Today on Blogcritics
Home » Fairness: The Fake Debate

Fairness: The Fake Debate

Please Share...Tweet about this on Twitter0Share on Facebook0Share on Google+0Share on LinkedIn0Pin on Pinterest0Share on TumblrShare on StumbleUpon0Share on Reddit0Email this to someone

Someone needs to explain why it is that conservatives continue to insist that liberals want to reinstitute the FCC’s 1949 Fairness Doctrine. While it is true that the old regulation is brought up from time to time, it has no traction in either the House of Senate. The administration is opposed to it. The Supreme Court would rule against it. Still, conservative talk radio continues to chant about the "Hush Rush Bill" as if it were a real threat that has real backing. It isn’t, it doesn’t, and it’s not going to happen. Nor will the sky fall.

Before you start to write your commentary about Nancy Pelosi, stop for a moment. The Speaker of the House has been quoted as saying she supported the Fairness Doctrine by John Gizzi, Political Editor of Human Events, which calls itself the “Headquarters of the Conservative Underground.” He asked a yes-no question and she said yes at a Christian Science Monitor luncheon they both attended. She also said no, she didn’t think it would come to the floor for a vote. It is an issue on which the Speaker does not express a majority opinion.

Perhaps someone can also explain how it is it that conservatives (“disposed to preserve existing conditions, institutions, etc., or to restore traditional ones, and to limit change”) use the word "liberal" as an adjective of derision as in the term liberal media or liberal socialist agenda such as “state aid for the betterment of the working classes.” That socialism is some kind of evil.

How could mainstream media be anything other than liberal (“favorable to or in accord with concepts of maximum individual freedom possible, esp. as guaranteed by law and secured by governmental protection of civil liberties”)? Being liberal minded requires reporting both sides of any issue, which defines fairness in and of itself without any regulation to be fair.

The conservative mantra that their champion Ronald Reagan struck down the Fairness Doctrine is incorrect. His son Michael claims in his blog, Michigan Redneck II, “My dad, President Reagan, killed the ‘Fairness Doctrine.’ As a result, this rule change allowed Rush, Hannity, and me to have radio talk shows — that’s why the new proposal to bring it back is being called the ‘Hush Rush’ bill. Now the liberals are dying to shut us up.”

No, the president did not. The FCC overturned the regulation. What President Reagan did was to veto a congressional attempt to make the regulation a law. The Supreme Court set the stage for the FCC to dump the regulation in 1984 (FCC v. League of Women Voters, 468 U.S. 364). The regulation came up again in 1993 and failed. Neither Congress nor the Clinton administration supported it.

There is a difference between a regulation and a law. Section 315 of the Communications Act of 1937 was federal law passed by Congress. It required broadcast stations to offer "equal opportunity" to all legally qualified political candidates for any office if they had allowed any person running in that office to use the station. The Fairness Doctrine was simply FCC policy, a regulation the FCC dumped as unconstitutional in 1987. After Meredith Corp. v. FCC, the Supreme Court declared that the Doctrine was not mandated by Congress and the FCC did not have to continue to enforce it.

For the record, as an independent regulatory agency, the FCC has the power to reimpose the Fairness Doctrine at any time without action by either the executive or legislative branches. It should not be confused, but often is, with the Equal Time rule. The Fairness Doctrine deals with matters of public importance, not political opinion. The Equal Time rule only deals with political candidates.

Nonetheless a fake debate about the Fairness Doctrine continues. “In 1980 there were fewer than 100 radio talk shows nationwide. Today there are more than 1,400 stations entirely devoted to talk formats. Liberals, not satisfied with their domination of academia, Hollywood and most of the mainstream media, want to kill talk radio, where liberals have been unable to dent conservatives' dominance,” George Will wrote in the Washington Post.

media companiesWill’s colleague Michael Gerson wrote that “three hours of Rush Limbaugh on a radio station would have to be balanced by three hours of his liberal equivalent. This may sound fair and balanced. But it would destroy the profitability of conservative talk radio and lead other outlets to avoid political issues entirely — actually reducing the public discussion of controversial issues.” They also both wrote that in 1987 President Reagan “eliminated” (Will) or “overturned” (Gerson) the 1949 FCC regulation.

While they are both wrong about Reagan, they do not demonstrate much knowledge about radio. If conservatives dominate talk radio, it is because it’s cheap. Talk radio doesn’t cost a radio station anything except electricity. Typically the air time is brokered and the talker pays for the time. Rush Limbaugh, Laura Ingraham, and Dr. Laura Schlessinger, for example, are not so much radio personalities as they are media companies. Their concern about the Fairness Doctrine is literally lip service.

They do have large audiences and wield influence. Sometimes their influence works against them. One of my former radio colleagues, Gary Nelson of WFOR TV4 Miami, recently wrote, “About the vitriol on talk radio, in doing a piece the day after the election, on Bush losing the Hispanic vote, I interviewed a Colombian-American voter who said he had been a Republican all his life and had never voted for a Democratic presidential candidate.  He said the ‘mean-spirited’ attacks on Obama changed him. ‘Rush Limbaugh cost John McCain my vote,’ he said.”

President Barack Obama is expected to appoint longtime friend Julius Genachowski as chairman of the Federal Communications Commission. Mr. Genachowski also has a Harvard background as a legal scholar and was a Supreme Court law clerk. That may lead him to play a stronger role in determining legal strategy on FCC court cases, normally a Justice Department task. When Genachowski does become FCC chairman, his biggest immediate task will be working on the digital TV transition. The Fairness Doctrine does not appear on his docket.

As to the conservative assertion that the White House will sign Fairness Doctrine legislation, that is far from likely. The President opposes it. As he said in his inaugural address, “To those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent, know that you are on the wrong side of history.”

The broadcast media of 1949 has its own chapter in history, as will the Internet sixty years from now. Today we have right wing and left wing media. Some are even in the middle. There is one thing that Rush and both Lauras have to fear about being silenced: listeners changing stations. As to a new, improved, rebranded Fairness Doctrine, forget about it. It is not going to happen. 

Powered by

About Tommy Mack

Tommy Mack began his career in broadcasting and is a US Army graduate of the Defense Information School. He worked in Army Public and Command Information and earned a BS in Liberal Studies from the State University of New York, Albany. A marketing communications executive, Tommy became a business management consultant for a major international consulting company and its affiliates before establishing Tommy Mack Organization, a business consulting practice specializing in organization and communications management. A professional writer and blogger, he writes about politics, business, and culture.
  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    If it’s a fake debate, why was a bill to make the Fairness Doctrine law almost passed last time the Democrats controlled congress back in 1989?

    If it’s a fake debate, why won’t they allow the Pence Amendment to even come to the floor of the house for debate?

    If it’s a fake debate, perhaps you could explain Rep. Maurice Hinchey’s Media Ownership Reform Act which includes a reinstatement of the Fairness Doctrine.

    If it’s a fake debate, perhaps you could enlighten us about why we shouldn’t worry about the incoming Attorney General’s history of wanting to restrict free speech on the internet?

    Dave

  • http://loftypremise.blogspot.com/ Tommy Mack

    Those are interesting questions, Dave. In general the debate is “fake” because making the Fairness Doctrine a law is not going to happen. The FCC can reimpose it without congress or the White House or the Justice Department.

    “Almost” means it did not pass congress in 1989 or in 1993. There is dwindling support for such legislation, nor would the President be likely to sign it into law.

    The Pence Amendment lacked sufficient signatures to make it to the House floor.

    Maurice Hinchey’s Media Ownership Reform Act seeks to restore the regulation to an existing act of congress. Even so, as I wrote, the doctrine applies only to matters of public importance, not to political opinion.

    As to worrying about “the incoming Attorney General’s history of wanting to restrict free speech on the internet,” the Justice Department has no influence over the FCC.

    The bottom line is that the FCC dropped the doctrine recognizing it as unconstitutional.

    I hope this helps.

    Tommy

  • Brunelleschi

    Why is it that the more educated one becomes, the more they are accused of being the hated “liberal intelligentsia,” – and the less educated they are, the more they like right-wing hate-talk radio?

    It’s pretty clear that the dumber you are, the more likely you are going to be conservative.

    :)

    How does that work anyway?

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    Bruno,

    What makes me wonder, where do these people come from? They should all die out by now, and a new generation springing in their place. Is it that we’ve been undergoing the dumbing of America?

  • Clavos

    How does that work anyway?

    Duh, dunno…Wut wuz da kweschun???

    (I guess this proves I am dumb — dumb enough to respond to, and thus encourage, a troll.)

  • Brunelleschi

    Either there is a scarcity of education, or an unequal distribution of brains.

    Oh well, someone has to take out the trash and vote GOP.

