Campaigns/Elections

Stuart Saves the Senate?

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Al Franken is leaving Air America, recently rescued from pots of red ink. Will the Stuart Smalley auteur run for the U.S. Senate from Minnesota?

"I'm definitely giving it serious consideration, and I plan to make a decision soon and announce that, hopefully not on the same day that Barack Obama makes his decision and announces that," Franken said on his liberal Air America radio show.

Franken disclosed his plans on the same day that Air America, which filed for bankruptcy protection last year, announced that it will be sold to Stephen Green, the founder of a New York area real estate company. Franken will be replaced on air by Thom Hartmann, a talk show host based in Portland, Ore.

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  1. Normally, I’d make a quip about how this is a great idea because the Senate is already a joke. But Franken hasn’t been funny since 1980 — the Year of Al Franken.

  2. Franken has been funny on occasion since 1980, but, no, never even nearly as funny as he once was.
    Faint praise to be sure.

    Did you ever try to listen to his radio show? Easily the best thing on Air America.
    Even fainter praise.

  3. I don’t think there ever was a “year of Al Franken.”

    The ’80s were the Al Franken Decade, as opposed to the ’90s, which were the Joe Franken Decade.

  4. I’ll give you three reasons why Franken can win a Senate race in Minnesota:

    He’s good enough…

  5. Franken’s definitely a smart guy and probably would be a good fit for progressive Minnesota.

  6. A politician is somebody who doesn’t realize how much of a joke he really is.

    Franken is the opposite.

  7. In his defense, Franken does the best Phil Gramm impression ever:

    “Ah have more guns than I’ll ever need, and less guns than ah want”

  8. I’d rather have an out and out liberal than a wishy-washy pro-government “centrist” like Norm Coleman.

  9. I wonder what Coleman decided to do with that plaque that was supposed to be hold George Galloway’s head?

  10. I find it hard to believe that the people of Minnesota would ever vote an entertainer into a state-wide office.

  11. Joe, there is a review of Columbia Crest Cab on TWC this morning.

  12. Yay!

    $5.99 a bottle? I am sooooo jealous. You couldn’t go wrong paying 2-3 times that much.

  13. Al Franken is not funny for the same reason Dennis Miller is not funny (anymore, in Miller’s case); Franken can’t make a joke about Al Gore, and Miller can’t make a joke about George W. Bush.

    However, Franken’s line on Letterman; O’ Reilly’s next book title…”Cave: How to Settle a Sexual Harassment Suit When They Got the Goods on You” or something like it…that was a gem.

  14. Franken can’t make a joke about Al Gore?

    You must not have seen the Stewart Smalley sketch.

    “I don’t have to be the most powerful man in the world. I just have to be the best Al I can be.”

  15. Al Franken basically tried to fill a gaping void, which is the left’s answer to Rush Limbaugh, and obviously failed miserably. It’s too bad people lost their shirts over that effort… but there’s not a lot of talk about that (shhhhhhhhhhh!)

    I’ve said this several times: the left can’t be entertaining because they take themselves way, way too seriously. They got more sacred cows than a Brahman rodeo. And basically the only target they gun for are straight white men. Sure, there is plenty to make fun of there, but it gets old really quick.

    So the left craps out of commercial talk radio. Oh well. I guess they will have to make do with NPR, PBS, CBS, NBC, CNN, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The LA Times, etc.

  16. That must be why John Stewart never gets any laughs.

  17. Okay.. The Daily Show.. you got me there (though, probably not surprising, I find Stewart to be as much of a smug, unfunny prick as Dennis Miller).

    What else you got?

  18. Colbert?

    Weekend Update?

    Margaret Cho?

  19. You’d be surprised how funny you could be if you had 18 writers and an audience of 400 primed to erupt with laughter at your smallest utterance.

  20. Wait a sec…

    I thought John Stewart claimed that he was an equal-opportunity offender. Are you conceding that Stewart is clearly a leftist attack dog, joe?

  21. Margaret Cho…

    The only thing I remember her doing was that extremely awkward kung-fu kick in some John Woo movie (Face Off?)

  22. Frankin’s sense of humor is much more subtle than Rush’s. Much drier. I don’t know how well that plays with radio audiences but I usually enjoy his show (except for the left-wing socialist shit).

