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January 09, 2012


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Jon - remember KBBC? I loved that station before they changed the format and dumbed it down.

I used to listen to Bill. I remember calling in to KOY one day in the late '70s - I was moved by this DJ saying something nice about children...

"I have kids," he replied. I felt so sheepish, in my naivete not imagining a radio jockey could be a family man... :)

To accent-u-ate the positive, let's remember that Pat McMahon is still with us and still has his mojo. Love his "God Show" among other sorta quirky tools in his kit. My kids remind me that they grew up with him too . .

To touch on the negative: wonder how a couple with the Heywood's financial problems wind up with a memorial service at the Biltmore's Grand Ballroom?!

CAPTCHA is gone? Yes!

Lesley, KBBC was the one I'm the Ramada. Loved it in the early days.

Richard Ruelas, touching base on the extremism occuring ..'even now'...(post tragedy) in Az., on his column at the Az. Republic.

"...Morris blames Kelly for the death of his wife...because [Mark] Kelly didn't take precautions to protect his wife..."



Mr. Talton wrote:

"The shooting of Gabrielle Giffords, along with the wounding and murder of others, including a federal judge, was a crime. The one-year anniversary of this monstrous act was commemorated Sunday with much coverage and little clarity. The Republic did print an important essay by my friend Tom Zoellner. . .Few now will call what happened a year ago what it was: An attempted political assassination."

Absolutely correct, and count yourself and Dupnik among the few. No offense to your friend Zoellner, but I thought he skimmed over the political aspects rather superficially.

If the shooter had been politically on the left, we would never have heard an end of it. Every subsequent act of political protest, including Occupy Wall Street and related groups, would have been analyzed through the lens of it, especially by the op-ed pundits of the Arizona Republic.

The mainstream press offers a false dichotomy: EITHER the shooter was politically motivated OR else he acted out of random craziness. The idea that his motivations were strongly political but the decision to act upon them in this way rested upon "mental health issues" never seems to have occurred to them.

From one of his YouTube videos: "You don't have to accept the federalist laws. Nonetheless, read the United States of America's Constitution to apprehend all of the current treasonous laws."

Note the obsession with strict constitutionalism and use of the word "treasonous" to refer to modern law: these are constructs of right-wing conservatism.

He also demonstrated an anti-Federal Reserve obsession, claiming that paper money is "illegal" and arguing for the return to a metallic standard. ("No, I won't pay debt with a currency that's not backed by gold and silver!") Again, a construct of right-wing conservatives.


Even his bizarre "grammar" obsession, which at first sounds like something a schizophrenic might babble, strongly echoes the rants of right-wing tax protester David Wynn Miller and others.


(This link shows one of Loughner's videos and deconstructs key quotes, with time stamps, to show that references to "grammar" and "government mind control" are not simply the odd creation of an isolated, disturbed individual.)

"If this guy prints more money between now and the election, I dunno what y'all would do to him in Iowa but we would treat him pretty ugly down in Texas. Printing more money to play politics at this particular time in American history is almost treasonous in my opinion," Perry said when asked about his views on the Federal Reserve."


Obviously, Perry is well to the left of Loughner, politically, but their political worldview does overlap and this demonstrates the shocking similarities. Here, you have a presidential candidate using terms like "treasonous" to describe the monetary policy of the Federal Reserve and seeming to threaten -- however rhetorically -- physical violence (a lynching?) against the Fed Chairman himself. This, in a comment for public attribution which he subsequently affirmed and defended.

Texas is full of gun nuts and tax cheats (often combined in the so-called soverign-citizen, militia, and tea-party movements) and Perry was obviously playing to them.

Giffords' office was vandalized and she and her staffers were subjected to hundreds of threats because of her support for President Obama's healthcare bill:

"Our office corner has really become an area where the Tea Party movement congregates and the rhetoric is really heated. Not just the calls but the e-mails, the slurs."


Add (not substitute) "mental health issues" into the mix and it's a short step between vandalism, threats and abuse, and acts of personal violence.

en route to catch Zoellners thing at Changing Hands

In the 70's, I used to work out with Bill Heywood at the Interntional Health Spa in the basement of the First Federal Savings building, Thomas & Central. A bunch of radio guys used to work out there after their morning shows. Since they made their living "talking" for five hours, they were a very quiet bunch. Their voices were like silk, even while sweating. I loved Bill's show. that goes without saying. (so why did I say it?)

My impressions of Bill, a very conservative midwesterner. His listeners would have been surprised how conservative his thinking was. Having said that he was a nice, nice guy. So, his conservative views were nice, down to earth.

I was in my 20's, he was in his 40's, he was in great shape for a man in his 40's. All the radio guys were great to be around. It was a good time. Bill was a class act the rest of us could only dream of ever equaling.

God bless you Bill, I hope your courage will move the ball forward on the subject of leaving this world with dignity instead of a gunshot.

I gotta think about that Azrebel.
gun to head as is falling on sword?

