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February 16, 2021

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Also - we got a few Texans here on ObWi if I'm not mistaken...

How you all doing? Everybody OK?

I did OK compared to a lot of people. I had a couple of days and nights where the temperature in my apartment got as low as 45°F. Now I'm into day two without any running water while they try to fix the burst pipes and flooded apartments. No broken pipes in my apartment. When I moved to this apartment complex I choose a second-story apartment in a two-story building. That has literally placed me above many of the misadventures that occur in apartment complexes.

Tony, it really does seem to pretty explicitly say that they know, and acknowledge, that to do what they want (to "represent them") is NOT to do the right thing.

Maybe you're being snarky, but I think it says no such thing. I think it was said with "the right thing" implicitly in quotes, with the implication that no one has any right to say that anything except what they want is "the right thing." It's a sneer at the notion that "the right thing" is anything but what they want.

Of course, as I said before, it erases the reality of everyone else, but that's a feature, not a bug, in fact it's the whole point.

Maybe you're being snarky, but I think it says no such thing.

I think that perhaps they didn't intend to say it. But say it they did. If they feel, as you say, that only what they say is "the right thing", they could have found another way to phrase it. But they didn't.

Or perhaps, to them, the concept of "doing the right thing" is meaningless. Almost everything they say and do supports this theory. "Doing what we want": you betcha. "Doing the right thing": wha?

No word from McKinney. He's in Houston isn't he? I gather they have it fairly bad....it would be good to hear something.

We report, you decide.

Yeeup. So, by wingnut reasoning, cancel culture is just fine. Just wanted to get the ground rules straight.

Let's roll.

Hey CharlesWT, I was off in a different browser and missed your earlier comment.

I'm glad you're relatively okay. 45 degrees is pretty cold! That's about what our house got down to during the ice storm of 1998 -- but we had one room with a wood stove, plus the school "next door" (half a mile away) had a generator, so it was opened as a shelter that served meals, let us take a shower, etc. Our power was out for 11 days, in February! It seemed like a big adventure for a while, but it got tiresome eventually.

I hope you get your water back quickly -- it sounds like maybe you've already got heat??

The power went off for the last time early Tuesday morning. Maybe at least another day or two before the water is back.

The share of Republicans who said Trump is at least somewhat responsible for the events of Jan. 6 is down 14 points, to 27%, from early January.

The Republican ability to passionately believe something today which directly contradicts their passionate belief of yesterday cannot be overestimated.

However, I would like to know if the pollsters asked the same people both times. Because, anecdotally, a lot of people decided to stop being Republicans after Jan 6th. Not hundreds of thousands of them, alas, but a good few tens of thousands.

Maybe the Republicans who still believe T* to be responsible for the insurrection no longer self-identify as Republicans.

But they didn't.

You don't need a dog whistle to know which way the wind blows.

Improve The News

"right thing" was probably in air-quotes when it was said.

"Maybe the Republicans who still believe T* to be responsible for the insurrection no longer self-identify as Republicans."

I *TOLD* everyone before November that Trump-supporting MAGAts needed to get a "T" branded on their foreheads, just to avoid this situation! But did anyone listen? NoooOOooOOoo.

and here we are. Sheesh.

Unintended consequences.

"It is also worth noting that talk radio in the 1980s was a much more ideologically diverse industry than it is today, with many hosts from both the political left and right. Contrary to conservative talk radio hosts who explain their dominance by the existence of a silent majority of average Joe listeners, ironically it was the federal government that boosted right-wing dominance of talk radio.

As historian Brian Rosenwald argues, left-wing talk radio hosts had to compete for listeners with government-subsidized, center-left NPR affiliates, while right-wing hosts had a clearer competitive field. Station owners could guarantee a larger audience to advertisers simply by picking right-wing instead of left-wing talk radio programs. Talk radio's conservative bent is the unintended product of the government's halfhearted attempt to create a nationalized broadcasting system in the 1970s. (Though I wouldn't expect a "Rush was Made Possible By Listeners like You" slogan to appear on a complimentary NPR tote bag any time soon.)"
The Fairness Doctrine Was the Most Deserving Target of Rush Limbaugh's Rage: He was no libertarian, but he absorbed an important lesson about regulating speech.

It's almost (but definitely not quite) enough to make one consider that the libertarians may have something.
https://www.eastbaytimes.com/2021/02/19/california-womans-new-real-id-has-a-photo-of-her-wearing-a-face-mask/

Hey, it's probably more useful for airline boarding ID during the pandemic. And it is, officially, a Federally approved ID.

or maybe Limbaugh was just better at making political talk radio attractive to people stuck listening to radio all day long than those before him were.

there's a reason all of conservative media copied his disinfotainment model after all: it works.