    Stephanie Miller is pretty funny too.

    If Air America ever totally goes under I’ll miss its counterbalance to the right-wing talk that dominates the other 4 stations in my area.

  23. MNG-

    Jon Stewart is there to be nice to almost anybody who agrees to appear on his show. Attack dog mode is almost never used against guests, especially not distinguished guests, regardless of political affiliation.

    And Colbert isn’t there to air a political opinion. Colbert is there to rock and awe our great country until we reach Guitarmageddon, and put those pesky Decembrists in their place.

  24. Stewart pretty clearly swings from the left.

    He’s “equal opportunity” in that he goes after Democratic figures as well as Republicans, but his humor definitely comes from the liberal side of things.

  25. Colbert reports the truth, and waits for the facts to catch up. Who needs a fact-checker when you’ve got your gut?

    Truthiness, people. Truthiness.

  26. Well, I feel compelled to profess my profound admiration for political/social comedians who are not afraid to take on anybody/everybody, such as Trey Parker, Matt Stone, and Mike Judge. Giants.

    The rest are just suckers.

  27. You’d be surprised how funny you could be if you had 18 writers and an audience of 400 primed to erupt with laughter at your smallest utterance.

    Whose show has a 400 member audience? That’s huge for a tv studio.
    Are you talking about the size of Franken’s listening audience?

  28. Joe,

    I know, 5.99 a bottle is a great price Columbia Crest Cab. Heck that was a great price ten years ago.

  29. Somehow, “My senator is funnier than your senator” doesn’t resonate as well as “My governor can beat up your governor.”

    Then again — perhaps I missed the subtlety, but there’s a good chance that any random senator is actually funnier than Al Franken. Ted Kennedy’s got him beat hollow, albeit unintentionally.

  30. Regardless of which way you swing, one thing is certain, sicial conservative comedy is the worst.

  31. Frankin probably already had his mind made up and he was just sticking with Air America to get it out of the hole it was in. I’d like to see them thrive, if at the very least to piss off conservative talk radio, but they need to do more than just continually rant that “Bush lied”. And listening to Randi Rhodes’ endless vendetta peppered with “but I… I… I don’t get it… who… why… what… what are these people thinking” gets old pretty fast.

  32. The only time Al Franken has ever been funny is when he was trying to be serious.

    But then, that’s par for the course for liberals.

  33. Thom Hartmann?!

    *falls out of chair, spasms with laughing*

  34. haywood’s proxy wrote, “Franken’s definitely a smart guy and probably would be a good fit for progressive Minnesota.”

    If he is smart why is he a socialist?
    Socialists are by definition shitheads. Just like you hayood.

  35. I would call Thom Hartmann a tool, but that would imply possible utility.

  36. Oops, Terry’s folks left their computer unattended again. This is why he doesn’t have an internet connection in his bedroom.

  37. Liberalism doesn’t lend itself to talk radio. Trying to set up a liberal version of Rush Limbaugh would be like trying to set up a right-wing version of a socially conscious performance art piece. The message just isn’t a good fit for the medium.

  38. It isn’t technically the medium, it is the audience. What type of person listens to AM radio for 3 hours in the middle of the day?

    I listen to a self described “anarchist” on the way to work, and the medium of talk radio suits his message just fine.

  39. “Trying to set up a liberal version of Rush Limbaugh would be like trying to set up a right-wing version of a socially conscious performance art piece. The message just isn’t a good fit for the medium.”

    I’d pay good money to watch that trainwreck.

  40. Ultimately, the reason that Al Franken, Janeane Garofalo, or Dennis Miller are no longer funny has more to do with their earnest attempts to give a message to an audience.

    Jon Stewart is smart enough to realize that he’s a comedian first and social commentator second.

  41. joe-

    I think a populist with a left slant could do quite well in the talk radio format. Maybe not as well as a populist with a right slant, but still pretty well.

    Other styles of liberalism would not do so well in that format, but I don’t think William F. Buckley would do well in talk radio either.

  42. but I don’t think William F. Buckley would do well in talk radio either.

    Exactly. For some reason Buckley just isn’t compelling to an audience willing to spend money on all natural herbal penis enlargement products.

    Go figure eh?

    But now, take a Mike Savage! That dude can sell the herbs!

    Rush just consumes enough of them to make his sponsors happy.

