Monday, March 12, 2007

Michael Medved?

I saw an interesting bumper sticker today for KSDO radio, which I used to listen to many years ago. So I tuned over there, but it’s become a Spanish station, which is of limited value to me. Next up the dial from that used to be a rock station, but it’s changed to talk radio. All these stations that aren’t on my push buttons are unknown to me now.

The talk show host on this second station was unfamiliar to me. First he was talking about the ACLU in Florida going after a monument to the Ten Commandments recently placed on public land. He was speaking as if that’s such a bizarre thing to do. Doesn’t he know that the Supreme Court ruled against the Ten Commandments in Kentucky two years ago? Of course they also ruled for the Ten Commandments in Texas at the same time. The Florida monument sounds like the Texas one, but one reason the Texas one was allowed was that it had been there for 40 years. Will putting up brand new monuments in order to stand tall for God be as acceptable? The courts will decide.

This talk show host said nothing about that. He said this monument is certainly not an establishment of religion. So why not let the courts say that? Well, it’s because the courts might not say that, isn’t it? They might find that this monument is illegal, because it’s being placed for religious purposes, to further religion, which the Supreme Court says is indeed part of establishing religion and therefore prohibited in the United States. Who is a talk show host to say otherwise? He’s most likely just another guy. Isn’t it interesting how in the US the opinion of just another guy can trump any expert on any topic, as long as the listener goes along with that?

So who is this particular talk show host? I still didn’t know. I listened to him go on about how important religion has been to the US. To point out how much better our religion has been to us than others have been he brought up the story of how a Mayan religious leader is going to cleanse a temple in Guatemala after George Bush visits. What a “dysfunctional” society that was, says our host. Well, OK, compare Mayan human sacrifice with torture and burning that European religion carried out. I’m not sure which one I’d choose. I know good things about Christianity. That’s why I’m a liberal Christian. I don’t know what good things there might have been to the Mayan religion or why they feel the need to purify their temple after George Bush. If that’s about a duality between the sacred and the profane, I reject that, but I reject that in Christianity, too.

What is the point here? It sounded like, “How dare they say our President is unclean?” Well, that’s what sacredness is like everywhere people find it important. Doesn’t this guy know anything?

Finally he said his name. This was the Michael Medved Show. Michael Medved? I know Michael Medved. I used to watch him 30 years ago on PBS when he and Jeffrey Lyons replaced Siskel & Ebert on their original show. Medved might have even been the one on that show whose taste in movies was more like mine. I knew he had become a conservative voice in bashing Hollywood from time to time, but I didn’t realize he was making a career out of a full range of conservative propaganda. Yes, he is.

And his qualifications? Why, they’re just like everyone else’s. He is blessed with a pleasant voice. He usually speaks in sentences. And there’s something in him that lets him say conservatives are right and liberals are wrong. Evidence regarding that is barely necessary.

This is politics in the US today. I keep thinking it must have been even worse in the 19th century, that modern political propaganda is a step up from portraying Abe Lincoln as an ape. Then again people are still people.

It’s up to the listeners. It’s like what I see in comments on blogs now. I see some popular blogs where very few comments challenge the star of the blog. It’s not that such challenges accomplish much. I’m sure Michael Medved can explain why he knows more than the Supreme Court on any case, just like any other pinhead on the subject. I don’t think it’s how opinionated the speaker is when it comes to how corrupt political propaganda is. It’s the listeners. If they want to believe that just another guy is smarter than the Supreme Court, then this will sustain that guy acting as if he’s smarter.

That’s not how I listen. A couple of my push buttons on AM are pretty shaky selections. If some radio station wanted to air talk that’s not mere propaganda, they’d have a shot at taking over one of my buttons. Michael Medved is not that. He really makes a living at this?

No comments: