Talk radio update

My wife and I somehow got picked to fill out diaries for the Arbitron ratings, and Thursday was the first day we were to log our listening habits, so I was an especially attentive listener.

Unfortunately for the accuracy of the Arbitron ratings, I had a breakfast meeting, so I was late starting the route. I missed “Voices of Montana” altogether (sorry, Aaron). As usual, I switched back and forth between Huckabee and Limbaugh during commercial breaks, focusing mainly on Huckabee, who actually had a couple of interesting interviews.

One was with Rand Paul, who wants to pass a bill barring all aid to Pakistan until it frees Shakil Afridi. The other was with former California Gov. Gray Davis, who said he wasn’t much fond of recall elections (me, too).

Limbaugh said the media were going nuts over Mitt Romney having a fund-raiser with birther Donald Trump. Don’t know about the “media,” but Limbaugh was right at least with respect to MSNBC, which hardly seemed able on Wednesday to find time to talk about anything else. I think Democrats should love Trump’s association with Romney. It’s commonplace for Americans to believe that people who make a lot of money must be smart; Trump is proof positive that it ain’t necessarily so.

Sean Hannity railed against a caller who accused Bain Capital of being “amoral.” But it was apparent that Hannity can’t distinguish between “amoral” and “immoral.” At one point he even asked the caller, “Have you ever done anything amoral? What’s the worst thing you’ve ever done?”

As the perpetrator of numerous amoral acts, among them sleeping almost every day, I would have expected Hannity to embrace amorality. That was Adam Smith’s whole point about capitalism, wasn’t it? People acting with regard only to their own self-interest, i.e., amorally, nevertheless produce results that benefit society as a whole. I guess Smith must have been a Marxist.

But Hannity’s finest attribute is not his ignorance but his hypocrisy. He played several times a type of David Axelrod being jeered at a speech in Massachusetts. While Hannity didn’t exactly praise the hecklers, he certainly didn’t condemn them, although he has often condemned liberals who heckle conservative speakers.

The remarkable thing was that I stopped by Hannity’s TV show for a couple of minutes after I got home Thursday night, and there he was: complaining about liberals who heckle conservatives. He didn’t seem to even recall that he had just given conservatives a pass for doing exactly the same thing to liberals. Sometimes I wonder whether it’s even fair with Hannity to call it hypocrisy, since hypocrisy requires some kind of conscious thought. I don’t think he has it in him.

Both Huckabee and the Glenn Beck clone later in the day were upset about a proposal to limit sizes of sugary drinks in New York. I get this; I even agree with it. But I listened to the Beck clone rant for 45 minutes on the topic, which is way more energy than I have for the subject. If I’m going to listen to 45 minutes on drink sizes, I want at least five minutes devoted to the other side of the issue. I got zilch.

The same was true this morning on “Voices of Montana,” which I don’t always listen to on Fridays but did partly to be fair to Arbitron and to Aaron Flint. So Flint ranted (albeit briefly) about drink sizes. I withdraw my apology.

Only on NPR did we hear someone make the scientific case for smaller portion sizes. Among other things, he said that studies show that people in movie theaters will eat more popcorn if given a larger container of it. Even if they already have eaten, and even if the popcorn is five days old, they eat a third more than they would if the portion was smaller.

But even he said he didn’t think the New York proposal was going anywhere. That’s OK. It’s Friday now. Time for a new outrage.

 

One thought on “Talk radio update

  1. The mandate at MSNBC is that controversy is ignored unless it is between Dems and Republicans, and since they disagree on very little, any small story becomes big.

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