Monthly archives "February 2012"

Radio Wars: Why Does the Right Have All the Fun?

Joanne Ostrow is television critic for the Denver Post.   In the February 12 Perspective section she decided to comment on Talk Radio.   The piece is entitled “Air Wars:  Why do conservative talkers have all the fun?”  Her title makes the concession that the Right has more fun.   She goes on to note that Rush Limbaugh dominates.   So does FOX with higher ratings than CNN and MSNBC combined.

The body of her effort reveals her bias and makes clear her concession is a grudging one.   She says Rush and O’Reilly engage in “diatribe” while Rachel Maddow is “entertaining and wry” and Chris Matthews is “entertaining and sincere.”    I will take her word for that as I waste time on neither of them nor their network.   It is perhaps worth noting the incongruity of listeners and viewers preferring “diatribe” over “wry and entertaining.”     Probably has to do with people from the Right just not knowing what is good for them.   Too strong and independent.

Some of the persons Joanne quotes make one smile at the irony.  NYU “scholar” Mark Crispin Miller, who only leans Left, says the Right is filled with “an undiscriminating fury that includes  racism, anti-semitism, xenophobia, misogyny. . .”   Wow!   Thought for a moment I might be reading one describing Maxine Waters, Jeremiah Wright or Minister Farakhan.   Or maybe U.S. Senator Dick Durbin who said from the Senate floor that our troops were acting like Nazis, Pol Pot and Soviet Gulag.   But all is well.   It was only those who listen to Conservative Talk Radio to whom Miller was referring.

The real comedy came at the end of Ostow’s piece.  Michael Harrison of Talkers magazine says that in Talk Radio no one is huge.  Basically they’re minuscule.  The Super Bowl is huge.   Talk Radio is not.   Let’s see.  Back in 1993 a frustrated President Bill Clinton, as he boarded 747 Air Force One said, “You interview me for a few moments but Rush Limbaugh has three hours on the radio.”   Barack Obama, shortly after he was sworn in, told GOP law makers not to listen to Rush Limbaugh as that is not the way things get done.   Sure is a good thing for Bill and Barack that Talk Radio is minuscule and that Rush is not huge.

Probably be best for Joanne and Michael to get that word to Left Wing Radio and the rest of the Democrats.   They seem to think Rush Limbaugh is head of the Republican Party.


The Gun Scandal

Having followed politics for sixty years I had hoped that the Carter Administration was the sorriest we would see.   But Obama is much worse.   He is at least Carter’s equal in comical incompetence, but he is also radically dangerous.   There are many things to note.    His turning from Israel.   Carter had this same blind spot and still does.    His reckless spending.    More czars than ruled in the Ancien Regime of Russia.

But I would look at Attorney General Eric Holder as the poster child of an administration that is reckless and insensitive.    Mark Hemingway is a fine writer for The Weekly Standard, a scholarly conservative magazine.    He has an article in the February 13 issue on the Fast and Furious scandal titled “Slow and Infuriating.”   Both the magazine and this article are worth your reading.

Holder, like his boss, is an arrogant man with nothing of which to be proud.   There is every indication that the Attorney General is lying about what he knew and when he knew it.   The Justice Department  has been slow in releasing documents–6000 of 80,000 that are relevant to Fast and Furious.

But Mr. Hemingway points out that one e-mail recently released reveals that a deputy attorney general told Holder of the murder of Border Patrol agent, Brian Terry, on December 14, 2010.  Further, this deputy knew the gun employed in Brian’s death was part of Fast and Furious.    Is it rational to assume that Holder’s deputy would fail to tell his boss about the relevance of the gun that killed the agent?    Eric Holder is not stupid but he is stupidly pleading ignorance of the details of Brian Terry’s death.

The Hemingway article brings out the human side of this tragedy with a Facebook posting by Brian Terry’s mom asking why the Attorney General never employs her son’s name.    And why all the double talk and stonewalling when it comes to information.   Her closing is a stinging rebuke of Holder as a coward whom her warrior son died protecting.

Predictably the Lamestream News of NBC, CBS and ABC shows no curiosity about this and did not cover the Holder hearings nor was it Front Page on any of the once major newspapers.   But there is  something totally puzzling about this story.   Why are the GOP candidates for the Presidency also ignoring this tragedy?   This is not a cynical question calling them to exploit this only for political gain.   But that would serendipitously be true.   When Martin Luther King was jailed during the 1960 Presidential Campaign,  Jack Kennedy (the last Democrat President I admired) called him and encouraged his family.   Richard Nixon did neither.   And, at the time, Dr. King was a Republican.

Mark Hemingway closes his article with a suggestion that the GOP hopefuls call Brian Terry’s mother.   This scandal has been discussed (and only briefly) in one of the 18 debates.  Their silence is troubling.   The gun scandal needs a lot of sunshine rather than the shadowy response of Holder and his office.   This can and needs to be a campaign issue.   And not only because it is helpful to the Republicans.   By making it an issue the Press cannot keep ignoring it.   Perhaps we can learn the origin of this senseless Fast and Furious policy.  But not if it is allowed to become backburner.

Josef Stalin said,  “One murder is a tragedy,  millions of murders are simply statistics.”  He had the first part right.  The Obama Administration and Holder’s Justice Department are treating this like a statistic.  The Terry family needs to know that millions of Americans care about the tragic, senseless loss of their son.  His death matters to all of us.