On the "Culturally Incompetent White Man" Show

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I'm scheduled to go on the nationally syndicated Lars Larson show—"Right on the Left Coast"!—at around 8:15 Eastern, to talk for 10 minutes about John McCain. By the looks of it, Lars doesn't seem to be a fan. Find your local station here, or listen live.

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  1. Lars is decent, I would say on the slightly xenophobic end of the spectrum of talk radio sometimes but no like Savage. Also unlike Savage, at least Lars has a rudimentary grasp of basic economics. Plus he seems like a nice guy. Good luck and enjoy.

  2. Clicking on that link leaves me with these really strange thoughts, like “voting for McCain probably DOES have some upsides.” Shutting down Guantanamo sounds damned good to me.

  3. I agree with Jennifer. Larson’s amateurish spin on Juan McCain makes him seem downright reasonable.

  4. Larson, from I understand as an industry semi-insider, is a decent, personable guy, just not a great talk host. Personally I don’t know the man, so I can’t knock him; I just don’t think much of his schtick.

  5. Jennifer — One of the mild challenges of writing my book is that some of my best sources were people who, on a scale of 1 to 10, I agreed with politically at around -10. That said, it wasn’t like I was depending on them to create my thesis (though they *did* greatly inform my conclusion that, for example, he’s a full-bore elitist, and *not* a “man of the people”). Ultimately, since my aim was and is not to dictate a vote, but rather to *inform* it, I’m not so worried about the fact that many people who find him appalling do so for reasons I find him appealing.

    And I also consider it a failing of the book that I didn’t have at least half a chapter drilling down into the immigration debate that the anti-Juan people are furious about & that almost sank his campaign. There are many, many aspects about the guy — for good and for ill — that were illuminated by his immigration enthusiasms over the years.

    Not least of which is the senatorial mess that ensues when he decides, bull-in-china-shop-like, that Something Must Be Done about Topic X. McCain is given great credit by immigration-reform types (who I’m sympathetic toward), but the legislation that bore his stamp was just awful, not unlike other McCain “reform” set pieces….

  6. Unfortunately, I have to share the same town with Lars. He may not be as bad as Savage, but he’s still a xenophobic, homophobic, drug war and Christian theocracy promoting asshole. Other than that he’s probably a nice guy, I wouldn’t know. 😉

  7. That “Feed the Pig” ad was one of the funniest ads I’ve ever heard.

    Dug

  8. good job matt.

    you are the only one who continually points out mccain as the O.G. neocon and the proper neocon lineage.

    I thought it was a good interview.

  9. Matt, I kept wishing you would ask him as a professional courtesy to clarify that while he may think of himself as a professional journalist, what he’s doing right now–promoting a particular political line–fills a very different function in society. It would be nice to keep those separate and distinct.

  10. For a magazine called Reason…

    I just wanted an excuse to drink and you fuckers weren’t holding up your end of the bargain.

  11. Wait…is this a sign of a drinking problem?

  12. One of the mild challenges of writing my book is that some of my best sources were people who, on a scale of 1 to 10, I agreed with politically at around -10.

    Oh, indeed, and my comment wasn’t a criticism of you for talking to the guy. I’m just saying I’m feeling kinder toward McCain now than I have in years. Strategic rhetorical failure there on Lars’ part.

  13. Can I just say that “cultural incompetence” has to be one of the most still-born concepts that has ever been conceived?

    WTF does it even mean?

  14. It means to be incompetent culturally.

    That’ll be $53K and tenure, please.

  15. $53k is low. I am told all cultural experts just happen to “fall into” $100k plus without any effort.

  16. After they’re tenured.

  17. That’ll be $300 for the consultation, please.

  18. Heh, Lars Larson. When I was a kid he was an investigative reporter for one of the local network affiliates in Portland. Makes it kind of hard for me to take him seriously when I always associate him with petty business scams.

    Then I remember that that’s exactly how (and where) John Stossel got his start, and I feel like a hypocrite. But at least Stossel meticulously avoids the term “Left Coast.”

  19. He may not be as bad as Savage, but he’s still a xenophobic, homophobic, drug war and Christian theocracy promoting asshole. Other than that he’s probably a nice guy, I wouldn’t know.

    What really tweaks me about the radio biz right now is the number of truly talented people who are out on their asses, while this slug…

  20. jasa and Smappy,

    So are you both from Portland? Just thought I’d see if there are any other Portlanders around.

  21. I’m from Portland as well, and I also find Lars to be a total douche. The guy is so xenophobic and just seems to spew hate. I know people who have been interviewed by him (in person), and they say he’s a jerk, and is notorious for putting his finger about an inch from one’s face while yelling and basically making an ass of himself. He likes to provoke people to physically touch him (even if they just simply move his finger from their face), and then shouts “I’m suing!” He’s nothing more than a hate monger that belongs on a street corner.

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