Driving with Air America [LINK]
A friend of mine recommended I listen to a bit of Air America, but cautioned that all non-Al-Franken hosts were not very good. I mentioned my qualms about talk radio, all talk radio, where the level of rhetoric tends to be pretty low. I did happen to catch a bit on the way home tonight. There was a guy on named Ed, I think, Ed Schultz? Not sure: I don't see his name listed on the AA site. Maybe it's local content.
Anyway, I caught Ed just as he started giving a recipe for duck, a Very Important Recipe may I add, one that required Great Elaboration and an Extraordinary Amount of Time to Communicate. He mentioned he was going duck hunting on the weekend, which struck me like an NRA-sort-of-thing to do. I asked myself: is this really Air America? Maybe it's local content.
After that it was onto calls, and I knew I was in the right place. FORGET ABOUT IMPEACHMENT, the caller said, THROW THE WHOLE LOT OF THEM IN JAIL. ALL OF THEM! The reason? For stealing not one but BOTH elections. Another called to say he feared full martial law by 2006. Another one insisted Harriet Miers was really a "straw man" whose lack of judicial experience would surely get her rejected by the Senate, after which Bush would pick the Supreme Court nominee he *really* wanted, no doubt some Bork-like character with horns on his head. And the whole point is there would be little support in the Senate to reject his second nominee, so Bush's diabolical plan would work. Ed seemed to agree.
Then Ed jumped over to sports for no apparent reason and started talking about how the Detroit Lions were "robbed" of a touchdown following an instant replay. And of course he seemed to assume everybody in his audience had seen the game. As far as I gathered, the receiver caught the ball while in bounds but airborne, but he landed out of bounds. Ed said he wasn't a Lions fan before, but the fact that they were robbed meant he sure was one now. This struck me as hopelessly tangled logic, and I started to wonder how all this gratuitous underdogism related to a Rawlsian theory of justice when the signal started to break up in the hills.
So it was back to my old pals at NPR, who were running a story about how the O.J. Simpson trial (now 10 years old) divided the nation by race, with black people widely supporting him and white people not. Of course the reporter mentioned the magazine cover in which OJ's face had been unacceptably darkened to make him look malevolent, and of course the revelation that former LA cop Mark Fuhrman had at times uttered the N-word. In fact, much tongue-clucking over how the trial became racially polarized, leaving out the defense team's role in injecting race as an issue. And there was no word at all -- NONE -- on the substance of the evidence arrayed against Simpson. No DNA, nothing. After all, this was simply a story about two viewpoints, the "black" and "white" ones, and we can't go around making it seem like one is more valid than the other, can we?