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Conservative Talk Radio, And Hanlon's Razor

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posted on Sep, 13 2008 @ 05:48 PM
I don't have much time to listen to conservative talk radio, so I don't have a huge basis for comparison. But lately it seems like the vitriol associated with Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity has seriously stepped up.

I was listening on Friday, and was hearing a lot of words like "idiot", "insane", "desperate", "liars", "fools", and "evil", all applied to a huge section of our population in general, and to Obama's supporters in particular. Over and over again, with creative variations; it went on for hours. I imagine it has been going on for days or months.

Is it possible that any large group of people really take this seriously? Do people honestly believe that hyperbole like this is actually reflective of reality? Or is it pretty much obvious to everyone that this vitriol and fervor is just a way of boosting advertising revenues for these radio programs?

Does Conservative Talk Radio inflame you against your fellow citizens? Or are you just laughing and nodding, but dismissing most of it?


Hanlon's razor is just the statement that you need to assume "stupidity" before "malice". It's kind of a joke, like Murphy's law. But it applies here:'s_razor

I don’t want to think that there is true malice taking place here. Or is there?

posted on Sep, 13 2008 @ 05:59 PM
I wanted to add one more note:

Does anybody really think that the callers to these shows are at all reflective of mainstream lithought? Do people think that someone with a good argument and valid criticism of a radio talk show host will ACTUALLY be put on the air?

It seems 100% obvious that they select callers very rigorously.

I think some people might believe that talk show hosts take their callers at random, and these callers accurately represent the population at large, like some sort of scientific study or scientific opinion poll.

Some people may believe that these callers are good representatives of USA taxpayers and citizens. Of course, that is untrue.

[edit on 14-9-2008 by Buck Division]

posted on Sep, 13 2008 @ 06:09 PM
I know a few people who do take what the hyperbole's these people throw out seriously. It is frightening to a large degree because, based on the responses from those I know who listen to these shows and when I broke down and listened to these shows for a short time, there is very little substance to what the hosts are saying.

It usually comes down to:

Liberals are stupid. Why? Because they are liberals.
Liberals want the downfall of our country. How is this possible? Because they are liberals
Liberals are evil, stupid, dumb, and should all be shot. What for? Because they are liberals.

There are few arguments and discussions, mostly a lot of hate mongering. My husband found one left wing show and he said it was the same type of discussion, just from the other side.

posted on Sep, 13 2008 @ 07:20 PM
Unfortunately, when you take all of the right wing media, be it FOX TV, the NY Post Newspaper, the wall-street journal online, or the Limabaughs of the radio, there is a combined effect. Of course this means there is an effect on the left by the media and this is true. The difference, imo, is that talk radio is very visceral, angry, immediate and after filling some persons head with ideas well spoken but obviously slanted to the right year after year - gives the average joe the chance to bitch about why thier life sucks, and who is responsible for ALL of the problems in our govt.

I mean, people are still REALLY pissed at Clinton, the last eight years on their watch have been a total wreck, and these guys still have an audience to moan.

Limbaugh is an entertainer who talks almost about himself as much as he does his "enemies" in Washington, but many listen and believe. Now his spawn, with the likes of Michael Savage (he of the autism is a made up disease) have taken over the airwaves - agian, are you really shocked by the lowest common denomonator? Give an idiot a soapbox, cheer him on and watch him go! Hate speach is becoming masked as politcal jargon and imo, it will continue to be very interesting to see how our country as a whole reacts as Obama gets closer to the White House. If only Strom Thurmond were around to make things right for the Republicans...


[edit on 13-9-2008 by ColoradoJens]

posted on Sep, 13 2008 @ 07:26 PM
reply to post by ColoradoJens

Holy snot sauce we agree on something!

Joking and jabs aside, I really respect what you said. I especially clung onto your point about talk radio being immediate. I find that we need time to process information, to understand and work out how we feel, might feel, should feel. Small example, maybe someone does something where my initial reaction is anger, but within a minute I come to understand that I misunderstood and now it is silly. Perhaps talk radio talks away that time to process the thoughts, ideas, and emotions that would lead to a more rational opinion.

Anyway, my point is that your point was a great one.

posted on Sep, 13 2008 @ 07:32 PM
reply to post by Alora

There seems to be a style of argument on the right, where if I shout louder than you do and bang my hand on the table harder than you, than I am right. Makes it hard to actually discuss and understand what you are screaming about.


