promoting the unwanted, redheaded stepchild that is individual liberty

Posts Tagged ‘Sean Hannity’

Obama; not so radical

In politics on April 10, 2010 at 4:19 pm
“I dismiss the cynics who say that this new century cannot be another [in which] we lead the world in battling immediate evils and promoting the ultimate good.” — President Barack Obama
 
Worse than Jimmy Carter on steroids is how conservative talk radio host Sean Hannity described President Barack Obama on his show today. He was trying to convince his listeners that President Obama is a radical. Using provocative words like progressive, leftist and socialist, Hannity went so far as to describe Obama as Americas most radical president.
 
But is President Obama really a radical? The hard evidence suggests otherwise.
 
 The truth is, not much has changed since the last administration. There has been no radical shift left, no real change as promised. Sure, Obama sometimes talks the talk of a sincere liberal, but when the political rubber meets the road, the 44th president of the United States falls in (center) line.
  •  President Obama has yet to close Guantanamo Bay as promised. And now hes proposing shipping detainees to an equally shady correction facility in Illinois — a move that has civil liberties groups up in arms.
  • He has not ended the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. On the contrary, he has continued George Bushs illegial war in Iraq and escalated the war in Afghanistan — sending 17,000 more troops to the war-torn region and promising 30,000 more. He has also escalated the undeclared wars in Yemen and Pakistan.
  • He has steadily increased the defense budget. For the 2011 fiscal year, he is asking for $708.3 billion in defense spending — an almost 200 billion-dollar increase from George Bushs 2009 budget.
  • He has pledged a record $3 billion to Israel in the form of military aid as part of the 2011 defense budget.
  • He has not reversed the anti-civil liberties policies and laws enacted by the Bush administration such as the controversial Military Commissions Act of 2006. And in February, he renewed the Patriot Act.
  • Like Bushs takeover of the automobile and banking industries, Obama has taken over the healthcare industry. He has simultaneously increased the deficit, spending, and government power.

Obama is no anti-war progressive. Like Bush before him, he is a big-government war-mongering interventionist. But shock jocks like Hannity and O’Reilly have conservative America convinced otherwise. And in November, conservatives will flock to the voting booths — still convinced.

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Talk radio vs. the open market place of ideas

In media on March 14, 2010 at 9:53 pm

Rush, Levin, Hannity. Talk radio superstars. Their shows are witty, entertaining, controversial and opinionated. But are they enlightening? No.

In fact the opposite is true.

These self proclaimed liberty-loving conservatives practice a form of verbal censorship. Its ironic that while they claim to be pro-free market, they suppress the open marketplace of ideas. Articulate, well-developed arguments expressing contradictory viewpoints simply arent allowed.

Mark Levin is a repeat offender. In a recent show, he not-so-gently told a caller he was pathetic. He then proceeded to mockingly challenged the caller to prove how smart he was. When the caller made a weak attempt to defend himself by replying I am smart Levin quickly interrupted with Ill be the judge of that. Levin continued berating the caller; calling him words like moron and idiot.

Needless to say I didnt learn anything — except maybe how to silence dissent.

But Hannity, Rush and Levin arent merely good arguers — they are skillful censors. The interruption, rudeness and domination they practice on their shows are a form of art. They are steamrollers; more concerned with perpetuating a set belief system than with discovering the truth.

But then why do millions of listeners choose to tune in each week? Surely it is not to learn.

On the contrary, it would appear the only reason conservative listeners lend their ears is to reinforce that which they already believe. The small, insignificant amount of information they may actually glean from the shows pales in comparison to the positive affirmation they receive.

After all, talk radio isnt a dialogue, its a monologue. A monologue people would be better off ignoring. Perhaps Americans need to take a cue from these radio hosts and, with the turn of a dial, censor conservative talk radio.