Words of wisdom

Atrios feels somewhat vindicated by Olbermann’s success:

Of course, stupid people like me have long suggested that the way to counterprogram a right wing news network was not to put on slightly less right wing programming, and that a left-of-center block of programming on MSNBC in prime time would spike their ratings, but no one listens to stupid people like me.

There’s a general lesson there. The way to oppose right-wing media dominance is not to set up a slightly less wingnutty version of the Fox News. The way to oppose a Republican takeover of congress, the executive branch, and the supreme court is not to ape the right-wing agenda with slightly less fanaticism. And the way to fight the all-pervasive excesses of religion in our culture is not to support Christians who make nice promises.


  1. Steve LaBonne says

    And the way to fight the all-pervasive excesses of religion in our culture is not to support Christians who make nice promises.

    Indeed. Just yesterday I happened to drive past a holy-roller church near where I live. The message on its wayside pulpit: “Reason is the enemy of faith.”

    They know what the real issue is and- to their credit- they don’t pussyfoot about it. What possible excuse can we, the rational, have for being naive about what we’re up against?

  2. 386sx says

    Nice promises don’t bother me so much. It’s just all the stupid stuff is what gets me. Duh!

  3. says

    What’s striking to me is that Olbermann is so very obviously speaking for the majority. He’s directly opposite O’Reilly — and there are a hell of a lot more Olbermann viral videos on YouTube than anything done by that Fox bully.

    As for taking on the right-wing head-on — yeah, I’m firmly convinced of the necessity. As Steve pointed out, their gloves are off. Ours should be as well.

    I’m pretty sure the best way to hammer the fanatics into the ground is to mock them relentlessly and mercilessly. Expose them for the fools and bigots that they are, and if possible do it with humor. Not only do we gain the intellectual upper hand, but we get others laughing at them.

    (Laughter is probably the least tolerable thing to a fanatic. They appear entirely bereft of humor.)

  4. JustinK says

    Olbermann hasn’t spoken for me since he left SportsCenter. Stewart and Colbert I think are both insightful and funny, but Olbermann I can’t stand.

  5. says

    I like Olbermann, at least he asks questions that I think are relevant; that he answers them in a way that reflects my worldview may alter my opinion of him, I am perfectly willing to accept.

    But why should people hold back when they see or hear something that is just plain wrong. It will attract an audience. No one wants to hear milquetoast objections to stupid stuff like Sean Hannity; they want someone to take them on and call shenanigans on the conservative mouthpieces.

  6. Geoffrey Brent says

    Bear in mind, TV and politics aren’t quite the same game. For a TV personality, snaring 40% of the viewing public is a spectacular triumph; for a US political candidate, it usually means four years of unemployment. That means that on the face of it, the winning TV strategy is to sit in the middle of an untapped niche, but the winning political strategy is to be just a little more moderate than the other party’s candidate.

    I suspect this is not quite as overwhelming a consideration as many politicians seem to think – having the balls to believe in something can still be a vote-winner – but it goes some way to explain why things are so bland, especially in two-party races.