocuted.] And then [imitates electric chair rattling and someone being electrocuted] he'd start shouting stuff out like, "Bush lied, I fried!" [imitates someone speaking while being electrocuted]
From the October 27, 2006, broadcast of KSFO's The Lee Rodgers & Melanie Morgan Program:
MORGAN: All right, here's what's going on. You've all been hearing about it. It's the big Southern California fire -- a wildfire that has killed four firefighters and burned 24,000 acres. It has been deliberately set and 700 people have been evacuated. So, I'm just going to give you a headline on that, because so many others are talking about it this morning.
RODGERS: What is the appropriate retribution? I say they catch the person, tie 'em to a post and burn 'em. Set 'em on fire.
OFFICER VIC: Yeah.
RODGERS: Let 'em know what it feels like.
MORGAN: Hog tie 'em first. That would be good.
RODGERS: Yeah. Yeah.
MORGAN: Campaign finance reports --
RODGERS: I'm a compassionate conservative.
MORGAN: So am I. So am I. I agree with you.
From the November 14 broadcast of KSFO's The Lee Rodgers & Melanie Morgan Program:
RODGERS: Ms. Melanie, I hear, I hear tell, you were naughty on the Hannity & Colmes TV show last night. What is the word?
MORGAN: Yes, I [inaudible]
RODGERS: What did you do, girl? What did you do?
MORGAN: I was naughty. Well, I just decided I've had it up to my eyeballs with the crap that we are hearing from all the liberal Democrats, "We won, you know. Oh, you people lost, and nyah nyah." So, I decided, 700 days, that's my theme. I got -- we got 700 days to start pushing conservative values and to start hitting back at the Democrats and slap the crap out of 'em. They need it. So --
RODGERS: And where are we starting with this?
MORGAN: We decided to focus on Madame Speaker, Nancy McNasty, our dear, dear friend from San Francisco, who is the presumptive --
RODGERS: Speaker of the House, yeah.
MORGAN: -- speaker of the house. And so I -- I have been doing a little bit of research. In fact, I held up on TV, which you won't be able to see when you hear this clip, but I had a three-ring binder of my first pass at my research into the lovely and talented wide-eyed Nancy with the laughing eyes.
RODGERS: Yes. Yes.
MORGAN: So --
RODGERS: Laughing face.
MORGAN: Well, yes.
RODGERS: Nancy with the laughing face.
MORGAN: If you could call it that, I mean.
RODGERS: With my eyes wide open.
RODGERS: Oh, let's hear it for Nancy.
[song: "With My Eyes Wide Open, I'm Dreaming"]
RODGERS: Yeah, she's dreaming, all right. She's dreaming of personally strangling Melanie Morgan.
MORGAN: Oh. We've got a bull's-eye painted on her big, wide laughing eyes.
RODGERS: Easy, easy, easy.
MORGAN: Eyes, I said eyes.
RODGERS: Yeah, well, that's the only thing about her that's big and wide.
From the December 1 broadcast of KSFO's The Lee Rodgers & Melanie Morgan Program:
RODGERS: Well, I think the moral of this story is beware of do-gooders -- they'll kill ya.
MORGAN: Yeah, or dig up Rachel Green [sic] and kill her all over again. I mean, that would be an appropriate --
RODGERS: Rachel Carson.
MORGAN: I'm sorry, Rachel Carson of Silent Green [sic].