Re: Hear and Now

1

Sound Opinions. Often snooty and overly hipsterish, but also often very good. Also, this is the one show (Car Talk excepted) where call-ins don't make want to shoot myself. (After working in a bookstore for four years, and going to many events, I have heard precisely one interesting audience question. Most are off-topic, giggly-fanboy/girl-ish, obvious, agenda-driven, or just plain stupid. This generally applies just as to NPR as well.)


Posted by: Alfrek Macsteinie | Link to this comment | 10-23-10 11:45 AM
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I hear Marketplace Money is great if you're a shithead.

After their bitch-slapping in l'affaire Williams, I look forward to All Right-Wing Talking Points Considered. Kidding! They already have that.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 10-23-10 11:49 AM
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s/b "applies to NPR just as well"


Posted by: Alfrek Macsteinie | Link to this comment | 10-23-10 11:56 AM
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||
Can you believe it's been 21 years since Public Enemy's "Fight the Power" came out? That's like a whole generation! Most of my heroes still don't appear on no stamps.
||>


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 10-23-10 12:04 PM
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Most of my heroes still don't appear on no stamps.

They have customized postage stamp services, you know, Nat. Be the change...


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 10-23-10 12:09 PM
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I like "In Our Time" a lot, which I think I've said before.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 10-23-10 12:10 PM
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I don't believe in those.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 10-23-10 12:10 PM
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My summer roommate from Denmark recommended From Our Own Correspondent from the BBC. It can be a bit precious, but I don't mind a bit of first-person on-location news while I clean.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 10-23-10 12:13 PM
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The Dave Gorman Show, from the UK, is a charming piece of fluff. The questions for the listening audience tend to produce worthwhile anecdotes (e.g.: When have you doubted your own existence?). One of the co-hosts weaves all those anecdotes together into a song over the course of the hour, then plays it at the end. Pun Street (where they're compiling a massive list of decent puns in shop names) is either delightful or hateful, and should tell you whether you'd like this or not.


Posted by: Bran Muffin | Link to this comment | 10-23-10 12:48 PM
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I used to listen to public radio in the car, but getting satellite radio pretty well killed that habit.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10-23-10 12:59 PM
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And anyone who suggests The People's Pharmacy will be promptly Juan Williamsed. Hear you me.

I just looked up this show, and I'm ashamed for my socioeconomic stratum that public radio airs it.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 10-23-10 1:00 PM
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10: Counterpoint: maybe the satellite robots made you crash your car the other day. (Too soon?)


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 10-23-10 1:04 PM
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Dinner Party Download! Be nice, they're friends. But it's also funny.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 10-23-10 1:07 PM
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This past summer I drove a fair amount in Maine and after getting NPR-ed out, ended up listening to some right-wing talk radio, only a notch saner than Firesign Theater's General Y2K*. Later on the same station had a "medical" show that was about half recorded ads for quack pills, and half pitches by the host for the same pills.

* The GOVERNMENT put a CHIP in MY ASS, and I'm not gonna take it sitting down!


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 10-23-10 1:07 PM
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I like The Moth story tellers podcasts. Most are 15-20 minutes of people, sometimes performers, sometimes regular folks, telling a story before a live audience without notes. Even with the better known performers they present a different side of themselves, rather than just their regular shtick.

On NPR things that don't suck, I like the Pop Culture Happy Hour popcasts a whole big bunch. They might push some people's insufferablity buttons, but I often find them both insightful and hillarious.


Posted by: Jimmy Pongo | Link to this comment | 10-23-10 1:31 PM
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I don't even have a radio, but when I did, I used to get a kick out of listening to Joe Frank.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 10-23-10 1:38 PM
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Radio 4 on the BBC
kthxbai

Oh, you want more detail?:

From our own correspondent
In our times
Thinking allowed
History of mathematics


Posted by: W. Breeze | Link to this comment | 10-23-10 1:38 PM
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Just to clarify, "popcasts" was my typo, not evidence of insufferability.


Posted by: Jimmy Pongo | Link to this comment | 10-23-10 1:42 PM
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Seconding/thirding In Our Time and Thinking Allowed. And I admit the Savage Love Podcast is a guilty pleasure. (In my defense, it's sometimes all my mind can handle at the gym.)