    :)

  • Clavos

    Oh well, someone has to take out the trash and vote GOP.

    Except that those who take out the trash belong to the SEIU and invariably vote Democrat (if they vote — if not, their union does it for them, with dollars donated to Democrat candidates)…

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

    someone has to take out the trash and vote GOP. I think he’s got it! Alas, the superabundance of trash and the scarcity of voters willing to remove it make this very difficult.

    Dan(Miller)

  • Hope and Change?

    Here is proof that Democrat suffer from a mental disorder and lower IQ’s that Conservatives….

    Did they really say these things….

    ” I did not have sexual relations with that woman.”
    – Bill Clinton, 1998

    “I’ve now been in 57 states? I think one left to go?”
    –Barack Obama on the campaign trail 2008

    “You know, education, if you make the most of it, you study hard, you do your homework and you make an effort to be smart, you can do well. If you don’t, you get stuck in Iraq.”
    –John Kerry, fumbling his next run for the Dem nomination in 2006

    “I actually did vote for the $87 billion before I voted against it ”
    –John Kerry on his vote to “support” the troops in 2004

    “My staff tells me not to say this, but I’m going to say it anyway, in the summer because of the heat and high humidity, you could literally smell the tourists coming into the Capitol. It may be descriptive but it’s true.”
    – Harry Reid, Senate Democrat Majority Leader, 2008

    “I remember landing under sniper fire”
    – Hillary Clinton on the campaign trail 2008

    “Hiiiiaaaauuuugh”
    – Howard Dean rousing the faithful in 2004

    And… Anything ever said by Joe Biden
    –Joe Biden, any time, any place

    Hope and change =affirmative action gone wild!

  • Brunelleschi

    The smarter ones organize and make more money, while the dumber ones get jealous because they are not smart enough to. Instead they bury their misery listening to hate radio.

    Who did Joe the Fake Plumber campaign with, and was he a genius?

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

    What makes me wonder, where do these people come from? They should all die out by now, and a new generation springing in their place. Is it that we’ve been undergoing the dumbing of America?

    The problem is that the left has deliberately dumbed down education in our schools so that they could keep the dependent class dependent on them because they are too fat, lazy and uninformed to get better jobs or question what their leaders tell them.

    The regrettable side effect is that occasionally people who come out of that system discover that they’ve been cheated and lied to all their lives and without ever having been equipped with basic reasoning skills they react against the leftist establishment and veer to the right politically.

    And that’s how you get Ron Paul supporters.

    Dave

  • zingzing

    “The problem is that the left has deliberately dumbed down education in our schools so that they could keep the dependent class dependent on them…”

    ok, dave. you’re as bad as pablo, you know.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    Bruno:

    “Who did Joe the Fake Plumber campaign with, and was he a genius?”

    You may be wrong here. I’ve heard him interviewed by BBC (he’s on a worldwide tour), and he’s quite articulate, sensible, and coherent – the kind of vocabulary and fluency you wouldn’t expect from the average Joe Six-Pack. It almost blew my mind!

    Which makes me think. I certainly don’t want to be adding any fuel to the conspiracy theorists (not that they need push and shove), but it really
    occurred to me that he may have been a plant.

  • Brunelleschi

    #11-

    Change a few words around, and you are describing what churches do to people.

    :)

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    “The problem is that the left has deliberately dumbed down education in our schools so that they could keep the dependent class dependent on them because they are too fat, lazy and uninformed to get better jobs or question what their leaders tell them.”

    Dave, that’s a tall statement. I might agree on the detrimental effects of public education up to K-12 grade, but I don’t think you want to say that of liberal arts colleges and universities. The Left (to be distinguished now from the Democrats or any party) has no interest in doing what you propose. And it is from the Left that most of the faculty is drawn. They espouse a different perspective than you would like them to, but that doesn’t substantiate your high claim.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    zing,

    Are you and Pablo in a feud?

  • zingzing

    no, roger, but pablo is a paranoid conspiracy theorist. much like dave, apparently.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    If that’s Pablo’s only fault, I am quite ready to live with it. I’d say that his intellect, erudition and facility with language more than make up for this one possible defect. Don’t you?

  • zingzing

    i dunno. he’s on the correct side of my political dial, but he kinda makes a mockery of it now and again. he’s got his plusses and his minuses, that’s for sure.

  • Arch Conservative

    It’s pretty clear that the dumber you are, the more likely you are going to be conservative.

    Yes all one has to do to witness with their own eyes the intellectual superiority of liberals is watch how they behave when a guest speaker who does not share their political views comes to a University to speak.

    Nothing says we’re smarter than you than forming a loud, screaming, unruly mob chanting meaningless catchphrases, rushing the stage like insolent five years olds and yes….even throwing pies in someone’s face.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    But Arch! That has to do with manners and with intolerance. Surely both sides are equally guilty on the latter count.

  • Arch Conservative

    Roger I’ll give you one hundred dollars for every example you can cite where conservative students or faculty have tried to silence those on campus who disagree with them or otherwise behaved like obnoxious toddlers while those in opposition were attempting to express themselves if you will give me one dollar for every example I cant cite where liberals have done this.

    When’s it all said and done you will have mortgaged your home to go tit for tat with me.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    You may be right, Arch. The reason may be why the liberals are so much more rabid is their conviction that the Right is so dead-wrong. No excuse!

  • http://loftypremise.blogspot.com/ Tommy Mack

    You are correct, Arch.

    It is indeed tough for obnoxious toddlers to express a logical argument based on the Aristotelian concept of good reasons [logos – logical appeal based on “good reasons”], especially while wearing Underoos and teething.

    Tommy

  • Clavos

    [Pablo’s] facility with language…

    Heh. Good one, Roger.

  • http://loftypremise.blogspot.com/ Tommy Mack

    Arch,

    What kind of pie?

  • Brunelleschi

    Pies are more fun than shoes….

    :)

    In the mid 1980s, I went to hear a representative of the South African government depend the Apartheid system at a campus lecture series.

    Yes, the left students and left faculty let him have it.

    The conservative students sat there politely wanting to believe him.

    There you go. Proof that conservatives really are dumber.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    Do you suppose the way they dress has anything to do with it?

  • bliffle

    It seems to me that the rightists like Rush are less interested in making their views available for anyone to listen to, than they are in dominating and monopolizing the media to the exclusion of contrary views. That’s why they’ve come to own so many radio stations and newspapers.

    I’ve even noticed that NPR has developed a rightward tilt. I suppose they’re reacting to constant charges of being liberal. For example, last week they kept playing over and over, on news programs, the republicans charges against the Obama stimulus bill, with almost no democrat announcements in favor of the bill. It was quite striking.

    If anyone feels that their political views are not being presented they should look into supporting Low Power FM (LPFM) legislation. LPFM can about double the amount of spectrum in a community by allowing weak radio stations to broadcast in the “guard bands” that were allocated between all FM radio stations 60 years ago to mitigate channel-channel interference. Modern technology obviates the guard bands.

    Unfortunately, LPFM has been meddled with so much to inhibit it’s use that it has really been defeated.

    On the other hand, anyone can put a radio station on the internet. Perhaps even on XM or Sirius. But there’s always a big advantage to general broadcast within the geographic community.

  • Group Cap. Mandrake

    #28 Roger-

    Maybe those Vuarnet sunglasses that were required at the time made them blind, not sure.

    It was quite a scene. Picture this-

    Here’s a representative of a nation that literally disenfranchised like 85% of the population, made them live in fake “homelands,” and required them to have a pass to enter whiteyland and work.

    The rest were “surplus people” and remained exported out of view so the whites could live comfortabley and not have to see them.

    Now this politician is trying to explain it away. He said they could not change it because it would create instability.

    The GOP side, Reagan’s young white followers, heros of civil rights, were buying it. After all, the white South Africans were not commies, so it’s part of the free world.

    Maybe I should have thrown a shoe at them.

  • Brunelleschi

    Oops..forgot to change my name back…

  • Baronius

    Here’s the answer to the question asked in this article. Any story involving the press is going to get more coverage in the press. If a hundred soldiers and one reporter get killed, the lead story is going to be about the reporter. If there’s a trillion dollar economic stimulus package and a chance of a new radio regulation, you know what the radio people are going to talk about.

    I don’t think the Fairness Doctrine is going to be reinstituted, but it’d be nice to see people like Tommy Mack declare their opposition to it, just in case. And I can understand people getting nervous about it, when the president uses Limbaugh as the personification of his opposition. As for the other questions in the article, about the meanings of conservative, liberal, and socialist, we’ve already argued those to death on BC.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    This is an excellent piece of writing, way above the Blogcritics norm.

    Its high quality apparently dumbfounded Nalle, whose ridiculous comments about it are just about his least thoughtful ever.