  43. I completely fail to understand the appeal of Mike Savage.

    And I think it’s cruel and wrong that they allow someone who should be in a mental institute to publically embarrass himself like that.

  44. Mike Savage is the kind of guy a libertarian can listen to for a few minutes. It goes like this:

    Mike’s comment #1: “Go Mike!”

    MIke’s comment #2: “Well, that sounded good, but came out stupid.”

    Mike’s comment #3: “Okay, I’m anti-PC, but you’re just an asshole.”

    Mike’s comment #4: “Dude, you’re a fucking psycho moron!”

  45. The Real Bill

    When I think of Savage I’m reminded of the old line about what Ozzie Osbourne and Jerry Fallwell have in common.

    Both got rich making Rock & Roll look evil.

    Savage is no idiot. But his listeners….

  46. liberalism doesn’t lend itself to talk radio.

    Because liberalism is deeply complex and subtle, compared to conservatism, we know, we know. Its ideas can’t be communicated clearly in mere multi-hour talk shows. It’s just not amenable to such proletarian media.

    Of course, if that were true, liberals like joe would be about as rare as libertarians…

    It isn’t technically the medium, it is the audience. What type of person listens to AM radio for 3 hours in the middle of the day?

    People who work near a radio and generally aren’t grabbing a phone every ten minutes.

  47. I can tolerate some right wing talk shows and even agree with them albiet occasionally. But one guy I really can’t stand is Glenn Beck.

    Beck is what you get when you take an insane homelss guy holding a sign that says THE END IS NEAR, have him read some Neocon propaganda and stuff him full of Zoloft and Ritalin.

  48. Boo hoo hoo, Eric. You know I’m right.

    Liberalism deals in more complicated ideas than the Limbaugh brand of conservatism that has taken over the right.

    Truth hurts.

  49. On the rare occasions that a Republican puts forward an idea that won’t fit on a Post-It note, people like Eric applaud them as the “party of ideas,” and bash the brainless Democrats, appealing to the lowest common denominator.

    The other 99% of the time, Eric bashes the elitist, PC academics who think they’re better’n you.

    It’s gotten old.

  50. The only ideas in liberalism-beyond a will to power- are: “Pass a law against it” and “throw more money at it”…….

    unfortunately the Republicans have embraced these ideas too

    fortunately they are not the bedrock of Conservative ideology

  51. It’s funny when joe feels a bit defensive and whips out the libel.

    Liberalism deals in more complicated ideas than the Limbaugh brand of conservatism that has taken over the right.

    And conservatism deals in more complicated ideas than the half-assed, cowardly brand of liberalism that had been running the left for the last six years. (And yes, that past tense is very much said with crossed fingers.)

    (For someone who whines about people not seeing all the complexity and distinct factions within the left and liberalism in particular, talking about a “Limbaugh brand of conservatism”, ie populism, taking over Team Red, as opposed to the theo-cons and neo-cons who’ve been and are running it, is just a sloppy attack.)

    Just deal, Joe. If Team America had hired good talent – and talent actually experienced in radio – and had started modestly, they might have been a sustainable, growing production. Limbaugh, et al didn’t spring out of Zeus’ forehead as a monolithic conservative network. They were separate people with experience in radio who started independent shows and grew an audience.

    But then, lefties wouldn’t ever approach anything from self-destructive command-economy viewpoint. 😉

    On the rare occasions that a Republican puts forward an idea that won’t fit on a Post-It note, people like Eric applaud them as the “party of ideas,”

    Really? When exactly have I done that? Or would you just be jerking a partisan knee because you, deep down, don’t believe someone who doesn’t love Team Blue could be anything but Team Red?

    The other 99% of the time, Eric bashes the elitist, PC academics who think they’re better’n you.

    Somehow, I don’t think so, joe. I bash anyone who tries to argue they know how I should live my life better than I do, whether they pull that reason out of the Bible or out of what 3 out of 4 experts agree. Since Team Red’s been focusing more on savaging the remaining shreds of the Constitution than on micro-managing peoples’ lives lately, especially compared to what Team Blue’s had been up to at state and local levels (in lieu of being a meaningful national opposition party), it’s entirely possible I’ve gored your academic oxen.

    Boo hoo.

