Friday, May 02, 2008

All Wright

Thursday's talk radio update: Jeremiah Wright seemed to be slowly fading from the talk radio agenda. O'Reilly was too busy crowing about his interview with Hillary Clinton. Glenn Beck was rambling on about ... well, I'm not sure exactly what he was rambling on about, but it didn't seem to be Jeremiah Wright. Savage was ... OK, I admit I didn't actually have the stomach for Savage yesterday. Sometimes when his theme music comes on, my stomach starts to twist into a knot, and I have to change the station immediately.

Only Sean Hannity appeared to be still consumed by Jeremiah Wright. If Obama were to announce tomorrow that he had discovered a cure for cancer, persuaded Osama bin Laden to turn himself in and developed an energy source that would run cars for a nickel a gallon, the news would have to stand in line behind Jeremiah Wright to make it onto Hannity's show.

Hannity's latest twist was to quote a columnist (sorry, forgot the name) who asked whether Americans would tolerate a political candidate who attended a church that espoused notions of upholding white culture, white values, the white work ethic, etc.

Hannity liked this so much that he quoted it at least three times, twice on his radio show and once on TV. But it is an obviously and profoundly defective analysis, as both a radio caller and, on TV, Juan Williams tried to make clear. This is the sort of question that Williams ought to be able to slam out of the ballpark, and he was winding up to take a big swing, pointing out that the black church forged its unique identity out of rejection by white Christians.

Then, as so often happens when discussion threatens to go beyond name calling, Hannity suddenly had to take a break. Williams' big swing ended in a slow roller down the third base line.

For guys like Hannity, who think that Ronald Reagan created the heavens and the earth in 1980, it was all just too much complexity for one day.


Anonymous said...

My husband likes to watch those shows and so sometimes I am watching them, too. I cannot understand why anyone is entertained by those talking heads yelling at each other. And everytime they have a reasonable discussion about something that might actually matter going on, they only have 30 seconds to cover the whole subject. I don't see why anyone spends time watching the c*** and I sure don't understand why any candidate, etc. would be a "guest" more than once.

Ed Kemmick said...

David: As little free time as you have, are you sure it's healthy to maintain a steady diet of talk radio every Thursday? What about books on tape, a little Beethoven or Big Bill Broonzy? I do value your reports from the front lines of the blather wars, but I worry about your mental health.

David said...

Books on tape aren't an attractive option because I'm hopping in and out of the car every couple of minutes. So I resist things that require sustained attention -- including Beethoven. Since I got a CD player for Christmas, I've been listening a bit to music, which helps at times.

None of that explains why I sometimes listen to the cable shows at night. Probably intense therapy is required.

But I also probably exaggerate how much talk radio I actually hear. The day is punctuated by NPR news in the morning and at noon, followed by "To the Point." Then there's "All Things Considered" at 5 p.m., followed on long days by a string of interesting NPR shows. And I frequently flip back to NPR for jazz, especially during the dismal Glenn Beck-Michael Savage drought.

When NPR was down for pledge week, talk radio just about ate me alive.

Mark T said...

I take refuge in Dr. Laura Schelsinger - she's one member of the right wing who has good common sense, a feel for the common folk, a good sense of humor to boot. I don't always like her advice, but then I don't usually hone in on the problem like she does either.

She's a nice respite from regular fare. Is she on in Billings?

By the way, now and then she counsels gay couples without judgment. Maybe she's not a righty after all.