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And They Like To Call Us On “Tolerance”

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I used to be very, very liberal. This was back in my younger days when I thought I knew it all and didn't understand how the world really worked.  

At one point I was even going to major in journalism so I could report "the truth." Because I was young and carefree and didn't know about things like editors and agendas and assignments. It sounds sad now, but for a brief, youthful, shining moment back in the day, I was blissfully sure I could not only change the world, but make it a much better, more honest place by simply reporting "the truth."

I make no apologies for having once been that naive. I was young and dumb and I don't have a problem admitting that. And then I grew up. There is a saying that with age comes wisdom. I like to think I'm an example of that.

I understand that there are people in the world – hell, even among my own family and friends – who look at things much differently than I do. In the upcoming election some of them will vote differently than I will. And I don't have a problem with that. I may not understand why they think the way they do, but I have no problem respecting their right to their differing opinions. It's still a free country, at least last I heard.

Why do I bring all this up? Because now the Dems are set to muzzle anyone nervy enough to have different views from them. Yes, you're reading that correctly: They want to pass a law to shut up people with opposing viewpoints. Another famous saying comes to mind: power corrupts. Our Congress would appear to be proof of that. These people are positively giddy at the prospect of putting a leash on anyone not on board with them and pulling on the collar until it chokes. In America.

They want to revive the very deceptively titled "Fairness Doctrine" in a shameless effort to muzzle the successful conservative radio business. Welcome to a possible new America, circa 2009 and beyond. Or, maybe more accurately, circa 1984. Doublethink and Newspeak indeed.

Why do I have a problem with this? Because I don't do well with things that defy common sense. See, if it was me in their place, it wouldn't even occur to me to go to such Orwellian lengths. I'd just try to support the Air Americas of the world. But that's just me. What I'm getting from our Congress is that maybe this "tolerance" thing isn't all it's cracked up to be. Luckily, I'm still free to disagree with that.

At least until Congress passes a law against it.

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About Melinda Loomis

  • Jordan Richardson

    Interesting take on the Fairness Doctrine. But doesn’t it mean that the Dems can’t shut up those with opposing views but rather must give equal balance to all views?

    In fact, all this would serve to do would be to stop conservative radio from simply being a hub for ONE point of view. Some people only listen to conservative radio and, on the contrary, some people only listen to liberal radio. By making sure people hear different points of view, you expand perspectives.

    And once again the article, and many, will charge that the FD is a force too powerful for your simpleton government to wield. Well seriously, what isn’t? Nobody seems all that upset that the government is dumping tonnes of money into corporations to “bail them out.” C’mon people, where’s the Boston Tea Party? What happened to Americans’ natural hatred for taxation? Where’s the uprising? Where’s the rage?

    Oh right, it’s tied in with things like this that mandate fairness and equality. Well, there’s nothing more un-American than that. Carry on.

  • Jordan Richardson

    Interestingly, more than half of Americans agree with the basic premise of the Fairness Doctrine. But they oppose it being regulated online.

    I think when the media is designated to serve the public trust, fairness needs to be considered as vital.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Jordan, more than 50% of Americans think the government was responsible for 9/11, that angels are real, that there were WMDs in Iraq…need I go on?

    Deceptively naming this proposed legislation the ‘Fairness Doctrine’ probably accounts for the public support. And it does nothing to make it any less of a violation of the 1st amendment.

    Majority rule in the area of rights like free speech is NEVER a good idea.

    Dave

  • Jordan Richardson

    Yes, Dave, there are bad ideas everywhere. Because of FAUX News’ ability to spew pretty much whatever they want, a huge number of their viewers believe some pretty ridiculous shit as well. I think there’s a reason for that: lack of perspective.

    The only thing to fear with the Fairness Doctrine, properly applied, is that clowns like Rush Limbaugh, Olbermann, Rachel Maddow, and Bill O’Reilly might be out of work.

    Boo fucking hoo.

  • moon

    The government WAS responsible for 9/11.

    Every non-gringo knows that–I even said it on the Mexican t.v. news on 9/11, and articles were in all the newspapers here saying stuff like “The Martians Speak English!”

    Even elementary school kids said that Bush and Cheney did it to start the next world war.

    Motive, means, opportunity.

    And my name ain’t even Occam.

    Cognitive dissonance is the technical term for Gringo Denial.

  • http://victorplenty.blogspot.com Victor Plenty

    Moon, yours is the most creative attempt to swing voters to McCain I’ve yet seen. Congrats.