  52. “Liberalism deals in more complicated ideas than the Limbaugh brand of conservatism that has taken over the right.”

    Joe, for such a smart guy, you sure say some bogglingly idiotic things sometimes.

  53. Boo hoo hoo, Eric. You know I’m right.

    More to the point than anything I said in my prior comment, do you actually manage to keep a straight face while boldly spinning a failure as evidence of superiority?

    I mean, damn, that’s downright Bushie, and even they tend to smirk or grimace.

  54. mediageek,

    Limbaugh-style talk radio conservatism deals with complicated ideas?

    You sticking with that story?

    Last chance.

    Eric,

    “More to the point than anything I said in my prior comment, do you actually manage to keep a straight face while boldly spinning a failure as evidence of superiority?” Yes, I have no trouble keeping a straight face when saying it is a good thing that my beliefs and arguments don’t lend themselves to the format that made Michael Savage a third-tier celebrity.

  55. Liberalism deals in more complicated ideas than the Limbaugh brand of conservatism that has taken over the right

    After reading such a condescending comment, one wonders, Joe, if your automobile is powered by your smug sense of superiority?

  56. These are certainly odd comments, coming from right-libertarians.

    Wouldn’t you rather bemoan the fact that no one else understands what a demand curve it?

    This is the last crowd that can credibly call anyone an elitist.

  57. Yes, I have no trouble keeping a straight face when saying it is a good thing that my beliefs and arguments don’t lend themselves to the format that made Michael Savage a third-tier celebrity.

    Ahhh, now you move the goalposts. It’s not liberals in talk radio, it’s the Michael Savage format.

    Back in the day you were willing to criticize Air America as a flawed effort – and suggest an alternative. When did you decide to cover for their failure by dismissing the entire medium (or at least the genre of talk radio)?

    This is the last crowd that can credibly call anyone an elitist.

    Dude, you’ve got to settle on one consistent attack per thread. Call us libertoids elitists one thread, anti-elitists the next, but try not to do it in the same thread, you know?

  58. I suppose that’s grammatical, but I find that confusing:

    …but try not to do both in the same thread, you know?

  59. And joe, considering how easy it was for me to google up one of your previous comments on Air America here, care to point out where I’ve supposedly lauded Team Red as the “party of ideas” or some such thing?

    (site:reason.com joe “air america” as an example, bringing up my link above as the first hit. Should be easier finding something I’ve said, my handle being a little more unique.)

  60. I haven’t move the goalposts; the subject has been talk radio since the first post. It’s an effective way to promote some kinds of ideas, and ineffective at promoting others.

    Back in the day, I was wrong. Air America did bring in experiences talk radio people, and it didn’t work.

    And I didn’t call libertarians anti-elitists: I called a certain brand of conservative – the kind that excels at talk radio – anti-elitist.

    For what it’s worth, I don’t think Milton Friedman-style libertarians would attract much of a radio audience, either.

  61. Eric:

    This is a fun show. You call Joe on his “if you criticize Team Blue, you must be a Team Red cheerleader” nonsense, then he pulls out that very tactic by trying to pin mediageek with dittohead status when it’s clear he (mediageek) was not making the smallest effort to defend Rush.

    Joe:

    Your comment on the girl fight thread was laugh-out-loud funny. It’s clear you peaked at that moment. Time to quit for the day.

  62. I haven’t move the goalposts; the subject has been talk radio since the first post. It’s an effective way to promote some kinds of ideas, and ineffective at promoting others.

    And talk radio is not Michael Savage is not Rush Limbaugh is not Click and Clack. You conflate a genre with styles and products and with your impression of the audience.

    The on-air talent was mediocre at best, and the plan was to go from 0-60 instantaneously. Of all the things you do, don’t apologize for recognizing a fatally bad plan early.

    And I didn’t call libertarians anti-elitists: I called a certain brand of conservative – the kind that excels at talk radio – anti-elitist.

    And if you’re trying to say you were calling me a conservative just now, I’m going to have a hearty laugh at you.

    For what it’s worth, I don’t think Milton Friedman-style libertarians would attract much of a radio audience, either.

    I’d say libertarians in general would have a hell of a time setting up a broadcast talk radio show – but not because of some unsuitability of the medium, but because libertarianism isn’t an attractive political product.

