Talk radio update

I heard Mike Huckabee’s new show for the first time, and it was not encouraging. Right off the bat, his first three items were (1) Hilary Rosen attacks stay-at-home moms; (2) the Black Panther Party hates white people; and (3) 92 percent of the jobs lost during the Obama administration were lost by women.

Sigh. Just quickly:

1. Who the hell is Hilary Rosen? Turns out, she is a talking head on CNN. She is not, as some early reports indicated, an adviser to the Democratic National Committee. She is not an elected official. She is not running for an elective office. She does not work for anybody who is running for elective office. She is, in the ubiquitous and, as far as I can tell, meaningless cable news patois, a “Democratic strategist.” So even if what she said was as bad as it sounded, it wouldn’t be important. And it wasn’t even as bad as it sounded. From the context, by which I mean the very next sentence, it was clear that she was saying that Ann Romney had never had to hold down an outside job while also raising kids. None of the above stopped Hannity from venting fake outrage for nearly two hours on this story on Thursday, and Glenn Beck vented for about 40 minutes. Pretty silly, and sad to see Huckabee wasting time on this, too.

By the way, you can tell when Hannity is faking outrage when he interrupts every sentence spoken by someone who disagrees with him. When he thinks he is right, he allows people to talk. When he’s just playing politics, he cuts others off. I can’t tell when Beck is faking outrage because he is pretty much in a state of rage 24 hours a day. I think the rage is genuine, but it doesn’t necessarily bear much relationship to the topic at hand.

2. To listen to Huckabee and fellow Fox contributors, you’d think the Black Panther Party was a greater threat than the Nazis in 1938. But the Panthers are a tiny, irrelevant splinter of a splinter, and they in no way represent, as Huckabee seemed to imply, the views of liberals or even extreme leftists. As Bill Maher said, he can’t take a terrorist group seriously that has fewer members than the Spinners.

3. The claim that the Obama administration has been especially tough on women workers has been widely and definitively shot down. Even Chris Wallace called out a “Republican strategist” who used it on Sunday morning. Did Huckabee bother to point out how misleading that statistic was? Actually, I’m not sure because I had to go teach a class. But I’m not brimming with hope.

Later in the show, after my class was over, Huckabee said, “Anytime you tell a partial truth as if it’s a whole truth, it becomes an untruth.” Wise words. I hope he starts abiding by them.

The good news, at least, is that Huckabee displaced but did not replace Michael Smerconish, who was on during Neal Boortz’s old slot. Not sure what became of Boortz, but I won’t miss him.


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