  • Cindy D

    The Fairness Doctrine only applied to limited space media, in other words, air waves. Media that already has unlimited space to present various opinions (print, internet, cable) isn’t subject to such a need.

    How is it a violation of free speech? It doesn’t limit speech.

    The air waves are the public domain. How is it serving free speech to have 4 or so private giant conglomerates deciding what people should hear based on their corporate agenda?

  • moon

    Victor: Just keep in mind that I believe that Gringolandia DESERVES the worse of the Two Evils.

    There will be no free lunch, nor un bel di, Cio-Cio-San.

  • Cindy D

    melinda,

    I hope you continue to grow. There’s still time to find out that you still think you know everything.

  • http://victorplenty.blogspot.com Victor Plenty

    Moon, you just keep getting funnier. I applaud the imagination creating the character you are playing here. Such attention to detail! It raises so many fascinating questions. For example, is there just one person inventing all these background stories and coming up with appropriately arrogant foreign language phrases, or is there a whole team of writers dreaming you up?

    Either way, y’all keep up the good work! It’s a laugh riot!

    Sincerely,
    your biggest fan amongst the Imperialist Running Dogs of Gringolandia.

  • moon

    Victor,

    Thanks for being such a cheap laugh.

    I have to confess that I AM a whole team of writers.

    As for the arrogant (sic) foreign language phrases, I thought even the anti-intellectuals here on BC had heard of the most famous aria from Puccini’s Old War Horse, Madame Annie Get Your Gun–er, Butterfly.

    You betcha.

    Wink wink.

  • Cindy D

    I haven’t turned on the radio in my car in 25 years. How exciting that there might be something worth listening to again.

  • http://victorplenty.blogspot.com Victor Plenty

    Cindy, if you get a chance, try listening to some Air America broadcasts sometime. I have, and wasn’t terribly impressed. Stupidity, arrogance, and crass attack dog attempts at humor are not any more appealing to me from the left than they are when they come from the right. But who knows, maybe you’ll have better luck than I did.

  • http://roseparade.typepad.com Melinda Loomis

    Don’t agree with all the comments, but really appreciate them. I actually expected to get my ass handed to me on this one. The comments so far are not nearly as rough as I expected.

    In a perfect world all journalists are completely objective. It’s not a perfect world. So with that in mind, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with a particular media outlet – whether it be CNN, MSNBC, network news, Fox News, Air America or conservative radio – having a slant one way or the other these days. What bugs me is when they try to pass themselves off as completely objective.

    Each has identified their audience and they program for that audience. Nothing wrong with that.

    Even though it’s my news net of choice, I’m willing to call Fox out on their “fair and balanced” slogan. They’re no more fair and balanced than the nets that slant liberal, they just offer an alternative to balance out the other nets. And they have been very successful in doing that and that pisses off a lot of people.

    My problem with the “Fairness Doctrine” is that it would force media outlets to air viewpoints which would cause the audience to tune out. If I want a liberal slant I can easily find it in the media. Finding conservative programming and values has taken a bit more effort and I don’t want those sources ruined for me. You may think muzzling conservatives is a good thing. I think it’s suppression of free speech. And yes, muzzling liberals is also suppression of free speech. But libs have their programming sources. I don’t want to interfere with them and I don’t want them interfering with mine.

    There is something I have been wondering about for some time, especially having benefitted from conservative radio: Why haven’t liberals supported Air America? Is it because so many media outlets are already on their side? With this in mind was Air America just not needed? I’m genuinely curious about this.

    Thanks for reading.

  • Clavos

    I haven’t turned on the radio in my car in 25 years.

    Get satellite radio, Cindy. The talk channels cover both sides, if that’s your preference; personally I HATE talk – radio OR TV, and never listen to it, but the music available is excellent and varied, without commercials.

  • Cindy D

    Thanks Clav,

    I hadn’t realized that.

    You know what I miss though? Local radio. Really local radio. In Hawaii where my mom lived, they had great local radio. It made the whole community more involved with local announcements and callers calling in. Lost and found. It was neat.

  • Cindy D

    Thanks Victor,

    I used to listen to Air America on the computer when they had interviews I was interested in. I should check it out again. I like mostly educational stuff, interviews, topics, science and history so I watch/listen to PBS shows online a lot.

    I like Pacifica Radio Archives. Right now they have a project called 1968 Revolution Rewind and are restoring their programming from that year.

    You might want to check it out.