    On the other hand, liberalism sells about as well as conservatism, all other things being equal. It sells to people with a variety of educational and social backgrounds. Liberal ideas can fit on bumper stickers, so they can fit on talk radio.

  63. Kevin,

    “…then he pulls out that very tactic by trying to pin mediageek with dittohead status” I’m sorry you misunderstood. I did no such thing.

    Eric,

    “And talk radio is not Michael Savage is not Rush Limbaugh is not Click and Clack.” Michael Savage is Rush Limbaugh. Political talk radio is of a piece. Click and Clack, like sports talk, is a completely different matter.

    “On the other hand, liberalism sells about as well as conservatism, all other things being equal. It sells to people with a variety of educational and social backgrounds. Liberal ideas can fit on bumper stickers, so they can fit on talk radio.”

    You’re making the mistake of talking about “liberalism” and “conservatism” as a whole. I’ve tried to be very clear that I’m talking about “he Limbaugh brand of conservatism,” rather than conservatism as a whole. I’ve even singled out versions of conservatism that wouldn’t work on the radio, either.

    Ease off the Team Red/Team Blue crap, and try to allow a little nuance to enter your thinking.

  64. Some brands of liberalism do indeed deal with concept more complicated than what Limbaugh talks about.

    Other brands of liberalism are on about the same level. Anything that boils down to “for the children” is probably just as lacking in nuance and substance as Limbaugh’s routine.

    But keep in mind that the brands of liberalism that have more nuance than Limbaugh also have thoughtful conservative counterparts.

    I think a liberal populist could probably find a way to do well in the talk radio format.

    God, I feel like Cathy Young right now.

  65. Michael Savage is Rush Limbaugh. Political talk radio is of a piece.

    A piece suitable liberals can slip into, or different liberals could reshape to their own ends.

    You’re making the mistake of talking about “liberalism” and “conservatism” as a whole.

    Joe, I’m denying your flat claim that “Liberalism doesn’t lend itself to talk radio.” Maybe your particular viewpoint wouldn’t translate well to a derivative talk radio format. But there are plenty of liberal viewpoints that would, and you wouldn’t kick them out of your political bed.

    Sorry to offend your chauvinism, but “liberalism” isn’t really inherently smarter than “conservatism”. You can get highly-educated theorists and knowledgeable wonks from either side – and you can get populists and dumb-ass demagogues from both as well, as well as that inevitable spectrum in between. The “well, radio was too dumb for us smart guys, anyway!” bit just doesn’t pass the laugh test.

  66. …And that’s it for me on this thread, tonight. It’s a futile gesture on my part to say it, but Joe, you’re still welcome to substantiate my saying anything like calling Team Red the “party of ideas”; alternately, you can say, “Sorry, my bad, that was the knee jerking/I had a long day/whatever.”

  67. The type of populist, radio-friendly liberalism that might succeed in the talk-radio snakepit isn’t what’s guiding the movement right now. At the same time, the conservatism of William F. Buckley isn’t what defines contemporary conservatism.

    Rush Limbaugh and George W. Bush define modern conserveratism, and their dumbed-down shtick is better suited to talk radio than what we’re hearing from people like James Webb, Barack Obama, or John Kerry.

    If that makes you feel insecure about which team you’re on, Eric, good. It should. No one forced the Republican Party to become shallow and anti-intellectual.

  68. No libertarian talk radio?

    Neal Boortz occasionally slings it until he feels his audience might be slipping.

    Walter Williams handles Rush’s show like he is teaching a freshman course in free market economics.

    Even Rush slips in libertarian ideas-he is smart enough to steer clear of the detailed policy (and especially the math) after all there are products to sell.

    Talk Radio doesn’t deal with your “nuanced” complicated ideas well because the audience is doing things other than closely listening for the whole show- things like working, getting in or out of the truck/car, eating, changing the kids diaper, making phone calls,did I say working? This says nothing negative about the intelligence of the audience which is most certainly “well above average”.

    Even though he is rarely funny I repeatedly tried to give Franken a chance.
    I once listened to him read a policy paper in stuttering monotone for a whole half hour-promising to finish in the next segment as he bumped into the break. Holy Christ! I’d rather listen to Jim Rhome talk about women’s college field hockey.

