Gunny Bob, Caldara, Rosen try to tie Obama to Blagojevich

In their latest extensive — can we say exhaustive? — compilation of jaw-drop-inducing yakking of right-wing radio heads, Colorado Media Matters lays out recent ad hominem efforts to tie Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich to President-elect Barack Obama, despite U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald’s specific caution to “not cast aspersions on people” named or discussed in the criminal complaint against Blagojevich.

There following are just a few Colorado-specific guilt-by-association efforts that the media watchdog group has documented, listening to such radio luminaries as the Independence Institute’s Jon Caldara and Amy Oliver, Mike Rosen and “Gunny” Bob Newman since the scandal involving the Illinois governor broke.

• On his December 10 Newsradio 850 KOA broadcast, “Gunny” Bob Newman dubbed the Blagojevich scandal “BlagoRezkObama,” in reference to purported unsavory connections among the three and Rezko’s campaign fundraising for both politicians.

• KOA’s Mike Rosen, on his December 10 program, admitted, “Now, I haven’t seen anything that directly connects Barack Obama to anything that would be illegal, dishonest, fraudulent, or felonious” in the scandal. He then added, “But nonetheless, he just doesn’t want to be tied too closely to Blagojevich. It seems, however, that he and his people are tied more closely to Blagojevich than he would have you believe.”

• Another KOA host, Independence Institute President Jon Caldara, during his December 9 broadcast interviewed Chairman and Chief Executive Officer John Tillman of the “free market” Illinois Policy Institute, asking him: “Is it possible for a man to become a state senator and then a United States senator from Illinois without somehow playing ball, being complicit, understanding, knowing the rules and playing by those rules of such a corrupt system?” Tillman responded by repeating the false claim that Obama “paid under market value” for his Chicago home. As Colorado Media Matters has noted, Bloomberg News reported, “The couple who sold Barack Obama his Chicago home said the Illinois senator’s $1.65 million bid ‘was the best offer’ and they didn’t cut their asking price because a campaign donor bought their adjacent land, according to e-mails between Obama’s presidential campaign and the seller.”

• Another Independence Institute senior staff member, 1310 KFKA’s Amy Oliver, stated on her December 10 program: “But I gotta tell you, you know what? There are so many relationships around Barack Obama that are questionable. Tony — what is it? — Rezko, [former Weather Underground member] William Ayers, Reverend [Jeremiah] Wright [Jr.], Blagojevich. These are guys that are all around him.” Oliver continued: “And, by the way, Barack Obama worked closely to get, or worked very hard and was one of Blagojevich’s, I guess was part of his inner circle when he was in the governor’s, when he tried, or, his first run for governor, and Barack Obama’s in the statehouse, and he was an adviser to the governor. Am I saying he’s involved? No.”

Apparently, the right-wing radio heads just can’t help it. Read more of Colorado Media Matters’ findings.

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Cara Degette

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