January 29, 2008

Conservarrhea Two Step

I heard some conservarrhea1 from the radio this morning, and it reminded me of how the conservative talk echo chamber works.

Here’s what I heard: “Some people are saying that Obama is the new J.F.K. Some are saying he’s the new M.L.K. Here’s how that works.

Step 1: Some Fox talking head introduces a segment “Is Obama the next Martin Luther King?”

Step 2: Conservative talk host says “Some people are claiming that Obama is the next M.L.K! Isn’t that ridiculous?”

Sourcing an opinion is useful. It lets you analyze the context of the opinion and the motivation behind the opinion. If you’re dealing with an analogy, it might give you some clue what aspect of the comparison is significant.

But none of that is necessary if your purpose is merely to get people ranting about libruls.

Of course, nowadays we don’t really need the two-step to create strawmen for filling up hours of conservative radio. But you look upstream and when you see Fox or Bush pooping in the water, it’s no surprise when everyone comes down with a case of conservarrhea.

BTW, when someone drops a bomb into the middle of a day full of soulless sound bites, this is what it looks like. That’s Montel Williams ruminating aloud on a situation he feels is unbalanced. I guess covering the story of someone who gave his or her life in Iraq is risky because it reminds the American people of the price we’re paying for an unpopular war that people feel they were tricked into.

1 conservarrhea: a thin brown flow of ideas ranging in quality from questionable facts to outright invective often found distributed by self-proclaimed conservative talk media.

Posted by James at January 29, 2008 12:29 PM
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"Everyone knows we're at war." ::rolleyes:: So, because we know it, we can't talk about the people who died? I applaud Montel for what he said and did. Will it register with the Fox demographic?

Posted by: briwei at January 29, 2008 1:52 PM

when you see Fox or Bush pooping in the water, it’s no surprise when everyone comes down with a case of conservarrhea.

Posted by: mjfrombuffalo at January 29, 2008 2:58 PM

Montel rocks!

It's funny how the others keep trying to reframe Montel's point, then finally run out of gas and have to let him talk. I guess it's somewhat fortunate that the Fox news people aren't well-informed or articulate enough to prolong an argument.

I'm surprised they didn't just shout Montel down, but perhaps they were afraid O'Reilly would sue them for stealing his schtick.

Posted by: Julie at January 29, 2008 2:59 PM

OMG, I love how the a-holes at FOX don't even know what to do with it, they can't even change the conversation or summarize what he's saying, "We're talking to Montel Williams about Heath Ledger," the HELL YOU ARE! Were you even listening, or are you afraid you're not allowed to say what you were really talking about?

Posted by: Maggie at January 29, 2008 3:16 PM

Once again the American public is not paying attention and the serpents at FOX and the media in general are happy to facilitate.

Thank you Montel.

Posted by: Chuck S. at January 30, 2008 9:34 AM

I applaud Montel.

Unfortunately, those who don't care that we're at war aren't going to care any more for what he just said.

I don't think America is a nation at war. I always believed that democratic republics at war try to do one of two things - win it, or stop it -and I don't see enough people trying to do either right now.

I think we're a government at war, and a military at war, but that's about it.

I think we're a nation at...well...ummm...I wish someone would tell me...

Posted by: Bull at January 31, 2008 1:23 AM

My father keeps saying that as long as we have a paid military and no draft, most people won't care if we're at war or not. What sacrifices are we making? They're too vague and long-term for us to worry about them. I don't have tickets that limit how many eggs I can buy -- there's no shortage of any particular metal, and I'm not worried about my child or my nephew or my husband being drafted into a war. So what motivation do I have to stop it, especially when there is so much rhetoric that tells me I'm unAmerican and I don't "support the troops" if I oppose a policy that they should be blown to bits for no good reason? There's also the rhetoric that if we leave, we're quitters, and we're not taking responsibility for a mess we created, which I think is arrogant and presumptive.

The wife of an officer once said to me about enlisted men (she seemed to be chafing under the idea that I disapproved of the war -- true, but I hadn't expressed it), "They choose that life, and it's a good life. They get great benefits." I don't know what she was smoking, thinking that a choice between poverty and the military is a choice (Hobson's choice), or calling the kind of health care they get "benefits," but I understand she was being defensive. If even a military person can have that attitude, then what attitude is the rest of the country expected to have?

There's this glorified "I support the troops," but supporting the troops doesn't mean giving a crap about their suffering or the pointlessness of what they're doing. It's based on some crazy Hollywood idea about glory and heroism, and it's as far removed from real life as a movie.

Posted by: Maggie at January 31, 2008 9:23 AM

Montel has lost his job.

It's not clear how related this is to his Fox appearance, if at all.

Posted by: James at January 31, 2008 3:34 PM

It's not explicitly stated that it's related to his appearance on Fox, but if a majority of Fox-owned stations declined to renew his show after 17 years on the air, it seems pretty obvious to me.

I mean, I've never liked his show, but I doubt that it suddenly took a nose dive in this particular year.

Posted by: Julie at January 31, 2008 7:05 PM

Perhaps he knew his show was being canceled and that is why he was so blunt with the FOX talking heads. Either way, FOX is a den of vipers. He's better off without them.

Posted by: Chuck S. at February 1, 2008 2:34 AM

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