Thursday, February 21, 2008

The End of Talk Radio

Tuesday I effectively swore off talk radio, if not for the rest of my life, at least until early November 2008.

I am not a fan of Rush Limbaugh, or Sean Hannity, or Glenn Beck, or J.D. Hayworth, or Bill O'Reilly. Yet, while driving the automobile-supersaturated freeways of Phoenix, I find myself needing to be entertained - so I flip them on. And I listen. And it is all sort of hypnotic. And I listen way longer than I intended.

Maybe there's a caller making some inane argument about how the U.S. flag is the coolest, or maybe I get sucked in by the ever-so-seductive hook: "When we come back, we'll talk about...." which is repeated for three to four segments before the material is actually addressed. So when I say what I am about to say, I do not mean to extend the situation to all of you faithful dittoheads (ah, the disclaimer). But in the word of O'Reilly, "with all due respect," talk radio makes me a stupid, robotic, brainless, intelligence-starved, moron.

I've thought these things before, but who would have thought a meaningless incident involving some less-than-thoughtful observations by Michelle Obama, wife of presidential hopeful Barack Obama, would push me over the edge.

No, I am not going to go into the details of the matter. That can be accomplished by you turning on 550 KFYI, or the equivalent right-wing trash station you can find on your dial in your hometown. No, I am not a fan of Obama, not even close. In fact, I think electing Obama would be more of a mistake than electing Hillary Clinton.

But the Michelle Obama situation is emblematic of what talk radio really is: entertaining people with news that is not news, with information that is not important. While turning a blind eye to everything that could undermine their purpose, these jockeys pick up bits (ants, if you will) of information and blow them into veritable anthills.

Want to spend your time more wisely? I suggest doing anything else BUT listen to those clowns. Listen to some music on the radio (although that is almost as disgusting most of the time). Listen to an audiobook. Listen to your air conditioner blowing. Don't waste your life enriching the dregs of society.

Oh, yes, I am still talking to myself. And myself says TURN IT OFF!

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