Wednesday, December 1


Listening to right-wing talk radio is a surreal experience. I just got back from a film shoot (lots of driving involved) and grabbed the laptop to record what I heard Rush and Michael Medved say.

First, Rush. Before I tuned in, evidently Rush had said something not-condemning-enough about senior citizens shacking up without benefit of marriage. A female caller dialed in to demand that Rush come right out and condemn such immoral behavior, because marriage is what keeps a society healthy and strong. Rush did so, although almost sotto voce, because he said he was in the mood for "appeasement."

Is his audience not aware that Rush is working on his third divorce while romancing CNN's Daryn Kagan? Do they honestly believe anyone considers him, a caught-and-confessed criminal drug abuser and serial husband, a moral authority, much less an advocate of marriage as the strength of society? The thought that the answer might be "yes" makes my head spin.

(In the For What It's Worth department: my Mac guy also works for Rush and Ann Coulter (how can they be Mac people????), both of whom he adores -- as he does me. The guy may have no discrimination, but he's sweet. The other day, I was coughing so hard we couldn't communicate, so he gave me Rush's remedy for coughing/sore throat when he has to do a broadcast -- sucking chocolate. Night before last I stayed awake until 5 a.m. coughing my brains out, when I suddenly remembered. I found a stray Hershey's chocolate bar in the kitchen -- probably a Halloween leftover -- and took it to bed with me. After the first square, my coughing diminished. By the time I'd finished a third of the bar, I had completely stopped coughing and was able to sleep a couple of hours before having to get ready for work. As my father-in-law used to say, even a blind hog gets an acorn once in a while.)

Now for Michael. I've thought for a long time that this guy is one of the more dangerous of the conservative broadcasters because he gives an illusion of intellect, reason and thoughtfulness. He's not a ranter. When a caller (advertising himself as a Libertarian) challenged Michael's assertions that Democrats just will never accept with "good grace" Republican victories by pointing out evidence of voter fraud in the November 2004 elections, Michael responded by claiming that studies of historical voter fraud prove that "almost all" of those incidents of wrongdoing are perpetrated by Democrats. No citations, of course. But if that is so for 2004, then why in almost all the cases where there is alleged vote fraud, do the election results favor Bush?

Then Michael had the gall to read quotes from Bill Moyers and other liberals about what a poor and dangerous president we have to illustrate how Democrats are "filled with hatred and deceit." (To be honest, I expected him to air clips of Al Gore, Robert Byrd and Teddy Kennedy.) He said he wanted to hear from Democrats who disagreed with him. I tried to call in to tell him he's got some nerve in light of the nasty things said about us EVERY DAY FOR HOUR UPON HOUR by Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, Mike Gallagher, Michael Savage, Michael himself, and the majority of guests on Fox news shows, but the line was busy. I never did hear a Democrat respond, so Michael was free to mock Democrats for their calls for vote recounts, especially in Washington state. According to him, we can't bear to lose any election, and "fighting Republicans is to Democrats as fighting terrorists is to Republicans."

But that's not hate talk. That's just the "truth."

Don't you love the way conservatives love to dissect and analyze liberals? We don't do much quid pro quo -- maybe that's because we hesitate to try to explain the inexplicable.

Now I have to address Darrell Ankarlo's show this morning. He went off on an unmarried teenaged girl whose principal had to apologize for reading a poem over the P.A. system mocking her election as prom queen. Forget the principal and the prom queen stuff. What I objected to was Darrell's ensuing tirade about how every time he sees an unmarried, underaged pregnant girl he feels the necessity to lecture her on her "shame" (Darrell thinks she should shrink from polite society in shame for an unspecified number of years, presumably in atonement for her sin), and who cares if her parents are offended? They must by definition be terrible parents, it's their fault for not teaching her right from wrong, etc. I was so incensed by this I could barely complete the drive to work. As the Christian grandmother of a precious child born out of wedlock (yes, our daughter had just finished high school at 17 and the kids couldn't afford the hospitalization so they waited to marry until a couple of days after the birth so our daughter would still be covered under our insurance), I thought, "You judgmental, hypocritical jerk." Remember, Darrell is on at least his second marriage (he refers to his ex every now and then -- she's a liberal, so she's fodder for his cannon). Don't these people realize that their attitude is partially to blame for the high number of abortions? Girls (and parents) who fear retribution from society are far more likely to have abortions than those who have a supportive, nurturing circle of family and friends. Once again, it's a case of "my sin can be justified but your sin cannot."

It's the hypocrisy, folks. As Democrats/liberals/progressives, we have a tendency to withhold judgment; the conservatives love to practice it. The irony is, red states have much higher divorce rates than blue states and considerably higher teenage pregnancy rates. I'll hazard a guess as to why: love, which is merciful, forgiving and accepting, is liberal; judgment, in many ways the opposite of love, is conservative.

Guess which one Jesus commanded us to do and which one he commanded us NOT to do.

UPDATE: Forgot to mention Sean Hannity's show. (Like I said, I was in the car a lot today.) Sean had a caller who showed evidence of "pity" for us poor Democrats because we aren't listening to that good conservative advice that we should be moving more to the center. It's sad, because we need a two-party system to have a real democracy, the caller said. Sean's reaction? No, that's great, let's sit back and watch the Democrats destroy themselves and then we'll have the government we want and know, run by fundamentalist/evangelical Christian hypocrites like Ken Mehlman, Rick Santorum, Rudy Giuliani, Dave Dreier, Bill Frist, etc.


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