The Push For Liberal Radio

This is a partial transcript of Special Report with Brit Hume, October 21, that has been edited for clarity.

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BRIT HUME, HOST: For years, American liberals have dreamed of having their own talk radio network with wall-to-wall shows hosted by liberals. The idea is to break what they consider the monopoly of conservative voices on talk radio. One man more than any other is doing something to make this dream come true. His name is Sheldon Drobny (search), there he is.

And Byron York, White House correspondent of National Review has been doing some reporting on who he is.

Byron, welcome back.


HUME: So, who is Sheldon Drobny?

YORK: He is a Chicago businessman, a millionaire, a venture capitalist, a philanthropist.

HUME: I assume from the investment he has made, some $10 million, he is a multimillionaire.

YORK: He is indeed. And he has put up $10 million, formed company called AnShell Media. And its goal is to start a liberal talk show radio network with 14 to 16 hours of programming a day. He says it will be in business by January.

HUME: Now, will this be a network that is itself on the air with its own programming, or will this be network that simply feeds product to radio stations around the country for their selected use?

YORK: I believe it will be on the air as a whole, because the whole idea is they believe that past efforts at liberal talk radio have failed because they were sandwiched in between conservative programs. So they want a whole liberal network to give -- you know, to get their message across.

HUME: Now, what sort of fellow is Sheldon Drobny?

YORK: The interesting thing about him is he likes to write on the side. And just doing a little...

HUME: For whom does he write?

YORK: Well, he writes for a small Website called And looking into what he was doing...

HUME: What is

YORK: It's a small liberal Website that you can read various criticisms of the Bush administration.

And looking into what he said, what he's written, I found that he had written a number of things that were basically comparing President Bush to a Nazi, which is one of the standard things you see really on the far edges of criticism of President Bush.

HUME: What kinds of things?

YORK: One of the things he wrote was that "The corporate masters and their current spokesman, George Bush, is exactly the same excuses…used to sell the public his maniacal desire to conquer Europe."

HUME: And he wrote that on, when?

YORK: He did indeed, in January of this year.

HUME: Uh-huh. What else has he said?

YORK: He also wrote that...

HUME: Hold on a second. I believe we have graphics on this. Do we have graphics on this? Go ahead.

YORK: All right. He also wrote and I'm quoting here, "Very few Americans know that Prescott Bush, our president's grandfather, supplied Nazi Germany with support for its re-armament. The information is documented, but is not known by most Americans because, as in any successful, fascist regime, the press is prevented from publishing it."

HUME: All right. Now, he says this information is documented.

YORK: Yes.

HUME: What about that?

YORK: Well, I sent him an e-mail and said, you know, did you write this? How do you believe this? And he sent back a chapter of a book that I never heard of called "George Bush: The Unauthorized Biography," it's about the first President Bush. And it alleges that the Bush family made their fortune from the Nazi (search) regime.

HUME: Right.

YORK: And I looked into the book. The book was actually published by two followers of Lyndon Larouche (search)...

HUME: For the benefit of viewers, who may not know who Lyndon Larouche is, please...

YORK: He is a nutty, fringe, political figure who has gone to jail and has printed...

HUME: For the record, I had a recent encounter with some of his supporters when I was monitoring a debate sponsored by...

YORK: You did? And they were...

HUME: ... the Black Caucus and FOX News in Baltimore. And it was interrupted several times ...

YORK: They were very vocal.

HUME: ... by vocal protest from the Larouche campaign who said that he, too -- he's always cast himself as Democrat Larouche, should be on the stage with the other candidates.

YORK: He runs a publishing house called Executive Intelligence Review and they are the ones that published this book about George W. Bush. This is something that is floating around on the Internet right now, the idea that the Bush family has Nazi ties and its wealth comes from Nazis. Apparently, what I can tell...

HUME: When you talk to Drobny -- I mean these are views that will strike, I think, many if not most Americans as exotic, to put it gently. What -- did he seem an immoderate fellow or did he...

YORK: Well, not at all. Actually, he stressed he did not want to compare Bush to Hitler in a genocidal sense. If you can compare someone to Hitler in a non-genocidal sense, I suppose that is what he is doing. But he seemed to firmly believe that the Bush family fortune had indeed come from Nazi investments made by George W. Bush's grandfather, Prescott Bush.

And you know, this is something that you normally see on the farthest fringes of the political debate, on both sides. The interesting thing about Drobny's writings is that this is someone who's really quite in the mainstream of what is perhaps the premier liberal outreach effort, which is the talk radio effort. And he's put in a lot of money and has been quite praised by a number of liberal commentators for his work.

HUME: Well, we'll look forward to further reporting from you on Mr. Drobny. Thanks very much, Bryon. Always good to have you.

YORK: Thank you.

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