  • not a fan of talk radio

    Hopefully someone will hand Pelosi her hat – she seems to be the ony one interested in reviving the doctrine….Melinda said “There is something I have been wondering about for some time, especially having benefitted from conservative radio: Why haven’t liberals supported Air America? Is it because so many media outlets are already on their side? With this in mind was Air America just not needed? I’m genuinely curious about this”

    Of radical middle persuasion I don’t feel the need to have my world view reinforced and thus don’t need or want journalist or ‘personalities’ telling me what to think about current affairs. If I need help, then I’ll search for someone who has some expertise in the issue at hand, be it the economy, medicine, art, literature, politics. I certainly won’t listed to rabidly partisan pap.

    Can’t say why Air America is having trouble, have just learned they existed this election season.

    God forbid the fairness doctrine requires that Rush Limbaugh be given a column in the WSJ!

  • Cannonshop

    #18 Oh, don’t worry about that! given the predictable outcome of this election, it’s much more likely that Rush will have to give over half his programme to Michael Moore, or he may well just be removed from the air entirely by regulatory and legislative fiat. (along with anyone else that offends our Leftist Masters and their bootlicking followers.)

  • Arch Conservative

    Are you suprised Melinda?

    The Obama brownshirts will stop at nothing to assimulate you.

    The facist doctrine is just one tool in their bag they plan on using to do so. Frau Pelosi has been itching to roll it out.

    Don’t worry though Melinda. You have much to look forward to under the leadership of the people’s party.

    Standing in line for five hours for a stale loaf of the people’s bread……..

    Forced adulation of Chairman Obama at the end of a gun………..

    Seriously…………if there was any justice in this world Obama woould have OD’d on the white stuff years ago and the Viet Cong would have finished off McCain.

    Oooooohhhhh that’s so over the line…………

    Too fucking bad!

    Both of these men are committed to doing their utmost to make things in this nation worse for its citizens during the next four years and I am supposed to display respect and civility?

    May they both rot in hell for eternity!

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Yes, Dave, there are bad ideas everywhere. Because of FAUX News’ ability to spew pretty much whatever they want, a huge number of their viewers believe some pretty ridiculous shit as well. I think there’s a reason for that: lack of perspective.

    All they had to do is turn to MSNBC to get all of the perspective they needed. Problem solved.

    The only thing to fear with the Fairness Doctrine, properly applied, is that clowns like Rush Limbaugh, Olbermann, Rachel Maddow, and Bill O’Reilly might be out of work.

    Imagine all the trouble they could get up to then while no one is keeping an eye on them.

    Dave

  • http://www.indyboomer46.blogspot.com Baritone

    Sieg Heil, Comrades!

    We of the Fascist/Communist People’s Party welcome all who grovel at our feet and pay proper homage and respect to the State and to Chairman Obama. You are all welcome to the collective, but be sure to wipe your filthy bourgeois feet at the door.

    B

  • Cindy D

    Melinda,

    Could you elaborate on why you believe that reinstating the Fairness Doctrine amounts to muzzling conservatives?

    One more thing. Why as a capitalist do you choose the words of a socialist to make your point?

    Or, maybe more accurately, circa 1984. Doublethink and Newspeak indeed.

  • moon

    B:

    Chill out, dude.

    Your tanga is all twisted.

    Nothing you do or say is going to make any difference.

    Go see a movie.

    Go to a park and feed the ducks.

    Get a life.

  • http://www.indyboomer46.blogspot.com Baritone

    M,

    Likewise, sweet cheeks.

    B

  • moon

    I see you didn’t get it, so I will spellit out even MORE simply:

    I could not CARE LESS about the election.

    I do not vote.

    YOUR vote is not counted.

    It means nothing.

    You should think about something that you CAN influence.

    So forget about the election, okay?

    And knock off the rude language to me: I am not any kind of cheeks–sweet or otherwise.

    This has been the best–and KINDEST–advice anyone is ever going to give you on this forum.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/dan_miller Dan(Miller)

    Baritone, re Comment #22

    Several years ago, I read David Brooks’ Bobos* in Paradise. I am now reading it again as a diversion from Life, the Universe and Everything including, of course, the current political morass. The link is to a newer version, which I haven’t got. You might find it interesting. Several years ago, I thought it was funny. Now, I am not so sure.

    Dan(Miller)

    *Bourgeois Bohemians

  • http://www.indyboomer46.blogspot.com Baritone

    Moon,

    I can’t believe that… oh, nevermind. Arguing with you is such a waste of effort. It’s fruitless to argue with someone who is convinced she knows everything.

    Have a nice day. Sit back and listen to some good jazz.

