Thursday, November 20, 2008

Greetings from the District

I'm blogging tonight from our nation's capitol, but I am still locked on to what's going on back home.

There's not much to say about the controversy regarding the Dan Shelley article in Milwaukee magazine. It strikes me as, at best, hyperventilation over the uninteresting and, at worst, wrong headed. Talk radio tends to come from a certain perspective. On the right, folks like Sykes and Belling and, on the left, people such as McNally and whoever hosts on what's left of Air America, are candid about their bias. Bias is not a weakness, it is a fact. We have them. We deal with them better when we acknowledge them.

If I know someone is a conservative or liberal, then I can assess their comments in light of that. On the local scene, I think that, for example, Sykes and Von are hosts with a perspective but who conduct themselves in a way that make them worth listening to. There are others as well.

This doesn't mean that you can't mine their shows and find objectionable things that they have said. Let someone talk enough (including me) and that will happen.

This doesn't mean that I think that all talk show hosts, including the locals, conduct themselves honorably. It's ok to talk politics in an entertaining way, but one should always remember that it is serious business and our country is not a cartoon made up of heroes and villians.


Anonymous said...

It strikes you as "hyperventilation" because you're a "fan" of both Sykes and Wagner. Nice way of "dialing it down".

Dad29 said...


GRAY hats?

Not Black or White Hats?

How can we handle THAT?

Anonymous said...

While I do not listen to talk radio very much, I think it is critical to the political process in our country. You always come away with something if you agree or not.

I could not imagine being completely depended on the mainstream media, Oprah and the Hollywood crowd as are the left.

AnotherTosaVoter said...

Talk radio has every right to exist in whatever form it wants, from intellectual debate to kool-aid soaked fundamentalism.

I for one just don't understand why people listen to it. It's the same freaking thing, every single time. I could listen to Hannity tonight and hear all the same themes and hell the same exact dialogue I've heard six months or 2 years ago.

I could turn on Rush and hear the same excuses and revisionist history I heard when Clinton got elected, or again the same exact statements and catchphrases as any previous show.

Belling is entertaining, especially on sports. Plus he always rips his producer. Next to Hannity, Jay Weber has to be the whiniest little tool in the box. The tone of his voice makes it sound like his wife must have chewed him last night and this morning for something he thinks wasn't his fault. Every. Single. Morning. If I didn't manage to hit the commercial break on 1250 every. single. morning. I could spare myself the trouble.

I don't know, I guess talk radio is like church. You can pretty much get the message in the first hour, making repeated visits highly redundant.

Anonymous said...

I guess I'd need particular examples of the hyperventilation, except for in the commentary the article engendered (of which Sykes' was among the more hyperventilating...).

Bias is a fact, indeed, and the article described, in part, how that bias is implemented -- how it goes into determining what gets on the air -- which is also just a fact. Describing how media is shaped is a useful and interesting contribution; it seems to have been a pretty interesting one, at least, from the number of people angrily denying it or congratulating themselves on having known it all along.

Anonymous said...

anon 8:22

#1 he never mentioned Wagner

#2 this post is not biased. Rick gives validity to both sides. Von is a liberal. Rick has been on Von's show and has a great deal of respect for him because he is fair.

Anonymous said...

Anon 6:41: The Milwaukee Magazine article did.