    Possibly his #11 was just intended as a joke, but his #1 is as bad as the tin-foil hat brigades he often derides, but whom he is happy to join on issues that suit him, such as this one: The [completely mythological] Plot to Restore the Fairness Doctrine [And Institute Stalinism].

  • http://loftypremise.blogspot.com/ Tommy Mack

    Why I oppose the Fairness Doctrine.

    First, is unconstitutional. The 1st Amendment expressly prohibits Congress from making laws “. . . abridging the freedom of speech. . .”

    Second, it attempts to legislate fairness. The FCC would be required to become the de jure fairness police.

    Third, it is unenforceable. The contemporary media landscape is too broad to be policed by the sixty-year-old policy of a seventy-two-year-old regulatory agency.

    It is a shame that card carrying Republicans have allowed no better spokesperson than Rush Limbaugh to speak for their party. I find his pride in stating that he hopes the President fails as repugnant as if he had called Mr. Obama a racial epithet. What is next? Does Limbaugh, speaking for the Republicans, hope we are attacked by terrorists?

    I do not care what Rush Limbaugh says. He speaks neither to nor for me. Nonetheless I will stand beside him to defend his right to free speech, however contemptible it is. I am a liberal. That is what liberals do. I also support the American Civil Liberties Union and protecting the Bill of Rights.

    As for those members of Congress who are participating in this publicity stunt, signing a bill that violates the Constitution is not something they really want on their résumé. They have each sworn to an oath of office that includes upholding, protecting and defending of the Constitution.

    The House and Senate Democrats who pander the electorate with such protectionism as the Fairness Doctrine, especially the Speaker of the House, do not have my endorsement. It is not a liberal position. It is a conservative position to restore an old way of doing things.

    That might seem paradoxical but it is not. That is what makes it a publicity stunt. The stunt part is being suckered into the argument. Here is my motto: Never wrestle with a pig. You both get dirty and the pig likes it.

    I hope this helps.

    Tommy

  • Baronius

    Thanks, Tommy. There are worse things in the world than a principled liberal willing to defend his opponents’ right to speak.

    It is a shame that card carrying Republicans have allowed no better spokesperson than Rush Limbaugh to speak for their party.

    It sure is. Don’t get me wrong; I think he’s a good spokesman, but shouldn’t our elected officials be able to articulate the policies of their own parties?

  • bliffle

    “It is a shame that card carrying Republicans have allowed no better spokesperson than Rush Limbaugh to speak for their party.”

    Amen.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    Well, they do. William Rusher, George Will, other conservative thinkers. But they’re in print.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    A shame, and yet, to the extent that he is a turnoff for moderate, reasonable people, possibly a boon to the Dems.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    Rush ain’t alone. Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck, plenty others – they all have their Kodak moments, all trying to outdo one another in outrageousness.
    Don’t be fooled about Rush, though. He is not a dumbbell. Occasionally, he does come up with unique insights. But mostly it’s showbiz. If the market wasn’t there, neither would Rush.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    On the left, we have our liabilities too…notably the shrill and pompous and occasionally amusing Keith Olbermann.

    But we also have the divine Rachel Maddow, and she could take on Rush anytime.

  • Clavos

    If the market wasn’t there, neither would Rush.

    There wasn’t a market when he started. He built it. That’s why he makes the big bucks; he pulls in a huge audience, which translates into enormous ad revenues.

    It’s all about showbiz.

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

    Third, it is unenforceable. The contemporary media landscape is too broad to be policed by the sixty-year-old policy of a seventy-two-year-old regulatory agency.

    What I see as a more relaistic threat which goes hand in hand with the concept of the Fairness Doctrine is the attempt to apply equal time and other election reform ideas to the internet. A lot of really scary ideas have been put forward in those areas, including classifying a lot of blogs as the equivalent of political PACs.

    It is a shame that card carrying Republicans have allowed no better spokesperson than Rush Limbaugh to speak for their party.

    It’s not that he’s being allowed to speak for the party, it’s that he has this huge audience and the party couldn’t stop him if it wanted to.

    I find his pride in stating that he hopes the President fails as repugnant as if he had called Mr. Obama a racial epithet. What is next? Does Limbaugh, speaking for the Republicans, hope we are attacked by terrorists?

    Are you serious? If you think that someone in a position of power is hostile to your basic beliefs and will do terrible damage to your country, and if you think that the success of his plans will produce disastrous results, wouldn’t you hope that he fails?

    The House and Senate Democrats who pander the electorate with such protectionism as the Fairness Doctrine, especially the Speaker of the House, do not have my endorsement.

    I see you’ve changed your tune and appear to be taking this more seriously. Did you see FCC Chairman McDowell’s comments on the ‘localism’ issue as a way of back-dooring the Fairness Doctrine back into effect?

    It is not a liberal position. It is a conservative position to restore an old way of doing things.

    The old way of doing things was to have free speech without any false concept of fairness.

    Dave

  • paulwhoispablo

    #17 zingzing:

    “no, roger, but pablo is a paranoid conspiracy theorist. much like dave, apparently.”

    According to dictionary.com (I would like to see other definitions, not subjective ones).

    Paranoid:
    “Exhibiting or characterized by extreme and irrational fear or distrust of others.”

    I dispute your characterization of me as a paranoid, but concur with your description of me as a conspiracist. Apparently you do not know the difference Zingzing, and if anything it only reaffirms what I think of most people on the left as extremely naive.

    A conspiracy is a very easy word to define. It is an act either done in secret or openly that is illegal. In point of fact there are laws on the books that deal with conspiracies both state and federal. It is also a fact that 9/11 was an event that was carried out as a result of a conspiracy.

    I contest your characterization of me as paranoid however, particularly with reference to the above definition. My fear if you will, and my distrust of certain political/economic forces in the world are hardly irrational, but based on years of study.

    The anglo/american conspiracy of Chatham House/CFR/Cecil Rhodes is a fact, as laid out in the late Mr. Rhodes will.

    While my own personal sympathies are more of a left wing bent, mostly because I find the right so repugnant and fascist in nature, I am amazed at how naive most people on the left are.

    Most lefties apparently cannot make the herculean leap that when many of their organizations are funded by the Rockefeller, or the Carnegie or Ford foundations, that their agendas are for all intents and purposes totally controlled by said organizations. Show me the money, and I will show you the control, its that simple.

    When you have the creator of thedailykos, openly proclaim his adoration of the CIA, Houston we have a problem.

    When you have the publisher of The Nation Magazine who is a lifetime member of the CFR, and who’s husband and child worked for the CIA, we have a problem.

    In my opinion the left has been completely co-opted by these organizations that are fascist in intent. Did you know that Obama just issued an executive order continuing Bush’s illegal rendition program Zing? He is at best a wolf in sheep’s clothing, and those on the left are so busy adoring their new saviour that they cannot see the forest from the trees.

    Indeed it is business as usual at the White House, and Obama has no compunction (even though he swore to uphold the Constitution) to continue wiretapping en masse millions of Americans without warrant or due process of law.

    Indeed it is the age old game of good cop, bad cop. Bush/Obama, both beholden to the same criminal gang that currently is undermining our basic freedoms as outlined in the Declaration of Independence, and fleecing the American people of what few assets they have left.

    Mr. Nalle on the other hand is part of the status quo, and will do everything, including making false statements to uphold and defend the criminals that are in charge. He will point you always in the wrong direction, and act as though he cares a whit about personal freedom and liberty, and when he does dispute someone such as myself, he will use smear, and belittlement instead of rational discourse, however that is to be expected of someone of his ilk.

  • Brunelleschi

    Dave does a great job of defending what he holds dear, the trivial view of capitalism and what works and why.

    It just doesn’t always work, and it makes him blind and defensive.

    It’s like a car salesman trying to sell you a totaled wreck. He keeps telling you how well it drives, how comfortable, how roomy, etc.

    When you ask about the damage, he doesn’t know what you are talking about.

  • paulwhoispablo

    Very aptly put Brunelleschi.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    Pablo/Bruno:

    “Did you know that Obama just issued an executive order continuing Bush’s illegal rendition program Zing? He is at best a wolf in sheep’s clothing, and those on the left are so busy adoring their new saviour that they cannot see the forest from the trees.”

    That’s very disappointing. What kind of positive message does it send? There should be an outrage.
    I know Democracy Now! – Naomi Klein e.g., would be furious.
    If the Left doesn’t wake up from its adoration mode and start exercising real pressure, it will be just a continuation of the last eight years except for style.

  • Hope and Change?

    just a continuation of the last eight years except for style. ….

    Hey Hope and Change is starting to look a little better!!!

