Tuesday, January 11


I fear that Professor Robert Jensen of the University of Texas at Austin has days-that-are-numbered. Sean Hannity just excoriated the poor journalism professor for nearly thirty minutes, was as ugly, pompous and arrogant as I've ever heard him, and seemed to be encouraging listeners to make sure Professor Jensen never teaches again. BTW, the only clear thought I ever heard Jensen get out was that "we've lost the war in Iraq" -- well, duh! Of course Sean refuted it with his usual "evidence": "No-one credible is saying that." Scotch Brent Scowcroft and all the other Repugs and high-ranking retired military and diplomats who agree; guess they're not credible to Hannity.

Sean was impossible today, refused to let the man finish a single thought. In typical style, Sean repeatedly asked a 15-part question and when Jensen tried to answer, cut him off almost immediately, shouting, "How dare you make such an assertion when you can't back it up?" As Jensen remarked, Hannity's MO is to switch subjects every time he is confronted with a fact that is "inconvenient to [his] ideology or worldview." This particular show was a textbook example of how these right-wing talk yahoos operate: (1) ascribe positions or beliefs to the loony lefties that they've not taken and then SWAT those suckers down; (2) prevent the guest from articulating a single coherent thought by means of constant and distracting interruptions; (3) heap invective upon the guest and, if the guest DARES to respond in kind, say to the audience, "You see how they operate, folks? When they can't come up with an argument they resort to ad hominem attacks" (in Jensen's case, after Sean had REPEATEDLY called him a danger to our youth, a traitor who hates America and not qualified to teach beyond the third grade, Jensen responded so mildly that I can't even recall what he said); (4) threaten the guest -- in Jensen's case, it was "who pays your salary? Do you teach at a government-funded school?" implying that we taxpayers are going to demand "our" money back.

Sean was insufferable and, as always, insulting, as he retreated to a favorite theme: "Let me educate you." Over and over he told Prof. Jensen what a bad education he must have had, "must have been at some liberal school," and that he needed to listen to Sean to get the real scoop on the history of U.S. foreign affairs. Meet Sean Hannity, who dropped out of college to further his radio career. Lord knows that the lack of an undergraduate degree surely doesn't mean you can't challenge those who possess one -- but it should, sort of, preclude a college dropout from accusing someone who received a Ph.D. from a major state university of "not being educated."

As much as I despise George W. Bush, it's no greater a distaste than I have for Rush, Sean, and their ilk. Bush's enablers are as despicable as he is. He just has a bit more power. They gave him that power -- and it's a gift they just keep on giving.

UPDATE: I'm just now remembering Darrell Ankarlo's subject this morning: theocracy vs. democracy, with a little introduction stating that while Louis Farrakhan (Darrell believes) is a monster and/or a crazy, he might be onto something in stating, "Let us alone": that Islamic (or other non-Christian) nations just might be happy with their own system, and that it's presumptuous and illegal for the USA to assume that their political system of democracy might not be adaptable or desirable by indigenous peoples of other regions. It seemed an interesting subject that at first I thought might hold some promise for real debate since the first three callers seemed very informed and open-minded. Darrell didn't like the way the conversation was going, I assume, since the next umpteen callers were all in favor of a government directed by "Christian values" -- whatever some people conceive those to be.

Let it be said, at some point Darrell DID address the definitions of "theocracy" and "democracy" and inject "republic" into play.

UPDATE: Sudden thought/memory. Sean's big pressure point seemed to be any criticism of any American government under a Republican president. (E.g., it was under Jimmy Carter that Islamo-fascism took hold in Iraq, but Ronald Reagan, whose legacy is tainted by well-documented criminal trafficking of arms with Iranian Islamo-fascists in order to benefit totalitarian Central American despots AND Saddam Hussein, is a total American hero.) But it's heresy to suggest that U.S. Republican administrations ever trafficked or supported totalitarian governments in the Middle East or elsewhere (Latin America, Africa, Eastern Europe, etc.) More evidence that he's just a party hack, not an independent media voice of any kind.


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