Paglia: pols as dump dogs and the fairness doctrine

From Camille Paglia‘s latest:

Money by the barrelful, by the truckload. Mountains of money, heaped like gassy pyramids in the national dump. Scrounging packs of politicos, snapping, snarling and sending green bills flying sky-high as they root through the tangled mass with ragged claws. The stale hot air filled with cries of rage, the gnashing of teeth and dark prophecies of doom.

Yes, this grotesque scene, like a claustrophobic circle in Dante’s "Inferno," was what the U.S. government has looked like for the past two weeks as it fights on over Barack Obama’s stimulus package — a mammoth, chaotic grab bag of treasures, toys and gimcracks. Could popular opinion of our feckless Congress sink any lower? You betcha!

 

Politicians as dump dogs.  This gal can write.  

Moving along …

Speaking of talk radio (which I listen to constantly), I remain incredulous that any Democrat who professes liberal values would give a moment’s thought to supporting a return of the Fairness Doctrine to muzzle conservative shows. (My latest manifesto on this subject appeared in my last column.) The failure of liberals to master the vibrant medium of talk radio remains puzzling. To reach the radio audience (whether the topic is sports, politics or car repair), a host must have populist instincts and use the robust common voice. Too many Democrats have become arrogant elitists, speaking down in snide, condescending tones toward tradition-minded middle Americans whom they stereotype as rubes and buffoons. But the bottom line is that government surveillance of the ideological content of talk radio is a shocking first step toward totalitarianism.

I don’t think it is puzzling that libs can’t get traction in talk radio.

They don’t propose anything normal people want to hear.

I recall the debacle and wasted money that resulted from the official Church’s attempts to get into TV.  A certain unnamed episcopal conference forked over lots of dough only to watch it disappear in the breeze.  Why?  They made the content so banal, so pointless, that no one wanted to watch it. 

Real people want to engage something that corresponds to reality. 

Libs always ask you to deny reality, reject the evidence of your senses, including common sense.

Anyway… I bet the fairness doctrine is coming around the pike in the not too distant future. 

We had better get a better grasp on how to use the tools of social communication, friends. 

FacebookEmailPinterestGoogle GmailShare/Bookmark

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in SESSIUNCULA. Bookmark the permalink.

36 Responses to Paglia: pols as dump dogs and the fairness doctrine

  1. Scratch a lib, get a Stalinist. All libs are Stalinists, without exception. As my old Soviet Russia professor at St. John’s University (yes, Fr. Z, Collegeville) used to say, “Better you get called an ax murderer in the Soviet Union, than a right wing deviationist.” Under mature Stalinism, you were much better off being punished for the simple crime of ax murder than being punished for the far worse crime of incorrect political thought.

    Modern American libs are the same way. They don’t engage you in honest debate, they discredit you and insult you. Oppose racial quotas? You’re a racist. Oppose abortion? You are anti-woman. And so on. Who the hell wants to listen to that?

  2. Don Altabello says:

    “I recall the debacle and wasted money that resulted from the official Church’s attempts to get into TV. A certain unnamed episcopal conference forked over lots of dough only to watch it disappear in the breeze. Why? They made the content so banal, so pointless, that no one wanted to watch it.\”

    Whenever diocesan bureaucrats get their fingers in a good a decent Catholic enterprise, they screw it up seven ways to Sunday. Theology on Tap in the Ft. Wayne-South Bend diocese comes to mind. We had some 50 year old woman (who was also running youth ministry for a college in town) coming in and installing her own left wing friends to run the show. Once they started bringing in their own people, the program fizzled out. This happened under a conservative bishop too.

    Hate to say it, but some who are in authority in the Church need to take some basic management courses.

  3. Gil says:

    This rusty ole trad is sick of one-sided politics (just like VII newchurch), the so-called “conservative” talk radio in particular.
    I don’t see how any Christian (except those chained in the colliseum) would not want to hear the voices of those who see some political sort of things in the old way. A coin has two sides and the “conservatives” have nearly destroyed us. Sweet Jesus have mercy on me a sinner.
    Domine, ad adjuvandum me festina
    Gil Ferguson

  4. TomB says:

    Time to dust off the shortwave radio? Surely the government will try to capture the internet after it ruins talk radio. We need to start calling those in power what they are, because they are not liberals. True liberals would never go along with censorship, or most of what this government now attempts. But then, “liberal” no longer means what it did 50 years ago, either.

