Who’s the fairest? Rosen or Maher

Denver KOA talk show host Mike Rosen made it a habit of ridiculing former Denver Post columnist Diane Carmen for not accepting his kind invitation to appear on his radio show.

So I was surprised to hear Rosen admit April 14 that he’s refused invitations from Bill Maher to appear on his show. He doesn’t think Maher is fair to his conservative guests.


I asked Rosen about this via email, and here’s our exchange:


Hi Mike …•


I was surprised to hear you say you won’t go on the Bill Maher show because you think he’s not fair to conservative guests. You said April 16 that the show is stacked against folks like you.


How many times did you ridicule Diane Carman for not talking with you on your show? Lots of times.

How do you explain this apparent inconsistency?


Thanks. Jason






Easy.  And there’s no inconsistency. 


Diane — or any other liberal — and I would be one on one.  I wouldn’t have three other guests and a studio audience all on my side ganging up on her.  And she’d have an equal share of an entire hour to make her case.  If I did Maher’s show, I might have a total of three minutes over the course of the whole program to make my case — interrupted with snotty one liners.   What a waste of time.




PS. Just curious – what did you imagine was the “inconsistency?” 




Thanks for the response.


Well, your radio audience is on your side. And you are more partisan than Maher. Maher is more likely than you to attack liberals and conservatives on his show.


So, maybe it’s not exactly the same, because of the other guests on Maher’s show, but the deck is stacked against liberals on your show. It’s not so different from the imbalance against conservatives on Maher’s show.


I still think liberals should come on your show, as you may know anyway, and I criticized Cindy Rodriguez for declining all those talk show invitations. I think media people should defend themselves.


If Diane can handle you and your audience, you can handle Maher and his. And I really believe this. You’re capable of defending yourself on Maher’s show and most anywhere, and so is Diane. I mean, Coulter does quite well, and Maher respects his conservative guests. So you trash Diane and then refuse an invitation from a liberal show…-that’s the inconsistency I see.


I’m surprised you disagree, actually.








It’s very different from the imbalance on Maher’s show.


There’s no inconsistency.  You’re being illogical.


My listening audience wouldn’t be in the studio cheering me on and jeering Carman.  Surely, you can see the difference.


I could defend myself on his show but I wouldn’t bother.  I don’t like his format or the lefty showbiz idiots he often features.  It’s all about smug, cheap shot one-liners.  And it wouldn’t be worth my time for the paltry three minutes I’d get to make my point over the interruptions from his one-sided panel.  


On the other hand, I’d be perfectly willing to go one-on-one with a liberal like Charlie Rose on his show. 

And I’d have no problem going one-on-one with Maher.






Well, Mike, your callers would attack Carman.


Maybe it would be less fair for you to be on his show than Carman to be on yours, but the point is the same. You should go on the shows of your opponents, even if the show is stacked against you, if you say they should go on your show, which is stacked against them.





When I have an oppositional guest on the air for a one-on-one, I generally don’t take calls, especially if the guest prefers that I not. If I do take calls, they come in from both sides.  My listeners may skew right, but I tend to give priority treatment to callers from the left.  Unlike Limbaugh, I prefer debates on my show.


My show isn’t “stacked against” a liberal guest in anything approaching the same format or degree as Maher’s.  For whatever reason you appear to be ignoring significant differences.  I’ve been a guest on shows hosted by opponents.  I’ve even done the Lou Dobbs show, a populist demagogue whose on air act I can’t stand.  Maher’s circus show is just more than I would choose to endure, and as I’ve already explained it’s not worth my time to be a conservative prop for a small fraction of a full program.  I like head-to-head debates, especially with someone like Maher. 






Mike …•


You’ve convinced me, sort of.


But on the air, you said it was about fairness. Your other points you’ve made in our exchange (just a few minutes, celebrity emphasis, etc.) make more sense.





Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.