On the April 26 broadcast of his nationally syndicated radio show, Neal Boortz complained that Media Matters for America -- which he referred to as "Media Myrmidons" -- had "picked up on" an April 20 New York Times article which reported that he aired an instrumental of the Pat Benatar song 'Hit Me With Your Best Shot' on his April 18 program while discussing the April 16 shooting at Virginia Tech. Boortz claimed that the song "was not chosen by me ... It was chosen by a computer," and said of Media Matters: "Let's see if they correct this one." In fact, in the April 20 item to which Boortz referred, all Media Matters "picked up on" was Boortz's false assertion on the April 20 broadcast of his show that Media Matters had been the source of the Times' claim regarding the Benatar song. Indeed, the item simply noted that Media Matters did not document Boortz's comments -- or the music that was aired -- on the April 18 broadcast of The Neal Boortz Show. Moreover, the item noted Boortz's claim that the music for each segment is "completely and totally random" and selected by a "computer."
Boortz did not contest other claims made in Steinberg's article, which an April 18 comment by Boortz on the Virginia Tech shooting: "When the history of this event is written ... we will have 25 students standing meekly waiting for this guy to execute them. Waiting for what? The government to come save them."
Boortz also repeated the false claim that Media Matters "is another George Soros-funded enterprise." In fact, Media Matters, which is a progressive nonprofit organization unaffiliated with any political party or campaign, has never received funding directly or indirectly from billionaire philanthropist George Soros.
Boortz is not the first media figure to use the word "myrmidons" to refer to Media Matters. In a December 14, 2005, weblog entry on FrontPageMag.com, right-wing pundit David Horowitz made reference to the "myrmidons at Media Matters."
From the April 26 broadcast of Cox Radio Syndication's The Neal Boortz Show:
BOORTZ: I've waited until today to hit this, but I just want to bring it up on the air. And the reason I'm bringing it up on the air is because of something that appeared yesterday on Media Myrmidons. Media Myrmidons for America.
On April the 20th, which was last Friday, Jacques Steinberg, a reporter for The New York Times, wrote an article entitled "Talk Radio Tries For Humor and a Political Advantage." Now, in the preview hour of The Neal Boortz Show, which we've just completed before many of you signed on, we had a call and a little bit of discussion about the all-out attack on talk radio that is under way right now. This story in The New York Times last Friday was part of that attack on talk radio.
We have a very important presidential election coming up, and the left -- it is without question, without question, the majority of those who play a role in what we call the mainstream media in this country will vote for Democrats and want a Democrat to win the presidency. And by majority, I mean about -- over 90 percent. Every single poll I have ever seen taken of reporters and producers and editors that work for the nation's major newspapers and broadcast networks, every single poll I've ever seen -- magazines included -- shows well in excess of 90 percent of those people consider them to be Democrats. And, for instance, in the Clinton era, 97 percent of them voted for Bill Clinton. Ninety-seven percent.
These people want a Democrat in the White House. And these people specifically want Hillary Clinton in the White House. So they are scanning the landscape looking for anything that might step up and spoil their plans. And if you look around for something that could possibly spoil a Democrat victory in 2008, talk radio is right there. Air America has recently failed. Air America, another George Soros-funded enterprise, just like Media Myrmidons.
BOORTZ: So, as you can see, the instrumental version of that Pat Benatar song -- and Steinberg didn't mention it was an instrumental -- was not chosen by me, as he wrote. Nor was it chosen by Royal. It was chosen by a computer.
So, I read this Times story last Friday morning. I had Belinda call Jacques Steinberg, tell him what happened. He said, "Well, I'm sticking with my story." So, she handed me the phone; I talked to him. And I explained to him how the bumper music is chosen. And he said -- he asked me some questions -- I mean, it was a cordial conversation. Then he said, "I'll talk to my editor." That's the last we heard. No correction, and no surprise.
So, the net result from this will be, folks, I'm telling you, for the rest of my life, my talk radio career, which I hope will be very lengthy, I'm going to be dogged by this, "Yeah, and when Neal Boortz was talking about Virginia Tech, he played that 'Hit Me With Your Best Shot' song." It's going to be there. And I won't have a correction in The New York Times to point to. I mean, they ignored me. And why?
I mean, it's already starting, by the way. Media Myrmidons, yesterday -- they've already picked up on it. In Media Myrmidons yesterday, they say, Boortz aired an instrumental version of the Pat Benatar song "Hit Me With Your Best Shot." They didn't say that I chose it, they just said that I aired it. But the urban legend is born; it's going to be with me for a while. And these people at Media Myrmidons, they're fairly good at correcting errors, unlike the Times. Let's see if they correct this one.