Saturday, March 03, 2012

Talk Radio: yes, Rush was "over the top", but it gets rough anyway.

This is more about radio, which I’m lumping with TV. I have to “admit”, I’ve enjoyed listening to Rush, particularly on car radios, especially back in the 1990s, sometimes when “on the road”.

Rush has his side to the recent “incident” about his slur over women and contraception, on his own site here  and he seems still to have sponsors. He says he has no "power" to harm women or anyone else; only Big Government does. What’s most interesting is his interview with “conservative” and virtuous columnist George Will, whom my own father used to call “one of the smartest men in the world”.  Will thinks that the White House is a lost cause for the GOP in 2012, because it’s made a mess, and it doesn’t have a credible candidate who doesn’t have a lot of drawbacks with a lot of the electorate.  No, I don’t think Will supports Santorum’s rants. Will wants the GOP to focus on strengthening the House and winning the Senate back.  Unlikely in 2012 if Obama wins re-election, which sounds probable.

As to the incident, the Washington Post has a stinging editorial, “Bum Rush: The GOP can no longer ignore its Rush Limbaugh problem”, link (website url) here.  Even the president has apologized to the Georgetown University student whom Limbaugh insulted with his uncivil remarks. At the very least, they sounded creepy, voyeuristic.
I can remember, back in the 90s, hearing Rush rebuke callers who whined about joblessness.  He’s not the only talk show host to do so.  I can remember a host in Dallas in the 80s who fired back at a caller, “Are you good at anything?”

There have been other kings and queens of Talk Radio. Remember Dr. Laura Schlessinger (“I am my kids’ mom” – tautology) with her “stupid conception” – that’s OK, but, please, not her remark about “biological error”?  Here are some morsels from “Stop Dr. Laura”, link.  I used to hear a lot of her on car radios, too. I recall a demonstration against her in Minnesota back around 2000.

Back in the 1990s, Joe Palka was the "liberal" talk radio voice in the DC area (he once answered a call-in from me to the effect that gays should not embrace libertarianism). Dr. Gabe Mirkin was the "health nut" advocating severe low fat diets for everyone.  And for about eight months in 1993, Scott Peck, the gay son of a Marine Corps colonel outed by the debate on gays in the military, had his own call-in show on gay issues on Sunday nights.  Frank Kameny and I often called in, but not enough other people did. 

Remember that Oliver Stone directed a film "Talk Radio" for Universal in 1988. 

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