Skip to main content

View Diary: The Cult of the Professional (184 comments)

Comment Preferences

  •  What progressive talk radio? (5+ / 0-)

    If you mean Pacifica and Democracy As a Last Resort! (otherwise known as Democracy Now!), please realize that they spent the last three presidential elections fanning the flames of Ralph Nader, and scaring the bejeezus out of any sane Americans who happened to tune in. Their Iraq coverage was so full of naked pro-jihadism as to be thoroughly destructive of anything "progressive."

    If you mean Air America, yes it was a valiant effort, but far too often they sacrificed truth for some kind of mirror-imaging of right-wing talk.

    Let's get clear. Right-wing talk is premised on Big Lie theory. Countering that does not mean fabricating counter lies, which are transparent and alienating. It can only mean radical truth-telling, and that we just haven't seen, with rare excep[tions from Jim Hightower and Molly Ivins.

    •  You're making some pretty serious accusations (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      lotlizard, certainot

      and I'd like to see you back them up.

      First of all, just which occasions were the "all too often" when Air America "sacrificed truth for some kind of mirror-imaging of right-wing talk"?

      Secondly, are you really stating that Pacifica and Democracy Now! concentrated their air-time on (1) pro-Nader coverage in 1996, 2000, and 2004, and (2) pro-jihadist coverage of the Iraq War? Really?

      •  Some examples (0+ / 0-)

        On Jean Garafolo's Air America show, the totally-discredited Helen Caldicot, who has been canned by three different non-profits because of her constant distortions of the truth, fielded a call from the wife of a Gulf War veteran who felt "vaginal burning" after intercourse. The caller wanted to know if this could be caused by depleted uranium in her husband's semen. Without telling the caller to see her own physician, Caldicott answered "Yes." Garafalo did not interject.

        Now without getting technical --NO, it cannot be caused by depleted uranium. The caller may have been provoked into not seeking medical treatment (like allergy testing), or to divorce her "contaminated" husband as a result of Caldicot's B.S. It was reprehensible, and only one example.

        The depleted uranium hoax, which by the way you hear nothing about now (because it was a hoax) was shamelessly used as a hot-button fundraising issue on both Air America and Pacifica, long after the truth was clear.

        The truth, by the way, was that depleted uranium actually reduced collateral casualties compared to older munitions, because it required far fewer rounds and tonnage expended. The hucksters also overlooked the fact that the Iraqi Army, the Iranian Army, the Taliban, and indeed all other militaries in the region were using DU munitions themselves long before 2003 (and it is still used all over the world).

        That truth didn't fit the jihadi/U.S. left narrative, so was dispensed with. And as a result, anti-war activists were misguided into searching for "radioactive battlefields" that didn't exist, and crying about equally non-existant Pentagon "cover-ups" which then fed directly into the insanity of the 9/11 "Truth" Movement and the phenomenon of Ron Paul.

        Pacifica introduced the locution that the Baathist forces fighting for Saddam during the 2003 invasion represented "the resistance of the Iraqi people." This kind of blatant distortion mucked up discourse about the war and made it impossible for Americans to achieve clarity about what was actually happening.

        You can fill in the rest.

        •  Wow, I didn't realize that (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          dyfrgi

          Helen Caldicott (whose name you misspelled) had been totally discredited, in between her 19 honorary doctoral degrees, nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize, being honored by the Smithsonian as one of the most influential women of the 20th century, etc.

          Nor did I realize that Janeane Garofalo (whose name you also misspelled) was under an obligation to step in and overrule a physician, nor that by doing so, she was taking responsibility for possibly ruining a caller's marriage, and certainly for jeopardizing Air America's credibility.

          There are plenty of subjects we don't hear much about until much later -- say, the politically motivated hirings and firings of U.S. Attorneys. That hardly makes them hoaxes. I don't really see how vaporizing uranium can be good for long-term health in the area where it's used, but maybe that's just me. Well no, it's not just me: it's also the International Coalition to Ban Uranium Weapons, a coalition of more than 90 non-governmental organizations, and the European Parliament.

          You know what? I don't think we have the same approach to credibility. So I'm not surprised that we differ on the subject of progressive talkers.

        •  Re DU: I despise this kind of pompous ignorance (0+ / 0-)

          You know nothing, you arrogant baffoon. Before you speak out about Depleted Uranium, dismissing it as a hoax, you sure as hell better be armed with the balls to face American veterans suffering from the Gulf War 1 sickness, now diagnosed as part of a sweep of factors known clinically as "Gulf War Syndrome" (used to be called "Gulf War Sickness". Two, you better show up with your degrees in nuclear science and munitions pathology. Three, you at minimum, ought to have the baseline timerity to post a link, you ignorant bastard.

