I realize it's strictly verboten in talk radio and, probably, against an FCC rule somewhere, but, today, we've got nothing but good news on The BradCast! Well, mostly. Well, at least compared to the bulk of what you'll hear from the corporate media and the bulk of the political campaigns they bother to report on where outrage earns listeners, viewers and readers. [Audio link to the full show is below.]
First up, a number of a relatively encouraging stories, including: Obama goes to Cuba as the first American President to visit the Cold War-ravaged island nation in more than 50 years; An update (with some good news and some bad) on the Illinois county where thousands of voters were turned away without voting last week due to ballot shortages (which we covered in detail on last Friday's show); A new poll finds Utah (Utah!) could go Democratic this year if Trump is the GOP nominee. (And guess which Democrat does best against him?); Bernie Sanders holds a huge event in Seattle in advance of several primaries and caucuses this week in western states, about which his campaign is reportedly very optimistic; and Rush Limbaugh freaks out and misinforms listeners because a new film documents how his business model is about freaking people out and misinforming listeners.
Then, I'm joined by the intolerably reasonable blogger Kevin Drum of Mother Jones, who argues that the electorate isn't nearly as "angry" as the corporate media continue to (mis)report them to be (speaking of "business models"), before he goes on to offer his (apparently controversial) list of the "Top Ten Things That Are Going Great in America".
Really? Many things are going great?! That's simply outrageous! Drum explains how such outrage --- even over legitimate concerns --- can sometimes keep very real problems (such as high lead levels in places around the country other than Flint, for example) from being reported, noticed and even fixed at all.
On the "outrage" from this year's voters, Drum explains: "Anybody who has been watching elections in the United States for awhile knows that we hear this every four years. Every four years the voters are 'angrier than they've ever been'. You think that Donald Trump's rallies have gotten a little bit violent? Been a few arrests? It's nothing compared to what was going on with George Wallace back in 1968."
"This year, you've got a guy, Donald Trump, who's feeding on it. It's really the candidates more than it is the people themselves. You've got a candidate who can really gin up the anger that's already out there, and make it seem worse than it's been before." Drum makes the case as to why it's not voter "anger" about politics and the economy that driving them to someone like Trump, as the media suggest, but something else very specific. But, you'll have to listen to find out what that is.
"I sort of blame talk radio --- present company excluded, of course --- but conservative talk radio and Fox News, for leading the way on this outrage politics," he says. "And, I think, as time goes by, a lot of other sources, including those of us on the left, see it happening on our side as well."
On the left?! That's infuriating! Please enjoy the show below. No outrage necessary...
(Snail mail support to "Brad Friedman, 7095 Hollywood Blvd., #594 Los Angeles, CA 90028" always welcome too!)