My Ears Are Bleeding

Wednesday, April 15th, 2009

So I just completed the 2.5 hour drive from D.C. to Charlottesville for my speech at UVA tonight. Beautiful drive.

Along the way, I listened to some left-wing talk radio, specifically Ed Schultz. And wow. The left’s blathering idiots really are just a mirror image of the right’s, aren’t they? Cognitive dissonance, disingenuous bullshitting, demagoguery, and hateful invective all over the place. It was really something to behold.

Apparently without the slightest hint of irony, Schultz started by casting off the tea party protesters as “un-American” and “unpatriotic.” Yep. Bush has been out of office for all of three months, and the left has already adopted the “people who disagree with us hate America” crap. He then characterized tea partiers exercising their right to free speech and protest as “trying to overturn the results of an election.” Another page ripped from the right-wing playbook. Just substitute “anti-war protests” for “tea parties.”

But Schultz wasn’t done. He then said the tea party movement is primarily fueled by racism, and the parties are attended by people who can’t stand the fact that a black man was elected president. He said the whole protest was fueled by hate and “white power” supporters.

Then it got worse. Schultz actually said that Fox News anchors were secretly hoping for shots to be fired, for government officials to be killed, and for an ensuing violent overthrow of the government. He strongly implied that tea party organizers want Obama to be assassinated. He equated Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s statement in support of the 10th Amendment this week as akin to support for a bloody revolution.

This guy isn’t fringe, either. DCCC chairman and Maryland Rep. Chris Van Hollen was one of Schultz’s guests today. Schultz also has an evening show on MSNBC, where Obama press secretary Robert Gibbs will be his guest tonight.

Schultz’s bumper described him as the most-listened to liberal talk show host on the radio. God help us if that’s true. You have guys like Schultz gobbling up listeners on the left, and people like Hannity, Rush, and Savage gobbling them up on the right . . . and it’s we libertarians who get tarred as nut-jobs.

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60 Responses to “My Ears Are Bleeding”

  1. #1 |  B | 

    Isn’t it cute the way Team Blue and Team Red think theirs is the fundamental philosophical divide in American politics?

  2. #2 |  Will Grigg | 

    The real tragedy in this instance is that within living memory Ed Schultz was one of the few nationally prominent talk show hosts of any persuasion who were interested in … persuasion, rather than circle-jerk partisan polemics.

    My introduction to Schultz occurred during a cross-country trip about four years ago, and he immediately impressed me by listening to his callers and even, on one occasion, saying — in all sincerity — “I may be wrong about this.” I bought his first book and actually enjoyed most of it, even though I disagree with him in pretty fundamental ways about the role of the state.

  3. #3 |  Regarding Liberty | 

    If you assume that most people are too stupid to be in charge of anything more involved than deciding what to have for dinner, it makes sense that most mass-marketed political discussion boils down to insults, fear-mongering, history-began-yesterday-ism, and a strong aversion to anything that might be mistaken for underlying principles or philosophy.
    But I’m curious as to what they did to exercise this urge before we all pretended to have a say in the political process. Or was it not even present, since for most people there wasn’t even a question of being able to tell other people how to live or what property of others was up for the taking, as that was the sole province of the King. So are the strong emotions that come out in defense of everyone’s view of how force should be used in society a recent phenomena? Has anyone written a book on this?

  4. #4 |  Brian Moore | 

    Everyone who disagrees with me is evil and driven only by hatred and malice! I thought everyone knew this already!

  5. #5 |  SJE | 

    Radley: what did Chris Van Hollen have to say regarding Schultz’s rant? Was he CVH on at the time of the ranting, and did nothing?
    CVH is my rep, but I find him a little too interested in his own career over representing his constituents.

  6. #6 |  joshgeek | 

    I used to listen to “big” ed a couple years back when I thought a liberal voice was the only alternative to rush. He didn’t seem like this much of a demagogue to me then. But, really, what can u expect from this 2 party dynamic? Turnabout is fair play, after all.

  7. #7 |  dan in michigan | 

    So I guess the black people at the rally I went to are racists. Who’da thunk it? I went to a rally that probably had two thousand people. Everyone was polite, there were lots of funny signs, and not a single police officer. Great crowd.

