On his radio show Joe Walsh, whose obvious death threat against Barack Obama on Twitter, following the deaths of 5 officers in Dallas seems to have been done so for ratings, much less anything else. To be sure, despite his plea, obviously for the benefit of the FBI and Secret Service, Walsh has regularly teased the line to all out threats against the president, progressive politicians, teachers, union members , civil rights protesters, immigrants and Blacks.
He champions un-restricted gun proliferation, mirrors white supremacist and neo-Nazi rhetoric and has openly, numerous times, on his radio show advocated the violent revolution against the Obama administration. He employs the words “War,” “Revolution,” and “Blood” regularly on his show. His dance upon that line suffered a misstep when his tweet finally crossed that line, but make no mistake he has been on that line for a long time. It is only his personal cowardice, and desire that others will connect his dots and leave him plausible deniability to the violence he regularly incites that he retreated from the statement, only in so far as it protects him legally.
But it really is all about the numbers for Walsh. It was all about the numbers when he ran against Tammy Duckworth for the 8th congressional district, in which he received some $6 million in outside and Super PAC money and has received support from the Koch brothers “Americans for Prosperity,” which advocates cutting or eliminating programs for the poor and elderly, like Social security and Medicaid in favor of support for big oil, from which the Kochs receive a majority of their estimated $115 billion dollar annual profits. He also received support from “Americans for Limited Government”. John Tillman was a director of ALG and now runs the Illinois Police Institute, which runs off, reportedly, Koch Brother and Bruce Rauner donations, part of a national effort to control legislation, redistrict and cut taxes for the wealthy at the state level. Walsh regularly portrays himself to his audience as an “average Joe,” fighting to limit the size of government, and a so-called Tea party outsiders. In fact, all of his support, big money donations, lobbyist backers and billionaire patrons make him the consummate insider, while his audience dupes distracted by hot-button distraction issues such as abortion, guns and immigration continue voting against their own interests.
But the real story is at the station level. Walsh’s antics and tweets may be part of a larger effort to put the station on the ratings map. Their top rated show still wallows at number 25 in the market according to Nielsen Audio, and isn’t even ranked in the top 40 radio stations in the Chicago market according to Radio Online. Their focus is on knocking out Chicago’s Rightwing Bismarck, WLS to wrest the mantle of an increasingly more extremist market. The station thrilled and celebrated beating WLS in key demographics without disclosing to their audience how negligible those particular demographics are in the overall market.
Walsh is an idiot, to be sure. It isn’t this observer’s opinion the station and Walsh colluded over the tweet, but the station did promote him knowing full well that he has a long history of being irresponsible, such as mocking and questioning Tammy Duckworth’s military record. Duckworth lost both legs and an arm in combat in Iraq. Walsh never served in the military. The station and rightwing media group Salem Broadcasting was only too aware that Walsh race baits, stokes racism and racists groups and has called President Barack Obama “an American-hating Muslim” time and time again. He sided with racist and tax-cheat Cliven Bundy, extolling armed militias who were prepared to murder federal law enforcement officers. He criticizes Black Lives Matter activists for not respecting law enforcement.
In yet the most recent in a career-long string of Walsh’s race-baiting antics his usual reactionary emotionalism revealed his true motivation. The question now is whether the authorities will treat him as they treat others who make threats against the President, or who incite the same sort of race diving rhetoric dominating his broadcasts. And what will the FCC do? To file a complaint regarding indecency about Walsh, for race-baiting and inciting violence and misusing public airwaves contact the FCC here: