I’ll be honest: I don’t care for most political talk shows, be they radio-based or otherwise.
I do watch The Daily Show With Jon Stewart and The Colbert Report, but that’s mostly due to the fact they’re pretty funny as well as informative. The fact that they’re only a half-hour long each helps as well; I can’t imagine sitting down and listening to someone pontificate for an hour or more every day about their opinion. I’d prefer to be informed, which is why I prefer to simply browse the net through various news sources rather than sit and listen to one single person go on telling me what they think.
I suppose it doesn’t help, either, when the majority of political talk pundits out there are conservative. I definitely lean towards liberal ways of thinking, especially when it comes to social issues. It’s not that I don’t want to hear what the other side believes, mind. It’s that the arguments sometimes come off as so wrong that it’s like nails on a chalkboard. Besides which, the opinions of these people frequently hit the news, so it’s not as if I don’t hear it anyway. :-)
However, I was content to just let all that be, until I saw a blog post on the Houston Chronicle talking about Bill Maher and his reaction to teenaged conservatives who already have radio shows and books. That in itself surprised me; I remember myself at 14, and still cringe to this day about how I would say whatever I thought and believed… and find out later how wrong I was shortly after. The article posted an example of one such teen conservative, Caiden Cowger, talking about homosexuality.
(Warning: this video is rage-inducing.)
To be blunt, I almost wanted to pull a Kevin Spacey Lex Luthor only 15 seconds in, and scream, “WRONG!!!!!!”
His entire attitude is that homosexuality is a choice (I don’t know many gay friends who would have chosen the hell they got from people), that he is being discriminated against because he cannot tell gays they’re abominations and going to Hell (gay people have freedom of religion too), and that President Obama is making people gay (more like making it safer for gays to come out). I actually felt embarrassed for this kid as he spouted off, clearly not knowing what he was talking about, instead letting his disgust of homosexuals guide what he was saying.
However, the problem as illustrated by Bill Maher is a bit more severe. I was watching Cowger talk, and it occurred to me that the way he was speaking, the arguments he was using, and such reminded me very much of when I would hear Rush Limbaugh or Bill O’Reilly. At that point, I became less embarrassed for the kid (who is too young to know better) and more for the adults, simply because I realized they sounded like young trolls.
As Maher succinctly put it in the clip above, “When fourteen year old boys sound exactly like you do, and can produce radio shows and books and speeches that sound exactly like yours, maybe you should rethink the shit that’s coming out of your mouth.”
To be brutally honest, if I want to see arguments and discussions like those of teenagers, I’d spend more time reading Mortal Kombat forums, as the fanbase tends to have an average age of 16 or so. I didn’t take much part in the forums when I ran Mortal Kombat Online, so I don’t see things changing anytime soon.
Ah, well. I’ll stick to what I have been doing. If other people like to listen to pundits go on for hours on end, that’s their prerogative; I’m more interested in the facts and developing my own opinions from that than listening to other people’s opinions.
One thought on “Punditry so simple, even a teenager can do it…”
I sat through his whole diatribe a couple weeks ago (atheist link through g+). There were so many ways he was wrong and there were so much hate in the comments that I felt I could not reach this kid to counter-point him. He was annoying to the point that I could barely stomach the hate speech. And he was so all over the place I wasn’t quite sure where to begin. Let alone get it in less than 300 words.
What’s sad is that I watched one of Maher’s programs last week. And while it was enjoyable here and there, he also kind of felt like a 14 year old. All over the map with ideas and arguments and nya-nya poopy-face commentary. I think it says a lot that’s wrong with the information choices in this country when the best information we can get is out of comedy duos and rss feeds.
As far as Rush goes, I’ve even felt like I could side with him a few times I was stuck listening to him. Not on everything. But he’d bring up a good point (e.g. you can’t spend your way out of a recession let’s say), but then he’d just keep talking. And that’s the problem I have with Maher and other talk show politics. They have this nugget of a good idea, no way to implement it, and then they keep talking. So much so, that their foot is firmly implanted in their mouth by the time they stop for breath -as much as I’m sure mine will be by the end of this heh-.
I have to agree though, if you’re championing someone whose balls haven’t even dropped you should reconsider your position. Don’t you remember what it was like to be that age? Haven’t you met one kid that sounded like you? Don’t you cringe when they do? I can’t imagine an ego stroke would be better than the realization that your line of thinking is coming from someone who hasn’t figured out how to pay for a mortgage.
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