Daschle Tries To Demonize Talk Radio

Daschle Tries To Demonize Talk Radio: Since at least 1995, the Democrats have been bitter about the fact that Conservatives have been able to build huge talk-radio audiences while liberal hosts haven’t been able to draw flies with a pile of manure on AM radio. This frustrates left-wingers to no end and every so often one of them gets so upset about it that they just snap. Today, it was Tom Daschle’s turn

“I think we’re in a different place because of the way politics has become such entertainment. We were just talking with some experts a couple of days ago about how if we’re going to try to break through as Democrats, we have to have the same edge that Republicans do,” said Daschle in a press availability this morning.

“You know, Rush Limbaugh and all of the Rush Limbaugh wannabes have a very shrill edge, and that’s entertainment. We were told that even people who don’t agree with them listen because they – because they’re entertaining. And, you know, but what happens when Rush Limbaugh attacks those of us in public life is that people aren’t satisfied just to listen, they want to act because they get emotionally invested. And so, you know, the threats to those of us in public life go up dramatically and – on our families and on us in a way that’s very disconcerting. I don’t think it’s appropriate for me to dwell on that or to even go beyond that. But I will say that it has created a far different dimension. When I was accused of being an obstructionist, there was a corresponding and very significant increase in the number of issues that my family and I had to deal with. And I worry about that. If entertainment becomes so much a part of politics, and if that entertainment drives an emotional movement in this country among some people who don’t know the difference between entertainment and politics and who are then so energized to go out and hurt somebody, that troubles me about where politics in America is going.”

Asked if he thought there was a direct link between the talk radio criticism and the threats to his personal security, he answered: “I do. Oh, absolutely.”

“You know, we see it in foreign countries, and we think, ‘Well, my God, how can this religious fundamentalism become so violent?'” Daschle said. “Well, it’s that same shrill rhetoric, it’s that same shrill power that motivates. You know, somebody says something, and then it becomes a little more shrill the next time, and then more shrill the next time, and pretty soon it’s a foment that becomes physical in addition to just verbal. And that’s happening in this country. And I worry about where, over the course of the next decade, this is all going to go.”

Asked again if he believed there was a direct tie between the critics and increased physical violence, Daschle responded: “Right. Well, fortunately – and let’s just pray, and I mean pray, that it doesn’t get to that point. But certainly in terms of threats, I think that there’s no question – I don’t know what they were in the ’60s. All I know is that in the course of my time in public life, it has gone up exponentially.”

Is the media causing this problem?

“No, I’m saying that the media plays a role in creating this foment, in creating this – this extraordinary emotional fervor that is sometimes not – not contained and, therefore, then leads to other – other actions that are outside the control of anybody in the media or anybody in politics,” explained Daschle.

Who exactly in the media is responsible?

“The talk shows.” said Daschle.

Like Rush Limbaugh?

“Right,” said Daschle.”

I’m just tempted to sigh like the Gorebot after reading all of this stuff. Of course, it’s inexcusable that Daschle or any other American politician is getting death threats. But, does he blame the lunatics who are actually making the threats? Noooooooo….he blames people like Rush Limbaugh for calling him an “obstructionist.” That’s the best example Daschle can come up with for the “shrill” commentary on talk radio that’s causing him and his family to receive threats? What a joke. If calling Daschle an “obstructionist” (which was true by the way) was supposed to be too inflammatory for people to handle, what were talk radio hosts supposed to talk about? Daschle’s shoe size?

Furthermore, has Daschle ever heard the sort of rhetoric that gets tossed around on the left these days? People claiming that Bush isn’t the legitimate President, that the GOP fixed the 2002 elections, that Wellstone was assassinated, that the GOP is full of Nazis, that Ashcroft is going to set up internment camps, etc, etc, etc. Despite all the left-wing hype, Rush Limbaugh is a bush leaguer (no pun intended) in the “shrill” category compared to people like Jesse Jackson, Ted Kennedy, Michael Moore, Cynthia McKinney, Ted Rall, Maureen Dowd, etc.

Whoops, I better be careful about giving out all these examples. I might entertain somebody and they might get “emotionally invested” in politics and the decisions that shape our country. And as Tom Daschle has pointed out, that’s supposed to be a bad thing….

***Update***: According to Drudge, here’s John McCain has chimed in on this issue, “The Snowy-Haired Senior Senator from Arizona replied that he thinks of Limbaugh as a ‘circus clown’ and is ‘entertaining’ in much the same way as a clown… “

I think that might have something to do with Limbaugh’s relentless criticism of McCain, McCain’s favorite issue (Campaign Finance Reform), and the many McCain song parodies that Rush does.

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