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 10-23-10 2:32 PM
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Well, KCRW has started rebroadcasting some of Joe Frank's shows at 11am on Sundays (just this month, maybe, though). You could also do like I did and download tons of episodes of Just a Minute from the 70s.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 10-23-10 3:06 PM
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Also, Backstory.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 10-23-10 3:08 PM
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The People's Pharmacy is produced by our local NPR station, and I'm sure it's useful for people who actually have a need for it--I'm either too much of a hypochondriac, or not enough, and generally I can't bear it.

FWIW, An acquaintance (who is also a member of Su/perch/unk & co-founder of M/erge Rec/ords) used to be their call screener back in the day, and fondly remembered going to work before the ass-crack of dawn in her pajamas. She said the hosts are very nice to work with.


Posted by: Rah | Link to this comment | 10-23-10 3:29 PM
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I don't listen to NPR, but my parents listened to it a lot when I was growing up. I recall National Native News and Native America Calling being pretty good if you're into that kind of thing.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10-23-10 3:36 PM
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Also, I'll second Sound Opinions and mildly recommend On The Media, which you may like if the idea of a show analyzing the MSM on NPR interests you.


Posted by: Rah | Link to this comment | 10-23-10 3:50 PM
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Radiolab


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 10-23-10 3:57 PM
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Oh! Also The Story, another show produced in NC. The host, Dick Gordon, used to have a Boston-based call-inshow called The Connection--but this show blessedly resists taking audience calls.

It's hit-or-miss, but if the host's Middle American Everyman pose doesn't drive you insane, you'll note that he's actually pretty good at drawing stories out of people who aren't used to telling them. The concept of the show is to focus on people affected by the news rather than pundits; the best in my opinion was the interview with a couple of law students whose group project on Guantanamo uncovered pretty compelling evidence that the brass had covered up the outright murder of three detainees.


Posted by: Rah | Link to this comment | 10-23-10 4:01 PM
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Agree with 24 -- OTM is mostly worthwhile, especially the first 20 minutes or so.


Posted by: Klug | Link to this comment | 10-23-10 4:02 PM
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||

A conservative HS acquaintance on FB just posted photos of a late-summer getaway at a Carolina beach house, including one shot of the water captioned, "Only in America can you find a beach like this!"

That is all.

|>


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 10-23-10 4:14 PM
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I second Radio Lab. That and TAL and This Week in Tech are the only podcasts I listen to regularly. I have enjoyed You Look Nice Today when I have listened to it, but there's not enough time in the day.


Posted by: Yawnoc | Link to this comment | 10-23-10 4:23 PM
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Quirks and Quarks; also Answer Me This, which is a lot like Unfogged.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 10-23-10 4:31 PM
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"Only in America can you find a beach like this!"

Not travelled much, one guesses.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10-23-10 4:52 PM
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"Only in America can you find a beach like this!"

If the house is on the Outer Banks this sentence should read "This is one of a small number of places in America you can find a beach like this, mostly because of some historical accidents that resulted in the beach remaining public-access while high-rise hotel development was nevertheless disallowed!". This has less snap to it, I grant you.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 10-23-10 5:17 PM
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Laugh all you will at the blindered America chauvinists, but you must acknowledge that they're probably happier than we are. Blissfully ignorant, as it were. It's hard to be unhappy about relative deprivation when all is for the best in this best of all possible countries.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 10-23-10 6:23 PM
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Rah, tell Lau/ra Bal/lance that her band's new album is great.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 10-23-10 6:32 PM
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You know where they have countless miles of unspoiled beaches? Kenya, that's where!


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 10-23-10 6:33 PM
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Strongly seconding 34.


Posted by: Mr. Blandings | Link to this comment | 10-23-10 6:40 PM
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To be fair, only in America do you find beaches that have the quality of being in America.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-23-10 7:42 PM
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38

34, 36: Agreed.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10-24-10 8:34 AM
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39

Um.

On the Media (which I like and also find infuriating) has a piece on the Williams snafu to which I advise you listen. Seems like this may not have been the right incident for which to fire Williams. I'm still firmly in favor of his having gotten the boot, but listening to a fuller clip seems to make it clear that he was actually trying to make a reasonable point about not letting a visceral Islamophobic reaction overwhelm our common sense.

It struck me earlier that there were echoes of Jesse Jackson's saying that he was sometimes afraid of young black men he saw on the street, and this reinforces that.

