I have finished the first 24 hours of my month-long liberal news fast, and I am happy to report that I have noticed no discernible change in my disposition.
I listened to some AM radio station where a guy named Howie Carr complained about state workers. I guess he has been a gadfly around Boston for some time, but not being from here and not listening to AM talk radio, I had no idea who he was. I checked out his column in the Boston Herald as well, where he also railed against state workers.
He seems to engage in the rather common Conservative practice of attacking by anecdote and emotion. He doesn’t say, for example, how many state workers are on disability compared to workers in the private sector. He likes phrases like “pinky-ring public-sector unions,” but the people I know working for the state don’t seem to wear any more jewelry than anybody else, perhaps even less. The guys might have worn a watch, but nothing fancy. I did see some quite regularly on the women, but not on the men. I know that there is the association of wise guys and mafiosi with the pinky ring, but I don’t see how that applies to state employees earning what by any standards is more than reasonable wage.
Segueing from state employees to federal without a distinction, Howie was particularly incensed, as were his listeners, that the employees of the TSA are about to unionize. No one brought up the fact that the 9/11 terrorists were allowed on the planes by private contractors, but whatever. Like Bush, your gut is what counts.
The two things that struck me most about his column were 1) he’s not funny, and 2) his column requires no research. If one is going to be satirical or try parody, it’s important to be really funny. Otherwise, it’s just a lazy, as well as an ineffective way to make an argument: if this is the truth, I must be right. Not being funny, not pointing out any real ironies, but just making up anecdotes, Howie just looks a hack past his time, airing his personal complaints to the already converted and too indolent to do any real investigative reporting that could lead to policy change. Well, he’s on AM and in tabloid. Res ipsa loquitor.
Tonight I attempt Hannity.