Friday, September 26, 2008

Three Conservative Pundits

I feel pretty bored with my job much of the time. I imagine that many people do. Fortunately, I'm allowed to listen to my little Sony Walkman radio while performing some of my more monotonously menial tasks, and I like to listen to talk radio some of that time.

The only talk radio station I can pull in clearly, besides a conservative Catholic station, is conservative newstalk KTKZ. It's 6AM to midnight lineup consists, in the following order, of syndicated hosts Bill Bennett, Dennis Prager, Michael Medved, Hugh Hewitt, Dennis Miller, and Mike Gallagher.

Despite my liberal leanings, I enjoy listening to this station. I used to switch back and forth between it and a local liberal talk radio station so that I could get contrasting perspectives on controversial issues and, more generally, the world at large. But when the liberal station changed to an all gospel music format, KTKZ became my only local newstalk radio option.

Since I work swing shift, the hosts I hear at work are Dennis Miller and Mike Gallagher. I must admit that I was surprised the first time I saw Miller on HBO praising President Bush and the war in Iraq. I suppose I entertained the naive assumption that anyone who used to do a satirical newscast on hip Saturday Night Live had to be "one of us"--the few, the proud, the liberals.

Well, Dennis Miller is no liberal. He thinks Bush is the best president of his lifetime and has tremendous admiration for him. He is 100% behind the war in Iraq and constantly lampoons liberal politicians, ideas, and causes. But he's also a very sharp guy who's remarkably articulate and witty and who has an amazing memory for movies, TV shows, sporting events, and other elements of past and present popular culture and can draw clever allusions to them with machinegun-like rapidity. Even when I disagree with him, which is much of the time, I enjoy hearing him riff on politics and politicians. And another thing I appreciate about him is that he doesn't come across as a fanatic. He seems to have a healthy distaste for zealots on both sides of the political continuum and will challenge them to justify their opinions.

Mike Gallagher is an entirely different story. I might formerly have characterized him as a Rush Limbaugh wannabe whose booming, blustery voice and stereotypical arch-conservatism is, wittingly or unwittingly, a caricature of right-wing lunacy. And I might have proceeded to comment that when he goes to a commercial break, a synthesizer plays a long note undoubtedly meant to sound imposingly momentous but which actually sounds like a monstrous human gasbag deflating before the pressure of its verbal flatulence builds to a sudden, massive explosion that reduces the poor man to human fragments scattered all over his studio.

I might have said that, but I won't. I'll just say that anyone who states, as he did awhile back, that Bill Maher is such a horrible person that if he were on fire, he, Mike Gallagher, wouldn't so much as urinate on him to put out the fire, I figure here's a guy who either has some serious psychological "issues," or, if he's just pandering to his perceived audience of conservative nutcakes, has stepped way over the line. Frankly, I suspect that this self-professed Christian meant what he said.

This is kind of like a certain clinical psychologist who specializes "in the treatment of psychological barriers to spiritual growth" and who has authored a book and keeps a blog purporting to dispense psychological and spiritual wisdom to the "intellectually gifted" while disdaining the"idiot masses," who calls Bill Maher a "rat faced homunculus" "moron" and "devil" and Maureen Dowd, Erica Jong, and Gloria Steinem "desiccated old feminist hags," and who makes jokes about Muslims like this:
And the Iranians are still pushing ahead with their Manhattan Project. Of course, they say they're only developing nuclear reactors for peaceful purposes. Personally I'd feel better about it if Muslims had figured out peaceful applications for rocks and belts. For them, it's a wardrobe malfunction when some boob doesn't explode out of his vest.
I listen to or read all three of these conservative "pundits,"but I often wonder why.


lafayette said...

If you wish to avoid Gagdad Bob's hateful and unfunny rants, just type in, and then don't click on it. It works every time. Avoiding contamination by his book is a little easier, as any idiot can do that merely by reading it.

Anonymous said...

I suppose I entertained the naive assumption that anyone who used to do a satirical newscast on hip Saturday Night Live had to be "one of us"--the few, the proud, the liberals.

He was one of you, then he grew up.

Nagarjuna said...

I guess one reason why I don't do as you graciously suggest is that I continue to be intrigued by how someone so bright, knowledgeable, and interested in spirituality can appear to get so many things so terribly wrong.

palindrone said...

I agree with Lafayette, without using the passive-agressive sarcasm coons often substitute for reflective thinking.

Why do you persist in leaving links to a blog you obviously have outgrown? His rancor functions like jalapenos in a good texmex meal: a necessary ingredient for the passion of the cuisine. Try to make a meal of it and you'll understand the commotion behind a flaming a**hole.

My unsolicited advice to you? You're doing fine following your own lead. Stay away from anyone who has to reference how bad something else is before convincing you how good their own product is.