(I find On the Media infuriating because reporters and editors will come on and explain quite cogently and thoughtfully ways in which their reporting is compromised -- and then go back and keep doing what they were doing.)


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 10-24-10 8:40 AM
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And now I'm off to swim go to a fundraiser for a community organization while the rest of you sit on your lazy Sunday morning asses and tell me why I'm wrong.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 10-24-10 8:48 AM
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39: Haven't listened yet, but anything that comes from William Saletan makes me suspicious. Will listen.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 10-24-10 8:53 AM
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39: If you want to get rid of all selective editing, it is probably worth listening to the whole O'Reilly segment here. I'd say that it somewhat supports the NPR piece, but they undercut themselves somewhat by leaving out Juan's intro where he makes a big production about reluctantly agreeing with O'Reilly and saying "I think you're right" just before he launches into his Motherfucking Muslims on a Motherfucking Plane bit.

For an even fuller picture some might wish to listen to the Talking Points Memo segment that immediately preceded it. However, I don't think it adds much and you can get those 7 minutes of listening to O'Reilly back.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-24-10 9:44 AM
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If the Right didn't have this to complain about, it'd be something else. Guy's a crappy reporter, and NPR is well rid of him.

Well rid of me too, I guess: I stopped listening much long ago, and haven't had it on in the last year but once or twice. My local paper fills the niche better anyway.

But what about commuting? Heh.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 10-24-10 9:49 AM
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42.1: At point O'Reilly does somewhat sneeringly refer to Williams working at "N...PR", and Williams is the"liberal" there is also some woman from "The Daily Caller" I did not recognize who did not say much who was the "conservative".


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-24-10 9:50 AM
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Haven't listened yet, but anything that comes from William Saletan makes me suspicious. Will listen.


Wait, On The Media has a connection with William Saletan? Did I miss something?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10-24-10 9:51 AM
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39.2, .3: Agreed (without listening to the Saletan); and that view seems to be the emerging consensus. NPR was hasty, should probably have had a face-to-face with Williams to allow him to make his case, and asked him to choose between NPR and Fox. Were he to have chosen NPR, a public explanation/apology on Williams' part for his remarks might have been in order. (The apology aspect to address, at the very least, the fellow NPR staffmembers who go to work daily dressed in traditional Muslim garb.)

It's interesting how many people are tiptoeing around this issue; the Sunday talk shows had several panelists declining to comment. It was pointed out that NPR may well have caved to bog standard media concerns over listenership, donations, and so on: you don't alienate your constituency.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-24-10 9:54 AM
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Juan Williams and William Saletan have in common that they often discuss the normalcy of fear (of Muslims) or hatred (of abortion) before going on to say that, despite all that roiling disgust, it's still perhaps maybe not OK to be totally anti-[Muslim/abortion]. I'm going to go with my gut here and say that Saletan can suck a dick. And Williams can suck a dick for validating O'Reilly's feelings up and down the street before hinting that maybe it's still not OK to make racism national policy.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 10-24-10 9:56 AM
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45: Unsurprisingly, he wrote a Slate column defending Williams that is the basis for the OTM segment above. According to Saletan, no rhetorical gesture is too bigoted and hateful to support, through the magical power of irony, a liberal agenda.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 10-24-10 9:58 AM
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No, yeah, they both suck. I just didn't get what the OTM piece had to do with Saletan.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10-24-10 9:59 AM
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48: Ah, thanks.

Saletan's suckiness is really high up there.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10-24-10 10:00 AM
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Speaking of "centrist" dickwads, Broderella takes a turn even deeper into self-parody with a British austerity fanboy piece. He lets slip show a few times. Lowlights:

This country has wandered far -- not quite as far as Britain has -- toward the pending fiasco that threatens leftist regimes worldwide

The American political system virtually precludes the possibility of a coalition government. But the midterm elections provide the opportunity for a similar breakthrough.

If Republicans emerge next month with sufficient leverage in the House and Senate to approach Obama with a proposition, they could insist that he "do a Cameron" when it comes to federal spending: a radical rollback now in the welfare state in return for a two-year truce on such policy questions as repeal of the health-care law.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-24-10 10:01 AM
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For the record, 49 was because I thought 47 was answering 45. But now I see a whole new light through 48.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10-24-10 10:01 AM
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And I think the comparison to Shirley Sherrod is rhetorically ignorant and basically mendacious. Sherrod was telling a story about confronting her own kneejerk prejudices and learning to dispel them by getting to know the people she hadn't prioritized. She used the story to demonstrate a shift in her understanding--that racism has been used to prevent class solidarity.