    Hmmmmmm Bush implements the rendition program..is attacked by the media and Democrats as a moron and war criminal.. But when King Barry agrees to continue it, he is proclaimed a genius, hero and change agent by the same media and Democrats?

    Hope and change that must be it!

  • Jordan Richardson

    But when King Barry agrees to continue it, he is proclaimed a genius, hero and change agent by the same media and Democrats?

    The “media” I’ve seen and read has been quite critical of this continued act of idiocy.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    Yeah, Jordan, but it still doesn’t speak well. But just as with Clinton who could get away with anything because he was likable, it will be no different here. What can they really do?

  • Jordan Richardson

    Well that’s pretty much the larger point. It isn’t up to the media to particularly DO anything but report on what’s happening. It’s up to the rest of us to say “okay, something’s wrong here.” Unfortunately, America’s had more than a few decades of passive resistance to any actual action in terms of what its governments and corporations get away with, so I don’t hold out much hope on that front.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    Well, it’s just so incongruous. He seemed to make all the right moves as regards G-Bay, discontinuing some polarizing phrases (like War on Terror), and now this. How can he not see it’s all connected. I think the least the media could do, if enough pressure is put on, is to ask for for the explanation. It just makes you wonder.
    Perhaps no one will step up to the plate until it’s too late. But by then we’ll have lost our soul.

  • Jordan Richardson

    I think it is too late, personally.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    For those who are not in the know:

    Outsourcing Torture

  • Cindy DiGeso

    I think the least the media could do, if enough pressure is put on, is to ask for for the explanation.

    Here’s what 150 people did in Scotland. They occupied the headquarters of the BBC.

    The occupation had three main demands:

    * That the BBC reverse its decision and show the DEC Appeal for Gaza.
    * That the BBC director responsible for the decision not to air the appeal should be asked to resign.
    * That the BBC show coverage of the outrage of the British people against the stopping of humanitarian aid to Gaza.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    TO ALL CONCERNED: Subject: Extraordinary Rendition

    The following is an article by John Conyers Jr. 14th District in the U.S. House and is chairman of the Judiciary Committee published in Washington Post January 16, 2009 – barely two weeks ago.

    Why We Have to Look Back

    Perhaps some on this site might want to consider concerted action – a group email, for example, to Rep. Conyers, concerning this apparent lapse in judgment on part of Pres. Obama. It would be one way to start.

  • Hope and Change?

    Cindy it doesnt matter…the US media is a now the official communications and PR department for King Barry! We have turned into country where a politcal party controls the dominant media!

    Hope and change… as long as you do as we say!

  • Leslie Bohn

    The LATimes is wrong. Obama is NOT “continuing Bush’s illegal rendition program.”

    Rendition is just moving people from one jurisdiction to another.
    Extraordinary rendition is rendition outside established legalities, like kidnapping someone abroad so that he can be brought to the US for trial, or delivering someone to another country to be tortured.

    Obama’s order ends extraordinary rendition by establishing that all US detentions and interrogations abide by the law — expressly including the Geneva Conventions and the Convention Against Torture, the last of which specifically forbids sending people to countries that torture. Scott Horton in Harper’s has a short piece about this, as does Washington Monthly.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    Thanks for clarifying this, Leslie. For a moment I thought I was out of my mind.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    Goes to show how quickly rumors and rumors of war can spread on the net. I suggest to all alarmists to try to be responsible before posting.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    A related item of interest:

    Only yesterday, I believe, someone had edited a Wikipedia entry, reporting Sen. Edward Kennedy’s death.

    New policy is in effect since: only registered users will be able to add to or amend the Wikipedia entries.

    It’s a good start.

  • Hope and Change?

    Roger…did you ever stop and think that Leslie Bohn was the one spreading rumors to protect King Barry?

    How telling….

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    I have no idea, H&C. I haven’t looked into the LA Times article. But since you’re mentioning it, I think I will.

  • Cindy DiGeso

    We have turned into country where a politcal party image controls the dominant media!

    You mean there was a time the mainstream media hired journalists who would go beyond the bounds of “acceptable viewpoints”? I don’t think so. The MSM prints a range of views that are acceptable to the dominant culture. That’s all they ever printed and that’s all they print now. Any reporter who printed anything else would probably be found unacceptable and fired.

    Generally, that is. The exceptions are so rare as to make them insignificant.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    Here is the LA Times story. Judge for yourself.

    LA Times Story

  • Cindy DiGeso

    You know, polls are a very interesting thing. Here Roger, take this one, for example.

    What would be your concerns (rated 1 highest-6 lowest).

    1) Your family starving.
    2) Being homeless.
    3) Having no income.
    4) Not having an automobile.
    5) The economy.
    6) Restrictions of freedom of speech.

    Okay, now. Do you see what happens?

  • zingzing

    “the US media is a now the official communications and PR department for King Barry! We have turned into country where a politcal party controls the dominant media!”

    and this is said AFTER a rather critical article is printed in the la times.

    pablo: “I dispute your characterization of me as a paranoid,” and will now proceed to write 4 pages on it? pablo, you often see attacks that aren’t there. so, you are parnoid. it’s fine. you are what you is.

  • Cindy DiGeso

    I’ll guess Roger doesn’t care much about freedom of speech or if he has a car.

  • Clavos

    I suggest to all alarmists to try to be responsible before posting.

    Pablito, are ya listenin’?

  • zingzing

    “4) Not having an automobile?”

    christ. i’d fear having one. maybe you just mean “transportation.”

  • M(ark E)den

    From the executive order in question:

    Section 1. Revocation. Executive Order 13440 of July 20, 2007, is revoked. All executive directives, orders, and regulations inconsistent with this order, including but not limited to those issued to or by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) from September 11, 2001, to January 20, 2009, concerning detention or the interrogation of detained individuals, are revoked to the extent of their inconsistency with this order.
    ….
    a) Establishment of Special Interagency Task Force. There shall be established a Special Task Force on Interrogation and Transfer Policies (Special Task Force) to review interrogation and transfer policies.
    ….
    (ii) to study and evaluate the practices of transferring individuals to other nations in order to ensure that such practices comply with the domestic laws, international obligations, and policies of the United States and do not result in the transfer of individuals to other nations to face torture or otherwise for the purpose, or with the effect, of undermining or circumventing the commitments or obligations of the United States to ensure the humane treatment of individuals in its custody or control.

  • Cindy DiGeso

    Oh, that sounds like a nonsequitur. But I went to your LA Times article. And then to Pew research.

  • Cindy DiGeso

    zing, i think roger is in the boondocks.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    RE #64:

    The LA Times article(s) make no connection with the way they are being represented in LA Times article summaries. I emailed the editors about this glaring discrepancy. I’ll post the response if I get it.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    What’s the purpose of those questions, Cindy?

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    Mark, #70,

    I don’t see anything in there to support Pablo’s claim. Do you?

  • M(ark E)den

    Rog, it seems pretty clear, but you know government jargon. One would have to dig to ensure that the revocations include all orders covering renditions.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    Same here, and I have no patience for that. I would think he’d have more sense than that.

  • Cindy DiGeso

    Good he got rid of CIA detention facilities.

  • zingzing

    “zing, i think roger is in the boondocks.”

    then let him use his tractor.

    not really. horses?

  • Cindy DiGeso

    Roger,

    I didn’t mean much more than one might look at how a survey is conducted, rather than taking a reporter’s view. For example, the Pew survey that LA Times article is referencing shows that 75% of the Latinos asked thought immigration was either “very important” (31%) or “extremely important” (44%).

  • Cindy DiGeso

    To conclude that immigration is not a top priority, as that article suggests, is wrong.

  • Cindy DiGeso

    horses would be great

  • Cindy DiGeso

    it’s snowing, the employees won’t leave, so now i guess i have to go to work…they are like slave drivers.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    I thought you had some specific question in mind, as to where I stand on this or that. But I’m not particularly keen on surveys in general.

  • http://www.futonreport.net/ Matthew T. Sussman

    PS: All debate is fake when you think about it.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    There must be some deeper thought behind this, Matthew.

  • Brunelleschi

    #46 Roger-

    I have been saying since before the election that Obama’s change will be in image and mood, not substance.

    Americans will have a president at last they can identify with, not some spoiled brat millionaire that answers to Saudi Arabia!

    Obama is changing America’ image abroad. The world is happy for us, very happy.

    Millions of people that never cared about government or participating are now energized. There is nothing wrong with having a president in hard times that is so popular, that he becomes a pop icon, like Obama has.

    But, as far as the day to day, lower your expectations. He is still the countries top democrat. He wouldn’t be there if he were not a party man.

    I am trying to not expect too much and just appreciate the significance of the last nail in Reaganism’s coffin. Plus I am really enjoying watching the GOP pretend to be black. If it were a movie, I would have said its too silly to believe, but here we are.