  8. #8 |  Bernard | 

    Sad, but not surprising. You get to be a media celebrity in politics by appealling to the lunatic fringe of the party base who, though a minority in terms of overall voting numbers, are the ones who tune in, buy books, fund campaigns etc. and so represent a key demographic for broadcasters and for party fundraisers.

    If, as Will has mentioned, he used to listen and think then he probably at some point discovered that wild, unfounded partisan scare-mongering was the better route to success. Doubtless lots of people have too much integrity to go that path and so they’re not the ones we hear on our airwaves.

    It’s always possible Limbaugh, Michael Moore etc. are really as stupid as their ranting would suggest but given how much money and exposure it gets them I’d wager heavily that in most cases they’re carefully constructed media images.

    If I’m right then that means that they’re dishonest whores rather than morons. In some ways I think that that’s worse (because at least Joe the Plumber, who shows every sign of really being that stupid, has an excuse for his behaviour).

  9. #9 |  Kevin | 

    I had the same reaction to Ed Schultz when he moved into the timeslot Mancow used to occupy on AM 570 in D.C. (I liked Mancow, he was at least entertaining, and seemed more Libertarian and serious than his wiki biography would suggest. I was surprised to learn about his early career)

    So, being curious, I began to switch between Ed and Rush, and except for the fact Rush is more entertaining and sometimes appeals to my conservative side, they were identical. It reminded me how much I miss Chris Core.

    Ed seems to try to sound like Rush in his cadence and intonation, and I wonder what electronic enhancements are being done to make him sound similar too. Interestingly, Ed ridicules Rush quite often, calling him names such as the Drugster. Sounds like a big case of envy to me. Surely, he can find a better object for his envy. Maybe O’reilly! (:

  10. #10 |  Kevin | 

    Oh, I meant to mention:

    It’s an interesting coincidence of timing between the DHS report leak, the tea parties, and rants like Schultz’s, is it not?

    How is it Libertarians don’t have more elected candidates? Maybe it has to do with a distaste for taking sides, even our own…

  11. #11 |  Hut | 

    People on the right are actually calling for violent overthrow of the Obama government. And not just nut jobs radio hosts like Limbaugh. Congresswoman Michele Bachman has called for revolution on a number of occasions as have other high ranking republicans. And these people are featured saying this on Fox, whose anchors tell her that “we need more like you.” So Schultz’s claims about Fox are actually right on the money.

    And while I don’t agree that racism is the primary motivation, racism is abundant in these tea bag rallies.

  12. #12 |  Will Grigg | 

    Calling for the overthrow of the government, through either peaceful or violent means, is our oldest and most venerable civic tradition.

  13. #13 |  Andrew S. | 

    A while back, when I’d get bored, I’d listen, alternatively, for a few minutes each, to XM Channel 166 (America Right) and Channel 167 (America Left/Air America). I’d listen to each for 5-10 minutes and see who said the more idiotic thing in those 5-10 minutes. It went back and forth, and was usually a close call.

    Back when I did that Ed Schultz seemed to be “normal” (as compared to some of his colleagues on the left-leaning channel like Randi Rhodes). It’s sad to see he’s become like that.

  14. #14 |  Ken’s Weblog » Blog Archive » More role reversal | 

    […] My Ears Are Bleeding. […]

  15. #15 |  chance | 

    I consider myself pretty darn liberal, as my many comments here will attest, but I can’t stomach listening to Randy Rhodes and similar radio and tv blowhards. It really is amazing just how alike they all are.

    The only difference I see is that I don’t know any fellow liberals that even listen to Rhodes or Shultz, while I know quite a few conservatives that take Rush and his like pretty seriously. Sample bias I guess on my part, since I know quite a few more conservatives than liberals.

  16. #16 |  Rob. B. | 

    Radley: While “disingenuous bullshitting” sounds great, you are using 8 syllables to accomplish what a two syllable word would do quite well. LYING. Gets the point across. The person is a liar. Not to be trusted. Certainly, not listened to. Seems all of talk radio is full of liars. Then, there are the incredibly midget-minded jackasses that listen to Talk Radio for “the truth”. Left wing or Right wing, the speaker and the audience leave much to be desired.

  17. #17 |  Jeremy | 

    Best rant I’ve heard in months! Agree 100%.

  18. #18 |  anarch | 

    Well, what color is the tea in question? Huh? Answer me that!