Williams was saying that even though he's racist against Muslims and fears them just like any normal person, we probably shouldn't target them because discrimination should be a personal choice, not a state function? There's no point to his admission of racism except to interpellate other racists.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 10-24-10 10:05 AM
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Whether Williams is, uh, not going to be sorely missed is a separate question from whether NPR should have fired him so abruptly. Just saying.

Hindsight 20/20 and all that, but it really doesn't seem to be that hard to imagine that such a firing might produce exactly the kind of frenzy of accusation that's emerged: NPR is politically correct, left-wing, ideologically driven! Fucking liberally biased media!! See!!? Censorship, censorship!!! arghghgh -- run around in circles.

Coulda been better handled; now there's damage control to be done (DeMint allegedly putting together a bill to defund NPR, not a gigantic deal financially for NPR, but it keeps the liberal bias meme going in the public debate, which is annoying). Oh well.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-24-10 10:05 AM
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I'll hand it to NPR for being able to do the right thing yet still fuck it up.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-24-10 10:11 AM
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And here's a Forbes columnist who feels empowered to share his own "I'm racist but" story.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 10-24-10 10:17 AM
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And a commenter on that story:

my personal experience: i sat on a plane flying to LA next to a man from the middle east. we had a great time talking about his country, his customs, how they treat women....it was really interesting. no fear from the moment i saw him.

Comments like Williams's make it seem remarkable if a white American talks to a Muslim without having a heart attack.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 10-24-10 10:21 AM
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...and I'm sure that Muslim On A Plane really had "a great time" too, explaining to someone "how they treat women." Sounds fun for him.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 10-24-10 10:23 AM
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55: They did really fuck it up. On so many fronts.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-24-10 10:25 AM
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I'll hand it to NPR for being able to do the right thing yet still fuck it up.

This made me laugh. Bitterly.

Sigh.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 10-24-10 10:31 AM
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The discussion that's more interesting to have is over the way(s) in which Fox News sets the framing for these kinds of public conversations over tolerance, Islamophobia, First Amendment rights, and so on. I've blamed Williams for some time for playing the token liberal well on Fox News by accepting their framing, sounding weak and querulous in his responses, and repeatedly allowing himself to be bulldozed and generally scoffed at* (usually by William Kristol** on the Fox Sunday News show).

His statements on that forum now further cement the position he's taken: today he said that he's never felt censored on Fox, always felt that there was a fair, unbiased give-and-take on the network, blah blah blah. He's either stupid or a shill or without moral compass. I find this less forgivable than the remark about Muslims in traditional garb.

* For what it's worth, Mara Liasson is not transparently guilty of that

** I cannot fucking stand Kristol


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-24-10 10:38 AM
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Eh, I think the only fuck-up was not firing him when he failed at hosting Talk of the Nation, the job he was hired to do. But they didn't have the guts then, so they made him a senior correspondent instead. He made a bigoted statement, NPR made it clear that it wasn't the only reason for his firing, tough shit. Right-wingers believe that NPR is liberal, and nothing anyone says is going to convince them otherwise.

My favorite moment from the whole dust-up was when Tell Me More token douchebag Reihan Salam protested how unfair it was to accuse Williams of being an Islamophobe, despite Williams' having basically met the dictionary definition of Islamophobia.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 10-24-10 10:43 AM
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Reihan Salam is a really clever douchebag. A menace!


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-24-10 10:48 AM
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63 cont.: I mean, just in general. I don't know how he explained his protest over Williams (and don't care).


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-24-10 10:50 AM
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And on public radio shows I like:

1) This Way Out--not great radio by any measure, but a good roundup of stuff you are unlikely to hear about LGBT rights worldwide.

2) Counterspin A weekly show from FAIR on media--often get good pointers on items to go research further.

Sadly both just got dropped from the one local public radio station that aired them.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-24-10 10:51 AM
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Has anyone noticed that Saletan's multiple-column series on women who actually seem to enjoy anal sex has made the shift to calling it "sodomy"?