    We have a small group that meets every other week. Mostly Catholic discussion. They will have a hard time shutting down things like that, but they will try. Suddenly, the horrors of the Soviet Union coming to a neighborhood near you don’t seem so far-fetched. Will anyone live up to his oath of office and protect and defend the U. S. Constitution? We shall see.

    One more thought – is there enough wealth in all the world to finance the proposed U. S. spending?

  5. Jerry says:

    The landscape has drastically changed since the FD originated in 1949. Thousands of radio stations and the internet. If you have a message an audience wants to hear you can be successful. I find it hard to believe the Fairness Doctrine can survive constitutional muster.

    Of course there was a time when I found it hard to believe “The Wun” could be elected President!

  6. James II says:

    I do not know much about this particular topic, but I must state that there is no unqualified right to free speech. It always must be subject to the common good. Speech that is libellious, or inciteful should be proscribed. Blasphemous speech should be proscribed under severe penalties.

    As a European observer I find myself totally alienated when conversing with self-styled liberals or conservatives in the US. Catholics are required to follow the Social Teaching of the Church, not the party platform of the Republican Party.

  7. Steve K. says:

    Ah, but what kind of European observer, James II? English? German? French? Romanian? Estonian?

  8. Gil says:

    In spite of the “Wun”, our Saviour taught hope, unlke words of Rush Limbaugh who wants my country to fail. [not only is that conceptual leap weird, I think it doesn’t accurately convey Rush’s position… at least as I understand it.]
    This is true blasphamy. We need other views and ideas to be allowed to be heard , but sadly only the money only which control what we hear and see. Just look at the disasterous clamour over +Williamson, some truth, lots on ommissive truly informative speach. [wow… you need to apply that whole “think, then post” approach.]
    Pax et Bonum

  9. RANCHER says:

    Father the logical question is if what the liberals have to say does not appeal to “normal” people then why did 54% of U S voters cast their ballot for an arrogant elitist socialist baby killer? The election outcome would seem to tell us that normal Americans are now in the minority. I agree with your assessment of who the liberals are and what they do but my concern is they are now the “normal” ones in this society. What really alarms me is the speed at which they are proceeding to push the extreme left agenda on every front–the economy, socialized medicine (with all kinds of moral repercussions) further reduction in constraints on abortion, etc.

  10. Breier says:

    James II,

    The dispute over the Fairness Doctrine is about the suppression of political speech.

    The question comes down to whether you want the government, such as it is in a secularized pluralist society, forbidding your political speech under the pretext of the “common good.” While there may be “no right to error,” it is seriously dangerous giving a political body the power to determine that “you’re in error.” The end result is often not concerned with truth at all, but suppressing ideological or political enemies.

  11. RichR says:

    We had better get a better grasp on how to use the tools of social communication, friends.

    There’s always the internet and shortwave radio. I can’t see how either can be regulated to the point that communication becomes squashed.

  12. Breier says:

    Rancher,

    The answer to that is simple. Obama did not campaign as a liberal, but as a moderate that transcended politics.
    People never learned the reality of who they were voting for.

  13. Charlotte says:

    Despite all the negatives that Camille Paglia represents – liberal, pro-gay, pro-porn – she continues to be and always has been the one, true voice of reason when it comes to a liberal answering back to liberal insanity. Which is why most liberals and feminists hate her – she tells the truth. I have read many of her books and followed her for years. Consistently, she says it like it is – for example, despite the fact that she is gay, she continues to believe that arguments for a biological basis for homosexuality are complete nonsense. And despite the fact that she is an atheist, she has bemoaned for years the loss of the sense of mystery, history, and sacred that religion offers people. I once read a fabulous essay she wrote about the impact that a painting of Saint Girard had upon her as a child – what with the skull and all – and then the essay went on to decry how Catholic churches have turned into Protestant auditoriums. I love her viewpoints, and as a conservative Catholic, I have never had any issues with reading what she writes. Often times, she provides the ammo conservatives need to answer back to liberals.

  14. Steve K. says:

    Charlotte, I hear ya. I have always had respect for her and a soft place in my heart for her, despite her many ghastly views and lifestyle. She certainly is not lukewarm – she runs cold at the moment, but her honesty about what she believes is in marked contrast to most of her fellow travelers, so I believe that she can be reached. Thus I pray for her conversion. It is easier perhaps to convert someone who is pro-abortion and believes, like Paglia, that it is the deliberate killing of the weak to benefit the strong, than it is for those who have determined not to see the things they believe and so dehumanize babies in order to avoid the recognition that they are supporting (or engaging in) infanticide. Anyway, pray for Ms. Paglia.