  19. #19 |  fishbane | 

    I won’t defend that windbag; in fact, I’ve never even heard him (I don’t listen to radio at all – I just dislike the noise and find it distracting if I’m not doing nothing but listening, and then it is to music I choose.)

    And a lot of the “racist!” shouting on the left is annoying. Still, watching the tea baggers joke about Obama shining the Saudi king’s shoes, among a lot of other racist crap spotted on the ground, it is hard to deny that it is there.

  20. #20 |  Dr. T | 

    “…we libertarians who get tarred as nut-jobs”

    That’s because we hold the “insane” beliefs that individuals can be responsible for themselves and that huge governments are bad, regardless of the benevolence of the top politicians.

  21. #21 |  RogerX | 

    “If you assume that most people are too stupid to be in charge of anything more involved than deciding what to have for dinner, it makes sense that most mass-marketed political discussion boils down to insults, fear-mongering, history-began-yesterday-ism, and a strong aversion to anything that might be mistaken for underlying principles or philosophy.”

    The epic FAIL of all of this is that people in general *AREN’T * stupid. They are just incredibly lazy. It’s much easier to listen to some sound bites, decide quickly which sounds better, and repeat it ad infinitum. My father is a doctor with a tons of education, author of half a dozen textbooks on his field of expertise… and he still repeats things like “when the fourth amendment was written, there weren’t any terrorists.”

  22. #22 |  Steve Clay | 

    Maybe finding something to say to an invisible audience for several hours a day does something to people…

  23. #23 |  Brad | 

    So the radio ranting was a surprise? Uh, have you been paying attention to the self-proclaimed “democratic wing of the democratic party” for the last 9 years? Maybe not.

    I for one will be sick to death of Obama defenders playing the race card over the next four years (or God help us, the next 8!)

  24. #24 |  something in Latin | 

    Democrats are taking a page from the Republican playbook: if you marginalize an opinion enough, people who take in media passively will begin to think that it’s marginal. See the War on Drugs.

    Unfortunately, it works, so expect it to continue.

  25. #25 |  Greg C | 

    Well, a lot of the people participating ( or inserting themselves into) in the tea parties ARE racist Republicans who had no problem with the spending policies of GWB but hate the black “Muslim Barrack Hussein Obama”

    Is there any denying that?

    What I mean is there are plenty of rational principled libertarians involved in the tea parties, but there are also Hannity and GWB “conservatives” who see the opportunity to hijack it as some anti-Obama protest. Or anti-Muslim, anti-gay, pro-war, whatever.

    The media is going to focus on the latter, and that’s going to be the face of the “tea party.” I certainly don’t want to be associated with the lady I just saw on my news who was interviewed and said she was there with her kids because she wanted them to be aware of how Obama is destroying the country. These are idiots who think George W. Bush was a great president and was were some great free market nation until a couple months ago.

  26. #26 |  Greg C | 

    http://gordonunleashed.com/blog/2009/04/15/stephen-gordon-tea-bags-rachel-maddow/

  27. #27 |  Tyler Nixon | 

    Great post, Radley. I hope your speech went famously and you enjoyed C’Ville.

    I expounded on your thoughts : http://delawarelibertarian.blogspot.com/2009/04/worth.html

  28. #28 |  Price | 

    Dude, have you seen Rush’s annual salary? And you wonder why any talk show host would want to make a name for his/her self? Character and Greed are counter opposed. Heck for 200 million I’d bash whomever. And, like you wouldn’t……

  29. #29 |  Mike T | 

    But, really, what can u expect from this 2 party dynamic? Turnabout is fair play, after all.

    “They victimized innocent members of our group, so we’ll victimize innocent members of their group. It’ll even things out in the end and be fairer that way.”

  30. #30 |  Mike T | 

    Well, a lot of the people participating ( or inserting themselves into) in the tea parties ARE racist Republicans who had no problem with the spending policies of GWB but hate the black “Muslim Barrack Hussein Obama”

    Is there any denying that?

    Yes. Like most liberal morons, you completely fail to notice that by 2006, the conservative base’s support for Bush had collapsed, and that conservative voters largely despised the man.

  31. #31 |  Kristen | 

    Excuse me, but you can’t get ratings if you have a moderate personality, listen to the other side and use logic in your thinking. If you can’t get ratings, you can’t get advertisers. If you can’t get advertisers, you can’t stay on the air.

