Sometimes, you learn something.
Nut Right Talk Radio, that bane of rational thought and common sense, discloses more of itself (sometimes) through who advertises on it than on the nationally-scripted content spewing from its various “hosts”.
How stupid do they think their audience it is?
Well, there is that long-running advertiser selling prefab steel buildings, always good for a laugh. And there are many other humorous examples. But my current favorite is an ad selling "Wise Food Storage", an apparent supplier for preppers -- those who are so paranoid about the gathering multicultural hoards and Barack Obama (to them, one and the same) that they are stocking their reinforced basements with guns, more guns and dehydrated "food".
I wish I could find a link to the actual commercial that is in heavy rotation on WISN, at least -- it's hilarious. The idea is that you would be irresponsible not to make an investment in freeze-dried fettuccine alfredo and cheese ravioli. "It is well known that stores have only 3 days worth of food [Oh? Is it?]...and you don't want your family to be helpless in a food riot" -- or words to that effect, with the sounds of screaming panic in the background.
Given the pathetic gullibility of anyone who would actually pick up the phone and order, say, a one-year supply of this crap for $1,439 (and that's just for one adult -- save yourselves, kids!), it is sad to see so many ignorant people falling into the PT Barnum trap (a sucker born every minute), both in terms of their expected future diet (yum!) and their political opinions. The same stations selling "three 120 serving buckets of emergency food entrees as well as three 120 serving buckets of our breakfasts (just add water!)" at outrageous prices to stupid people like that can certainly sell right-wing bullshit from the likes of Rush Limbaugh and Charlie Sykes. And they have. For over 25 years now.
Which brings us to Donald Trump.
The hair-on-fire panic in the Republican elite about the Trump juggernaut would be funny if it wasn't so serious and dangerous. The GOP has set themselves up for this through their coordination with national and local talk radio hosts -- not to mention Fox News -- for years. Talk radio hosts are the least original "entertainers" in the history of the world, taking their marching orders for Republican operatives since the beginning, creating false realities, driving false narratives, misrepresenting what Democrats really believe and personally attacking anybody who would dare to stand in the way of their funhouse-mirror reshaping of the national and local debate.
In its toddler years, talk radio spent all of its time smearing, lying and trying to delegitimize President Bill Clinton, who was a grand success in spite of them. In the '00s, talk radio drones worked overtime driving Karl Rove's talking points issued every day right out of the White House, playing constant defense for the disaster that was Junior Bush.
Since Barack Obama's historic and transitional election in 2008, the radio talkers have gone completely bonkers, convincing their low-information listeners, using racist code words, that Obama was everything from a dangerous subversive, deliberately trying to destroy America; to a foreign-born fraud; to someone who is going to -- oh yes he is! -- find a way to cancel the 2016 elections so he can have a third term. There isn't anything they wouldn't say or do to destroy the bright promise of the Obama presidency. And, like Clinton, he has succeeded in spite of them.
So the GOP establishment has no one to blame but themselves for creating the fear-mongering, fact-free, anti-everything atmosphere that allows a bulbous fraud like Trump to stalk the political earth. Using talk radio and Fox News -- combined, the biggest political megaphone any party has ever had -- the Republicans have employed the smartest propagandists in the world to convince some of the dumbest people in the United States that they have everything to fear from anyone who isn't like them and doesn't "think" like them. As a country, we might not be getting what we deserve (unless Trump himself is elected -- then we do), but GOP is certainly getting what it deserves. It created -- and owns -- the Trump Monster.
As for Trump himself, he follows all the talk radio rules -- without the talent or research. Playing on the fears of fearful people, he talks like the loudest mouth at the end of the bar. Anyone who doesn't see what he sees and thinks what he thinks is just stupid. Opponents are dismissed with a wave of the hand, a smirk and a childish put-down. Anyone on stage with him at a debate is like a seminar caller on talk radio -- they only exist to make him look better, no matter what they are saying.
Trump traffics in the alternate-fact world of Fox News -- and since the other GOP candidates accept the same phony world-view, no one there can challenge him. He is all celebrity and no substance, getting a rise out of the way-too-easy-to-please all-white knuckleheads who whoop and holler at his every wearily predictable applause line. Even his "outrageous" no-one-else-could-get-away-with-that comments are just ratings-builders, like Limbaugh calling Sandra Fluke a "slut" and local radio-thug Mark Belling calling people "wetbacks". They are still working and Trump is still rising.
And, just like everyone on talk radio and Fox News, none of them care what you think. Least of all Donald Trump.
There is a new campaign here in Milwaukee, led by Wisconsin Citizen Action, to fight the poison that is local talk radio. Talk radio is a particularly insidious entity here, with hours and hours at its disposal to spread coordinated right-wing propaganda, featuring highly-paid Republican activists with a stranglehold on the AM airwaves. With this post, Plaisted Writes returns from a long hiatus to help with that fight. I know these people and what they do all too well, and hope to do my part in this important effort.