Living in Connecticut I have my choice of three sports-talk radio shows. But on one particular day when my Ipod wasn't working and I couldn't handle any more talk on Brett Farve coming back or the how great the new Mets manager is, I decided to see what radio stations I got from my car. I kept running into Right-Wing, Republican call-in shows, whether Local or National, which all seemed to have the same opinion. This was a lot different than Sports Talk Radio, where Mike and the Mad Dog question Joe Girardi's use of the bullpen in a close loss then have callers who defend or chastise Girardi. That's what appeals to me about sports talk radio, that there are conflicting opinions; there is a debate. Right-wing radio is far from a debate, it's just restating the same opinion over and over again.
The problem with the right-wing radio format is it is not a debate or a discussion. They pick one side of an argument, have everyone agree with it and never point out the other side of the discussion. In life, things aren't black and white and the right-wing radio format tries to portray all doctrine, all people and all actions as black or white, right or wrong.
Analysis and debate involve higher-level thought than rewording the same argument. For example, I heard a sports talk show host saying Melky Cabrera and Jacoby Ellsbury were basically the same player. Come on, I thought to myself, Ellsbury is one of the top prospects in baseball. In a recent conversation with Don Mattingly, Don was asked which young players he liked and the first one he listed was Jacoby. Yet the radio host backed up his arguments with Jacoby's road numbers verse Melky's. Other than stolen bases and outfield assists, pretty much identical. Also, Melky is a year younger. I still don't agree with the host. I'm a Yanks fan, but I'd take Jacoby over Melky anyday. Still, it was a good debate.
Back to right-wing radio: Next caller... "Everyone speaks out against the Bush Administration, but he freed a nation." I'm not going to disprove the validity of that statement right now, needless to say, I disagree. But even the Iraq War, that I strongly oppose, it is not black or white, right or wrong. But having fourteen people with same opinion speaking over and over again sounds like some sort of Neuro-Lingustic Programming method or propaganda of a leader like Stalin or Hitler.
"If you aren't behind the president and the troops, you are against them. It's not patriotic". Again, another argument I don't agree with, but that's not the theme here. One of the first things that appealed to me about Barack Obama and John McCain was their ability to work with people on the other side of the aisle. McCain worked with Sens. Feingold and Kerry on campaign finance reform. I feel McCain is going away from this, following the right-wing mantra; nothing done by a democrat is right. Obama has constantly said he doesn't believe that; that democrats are always correct. In his second book, the first thing Obama said about Bush was how he was friendly and found a mutual topic for the two of them to discuss. Obama's views are 180 degrees different than Bush, but he was willing to discuss and give him a chance to state his opinions. Bush, on the other hand, has surrounded himself with a cabinet of like-minded people, which has failed. But, again, off topic.
Back to Right-Wing Radio. Not a fan of Bill O'Reilly and his views, and I know it's TV but not Radio, but a friend recently linked me to two O'Reilly interviews, one with Geraldo Rivera and another with Michael Moore. Both times, O'Reilly was in disagreement with the guest. Both times, debates ensued. I found he did make a decent point or two when talking with Michael Moore, but I definitely sided with Moore. It was good, however, to hear a debate. I didn't check the ratings, but I'd assume they were pretty good... the right-wing people getting their chance to skewer Michael Moore. I'd like to see and hear more of this, debate.