    You all think the WWE is real, too, don’t you?

  32. #32 |  Mike | 

    There’s quite a hude difference between “people participating ( or inserting themselves into) in the tea parties ARE racist Republicans ” AND “the tea party movement is primarily fueled by racism”.

    I’m sure there are racists attending tea parties, Heck there are probably some Muslims (ooh terrorists) too, and even the occasional child molester. I bet there was even a sizable number of people wearing green shirts. This does not imply that the secret green shirt society is in charge and dictating the agenda of the Tea Party movement.

    Anytime there is a a moderate left or right wing function the extremist nutjobs from that side are gonna come out and support it just to get some press coverage. That doesn’t mean that all political movements are bad.

  33. #33 |  Mattocracy | 

    I would argue that Schultz didn’t take anything from the Republican playbook. Extremist propaganda has been around since the beginning of time. And I find the interchangeability of buzzwords by liberals and conservatives absolutely staggering.

  34. #34 |  ice9 | 

    Oh yeah, it’s just the same thing…

    If you accept the false equivalence of the Bush era’s reaction to protest and the (so far) current reaction to protest–sure.

    If you equate the focus of protests in 2002-2006 (Iraq war and abortion rights, for example) and the focus of yesterday’s protests (what, exactly? Taxes that haven’t yet been levied? Debts for wars (see above?) Best-guess economic policies to remedy disastrous deregulation and greed run amok (see above))?

    If the weird fragments of incoherent protest we saw yesterday (I was only at two; they were indeed calm unto catatonic, but the messages were, quite frankly, psychotic) to the intensive focus of vast protests numbering into the six digits (and also calm, by the way) I saw in DC and the Twin Cities (RNC the exception, of course)–then yep;

    If protests expressing violent annoyance at some vague future taxation are equivalent to protests expressing revulsion at a real present war based on lies and incompetence, waged for no useful purpose, costing trillions of dollars and thousands of dead American servicemen and women, then yeah, sure, you bet.

    If portrayals of Mao, Hitler, and Stalin are the same as big caricature puppets, you bet. The liberals spell better and do better photoshop work; the conservatives are better at death threats and the mixing of otherwise inimical philosophies, but they are indeed just alike, you bet.

    If the motley mob I say yesterday–a lot of angry people who fell somewhere between shockingly ill-informed and loudly deranged–are equivalent to the crowds I saw in various protests in 2006, which were broad, happy, energetic swathes of regular folk, OK. (nutjob lefty fringes also turn out big-time in DC protests, of course, but the crowds I was in mocked or ignored them.)

    If the protests and the reactions are shilled and hacked through administrations co-opting of the press–think Rich Gannon–then sure…but that hasn’t happened so far in this administration, which seems perfectly comfortable confronting, challenging, or even ignoring the press rather than sucking its ass, and getting its ass sucked in return;

    If it’s equivalent for elected executives and legislators to call protesters “un-American America and troop-haters”, then sure (but, except for your guy ranting from Culpeper, not so far in this presidency or congress);

    If the previous administration never happened, and nobody is at fault for the charlie-foxtrot that is our economy, and every presidency starts from a neat plain white sheet of fresh paper, why yes!

    If aggressively ignoring problems is equal as a political philosophy to aggressively attempting to solve them, roger that;

    If “nationwide grass roots spontaneous gatherings” wholly planned and sponsored by a political party and financed and shilled by a cable ‘news’ network are equivalent to broad-based protests organized via the web, covered neutrally by news media, and financed by 503-C organizations built for the purpose, why yes.

    If celebrities and political figures urging people to turn out and express their opinions is the same as a “journalist” dousing someone with gasoline on camera, then yes, indeed.

    If one or five deranged left-wing squawkers trying to cash in on the Limbaugh/O’Reilly model is equal to the hundreds–literally hundreds–of high profile far-right ranters, then sure–that’s totally the same thing…and we must complain when those ‘liberal morons’ merge with a major political party, coordinate messages, overlap in various insidious ways open and secret with the policy and aims of all branches. Oh, wait–Obama and the Congress won the election without much need of that (or, as someone noted rather crudely above, perhaps because of that)–then that’s the same thing.