[edit on 13-9-2008 by ColoradoJens]

posted on Sep, 13 2008 @ 07:34 PM
I listened to Rush for years then stopped for about 8 years. Started back up and it was the same crap. He's a one pony show.

I do enjoy O'Reilly, he just has a huge ego to feed, but he is fair.

I enjoyed listening to Alan Colmes on the radio until his show was dropped locally. I called him a couple times and talked to him. We agree to disagree on some things. I did find him refreshing, but I was apparently was just one of very few listeners to his show.

There is far worse on the air than Rush. These clowns are fools and instigators at best. Some of the stuff that is spouted off even makes me mad. It's these fools that cries out the need for the fairness doctrine. Even dead air would be better than some of them.

Back to Rush, he is an entertainer and nothing more. He has a fat contract and brings in the numbers for listeners. If his ratings start to falter, he will change his show to reflect more popular appeal. He is nothing more than money speaking and it is big money.

posted on Sep, 13 2008 @ 07:48 PM
reply to post by Coloradojobs

Bravo again. I agree completely. What makes election year so hard is that my husband is a republican and I'm a democrat. He adheres to the insults+yelling = good argument style of thinking. How we have survived this long is a testimony to his ability to duck and dodge. :lil:

posted on Sep, 13 2008 @ 08:19 PM
reply to post by Buck Division

Considering the title of your thread can I deduce you lean a little to the left? IMHO you can remove the word "conservative" from the title and still apply Hanlon's Razor.

It could be argued Rush and Hannity own the radio airwaves in the same fashion Olberman and Mahr own the television airwaves. Extremes in either direction usually don't make for a healthy debate.

When I listen to Rush I question if he even buys into his rhetoric at times, some of the things he says seem to be tongue in cheek, but then again I could be wrong. I think he is his own biggest fan and plays to his stereotype to garner ratings and dollars. After all it is a show and he is a showman.

Hannity on the other hand seems to be much more down to earth than the egotistical Rush. Hannity pushes the conservative agenda but he backs up most of what he says with facts. His call screeners seem to allow a few more "libs" to get through but he usually handles the callers in a respectful manner.

I listened to Michael Savage (purely for entertainment) until he made a very offensive comment about autistic children. Since then I've tuned him out.

posted on Sep, 13 2008 @ 09:11 PM

Originally posted by TheRooster
reply to post by Buck Division

IMHO you can remove the word "conservative" from the title and still apply Hanlon's Razor.

Absolutely. I single out conservative talk radio because it is undeniably a force, and seems to be getting more vicious and nasty than I ever remember it to be. My thread title is meant to be descriptive of a type of talk radio, not the conservative viewpoint. (I am not familiar with any forceful liberal talk radio. Does it exist?)


What I am getting at here is that there may be a great naivety to the population. Hanlon's razor says most people are not nasty or mean spirited, just gullible. Probably.

For example, if there existed today a really talented and charismatic liberal leader, say like Will Rogers, these people would be following that person's ideology, rather than Limbaugh. But we have a situation where gullibility is being exploited. People can be turned to hate so easily. We see great examples of that right here at ATS.

Yeah. Liberal's can do it also. But it is currently the conservatives that are leveraging that common human exploit.


I like the responses here at ATS. Not one person stood up to defend the viewpoint that liberals ACTUALLY ARE evil, and to get nasty with me. Cool. My faith in ATS members continues....

posted on Sep, 14 2008 @ 12:41 PM
This is a reply to Alora:

Dem and Rep keeps it interesting in the same household. My parents were the same way - my mom worked on the McGovern campaign, loves the arts, and my dad, business man to the last, was what I would call a passionate conservative. He tried, as hard as he could to understand all aspects of someones argument and he often spoke the fewest words in the conversation, but the impact was always the greatest. I also come from an Irish background with a huge family and political discussions were the norm around the dinner table. Sure it got heated, but there was some real discussion and the kids were allowed to voice their opionions. All over some good food and drink. We are all really the same; we all want the same things for ourselves and our families. Let's not live in fear of the truth, and honest open debate. Thanks for your post!


posted on Sep, 20 2008 @ 10:02 PM
Hanlon’s razor is indeed a joke. What’s not funny however is how many people take such illogic seriously. How many times have we heard the incompetence excuse used to pardon the wrongdoing of those in power? FEMA is the ultimate example. Why they didn’t leave those people to die, they’re just stoopid. The economy, various wars, the list goes on and on. It’s the perfect cover for evil: idiocy.

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