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Toxic Talk: How the Radical Right Has Poisoned America's Airwaves Hardcover – Bargain Price, May 25, 2010

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Editorial Reviews



"Mr. Press charges Rush Limbaugh and other conservative radio talk-show hosts with employing ugly rhetoric, dirty tactics and outright lies to build their audiences and advance their political agendas. In the process, he argues, the radio talkers have coarsened the political debate and diminished opportunities for bipartisanship."--The Wall Street Journal

"For far too long, conservatives were the only voices heard on talk radio. But no longer. Now there's a whole community of strong and dynamic progressive voices on the airwaves. As Bill Press shows, progressive radio is alive, well, and growing!"--Congressman James E. Clyburn, House Majority Whip

"Good for Bill Press! Finally, somebody exposes that gang of right-wing talk show hosts for the hate-mongers they are. If you want to know how much damage Rush Limbaugh and his clones have done to free speech, read this book!"--Ed Schultz, host of The Ed Schultz Show

"I poke fun at the 'right-wing world' on my own radio show every day. But Bill Press shows us that the world of right-wing talk is not only stupid, it's dangerous. I dare Glenn Beck and Sean Hannity to read this book. If they ever did, they would immediately resign in shame!"--Stephanie Miller, host of The Stephanie Miller Show


"Finally, a bare knuckled challenge to those bullies on talk radio who invent their own truths. Bill Press is a progressive breath of fresh air."--Senator Byron Dorgan

"For too long, talk radio was the exclusive playhouse of right-wing extremists. No longer. Now, we see them exposed for what Bill Press rightly calls them, toxic talkers. We also see the promise, from a progressive perspective, of more and more strong truth-tellers."--Senator Bernie Sanders


"Bill Press writes the way he talks: with wit, spiritual conviction and political passion."

--Lydia Howell, Pulse of the Twin Cities

"Impassioned, entertaining and sure to please . . .  thoughtfully reminds readers how and why religion and government need to be protected from each other in order to flourish."

--Publishers Weekly

"This thoughtful look at religion and politics in America will interest even those who may not agree with its premises."


"The movement toward a theocratic America has a new obstacle: Bill Press's articulate defense of real religious freedom."

--The Rev. Barry Lynn, Executive Director, Americans United for Separation of Church and State

"God bless Bill Press. This former seminarian and former California Democratic Party chair has the courage, theological training, and moral clarity needed to point out both the deep spiritual values of the left and the hypocrisy of some on the far right. Hallelujah, Brother Bill!"

--Paul Begala, Cohost, CNN's The Situation Room


"A witty exploration."

--The Tampa Tribune


--U.S. News & World Report

About the Author

BILL PRESS is host of the nationally syndicated Bill Press Show, also on Sirius XM, and writes a syndicated column for Tribune Media Services. He is the former co-host of MSNBC's Buchanan and Press and CNN's Crossfire and The Spin Room. Press lives in Washington, D.C.


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books; 1 edition (May 25, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 031260629X
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.2 x 9.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,713,375 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Bill Press began his career as a political insider and media commentator on KABC-TV and KCOP-TV, both in Los Angeles. Over the years, he has received numerous awards for his work, including four Emmys and a Golden Mike Award.

The former co-host of MSNBC's Buchanan and Press, CNN's Crossfire and The Spin Room, Press has built a national reputation on thought-provoking and humorous insights from the left side of the political aisle.

Press is the author of six books: Spin This! (Atria, 2002), Bush Must Go! (Dutton Books, 2004), How The Republicans Stole Christmas (Doubleday, 2005), Trainwreck (Wiley, 2008), Toxic Talk (Thomas Dunne Books, 2010), and his latest, The Obama Hate Machine (Thomas Dunne Books, 2012).

The host of radio's nationally syndicated Bill Press Show (Monday-Friday from 6-9am ET), Press attends the daily White House press briefing and writes a syndicated newspaper column, distributed weekly by Tribune Media Services.

Press resides in the nation's capital with his wife Carol.

Customer Reviews

3.4 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

30 of 40 people found the following review helpful By Anthony West on June 19, 2010
Format: Hardcover
First of all, I'm a liberal. Not the most extreme liberal, but a liberal nonetheless. I very much like Bill Press and his debates with conservatives on Ed Schultz's MSNBC show are pure entertainment. It's refreshing to have a few liberal voices in a mainly conservative talk landscape.