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 10-24-10 10:52 AM
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Comments like Williams's make it seem remarkable if a white American talks to a Muslim without having a heart attack.

I talked to A Muslim yesterday all by myself!


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10-24-10 10:59 AM
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Without the undergrads there for support?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-24-10 11:02 AM
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66: I've never read Saletan's columns, so no. I know you linked to representative columns before, but I can't find it now. I don't know many any people who read or link him; maybe he's being shunned.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-24-10 11:13 AM
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69: He's been doing this shit for a long time. You know, gay sex is basically like incest. Anal sex, sodomy--what's the difference? And everyone knows abortion is a terrible, horrifying tragedy. He just supposes that everything about sexuality is super-gross, so why not make it all legal?


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 10-24-10 11:18 AM
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He mainly argues (for example, in an entire book called Bearing Right: How Conservatives Won the Abortion War) that the reason conservatives' arguments about abortion are so compelling is that they acknowledge the moral tragedy of abortion, and that liberals really need to step up in describing their own horror and disgust at abortion... and then claim it needs to be legal anyway. With friends like Saletan...


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 10-24-10 11:22 AM
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Sorry to go on and on about this; Saletan is on a very short list of people (see also: Brooks, David) I can't stand to see credited with having made a "good point" about anything. He's so deeply bigoted that I imagine he can't sign a birthday card without trying to prove how normal it is to be disgusted by women and gays.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 10-24-10 11:32 AM
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Rose are reds
Violets are blue
Since your mom didn't abort
I can say, "Happy Birthday to You."


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-24-10 11:37 AM
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72: No, no, it's okay. I've really never read Saletan before; who credits him with making a good point now and again?

The piece linked in 70 is interesting in its way, but doesn't seem to distinguish between the legality of gay sex and the legality of gay marriage. The privacy argument goes to the former, but not to the latter particularly. Admittedly scanned the article quickly, and his tone -- the gadfly routine where it's not clear what he considers at stake, as though this is an academic exercise -- is off-putting.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-24-10 11:38 AM
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74.1: Oh, I was just irritated to see Saletan get indirect props in 39 for having "proved" to NPR that they were wrong to fire Williams for his comments.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 10-24-10 11:40 AM
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75: Oh, well, bloody hell, a bazillion people have made a good case that NPR was wrong, or messed it up. The difference trades on whether you think there was absolutely nothing to be explained about Williams's sentiments because they were completely, yes, normal [= normalization of Islamophobia] and understandable, or you think that there was indeed something there that needed a great deal more expansion and exploration.

I'm not sure I want to explore Saletan further, I have to say; he has a toxic tone. The sort you can't trust an inch.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-24-10 11:47 AM
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it's not clear what he considers at stake, as though this is an academic exercise

This exactly. Saletan treats civil rights like a trolley problem. Who can decide between these two terrible choices--increased freedom for marginalized people will necessarily cause increased squick for those of us who hate them! It's so hard to know what to do!


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 10-24-10 11:47 AM
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77: Understood. I'm vaguely curious whether anyone has tried a take-down, asking him to address the broader issue of how you make public policy in the face of majoritarian sentiment versus the rights of the minority. Etc. This is very difficult territory, actually. I don't know, based just on that one column, if he would even understand the question.

I could get myself exercised over the guy if I thought he has any serious readership. If he's squicking out over anal sex and/or sympathizing with those who are, I could make him my enemy.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-24-10 12:13 PM
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a bazillion people have made a good case that NPR was wrong

I don't get why I should give a good goddamn about Juan Williams relationship with NPR one way or the other. Seems to me that the only people who care at all are right-wingers and they don't *really* care either. They just think they've found a super-clever "when did you stop beating your wife" scenario, and liberals rarely pass up an opportunity to participate in those.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10-24-10 12:29 PM
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79: Point taken. I'm mostly interested because I'm trying to pay attention to the ways in which our chains are being yanked. I said before: we (liberals) are letting conservative, or Republicans, frame the discussion. How do you counter a "when did you stop beating your wife" presentation?

Shunning, I keep thinking. Refuse to participate. Does that work?