  69. joe,

    C’mon even you have to admit it Kerry is freakin’ stupid.His total inability to convey any comprehensible idea in the English language made Bush look brilliant by comparison. There is a reason many Conservatives shed a tear when he dropped out of the 2008 race.

  70. Franken’s show was only good because of the lady, whose name I don’t remember because she wasn’t billed. In fact the female talent was all that was good with Air America at any hour.

    But I definitely agree with the sentiment that trying to assemble a commercial radio network of “left” orientation per se was a dumb idea, as it would’ve been to attempt to do so for the “right”, or for libertarians or whatever. You get audience because you’re good, not because you’re of a particular leaning. You think people will stay tuned to a schlub who follows a star, just because the schlub is of the same leaning as the star? For that matter, you think audience tunes in even to the star because they agree with hir opinions? They’d just as soon listen to someone they love to hate, as long as the one they love to hate is good.

  71. joe-

    Eric is hardly a loyal supporter of Team Red, at least not from what I can glean from our conversations hear and on other forums over the past couple years. He may not regard Team Red in the exact same way that you do, and it’s possible that he felt differently about some things in the past (he’ll have to answer that one, I’m not a mind-reader), but there is no way I can construe him as a present-day supporter of Team Red. Not based on anything he’s said lately.

    In regard to left vs. right on talk radio, well, fair enough about the ascendancy of simplistic Bush League politics. I would just observe that there is a smarter Republican Team-in-Waiting, with people like Arlen Specter and Chuck Hagel, but I am well aware that a Team-in-Waiting is not a Team-in-Power.

    OTOH, I’d say that simplistic “for the children” sentiments and the like still carry a lot of weight on Team Blue. The grownups may be in control, but they don’t seem to ignore their more simplistic brethren. Which is consistent with things you’ve said about the Dems being more of a coalition while the GOP (at least under Bush) is a top-down operation.

    Finally, I recognize a difference between raw-throated economic populism (which would do quite well in talk radio, IMHO) and other equally naive but less radio-friendly versions of liberalism (e.g. “for the children”, which can certainly be used by economic populists but is hardly their exclusive territory).

  72. I couldn’t resist.

    The type of populist, radio-friendly liberalism that might succeed in the talk-radio snakepit isn’t what’s guiding the movement right now.

    Funny, I thought the only “movement” was people flailing for something, anything that wasn’t Team Red. If you’re going to name Kerry as a leading light of what Team Blue has to offer right now, you’re only proving that impression.

    If that makes you feel insecure about which team you’re on, Eric, good. It should. No one forced the Republican Party to become shallow and anti-intellectual.

    You manage to both bitch about my Team Red/Team Blue dismissal of whiny partisans like you, then call me a Team Red guy? In the same thread? Wow.

    I was a damned liberal for years. And yes, I was a damned conservative – for less than a year back in the mid-90s. For a few years, after I got sick of people like you (and people even worse than you) and abandoned liberalism, I called myself “moderate”, but then became a libertarian. After deciding to hold out some smidge of hope that a changing of the guard would do some good, I voted a straight Blue ticket last year, aside from a couple of local libertarians.

    You’ve posted here for years – you know what various people here are about, and you have no place calling me a water-carrying partisan lackey like yourself – much less painting me as one of Team Red.

    People like Thoreau can convince themselves that you argue from some trace of good faith and that there’s some value in talking to you, joe. The only thing I gain from you is further “insecurity” over the team I decided to support last November. I’m no longer reading your posts from this moment on.

    Via con dios, asshole.

  73. How anyone can think that a political philosophy that boils down to not much more than “Mama knows best, so eat your peas and carrots” and “Its for the children” is nuanced and intellectual is beyond me.

  74. OK I’m trying to get off the ‘puter but that was too funny thoreau ARLEN SPECTOR and CHUCK HAGEL?

    Maybe they can sign up Voinovich and Olympia Snowe. Lincoln Chafee is out of office so he can be the “brains” behind the scenes!

    I’m sure the Dems would welcome that “smarter” team.

    I guess they would be the “Team red” for the children?