This is so sad. We should offer our condolences to friends and family.

Five years ago, a close friend was in the agonizing terminal stages with CA and took his life rather than go back into the hospital for "the last roundup". I understood that decision and so did his pastor who did the memorial.
Without knowing more about the Heywood's circumstances, I would wonder about how a bankrupt couple winds up with a memorial in the Biltmore's Grand Ballroom. Too cynical? Or is there a disconnect?

"The efforts to make what happened to Gabrielle Giffords into an uplifting Lifetime television movie are offensive." Thank you. Thought I was the only one.

This is a test.

Test worked.
I did note than when I posted my last two comments I was not asked to identify and post the funny letters and numbers?

Some have had trouble posting. I took down the funny letters and numbers.

Arizona is a very unstable place with no one in charge other than the NRA.

So sorry that you are SO right.

test, test, test.

I posted a comment that was critical of liberals and it was censored. Guess I'll have to stick with test, test , test.

The comment dealt with the fact that liberals are hypocrits. I was only quoting Chris Hedges.

From Jon's link to the main Heywood story, comes this paste:

~~~"The pairing with Hattrick lasted less than a year, as Heywood was replaced by Glenn Beck, who was moving his way up the radio chain and would eventually become a Fox News personality. "I've seen a lot of bitter and angry people in radio over the years, but Bill wasn't one of them," Hattrick said. "He was like, 'This isn't my thing anymore, and I'm going to step aside.' When Glenn came along, he wasn't sad; he was gracious."~~~

That's just stunning.
The other day I was thinking of reading Dana Milbank's book on Beck: "Tears of a Clown". And so I read David Oshinsky's review of it in the WAPO. The opening paragraph really puts into perspective what Heywood was forced to move aside for:

~~~"All right, America, a show of hands: How many of you are tired of hearing your country torn down by a "big-nosed, cross-eyed freak" like Barbra Streisand? Okay. And how many share my fantasies about poisoning Nancy Pelosi, shooting Michael Moore and bashing in Charlie Rangel's head with a shovel? Thank you. I'm humbled! And how many think your government may be planning concentration camps to handle political dissidents and death panels to dispose of Grandma when she gets the sniffles? Right on! And how many have truly prepared for Armageddon by snapping up the gold coins and non-hybrid seeds that I'm pitching on my programs? You know why you need to buy these things? Because Barack Obama and his communist-Nazi-progressive gorillas don't want you to have them, that's why!"~~~

