Friday, October 7, 2011

Talking Heads

I love music, but sometimes when I get in the car by myself, I want to hear talking. It may be a by-product of working alone.

But, absent just picking up a newscaster reporting on the local news, there aren't many good choices out there for talk radio.

Lots of stations just pick up a national feed, like Fox, where you can hear the likes of Sean Hannity or Rush Limbaugh or Glen Beck or that Savage guy.

But I don't really like to be preached to or fed an agenda (or harangued, in the case of that Savage guy. Apt name, btw). Still, I listen to them occasionally because it makes me think.

Most of what I think, though, is that there's got to be a special place in hell for people like this. What purpose do they serve, except to sell advertising?

I mean, when I think about it, these people are paid a lot of money to give *their* opinions about the news of the day. And people listen to them. And often believe them. And then start repeating what they've heard as if it's gospel truth.

And it's not.

It's just a talking head. With an agenda. Selling time to companies with their own agenda (typically nothing more than to make money).

And all they do is foment unrest and dissent and anger and division, and, in many cases, hatred.

Words words words, blah blah blah, opinion opinion opinion...sigh.

The other day I was moved enough to call in to the local AM station. The talking head was going on about the ongoing Occupy Wall Street protest. He was berating the people out there and a guy called in who was supposedly a financial planner down in the South Texas. South Texas didn't have a lot to add, except to say he opposed Mr. Talking Head's position. So, Mr. TH asked, "what specifically are these protesters protesting? They're just a bunch of college kids with no concrete goals or plans or jobs and they want to be handed everything on a platter? Communists!" or something to that effect.

South Texas didn't really have any good responses, couldn't give specifics, and by the end of the 3-5 minute call, South Texas was agreeing with Mr. TH.

So, I called in. I was a little nervous because I'm not the sharpest tool in the shed, but I at least had some specifics in mind.

Mr. TH took my call and I said, "well, I kind of take issue with your response to South Texas. You asked for specifics, and what I think these Occupy Wall Street guys are protesting is the Federal Reserve and the fractional banking system and..."

And, click, he'd let me say that much and cut me off to say "Yeah, they want the government to print more money to fund their special interest causes and who's behind all that?? Obama - who do they think's paying for all this?!? That's right people, they want to take from the rich without working for anything on their own!!"

Um. What??

So. What I learned is, don't call in to a Talking Head show if you have an actual concrete specific that could be argued logically because THs do not wish to be logical. They wish to be right, without challenge.

Where do we go to debate ideas any more? Is rational discussion a thing of the past?

*insert sad sigh here*



  1. Wow, you and are I so similar! I also listen to a lot of talk radio in the car for the same reason, and I get very frustrated at the lack of actual conversation or debate. Sorry you were treated badly when you called in, but it's sadly to be expected from people who really just want to further their own agendas rather than have an intelligent discussion.

  2. You could always listen to 89.7 Catholic radio station here in San Antonio. Hint..hint xoxo

  3. In Chicago I moslty listen to the NPR feed and at night they run the BBC feed which is interesting and gives a different perspective. I don't drive anymore but if I did I guess I would set up a system where I could download podcasts and play them on my ipod through my car radio's speakers.


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