In a recent post I mentioned the “insufferable WRKO” talk radio station here. It actually had already gone downhill since the early 1990s when Gene Burns left and Jerry Williams went from his weekday show to weekends and then retired. During the 1980s WRKO was #1 in the ratings thanks to Jerry Williams and Gene Burns, and Janet Jeghelian in the mornings. David Brudnoy was also on WRKO before jumping to WBZ.
But starting in the 1990s talk radio in general went downhill, along with a lot of other things in America. I must note how that decline coincided with our country’s federal bureaucracy starting a war of aggression against Iraq in 1991. The interventionists couldn’t stand the idea of the Soviets’ collapse meaning there was no Big Enemy as an excuse to continue fattening the bank accounts of the banksters and the National Security State. So they had to go overseas in search of monsters (to create) to destroy. At some point during those years WRKO added Rush Limbaugh, and Howie Carr replaced Jerry Williams in 1994. I can’t believe that Carr is still there.
In the old days of great talk radio, the hosts had actual talent, class and some level of modesty or humility. There were actual dialogues between callers and the hosts and guests. Just hear any of these shows with Jerry Williams, from the early 1960s through the 1990s. And Gene Burns and David Brudnoy got into very serious, probing discussions either with guests or just by themselves with callers. And they did include callers a lot more, and not just those callers who agreed with them but also callers on the other side.You can get “serious” discussions today, but mainly on NPR — and in those cases any inclusion of a non-statist point of view is a no-no, that’s for sure.
But now on talk radio it’s mainly just the host blathering away, and when they do take calls mainly it’s with someone who agrees with the host. God forbid a non-statist calls in to these shows. If it’s not a regular old “moonbat” to just brush off as being a welfare recipient or “trust-fund liberal” and hang up on them, what really scares these ditto-heads is someone who challenges statism, the theft of taxation and the immoral military’s aggressions overseas, and someone who advocates real private property, free markets and freedom of association consistently. They say that’s “crazy.”
I think the decline just reflects how our culture has declined, along with the rise in authoritarianism and collectivism. People who oppose government interventionism are “isolationists,” even though the real isolationists are the national statists who support policies of government aggressions which anger the victims of the aggressions, and policies of economic restrictions, barriers and embargoes, all these government-imposed policies which do nothing but “isolate” the American people. When Ron Paul says eliminate trade restrictions, lift the Cuban embargo, let Americans trade with whichever foreigners they want, get rid of the income tax, etc., that’s “crazy.”
Another thing with the current talk show hosts on WRKO is that they are not in touch with reality, regarding their view of the politicians of the day. For instance, Jeff Kuhner was going on and on about the “RINO” Republican governor Charlie Baker, who is a far-left socialist pol, and a hack as I have written previously. Kuhner was upset when Baker’s communications director, Tim Buckley, gave an interview to the Atlantic for its article on Baker, with Buckley stating that the Baker campaign in last year’s election told the Republican Party “Screw you” regarding the GOP’s (and Kuhner’s) anti-immigrant tirades. And the context was mainly regarding the conservatives’ irrational stance against free immigration, but Kuhner took that “Screw you” as referring to everything the GOP stands for. Kuhner stated that Baker can expect a snub from Kuhner during the 2018 reelection campaign.
Sorry, I beg to differ. When 2017-18 comes around, Kuhner will be on the Baker reelection train, right there with Charlie and supporting him every step of the way, regardless of Kuhner’s disagreeing with Baker on just about everything. It’s that “R” that matters. We have to support that “lesser of two evils,” and all that stuff. And I’m bringing this up because these talk radio personalities live in some sort of fantasy world of wishful thinking. Kuhner talks as though Baker will become more conservative. Charlie will see the light, sooner or later. During the 2007 Presidential election, conservative talk radio host Jay Severin was just like that in his sickeningly drooling support of Mitt Willard Romney. I’ll bet Romney was embarrassed when Severin would introduce him as the next “Mount Rushmore President” of the United States.
These talk radio conservatives keep supporting Romney, Scott Brown and now Charlie Baker even though they already knew that these are people who support the welfare state just as much as Democrats (but “managing it more efficiently,” i.e. better rearranging the deck chairs), and believe in “global warming” and “climate change” carbon taxes, etc., etc. These radio people in Massachusetts are living in denial of the truth that Massachusetts, the state in which the people voted 70-30% against cutting and eventually ending the state income tax, will never be a non-tax-parasite state. The last true conservative was the GOP’s nominee for U.S. Senate against John Kerry in 1984, Ray Shamie. That was 30 years ago. In 1990 left-wing Republican Bill Weld was elected governor. Actual conservatives just will not get elected to any state-wide office in Taxachusetts, but these talk radio hosts waste soooo much time and energy discussing their wishful thinking. But it’s not just their unwillingness to accept these GOP socialists for what they are, it’s part of Americans’ general problem with having faith in their politicians. Americans do not want to accept the fact that politicians do not have the same kind of view of you as you have of others.
Besides their not living in the real world, these conservative talk radio hosts are also just very narrow-minded and hypocritical in their views. Most recently, Kuhner was making fun of this high school student who refused to stand up to say the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag in school, with Kuhner calling her a “moron” and saying that she was “indoctrinated.” What these ultra-nationalists don’t seem to understand is that, no, the Pledge of Allegiance is not a show of “patriotism” or “love of country,” but a show of obedience to the government. It is a loyalty oath. And we’re not talking about loyalty to America, or to our fellow countrymen no matter what excuses I hear from these ultra-nationalists, we’re talking about loyalty to the government. Kuhner, his callers and some of the commenters on that article are the ones who are “indoctrinated” in their statist authoritarianism, their not wanting to allow any questioning of the government’s authority and their wanting to shut down dissent. And of course Kuhner never put it that way, but that is my interpretation of his mocking, insulting and berating this student and her point of view in criticism of the government. (Funny how Kuhner at one time had joined other talk radio hosts in mocking the little kids reciting the “Pledge of Allegiance to Obama” and criticizing the idiocy and collectivist nature of Common Core! Talk about hypocrites!)
As the late Jerry Williams, the late Gene Burns, and the late David Brudnoy mentioned frequently on their great shows, America was founded upon the principles of individualism, freedom of thought and belief, freedom of conscience and that right to express it, and the right to dissent. The perception of a flag as a symbol is a subjective matter. To some people it symbolizes freedom and peace, but to others it symbolizes the U.S. government’s fascism (e.g. ObamaCare), its wars of aggression overseas, its intrusions on civil liberties, the TSA, etc., etc. Unfortunately today’s “conservatives” want to impose their fantasy of the flag as representing “freedom” onto everyone else, just as they want to impose onto others their personal view of what a “marriage” should be by the force of law.
The early Americans did not hide their anti-authoritarianism. But in America now the rise in nationalism, authoritarianism and collectivism has been negating those principles, and it is coinciding with the decline in critical thinking skills, and dwindling respect for those with dissenting points of view.