          The depleted uranium hoax, which by the way you hear nothing about now (because it was a hoax) was shamelessly used as a hot-button fundraising issue on both Air America and Pacifica, long after the truth was clear.
          The truth, by the way, was that depleted uranium actually reduced collateral casualties compared to older munitions, because it required far fewer rounds and tonnage expended. The hucksters also overlooked the fact that the Iraqi Army, the Iranian Army, the Taliban, and indeed all other militaries in the region were using DU munitions themselves long before 2003 (and it is still used all over the world).
          That truth didn't fit the jihadi/U.S. left narrative, so was dispensed with. And as a result, anti-war activists were misguided into searching for "radioactive battlefields" that didn't exist, and crying about equally non-existant Pentagon "cover-ups" which then fed directly into the insanity of the 9/11 "Truth" Movement and the phenomenon of Ron Paul.

          I spent months during 2003 shooting documentary footage of veterans of Gulf War 1 who were dealing with this sickness, particularly Dennis Kyne, as well as interviewing Major Doug Rokke about this issue. You can find pieces about D.U. in mainstream news such as 60 Minutes.

          Put up or shut up you asshole, and don't ever feel you have the right to disparage and dismiss Gulf War Veterans just so you can try to make a point where you force facts to fit your narrative.

          Refute these, know it all:

          http://www.mindfully.org/...
          http://www.truthout.org/...
          http://www.news-journalonline.com/...
          http://homepage.mac.com/...
          http://www.apfn.net/...

          _ it's now a fight to the finish>> Dean progressives v. Clinton centrists.

          by rhfactor on Sun Apr 13, 2008 at 08:16:58 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  no one hears your "radical truth telling" (0+ / 0-)

      If you mean Air America, yes it was a valiant effort, but far too often they sacrificed truth for some kind of mirror-imaging of right-wing talk.

      Let's get clear. Right-wing talk is premised on Big Lie theory. Countering that does not mean fabricating counter lies, which are transparent and alienating. It can only mean radical truth-telling, and that we just haven't seen, with rare excep[tions from Jim Hightower and Molly Ivins.

      equating right wing talk with Air America and other prog talkers doesn't work.  the right wing monopoly is dedicated to pushing uncontested repetition of often coordinated GOP propaganda.  they lie for a living, the progressives lie by mistake. and do a lot of truth telling along the way.

      the right wing talk radio monopoly, reaching 50-70MIL, cannot be countered with anything other than demonopolization and perhaps some kind of new Fairness Doctrine that will even the playing field in talk radio- its range-  although written transcripts of their propaganda that can be analyzed and addressed with other media would help.

      this is a big reason why talk radio has been so effective in getting us into this bush disaster- those it attacks the most don't or can't listen to it.

      •  If only it were so (0+ / 0-)

        "the progressives lie by mistake"

        You can't actually believe that. The progressive radio such as it has existed is driven by the very same base motives that drive right-wing radio, and that is, primarily, fundraising. If it doesn't start that way, it ends that way.

        Time and again Pacifica and Air America chose their guests on the basis of their proven track record in generating call-in donations. Hate to tell you but the "guests" successful at generating cash were the ones willing to lie, shamelessly and blantantly, in order to make listeners enraged and therefore willing to phone in a donation.

        Why do you think charlatans like Caldicott and Nader get air time over and over again, especially during fund drives?

        That is exactly the dynamic that drives right-wing talk. If you don't understand it, you don't understand the business.  Did you ever try convincing a program manager to not put on a guest with a proven track record of telling outrageous lies but who raised a lot of money for the station?

        Sorry, but any progressive media that even approaches honesty will have to be organized on a different business plan than what has been tried.

        •  self-correction (0+ / 0-)

          ok, yes, I realize that Air America and most right-wing talk radio have relied on commercial sponsorship not listener donations, but the fundamental dynamic is the same. The flaming prevaricators boost listener ratings, which then translates as commercial revenue.

          Thus each side relies on the gullibility of a different segment of the population.

          NPR had the only model that allowed the program managers to fucus on getting out the straight story, but that was only when the were generously supported by government grants. Now they too are forced into commercial considerations, or worse, offending the funder-bureaucrats.

        •  you're wrong (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          AlanF

          i've been around listener supported radio and have been monitoring right wing talk radio and recently the growth spurt of progressive radio and there is no comparison.

          for the most part the motivation is toward truth telling and within that motivation there is ample opportunity, especially with all the crap bushco and their cheerleaders have provided, to spread truth and entertain, shock, and either raise money or attract ad money.  if anything Air America and other progressives have often had to watch their tongues to stay on the air.

          right wing talk radio has no motivation to tell the truth- it's purpose is to distort and attack anything progressive and make excuses for anything republican.  most of their talkers are protected by professional screeners and are never seriously challenged on air- they can't be.  most progressive talkers regularly take challenges on air.

          fundraising drives happen maybe twice a year.

          right wing talk radio is a monopoly and 'market forces' are greatly distorted by the fact the GOPs benefactors will continue to protect and subsidize that monopoly for millions while making billions in tax breaks, war profiteering, and deregulation.

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site