    It’s tough to be a third philosophy, or to portray yourself as one, when the prevailing two parties suck up all the bandwidth. But even if you can persuade people that the two parties are the same–which right now is pretty tough to do–that doesn’t automatically confer any authority on a third party, especially when the third party has nothing to offer but tortured and ineffectual abstractions.

    ice

  35. #35 |  Jesse | 

    I was listening to an O’Reilly commentary (I know, I know), and he was talking about how the extremists on the right and left are BOTH dangerous. They also get the most attention. He is absolutely right. We need to consistently dismiss any extreme opinion. Unfortunately, right now the left is getting the most attention… doesn’t mean the extreme right isn’t dangerous as well.

  36. #36 |  Mike T | 

    And I find the interchangeability of buzzwords by liberals and conservatives absolutely staggering.

    That’s because most liberals and conservatives are cut from the same cloth. If you look at the behavior of most liberals, they are as zealously puritanical about purging society of perceived “hate” as any social conservative is about sexual immorality. Same spirit, different manifestation.

    The only real difference of any sort is that conservatives do tend to actually be patriotic, often to a fault, whereas liberals have largely abandoned feelings of patriotism. This isn’t the age anymore of liberals like FDR, Truman and Kennedy who were, despite our differences, as red-blooded patriotic as any conservative today.

  37. #37 |  Mike T | 

    We need to consistently dismiss any extreme opinion.

    So much for “extremism in defense of liberty is no vice, moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue…”

  38. #38 |  Henry Bowman | 

    I’ve never listened to Mr. Schultz. However, from your description, there is a world of difference between Schultz and Limbaugh. (Cannot say the same for Hannity and the nut job Savage). Limbaugh is really quite mild-mannered and never hateful towards anyone (he is hateful towards certain policies, but that is a different matter, of course). He is pretty much a statist, true, but far less so than those of the current Administration. It seems one of his heroes is Abe Lincoln, a fellow for whom I have nothing but contempt.

  39. #39 |  Dakota | 

    @11
    “People on the right are actually calling for violent overthrow of the Obama government.”

    It’s not the “Obama Governement”, it’s the peoples. Or at least that’s the idea we’ve been getting at the last 232 years, geez.

  40. #40 |  ShelbyC | 

    Shorter ice9: protests I agree with are better than protests that I don’t

  41. #41 |  Hut | 

    Dakota:
    Obama government = Obama Administration.

    Pretty basic stuff, sorry to have to spell it out for you.

    Will Gregg – my point isn’t that speaking about genuine cause for revolution are bad (vietnam is a great example). The point is that the right wing extremists are calling for the assasination of our president. Why? because they disagree with his politics. The oldest and most venerable aspect of our society is democracy and respect for human life.

  42. #42 |  Jesse | 

    Mike T-

    That is putting the word “extreme” in a very different context.

    Obviously, they are entitled to their opinion and to express it. However, Americans are rarely to the extreme in their politics and letting these extreme opinions get the most press is dangerous. I consider the constitution “moderate”. The revolution (Mike T) was extreme, and was needed. But it brought us as a country to the middle.

  43. #43 |  Mike T | 

    However, Americans are rarely to the extreme in their politics and letting these extreme opinions get the most press is dangerous. I consider the constitution “moderate”.

    Moderation is never a virtue. Take, for instance, the very plausible argument that abortion is murder. If you believe that it is, then it is flat out disgusting for someone to defend abortion on demand, and that makes them a lesser person for it.

    I happen to be one of those libertarians who believes that a human being, at all stages of its existence, from start to finish, is a human being with the basic, inviolable right to life (aside from cases where the person takes another life). You may say that my view that all unnecessary abortions are murder is an extremist position, but from my legitimate point of view, I could easily call you an apologist for homicide who hypocritically opposes murder in some cases, while calling it a human right in others.

    It’s not until you start seeing black helicopters or believe that Halliburton is wiretapping you that you start to cross the threshold of being indefensible.

  44. #44 |  Jesse | 

    Mike T-

    It is pretty great how you paranthetically moderated yourself, therefore destroying your argument. Everybody (well, most) comes to the center in some way.

  45. #45 |  TPN | 

    Thanks, ShelbyC….I dozed off somewhere around 40 paragraphs into ice9’s rambling stream of unconsciousness.

  46. #46 |  Mike T | 

    It is pretty great how you paranthetically moderated yourself, therefore destroying your argument. Everybody (well, most) comes to the center in some way.