    Obama has to pick his battles and we all know what #1 is. He can’t afford any skirmishes with the security machinery right now.

    This just in-GOP proposes that Spanish become the official language of Cali-fornia! Arnold will have to do press conferences in Spanish.

    HAHA

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    Bruno,

    I got you. You can’t change the world overnight. And don’t get me wrong, the change in the mood and how the world perceives us is a long overdue news. But as we both agree, you do have to choose your battles wisely.

  • Hope and Change?

    “Obama is changing America’ image abroad. The world is happy for us, very happy.” lol lol lol

    “The world is filled with foolish people with foolish ideas”H&C

    The world doesnt give a shit about the US or who is president.

    Ohh nooooo Tommy Dashle just resigned!! Gee King Baryy hansnt even been in office a month and already his adminsitration in plagues with scandals!

  • Baronius

    Tommy, I’ve been thinking about your article and your comment #34. I think I see why you’re hung up on the classical definitions of conservative and liberal (which have little to do with conservative or liberal politics).

    Most every conservative I’ve ever known is a classical liberal who took a stand. You say that you’re opposed to the Fairness Doctrine. I can imagine that if the Democrats would promote its return, you’d be opposed on principle. This is what happens to a lot of people. They say, “I’m no conservative – I’m a liberal, really – but quotas are racism.” “I’m not a conservative, but 30 weeks is viable.” “I love the environment as much as anyone, but the statistics behind supposed global warming are – Oh my God, I’m a nutbag conservative!

    So when you reach that point, don’t fret that you’ve betrayed your ideology. Becoming a conservative is an affirmation of your liberality.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    I think it’s a play on words, Baronius. Being a conservative or a liberal is no excuse – in my book – to absolve a person from thinking. I think these labels – and they’re becoming lees and less useful – have more to do with the individual’s general predispositions (perhaps even visions) than anything else. I’m excluding, naturally, all rabid, thoughtless versions. And if that’s really the case among thoughtful persons, then there definitely should be room enough for intelligent dialogue and discussion of issues and possibly, a common ground.

    Unfortunately, I haven’t seen much of it, neither on BC threads nor elsewhere.

  • Leslie Bohn

    It’s great news that the obscenely corrupt Daschle has withdrawn. The tax thing is the least of his hassles — Google him and his sleazy wife. They are the epitome of the corrupt Beltway system.
    The appointment of the oily insider Daschle was a sign to anyone who was paying attention that Obama had (has?) no intention of actually changing anything in the realm of health care.
    Good riddance.

  • Baronius

    I disagree with most everything you just posted, Roger. I don’t know where you got the “absolution from thinking” part, but I sure wasn’t talking about that. I don’t think the labels of conservative and liberal are necessarily less useful, although I could imagine a time when the do become so. If something is a matter of differing visions, it’s probably more difficult to debate it. Nevertheless, I think we do a good job of debate on this site and elsewhere.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    I wasn’t criticizing BC in particular – it’s no different from anything else, just a sample. Debates get nowhere – people are fixed in their views and bringing in facts after facts doesn’t convince anyone. Rarely if ever do they change their mind.

    “Absolution from thinking” has to do with evaluating issues – issue by issue, that is – on their own merits, regardless of this side propagates what. And just because “the liberals” or “the conservatives” may be wrong – insofar as a given individual is concerned – on any number of issues, it’s not reason enough to switch sides (in most cases) because, as I’ve already stated, it’s mostly a matter of quite divergent visions.

    I am discussing this matter at length in a series of pieces published here – “The Hidden Dimensions of American Politics, Parts I through III)” – so I suggest you might give it a quick glance over.

    The context is the Prager-Dershowitz debate concerning Dershowitz’s uncompromising stance as regards Israel’s right to defend itself – quite in opposition to the stance by the Left. Yet, in spite of all the arguments you’re marshaling, Dershowitz refuses to abandon his ideological affiliation, again, even in light of this, most important to him, issue. Why?

    I believe I explain it all in the articles I mentioned.

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

    Baronius, your #90 is so dead-on. You ought to write it up as an article so we can just link to it when the self-righeous left starts bashing conservatives.

    Dave

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    You’re quite wrong there, Dave. It’s not that simple. I refer you to my #94.

  • Brunelleschi

    Hope & Change:

    You should get out more. If you dont think the world is very happy with Obama, you are either living under a bridge or just being stupid on purpose.

  • Clavos

    You’re quite wrong there, Dave.

    I think he’s not wrong.

    And Baronius is spot on.

    Most of us have considered ourselves to be classic liberals all along; it’s been discussed often on these threads.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    Let me assure you, H&C is not the first. He just loves getting at the liberal gut.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    The sum is great than the parts. What you have discussed and presumably concluded within the BC community or elsewhere is neither alfa and omega, nor is it binding in any way. So get back to the drawing board and try again. Good luck.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    Should be: The whole is greater than the sum of its parts, but I’m certain you got my meaning: stupid you’re not.

  • Clavos

    What you have discussed and presumably concluded within the BC community or elsewhere is neither alfa and omega, nor is it binding in any way. So get back to the drawing board and try again. Good luck.

    Were that not so laughable, I’d be offended.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    This is nothing but a snotty comment. If you have something intelligent to say, I’ll listen.

  • Clavos

    This is nothing but a snotty comment.

    Quite true, and deliberately so. It was all your condescending observation merited.

    I don’t react well to being condescended to.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    I didn’t mean to be condescending. It’s just your appeal to previous discussion(s) does not constitute the burden of proof, and you know it. So if you treat me as an adult, I will reciprocate.

    It works both ways.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    #98,

    As to definitions, they change. But we’re not talking definitions, are we? Apparently, the dispute is over something else.

  • Baronius

    Roger, are you kidding? You just condescendingly appealed to an earlier conversation yourself. In comment #94, you told me that I was wrong, and I could look it up in your BC writing.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    So if that’s how you want to leave it Baronius – in terms of what you perceive as a condescending manner on my part – it’s perfectly fine with me, and this discussion is foreclosed.

    I find it remarkable, however, that you should choose to argue about attitudes and perceptions, and my supposedly poor bedside manners while I haven’t received a single comment from you as regards the aforementioned articles.

  • Clavos

    It’s just your appeal to previous discussion(s) does not constitute the burden of proof…

    Why “proof?” What I wrote was:

    Most of us have considered ourselves to be classic liberals all along…

    We don’t need “proof” to state that we consider ourselves to be something: how in fact would we “prove” what we consider ourselves to be?

    That’s ridiculous.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    See my #98. I missed it on first reading.

  • http://loftypremise.blogspot.com/ Tommy Mack

    When Dave says “The old way of doing things was to have free speech without any false concept of fairness,” he is right. The 1949 policy was the old way of doing things. Later on in that same era, so was the Un-American Activities Committee.

    As I wrote, the Fairness Doctrine (policy) is not the same thing as the Equal Time rule (law). The Fairness Doctrine deals with matters of public importance, not political opinion. The Equal Time rule only deals with political candidates.

    As a veteran broadcaster and broadcast executive, let me explain how it works. Let’s say I do a 3 minute editorial on my station critical of the President. By law, I am required to offer equal time – 3 minutes — to the opposing point of view and provide that time to anyone who wants to express such a view.

    Limbaugh’ show is paid commercial, like Jim and Tammy Baker’s show was. The equal time provision does not apply. One can argue about the public importance of their speech, but it is not of any public importance nor would the Doctrine mandate I give any time away.

    Besides, as a commercial broadcaster I would hardly want to forfeit the revenue. If I really didn’t like what you advocated in your paid show, I would probably disclaim it and maybe air the show at 3:30 in the morning, the only time available.

    By the way, the doctrine cannot be “back-doored.” Its impacting the Internet is a specious conspiracy theory.

    As to labels, I tend to agree that they are of arguable utilitarian value in this or any debate. I will stick with my original label – tall.
    regards,

    Tommy

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    This bypasses the issue under discussion, unless of course you’re referring to something way back in the thread.

  • Brunelleschi

    This thread reminds me of the time Jesse Jackson was on Saturday Night Live and they did a game show skit called-

    “The Question is Moot.”

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    Can you explain? I think so. Baronius thinks so. Even Clavos thinks so. Darn it, they all know it to be so. They know is goes beyond the definition of terms. The differences are real. Yet none have balls enough to come forward and admit it.

    Do they really think they can skirt the real issue and escape unscathed. Not in my book.

  • http://loftypremise.blogspot.com/ Tommy Mack

    I have reviewed the thread: snootiness, condescension, burdens of proof. Cool stuff.

    I have the balls to admit it too, Roger. Indeed I would hate to be scathed in your book. I’ll just wait for it to come out in paperback.