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-24-10 12:41 PM
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I just read 79 more carefully: Seems to me that the only people who care at all are right-wingers

A number of NPR-affiliated people have said that they care, are concerned about the perceived divide between news analyst and commentator, and aren't very comfortable with the blurriness of the line. There is that; it's a debate internal to the media industry at that point, which is probably why a number of its members are declining to comment on this matter.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-24-10 1:30 PM
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I just read the transcript. I view it as an interesting sort of negotiation over enemy-definition-discourse, mostly by O'Reilly with himself. The left position, which Williams gets across but mostly in strawman style, is "only Muslim extremists, not Muslims in general, are the enemy." The far-right position is "kill kill kill them all." O'Reilly presents the reasonable middle ground as "our enemies are the Muslims, and if anyone says 'but not all of them' I'm going to dismiss that as obvious and keep phrasing it the same inflammatory way."

Williams said: "[The Times Square bomber] said the war with Muslims, America's war is just beginning, first drop of blood. I don't think there's any way to get away from these facts." Saletan's point was "well it's true, the bomber did say that in court," but Williams in sentence #2 bought into that "middle ground" conclusion.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 10-24-10 1:54 PM
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If anal sex isn't sodomy, then what is?


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 10-24-10 3:19 PM
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Awesome?


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 10-24-10 3:25 PM
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Awesome is sodomy? Thanks, Yoda. That'll come in handy when I meet back up with the princess.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 10-24-10 3:31 PM
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Read more carefully I should.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 10-24-10 3:34 PM
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Read more carefully or do not, there is no should.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-24-10 3:36 PM
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God, I am so damned humorless lately. When are people going to get over their squick-out at the thought of anal sex again? There are still anti-sodomy laws on the books in some places, you know! And when are people just going to stop talking to Bill O'Reilly, like, ever?

I blame the goddamned Tea Partiers, who want to return to first principles as they understand them: we are trying so hard to talk to these people, and it's really idiotic.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-24-10 4:59 PM
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When are people going to get over their squick-out at the thought of anal sex again?

It depends on how they felt about it the first time, I expect.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 10-24-10 5:31 PM
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90

Thank you. Humor is appreciated. Humor of the dry sort preferred.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-24-10 5:40 PM
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I blame the goddamned Tea Partiers, who want to return to first principles as they understand them: we are trying so hard to talk to these people, and it's really idiotic.

Oh, you must have read the WaPo story about the Tea Baggers journey to Washington to Beck's rally. I really thought the lady quivering in terror at the thought of coming across an SEIU member was hilarious.

max
['There aren't many of them and they're all crazier as hell. It's a wonder they don't consider anal sex an Old Testament sacrament.']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 10-24-10 5:49 PM
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92

Humor of the dry sort preferred.

Anal sex of the dry sort, however, is deprecated.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10-24-10 5:56 PM
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93

91.1: I did not -- don't read the Washington Post except insofar as it's linked or quoted. I did see some reference to fear of the SEIU (on Balloon Juice, I guess), and it's pretty hilarious. Also fucking depressing. People are deeply, deeply confused. This is a serious problem. Things aren't going to get better unless and until we address this.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-24-10 6:04 PM
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92. Uh. Yeah. You've briefly horrified me.

Lightbulb! The people who disapprove of anal sex aren't doing it right! Well no wonder they're all upset.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-24-10 6:08 PM
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To the presumably soon-to-be-deleted TOS contribution: speak that rationally on a regular basis and people might be willing to engage with you. Otherwise no.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-24-10 6:25 PM
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Saletan treats civil rights like a trolley problem.

You are so exactly right it hurts. I cannot think of a better way to synopsize how hateful his take on the world is.

People are deeply, deeply confused.

Are they ever. I liked this via Digby: Eight simple counters to eight obnoxious talking points.

The thing I've done most recently is to labor over a brief but heartfelt response to some borderline family members who forwarded me an anti-Muslim screed by Daniel Pipes. I managed to work in both references to the meals and camaraderie I have shared with Muslim friends (!) as well as the Founders' commitment to religious tolerance. Got one positive response and one silence.

And today I got a call on my landline at home from a political pollster. I think it may have elicited the largest number of Democratic-supportive things I've said in a 15-minute period in my entire life.

I felt a little sorry for the survey woman; she sounded tired, and kept stumbling over the candidates' names. She did laugh when we went off-script for a moment and I asked if she'd ever heard of Toomey. Actually, I said "I don't know if you're in Pennsylvania, but he's crazy," and she said, "Honey, I'm in Virginia," and then I listed all the groups I don't think he cares about.

