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Monday, March 10, 2008

Bill Cunningham's Talk Radio Ruse: Voted Republican In Ohio, Faked Hillary Support

CINCINNATI (TDB) -- Righty radio talker Bill Cunningham got the national publicity he wanted -- he was all over FOX News and the cable channels the week before Ohio's presidential primary. But Hillary Clinton didn't get his vote.

The Daily Bellwether today checked precinct records from Ohio's March 4 presidential primary and discovered Cunningham's much ballyhooed endorsement of the Democratic New York senator turned out to be pure poppycock. Or a ratings ploy. Or a political stunt. Cunningham was not among the thousands of crossovers last week. The conservative talk show host pulled a Republican ballot in Sycamore "W," when he voted at the St.Paul United Methodist Church in suburban Cincinnati. His feud with GOP presidential candidate John McCain now has the aroma of a hoax.

Cunningham on Feb. 26 warmed up a crowd for a McCain rally in Cincinnati and used language that accused Democrat Barack Obama of being tied to Chicago corruption. He also repeatedly used the Illinois senator's full name -- Barack Hussein Obama. McCain apologized for Cunningham's behavior. The talk show host then was all over the airwaves ripping McCain and proclaiming his support for Clinton. On Hannity & Colmes, Cunningham said:

"I'm going to follow the lead of Ann Coulter. I've had it with John McCain. I'm going to endorse Hillary Rodham Clinton for president because she would do a better job in the Oval Office, I think, than the liberal John McCain. I'm done with him."

On his own WLW-AM, 700 talk show, Cunningham said of McCain:

"He just threw me under the bus to the national media. I've had it with McCain. I'm going to endorse Hillary Clinton. I'm going to throw my support behind Hillary Clinton."


"McCain should lose this election and let the Democrats win. . . I've had it with John McCain. He's off the list. I'm joining Ann Coulter and supporting Hillary Rodham Clinton."

There's more here about his fervor for Hillary ahead of primary day. But the whole thing now looks fake. Immediately after McCain apologized last month, there was speculation that the olive branch for Cunningham's conduct was feigned. There was suspicion it was a staged event to portray the Arizona senator as a principled candidate who wanted to take the high road as he campaigned for president. McCain may have meant what he said. But it seems clear from the voting records that Cunningham was just hustling headlines and attention for himself.


  1. And what do you do? ...give him even more publicity. Ignore him, maybe he will go away!

  2. You mean Cunningham is a hypocrite that's full of shit? I can hardly believe it.

  3. Racist Willie:

    I heard The Mouth of Cinci on Jim Scott the morning after and the exact quote was "well, they (the Media) call Bush, Cheney, etc... everything but a WHITE MAN...".

    There was a little skip of silence and and I swear I almost heard Jim Scott choke. I wonder if he didn't throw up a little in his mouth.

    I'm thinkin' 700 doesn’t put THAT in a podcast or transcript. I'm a-bettin' they LOST that one.

  4. ClevelandCouncilMarch 10, 2008 9:03 PM

    Anon 7:59 pm --

    No, I don't think you ignore the fraud. Cunningham milked McCain. The next time something happens there will be a record for the skeptics. Call him out every time.


  6. Bill,

    I believe Cunningham was referring to the general election. Regardless of his buffoon act, Cunningham cares too much for this country to vote for Clinton. McCain may pander to the media and take some odd liberal positions, but he is much better than either of the clowns left fighting to face him in November.

  7. Dear Anonamousey,

    Most of my time listening to Radio, I spend with NPR. I am a member. WOUB in Athens.

    That doesn't mean I don't want to hear things directly from the Horse's Ass when it's warrented.

    I always keep in mind the sources.

    After all, I'm talking to you and not asking you why you are reading blogs when you should be reading The Atlantic.

    I will ask you why you don't use your indoor voice when you type, though.

  8. Hi LargeBill --

    Thanks for stopping by but I disagree, politely, with your opinion that Cunningham was talking about the general election. To say his support for Hillary was intended for the general election in November is to say that he knows for sure that she will be the nominee. Of course, nobody knows who will become the Democratic presidential candidate, least of all Willie Cunningham. And he was speaking against the backdrop of the Ohio primary -- where Hillary was campaigning against Obama. So I don't buy into your theory. I think he blabbed and blabbed and blabbed some more -- not for politics but for self-promotion. He's a shallow shyster with a microphone. He offers cheap entertainment the way cheap comedians used to open for the strippers in burlesque houses.