Thursday, September 18, 2008

Radio or Not

“Unless McCain is president, the government will reinstate the equally misnamed ‘fairness doctrine, ’" George Will writes in his Washington Post column, attempting to champion the cause of a divided government. That Ronald Reagan eliminated it in 1987 is true. But, its reinstatement is conjecture. Those goblins will get you.

“In 1980 there were fewer than 100 radio talk shows nationwide. Today there are more than 1,400 stations entirely devoted to talk formats. Liberals, not satisfied with their domination of academia, Hollywood and most of the mainstream media, want to kill talk radio, where liberals have been unable to dent conservatives' dominance.”

Bunk. Conservatives dominate talk radio because it’s cheap. Talk radio doesn’t cost a radio station anything except electricity. Typically the air-time is brokered and the talker sells pays for the time. That explains Rush and Dr. Laura. It’s like religious radio in the late 60s – no pay, no pray. But, I digress.

The observation that an oppositional government, rather than divided, works best has merit. The present national mess demonstrates the point, given 6 out of 8 years of Republican governance – you know, the party of business. Just leave radio out of it.


Wednesday, September 17, 2008


Whenever I read or hear the words "liberal political and media elites," I know that only codswallop can follow. Are there no conservative political and media elites? Or is such an expression a metaphorical secret handshake to let the initiated know that a conservative is about to sling other than shot.

Michael Gerson, of the Washington Post Op-Ed department, wrote a column recently entitled Faith-Based Condescension. In that piece he wrote that “liberals have been drawn, helpless and mesmerized -- like beetles to the vivid, blue paradise of the bug zapper -- toward criticizing Sarah Palin's religion.” Never mind that he never quoted a source or attributed anything. It is called “opinion” for that reason.

Since Michael Gerson is at least a “media elite” himself, his comparison of Lincoln to Palin is a mere opening affront if not a “condescension” in and of itself. The fact is, to quote Michael G, that “Democrats and their liberal allies” hardly need bother to “set out a self-destructive mixed message.” That is the purview of Republican sympathizers, such as his honor.

Criticism of another person’s faith is as far from being “liberal.” It is “conservative,” hand shake or no. And the assertion without specifics that “Deriding Palin's religion has been a poor strategy” is Rovian. It is codswallop.


Elite As Derisive

Do you know the names Thomas Friedman, David Brooks, Maureen Dowd, Michael Gerson, David Ignatius, Tobin Harshaw, or Gail Collins? If you do you are probably an elitist who reads the New York Times and Washington Post Op-Ed sections. Have you no shame?

When Lynn Forester de Rothschild, a prominent Hillary Clinton supporter and member of the Democratic National Committee’s says of Obama “… frankly I don’t like him. I feel like he is an elitist. I feel like he has not given me reason to trust him,” there is irony afoot: elitist derides elite as elitist.

Let’s eschew obfuscation, I say. When I taught Writing for Mass Media at U South Florida, Tampa, I wrote those two words on the blackboard and told my students that it they would appear on the final exam, the definition of which could mean the difference between D and C grades.

So it has come to pass a new obfuscation to be eschewed is the word elite. By definition elite is “a group of persons exercising the major share of authority or influence within a larger group: the power elite of a major political party.” However, conservatives have transformed elite into a word of derision, like “coward” or “sissy.”

“I feel like he is an elitist” indeed. Note she was not quoted as saying the “thinks,” but that she “feels.” Well, I feel sick when a liberal turns conservative out of feeling. Thank you, Tobin Harshaw of the Times for the irony.


Ticket to Nowhere

We are told that Ms. Palin is Alaska’s maverick who stood up to her GOP party regulars to become governor. It could be she was the only candidate who wasn’t a member of the “Corrupt Old Bastard” network in Juneau when Federal corruption investigations began or just witless enough to let the Ted Stevens Party have her installed. Little of anything governmental in Alaska has ever been done without that Grand Old Patriarch’s approval.

Juneau, Alaska’s capital city has a regional, walk on the tarmac airport, complete with stuffed bear in a case. (All public buildings have a stuffed bear in a case.) In the absence of a bridge to anywhere, you can rent a car at the airport; but you can only drive it in and around Juneau. You cannot drive to Anchorage or Sitka or “Squarebanks.” Alaska’s International airport is in Anchorage, the northern most suburb of Seattle. It is named for the senior GOP senator Ted Stevens, who was indicted a month and a half ago.

We are told that the national election is close. It could be that it is not close at all. Without Ms. Palin, it certainly wouldn’t be interesting. If anything, her candidacy gives comics and pundits a lot of political hash so it seems that election might be close. But, it isn’t.

Republicans are a lot of things; but stupid is not one of them. They hear the landslide in the distance. The party has nominated a great American, Senator and patriot in John McCain to honor the man and give him his due. But, they did not nominate him to win. That is why they nominated the least qualified elected official they could in Ms. Palin to guarantee he doesn’t.


Republican Porn

Here is a question for Katie Couric to ask the Alaskan Governor. “Did you know that your campaign is being advertised on pornographic web sites?”

I have become annoyed that cyber ads are becoming more frenetic. I have gotten over cyber porn spam, which still sneaks through the filters of my Excite email page. And it is rare when I cursor over a banner and click it. However, an email leads me to a porn site that displays a surprising banner ad that leads me to another site I have regarded as my duty to ignore.

The company that sells the banner advertising space calls itself (more specifically, The websites it places advertising banners are so called adult (also known as porn) sites. One called, which has nothing to do with cats, displayed the ad banner that surprised me – McCain-Palin. One has to admit “that’s maverick.”

Right in the middle of movie thumbnails of naked people doing it for the camera, the smiling faces of the Republican ticket and the words “Country First: Reform-Prosperity-Peace” appeared. Cursor over the banner and click, a new screen pops up, just like the thumbnails, only instead of a page of pornography it’s a page of “politography” (a word I invented for the occasion) –

Finding John McCain and Sarah Palin on a porn site took me back to early adolescence. I was standing at the news stand looking at some early 60’s girly magazine when I recognized the shoes of a man standing beside me – the Episcopalian Priest Assistant Headmaster of my prep school. But, I digress. I wonder if HockeyMom’s soon to be son-in-law has seen his future mother-in-law’s face in cyber porn. But, then that begs several questions about the lad, which is not to the point. Did the RNC purchase the ad?

Since we know that Mr. McCain is admittedly an analogue man who barely knows how to use a computer, I doubt if he knows about it. He just approves the ad, not of its placement. If the objective is to appeal to male voters while they are holding their privates, cyber porn banner ads are a lot cheaper than urinal advertising. That’s fiscally conservative.