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article imageExclusive: Melanie Morgan Talks U.S. Marines, the 'Uninvited and Unwelcome Intruders'

By Susan Duclos     Feb 7, 2008 in Politics
In an exclusive interview with this citizen journalist, talk show host Melanie Morgan discusses the situation in Berkeley, CA. where City Council set off a firestorm by passing a resolution calling Marine recruiters "uninvited and unwelcome intruders."
On January 29, Berkeley City Council in California passed a resolution by 6-3 vote calling the Marines at the recruiting center in that town "uninvited and unwelcome intruders."
One point in the resolution (opens in PDF) reads, "...Direct the City Manager to send letters to the Marine Corps Recruiting Station at 64 Shattuck Avenue and to General James T. Conway, Commandant of the United States Marine Corps, advising them that the Marine recruiting office is not welcome in our city, and if recruiters choose to stay, they do so as uninvited and unwelcome intruders."
Calling the marines uninvited and unwelcome intruders kicked off a firestorm in the media and in the blogosphere. It also sparked outrage from politicians, businesses as well as town locals who lashed out in anger. Since then, the City Council now claims they didn't read the resolution properly and wish to reword it to quash criticism (full details and background can be found here).
Too little, too late say some. One such critic is popular radio host and political commenter, Melanie Morgan.
In an interview with this DigitalJournal.com citizen journalist, Morgan discusses media, Internet and political reactions to the situation. As chairman of Move America Forward, Morgan also reveals details of a planned event at the next Berkeley City Council meeting on Feb. 12, where she will be attending, participating, broadcasting and reporting for her radio program on KSFO.
Morgan has established herself as a leading conservative voice in the U.S. Every morning, Morgan shows off her intellect and wit as the co-host of one of San Francisco’s top-rated drive-time radio shows, The Lee Rodgers and Melanie Morgan Show.
Morgan has hosted her show for about 12 years now, saying "We are the top-rated morning drive talk show in San Francisco, which is amusing to many people who can't believe that a conservative radio station with an activist co-host like myself can generate a large listening audience."
Morgan admits she is regularly attacked by talk show hosts like Keith Olbermann of MSNBC who called her the "Worst Person in the World." Her reaction? " We have more listeners locked in my closet than watch his pathetically unfunny program," she said. "Gratuitous shot? Yes, I am happy to take it."
Melanie Morgan at a Move America Forward event to thank the troops (more...). - Photo courtesy Move America Forward
Morgan is also the Chairman of Move America Forward, a "non-partisan, not-for-profit charitable organization committed to supporting America’s efforts to defeat terrorism," as their website bio reads. The group says it has more than one million members.
Move America Forward's work has helped to turn negative public opinion on the war in Iraq, as Morgan says polling shows a 20-point jump in approval. "We regard it as a patriotic duty to watch the backs of our troops at home while they fight for us abroad," she said.
In July 2005, Morgan led a delegation of talk radio hosts to Iraq to interview U.S. troops who told stories live to over the radio. These interviews were broadcast live to the nation; they were unedited and unfiltered. Morgan won the Associated Press award for “Best Special Program for "Voices of Soldiers.”
In October 2006, Morgan co-authored the Amazon.com bestselling book, American Mourning. The book tells the story of two American heroes who had paid the ultimate sacrifice in the War on Terror.
Melanie Morgan  talk show host and chairman of MoveAmericaForward.org. - Photo courtesy Melanie Morg...
Melanie Morgan, talk show host and chairman of MoveAmericaForward.org. - Photo courtesy Melanie Morgan
Discussing the Issues: Up-close and personal with Melanie Morgan:
Duclos: What was your first reaction to Berkeley City Council passing a resolution calling the marine recruiters in Berkeley, "uninvited and unwelcome intruders"?
Morgan: Shock. Disgust. Antipathy. This story first became public news after CodePink's Medea Benjamin (co-founder of the far left-wing organization funded by George Soros, MoveOn.org and other anti-American organizations) challenged me to debate her in front of the Marine Recruiting Center in Berkeley 10 days ago. I accepted with some important provisos (neutral moderator, acceptable location, Marine participation) which never happened. Of course, CodePink sent out a press release stating I would participate, which was a flat out lie.