    B

  • http://www.indyboomer46.blogspot.com Baritone

    Dan,

    Thanks, I’ll check it out.

    B

  • moon

    B

    I don’t know everything, but I DO know SOME things. And one of those things is that in the US, as in Mexico, the political culture is the SIMULATION of democracy.

    Which means that your vote doesn’t mean diddlysquat.

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    Baritone,

    There are a lot of Marthe’s (moon’s) opinions that I disagree with, but she is right on the money to say that America, Mexico (and Israel) have simulations of democracy. There are some local governments in the States that are still run democratically, but for the most part, you have oligarchies running the show, with average folks like you and me shut out. I don’t know about local governments in Mexico, but the local governments here are cliqueocracies, and they can get damned nasty, especially when immigrants like me demand what is coming to us under the law.

    Maybe, if I have time, I’ll write about how violent English speakers are compared to the Hebrew-speaking natives – and how utterly shocked the natives get when the English speakers start showing their teeth and start screaming back at them. It doesn’t happen too often that you see an American blow up at native Hebrew-speaker. But when it does, their jaws drop in surprise. The fools forget that Westerns and shoot-‘em-ups come from the States, and the heirs to that violent culture are Americans – even American Jews. When the screaming gets to be too much for Americans, the gun can come out blazing. Native born Hebrew-speakers aren’t generally like that at all.

    What I really wanted to get at, though, is that Marthe is an ex-pat who really does not like America. And she feels she has good reason. Her Native American ancestors were murdered off in the States in what amounted to genocide. So, she does not wish America well, and from her point of view (if I read it right), you deserve the lousiest government you can get and all the shit that your way comes.

    I’m just trying to clue you in on the person behind the opinions. You know how that goes. You and I don’t agree on much, but we both love to drive, etc., and have a number of things in common. We’re people, Baritone, not merely a collection of opinions. The same holds true for Marthe.

    Somthing to keep in mind the next time you want to spew off about “that bible crap”.

  • moon

    Ruvy,

    I coined a term a few years back for the ballistic gringo behavior that you described: The Gringo Dance.

    The term seems to have caught on here in Latin America. Even among folks who regularly practice The Gringo Dance without even being aware of it. (Yes, that verbal violence IS that ingrained in US culture).

    The only place in Latin America where I believe The Gringo Dance is acceptable or at least pragmatically sound behavior is at the Centrales de Abasto (wholesale markets). There, if you DON’T do some version of The Gringo Dance, you’ll end up spending the whole day there waiting for some less-than-minimum-wage worker to go get the stuff that you have PAID for out of the warehouse.

    I confess that I did the dance yesterday–and it worked so well that the stubborn señorita at the cash register insisted on charging me half price for 3 cases of canned cat food.

    So doing The Gringo Dance actually saved me more than 40 dollars–but I do not recommend that someone else try it without supervision.

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    Melinda,

    I don’t know whether it makes a difference if you have a “fairness doctrine” in place or not in the States anymore. The American media is a joke anyway.

    I’ll give you an example. This opinion column in the New York Post should have been front page news the day previous. It wasn’t. Biden warning liberal donors that there wouold be an international crisis, and that the American people would not like Obama’s response was the equivalent of swiftboating his own candidate.

    Gary Bauer, in an End of Day Report e-mailed to a friend, said the following: “I repeated it [the story about Biden’s warning to liberal donors] because the big TV networks and newspapers completely ignored the story last night and this morning with only a few exceptions. In fact, the media’s blackout is so obvious that even former media star Dan Rather had to admit it. Appearing on MSNBC’s Morning Joe this morning, Rather made this astonishingly honest comment, ‘…certainly if Sarah Palin had said this, it would be above the fold in most newspapers today.'”

    Nu, Melinda. A fairness doctrine would not clean up this mess in the mass media. They are just a joke. They lie through their teeth and all the “doctrines” on the planet do not cure liars. It’s no different in Israel; we get the same media blackouts except for a few brave folks who dig out the real stories. The truth about who really killed YitzHak Rabin is out there. But the media carefully ignores the real murderers.

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    Marthe,

    The only place in Latin America where I believe The Gringo Dance is acceptable or at least pragmatically sound behavior is at the Centrales de Abasto (wholesale markets). There, if you DON’T do some version of The Gringo Dance, you’ll end up spending the whole day there waiting for some less-than-minimum-wage worker to go get the stuff that you have PAID for out of the warehouse.

    This is the Middle East and verbal violence and screaming is the norm among Jews and Arabs both. I’m talking about something different than what goes on at the shuk (souk).

