Monday, April 26, 2004
This week’s Sunday paper ran this column by Gregory Stanford. I dislike Stanford; not because of his politics but because he’s so strident and dogmatic (last week’s column complained that the work crew down the street was all-white). But I read them anyway.
This column is in defense of liberal talk radio, but winds up being a criticism of (the rest of) commercial talk radio instead. “It's not so much the content as it is the rant that turns this liberal off to white commercial talk radio.” Note the emphasis (mine) – he uses this phrase three times. Replace ‘white’ with ‘conservative’ and you’ll know what he’s talking about.
He also dismisses the idea that public stations balance things out (I don’t listen to talk radio, so I’ll give him this one) on the grounds that conservative shows are so much more prevalent, and that public radio is not so one-sided. And then…
“Yet my thinking has evolved over the last two years, and I've now concluded that, in a way, public radio is liberal. The tags ‘liberal’ and ‘conservative’ reflect not just what you think but how you think, I've come to understand.”
“Liberals tend to view the world with open minds; conservatives tend to view the world with closed minds. Liberals like to hear all sides of an issue; conservatives like to hear just their side of an issue. Liberals like discussions; conservatives like rants.
In this context, the conservative charge that newspapers are liberal makes sense. Newspapers perform a liberal activity: namely, reporting all sides of an issue.
Yes, I'm oversimplifying. Some conservatives sport open minds; in other words, some conservatives think in a liberal style. At the same time, some liberals sport closed minds; in other words, some liberals think in a conservative style. What's more, many people think conservatively sometimes and liberally other times.
But as a rough rule, conservatives think conservatively, and liberals think liberally.”
I hear this kind of thing way too often. The people who have open rather than closed minds, the people who like to discuss rather than argue, the people who think the right way, are the ones who already agree with me.
Maybe he should start reading blogs. Of course he can’t do that in the car.
Leaving aside the question of what ‘conservative’ and ‘liberal’ really mean (perhaps a later post), here’s my problem. When bopping around the ‘sphere, I find a lot more bloggers who are what I would term conservative, and most of them are pretty reasonable. Blogging is a different medium, so maybe that accounts for it, but I’d like to find some liberal bloggers who are equally reasonable. Right now, I’m only aware of people like Kos and the nuts at Democratic Underground. So if you know of any, please pass them along.
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