    Recession, you know.

    Tommy

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    Tommy Mack,

    I apologize, Tom. I didn’t mean to be offensive, but there were skirting the issue, they knew it, while pretending all along it was just a verbal dispute. And no, I don’t have the patience for playing games.

    So here’s my proposition. To make things easier on all of you, I’ll make it a point not to participate in these threads anymore.

    Peace,

    Roger

  • paulwhoispablo

    #57 Leslie

    I guess kidnapping is ok in your book, it isnt in mine.

  • paulwhoispablo

    Roger,

    I wish you wouldn’t do that sir. You are one of the few people on here with even a whit of common sense, and I also like your command of the vernacular.

  • http://loftypremise.blogspot.com/ Tommy Mack

    Likewise.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    I third that sentiment.

    BTW, Pablo, have you tried reverting to your original monicker, or are you still being told you’re spam?

  • pablo

    old monicker working dread.

  • http://www.maskedmoviesnobs.com El Bicho

    If you want to make it easier on everybody, lose the temper tantrums.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Coolness, Pablo. It happens sometimes. For whatever reason, Akismet suddenly decides you’re a Nigerian who wants to share some lottery winnings, and then after a week or so just as suddenly decides you aren’t.

  • STM

    Doc: “BTW, Pablo, have you tried reverting to your original monicker, or are you still being told you’re spam?”

    Lol.

    OK, I can’t flum this bit of America-speak. I have to ask … what the f..k is a “fairness doctrine”?

  • STM

    If it’s what I think it is from the comments and the story … the right of reply on equal terms … well, you either have free speech or you don’t.

    Right of reply should always be attempted where possible as a courtesy, but by the same token, telling the media what they should be thinking and how they should be going about their business isn’t free speech – whether you like what they write or not.

    Isn’t that last bit what we’re all about?

    I think the old Soviet Union had a fairness doctrine: “You write what we think, and we’ll tell everyone that’s fair”.

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

    It’s not the right to reply, it’s a mandate that there must be balance of perspectives in the media, enforced by government if necessary.

    And Tommy, I think you mischaracterize the Limbaugh show as a “paid commercial.” It’s not. It’s syndicated programming which sells its own advertising to support itself and it trades ad time during its programming for airtime with the affiliates. That’s really very different from a commercial, even if it’s still there primarily to turn a profit for all involved. Plus you give the impression that it’s somehow different from other syndicated radio when the truth is that they are all sold this way, and the harder truth is that left-leaning shows are unsellable because no one wants to listen to them.

    Dave

  • Jordan Richardson

    the harder truth is that left-leaning shows are unsellable because no one wants to listen to them

    This is certainly true. It’s more entertaining to listen to a blathering idiot say something “controversial” than it is to listen to a competent, sensible individual.

  • Brunelleschi

    #126-

    “the harder truth is that left-leaning shows are unsellable because no one wants to listen to them..”

    Because lefties are smarter than that! Plus, they can afford the internet and work a PC.

    Seriously.

    Lefties are studying, writing, making better use of their time, listening to the Behtooven channel, reading their Volvo manuals etc..

    The MO of right wing hate radio is simply to play to the lowest common denominator and get the apes worked up. Its a proven formula.

    Sorry for the extreme comparison, but Hitler did exactly the same thing. One can picture the earlier years of his movement in beer halls getting his followers to chant “woot woot woot.”

    Islam’s fundamentalists do the same things as well. Americans see them in the street chanting on videos and say “Look at those idiots, we need to just kill them all and get it over with, “woot woot woot”…pass the armbands..

    The left’s apes already know what they think-because they think. The right’s apes have to be spoon-fed.

    Make your way way to south Alabama sometime and find a radio talk channel. They play Rush and his clones non stop. All they sell is a bad attitude.

    Everything is relative. If all this hate on the radio were to prompt the apes to break out their shotguns and start “solving problems,” there is a point where the smarter people will have to pull they plug.

  • Cindy DiGeso

    Awww Roger,

    Don’t do that. Here, I will lure you back with this funny BBC video.

  • Clavos

    Lefties are…listening to the Behtooven channel…

  • zingzing

    yeah, yeah, most of us know how to spell it. and most of us know that he’s dull, dull, dull. or at least, overplayed, overplayed, overplayed.

  • STM

    Would that be Camper Van Behtooven, the Californian rock band from Santa Cruz, or their distant forbear, the famous German composer Ludwig van Behtooven?

  • Cindy DiGeso

    Mozart was much more fun!

  • zingzing

    mozart sucks too.

    classical music didn’t get going until the 20th century.

    ahem.

    what?

    ok, i’m ducking. hit me!

  • STM

    Dave: “It’s not the right to reply, it’s a mandate that there must be balance of perspectives in the media, enforced by government if necessary”.

    Serious? That’s bollocks. I can’t believe any American government would now even consider such a thing.

    I can understand governments wanting to mandate against (very) specific types of hate speech that might directly lead to the incitement of violence, but from that point on, people should be able to comment on the issue however they please.

    There is a difference. Press freedom is paramount to the continuation of personal freedoms and a genuine guard against those bureaucratic-style, peripheral, sneaky attacks by governments on the rights of citizens.

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


    This is certainly true. It’s more entertaining to listen to a blathering idiot say something “controversial” than it is to listen to a competent, sensible individual.

    Can’t argue with that, but if it were entirely true then Al Franken and Rachel Maddow and Jannine Garofalo who are certainly blathering idiots would have been more popular than they are. The problem appears to be that they are also boring idiots.

    Dave

  • Cindy DiGeso

    lol zing how do you spell your last name? n…i..

    (that won’t make sense unless you saw the video i posted above)

  • Cindy DiGeso

    zing didn’t you ever see the movie amadeus?

  • Cindy DiGeso

    zing, mozart reminds me of you!

  • zingzing

    where do i know those two from? it said bbc comedy… but what show was that? that was pretty good, i say, i say.

    mozart reminds you of me? how so? i know i come across as an arrogant brat… but i hope you are referencing his fleeting brilliance. but i know you’re not.

    and yes, i’ve seen amadeus, and no matter how entertaining, it’s still bunk as history.

  • Cindy DiGeso
  • zingzing

    yeah, well. ok.

  • Cindy DiGeso

    anyway, i duno what BBC show that is but that is dr. house (hugh laurie)

  • Cindy DiGeso

    sorry, i guess the video said that lol, still it’s weird how well he does an american accent

  • zingzing

    my god. you’re right.

    i knew i recognized him. it’s the other guy who i’m more familiar with… but i can’t figure out who he is either. he’s been in a lot of movies.

  • zingzing

    oh. wow, yeah. stephen fry. still no clue. and it even says the name of the show. must read more often.

  • Brunelleschi

    Franken and Co were just over the heads of the trailer park trash GOP, hence boring

    woot woot woot

  • Clavos

    yeah, yeah, most of us know how to spell it.

    But not all, apparently…

  • Cindy DiGeso

    now poor people are trash :-(

  • zingzing

    come on, clavos… he already admitted he’s southern. give him a break.

  • Clavos

    Franken and Co were just over the heads of the trailer park trash

    Oh, absolutely. A brilliant, sophisticated and erudite comedian. His Stuart Smelly Smalley (oops! Freudian slip) character was such great satire: right up there with Juvenal, Dryden, Pope, Swift, Mark Twain, Will Rogers and Jon Stewart.

    /sarcasm

  • Clavos

    come on, clavos… he already admitted he’s southern. give him a break..

    Point taken, zing.

    I’ll remember to speak slowly and use small words…

  • zingzing

    and close code?

  • Cindy DiGeso

    LOL @ Clav (funny stuff that)

  • Clavos

    That too, zing; though I can’t guarantee that part.

  • Cindy DiGeso

    When I went down to Ft. Lauderdale to look for housing, I thought I might buy a trailer. I went to a bunch of parks. The worst ones were filled with white people. Particularly the old ones (some of these people scare me). I asked if I could grow potted fruit trees. I was told I would have to ask permission. ha, right, cya…

    The best one was a working class trailer park. very relaxed, do whatever the hell you want. Some people kept their places junky and others kept them nice. It was soooo much better there. The people there were soooo much nicer. I could do permaculture and learn Spanish better.

  • Clavos

    …and learn Spanish better.

    You may remember I suggested some time ago that you do so before moving here.

    I’m not exaggerating much when I say we’re a foreign country down here; if you speak Spanish, life is a lot easier than if you don’t.

  • Cindy DiGeso

    Oh Clav,

    I have spoken Spanish (you know as much as I can remember living in Whiteville here) since high school.

    In fact we used to have 50% of a company in Morales Mexico–Moleculas Rearregladas de Mexico. So, I traveled there a number of times. Stayed in Cuernavaca.