  15. RBrown says:

    As a European observer I find myself totally alienated when conversing with self-styled liberals or conservatives in the US. Catholics are required to follow the Social Teaching of the Church, not the party platform of the Republican Party.
    Comment by James II

    What social teaching is ignored by Conservatism?

  16. David Andrew says:

    Gil,

    Be ashamed for invoking the name of Our Lord and in the same sentence engaging in the sin of calumny against Limbaugh.

    He’s never said that he wants the country to fail. None of us (who have a brain) want the country to fail! We all live here, we all have to live with the mistakes being made by the current administration. The suffering is going to be bad enough. Why would anyone HOPE for failure?

    This misrepresentation of what Limbaugh has said (along with others) is typical of the mischaracterizations made by the lefty-liberals who expect them to go unchecked, all the while gearing up for totalitarian suppression of free speech under the color of “fairness.”

    Shame, shame, shame.

  17. RBrown says:

    In spite of the “Wun”, our Saviour taught hope, unlke words of Rush Limbaugh who wants my country to fail.
    Pax et Bonum
    Comment by Gil

    That’s not what he said. He said he wanted Obama to fail.

  18. lmgilbert says:

    I saw that column and could not bring myself to recommend it to anyone, since it proceeds quickly from politics to pornography. She lavishes her lesbian attention on the bodies and costumes of various women and links to pornography. What does the column really say? “Turn in here, you who are simple…” It is a gateway to doom.

  19. RBrown says:

    This is true blasphamy. We need other views and ideas to be allowed to be heard , but sadly only the money only which control what we hear and see.
    Comment by Gil

    Limbaugh is on everywhere simply because a lot of people want to listen to him. Air American was a flop because not many people wanted to listen.

  20. Tomas says:

    I wonder why Paglia doesn’t even mention – unless this is covered under the generic term “economists” – the new Congressional Budget Office report, which says that the economy will begin to recover after mid-year WITHOUT a “stimulus package”? Not only that, it also says that a stimulus package will do long-term damage!

    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/feb/04/cbo-obama-stimulus-harmful-over-long-haul/

  21. RANCHER says:

    Liberals are, in theory but not practice, supposed to be understanding and tolerant. In observing Obama it is clear from his facial expressions, tone of voice, and body language that he is anything but understanding and tolerant of views other than his own. He manifests very obvious disgust, contempt, and intollerance for those who would dare to question him or disagree with him. It is clearly his way or else.

    There may be a long term benefit to Obama’s spoiled brat behavior and the long term may not take too long to get here. He’s pulled his angry/pout stuff with a couple of liberal media people who dared to ask politically incorrect (per the left’s standards) questions. If he keeps that up, and his personality tells me he will, his honeymoon with those who sold him to voters may just be over a lot sooner than he can imagine. His ego may yet get the best of him.

  22. Jason Keener says:

    Liberals keep talking about how unbalanced things are with all of the successful conservative talk radio. I wonder, though, why these same liberals never criticize the overwhelming lack of balance in network news and newspaper outlets. Have you ever seen a bunch so in the tank for someone as the network news is for Obama?

    Liberal talk radio is boring. It is boring because liberalism is an ideology that is bereft of good ideas. Have you ever tried to have an intelligent and principled conversation with a liberal about the natural moral law, gay marriage, or abortion? Liberals can often never get beyond their initial emotions and feelings about an issue to really focus in on the objective truth of a particular situation or issue. Many liberals do not even believe there is such a thing as objective truth.

    I don’t care much for the hypocrisy found among liberals either. Liberals claim they are so tolerant and open to diversity, but they are really only open to people who share their narrow worldview. For example, liberals will sometimes call conservatives “haters” and “bigots” just for having a principled stance against gay marriage. The liberal cannot move past his hatred of so-called bigotry to really objectively examine what the institution of marriage is and what marriage is for. Sad…

  23. ckdexterhaven says:

    My fellow WDTPRSers…. we are about to lose our country as we know it. I’m trying to maintain my calm, but the democrats in Washington are voting in pure communism/socialism this week. If you weren’t already, it’s time to get on your knees in prayer. St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle.

