Thursday, January 07, 2010

On Sick Talk Radio Hosts

It has been reported that Melanie Morgan has left her syndicated radio program due to health issues.

Rush Limbaugh recently had chest pains while in Hawaii.

Following the events people made comments. Then the hosts commented on the comments.

The comments are used by the hosts to judge the character of the people commenting. It is very easy to find nasty comments to support your view that the left is heartless and mean. But you won't find me rejoicing over someone's illness, that's not who I am.

We have been judging the character of the hosts based on what they have been saying for years. I'm often astonished how many people on the left still give the right wing hosts the benefit of the doubt when it comes to their violent and hateful comments. I can point to many mean-spirited comments these hosts have made over the years. Comments where they wish physical harm to befall others. Like the time Morgan said, "Hang 'em!" about the news media who wrote stories on the Treasury department program to track terrorist financial data. [ audio link]

The editors Ms. Morgan wanted dead included Wall Street Journal reporter Glenn Simpson who wrote the June 23, 2006 story on the topic. Of course Morgan now has been advised by her lawyer to pretend she never said that. They have her repeat a comment about Bill Keller and include the phrase, "If tried and convicted." Calling for journalists to be lynched without a trial is not cool.

When I play them those clips they often say, "It's all an act. They don't really believe what they are saying. They are just doing it for money." Why do they say that? I think it is because they don't want to believe that someone could be that nasty without an incentive. It also has to do with a point of view where people are basically good and if they are doing bad things there is a reason (not always a good reason, but a reason none-the-less).

One characteristic of the left is empathy. It is a trait that many right-wing authoritarians lack. They have turned empathy into a weakness. Especially empathy for those outside of your immediate tribe.

People who suffer from certain health related issues often say, 'I wouldn't wish this on my worst enemy." That is human empathy in action. What is interesting (in an almost pathological way) is how expressions of empathy are dismissed in the race to find comments that support the X v. Y narrative.

Empathy for others on the left has been used as a club by the right to marginalize us. What they don't get is that empathy is a great strength. What is especially sick and bizarre is when people on the Right who call themselves Christians reject attempts to see others as our neighbors. Anne Lamott said it best, "You know you have created God in your image when He hates all the same people you do."

All this talk about empathy doesn't mean that I don't still push back against the violent rhetoric, bigotry and mendacity on the right. But having someone drop out of the picture because of unrelated heath reasons is a bit like an un-earned run. Then there is self-caused health reasons.

Rush lost his hearing in 2001. We don't know the real reason since the stated reason, "hearing loss resulting from autoimmune inner ear disease," or AIED is very similar to hearing loss from drug use. There were allegations that Limbaugh had abused one of the drugs previously identified as causing hearing loss. Do you think that Limbaugh would use the system to purposely hide the true cause of his hearing loss? Of course he would. And if anyone in the media actually asked him some real questions and he gave some real answers we would know the truth. But Hollywood celebrity rules apply to right-wing talk radio hosts.

What the future holds will be interesting. We know that because of privacy laws people don't have to tell the truth about health issues. I'm fine with that. However, if we find out that someone is using "health challenges" to cover other significant reasons I think we can learn even more about the character of all the people involved.


Blogger Graham Firchlis said...

In a post on this topic I suggested you'd be happy to see her off the air, as am I. Even an unearned run is a keeper.

I don't wish her or anyone else ill, and as I wrote I hope she not only recovers but in the process recognizes what a force for evil she has been and repents. If I've misestimated your feelings, let me know and I'll amend the post.

11:32 PM  
Blogger libhom said...

I have no empathy for Rush, and I'm ashamed to say it.

10:32 AM  
Blogger Rich said...

I thought Melanie quit to spend more time with her family!

8:22 PM  
Blogger mharris28 said...


My name is Barbara O’ Brien and my blogging at The Mahablog, Crooks and Liars, AlterNet, and elsewhere on the progressive political and health blogophere has earned me the notoriety of being a panelist at the Yearly Kos Convention and a featured guest blogger at the Take Back America Conference in Washington, DC.

I’m contacting you because I found your site in a prominent political and health care site search and want to tell you about my newest blogging platform —the public concern of health care. Our shared concerns include health reform, public health, safe workplaces, and asbestos contamination.

To increase awareness on these important issues, my goal is to get a resource link on your site or even allow me to provide a guest posting. Please contact me back, I hope to hear from you soon.


Barbara O’ Brien

9:36 AM  
Blogger jurassicpork said...

Speaking of disappearing talent, now that Jon Swift is gone, who will host Blogroll Amnesty Day?

2:42 PM  
Blogger Metro said...

Heya, Spocko. Long time no see.

The best I wish for any of these disgusting losers is that they should be done by as they wish others might.

If that includes that porcine cigar-fellating prick Limpbaugh keeling over of a coronary, then so be it.

5:34 PM  
Blogger didi said...

逼真按摩棒,振動按摩棒 ,

5:49 AM  

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