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Sunday, October 16, 2005

The REAL Thought Police

I got a good chuckle from Brad Friedman's account of how he tried to correct Los Angeles radio personality Tammy Bruce. If you don't listen to the radio right, you may not know about her -- although Barnes and Noble aficionados may have seen the screed-filled codices she has "authored," if one can use such a word to describe her chimp-ish clobbering of keyboards.

I've always found Tammy amusing. Back in the '90s, as the AM band morphed into its current all-brainwashing-all-the-time format, virtually anyone could get mike time, as long as he or she promised to emulate Rush Limbaugh's politics. We got a black Rush Limbaugh and a latino Rush Limbaugh and a gay Rush Limbaugh -- basically, you could be anyone you wanted to be as long as you were Rush Limbaugh.

Tammy was, is, the lesbian Rush Limbaugh. She occasionally proclaimed herself a liberal or former liberal, but that pretense was simply part of her shtick.

Why did I find her amusing? Because back in the day, she sucked. She may have better broadcasting chops now; I wouldn't know. Years ago, during the week or so I spent listening to her, she was a confirmed resident of Amateursville.

Her sub-Pacifica clumsiness had an odd charm. I enjoyed hearing someone on the radio floundering almost as helplessly as I had floundered, years and years before that, at a tiny little station I will not name. (You will never hear my voice. Why? Because I, uh, I, uh, I, uh, I, uh, I tend to say "uh" a lot.)

Yet the media overlords have decreed that terrible Tammy shall always have work. There aren't many other lesbian "former liberals" who would agree to channel Rush. Her masters apparently operate under the theory that blue state hedonists will grant her a hearing they might not grant to a more obvious Limbaugh avatar.

Brad caught Tammy spewing demonstrable, long-since-exposed lies about Valerie Wilson -- she posed for photos before the outing, she worked as a CIA desk jockey, you know the drill. Rightists believe that repetition makes a lie true. Tammy also seems to believe that Judith "aspen-roots" Miller is a liberal -- a dangerous assertion, since it might trigger one of those sudden guffaw-snorts that sends Diet Coke fountaining out of your nostrils in a most unbecoming fashion.

Brad happened to hear this swill while driving, and called in to thrash it all out with her. Foolishly, he identified himself. ("Brad from Hollywood" would have sufficed.) Naturally, the producer barred him from the airwaves but cheerfully advised him to send email.

One of the books which Tammy has clobbered out (if she did not acquire the services of a clobberer-for-hire) bears the title The New Thought Police: Inside the Left's assault on free speech and free minds. That's cute, coming from someone who won't allow dissenters on her show.

Another Bruce clobberation is called The Death of Right and Wrong: Exposing the Left's assault on our culture and values. That's even cuter. One can only smile at a whore who gives lectures on cultures and values.

In fact, our culture and values have been raped by right-wing media barons. Their shameless tactics, their relentless assaults, their illimitable wealth are the reason why (forgive what may seem a cliched sentiment, but how else can one put it?) life in America is no longer so easy and sweet and envied as once it was. The rightists have replaced reasoned discourse with the most thuggish forms of propaganda. Worse, they have forced their opponents to adopt a similar shrillness. How can you counter a scream without screaming yourself?

So scream we must, from whatever pedestals may still be open to us. The only alternative is concession.
Comments:
Joseph,

yes it is utterly depressing that a media conglomerate such as Clear Channel populates its DJs who are extremely rightwing in their outlook even on Classic Rock stations such as www.kfox.com . But I think these media conglomerates like Clear Channel which owns something like 50% of all radio stations in the US and Fox and MSNBC and Turner Broadcasting gives job advancement/security to those folks who share their rightwing ideology.

Morning DJ Greg Kihn (yes he also heads up the "Greg Kihn" band that had hits in the seventies/eighties)routinely mouths off about the evils of liberals, his hatred of what he considers to be a liberal newspaper such as the San Francisco Chronicle, amongst his other numerous complaints. In the months preceding last year's November election, he was praising President Bush, how the war in Iraq was a good and just war in the battle against evil and fight to spread democracy.

Greg's father fought in WWII and his father recently died (sometime within the past 5 to 7 years) and so Greg all of a sudden got super conservative, and has become a rock n roll version of Rush Limbaugh. Thinks gov spending is out of control, thinks democrats are wasteful, corrupt and he keeps talking about his hatred of liberals and his complete praise for BushCo and the Iraq war as his way of supporting our troops.

Anyone who doesn't support our troops is a traitor in his opinion which extends to Cindy Sheehan who he considers mentally ill.

It gets hard to tune in after awhile and he finally toned his political rhetoric down after Pres Bush won re-election but the "I hate liberals, San francisco liberals especially, anti-war protestors" keeps seeping into his morning broadcasts.

I suspect that one of the reasons why Clear Channel keeps him and his morning show is because he's a rock n roll rightwing Rush Limbaugh since there are no liberal rock 'n roller DJs anywhere else with their own radio show in the SF Bay Area.

He won't listen to reason either. He's gotten thousands and thousands of emails from unhappy listeners about his ongoing political conservative commentary.

My recommendation: tune into Air America radio which is AM 960 in the SF Bay Area--this is the ONLY radio station that features Randy Rhoades, Al Franken and other talkshow hosts that are not carbon copies of Rush Limbaugh or Bill O'Reilly.
 
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