At the end of the call I asked her who had hired her and she said Cooper and Associates, and I said I hope they paid her well. I Googled later and confirmed my suspicion that it was a Dem-leaning poll; it appears to have been this outfit.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 10-24-10 6:27 PM
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97

Pars, here's an excerpt from a 1981 Maryland Court of Appeals decision. Guy was convicted of perverted practices. Affirmed.

The prosecution in No. 31 was based upon visual observations by Patrolman Dean Brewer of the Westminster Police Department. Gary Earl Neville (Neville), age 42, was charged in the Circuit Court for Carroll County with indecent exposure and, under ยง 554, with perverted sexual practice. On Saturday, August 12, 1978, at approximately 3:00 o'clock in the afternoon, Officer Brewer observed Neville and a 27-year-old female, Susan, walking along the railroad tracks which run parallel to Railroad Avenue within the municipal limits of Westminster. The railroad tracks run generally north-south. Officer Brewer had information that Susan had been engaging in perverted practice activities. Anticipating the site to which the two might be going, he drove his marked police car to a furniture store east of, and in the vicinity of, a small wooded area which lies east of the railroad tracks. Officer Brewer proceeded on foot down an incline and took a position approximately 25 feet from a clearing in the wooded area. This clearing, which was four to five feet wide, had pieces of clothing scattered about on the ground. The wooded area was half-moon shaped. Its flat edge ran along the side of the railroad tracks for 75 to 100 feet. There were approximately 40 trees in the wooded area. It was overgrown with sticker bushes of about waist height. A number of paths ran through the wooded area to the clearing, including a path which ran from the railroad tracks. The clearing was approximately 10 to 15 feet from the railroad tracks and at an elevation approximately four feet higher than the tracks. Officer Brewer arrived at the area in advance of Neville and Susan. He observed them leave the railroad tracks, walk into the wooded area and lie down on the clothing. The officer moved to a point approximately 15 feet from the subjects and remained in a crouched or kneeling position so as not to be observed. Susan performed fellatio on Neville, after which Officer Brewer arrested both.

Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 10-24-10 6:28 PM
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97: Okay. The guy was convicted of receiving a blow job? Hm. In 1981. Stupid law in the extreme. I'm not sure I'm seeing your point, though, Charley. Just that it's not just sodomy that's still on the books as illegal?


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-24-10 6:42 PM
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In many states, oral sex is a form of sodomy. Not Maryland, but it just had a different name.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 10-24-10 6:46 PM
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In many states, oral sex is a form of sodomy

I hadn't realized that; I thought sodomy was defined exclusively as anal sex.

The sense of sex as fundamentally procreative is written into our books/history. Much damage has been done because of this.

Hey, it's fairly amusing that in the case you quote in 97, Patrolman Brewer's "I just like to watch, it's my job" isn't considered perverted. Not that it is, but.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-24-10 6:55 PM
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Also, Kobe.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-24-10 6:55 PM
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The Wikipedia article on sodomy is fairly extensive and provides a lot of historical context in different traditions. Quite the slippery term. I recall as a youth finally sorting out that it was anal sex, only to be thrown for a loop when I encountered the broader legal definition. I really think we owe our children more precision in our use of language about sexuality.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-24-10 7:05 PM
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Quite the slippery term.

Well, with enough lube.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-24-10 7:15 PM
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97: at least he let 'em finish (or reach a not-unreasonable breaking point in) their assignation.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 10-24-10 7:16 PM
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The list of eight egregiously erroneous Republican talking points Witt links in 96 is good. I must say, though, that the kind of confusion I was referring to goes deeper than that: being *afraid* of SEIU members? Dear! The staff of the local teen suicide hotline may well be SEIU members.

I don't know how the hell we let this happen, this villainizing of unions.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-24-10 7:35 PM
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I hate Fox News, Juan Williams, William Saletan, and NPR, in that order, pretty much. But props to Chinese bootleggers from whom (indirectly) I got a copy of 92 In The Shade.


