Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Talk Radio in the Afternoon

A church staff member and I caught a ride to a luncheon today with a parishioner. He was happy that the luncheon ended just in time for us to catch the start of the Rush Limbaugh Show on our ride back to the church.

We listened to Limbaugh greet his listeners and then dig into his first issue of the day. Our driver turned down the volume so we could discuss what we heard. Two things struck me.

By United States War Department
[Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
First, Limbaugh began by telling his radio audience that those who listen regularly are intelligent people. I like that attitude. On another occasion when I was listening to the Rush Limbaugh Show (Yes, it was when I was riding in the car of this same gentleman!), a caller said that she had quit her job at a daycare center because it interfered with listening to Limbaugh's entire daytime radio show. It was clear from her sincere tone that listening to Limbaugh was an important part of her day. For people who are that connected, it has got to be nice to be complimented for listening.

What would happen if I start complimenting anyone who will take a few minutes to listen to my opinions? I'm going to try that.

The second thing that caught my attention was Limbaugh's use of terms. In his opening remarks, a response to a critical email he had received, he called out politicians, news writers, columnists, government employees, and sports stars by name in a roiling explanation of his stand. He frequently inserted the terms "the left", "liberals", "Democrats" and "the media". I checked with my parishioner to see if I had heard right, "I'm confused. Does left, liberal, Democrat and media all mean the same thing?" He said, "Yes."

Does that mean that if I am one of those things, I am all of those things? And what is the unifying definition that would put those terms all in the same column in a dictionary?

When we arrived at the church, the parishioner asked (while laughing) if we had time to listen to a little more of the show. We assured him we had loads of work waiting for us in our offices.

I am glad for our conversation and I believe that my parishioner is very intelligent for listening to me.

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