    I didn’t moderate myself. I merely pointed out that the only time society can take someone’s right to life away is when that person has been proved, beyond a reasonable doubt, to have murdered another person. That’s a difference in kind, not degree, just like we don’t accuse the police of kidnapping someone when they arrest a suspect on probable cause.

  47. #47 |  Dakota | 

    Hut, okay, you used the wrong word. But then who the hell has been arguing for a violent overthrow of an administration? Anyone advocating a violent overthrow doesn’t fall into the “if we only had the right people in charge” red team/blue dynamic. They want to do away with the very structures not just an administration. It’s absurd to think that anyone wants a violent revolution to appoint Dick Armey to head the Treasury, Duncan Hunter as deputy director of ATF, and Tom Tancredo as head of DHS or some such non-sense.

  48. #48 |  Hut | 

    Dakota-
    How about the Govenor of Texas suggesting that sucession might be necessary? How about Rep. Michelle Bachman saying she wants people “armed and dangerous.” I agree with you that it is ridiculous to advocate violent overthrow only to appoint basically the same people (only with a slightly different ideology). But this is what is happening. And networks like Fox and people like Limbaugh not only report it, not only feature it, but they tell their viewers that this is the right response.

    And in regards to the original post, I don’t think you can equate the left radio extremist with the right extremist radio. Yeah, they are both wildly inaccurate and recycle the same response. But the right wing extremists are part of the mainstream media and part of the Republican Party, so much so that no one can publicly criticize them. The left extremists are just out there flailing around. Huge difference.

  49. #49 |  angulimala | 

    Well, a lot of the people participating ( or inserting themselves into) in the tea parties ARE racist Republicans who had no problem with the spending policies of GWB but hate the black “Muslim Barrack Hussein Obama”

    I think theres more to the racism than that.

    I think there’s a lot of general outrage at the idea that some poor minorities might get to keep things they probably shouldn’t have bought to begin with.

  50. #50 |  Mike | 

    I’m sure there are individuals that are outraged that the idea of some minority getting bailed out, but I would disagree that a “general outrage”. A lot of younger folks I know couldn’t care less about race. Now they may be annoyed with people living beyond thier means but thier race isn’t a factor.

    Personally I still don’t know what to think but I can definately understand the outrage of people who say bought a house 5 years ago (at peak market value) and are still paying for it and having to live frugally, having to support $8K home buyer subsidies that they themselves are not eligable for. I can see many non-racist reasons why people would be concerned about government subsidies.

  51. #51 |  Hut | 

    Mike – well said. The real opposition to the issues is legitimate, but its being drowned out by this racism and fear-mongering that takes over these events. If the leaders of these conservative protests would take a stand against these more extremist positions, then maybe we could hear the real argument. Instead all we hear is “Obama = Hitler.” It distracting. Allowing it to happen distracts from the real cause.

  52. #52 |  ShelbyC | 

    “How about Michelle Bachman saying she wants people “armed and dangerous.”

    How about it? I want the people that way too. So did the founders.

  53. #53 |  supercat | 

    //How about the Govenor of Texas suggesting that sucession might be necessary?//

    Government actions which are forbidden by the Constitution are illegitimate. If Obama were to direct federal officials to act in a fashion that (1) would be illegitimate, and (2) would cause irreparable harm if not stopped, then anyone who is duty-bound to uphold the Constitution of the United States (including current and retired military personnel, state and federal government officials, and naturalized citizens) would be duty-bound to stop such actions by whatever means necessary. The people who acted to block the government actions would not be anarchists. Rather, the people who ordered and sought to carry out the actions would be the anarchists, while those who opposed them would be the ones supporting legitimate government.

  54. #54 |  Benoit was Framed | 

    “How about it? I want the people that way too. So did the founders.”

    This is ridiculous. And so are you. Anyone defending Michelle Bachman is not to be taken seriously. The founders wanted the people ‘armed and dangerous?” You are an idiot.

  55. #55 |  Nic | 

    “The only real difference of any sort is that conservatives do tend to actually be patriotic, often to a fault, whereas liberals have largely abandoned feelings of patriotism.”

