About a year ago I traded in my 40 mile (one way) commute to work for one that’s about 6 miles. The reduced travel time had an impact on my radio listening habits as well. Back then I would always leave my radio tuned to one of the news talk stations to get traffic updates, so I knew whether I needed to look for an alternate route. In between traffic reports, I’d listen to whatever talking head was ranting about that day. After I changed jobs, I no longer needed the traffic updates, and subsequently stopped listening to the talking heads. I really haven’t missed it either. Recently though, I realized that I was missing a lot of local news because my favorite news sources are primarily national news websites. So I started listening to the news talk station again in the mornings for local news. They usually cover the top local and national stories during my drive, so I don’t feel completely uninformed. As a result of listening to the news in the morning, I often catch parts of the afternoon talk shows before I change the station for the drive home.
So, yesterday, while driving home, I was listening to Sean Hannity ranting about Hillary Clinton. He claimed that she was so afraid of being asked embarrassing questions, that she carefully orchestrates all her appearances and fills the audience with people friendly to her campaign. He even had a guest on the show who had made a point of attending one of her campaign rallies and asked about Juanita Broderick’s accusations against Bill. The guest says that she was promptly escorted from the premises by the property owner. Sean then starts saying how the liberal media gives the Clintons a pass and refuses to ask them any hard questions. At this point I changed the station.
If, as Hannity claims, all of Senator Clinton’s public events are carefully orchestrated, doesn’t it seem likely that she’s only going to have reporters friendly to her campaign at the event? At the very least she’s smart enough to know which reporters she wants to take questions from in order to paint her campaign in the best light. It also seems to me that if his guest’s experience was indicative of how the Clinton campaign treats unscripted questions, then maybe there’s a reason for the lack of hard questions by the media.
Essentially, Sean wanted use this one event to condemn both Clinton and the Liberal media, but given the evidence presented there’s no way to simultaneously draw both of those conclusions. If the media is Liberal and giving her a pass, why would she need to orchestrate all of her campaign events? Couldn’t she just hold the events, and expect the liberal media to report the story in the way that makes her look the best? If we can believe his guest’s account, isn’t it possible that there are people asking her hard questions, but she’s refusing to answer and having these questioners removed from the events?
Talk show hosts have a template, call them talking points, or whatever you want. When a caller calls in, they take what the caller says and fits that in to their framework without really thinking about what they or the caller has said. Someone calls up with an anecdote about a Clinton rally, then the host knows he must disparage Clinton, and throw in Liberal Media Bias for good measure.
I’m so glad I only get sucked in for the 10 minute drive home.