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January 07, 2005

Air America

I've listened to the Bay Area affiliate of Air America for the past few weeks whenever I happen to be in the truck.

I'm going to make sure I'm never in the truck without the iPod when Randi Rhodes is on the air.

In the last week, I've heard her:

1) shout down and interrupt and talk over people who call in if she thinks they're disagreeing with her (even if they're not);
2) slam illegal immigrants for depressing wages for "real Americans,"
3) berate anyone who called in wanting to work on anything other than pushing the Ohio election abuse issue in Congress;
4) claim that having the House choose the President would "force a national discussion on election abuse" because the media would have to discuss it;
5) mentioned NAFTA as a good thing Clinton was able to accomplish before the 104th Congress started stonewalling him;
6) mentioned welfare reform as a good thing Clinton was able to accomplish before the 104th Congress started stonewalling him;
7) told each of her callers, after the (heroic) Boxer election challenge fizzled in the Congress and the media, that there was nothing any of us could do to fix the situation. No idea, no strategy, no program was worth trying.

This person is no progressive. She's not even a liberal. She's the Rush Limbaugh of the Lieberman set. I'll be restricting my listening to Al and Janeane and, well, anyone else but Rhodes from now on. What a putz.

Posted by Chris Clarke at January 7, 2005 02:09 PM TrackBack URL for this entry:

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Gah, Lieberman Democrats. Go join the GOP, already!

Posted by: Rana at January 7, 2005 04:30 PM
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I like Randi Rhodes, because I think liberals need a stridently on-the-fringe voice. And I think she can be funny at times, too.

Have you listened to Ed Schultz? For one thing, he sounds like Rush. I mean his voice, his inflections, are Rush-like upon first listen. I end up sorta unconsciously identifying him as the AntiRush. Unlike Rush, he doesn't screen his calls and he annoys me because he tends to cut people off too fast, but last night I had to laugh at his cutting off a conservative who called to say that torture was necessary and that he supported it. "You are no an American!" Schultz bellowed. "You're no American, Americans are better than that!"

Posted by: Vicki at January 8, 2005 12:17 PM
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I like fringe leftists quite a lot, seeing as I am one.

But Rhodes, seems to me, is on the rightmost fringe of the left, pretty much in a spot that could have got her hired by the Nixon administration.

Posted by: Chris Clarke at January 8, 2005 12:39 PM
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Well, she identifies as a working-class girl from Brooklyn, ex-Army (? not sure which branch of the military) and very much a party loyalist. She was raging about Kerry absenting himself from the Senate on the day that the votes were certified, really raked him over the coals for the pacifist stand he's taking on the whole vote-count, electoral-reform issue. I tend to agree with her. Getting the Dems to agree on anything is (to use a very tired metaphor) herding cats, while the Republicans are goose-stepping along in perfect unison. We got nothin' if we don't develop a little unity. And she hammers on that theme, and since I agree with it, I find it easy to forgive some of her excesses.

Posted by: Vicki at January 8, 2005 04:37 PM
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I had not heard her positions on NAFTA or welfare reform -- but I disagree with them.

I have heard her cut off and argue with people who were AGREEING with her, and that's frustrating and annoying.

But I'm with Vicki: I like Randi Rhodes, despite her imperfections. I think she's very effective and gives the left the kind of strident, angry voice that has been the exclusive preserve of Republicans for too long. It's nice to hear a little outrage from the left for a change.

I definitely would not categorize her as "rightmost fringe of the left." She has been outspoken about the Patroit act, torture, and the entire Bush administration. She is far to the left of 99% of the Democratic party apparatchiks -- with the exception of the two issues you noted.

Give her another chance.

Posted by: -asx- at January 8, 2005 06:29 PM
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I'll second the recommendation for Ed Schultz. One reason that he sounds somewhat Rush-like is that he identifies as a former conservative... and yet, he's now a no-nonsense liberal voice. His show comes on here as I drive home from work each day, and I find it pretty compelling.

Posted by: the_bone at January 9, 2005 06:40 PM
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"A gun-totin', meat-eatin' lefty, and proud of it!" is Schultz's tagline.

But what I meant when I said the he sounds like Rush is that his voice sounds like Rush. After you've listened for a while, he sounds much less Rush-like; for one thing, he grew up in Virginia and some of the accent still lingers, and that's extremely un-Rush-like! But he's got the bluster and the bombast and love of hyperbole, and a similar timbre and pitch...

Sort of the AntiRush.

Posted by: Vicki at January 10, 2005 10:50 AM
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boy do you have randi pegged. i turned her off a month or so ago. the others are right about ed. but he has a tendency to talk over people sometimes, too. and then there's mike malloy. he's the late nighter on air america here in denver. mike's hung his toes over the edge so long he's lost his mind. really. but, then, anyone who is regularly awake at 3:00 am (like me) is a bit off, i suppose.

Posted by: ric at January 10, 2005 11:12 PM
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