The news media today contains very little straight news; the Wall Street Journal and the Christian Science Monitor are two possible exceptions. If you, dear reader, know of any better sources of straight news, please leave a comment.
Many if not most reporters today seem to take on the role of commentator and/or news analyst; they no longer report — they either quote selectively or supply their own slant to stories. I admit that I do some of that but I’ve never claimed to be a reporter, I just attempt to be an “influencer” and sometimes try to stir up passions through occasionally outrageous rhetoric that reflects my personal, mostly Conservative world view.
Speaking of influencers, Conservative radio talk show hosts like Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Laura Ingram and Mark Levin make me look like the amateur I am; these are professional influencers! Many people (millions) listen to them every day and most of them probably take every word they say as gospel even though its obvious that they often tweak facts and omit other facts to make their arguments more persuasive . . . then again, maybe its not that obvious to the majority of their listeners. The twisted reality is that Conservative leaning people like most of their listeners (and me) will readily overlook their prevarications because in the end their message may be the ‘Right’ one, but it is also, in our opinion, the right one for America.
After all, when your Right, your right! 😉
Aside from twisting facts to suit their needs, these Right-wing radio hosts have other annoying on-air habits. Rush Limbaugh has the largest audience and is without a doubt the most influential radio host today but his constant bragging and his well-fed ego has the effect of making me switch channels. The other three I mentioned have the annoying habit of constantly interrupting or talking over their guests and their callers; especially guests and callers that disagree with them — Laura Ingram however, talks over everyone, even those who share her point-of-view and her voice is so shrill that I don’t last long there either. Sean Hannity will subtly change the subject when a caller makes a point and then will badger the caller about some inconsequential point or insist on a yes or no answer to a leading question until its time for a commercial or a hard break. Mark Levin is simply caustic! Levin may be the most Constitutionally literate of all the radio hosts but he is a short-tempered name caller; “jerk,” “putz,” and “idiot” are his favorites but they are just three of many he uses to describe people who disagree with him.
I can’t say much about Liberal radio hosts because the only Libs on the radio in the Dallas area seem to be on NPR (National Public Radio) and when I tune in I always manage to catch some Brit talking about some rebellion in some Commonwealth. I’m sure however that there are plenty of Left-wing talk shows out there in radio land and I would wager that the avid listeners of Left-wing radio hosts exhibit the same blind spots for non-factual facts and half-truths as we on the Right do. I’m not sure how that works but it seems that when you’re Left you are also right!
It’s an interesting enigma isn’t it? When someone is saying or doing things that support your world view, little things like twisted facts, partial truths, out-of-context quotes and annoying mannerisms are as inconsequential as sunshine in July.