Thursday, July 19, 2007

All's Fair in Love and Talk Radio
By Victor Davis Hanson
Thursday, July 19, 2007

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., caused a stir recently when she criticized talk radio for its role in stopping the recent immigration bill. Talk radio, she lectured, "pushes people to...extreme views without a lot of information."

Feinstein then went on to suggest that it might be time to bring back the "Fairness Doctrine, repealed in 1987, that mandated private radio stations devote time to all points of view during discussion of controversial topics.

Unfortunately, Feinstein chose Orwellian logic to make her point: "I remember when there was a fairness doctrine, and I think there was much more serious correct reporting to people."

One wonders what Feinstein meant by "correct." Correct to whom? Democratic senators, a government auditor or New York Times editors? Aside from the central issue of stifling free speech, there are a number of things wrong with Sen. Feinstein's desire to have the government arbitrate what is "fair" and "correct" on your car radio.

Talk radio is as much entertainment as political opinion. It lives or dies by ratings. Those who master the genre - with off-the-wall jokes, mimicry, satire and bombast -prosper and get their political message across. Those who can't, don't.

Had liberal talk show hosts of the past, like an Al Franken, Jerry Brown or Mario Cuomo, won far more listeners than Rush Limbaugh, one suspects that Sen. Feinstein would see little need for new laws. And we would probably now be spared the present sour-grapes cries about fairness.

The government is already in the broadcasting business with National Public Radio and the Public Broadcasting Service. Despite conservative whining about the leftwing biases of these two institutions, fortunately no one has succeeded in having their broadcasts monitored or in demanding equal time on them for all views.

More importantly, for reasons that are not entirely clear, liberals and conservatives tend to excel in different genres of American media. Most successful political radio talk shows are in fact conservative. On the other hand, humorous political TV spoofs, like Jon Stewart's "The Daily Show," Bill Maher's "Real Time" or "The Colbert Report," tend to have a liberal bias.

Similarly, the major networks - CBS, NBC and ABC - are liberal bastions. So are most of our motion pictures and documentaries. The most prestigious and oldest grant-giving foundations - Rockefeller, Ford, MacArthur and Guggenheim - are liberal leaning. Likewise are the majority of universities, from the most prestigious, like Harvard, to the largest, such as the California State University system.

Yet, do we want a counter-editorial to everything a Katie Couric chooses to present as news at dinnertime? Or should we demand that Republicans match Democratic numbers on college faculties, or as graduation speakers and grant recipients? Should conservatives be provided an equal-time trailer at the end of "Fahrenheit 9/11" or "Syriana"?

The truth is that savvy Americans navigate well enough on their own through our various partisan genres. Liberals flip through The New York Times, tune into NPR on the way to work, and rave about a movie or documentary damning the Iraq war. Conservatives call into Rush or Hannity, check blogs for their news and watch Bill O'Reilly on cable.

There is a sort of irony in the debate over talk radio. Of all our media, it is perhaps the most populist. A radio host requires neither a journalism degree nor political connections. He just needs sheer talent. The unforgiving market - judged by how many turn the dial to your show or call in with questions - alone adjudicates success. Liberals who profess affinity for the little guy should welcome this prairie-fire revolt against the more highbrow New York Times, CBS News or NPR.

Finally, is the new politicking on radio any different from what goes on, in subtler fashion, elsewhere? Liberal media do not consider themselves biased, since selecting what story appears on the front page or leads the evening network news is far more nuanced partisanship than a Michael Savage screaming about the latest liberal transgression.

Yet that does not mean that Walter Cronkite's famous on-air declaration that the Vietnam War could not be won was any less political. Or how about Dan Rather's pre-election assurances that a forged memo about George Bush's National Guard service was authentic?

Rather than promoting government audit of our opinion media, liberals should master talk radio and cable news. And conservatives should work harder at providing counter-voices in Hollywood, on the campuses, and amid the major networks and newspapers.

Then let the best men and women win in the free arena of ideas and entertainment.

That was Mr. Hanson's opinion. Mine is very much the same. We must allow Joe Sixpack, Linda Lunchbox, and Mr. and Ms. America to hear what is offered by both (or maybe I should say, all, sides) then make their own, informed, opinions.

