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Friday, November 10, 2006
Even More on Talk Radio
By Dr. Steven Taylor @ 12:08 pm

This time from Sully. The money quote (which is harsh, but I fear accurate):

The one thing you learn from this: Hewitt and Limbaugh are party animals. They put loyalty to party above intellectual honesty. They have admitted that they knowingly misled their readers and listeners. They can and will do it again.

Sullivan also has another Limbaugh quote that further makes the case here.

If you are following the trackbacks from Sullivan’s site, my extended thoughts on the subject are here and here.

And for the sake of clarity, let me note: the part of this that I find distasteful is that it appears that commentators like Hewitt and Limbaugh actually don’t see themselves as commentators as much as they see themselves as part of their party. There is a difference. One cannot be an intellectually honest analyst, even with an ideological point of view and be a creature of a given party. Party and philosophy do converge, but they also often diverge. It is when the divergence takes place that we find out what is most important to a given commentator or person.

And I am not saying that the only thing that the intellectually honest commentator can do is jump ship on his/her party. However, when one gets to the point where one is unwilling to criticize one’s own party for good cause because it might hurt their chances of winning, that is when one has crossed the line into hackery.

Further, I am weary of talk (on both side) that make it sound like doom comes to the country because the “other” side wins. It is as if some of us forget that ultimately we are all Americans with much in common and that losing is a healthy part of democracy.

If one wants to see what a conservative commentator looks like who doesn’t see his job as carrying water for his party, try someone like George Will (amongst plenty of others).

Filed under: US Politics, Talk Radio | |Send TrackBack


  1. “we are all Americans will much in common”

    with much in common”, perhaps?

    Comment by Jan — Friday, November 10, 2006 @ 12:13 pm

  2. that too ;)

    Comment by Dr. Steven Taylor — Friday, November 10, 2006 @ 12:30 pm

  3. Man, Steven, Jan is really on your case. Doesn’t let you get away with anything!

    Comment by Scott G — Friday, November 10, 2006 @ 1:11 pm

  4. “The problem is that there is a large pool of commentators who really are just as oriented on the notion of winning as the politicians that they criticize.”

    Words from a wise man (in another context, but still true, nonetheless).

    Comment by Scott G — Friday, November 10, 2006 @ 1:13 pm

  5. She my semi-official copy editor-which I sorely need ;)

    Comment by Dr. Steven Taylor — Friday, November 10, 2006 @ 1:17 pm

  6. and :) in regards to your second comment.

    Comment by Dr. Steven Taylor — Friday, November 10, 2006 @ 1:21 pm

  7. Scott,
    Believe me, I wouldn’t stay on his case if he didn’t ask me to. :)

    Comment by Jan — Friday, November 10, 2006 @ 1:21 pm

  8. All true, but Sullivan is hardly the right person to be making the case for objectivism. He carried the administration’s water as much as anybody in the runup and the first months of the war. Then a switch was thrown in his head and everything done by Republicans was evidence of a facist takeover. That has continued to this day.

    Comment by Buckland — Saturday, November 11, 2006 @ 10:55 am

  9. Well, actually, it would seem that it would make him an excellent example: someone who supported a set of actors and when that set of actors were seen not to acting in concert with his values, he began criticizing those actors. He did not stay with his co-partisans no matter what.

    Having a point of view and arguing for it is not what I am critiquing, but rather I am arguing against sticking with your side no matter what.

    And I would dispute the notion the Sullivan is arguing that there is a fascist takeover of the US. He has been quite reticent on the torture issue, yes, but I don’t see any intellectual dishonesty in his position.

    Comment by Dr. Steven Taylor — Saturday, November 11, 2006 @ 11:30 am

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