Booze, Baseball, and another "B"

Monday, October 03, 2005

Two from the Times...

After leaving the big city and academia, sometimes the New York Times gets forgotten. After perusing their website today, I came across two articles of note. Registration is required, but c'mon, you're reading the Times, so that's not going to be an issue.

I like this OP-ED by Rick Moranis, funny stuff.

Also I found this article interesting. I came across this after reading a blurb about Washington Sen. Maria Cantwell talking on the Democrats' weekly radio address about the Bush Administration needing to do more to conserve energy (she's coming up for re-election and has done little of note during her term). But that doesn't have anything to do with this linked article. Radio host William J. Bennett, former Secretary of Education, says that one way to reduce crime in the US is to "abort every black baby in this country."

To put it bluntly, this guy is an idiot; and that's being nice.

He goes on to defend himself, saying that he was talking about a debate on Slate about abortion curbing crime. The debate he's referring to was six years old.

Regardless of whether or not his comments are being taken out of context (read the article for more on that), it was stupid of him to say that. This is one of the problems with radio talk shows. They feature people who have an opinion, they don't feature people who are informed, who know what's going on, or who are involved in any way with the events they're talking about. These talk shows feature people who have the ability to spout off things that either get attention (the Bennett show) or tap into a collective consciousness (Rush Limbaugh with conservatives). People listen to these shows, and often these radio shows are their only source for information and news (not say, the BBC, Christian Science Monitor, New York Times, Washington Post, et. al.). It's one thing when you're dealing with shows like Tom Leykis and Howard Stern, which are there for entertainment, not political purposes, it's another when you have an overt political agenda.

What's the point of all this? Just because someone is going to say something that is going to get attention, doesn't mean that what they have to say is worth putting out on the airwaves.


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