May 10, 2004

The Choppers, The Radio

Local radio host and Fox/Bush apologist Barry Richard was on WSAR this morning talking about the police anti-gang presence in New Bedford late last weekend. It seems like they’re trying a few new approaches to stop the recent surge in gang violence there. This post is both about those helicopters and our wonderful mixed local AM radio.

Among the new tactics is a “show of force” by flying helicopters over the neighborhood and casting search lights onto the ground. Is this some law-enforcement version of “shock and awe?” I have to wonder what the heck flying helicopters over houses is supposed to do to stop gang violence in the long run, or do anything about the drug trade. Seems more like an excuse to fly helicopters, since they weren’t actually chasing anyone.

Local residents complained that the helicopters frightened them, and Barry Richard suggested that law enforcement should have warned them ahead of time. Perhaps the whole operation was ill-advised, but if there is any benefit to be gained from it (a dubious claim) warning everyone probably negates that.

I can understand the helicopters being frightening. At the very least, I’m sure they were annoying. But Richard made a bizarre reference at one point to people being understandably scared of the helicopters because we are at war. I wish I could have called in to ask him to elaborate on this. Do people really think that the people fighting us in Iraq have helicopters (first of all) and are going to fly them across the world to invade New Bedford? That war reference has to be one of the most inane things in the radio in a while. Ryan suggested maybe they thought Canada was attacking. Even that made a little more sense.

WSAR is a pretty decent local radio station. They cover the greater Fall River area. Mike Moran, in the morning is an especially fair host. I’ve always been impressed at how he does not tolerate much fuzzy thinking in his callers, be they on the left or right. Richard, on the other hand,
drums up interest in his program under the assumption that since the “SouthCoast” is riddled with liberals, his opposing view will get listeners upset and he’ll harvest more callers. It’s too bad they couldn’t get an actual conservative. This fellow comes off as little more than an extension of Fox.

For example, he’s constantly criticizing Kerry. Rarely will you hear criticism of Bush. That’s fine, but one refrain you’ll hear from him now and again is that he’s the only republican at the station. Everyone else is a democrat, according to him, so that counts for balance. Yet I have never heard Mike Moran bashing Bush. I’ve never heard Paul Giammarco slam Bush.

Today’s interesting announcement from Richard was this. Kerry’s poll numbers are up slightly in a NYT poll. Statistically, it’s still a dead heat. Therefore, Kerry’s campaign is in trouble. The logic is astounding. With all that’s been going on, Kerry should be doing better in the polls. So he’s obviously in trouble.

Let’s take a closer look. First of all, there is an implied admission here that he thinks Bush should be doing worse in the polls. Otherwise, why would a statistically even poll be worth remarking about? Why should Bush be doing worse in the polls? The media is not making the news up — he feels Bush should be lower in the polls because Bush is doing such a lousy job. But Bush’s lousy performance is not a story, apparently.

Next, Kerry is even with Bush. According to James Carville on Meet The Press over the weekend, Kerry is in better shape against the incumbent than Clinton was in his campaign in 1992. And we’re apparently ignoring Bush’s war chest burn rate. This isn’t 1992, and Kerry isn’t Clinton. But no one seems to have any real clue what year it is. And they won’t until after the election.

Yeah, Kerry is in serious trouble. Of course. A president who enjoyed a huge approval rating not too long ago as now neck and neck with a senator from Massachusetts, things are getting worse in Iraq and as the months go by Bush’s administrations mistakes are sinking in.

Who is in trouble again? Oh, right. It’s Kerry. I can hear the helicopters.

If that isn’t enough for you, Barry Richard also read a statement (he expressed an affinity for) from someone who insisted that the American people should stop crying over pictures of abuse in Iraq and get over it. Minutes before, Barry Richard referred to the helicopters in New Bedford as “terrorizing” the neighborhood. The people were terrorized by a couple of helicopters with flashlights.

Really, Barry? I wonder how the Iraqis feel nowadays, considering Faluja and the way we have conducted Abu Ghraib.

Posted by James at May 10, 2004 2:54 PM
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The helicopters flying around my neighborhood interfere with my ability to placidly occupy my beautiful mind with Match Game reruns.

I guess if you're a radio talk show host (or Karen Hughes), everything has to be about Iraq or terrorists. Even when that's maybe not the best angle to pursue.

I did notice a helicopter last week, but I didn't realize it was just to put on a time/money-wasting show to make us feel safer. Or more terrorized. I didn't think it was terrorists. I thought it was the whales finally getting their revenge. Come on. Look at a whale. Then look at a helicopter. In silhouette, they look a lot alike. Who says a whale ghost can't fly and carry a big flashlight?

Posted by: Julie at May 10, 2004 4:42 PM

I never looked at it this way.

Sometimes I look at the news and think that much of it is merely people saying stupid things about people doing stupid things.

Posted by: James at May 10, 2004 5:19 PM

Flying Whale ghosts with flashlights!? Revenge on New Bedford?! That is the best thing I have read all day!!

Posted by: Bil at May 10, 2004 7:22 PM

I have to agree with Bil. I've been having a crummy day due to some a.m. dental work and thinking of flying whale ghosts invading New Bedford has made me feel a lot better! Of course, I took the high too far and googled the three terms. Nothing interesting came up. Well, that's not entirely true. I did come across this movie summary:

Pinocchio In Outer Space
1964, Family, N/R
Director: Ray Goossens With: Arnold Stang, Peter Lazer, Conrad Jameson, Cliff Owens, Mavis Mims, Kevin Kennedy

This animated tale starts with Pinocchio being turned back into a puppet for bad behavior. He meets Nurtle the Turtle, a space alien, who accidentally lands on Earth. He invites Pinocchio to accompany him to Mars where they defeat the bad Flying Whale and return to Earth as heroes. (a.k.a. "Pinocchio's Adventure In Outer Space")

This was matched because there was also a review of "Ghost Dad" on the same page.

Posted by: briwei at May 10, 2004 8:34 PM

Man, imagine what we could accomplish with the harnessed power of flying ghost whales? ;)

Posted by: Brian at May 10, 2004 10:00 PM

Dentists are using better drugs nowadays than ever before.

Posted by: James at May 11, 2004 12:24 AM

Arnold Stang?? Wow, there's a name I haven't thought of in a LONG time.

Posted by: Julie at May 11, 2004 11:30 AM

Sadly, I didn't have any good dental drugs. I can blame nothing for my mental state beyond ibuprofen, acetominophen, caffeinated excedrin, and throbbing tooth pain.

Posted by: briwei at May 11, 2004 11:51 AM

What am I doing? I know how to link stuff!

Get yer Ghost Whales right here

Posted by: Bil at May 11, 2004 12:16 PM

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