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April 21, 2005
Airhead News

The first step to better popcorn.

If you liked that or, even better, if it annoyed you, you should read this.

Is the convenience of having access to that precise search you used last month to uncover that hard-to-find information worth the risk of the entire world someday seeing your complete search history? Google thinks it might be.

Is there really a future for 3-D movies? What about if you don't have to those goofy glasses?

How much would you pay to sit in your living room and shoot to death an animal hundreds of miles away? Move fast, you may lose the option to give it a try. And you never have to leave your comfy chair. Explain to me again how hunting is a "sport" and "an adventure."

I was interested to read a column about why Air American isn't succeeding but not as thrilled to find it full of misinformation and irrelevancies.

There is no "liberal bias" in the media, that's been debunked a hundred times. People of all ethnicities would listen to the programs if they offered entertainment and education of interest to the listeners. NPR is, regardless of what you read in this column, not liberal. I listen to it regularly and I promise you I become annoyed by the news reports as often as I'm nodding and agree with them. There's plenty of balance there. And I firmly believe that the audience polled is either lying about the number of news publications they're reading (in the same way people lie about their church attendance, inflating it to make them appear to be more who they think they should be) or they're all reading nothing but the equivalent of freeper-fodder.

Further, this quote:

Unable to prosper in the medium, liberals have taken to denouncing talk radio as a threat to democracy. Liberal political columnist Hendrik Hertzberg, writing in The New Yorker, is typically venomous. Conservative talk radio represents "viscous, untreated political sewage" and "niche entertainment for the spiritually unattractive," Hertzberg sneers.

This is largely true. Right-wing talk radio is political sewage much of the time and it does appeal to the worst in its listeners. So while I disagree that it's a "threat to democracy" (or that there's any organized effort to kill it off), rightwing talk radio is bad for us as a society. I also believe it's part of the price we pay for living in a free society.

Limbaugh is free to spew hate, lies, and what, had it come from the Left, would be called obscenity and no one shuts him up, contradicts him, or arrests him for being, at best, an obnoxious idiot. It's a free speech matter.

Why the Left hasn't yet found anything to counter his ilk is quite another matter that has nothing to do with "issues."

It's the entertainment issue. People driving to and from work, listening to the radio, want to be entertained. There's no reason Air America couldn't be just as entertaining as rightwingnuts without telling all the lies.

Of course, that introduces a different problem. The people with even a modicum of good sense know Limbaugh and his cohorts are, at best, stretching the truth a great deal of the time. So I assume those Modicum Listeners discount what they hear by 25% or so. (They should discount it a lot more, but I'm being conservative.) In order to provide "balance" that means talk-radio from the Left would also have to tell big lies, because talk-radio listeners are accustomed to being lied to and will automatically discount what the Left says by a minimum 25%.

Most of us on the Left aren't quite as good at lying. We can match the Right for passion, but we can't make statistics showing that air and water pollution in Louisiana, directly connected to the industries encouraged to locate there and encouraged to do as they will by a complicit state govenment, are destroying the bayous and with them the livelihoods of thousands of desperately poor people (not to mention an ecosystem) as much fun as Limbaugh making racist, bigoted rants against immigrants.

The culture of the Left isn't one that's going to spawn a lot of Coulters or Noonans or Limbaughs. Itís the very outrageousness of the lies they tell that provides the entertainment value. The fact that they go over the top and then over the top of that.

The Left doesnít often make national icons out of our wingnuts. Jim Hightower gets a bit carried away with his facts occasionally, but he's not even remotely in a class with the Rightwingnuts mentioned here. He's the closest thing we have. (Michael Moore has a definite Leftward bias but he's Hollywood-famous, he wasn't created by the Left. Also, he's biased, yes, but he doesn't tell massive numbers of lies. Ralph Nader, before he became a sad caricature, was a good spokesman for many of the Left's concerns and he could give a good rant with the best of them, but he was always hampered by his determination to tell the truth.)

I'm sure the Left's truth can be funny and entertaining and heart-wrenching and compelling listening. It just remains for Air America to find a few writers who know how to write for radio and some commentators who can deliver the material properly.

Really, it's not a "problem" with the Left at all. The Left isn't failing because their message is unpopular or unwelcome. It's just...not interesting. What Air America needs to do is to snuggle up to a few of those Liberal Hollywood Elites and hire themselves some writing talent.

(I mean, okay, since the Right is afraid of Hollywood's PR power with the public, they've been careful to smear the industry as full of Leftwingnuts, which is far from the truth, so that's a good reason why Air America probably has to stay clear of Hollywood in trying to make a name for itself and it's a shame that the Rightwingnut organizations haven't been publicly denounced by the Left so that anyone associated with them would be automaticallly suspect, but that's the problem you have when you try to focus on issues and not personalities.)

Also, for the record, I'm biased. Don't get carried away thinking I'm all rational and balanced just because I don't swear or use any of the many, many insulting euphemisms I can think of for the less-savory personalities on the Right.

I'm irrevocably biased. I'm a liberal and I think the best place for the Bush Administration and everyone who supports them in power would be on an isolated, undeveloped island in the chilly Atlantic Ocean.

I have nothing against many conservative "issues" as they were defined 40 or more years ago. I have nothing for the current crop of wingnuts leading the Republican Party straight to hell except contempt. And I blame the rest of you in the Republican Party for passively going alone as the lunatics took over your wing of the asylum, just as I blame those of us on the Left for withdrawing from an increasingly unsatisfying Democratic Party, instead of fighting to keep it representative of our beliefs.

Drat. I swore to myself I wasn't going to get into any "issues" this morning. Just a nice little post full of some lightweight Human Interest Items.

Posted by AnneZook at 07:38 AM