Well I was going to go to my favorite Irish bar and do taxes, but I forgot that today is St. Patrick's Day and there was no way I was going to get any work done, so allow me this short post.
I can't listen to right wing talk radio any more because
1. I can finish their sentences.
2. I already know everything they're going to say.
3. It's really depressing.
So, for the past month I've been listening to Air America (which I thought was going bankrupt, but apparently they are still on the air). It's really had to listen before you turn it off or change the station, but after a month, I've come up with some observations about liberal talk radio that are not biased, but just simple observations.
1. They are reactionary to right wing talk radio.
I would say the most prominent thing you notice about liberal talk radio is how about 35% of their show is responding to right wing talk radio. You can't listen for more than 4 minutes before you hear "Glenn Beck" or "Rush Limbaugh" of course referred to in the pejorative. It shows me that their entire existence was founded in countering right-wing talk radio. The problem is this doesn't really pioneer any new lines of thought. It's just them bashing on right wing radio. Not once have I heard Rush or Glenn or Sean utter, "Nick Schultz" or "Mark Malloy." Ergo, right wing talk radio is established unto itself, while left wing talk radio is merely reactionary. There was no real ideological reason for it except to debunk or besmirch right wing talk radio. It's almost like a shell corporation, no real purpose to it.
2. No "Linking" "Domino" or "Cause and Effect" Thinking
To varying degrees all right wing talk show hosts carry through their lines of thought to a logical conclusion or result. Dennis Prager in particular is good at this, but regardless, ALL right wing talk show hosts do a "Cause and effect" analysis of policy, statements, economics, etc. Their left wing counterparts do NONE of this. And it's frustrating because half the reason I started listening was to understand the rationale or reasoning behind the socialist ideology. But since there is no explanation or linking all you get is talking points or stances. For example their arguments are really no more complex than "Oh, those partisan Republicans are trying stop health care because they're rich." No consideration is given to maybe the procedure or the constitution or the real reason "why" Republicans (as well as some democrats) are against the health care bill. It's just "they're rich, they're in bed with the insurance industry" and that is as deep as they get. In other words, even though the hosts are well into their 50's, it's no deeper than having a conversation with a 20 year old theater major.
3. Hate speech
This was the most shocking one of all. Mark Malloy, if you haven't listened to him, puts to rest the notion the right wing of politics in America is the source of hate. He has threatened to kick Glenn Beck's ass more than once, you can't go 10 minutes with out him calling the Republican's nazis and cursing up a storm (amazing the FCC doesn't shut him down) and wishing them essentially death. You think I'm joking? Listen in yourself.
At least when Rush or Glenn or even myself was broadcasting, our ideas were for the overall good of the nation. Balancing the budget, getting the economy going, fighting terrorism, stopping illegal immigration. But this guy just abandons any intellectual honesty and views all conservatives and republicans as nazis no matter what you say or do. You are the enemy to him and forget being Americans, you need to be taken out of the gene pool.
4. Presumption of Premises
When callers call in, there is a whole host of premises and assumptions leftists make that they just take for granted. For example George Bush is to blame for everything. Economy, war on terror, the terrorist attacks themselves. There's no discussion of it. It's just a given Bush caused this all when an intellectually honest person would maybe suggest 100 million Americans spending more than they made was the cause of the recession.
But Bush aside, simple childlike assumptions are the bedrock of their ideology. "Rich people need to be punished." The insurance companies are out to get you. Mark Malloy even cited that some CEO at one of the largest insurance companies in the US made something like $37 million over the past 3 years. Well....yeah, that's about right. By the same logic he should LOATHE professional sports, which he might, but you never hear about it. The overall point is that you can't listen to any intellectual discussion, not matter how intelligent or insightful the people are on liberal talk radio, because they're operating from false premises and thus the entire conversation is worthless.
5. Absolute Ignorance, Pushing Cluelessness, About Economics
Perhaps what gets me to turn to another station so quickly is when I hear them spout off some statistic I know to be completely wrong or just statistically impossible. They have no clue just how much spending Barack Obama has committed the US to, but it's not that they care, they literally think there's $100 trillion in GDP to tax. If you ask them, EVEN THE RADIO SHOW HOSTS, how big the government budget is relative to GDP, or just how much in GDP we produce, I don't think they could answer correctly.
Worse still is the borderline indifference about what the economic ramifications are to implementing higher taxes, higher spending, nationalization of industries, etc. They don't seem to understand that the government gets its money from the private sector. They don't seem to realize that the government needs the private sector and not vice versa. The impression I am LITERALLY getting from them is they think the "economy" is this big, amorphous blog including the government and basically, "stuff comes from it." No concept of taxation, no concept of the Laffer Curve, no concept of income statements or balance sheets. Just, "there's the economy and we get money from it and rich people control it and they suck."
In any case, if you have the time I DO recommend tuning into liberal talk radio and I would love to hear your observations. I just can't listen for more than 10 minutes at a time because it's like listening to 10 year olds trying to explain why they don't like having to work. You don't learn anything and it gets repetitive.