Friday, August 01, 2008

Thursday talk radio update

It was all about Ludacris. O'Reilly said it was a big story, although I could never figure out exactly why. To me, it makes no more sense to blame Obama for Ludacris than it does to blame George Bush for Ted Nugent.

At least O'Reilly was willing to concede that links between Obama and Ludacris are pretty tenuous. Not so Hannity, who quickly added Ludacris to his cabal of insurgents -- the Rev. Wright, William Ayers, Michael Pfleger -- who are out to destroy America by electing a radical socialist.

As I have noted before, Hannity is nothing if not flexible. Hannity's bit in the Nugent spot linked above is priceless: Whenever a Republican is attacked, the man of principle suddenly becomes a moral relativist. His shape-shifting talent was on full display Thursday, when he spent 10 minutes blasting Obama for saying that McCain was trying to scare people by saying that Obama wasn't like them, then spent the next hour and 50 minutes telling listeners that Obama, in fact, wasn't like them.

He did this in part by interviewing Jerome Corsi, whose dubious resume includes authorship of the book that helped launch the swift boat attacks on John Kerry. Corsi has written a new book about Obama, and it wasn't clear to me what explosive revelations it contains, although I may have missed some while popping in and out doing deliveries.

But I did hear him mention three times that the book has 700 footnotes. Uh oh. Every graduate student knows that trick: If you can't come up with anything interesting or original to say, load up the paper with footnotes. But I don't think that trick works on the best-seller lists.

The best Ludacris discussion actually came up on the increasingly unlistenable Glenn Beck show. Beck did a dramatic reading of Ludacris' rap on Obama, with classical piano in the background and frequent interruptions to explore the inner meaning of the text and rhyme scheme. It was pretty damn funny. Beck tends to run his funny ideas -- actually, all of his ideas -- into the ground, so I was glad to switch to NPR when the news came on.

SIDEBAR: Dave Rye didn't talk about Ludacris, but he did praise the Bozeman Chronicle for a recent article announcing layoffs. Few newspapers are willing to publicly disclose their own internal problems, Rye said.

Actually, in my experience, newspapers are usually willing to announce layoffs. Perhaps that's less true in Montana; I don't know. But I have read quite a newspaper announcements of their own layoffs over the years. Sometimes that's an effort to stave off rumors, and sometimes it's a simple realization that even when layoffs happen to you and yours, it's still news.

Hard to believe, but integrity is still out there sometimes.

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