CharlesWT cites scholarship by Brian Rosenwald, whose piece in the Washington Post today is worthwhile.

ironically it was the federal government that boosted right-wing dominance of talk radio.

ironically, the federal government is also responsible for my arthritis and my wife's bad eyesight. they're the reason the low tire pressure light in my car is always on, and also the reason the squirrels keep eating all the bird seed.

the feds are ironically the cause of male pattern baldness, iron poor blood, and spam email from Nigerian princes. they're the reason you can never get that last olive out of the jar.

the feds are the cause of hangnail, bad breath, and the hiccups you get if you drink soda too fast.

they are the reason the grocery store doesn't carry your favorite breakfast cereal anymore. they're the cause of that weird place in your yard where the grass just never seems to take hold. it's due to them that your kids never write or call unless they want money or a load of laundry done.

flat tire? the feds. favorite TV show cancelled? the feds. pizza always gets cold before you can get it home? the feds. pants don't fit anymore? the feds. the F you got in 10th grade French?

you got it. the feds.

damn them to hell.

the feds are ironically the cause of . . . spam email from Nigerian princes.

Well, they are you know. The Internet grew out of a DARPA project. And for the first couple of decades was run by the US government. So, no Feds = no Internet = no spam (or any other kind) emails. QED

thanks for nothing, Al Gore.

the feds just landed another lander on Mars, and this one includes a motherfukkin solar-powered helicopter that is gonna fly around by itself and take pictures.

Republicans can't even figure out how to keep the lights on.

russell at 3:51 -- priceless. I laughed till the tears ran down my face.

Looking over Rosenwald's dissertation, that Matzko cites and links to in that piece where he blames NPR for talk radio's right wing bent, I have to say that I'm not convinced that Matzko is accurately summarizing Rosenwald's arguments. Also, the way that Matzko writes his summary, it's hard to tell if his assertion that "[t]alk radio's conservative bent is the unintended product of the government's halfhearted attempt to create a nationalized broadcasting system in the 1970s" is Rosenwald's claim, or his own conclusion drawn from Rosenwald's writing. I'm guessing the latter, but it's pretty ambiguous as written.

I've got a theory with a lot fewer moving parts. Talk radio has a right-wing bent because its form and content rely on provoking an amygdala response. Amygdala response is not productive for liberal (deliberative) discussion. It only works for the militant left, which is tiny in number and passing over NPR in favor of someone's podcast.

Limbaugh's shtick (and what all his followers now do) is to say "These people, Democrats are the enemy", and then hyperbolize the news to illustrate the point. since his show started catching on in the late 80s, there have been generations of people raised to think that Democrats are literally the enemy of America - not just political opponents, not just wrong, but literal enemies. he got the ball rolling, and now Fox and the rest are raising the grandchildren of Limbaugh's original dittoheads - generations of people raised to only trust "conservative" media.

that's why Limbaugh lasted and that's why Fox works.

Democrats never had that.

and for the most part, Democrats didn't know what was being said about them. they knew Limbaugh was a loudmouth because he'd pop up in the news once in a while, but they didn't listen to him to really get what he was preaching. and most Dems still haven't really figured out how widespread, how deep, and how insane that GOP hatred of Democrats is. even mainstream reporters are reluctant to report it. they cast it as policy differences or 'firy rhetoric'. they won't just say what it is.

they're learning, slowly.

and most Dems still haven't really figured out how widespread, how deep, and how insane that GOP hatred of Democrats is. even mainstream reporters are reluctant to report it. they cast it as policy differences or 'firy rhetoric'. they won't just say what it is.

they're learning, slowly.

The MSM is forked. If they attack Limbaugh's schtick for what it is, then it just proves that the MSM is biased against the right. And if the MSM tries to perform a sort of even-handed treatment, then they normalize the corrosive rhetoric of the right.

Good luck breaking that self-reinforcing feedback loop, especially when it's made RW media filthy rich and influential.

The conceit that NPR is "center-left" would be less bonkers if NPR had been calling Limbaugh a misogynist racist blowhard over the past few decades.

The N(ice)P(olite)R(epublican) schtick is "balance", not judgement. To be fair, NPR does deal in reality, which has a well-known liberal bias. So it has always been easy for Dittoheads, MAGAts, and now Qpies to tell each other that NPR is "left'ish".

Thus nous has it right: good luck breaking that loop.

--TP

I suspect a big portion of talk radio's audience is made up of people who can listen while they work. Truck drivers, service and delivery vehicle drivers, assembly-line and construction workers, etc.