Unfortunately, Democrats and Liberals (did you notice I separated the two?) seem think they know what is best and what is correct for you. I have said before, and I stand by it, that too many politicians, again on both sides, but seemingly mostly on the Left side, want us, the unwashed masses, to stand back and allow them to make our decisions for us. They want to pat us on the top of our heads and say, "there, there, don't you worry your pretty little head about such things as National Security, Social Security, terrorism and the like. Let us take care of it for you."

I'm very tired of politicians with that attitude. All elected officials must remember this: You auditioned for the job to represent me in Congress and I hired you when I cast my vote. ("You" of course being all Senators and Congressmen. "I" is not just me, but everyone who voted.) Don't talk down to me; don't talk as if I couldn't possibly understand what you do. It's demeaning and degrading, and makes me not like you. You seem to forget that your job performance is continually being reviewed. If I don't like your attitude, or your job performance, I can fire you the same way I hired you - by casting my vote for another person.

I don't get my information from polls or lobbyists. I get my information from lots of sources: print media, television, radio, the Internet, Internet radio, online newspapers, blogs, websites and from friends, relatives, and email. Every move you make is reported now. You can send me email saying you favor this or that, but I can use all my resources to find out whether what you said in the email jibes with what you did in Congress, what you said in a Congressional meeting, what you said before this group or that group, maybe even what you said to your tailor when you were having your pants let out (hint: you might be getting too big for your britches, and I don't mean you need to cut back on the desserts).

We, the people, handed your head to you over the amnesty issue a few weeks ago. We're not stupid, despite what your leadership seems to think. Not all of us have college degrees and most of us are not lawyers, but we have common sense. We know when we're being lied to, or when the "leadership" is full of banana oil.

What I am saying? Leave talk radio alone. You Democrats and Liberals have the same opportunity to use AM radio that the Conservative side does. The problem is, no one, including other Liberals and Conservatives want to listen to what is aired by Liberals and Conservatives.

That's why Air America is on life support.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007


At one time in my life, I thought I had a handle on the meaning of the word "service."

"It's the act of doing things for other people."

Then I heard these terms which reference the word service:
Internal Revenue Service
Postal Service
Telephone Service
Civil Service
City & County Public Service
Customer Service
Service Stations

Then I became confused about the word "service". This is not what I thought "service" mean.

So today, I overheard two farmers talking, and one of them said he had hired a bull to "service" a few of his cows. BAM! It all came into perspective. Now I understand what all those "service" agencies are doing to us.

I hope you are now as enlightened as I am
Words of Wisdom

1. When choking on an ice cube, simply pour a cup of boiling water down your throat. Presto! The blockage will instantly remove itself.

2. Avoid cutting yourself slicing vegetables by getting someone else to hold while you chop.

3. Avoid arguments with the Mrs. about lifting the toilet seat by using the sink.

4. To treat high blood pressure: simply cut yourself and bleed for a few minutes, thus reducing the pressure in your veins. Remember to use a timer.

5. A mouse trap, placed on top of your alarm clock, will prevent you from rolling over and going back to sleep after you hit the snooze button.

6. If you have a bad cough, take a large dose of laxatives, then you will be afraid to cough.

7. You only need two tools in life - WD-40 and Duct Tape. If it doesn't move and should, use the WD-40. If it shouldn't move and does, use the duct tape.

8. When confused remember, everyone seems no rmal until you get to know them.

Daily Thought:

Some people are like Slinkies. Not really good for anything, but they bring a smile to your face when pushed down the stairs.
I wondered why....

the baseball was getting bigger. Then it hit me.

Police were called to a day care where a three-year-old was resisting a rest.

Did you hear about the guy whose whole left side was cut off? He's all right now.

The roundest knight at King Arthur's round table was Sir Cumference.

The butcher backed up into the meat grinder and got a little behind in his work.

To write with a broken pencil is pointless.

When fish are in schools they sometimes take debate.

The short fortune teller who escaped from prison was a small medium at large.

A thief who stole a calendar got twelve months.

