Monday, May 23, 2011

Rachel In My Head



Some of you may remember my review of the book Deer Hunting With Jesus. It was (and is) a great book if you want to understand rednecks.

One of the things Joe Bageant explained in the book was the power of radio -- especially talk radio. Many folks that work for a living (I mean really work) get to listen to the radio. Think of a factory worker with ear buds in, working a double shift, stamping out parts all day long. Think about the dull, mindless, grinding work of a factory and the ceaseless voice inside your head. As Bageant explains, you get to be friends with the voice inside your head for that many hours a day -- year after year. Limbaugh, Beck, Hannity, Savage.

I’m beginning to understand the power of that voice. As you all know, I get up almost every morning to take pictures of the sunrise. It can be pretty boring waiting for the sun to break through a hole on a cloudy day. And it’s so early that it’s too dark to read. So I started listening to Rachel Maddow’s podcast. And I like it.

First, there aren’t any commercials. That makes it worth it right there in my book. Sure, there are some times you miss having the video (you can download the video version if you so desire) but missing the commercials is a worthwhile tradeoff for me. Second, Rachel does a good job of covering the political stories. But she does have a definite spin. She works in every gay issue/angle she can. I can live with that. She is definitely a liberal. I like that. And she is incredibly smart. I really like that.

I do have some qualms about it all. The Rachel Maddow Show is not unbiased. I happen to like her bias (well, most of it anyway.) It is not “fair” nor is it “balanced”. The fact that I agree with her on so much does not change that.

It is, however, the world we find ourselves in these days. I believe abolishing the Fairness Doctrine was a mistake. But abolish it they did. And now -- at least politically -- it becomes a question of, “Do you remain balanced while the other side kicks your teeth in?”. The Rachel Maddow Show -- if not most of MSNBC -- has said “no”. I’m not comfortable with trying to sell that as a good idea.

Having said that, I see her influence in politics -- and me -- growing. For instance, Senator Ensign’s resignation barely registered on the regular news. And Senator Tom Coburn’s involvement even less so. But Senator Ensign got out just ahead of the subpoenas and Senator Coburn (aka “The Fixer”) is hoping it will all just go away. I don’t think Rachel Maddow will let it go, Senator Coburn.

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Why yes, both of them were involved with “The Family” and lived at its C Street residence. Yes, that story tied in DOT Secretary Ray LaHood. Yes, I did tell you about “The Family” all the way back in 2008. Thanks for remembering.

Don Brown
May 23, 2011

1 comment:

elpelso said...

Don,

If you have the time, check out No Agenda podcast at http://noagendashow.com/ . It takes some getting used to, but I find this podshow highly enlightening...

YMMV.

Best regards, and thanks for a great blog, and a great series of columns on Avweb (I know they go back quite a few years, but their message is still as potent now, if not more so). As a Eurocontrol ATCO working at the Maastricht UAC, I found many points in common with our working environment and politics (sadly, usually)... If you're ever in this neck of the woods, I'll be glad to give you a tour...

Steven