  24. TJM says:

    Camille Paglia, although admittedly liberal, is not a knee-jerk, limousine liberal, out of touch with reality and commonsense. She’s always
    refreshing to read because she can write AND criticize fellow liberals when they are mistaken. The Fairness Doctrine is nothing more than a disguise
    for suppressing conservative viewpoints. If the “Fairness Doctrine” were applied across the board, i.e. TV (ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, CNBC, BBC, Academia, etc., maybe I’d be in favor of it. As it is, conservatives one little outlet, talk radio, causes liberals sleepless nights and causes them to go into cold sweats. They
    should be ashamed of themselves. Tom

  25. TomB says:

    People never learned the reality of who they were voting for.

    This is true because of news media which lost all objectivity as well as voter fraud perpetrated by the American Communist Obama Reelection Network, or ACORN. Talk radio was the only place one could learn the truth about Obama (or such truth that was able to be discovered – we’re still waiting for a legitimate birth certificate). Remember the Obama campaign’s attempt to silence media that was critical of his policies? I think we can expect more of the same from his administration. Yes, they want to silence all effective opposition.

  26. shadrach says:

    Keynesian economics and infrastructural spending would do a world of good. Currently the degree of private wealth and public poverty here is appalling and immoral. People are engaging in crimes of necessity, stealing shampoo and meat… and that’s after eight years of ‘Conservative’ stewardship of the executive branch and financial policy. I don’t like Obama, but something needs to be done. The economy needs to be pump-primed; the stimulus package should probably be larger if anything. If Obama’s economic plan fails outright (and things are so bad that it won’t be a rosy success anytime soon) the amount of human misery it will cause will be horrendous. That human misery will lead to sin, it’s already leading to sin. By the way, it’s not unCatholic to think this way. And one does not become the member of a vast liberal conspiracy when one does. Saving capitalism from itself during a rough period is not communism.

  27. RANCHER says:

    Shadrach
    Try not to choke on the kool aid

  28. chironomo says:

    In spite of the “Wun”, our Saviour taught hope, unlke words of Rush Limbaugh who wants my country to fail.
    Pax et Bonum
    Comment by Gil

    That’s not what he said. He said he wanted Obama to fail.

    Actually, he said that if Obama is going to have the government take over banks, take over the airlines, and take over every other private industry they can get their hands on, then he hopes that he fails. Get that… if Obama measures “success” by having the government control everything, then he (Rush) hopes he fails. As do I…I do not want him to succeed in installing Socialism in the United States. Liberals can’t even criticize honestly…

    I agree totally that the Left is a failure on the air because their positions are uninteresting to begin with, predictable and indefensible. If a caller were to argue with them on a point, the host would have to just say… “Well, you’re just wrong”. Despite his reputation as always being “Right”, I have rarely ever heard Rush (or Hannity or Beck) be dismissive of a caller’s views (I say “rarely”). Instead, there is some discussion about why he differs with their views. Mark Levin… well he’s a different story….

    I listened ONCE to Air America. The show (don’t recall whose show it was) was mostly the two hosts re-affirming each other’s views, and arguing with a caller about why they were right and the caller was wrong. Is this what they think “conservative talk radio” is, and they’re trying to imitate it?

  29. TJM says:

    Actually, Shadrach, the economy started going bad in late 2006 when the Dems seized control of Congress and loons like Barney Frank were now in charge
    of our financial system. Remember that clown saying”what subprime crisis?” Taking money out of the private sector will only grow the public sector.
    Did you know that the government is the only major employer adding jobs? Now that may sound positive to you, and it certainly is for the folks getting the jobs, but it is the private sector that is the true engine of job creation and wealth long term. Government is an expense, a very, very expensive expense. If the present President and Congress were truly interested in growing the economy and jobs, instead of expanding their power, they would cut taxes across the board right now and let corporations and people decide where the spending priorities should be. By the way, our alleged “poor” are considered middle class in much of the world. I can’t fault you for your views because you receive daily indocrination from the left-wing media that sees the world in terms of class warfare and whose
    philosophy and policies are in total alignment with the Democratic Party. By the way, the media hates the Catholic Church too, so you have to wonder how trustworthy their views and reporting actually is. Tom

  30. shadrach says:

