Are political talk shows really worth listening to?

Photo by Andréanne Germain, via flickr

Luis Santana/Contributing Writer 

A man runs from the door of his house fighting against the freezing rain to get inside his car. He sits down, victorious, and cranks the car to life. As moves the car forward he clicks a knob and on comes on a loud commanding voice. The words fly from the radio like flames from a furnace, burning the ears of the listener and inciting a rage in him that burns hotter than a thousand George Foreman grills.

He starts nodding his head in agreement and yelling, “Yes! He’s so right this government is in shambles!” and sometimes, “This world is going to hell in a hand basket!” He swerves around traffic, beeping at those who have a different elected officials name on their bumper, shaking his fist wishing he could give them a piece of his mind. The voice on the radio keeps spurring him on and on until the man is furiously agreeing and preaching a message not of his own making, but of what the voice tells him to say.

The man parks his car at his job, nods in approval towards the radio as he hears the final words of his lecturer, turns off his car and storms off, fueled by anger for the rest of the day and passing it on to everyone he meets. Later that night he will go home and sleep, and wake up to do the same thing tomorrow. He will listen to a message of anger and rage, one that is meant to make you paranoid and furious. A voice that is known to us as political talk radio.

I am not a Republican. Nor am I a Democrat. If I bring up a figure that may be affiliated with one side of politics or another, I’m not trying to bash that party.  I am simply a person who has had the displeasure to have to sit in cars that have had these boisterous preaching voices for most of my life.

Out of every talk show host, I’ve had to listen to Rush Limbaugh the most. Now, I don’t have a problem with a man wanting to make money off of other people listening to him. Our media culture is formed on the notion that we watch these people in the glitz and glam and they inform us of how to “better our lives,” or to become “informed.”

The last word is what I’d like to harp on most especially in the realm of political talk radio. When I’ve heard Limbaugh talk he does give you a piece of the news, he tells you about the President’s plan to advance X and Y plan. But what he does, like most media, is give you his opinion. These figures spend hours inciting your emotions rather than informing you.

The problem I see with political talk radio and those who listen to it is that they really allow their emotions to be riled up by these speakers. They purposefully play on the hyper patriotism of these Americans and use it to create anger in them. Is it really worth it, no matter what knowledge you gather, to go around the entire day being upset?

Instead, read the news. Take the angry voices away from your ears and instead allow your own voice to develop. Inform yourself of these events rather than letting others sway their opinion. 

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