What I Have Learned From Air America: The Randi Rhodes Show
Now that I have established what I believe to be some of the views of Air America’s hosts, I will summarize my impressions of each host and challenge their views. In this part, I will critique The Randi Rhodes Show.
Of the Air America hosts I’ve listened to so far, Randi Rhodes is the most talented and most persuasive. She is the only one on the network (that I have heard at least), who takes very many calls from the listening audience. Most of her callers are the typical Kool-Aide drinkers that all talk shows have (i.e. you’re a great American, Mega dittos, ‘their need to be more talk hosts like you,’ etc.) but she will not shy away from a challenge.
If you want to call her show, be forewarned: you better have your facts and be able to reference your facts; the typical talking points usually will not work. To her credit, she also challenges her Kool-Aide drinking fans. One caller wanted to talk about how, there is no marriage penalty in the tax code. To my surprise, Rhodes corrected her and explained that there is a marriage penalty and she got bit by it when she got married. The caller seemed to be shocked at what she had heard and offered little resistance. On another occasion, one of her guests was going on a tirade about the misdeeds of the Bush administration. The guest started in on how Bush should have supported the Kyoto Treaty to slow down global warming. Rhodes interrupted her guest at this point and said that Kyoto was a bad deal for America and felt that the president made the right decision in this case.
Now, let me begin debunking her arguments as I understand them:
The war in Iraq has nothing to do with a war on terror but a war to enrich oil companies, enrich contractors in the rebuilding effort, and satisfy President Bush and his NeoCon cronies’ blood lust.
The part about the Iraq war being about oil I have probably heard a million times and its pure b.s. Its very interesting how Rhodes and others continue to argue this point about how unjust this war is without a whisper about how Clinton drug us into Mogadishu and elsewhere. Those where ‘humanitarian efforts.’ What about the humanitarian efforts that have taken place in Operation Iraqi Freedom? Are the Kurds better off now that Saddam Hussein is behind bars instead of terrorizing them? And what about this ‘blood lust’ business? Are you kidding me; Bush went to war because he is fascinated with death and destruction? Puh-leeze!
Saddam Hussein was no threat to us, neither is Iran. Saddam disarmed himself prior to the war and the inspections were working.
What about the fact that he was paying the families of suicide bombers in Israel? Would this same kind of threat be too much of a stretch of Rhodes’ imagination that such terrorism could not happen here? On the issue of disarmament, the only reason any weapons were destroyed was because the inspectors found them. Saddam was playing a game of hide and seek. I suppose since the inspectors found the weapons and Saddam complied, this counts as compliance. As far as Iran is concerned, Iran is arguably the biggest threat to our national security. Iran has nukes in Islamic-fascist’s hands. These people are not afraid to die, making them that much more dangerous.
Not only is the Bush administration is lying to the American public, he and his cronies are trying to keep everyone stupid from grade school children to senior citizens. How? The educational system and (are you ready for this?) the Right Wing Media. Why? To better control the public and scare the electorate into voting Republican. Those who support Republicans are uninformed or have otherwise been deceived.
She is right that the government is trying to keep us stupid but this is nothing unique to the Bush administration; this problem is much bigger. Probably since the inception of government schools, the government has inserted its agenda into the curriculum. Interestingly, the party that has had the most influence on school curricula is the Democrat Party through the teacher’s unions. Take a look at all the political correctness in the history books. American history portrays our country as one which made very few mistakes. The few mistakes the books mention have all been solved. And who comes to the rescue when things went wrong? The government of course! Read my post The Battle for Young Minds if you want further explanation as to whether politics has corrupted our schools.
How about the Right Wing Media? That’s a good one. At first I thought she was referring to Fox News but she actually believes even The New York Times is Right Wing. The news she gets is from the European press because our media is not telling us the truth. I guess it doesn’t occur to her that European journalists might have their own agendas too. One thing is for certain, most people whether on the Left, Right, or Center do not think the news media is doing a good job. Maybe there is a reason for this.
Her belief that everyone who voted for Bush or voted Republican in this past election is mindless followers is probably the most offensive of her rants. There are some great debates among those who supported Bush on a wide range of issues. Take a look at the debates on this very blogsite. In my last post, Personal Responsibility, there is an ongoing spirited debate on the role of government. I would suspect that Gary, Linda, Robert and myself all voted for Bush in the last election (if I’m wrong please correct me). Clearly, all of us can think for ourselves and I do not think there is anything unique about us in that regard.
The reason North Korea has nuclear weapons is because of John Bolton’s temperament toward North Korean diplomats.
I can’t prove that this is not the case but this argument sounds absurd to me. Interesting how she failed to mention Madeline Albright’s role in allowing North Korea to have access to nuclear material to isn’t it?
We should negotiate with terrorists when they take hostages.
If I need to explain to you why negotiating with terrorists is a bad idea, you do not have the intelligence required to continue to reading Fearless Philosophy for Free Minds.
Wow, dealing with Randi Rhodes arguments took more ink (or is it electrons?) than I expected. I guess I’ll deal with Franken and Morning Sedition in the next 2 posts. Next What I Have Learned From Air America: The Al Franken Show (Part III).