Rather than accept the public falsehood, we got busy researching the latest antics of CodePink and stumbled upon the buried story in the Daily Californian about the resolution denouncing our beloved Marines. [We] put out a press release and from there the Blogosphere led by Michelle Malkin, took off with righteous indignation. It was also fueled by the leadership of Republican Senator Jim DeMint's proposed legislation to strip the City of Berkeley of its pork barrel spending.
True to its hateful conduct towards our troops, CodePink blockaded the Marine Recruiting office a few days later, forcing police to cut the chains.
Adding insult to injury, CodePink has now begun using the photo of murdered pregnant Marine Maria Lauterback in an evil effort to politically exploit a victim of a heinous crime.
These people have earned a ticket to hell.
Duclos: Senator Jim DeMint is proposing legislation that would strip more than $2 million of earmarks and federal funding from Berkeley, do you support that legislation?
Morgan: Senator DeMint has shown he is a great national leader who has the right instincts and inspires people.
I applaud the Senator for stepping in immediately with an pro-active response that has appeared to scare the bejeebers out of the Berkeley City Council.
Senator DeMint's office has been working with Move America Forward behind the scenes to coordinate our assault on the treasonous behavior of the City Council.
Duclos: Being a popular conservative radio show host for KSFO, what kind of feedback are you getting from your listeners in San Francisco about the city council of Berkeley? Letters? Callers?
Morgan: We have been receiving a tsunami of support for our troops, and literally thousands of e-mails, phone calls, and :cc's of letters sent to the City Council.
In fact, between my radio show, the blogs, Move America Forward's e-mail list with over a million members, the support of the other pro-troops groups, we were able to crash the server of the Berkeley City Council. We did find some back-door addresses, and thousands more letters denouncing their efforts to strip our Marines of their free speech rights has back-fired. Big time.
An American troop in Iraq. - Photo courtesy Move America Forward
Duclos: What do you think about The American Legion's press release regarding Berkeley where they said "The Marines are not your enemy"?
Morgan: The American Legion is unafraid to take a bold stand, engage the veterans in the issue, and I'm deeply appreciative.
Here's the direct quote: " Osama bin Laden couldn't have said it better," American Legion National Commander Marty Conatser said of the Berkeley City Council Resolution, which tells the Marines that they are not welcome there. "Disgraceful, disloyal, ungrateful. These words are too kind in describing the actions of the public officials in Berkeley, who voted for this disgrace. Nonetheless, our Marines continue to bravely serve and in so doing, allow Americans to spout such foolishness. The American Legion not only strongly condemns this action by the City Council but also believes that a sincere apology is in order to all Marines, past and present."
I was so impressed with the concise, direct comparison made by Marty Conaster that I am quoting him back with many interviews that I have done involving this issue.
He sums up how American Legion veterans, and all patriotic Americans feel right now.
Duclos: I noticed Move America Forward has also started a petition (linked at the bottom of this interview). What is that for and will it be hand-delivered?
Morgan: There are a number of petitions circulating right now on the blogosphere registering outrage and disgust. I celebrate that so many are taking the steps to get people aware and engaged by our efforts.
But I want to make this distinction: Move America Forward's petition is the ONLY one that is going to be delivered personally to the Berkeley City Council next Tuesday night.
The more folks who sign, the more we shove it back in the face of the Mayor and his minions.
A Move America Forward event at the Texas Panhandle War Memorial (more...). - Photo courtesy Move America Forward
Duclos: Tell us about Move America Forward's protest or rally being organizing for Feb. 12.
Morgan: We are beginning next Tuesday morning at o'dark hundred with staffers from Move America Forward in front of the Berkeley City Council offices.
For those of you who are not in the military, that translates to 5:00 a.m.
One of the things that I have noticed as an activist is that the morning television shows love to show up hours before a scheduled event, turn the cameras around on an empty arena, and say that our side isn't there.
We will be there, for every news cycle until the actual meeting at 7:00 p.m. in order to show our disgust. The meeting time for people with real jobs is 5:00 p.m. two hours before the Council begins it's deliberations.
Instructions on how to get to Berkeley by trains, planes and automobiles are available at our website.
I will be broadcasting from the Council meetings, testifying before the Council, and reporting the Council's actions the next morning on KSFO radio.
We have bloggers who will be posting and who are planning to come.
Most importantly, we have dozens of groups who have committed to bring members, as well as citizens who have friends, relatives, neighbors and acquaintances of people who do the hard work for Freedom.
