Sunday, September 19, 2010

A Gift From The Talk Radio Gods

She’s like a sound-bite machine, this young woman who won the Republican primary in Delaware, where Joe Biden’s seat is up for grabs. Christine O’Donnell is a tea party darling, and will soon light up the phone lines on radio and TV talk shows all over the nation.

She’s red meat for the talk machine.

Friday evening on talker Ed Schultz’s MSNBC show, Ed and top national talk radio consultant Holland Cooke had a laugh-out-loud session about O’Donnell’s victory speech, and Cooke predicted O’Donnell will soon be the darling of the radio/TV talk shows, not only because she’s a fairly good speaker and an attractive person, but because she says the most unusual things.

Later Friday evening, on Bill Maher’s HBO show “Real Time”, he played a previously un-aired 1999 clip from his old “Politically Incorrect” TV show, where O’Donnell was a frequent guest. In the clip she talks about having dabbled with witchcraft! This is the kind of stuff that talk show hosts live for. Maher promised he’d play a previously un-aired clip from O’Donnell until she appears on his HBO show.

She backed out of a scheduled appearance on the CBS Sunday talk show “Face the Nation” with a terse e-mail offering no explanation. It reminds me of the old William F. Buckley Jr. line “Why does baloney reject the grinder?” At least O’Donnell’s new handlers (her old ones have been trashing her left and right the past few days) are smart enough to keep her away from reputable national public affairs shows, lest she repeat the Sarah Palin stumble with Katie Couric.

O’Donnell talks about how scientists have cloned mice with fully-functioning human brains, and has some very….interesting….views on what pornography is. This stuff is just as good as Arizona Governor Jan Brewer’s stories about headless torsos buried in the Arizona desert.

O’Donnell hasn’t memorized her stump speech yet, which engendered a few “TelePrompTer” remarks from Ed Schultz and Holland Cooke Friday evening, but like Palin, she’ll master it soon enough. However, O’Donnell seems to be the type who will quite quickly go “off the reservation” with off-the-cuff comments. She just LOVES to speak to crowds, and has made no secret of her ambitions in that arena.

Maybe, as with Palin, if her handlers can keep her away from the Sunday public affairs shows and Bill Maher, Ed Schultz, Chris Matthews, and Keith Olbermann, O’Donnell will have enough Tea Party steam to put her over the top in Delaware. Fox News will make sure she gets plenty of fair and balanced coverage.

Meantime, fasten your seat belts….it’s going to be a bumpy ride!


  1. Umnnhhh...

    Her opponent never met a tax increase he didn't LOVE--and from one report, he's also a very nasty player if you cross him.

  2. Colonel,

    I don't really care one way or the other, you understand, but help me out here. I don't listen to talk radio very much because it wears on me; particularly the raised voices almost shouting down callers to the shows. TV talk shows haven't ever been on my horizon, except for brief clips that I've seen over the years...but those are worse from what I've seen because there are several people squabbling at once.

    The putative purpose of the Olbermanns, O'Reillies, Matthews, and Hannities (is it proper to pluralize Irish names like that?) is to give a victim -- I mean, a candidate -- the chance to express his or her views in a question and answer format. The hoped-for objective is to make the interviewee look like a fool. That builds ratings.

    Have I got the objectives basically right? I mean it's clear that when a talk show host is sympathetic or supportive of a political guest that you don't see or hear the squabbling and the gotcha! contests. If the host is sympathetic he'll always ask tough questions in a soothing way and he'll generally (though it's pretty much in the talk show host's contract to interrupt guests if their answers are more than three seconds long) let the guest speak his piece.

    Unsympathetic hosts treat their guests somewhat differently. The only exception I've ever heard was when Dennis Miller interviewed Cindy Sheehan when she was running against Nancy Pelosi in '08 (I think that's right...let me check...yup! Thank Al for the GoreNet!) and he "gave her a pass" because of the death of her son in Iraq.

    So "red meat for the talk machine" is exactly right and so is Buckley's quote (excellent find, by the way). It's sort of like having a personal Colisseum in your car with the talk radio "lions" dismembering the opposing political candidate "Christians".

    I wonder whether some of us don't dream that Steve Allen's old short story, "The Public Hating", were true in real life. The story detailed the final minutes of a convicted criminal's life in some future society that had resurrected the Colisseum for public executions. They converted Yankee stadium for the purpose. The condemned man was immobilized in the middle of the arena and an emcee whipped up the passions of the crowd against him. Instead of hurling stones, though, the people in the crowd focused all of their hatred on the poor blighter. He died horribly.

    Anyway, throw 'em some more red meat!

    The Town Crank

  3. Mr. Town Crank - I think you're pretty close on the purpose of the Hannity's, O'Reilley's, Chris Matthews fawns over certain interviewees; dissects others. Rush doesn't interview anyone, and, I agree that talk radio does so terribly WEAR on you, not simply because of the raw emotion, but because of the banality of it all.