  75. The Left does have a Populist radio host, Jim Hightower…
    Oh, haven’t heard of him, not suprising…

    In other words, the bait has been out there, but no fish have taken a bite…

    Kos proves there is a more populist version of liberal-progressive politics out there, but it didn’t come in the same media as Rush. I don’t think the Left is really losing anything since they have recouped their losses in a newer and expanding medium…

    IMAO, Kos’ has eclipsed Rush as a political force via his support in spurring the success of Webb and Tester, so looking for a new Rush or a counterbalance to Right-wing radio is even more of a pipe dream than when Air America was initially formed…

  76. It isn’t technically the medium, it is the audience. What type of person listens to AM radio for 3 hours in the middle of the day?

    How do you explain the liberal nitwits that call into the local FM NPR shows? Oh wait, Family Medical Leave Act… never mind.

  77. Since everyone is weighing in on the same arguments we had a thousand times during the last presidential election, I feel obligated to repeat my own lines from those heady days.

    Parties don’t have ideologies. It is impossible to conceive that the voting public of the united states could be philosophically broken down into just two camps. People pick policies they want to advocate and hold their noses about the rest.

    Concerning that small group of ideologically motivated folks: Liberals have different value preferences than conservatives, not superior knowledge of the world. Moore’s schtick is just as appealing to the left base as Rush’s schtick is to the right base.

  78. Temper, temper, Eric.

    When you start a fight with a snotty post at 6:10 PM, you don’t get to act all wounded when your target doesn’t treat you with kid gloves.

  79. Frank_A: (yooo da man!)

    that’s it. This argument seems to mirror other arguments about Team Blue and Team Red (thanks, 1/2 a B: those are excellent terms).

    JasonL: you got it (final paragraph). Thank you! Different value preferences. Different format preferences. Different attack preferences. Different defense preferences. Different message-style preferences. Excellent!

    Remember when people talk about dirty-tricks campaigns either by the Teams or die hard supporters of the teams? We usually hear something like, “well if the other team did this”.

    That’s the point. The other team wouldn’t do that. They have their different styles that are effective for their core supporters:

    What is an appealing attack for a latte drinking type from Rhode Island is different than what style of zinger would appeal to Uncle Bob when he’s vacationing at Branson (real example of big government conservative).

    Look at the differences between liberal and conservative media outlets (this is a request to see something other than a monolithic “liberal media”, something this citizen doesn’t believe). NPR, NY Times. Fox News. Rush L.

    Different channels or formats of delivery, but unquestionably tilting in a certain direction.

    Linguistic Manipulation:
    the PC trick of the late 80s. We see it on Fox now – or at least saw it with “homicide bombers” and stuff like that. People who do that look silly.

    Pathos:
    Both sides appeal to emotion. But many conservatives claim that theirs is the ideology of reason, not emotion. Let’s draw the curtain of charity on that scene. Is this the soccer mom triangulation strategy?

    Sound bites: the other day someone noted that a libertarian position was a lousy sound bite. That disqualifies us from lots of quick fix arguments. Unless you’re gonna yell “DEMAND KRUVE”, “MARKET”, or some shit. It quickly sounds like a libertarian is acting in the movie MASH but starring in Dr. Strangelove!

    The black-and-white, simplistic arguments by the current administration and its supporters are maddening, to be sure. But look how the Clintocrats (why is it that I’m always tempted to leave out the first “n” in his name?) deflected the issue. They used defensive tactics, as well, but different ones. Different appeals to the group’s symbols or some stuff…

    And how many of us jumped up and down and screamed until we got our blow up doll back and someone turned the channel away from that WC Fields/ Robert Redford combo?

    respectfully,
    VM
    (this guarantees that the thread is officially dead)

  80. No libertarian talk radio?

    Neal Boortz occasionally slings it until he feels his audience might be slipping.

    Boortz is a LINO – Libertarian In Name Only. He tosses the term out when he wants to distance himself from accusations of being a con and neo-con shrill. He bashes Republicans that don’t tow the neo-con line and accuses them of being a RINO, but he remains silent about his former boss Zig-Zag Zell Miller being a DINO.

    It makes you want to just chuck the whole talk radio experience as being just a bunch of HINOs (Humans In Name Only).

  81. I never listened to his radio show, but I think Al Franken can be very funny, just because he can be really hilariously vicious.

    I mean, his attitude towards Clinton verges on worship, which is weird, and occasionally he’ll let loose some terrible shit like “Bill O’Lielly”, but he’s the only famous political comedy person I can think of who ever goes for the jugular.

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