    I spoke better when I was there. But I forget everything. No chance to use Spanish :-(

  • Cindy DiGeso

    Morelos?

  • Clavos

    Yup, Morelos. Nice town, Cuernavaca.

    You’ll have all the chance you can stand to speak Spanish down here; up to and including never speaking any English.

    There are tens of thousands of monolingual Spanish speakers here; some work in places like your neighborhood grocery store or dry cleaners, which is why the more you speak it, the easier life is.

  • Cindy DiGeso

    Cool. Maybe I will get certification in English as a second language.

  • Baronius

    Dave – Re:comment #95 – I left it in the comment box of the most recent article on the Republic of Dave. I don’t think the site’s email was working, and I don’t have constant email access anyway. I hope that’ll do.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    I doubt that Dave [or anyone else] who would describe Rachel Maddow as a “blathering idiot” has ever actually listened to her for more than 3 minutes.

    Her “we can disagree without being disagreeable” style, and her obvious smarts, are a breath of fresh air on the blathering airwaves. Her nightly MSNBC show is a highlight of current poliical commentary, left or right, regardless of medium.

  • Clavos

    Maybe I will get certification in English as a second language.

    Not a bad idea. Lots of demand for qualified people.

  • Brunelleschi

    The first time I ordered Cuban coffee in Miami, I wanted a cup. For some reason they gave me a few medicine cups on top of it.

    I tossed the little cups.

    OMG talk about a caffeine buzz!

    Then I realized they thought I was ordering for about 5 people.

    Doh!

  • Hope and Change?

    Brunelleschi
    (AKA DrDreadful)..wow…smart…cultured and wordly!

    Please….tell us about the time you went to the Cuban proctologist for your prostate exam…

  • Hope and Change?

    You thought you requestd the normal exam but by mistake asked the doctor for the “tiene diez dedos” exam……

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    I agree, Handy. I enjoyed Rachel Maddow’s show while Air America was being broadcast here. It was a breath of fresh air – especially scheduled as it was directly after Randi Rhodes, who’s basically just a left-wing version of Limbaugh.

    As for Dave, he probably just is aware that Maddow is a broadcaster from the left, and assigns idiocy automatically.

  • Hope and Change?

    MadCOW doesnt have anymore material. I watched her last night and it was painful as she spent most of her show on BLAGO…and not what was happening in DC…with Barry

    Prediction…shell be gone in 9 months….

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    Although she did indeed do by far the best Blagojevich interview, last week, Rachel M did not spend any time on him last night [thank God, enough already].

    She talked about the stimulus bill, the Daschle (over-)coverage, and Iraq.

    Perhaps your cable box got caught in a time warp.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    By the way, Maddow gets about 1.4 million viewers at 9 pm, behind Fox Noise but ahead of Larry King on CNN. She’s ahead of whatever used to be on MSNBC at that time by 139%, so the show is considered a significant hit.

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

    I doubt that Dave [or anyone else] who would describe Rachel Maddow as a “blathering idiot” has ever actually listened to her for more than 3 minutes.

    I have never heard Maddow on the radio, but I have watched her MSNBC show several times. It’s of a level of intellectual quality just below Oprah, and she comes of like a communications major sophomore from vassar who’s just discovered she’s a lesbian. It would be hilarious if it was a webcast from a 20 year old. As network programming it’s just sad.

    Dave

  • zingzing

    “she comes of like a communications major sophomore from vassar who’s just discovered she’s a lesbian.”

    now that’s just mean.

    “It would be hilarious if it was a webcast from a 20 year old. As network programming it’s just sad.”

    go watch fox! you’ll cry.

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

    I’m still trying to recover from the trauma of watching Keith Olberman for the first time.

    Dave

  • http://loftypremise.blogspot.com/ Tommy Mack

    Dave, buddy,

    “It’s syndicated programming, which sells its own advertising to support itself and it trades ad time during its programming for airtime with the affiliates.”

    You are right. I am a former talk radio producer. Syndicated programming is another term for paid commercial. The traded ad time is sold by its affiliates — paid commercials.

    Therefore, unless RL decides to run for office, the Equal Time Rule does not apply. Even if there was a Fairness Rule, as it existed before 1987, it would not apply either.

    Tommy

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    I have never heard Maddow on the radio, but I have watched her MSNBC show several times. It’s of a level of intellectual quality just below Oprah

    I don’t expect everyone to share my opinion of RM, but this is a remarkably unperceptive, not to mention mean-spirited and sophomoric, assessment. Also notice that the nominally pro-gay straight guy couldn’t resist a supposed zinger making use of the word ‘lesbian.’

    She could debate you to a standstill, any time, on virtually any subject. And she’s a brilliant interviewer, whether the interviewee is from the left, the right, or Planet Pluto [e.g. Blagojevich].

  • Arch Conservative

    Mean spirited?……….lighten up people……it was funny……….funnier than anything MSNBC has ever offered the world.

    Maddow is better than Olbermann but that’s not saying much seeing as he’s the biggest joke in infotainment…….

    There’s a reason the freaks at Air America and MSNBC are dwarfed by FOX news and conservative talk radio in the ratings……

  • zingzing

    archie: “There’s a reason the freaks at Air America and MSNBC are dwarfed by FOX news and conservative talk radio in the ratings……”

    yes, there is a reason. that is true.

  • Cindy DiGeso

    unfortunately the reason looks sorta like no one was manning the lighthouse when evolution crashed against the rocks…

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    But … if the reason Fox and talk radio get big ratings is that there are so many more conservatives than liberals … then, um, what happened in the 2006 and 2008 elections?

    And … who’s giving Obama his 70-80% approval ratings?

    The truth is that the loudest voices on both right and left, and their most enthusiastic audiences, represent minority viewpoints. The US of A consists primarily of the moderates, the independents, the Big Middle.

    And, for now at least, they have decided to give the Dems a shot. Jeer from the sidelines all you like but you won’t change that. If Obama fails, he himself will change it, of course. But don’t flatter yourself that it will have anything to do with you.

  • http://loftypremise.blogspot.com/ Tommy Mack

    I agree with you, H.

    Richard Nixon called them “. . . the great silent majority of my fellow Americans. . .” in his November 3, 1969 speech. They elected him by a landslide.

    I think it odd that conservatives seem to have forgotten Nixon, or at least never mention him. Likewise, liberals seem to have forgotten LBJ, also elected by a landslide.

    The operating word is “seem.”

    Bernard Baruch said, “Every man has a right to his opinion, but no man has a right to be wrong in his facts.”

    Tommy

  • Darren

    I think, therefore I’m conservative. Conservatives wish to conserve rights and the liberals wish to liberate us from what is right so they can just go do whatever they want, no matter the consequences.

    To quote a conservative internet publisher:
    “The re-introduction of the so-called “Fairness Doctrine” will be disguised in lofty sounding words, such as “encouraging diversity in media ownership” and striving for balance and fairness in the broadcasting content. Don’t be fooled.”

    Fairness Doctrine by any other name is still the Fairness Doctrine. I am against it. We’ve heard words from the previous paragraph from our new President. I think the words speak for themselves. He wishes to muzzle speech he doesn’t like. Those are the facts. He may not succeed and indeed I hope he fails in this effort.

    Free speech, free markets, limited government. That is what I wish to conserve. I want to conserve it because it works. Thus I am not a liberal. I have a brain. What about you?

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    I say death to all windmills!

  • http://loftypremise.blogspot.com/ Tommy Mack

    Bernard Baruch said, “Every man has a right to his opinion, but no man has a right to be wrong in his facts.”

    And your facts are what?

    Tommy’s theorum: Opinion based on opionion is opinionless.

    Glad you have a brain. Thanks. I feel better.

    Tommy

  • http://loftypremise.blogspot.com/ Tommy Mack

    P.S..

    Cite your source.

    I hope this helps.

    Tommy

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    Darren apparently didn’t bother to read Tommy’s brainy article before lecturing us all about brains.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Tommy,

    I checked. It was World Net Daily.

    Surprise surprise.

  • http://loftypremise.blogspot.com/ Tommy Mack

    I looked at the Farah nonsense too, Doc.

    I like the little copyright symbol. He did not copyright, it is not copyrigthed and who would want to cite that source other than our new buddy?

    Intersting site for right-wing propoganda, though.

    Tommy

  • Brunelleschi

    A wise professor once told me the American people are politically soft, just as handyguy says in #180.

    In the 1960s, people were fed up and dropped out, but this didn’t last. The Reagan days seemed to be the end of the 1960s, but this didn’t last. Now Obama is a pop icon and clearly signals the end of Reaganism, but it will have a limited lifespan as well.

