Talk radio update

All healthcare ruling, all day long.

Fortunately, NPR offered extra coverage through much of the day, which spared me from listening to considerable whining. I have to give NPR credit: Not only did it seem to have the story right from the very beginning (unlike CNN and Fox), it kept expanding the coverage throughout the day with an enormous range of views and perspectives.

Commercial radio, not so much. A caller to Aaron Flint’s show said the ruling actually was good for conservatives. Then he was interrupted by a stretch of dead time (which happens a lot on that show), so I’m not sure I fully got his point. But I think he was saying that since the ruling limited the commerce clause, which is the important thing to real conservatives, the ruling actually had a bright side. This made sense to me, but nobody else seemed to be buying it.

Dennis Miller pretty much dropped his cooler-than-you act and seemed genuinely angry about the whole thing. So were his callers. The common thread essentially was that now hardworking taxpayers will have to pick up the burden of paying for healthcare for everybody else.

To me, this seemed exactly backward. As Michael Smerconish later pointed out to a caller, hardworking taxpayers already are paying for healthcare for everybody else. The individual mandate means that people who thought they could get a free ride if they ever got sick now have to put some money into the pot. Miller also seemed to think it was a 6-3 ruling, so his thinking cap wasn’t on real tight.

Limbaugh was so angry he was reduced to a mountain of slobbering blubber. I could only stand a couple of minutes of it, but I think it is safe to say that in his world America no longer exists.

I had to fetch my wife at the doctor’s office, so I missed most of Huckabee. I did hear him actually talk some about other topics, so I guess he must have had his emotions better under control.

After a couple of more hours of NPR coverage over the noon hour, I girded up my loins to listen to Hannity’s well of outrage. But when I flipped over there, I heard a guest actually making some fairly measured comments about the whole issue. It was so disconcerting that I had one of those slightly disoriented, wobbly moments that occasionally occur when I have been delivering papers too long while drinking too little on a summer’s day.

Then I realized that by mistake I actually had flipped to Smerconish’s show, who, as usual, was more interested in making sense of the ruling than in spinning it. Actual Hannity had no such interest. I have mentioned before that one of his saving graces is that he occasionally will listen to dissenting voices when he feels magnanimous and unthreatened. Thursday was not one of those days. It was nonstop rant from start to finish, much of it focused on the claim that Obama was deliberately lying when he argued during the congressional debate on the Affordable Care Act that it was a penalty, not a tax.

At the very end, Hannity finally let a liberal caller on, but the guy never got out a single sentence. Hannity interrupted every single thing the guy tried to utter. This was Hannity in full defensive mode, all pretense to balance sacrificed.

Things only got worse at 4 p.m. Glenn Beck’s show airs here in the afternoon, but it is taped in the morning, so he didn’t have the ruling yet. He meandered along for a while on the general theme of how terrible Obama is. It got so tedious that I actually flipped for a moment to Michael Savage, who was calling for drug tests for every member of government.

So these were my commercial radio talk choices: uninformed speculation or insane rage. I couldn’t take it any longer. Brad Edwards, here I come.


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