Thursday, July 02, 2009

Lamenting “Polarization” With Bernie, Smerky And Irv

I really didn’t have a lot to say about the passing of local radio personality Irv Homer (pictured) last week except for a brief mention at the end of another post, but intrepid Philadelphia Daily News columnist Michael Smerconish had some words on the subject in his column today.

Homer held court on radio station WWDB in these parts, among other employment locations. And it was not uncommon for us in the Doomsy household to put the station on in the morning (we’re talking about the late ‘90s here) for news with Gil Gross and Pat Farnack, with Irv coming on at midday. After that, the lineup often changed, with a pair of talkers named Jay and Hilarie (?) followed by Kent Voss and Dr. Jim (God rest him). So basically, I can vouch for Smerky here when he says that Homer went back and forth between conservative and liberal viewpoints, being true to what he was, and that was a libertarian.

All of that went up in smoke the day before the 2000 presidential election, when Beasley Broadcasting bought the station and changed the format (one of many times) to all-80s hits (or, as I always tell the missus, you just can’t get enough of A Flock Of Seagulls – and I always wondered about the timing of that change).

And I probably would not have another word to say about any of this were it not for the fact that Smerky then used this as an excuse to note his recent conversation with one Bernard Goldberg (former CBS News correspondent and pathological liar), in which he tells us…

"What we have in this country is we have people who hang on every word" that people like Rush Limbaugh and Keith Olbermann say, Goldberg told me. The problem with that, he continued, is that "regular folks have now confused cable television with real life." They think America really is as divided as a split-screen TV - far from the truth, Goldberg noted.

And it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. Listeners and viewers become so dependent on the labels and ideology that they block out any personality or any show that doesn't fit neatly into one box or the other. Politicians and candidates for office play the game to get their name in the paper or on the on-screen graphic.

The shame of it is that these 24/7 split-screen kerfuffles serve only to shut down the important debates the country could be having on the important issues of the day. The end result is the snuffing out of nonpartisanship in this country.
Cue the tinny-sounding violin someone, please (as if either Goldberg OR Smerky would have a clue about “regular folks”).

Gee, I wonder if the reason why Goldberg lumped in K.O. with Flush Limbore here is that Olbermann busted Goldberg on taking a question from Charlie Rose to Tom Brokaw in an interview the former conducted with the latter, taking a completely different answer from Brokaw to another question and clipping the quote to boot, and putting them both together to make it sound like Brokaw was agreeing with Rose that “there’s a lot we don’t know” about Obama here?

Also, how sad is it that Goldberg ducked an interview with CNN’s Howard Kurtz, of all people (backgrounder here), here after Goldberg accused Kurtz of “being in the tank” for Obama?

And for more Bernard Goldberg nonsense, here is his claim that “left wingers” “threw Oreo cookies” at RNC chairman Michael Steele, and here is another bogus charge that neither Hillary Clinton nor Barack Obama, when they were running for president last year, condemned the “General Betray Us” MoveOn ad.

And as far as Goldberg’s book about the 100 people who are supposedly “screwing up America” (from 2005, with new Minnesota Senator Al Franken at number 37, I believe), this review from The Boston Globe tells us as follows…

In a similar vein, if Democratic Senators Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts and Robert Byrd of Virginia are ''screwing up America," hasn't Representative Tom DeLay (R-Texas) contributed at least a little? What about Representative Dan Burton (R-Indiana), the far-right conspiracy buff who once shot a pumpkin in his backyard to reenact the supposed murder of Clinton aide Vince Foster -- and has joined forces with the loony left to propagate the dangerous canard that vaccines cause autism?

And if Goldberg is going to throw the book at leftist academics, writers, and pundits who were quick to blame America for the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, it's odd that evangelical ministers Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson, who asserted that we brought it on ourselves by angering God with secularism, feminism, abortion, and gay rights, are let off the hook.
It’s also funny how we never heard the whining from Smerky and his pals about America being as “divided as a split-screen TV” when the Repugs just about wrecked our country when they were in charge from 2001 through 2006, isn’t it?

And it’s sad that Irv Homer can no longer “take to the mic” once more to say those very words, which I’m quite sure he would.

Update: God, is Kurtz a mess (here).

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