A thief fell and broke his leg in wet cement. He became a hardened criminal.

Thieves who steal corn from a garden could be charged with stalking.

We'll never run out of math teachers because they always multiply.

When the smog lifts in Los Angeles, U.C.L.A.

The math professor went crazy with the blackboard. He did a number on it.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Interview with Illegal Alien?

According to, the status of this email is undertermined. Several things lead to it probably being a fake rather than real, but it's an interesting read. Remember, this is an email that is making the rounds of the Internet, and you need to take it with a grain of salt.

This is good! Below is a good example of a discussion with a master of circular logic. Don't be logical, don't respect the truth or your adversary, just say what you think makes a new case when the previous case gets too difficult to defend. On the streets of downtown Houston, May 1, 2007.

Jim Moore reporting for a Houston TV station:

Jim: Juan, I see that you and thousands of other protesters are marching in the streets to demonstrate for your cause. Exactly what is your cause and what do you expect to accomplish by this protest?

Juan: We want our rights. We will show you how powerful we are. We will bring Houston to its knees!

Jim: What rights?

Juan: Our right to live here...legally. Our right to get all the benefits you get.

Jim: When did you come to the United States?

Juan: Six years ago. I crossed over the border at night with seven other friends.

Jim: Why did you come?

Juan: For work. I can earn as much in a month as I could in a year in Mexico. Besides, I get free health care, our Mexican children can go to school free, if I lose my job I will get Welfare, and someday I will have the Social Security. Nothing like that in Mexico!

Jim: Did you feel badly about breaking our immigration laws when you came?

Juan: No! Why should I feel bad? I have a right to be here. I have a right to amnesty. I paid lots of money for my Social Security and Green Cards.

Jim: How did you acquire those documents?

Juan: From a guy in Dallas. He charged me a lot of money too.

Jim: Did you know that those documents were forged?

Juan: It is of no matter. I have a right to be here and work.

Jim: What is the "right" you speak of?

Juan: The right of all Aliens. It is found in your Constitution. Read it!

Jim: I have read i t, but I do not remember it saying anything about rights for Aliens.

Juan: It is in that part where it says that all men have Alien rights, like the right to pursue happiness. I wasn't happy in Mexico, so I came here.

Jim: I think you are referring to the declaration of Independence and that document speaks to unalienable rights ... Not Alien rights.

Juan: Whatever.

Jim: Since you are demanding to become an American citizen, why then are you carrying a Mexican Flag?

Juan: Because I am Mexican.

Jim: But you said you want to be given amnesty ... to become a US citizen.

Juan: No. This is not what we want. This is our country, a part of Mexico that you Gringos stole from us. We w ant it returned to its rightful owner.

Jim: Juan, you are standing in Texas. After wining the war with Mexico, Texas became a Republic, and later Texans voted to join the USA. It was not stolen from Mexico.

Juan: That is a Gringo lie. Texas was stolen. So was California, New Mexico and Arizona. It is just like all the other stuff you Gringos steal, like oil and babies. You are a country of thieves.

Jim: Babies? You think we steal babies?

Juan: Sure. Like from Korea and Vietnam and China . I see them all over the place. You let all these foreigners in, but try to keep us Mexicans out. How is this fair?

Jim: So, you really don't want to become an American citizen then.

Juan: I just want my rights! Everyone has a right to live, work, and speak their native language wherever and whenever they please. That's another thing we demand. All signs and official documents should be in Spanish. Teachers must teach in Spanish. Soon, more people here in Houston will speak Spanish than English. It is our right!

Jim: If I were to cross over the border into Mexico without proper documentation, what rights would I have there?

Juan: None. You would probably go to jail, but that's different.

Jim: How is it different? You said everyone has the right to live wherever they please.

Juan: You Gringos are a bunch of land grabbing thieves. Now you want Mexico too? Mexico has its rights. You Gringos have no rights in Mexico. Why would you want to go there anyway? There is no free medical service, schools, or welfare there for foreigners such as you. You cannot even own land in my country. Stay in the country of your birth.

Jim: I can see that there is no way that we can agree on this issue.

Thank you for your comments.

Juan: Viva Mexico!