  4. 4.In the last four months Jan Brewer has been caught lying, three times and counting.

    The comments made on June 16, 2010, and June 27, 2010, clearly indicates that the Brewer says that immigrants are beheading people in the United States desert. She first ran away from the question and the press when confronted with the question. She finally when to FOX/ FAKE News to recant her lie.

    When Brewer was confronted with the fact the two of her top Advisors (Paul Senseman, Chuck Coughlin) are lobbyist for “Private Prisons” giant CCA she first ran away from the question and the press.

    In an attempt to gain sympathy, she first said her father had died in Germany fighting the Nazi in World War II (which ended 1945) but of course we find out the truth that her father was never in Germany and died in California in 1955. Do you see a trend here?

    Brewer signed into law SB 1070 Bill (Did she even read it?), lied about the crime rates in AZ (even Janet Napolitano knows that all crimes rates went down), and now we find out that she is in the pockets of PRIVATE PRISONS who stand to benefit with the increase Federal jailing, and thus they will pay her back, I wonder if it has to do anything about the fact that her son was transferred to a brand new prison, he was convicted for rape and sexual assault, I guess the fruit does not fall far the tree.

    “Private Prisons Lie”

    “AZ Crime Rates”

    “Father Lie”

  5. Christine O’Donnell’s “dabbling in witchcraft” admission is not the disturbing part. It is that she believes witchcraft exists. That’s something she shares with her political mentor, Sarah Palin, who is an ardent admirer of Thomas Muthee, an evangelical Christian preacher whose claim to fame is having driven a witch out of a Kenyan village.

    Ms. O’Donnell says “we are having weekly shootings” in schools ever since the evil, activist U.S. Supreme Court booted prayer out of public schools. (Actually schools are prohibited from sponsoring religious observances such as daily prayer. Prayer itself is not forbidden while at school. The whole issue has its roots in a Wisconsin proceeding known as the Edgerton Bible Case. See Weiss v. District Board (1890). But I digress.

    In Ms. O’Donnell’s view, integrating women into the military cripples our national defense because women are distracting to men who are being trained to kill or be killed.

    She believes (possibly with some accuracy) that nude sunbathing by women leads men to lust. The Bible says that’s a bad thing. She also draws a connection between date rape and going to school in a bikini. I’m not sure where that practice has become a problem. I doubt it is common in Delaware.

    Ms. O’Donnell could make common cause with her Nevada counterpart, Sharron Angle, who keeps talking about using “Second Amendment remedies to take out Harry Reid.” She mentioned it again just the other day.

    Ms. Angle, whose stump speech portrays her candidacy as a call from God, says her platform is based on faith and trust, not hope and change. She casts the campaign in military terms, and sometimes gets carried away by her own rhetoric, even as she admits she has no idea what she’ll do if she is somehow elected: “When I talk about a war and a battle and soldiers we have to take up our…our cry for freedom. And we can do it right now at the battle box… I mean at the ballot box. I’m not sure what continues on after 2010.”

    These ladies owe a debt to Rep. Michele Bachmann (what is the matter with those Minnesota folks, who keep re-electing her?) who has blamed swine flu on the Democrats and says there’s no evidence carbon dioxide is a harmful gas, even though it is in the process of turning our climate into something akin to Venus.

    Actually it is our reckless creation of an overabundance of the unbreathable stuff that is the problem. But there I go again.

    Ms. Bachmann says teenagers should pay employers for the privilege of working and says the biggest obstacle to full employment is the minimum wage law.

    No, really. Here, standing firm for exploitation, is the Bachmann view: "Literally, if we took away the minimum wage — if conceivably it was gone — we could potentially virtually wipe out unemployment completely because we would be able to offer jobs at whatever level."

    Now there’s a change we could do without.

  6. Hieronymous,

    >> In Ms. O’Donnell’s view, integrating women into the military cripples our national defense because women are distracting to men who are being trained to kill or be killed. <<

    You reminded me of another view of women in the military I saw during the U.S. invasion of Panama to take out Manuel Noriega. That was the first time, apparently, that women were used in combat roles.

    Some syndicated columnist -- I think it was Cal Thomas, but don't quote me -- said that he thought that putting women into the front lines wasn't a very good idea. This was his reasoning:

    When men fight it's like two furry animals going at each other. Lots of claws and teeth and the fur flies. But then one of them comes out dominant, the fighting stops, and they go and have a beer.

    When women fight it's like two gila monsters. Limbs wrenched out of their sockets, eyes gouged out, hunks of flesh -- well, you get the idea. The fighting doesn't end until one of them is dead, dead, dead.

    The columnist thought that that unseemly ferocity on the part of the fair sex had no place on the front lines.

    As to your other points, well, reasonable people may disagree with you.

    The Town Crank