    One comment about the following quote from Mike T. Mike, I know you are using a generalization here, but you can’t possibly believe, that all conservatives are patriotic and all liberals are unpatriotic (or “abandoned their feelings of patriotism” as you say). Either you believe that the military is made up entirely of conservatives (which is not true), or you believe that a good portion of the military are not patriotic (which I find hard to believe). I hope you see the logic here, because it really saddens me anytime I hear someone subscribe to this idea that half this country (i.e. those who voted for Obama/liberals) are not patriotic. (and no, I did not vote for Obama, so my motivation for saying this is not “Obama-mania virus”…I just don’t agree that half of this country is “unpatriotic”)

    Secondly, no matter what party you affiliate with, no matter what your believes are…I don’t think we have anything to gain from mocking people as the “lunatic fringe” on either the right or the left, when not so recently (and even still today) drug reformers and anti-prohibitionists are constantly labeled as part of this same “lunatic fringe”.

    Also, I could find any radio host, whether left-wing or right-wing, and play this game of gotcha…if you are on the air long enough, you will inevitably say something to contradicts yourself, and there will most likely be moments of hypocrisy, sadly, this happens all the time on both the left and right.

    Look, I’m not trying to defend this particular radio host and the racist things her show aired…but I do think we have to be careful about how we characterize people and ideas as “lunatic” or “fringe”…It’s my opinion that there are also many ideas that are generally accepted by the political establishment to be “mainstream”, when in reality they are actually the more “radical” “fringe” ideas. Likewise, there are also plenty of ideas that are constantly characterized as “radical” and “fringe” when in actuality, these ideas are actually the most rational, effective, sensible, etc. Again, case in point being drug reformers and anti-prohibitionists. In fact, it seems to me that the better ideas never come from the mainstream or political establishment, but rather from the “outside” or “fringe”…so I really wish there was less of an emphasis to characterize “fringe” “radical” “outsider” as necessarily BAD…because that isn’t always the case.

  56. #56 |  Nic | 

    oops, when I said “this radio host and the racist things she said” I was referring to the later post…I was sort of confusing this post with the other one, even though they are both related. little clarification there.

  57. #57 |  truthynesslover | 

    Some states have actually run out of ammo and there has been a run on guns…but nuthin to see here.

    The teabaggers were a bunch of racists that are still gagging over the fact we now have a black president,I didnt see a single person who looked as though they earned more than 250k…so they were protesting what?Whom?Where were they when bush lied us into war?when bush ran up the deficit?when he collapsed the international economy?when he started the TARP?Illegal wiretapping…torture?
    Nope it took a black president to get them out into the street…..and look who they blame?

  58. #58 |  Fox News Not Conservative | 

    […] is somehow more highbrow.  I don’t know that MSNBC is any less histrionic than FOX or that lefty talk radio is sweetness and light.  And comparing mainstream NPR programming with unabashedly partisan shows […]

  59. #59 |  Dad | 

    Agree that hateful insults from either side are obnoxious, however the criticisms of Fox and the so-called “Tea parties” were absolutely valid.
    However, if you want to hear liberal political views on the radio, find Pacifica radio and “Democracy Now” online–no, they’re not easy to locate on the radio, there are hundreds of stations spewing right wing hate radio, while liberal views are almost entirely absent. But “Democracy Now” is worth searching for, a lot of stories the mainstream press is ignoring altogether (pointing out the hilarity of the lie of “liberal media bias”)

    Some of the comments were as out of touch with reality as one expected…the absurd claim that mainstream media has a “liberal” bias, particularly the ONLY really reliable source of credible and unbiased news that has much depth at all to it these days, NPR. And of course the tired, destructive McCarthyite lies that anyone with a concern for the poor is a “Socialist.” Not only are liberals in America NOT Socialist views that are even vaguely close to Socialist cannot even get HEARD in this nation. The moderate health care reform Obama’s proposing will not do nearly enough to address the need, yet the hearings discussing reform banned DISCUSSION of single-payer, even though most Americans when honestly told what it is support the idea. Obama isn’t even that liberal, yet the radical right continues to call him a “Socialist.”

  60. #60 |  Glenn Beck and the Useful Idiots at Fox News » Spectator Blogs | 

    […] at present, of course. UPDATE: Mind you, the nutjobs on the left are just as bad, as Radley Balko reminds one. Tags: GOP, Lunacy, Television PreviousFixing the County ChampionshipAlex Massie15 April […]

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