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 10-24-10 7:35 PM
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Officer Brewer had information

Ah, the ol' reliable "rumors of sluthood." How nice to see that things change nothing's changed.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 10-24-10 7:37 PM
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106: I won't fight with you, P., but many things belong in the list between William Saletan and NPR.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-24-10 7:40 PM
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No, really, fight with him.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-24-10 7:42 PM
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109: Nah. For one thing, he was ranking the things mentioned in this thread.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-24-10 7:50 PM
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many things belong in the list between William Saletan and NPR.

I could name a lot myself. I was trying to stay on topic. Chinese bootleggers, though; no complaints with them!


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 10-24-10 7:51 PM
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110: what?! No.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-24-10 7:54 PM
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Always a pleasure to do business with you, Tweety.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-24-10 8:03 PM
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93: 91.1: I did not -- don't read the Washington Post except insofar as it's linked or quoted. I did see some reference to fear of the SEIU (on Balloon Juice, I guess), and it's pretty hilarious. Also fucking depressing.

Yeah, it got quoted on BJ today. If you didn't read it you missed out; the story next to it was about how the Tea Party people are ill-organized, not as numerous as they appear, and don't want to support anybody. And then there was the quoted story in which it turns out that people from Dayton, Ohio are clearly crazy. They also have their own Col. Bat Guano. And! The Wapo has Chuck Murray rattling on about the New Elite (which, if you read it closely seems to translate to 'jews' - it also sounded like a direct attack on unfogged, incidently)... and then Grep Ip explained why the economy is DOOMED. It was quite a day at the WaPo.

People are deeply, deeply confused. This is a serious problem. Things aren't going to get better unless and until we address this.

Well, it doesn't seem likely things are going to get better then. Not when you have this guy around:

Holdren is an eager-eyed man who trades in ideas. He grew up in an "all-white town," he says: Westerville, Ohio. He was such a fan of Barry Goldwater and his libertarian allies that during a 1962 election, Holdren wore holes into a new pair of shoes in a single evening skipping up and down porch steps, delivering leaflets. Today, he spends four hours a day tuning into conservative media: Fox News, Drudge Report and NationalReview.com. He voices his political views with precision, as though they were mathematical theorems.
"I'm not particularly oriented toward embracing other cultures. I like American culture," he says before adding, "Sharia law is not compatible with the Constitution. For starters, under sharia law, it's legal to stone a woman to death. And the intent of Islam is world domination. If allowed, they will bomb and butcher their way to success. Their goal is to either convert you or tax you into submission or kill you." Soon, Holdren says that back in the '70s, at the University of Kentucky, he had Muslim friends. "Two brothers studying pharmacy," he says. "They were Palestinians, and they used to joke about how they carried bombs in their back pockets."
"What were their names?"
"Oh, I don't know," Holdren says, chuckling. "They all have, like, five names. We need to control immigration," he continues. "If you're willing to say you're Muslim, you need to leave. We are going to fight them in a big way, and we need to strike them in a way that's memorable. Myself, I wanted us to make a nuclear strike after 9/11."
Before I leave, I use Holdren's bathroom. It's immaculate, and on the wall by the toilet, there's a small, oval-shaped wooden sign decorated with painted flowers. It says, "Be ye kind one to another."
I don't think he's confused. I think he's just like that.

The upside is that all these guys are committed and have been committed for a long time, so it's not like they weren't voting for Reagan/Bush/Bush anyways. (And no doubt condemning them as too left wing all the while.)

max
['There is no there there.']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 10-24-10 8:11 PM
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The upside is that all these guys are committed and have been committed for a long time, so it's not like they weren't voting for Reagan/Bush/Bush anyways.

And that they're old and in failing health.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10-24-10 8:14 PM
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"I'm not particularly oriented toward embracing other cultures. I like American culture,"

I'm not sure that attitude is correlated to age.

Not that we're going to iron this out on a blog comment thread; some are worried about this trend, some aren't, and it isn't going to resolve in any direction, I don't think.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-24-10 8:27 PM
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And that they're old and in failing health.

The congressional candidates here seem to have decided that seniors are the swing voters that matter, so the TV ads are increasingly senior-issue-based. Last night's ad reached new heights of stupidity, with the doom-'n'-gloom narrator condemning, all in the same breath, "GOVERNMENT-RUN HEALTH CARE AND A REDUCTION IN MEDICARE BENEFITS!!!!"

Can't. Wait. For. Tuesday.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 10-25-10 1:48 PM
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