As soon as I saw Toxic Talk on the bookshelves at Barnes & Noble, I immediately snatched it up and bought it. I cannot resist a liberal giving their take on the right wing radio and TV world.

That said, as much as I enjoyed Toxic Talk, I walked away wanting a little more.

To me, it felt like he took everything he had to say about conservative talk from Media Matters (which he acknowledges he used quite extensively in research for Toxic Talk). I love Media Matters, and it felt like I was reading Media Matters in book form, as if it was written by Eric Bohlert or David Brock instead of Press. I almost felt as if I could have written the book. Also, noted many of the things right wing talkers have said on the radio, but, while there are rebuttals to some of Limbaugh, Hannity, Beck and other's claims, many were left without any thing to point out where the righties were wrong and what the truth really was.

The editing of the book was not quite on par, either. One example was Press's recalling of Sean Hannity versus Sonia Sotomayor. On page 83, it reads: "On May 1, 2004, the day David Souter announced his resignation from the court, Hannity predicted that Obama's first nominee would be "somebody extremely radical," since his policies as president so far had been purely "Socialist." Three days later, still twenty-two days before Sotomayor's confirmation, Hannity declared..."

Now, I read this and thought to myself, surely Souter didn't resign from the Court in 2004.
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32 of 44 people found the following review helpful By Lincoln Templeton on July 19, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I read the book 71 Days: The Media Assault On Obama and it seems this toxic talk began even before Obama was elected. That book shows how the the airwaves were poisoned back on the day of the Democratic National Convention in Denver. Bill Press has done a great job of detailing how the Right is treading on thin ice and in danger of destroying themselves from within. The Whig Party should be a lesson to them. THe book is highly entertaining with some insider tidbits that make for an enjoyable read. It leaves Limbaugh and the like resembling a disease of some sort. Bill Press gets an A+ here. Get it!
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful By K. Carignan on September 26, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a very good book for those that have not heard the truth behind the talk radio of the far right or those who are aware of it, and just wanted to get more information about it. Bill Press has done some very good investigative journalism for this book. He simply puts the facts out there and lets the reader decide what to make of them. Some may want to send this to family or friends you know that are independent voters or those that are sitting on the Dem/Rep fence.
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on August 13, 2010
Format: Hardcover
TOXIC TALK: HOW THE RADICAL RIGHT HAS POISONED AMERICA'S AIRWAVES answers media bullies who have contributed to a divided nation. From Conservative backlashes to health care reform processes to how Right-Wing Conservatives control radio debates, this offers an eye-opening survey of radio's right-wing extremists and how they are influencing the direction of the nation, making this a top pick for any library strong in civil liberties and debates over freedom of expression and radio programming.
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40 of 58 people found the following review helpful By Indrajith A. Weeraratne on June 3, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Everyone believes in democracy should read Bill Press's "Toxic Talk" to understand how the greatest democracy in the world alarmingly is being minimized to a nation with a significant minority (thanks goodness it is still a minority) of brainwashed who could be incited by command and repeated slogans. Bill Press illustrates how effective the rightwing media has been in propaganda even in the land of the freest people on earth. This should send shockwaves since it shows that nobody is immune to effective propaganda.

Most of us who live in the USA come across people considered to be sophisticated, extremely friendly, and seemingly good, repeat slogans (that is totally against their self-interest) that they hear in the radical US media as if they have lost the power to think and question what they hear but only capable of repeating them. They even take pleasure in telling you that they watch only "Fox News" (and also perhaps listen only to the rightwing radio), a sad symbol of twenty-four-seven propaganda media. In other words people are willing to vote for an organization whose main purpose is to deprive the people of the very freedom of press (facts and truth) that they seek out.

As Bill Press points out, rightwing media terrifies me not because of hot air and hatred the handful of highly-paid propagandists for business interest (in direct conflict with the interest of the people, although it does not have to be that way) spew out but because of the innocent way the average man and woman believe (or are they pretending to believe--since no one can be that gullible?) and repeat their slogans. Not only they repeat those slogans (and circulate their convictions via email), but they also want you to agree with them and/or confirm to their way of thinking.
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