    Thank you TJM for your concerns about my indoctrination (honestly), but they’re misplaced; it’s an easy allegation to make. I could make it about you or Rancher (I could allege that Rush’s Kool-Aid, Bill’s Kool-Aid and Sean’s Kool-Aid are a much more heady brew) . The poor in the US are the most deprived and, indeed, the poorest and most demoralised I’ve ever met in a first world country. I’ve met quite a few poor people worldwide. I’m not batting for the Democrats, I’m just stating that the economy needs to be massively pump-primed and the horrifically broken financial system can’t save it on its own. This is not a zero-sum partisan game. The conservative and liberal media ARE parasites living off their consumers; each peddle a schlock form of patriotism (in the spirit of Douglas MacArthur/Joe MacCarthy or Woody Guthrie/ Susan Sontag) to the masses. But the realities of the economy and the horrors and misery it’s causing would exist even if the media did not. And that type of misery causes great evil and sin. There will still be a capitalist consensus after Obama’s measures.

  31. boredoftheworld says:

    “The poor in the US are the most deprived and, indeed, the poorest and most demoralised I’ve ever met in a first world country.”

    “The poor” live next door to me. They have gov’t subsidised housing, mobile phones, cable television and internet access and free healthcare, not to mention a hefty food subsidy. “The poor” are doing better than I am and I’m not demoralised and hadn’t actually considered myself deprived… until now. “The poor” have more disposable income than do I which is why “the poor”‘s kids have an xbox360 and my kids have some 15 year old k-mart knockoff thing, but they love it and play with it as often as allowed so I can’t see how it matters.

    When I say “the poor live next door” I’m not speaking in some abstract “I’m in solidarity with the poor” sense, I mean I’m looking at them right now, we’re waving at each other. She’s smiling, I’m smiling… her Obama commemorative plate came in the mail today.

    I hadn’t realized that the poor across the world lived in 9 room detached houses that sit on a half acre wooded lot with a river view, if that’s deprived and demoralised then sign me up!

  32. ckdexterhaven says:

    Shadrach, I’m a Catholic. Of course I have compassion for the poor. It is my duty to take care of the poor and practice the Corporal Works of Mercy. What I object to is the government acting as the middleman. Why can’t people like you trust ME to give to the poor myself? I am partial to the Salvation Army, plus I have a widow with 4 minor children in my family whom I am donating all my extra shekels too. If the government let me keep more of MY money, I would have even more to give. Plus I really don’t appreciate the government taking money that my husband and I worked for and giving it to Planned Parenthood (which specializes in aborting poor, minority children).

    And the horse you rode in on…

  33. Mary in CO says:

    We had better get a better grasp on how to use the tools of social communication, friends.

    Excellent point, Fr. Z. And we’d better get up to speed soon.

  34. Paul M says:

    Limbaugh is on everywhere simply because a lot of people want to listen to him. Air American was a flop because not many people wanted to listen.
    Comment by RBrown — 11 February 2009 @ 11:24 am

    Here’s a little peek inside the progressive mindset:

    http://www.politico.com/blogs/michaelcalderone/0209/Sen_Harkin_We_need_the_Fairness_Doctrine_back_.html

    Relevant excerpt:

    SENATOR TOM HARKIN (D-IA): Well, anytime – just let me know Bill. I love being with you, and thanks again for all you do to get the truth and the facts out there. By the way, I read your Op-Ed in the Washington Post the other day. I ripped it out, I took it into my office and said ‘there you go, we gotta get the Fairness Doctrine back in law again.’

    BILL PRESS: Alright, well good for you. You know, we gotta work on that, because they are just shutting down progressive talk from one city after another. All we want is, you know, some balance on the airwaves, that’s all. You know, we’re not going to take any of the conservative voices off the airwaves, but just make sure that there are a few progressives and liberals out there, right?

    SENATOR TOM HARKIN (D-IA): Exactly, and that’s why we need the fair — that’s why we need the Fairness Doctrine back.

  35. nasman2 says:

    Air America fails because it provides nothing different that what is given by ANY of the major media outlets. You will not hear a conservative (if you will) viewpoint on ABC, NBC, CBS, or CNN. It won’t happen, which is why conservative talk radio gets so much traction. The ‘Fairness Doctrine’, or whatever it will be called in the future, will be just a tool to silence another viewpoint, while those pushing the policy swear the major media outlets are objective and also swearing their love of diversity.

  36. Joseph says:

    Charlotte, I agree wholly. Paglia is wrong about many things, but she is rational. She begins with some poorly chosen principles, but she faces facts and admits problems as she encounters them. If all Leftists had her intellectual integrity, our civil discourse would be much more productive. She is unquestionably my favorite secular feminist.