    It is interesting that as much noise and bullshit we heard from the right about the last election, Obama won and his popularity is very high. The country faces a serious crisis, and people want the president to succeed, regardless of his left/right labeling.

    Americans are smarter than the minority of haters and noisemakers and won’t sign up for the right or the left for life.

    That’s not so bad. The right is wasting it’s time and energy right now, which is fun to watch.

  • Cindy DiGeso

    Dr. Quixote, I presume.

  • Cindy DiGeso

    Dr. Quixote. If you have it out there and you have not yet experienced it, I could not recommend any theater (theatre, for you) production more than Man of La Mancha.

    To date, my all time favorite (favourite).

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    Cindy, I love ya. But as a theater critic, not so much. Someone with a great critical intelligence like yours, falling for an icky-sticky-cornball thing like Man of La Mancha? Yikes.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    I’m not really a fan of musicals, apart from Fiddler on the Roof. I like the title song from Man of La Mancha, but I wouldn’t fall over myself to go see the show!

  • STM

    Doc: “Fiddler on the Roof”.

    Remind me to knock back the barbecue invitation to your joint if I ever get to Fresno.

  • Cindy DiGeso

    handy,

    You only love half of me. I am an icky-sticky-cornball.

    Dr.D,

    Ah, yes what a wonderful song (sniffle).

    Loved Fiddler on the Roof too.

  • Cindy DiGeso

    okay handy,

    here is my all time favorite off broadway performance. i’ve been twice already. i could go maybe 42 more times.

    better?

  • Cindy DiGeso

    handy,

    maybe not, hrmmm. okay i saw Cabaret before it closed. can that one be my favorite and still maintain your esteem? :-)

  • Cindy D

    (decides not to do that, me and Don Quixote go way back)

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    It’s OK, Stan, I don’t barbecue on the roof, just fiddle. And even then only with the satellite dish. I’m not touching the AC unit, not after our neighbor’s kept exploding a couple of Christmases ago.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Two main reasons I have a soft spot for Fiddler:

    1. Topol looks like my Dad.
    2. It’s just about the only classic musical with no happy ending. (OK, so you could argue My Fair Lady, but that’s stretching it.)

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    Well, Doc, there’s also Hair, which ends with the death of one of the characters.

    And it has lotsa great songs.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    Cindy, I was basically kidding…you can revel in all the corn you please. I was not lucky enough to see Stomp. I love the movie of Cabaret, the play not as much.

    Oh, and Doc…there is also Sweeney Todd! Not a happy ending in sight! And maybe the greatest of all musicals.

  • Cindy D

    oh handy…i love, love, love Hair

  • Cindy D

    look at that, they have the full 2 hours online free

  • Clavos

    West Side Story

    I still get choked up at “Somewhere.”

    Of course, a story by the Bard is helpful.

  • Baronius

    Senator Stabenow just came out in favor of some form of the Fairness Doctrine. Gear up, Tommy; the time is coming to take a stand against the political “liberals”.

    I saw Stomp. Excellent show.

  • Cindy D

    awww, good, Clav is an icky-sticky-cornball like me :-)

  • Clavos

    “I’m as corny as Kansas in August,…”

    Another great musical.

  • Cindy D

    Baronius! yay Stomp!!! best show i have ever, ever seen.

  • Baronius

    Yup. I was interested in the musical side, and my date was a fan of dance. What neither of us expected was the odd, humorous storytelling in each set piece.

  • Baronius

    Cindy, where do you stand on the Fairness Doctrine debate?

  • Cindy D

    Bar,

    This is something I read. Obama Does Not Support Return of Fairness Doctrine

    “He considers this debate to be a distraction from the conversation we should be having about opening up the airwaves and modern communications to as many diverse viewpoints as possible,” Ortiz added. “That is why Sen. Obama supports media-ownership caps, network neutrality, public broadcasting, as well as increasing minority ownership of broadcasting and print outlets.”

    That sounds like a better idea to me.

    BTW, you know what? I just found out that they had the first The First International Body Music Festival in San Francisco, just in December.

    I am very taken with the whole thing. It’s inspired me to write a short play? (only in my head).

  • Cindy D

    And those little stories you mentioned… It wouldn’t work for me half as well without them.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    Baronius, you didn’t ask me, but:

    [1] I oppose any and all censorship

    [2] As Tommy Mack has eloquently pointed out in this article, it’s a Phony Debate. That’s why we resist taking a stand on the mythological Fairness Doctrine.

    If and when Senator Debbie and her husband manage to bring this to debate in Congress, I’ll join you in opposition. As will many/most other liberals. Including the POTUS.

    But it ain’t gonna happen.

  • Cindy D

    Ah, Clav. South Pacific. lol I thought that was the name of the musical “Kansas in August”. No wonder I couldn’t find it. It just dawned on me to reread your comment.

  • Baronius

    Handy, anyone is free to comment on the threads, even when those comments address the original article. I’m glad to hear your position. I don’t think that the Fairness Doctrine talk will ever amount to anything either – but I wouldn’t bet the farm.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    ‘Kansas in August’. Boy, that would be a fun musical. Just how many different songs about things being flat and hot is it possible to write?

  • Cindy D

    LOL hahaha!!!

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Gotta chime in – I played a minor part in a community theater production of South Pacific – that was over twenty years ago and I still sing “Some Enchanted Evening” in the shower at least once a week…

    …and that’s a beautiful song when you’re lucky enough to know true love…

    And I’ll throw in one more, courtesy of Bloody Mary:

    Happy Talk,
    Keep talkin’ happy talk,
    Talk about things you’d like to do…
    You got to have a dream,
    If you you don’t have a dream,
    Then how you gonna have a dream come true?

  • Clavos

    I was away a bit, and just came back to the thread.

    While reading to catch up, a thought (not new, I’m certain) occurred to me: In one way at least, it’s good we have these “detours” in the threads from time to time, because, in discussing something other than the central theme (not meme) of the thread, we can sometimes find common ground, and thus a different perspective on each other.

    Case in point: With all due respect, thus far I’ve found little about which to agree with you, Glenn. That is, until your 219, and suddenly I see a side of you I never saw before, a side which casts you in a new and interesting light: not only do we agree as to South Pacific, but much to my delight I find we share (along with Doc Dreadful), an interest in live theater and in acting.

    And suddenly, I realize, “Wow, Glenn and I DO have something in common! Who’d ‘a thunk it?” :>)

    I’m serious about this; I think it’s important that occasionally we learn more about each other than just our varied (and various) political stances.

    Steps down from soapbox, glances about, embarrassed, and exits down right.

  • Cindy D

    Clav,

    I agree. On the site where my blog is, someone recently wrote a criticism of the site design. Here is a quote of my reply:

    The forum [where my blog is] seems uninviting. Sort of discouraging. Because of any site, this kind needs connection between users. The site I posted, Blogcritics, has 16 sections…They are all listed at the top left and easy to navigate. In each section, everyone can go to a person’s article and discuss it as a group. It’s nice too that they do not require staying on topic. It allows people to have fun and develop beyond merely debating.

  • Brunelleschi

    This site is unique and has a lot of good things going on.

    I give the editors and staff a lot of credit for letting people go off and not bother them, plus they can dish it out and take it as well.

    It seems like a really good place to develop your writing and get instant feedback and grief at the same time!

    I signed up to write and need to get my butt in gear and do it.

    It would be cool if you could pull a list of articles you are monitoring and see it flag the ones that have new comments.

    I made a BC folder in my favorites and save my own list of articles to do a quick drive-by and see if any have something new.

  • Cindy D

    You can use the rss feed Bruni. Then you just look in your bookmarks and it tells you when new comments are posted. It should be just below the article. The top feed says: “Comments on this article”

    (Of course this is the way it should work…I don’t subscribe to anything here. But that is the way it works for everything else I subscribe to.)

  • Brunelleschi

    Oh jeez, more geeky stuff to learn… Thanks!

    I just talked someone from my previous board life into signing up to write. Working on one more…

    My friend wrote a book last year called 100 Meditations, watch for it..

  • Cindy D

    It’s simple, I promise :-)

    Just click on that link (“comments on this article”), it goes to the subscribe page. leave everything alone there and just click the “subscribe” button. Then look in your bookmarks.

    Nothing to learn. :-)

  • sal

    Follow the money – talk about a conflict of interest. If you cannot beat the competition with your pathetic radio show/station then get your wife to do it for you. Oh yeah, while she is doing that go hire a hooker and then have her thrown in jail when you get caught. What the hell happend to this country!

  • lominac

    There are many AM stations. Rush is on one station and there is another guy on a different station for some of the day where I live. But there are many other stations, so I would rather a liberal just start a show on a different station. If they try to over regulate it, they will just put people out of business, but maybe that’s the point.