Monday, October 12, 2009

Get Up Offa That Thing!

Mike Farrell, (yes, of M.A.S.H. fame) was on the Diane Rehm show today. He'd taken a trip across some parts of the country and talked with people along the way about various social justice issues and has written a book about it--hence, his appearance on the Diane Rehm show. He's a liberal and/or progressive (is there some distinction between the two? I'm not sure). He was struck during his travels by the dearth of contrary voices on am radio and began to proselytize a bit on the road, telling folks there are more opinions than those of Rush, Glenn and Sean. Many times, he said, he was met with defense: folks stalwart in their insistence that what they heard on the radio was fact not opinion. Other times, he received respect for offering a differing viewpoint, just for the principle of the thing.

Though the conversation was engaging, the callers and emailers were the most memorable. 'Joey', an artist and family man without health insurance, called in with a familiar lament. He's an Obama supporter, voted for him and everything, yet when he is critical of him, he's lambasted as a right wing whackjob. Obama supporters seem to brook no dissent. I've seen this phenomenom at work myself. Just because you're critical of someone doesn't mean you don't them anymore. Those o us disappointed that Obama has draped the mantel of leadership around him rather than soldering his shoulders into it and charging ahead on...oh, let's say healthcare, have not withdrawn support. We'll still struggle into those "I heart Obama" t-shirts, however ill-fitting--for now. There is such a thing as constructive criticism. Although there's a variety of issues on which Obama's action or lack thereof has been disappointing, the advice on all, I think, can be summed up in two words: MAN UP!

'Cassandra' called with formidable contained and eloquent indignation at those who scoff at the President's having won the Nobel Peace Prize. I wish the audio were available to link to; it was an elegant argument.

The most memorable though, was the last email read, which pointedly and perhaps rightly, outed the left wing as a bunch of slackers. Ticked at Obama's performance? Check. Ranting on blogs? Check. Whining on talk shows? Check. Writing terse op-eds? Check. Organizing, shouting, marching in the streets a la teabaggers? Well, no...(can you have a glass of wine while you march?) Exploiting all possible media a la birthers? Uh, No! What would we have to put as our FaceBook status if we did that!!

You did it before. Get your voice heard. In a nutshell, what HE says:


Windroot said...

I heard part of that show today as well. He is an interesting guy who knows his talking points.

I didn't hear that last caller but I agree with the point.

Politicians are gutless weasels who will do the right thing as long as they are sure they can get reelected doing it. That's what they need to know, that the left will vote for them if they put their neck on the line with a risky vote.

Earl said...

Mr. Farrell has a very avuncular delivery, but he basically described right wing talk radio hosts as hate mongering racists and their audiences as hopelessly ignorant. He tries to come across as someone that genuinely wants to persuade people on the other side through civil dialogue... but then berates people on the other side with civil monologue. I'm so confused. -Earl


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