Duclos: Pete Hegseth, executive Director of Vets For Freedom said "The man or woman who puts on the uniform of a United States Marine, Soldier, Sailor or Airman swears an oath to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States. Clearly, the elected officials of Berkeley, California see the Constitution as a mere roadblock in their radical left-wing agenda. What these fanatics fail to realize is that the fantasy world that they live in exists under the very cloak of freedom provided by the sacrifices of the men and women who serve in the Armed Forces."
Do you agree with that?
Melanie Morgan: Pete Hegseth is one of the true shining lights to focus America's attention on the necessity to fight and win in Iraq.
He is a war hero, a veteran with terrific speaking and writing skills, who is dedicating his life now to making sure that his fellow troop members are not forgotten, and this war doesn't fall into the propaganda ash-heap.
His organization is beginning a national tour of Iraq war Heroes that will criss-cross the country, ending in Washington, D.C. where Move America Forward is planning a big parade and celebration of General David Petreaus' successful counter-insurgency efforts (some call it the surge.)
Duclos: On your website, you have listed letters sent to you by companies planning to take their business elsewhere, saying they will not do further business with Berkeley.
Morgan: I am not a huge fan of business boycotts, because it hurts some of the same people who actually support our troops. But this outrage has grown exponentially, and I posted some of the Berkeley boycotters to send a shot across the bow at the crazed leftists who populate the Berkeley City Council.
And it's working. So, for all those who wrote to me, I wanted to report their efforts. People are taking action, as Mayor Tom Bates, to his dismay, has now figured out.
A Move America Forward event to thank the troops (more...). - Photo courtesy Move America Forward
Duclos: Mayor Bates of Berkeley offered to help the Marines leave, which they politely declined and have stated along with other council members that they wish to "reword" that resolution?
Morgan: Where there is heat, there is light. That's an old political axiom, and now the smelly hippy, tree-hugging, environmental nut-jobs who do not support our troops, and hate their mission are seeing a searing truth.
Duclos: Do you think that will make any difference at this point?
Morgan: Oh yes I do. And the fact that Master Bates is 'softening ' his rhetoric proves it. But in the next breath, the Mayor turned around and offered to 'broker a deal' to release the Marines from its lease on Shattuck Avenue. Can you say two-faced liar? It trips right off my tongue.
Duclos: What is your reaction to city council member, Linda Maio, saying: "I don't think any of us paid enough attention to it, and people want to rewrite it to more accurately portray our sentiments. We really do have a great deal of concern for the people in our military, and we don't want to be critical of the sacrifices they are making"?
Morgan: It enrages me all the more. Linda Maio is supposed to read all the damn legislation that comes before the Council. It's her job. But this is just a cheap attempt to escape responsibility for punishing the Marines for daring to intrude into Berkeley's limousine liberal land. Not. Gonna. Work.
Duclos: Do you think there is going to be even more backlash against the City of Berkeley, or will it pass and be forgotten?
Morgan: This is just the beginning.
We know that CodePink, MoveOn.org, and international A.N.S.W.E.R got crushed this summer when they couldn't organize the millions of people they bragged would take to the streets with their white hot hatred of our efforts to bring freedom in Iraq and establish a beach-head to stop Islamic terrorists.
They have also lost every single piece of legislation sponsored by the cut-and-run crowd for a premature pull-out in Iraq.
So they have changed strategy. The new goal is to force/persuade local governments to vote on all kinds of anti-war resolutions that hurt our military.
Duclos: Melanie, is there anything else you would like to add?
Morgan: I visited Iraq in 2005 when the situation wasn't as positive as it is now. And that's not to disparage the re-building, and the super-human fighting efforts of our troops. But when I returned to the region over the Christmas holidays, there is no denying now that the American military has turned a vital corner.
If you doubt that, listen to the silence from the Democrat candidates about the surge success.
But we have vital work that must be done in fighting the leftist ideology that permeates certain segments of our society who are promulgating defeat in a part of the world where we have to succeed. The consequences of failure are unthinkable.
We have NOT failed in Iraq. We WILL not fail in Iraq. We will NOT let insane people who hate our troops to undermine our troops in Iraq.
Join us in this effort. If you don't speak up now -- then when?
More about Melanie morgan, Berkeley, Move america forward, Marines
 
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