A couple of decades ago I listen on my to and from work. And sometimes at work when I was doing some physical task that didn't require much attention. I haven't listened since except for the occasions when I was a passenger in someone's car. When I was a kid, I listen to H. L. Hunt.

The thing I always hated about Limbaugh was that Armed Forces Radio carried him.

People in the US military, responsible to the POTUS as the top of their chain of command and, in the case of enlisted military, having taken an explicit oath to obey the orders of the POTUS, listening to a fat lying loudmouth claiming that the POTUS and his family were engaged in every kind of foul and corrupt behavior up to and including murder.

And all us paying for it.

That just seems... questionable, to me, from point of view of good discipline and force cohesion.

I listened to Limbaugh briefly back in the very late 80's. There is, and has been, a robust conservative talk radio presence in the Boston market, and it was a drive-time alternative to bad pop music.

I stopped because he was a creep. He was somebody I wouldn't want to know in real life. It made me feel creepy to listen to him.

Same with Stern, although for different reasons. He was good for a laugh, for a minute, and then you felt like a nasty jerk for laughing.

I really don't mind that he's dead.

I stopped because he was a creep. He was somebody I wouldn't want to know in real life. It made me feel creepy to listen to him.

I'm rather amazed that more people, even rightwingers, don't feel this way. I mean, the Sandra Fluke comments alone (and that's only a recent example) were utterly creepy and revolting. What a sleaze.

russell, your experience with Limbaugh and Stern mirrors my own. I gave them both up for sports talk radio. The schtick is the same, but the tribal affiliations are less toxic to society.

At least until the constant toxic sexism of sports talk radio got to me, too.

So glad that my commute (at least in non-pandemic times) consists entirely of me walking 15 minutes across campus these days.

I have to say that I'm not convinced that Matzko is accurately summarizing Rosenwald's arguments.

I didn't read Matzko with this in mind, but from Rosenwald's Post piece, your assessment sounds right.

That said, people I know of millennial age have expressed some surprise recently at how progressive and incredibly cool some mainstream public broadcasting was that they and their kids are watching these days. The energy, creativity, and commitment to learning and literacy that I grew up with were things that I thought were American values. Little did I know it was all a leftie plot.

I'm rather amazed that more people, even rightwingers, don't feel this way.

Can’t disagree.

I gave them both up for sports talk radio.

I gave them up for NPR and ear training CDs.

NPR can be annoying, too, with their unrelenting determination to be nice all the time. Just shows you what a cranky old bastard I am.

But at least I never felt disgusted by them.

Most arguments concerning "unintended consequences" remind me of George Carlin's observation about the term "Legally Drunk".

Well, if it's legal, what's the problem?

Willie Sutton's perfectly reasoned conclusions regarding bank robbery: "That's where the money is," is in the same category.

Money in a safe is not safe. Leave it just lying around and no one would think to steal it, theft being an unintended consequence of locks.

Melanoma may or may not be a consequence of too much exposure to sunlight.

If we found out the sun INTENDED melanoma and its awful suffering, we could view its unintended consequences as "meant to be", like the beginning of a beautiful love affair in springtime in Paris and feel better about our fate.

"Guns don't kill people, people kill people", seems to unintentionally encapsulate the entire "unintended consequences" argument, and not in a good way.

Mainly because it's intentionally intended to serve certain masters.

I've tried to use the argument myself that the entire multi-decade half-baked Countme-In rhetorical enterprise, rightfully condemned by many when it goes off the rails, is an unintended consequence of, for example, Limbaugh's rhetoric (now I come to find out it's the government's fault and thus unintentionally meant to be), but I'm stuck with fully intending it, which using Reason's line of argument, makes it OK, I reckon mistakenly.

It doesn't fly, much like a guy flapping his arms and jumping off a tall building succumbs to the unintentional consequences of gravity and hard surfaces met head-on with speed.

I detect the unintentional hand of government coming back to bite us right in the consequences:

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/alaska-woman-using-outhouse-attacked-bear-below-n1258348

Uh oh! Looks like cataract-ridden justice is on the job:

https://www.statesman.com/story/news/2021/02/19/texas-ag-ken-paxton-civil-investigative-demands-ercot-winter-storm/4518986001/

He's known to be a methane addict.

https://www.texastribune.org/2020/11/11/texas-ag-ken-paxton-criminal-allegations/

I'm betting transgender Texans are going to pay heavily for the power outage because they favor transitioning from fossil fuels to other more light-in-the-loafers energy sources.

I own some Tesla stock, but engineers afflicted with Trump-mouth should shut it and stick to perfecting Lidar.

https://finance.yahoo.com/news/tesla-ceo-elon-musk-takes-104020129.html

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