Oshinsky concludes his review with asking a question that Jon pokes at in his post:

~~~"Missing from Milbank's book is how, exactly, the groundwork was laid for a character like Beck. When and why did our culture become so coarse? And who else is responsible for this dumbed-down blood sport we see daily on TV?" ~~~

How did we get to this place where prison tattoos are a national fashion statement? Where did all this ugliness and dumbness and childishness come from?


I remember listening to Heywood in the mornings too and Chilcoat in the afternoons. Its sad to think how it all ended for the Heywoods, may they rest in peace. I think the easy-listening station was KUPD before it switched to its rock 'n roll format.

The article on Morris the comments to the Zoellner article and are pathetic and frightening.

Loughner's compadres give perspective on life for the yoofs in the Old Pueblo's toxic mushroom soup:


Sensationalistic, sure, but off the mark?

"When and why did our culture become so coarse? And who else is responsible for this dumbed-down blood sport we see daily on TV?"

Ever see The Jerry Springer Show? There is nothing political to it, but it is precisely the kind of "bread and circuses" which divert passions away from politics into strictly personal confrontations.

Living from check to check in a crap neighborhood? Unable to pay your bills? One car wreck or medical emergency away from job loss and/or homelessness due to inability to pay the mortgage/rent? Facing a future of drudgery for chicken feed? Working to live and living to work? Until you die? Watching the good life on television but unable to provide it for yourself and your family?

These are the things that might produce a sense of personal failure, a sense of futility and impotence, and anger. Politics (via legislation) has the potential to change lives in significant ways by changing such things as the minimum wage, the distribution (and redistribution) of income, whether health insurance is affordable, job security, the social safety net, and opportunity, whether through education or through employment.

But you have to ORGANIZE. You can't do it alone. Organization implies organizers. These are the ones who reach out to countless, separated individuals and help them to understand, to see, and to feel their common cause -- and common solutions. To help them overcome superficial barriers of race, sex, religion and nationality, and understand their real barriers. To understand how things work, how they've been robbed of the fruits of their labor by capital, and how to reclaim what is theirs.

First comes the objective economic situation: the crushing, concrete, everyday reality. This produces the negative feelings. Where do they go? Whom do you blame?

Right-wing radio is first and foremost a kind of tuning-fork. It channels into hostility, resentment and other negative feelings by offering the kind of aggressive vibe which resonates with and reinforces them. The political content does not lead this, but follows from this, and is designed both to distract and to divide. It's a kind of stage magic which diverts attention from the real actors and into a flashy illusion which enflames the feelings and imagination, not in a productive way, but by offering easy targets such as minorities and their "liberal patrons"; it simultaneously gives a quick and easy illusion of empowerment through hate, not only encouraging but offering justification for it.

It must divide, because unity is strength, and only by pitting the class enemies of capital against one another -- black against white, American against Mexican, man against woman, Christian against Muslim, Muslim against Jew, etc. -- can it weaken and conquer.

The minority can never manage the majority unless the majority can be fractured and set against one another. If they ever see what is really going on and unite against a common enemy, the game is lost. That must be prevented at all costs.

The political content of right-wing talk radio is merely the cart. The horse is the emotional content, which exists to harness the frustrations of the masses and divert those frustrations into safe channels.

Talton and his commenters continue the charade of pretending they care about 'civility' in political discussion, when their intention is crystal clear: civility is a political club to be used against your enemies. Even today there is a desperate attempt to attach 'right-wing' roots to Jared Loughner's insanity, an attempt that is nothing but an ugly, vicious purposeful lie. Civility: oh nonsense, we want a political tool with which to beat people, and we'll tell any tale, repeat any lie, soil ourselves endlessly for the purpose of throwing dirt on those we disagree with. You hold Sheriff Dupnik as your role model, your spokesman? The man whose department kills civilians, this left-wing mirror image of Sheriff Joe Arpaio, this is the man you want to hold up as some purveyor of truth? Have you completely lost any sense of propriety or dignity in your quest to ruin public discussion with your never-ending moral preening? You take evil and, like the alchemists, try to turn it into political gold. You pretend at civility, then you use Jared Loughner as your weapon of choice. It is profoundly sick.

Right on, Emil - sing it.

Hey Boz, how's this for moral preening?


A dissenter! Yay, Dave.

Looks like Boz can wield a club his-self!

Emil et al....

I've been reading a lot of economic and political analysis trying to pin down the dates on when the country changed and the middle class began to die.

There is a variety of opinion about that. Lots of cogent moments to point at. I suspect that means there isn't a single answer to the question of "what happened" and "when".

Here is one moment that doesn't seem to get a lot of "airplay" in anyone's analysis. This comes from the Wikipedia:

~~The Fairness Doctrine was a policy of the United States Federal Communications Commission (FCC), introduced in 1949, that required the holders of broadcast licenses to both present controversial issues of public importance and to do so in a manner that was, in the Commission's view, honest, equitable and balanced. The FCC decided to eliminate the Doctrine in 1987, and in August 2011 the FCC formally removed the language that implemented the Doctrine~~


SPOT on, korevel!

I got into a kerfuffle over that issue nearly five years ago.


Dave Boz nailed it. Thanks.

The demise of the Fairness Doctrine and the rise of Limbaugh are co-existing factors. Not saying there's a scientifically verifiable causal link there, but... actually I think there is one.

Dave Boz offers the usual rhetorical nonsense, not written for Rogue Columnist contributors at all, but already existing and constructed with such broad generalities that he can adapt them to the current forum simply by filling in a blank or two.

"Talton and his commenters continue the charade of pretending they care about 'civility' in political discussion, when their intention is crystal clear: civility is a political club to be used against your enemies."

Well, at least it is a political club.

The idea that civility is inconsistent with criticizing others is quite absurd, but precisely the sort of rhetorical abuse which fatuous spin-doctors like Dave Boz are paid to conduct. Work harder to smother the struggling flames of truth, Dave.

"Even today there is a desperate attempt to attach 'right-wing' roots to Jared Loughner's insanity, an attempt that is nothing but an ugly, vicious purposeful lie."

It must be so, because Dave Boz and other conservative pundits have so characterized it. Never mind that no attempt has been made to address and refute the specific, concrete evidence linking Loughner's obsessions and actions to right-wing political views.

"You hold Sheriff Dupnik as your role model..."

A straw-man argument: we simply agree that Dupnik called this one correctly. I'm not a one-man Dupnik fan club and have no idea whether his other observations are equally trenchant. The history of the Pima County Sheriff's Department is also irrelevant to the present discussion.

"Have you completely lost any sense of propriety or dignity in your quest to ruin public discussion with your never-ending moral preening? You take evil and, like the alchemists, try to turn it into political gold."

What have you objectively asserted above? That the writers take a moral stance, and that they make political criticisms. Guilty as charged. The rest is the sort of florid rhetorical caricature which went out with the Victorian era.

Two concrete assertions have been made: Loughner was strongly influenced by right-wing political views; and this fact has been largely ignored or actively denied by the much of the media, especially by the (largely center-right) mainstream media.

You have written nothing to contradict this thesis. You have instead attempted a smear of your political opponents with emotive descriptions and non sequiturs.

What? Can I get some help here. I never did understand Shakespeare.

Cal, that country-boy pose of yours is wearing a bit thin. Perhaps if you didn't slip into and out of it like a Halloween mask?

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