    No meeting in Israel is complete without the particpants calling each others’ mothers whores and pigs for two hours or so until they resolve the real problem at hand. Then the disputants go out with their arms around each others shoulders, all smiles, heading straight for the café, felafel joint or the synagogue. But Anglos (English-speakers) tend not to lose their tempers that much in public, pretending to be more civilized than the regular folks around them. And when they do, the natives’ jaws drop in utter and absolute surprise.

    In addition, and I made this point to an Israeli official once, that he should be careful about angering Americans. With them violent screaming can lead to murder – in the literal sense of the word. And they won’t smile and go off to the café with them after the screaming is done either. They will hold grudges.

  • moon

    You betcha they hold grudges.

    Look at Blogcritics.

    Wink wink.

  • Ms. Know

    It’s our right to voice our own opinion, no matter who you are. When you go against the liberal illuminati, flags are raised, but you must continue on with your belief, it’s your right.

  • http://roseparade.typepad.com Melinda Loomis

    “Melinda,

    Could you elaborate on why you believe that reinstating the Fairness Doctrine amounts to muzzling conservatives?”

    I’m specifically thinking of conservative talk radio. It’s the one aspect of mass media that has been dominated by conservatives. But when liberals attempted to duplicate that, the result was the very unsuccessful Air America. Liberals wouldn’t support AA, yet now they apparently expect conservative stations to devote time to liberal opinions, despite the fact that liberals won’t even support their own liberal radio shows expressing those opinions.

    The only conclusion I can come to is that this is an attempt to undermine the success of conservative talk radio. If liberals don’t even want to listen to their own spokespeople, why would they think a conservative audience would want to? Why would they think this was necessary or needed? I honestly believe the only reason the “Fairness Doctrine” is being hauled out of mothballs is the failure of Air America and the desire to muzzle its polar opposite, the successful conservative media.

    “One more thing. Why as a capitalist do you choose the words of a socialist to make your point?

    Or, maybe more accurately, circa 1984. Doublethink and Newspeak indeed.”

    As far as Orwell is concerned, he is first and foremost a legendary writer to me, and although I don’t share his political views, I don’t have a problem acknowledging that his ability to call politics of the future was amazing.

    It’s been years since I’ve read 1984 and Animal Farm, but I still remember the effect that they had on me, especially Animal Farm. To me, the pigs in AF are the politicians of our day, blatantly lying and saying anything to justify their actions and win the populace to their way of thinking until they become those they hated and railed against. And they either don’t care or realize it, or they do and figure that the rest of us are too stupid to figure it out. Some animals are more equal than others.

    Like racism and hate – two words that I think are being used and abused by politicians against those that don’t agree with or support them, as opposed to actually being racist or hateful – I believe that Doublespeak and Newspeak work both ways. I don’t care what side of the political spectrum you come from, deceptive language used simply to manipulate the people is Doublespeak and Newspeak, regardless if you’re doing it from the left or right.

    I hope I’ve explained myself, which apparently I should have actually done in the article and didn’t. I guess that’s why I’m writing for recognition while Orwell is being discussed generations later.

    I also now have an overwhelming urge to reread both 1984 and Animal Farm. Wonder if they will be as I remember them. That could be another article.

  • Cindy D

    To me, the pigs in AF are the politicians of our day, blatantly lying and saying anything to justify their actions and win the populace to their way of thinking until they become those they hated and railed against. And they either don’t care or realize it, or they do and figure that the rest of us are too stupid to figure it out. Some animals are more equal than others.

    (snip)

    I don’t care what side of the political spectrum you come from, deceptive language used simply to manipulate the people is Doublespeak and Newspeak, regardless if you’re doing it from the left or right.

    The work of both novels is in support of democratic socialism–not any side (left or right) of capitalism–and against totalitarianism (state control) of any flavor.

    When you do reread them it might be interesting to keep in mind that Democrats are capitalists too. That may make Orwell’s insights take on a different meaning.

    The capitalist political world, both “left” and “right”, abounds with doublespeak and newspeak.

    The real “left” (the varieties of socialism, etc.) doesn’t have a voice in the MSM. The MSM is filled up with two versions of the same voice.

    The interesting thing to me is that capitalists themselves recognize the creeping danger inherent in capitalism.

    “…his ability to call politics of the future was amazing.”

    Though capitalists often recognize and readily identify traits associated with totalitarian communism, as the same traits of our own capitalist republic…

    …they still won’t question capitalism itself.