Friday, August 31, 2007

Somebody's Gotta Say It

Somebody’s Gotta Say It by Neal Boortz (HarperCollins 2007).

Neal Boortz is one of America’s most popular talk radio hosts, with an average daily audience of more than 3.75 million listeners. Until last week, I’d never heard of him.

Turns out, he’s not on the air in Los Angeles. Well, he’s broadcast by a station up in Palmdale, but that doesn’t count.

Boortz portrays himself as America’s Last Rational Man by espousing libertarian views which would prevent him from being elected to any office in the land. Fortunately, the radio gig pays well, so he won’t be running for Congress anytime soon. A smattering of Boortz’ impolitic opinions:

 “If you’re an adult between the ages of eighteen and sixty-five who has been in the workplace for longer than six months, and you still can’t manage to earn more than the minimum wage . . . . You’re A Pathetic Loser!”

 “Teachers unions pose a graver long-term threat to freedom, prosperity and the future of this country than do Islamic terrorists.”

 “The poor keep getting poorer because they keep doing whatever it was that made them poor in the first place. Ditto for the rich.”

 “Republicans have absolutely no fiscal discipline whatsoever. No Congress has ever blown money on vote-buying programs quite like the newly departed Republican Congress did.”

 “Democrats clearly have no intention of defending America from Islamic fascism – not now, not next month, not until the price of that defense is catastrophic.”

In his new collection of bite-size rants, titled Somebody’s Gotta Say It, Boortz hits many of his favorite topics. The United States is not a democracy and shouldn’t be – because at least half of Americans are breathtakingly stupid. The Seventeenth Amendment should be repealed, and U.S. senators elected by state legislators again. Citizens shouldn’t be able to vote for president, either.

Boortz has an oblique sense of humor. He once caused pandemonium throughout Georgia by broadcasting reports about “cat chasing,” a (fake) sport in which a live cat is thrown out of an airplane and skydivers race to catch the cat before it hits the ground. On the day of the “championships,” the local sheriff stopped Boortz in the radio station parking lot and had a word with him.

In addition to the entertaining shtick, Boortz makes some valid points. One of his themes is that, rhetoric aside, most Americans do not believe in individual freedom, preferring to have the government make decisions for them. President Bush’s proposed Social Security reform was defeated because Americans “were simply unwilling to take responsibility for investing even a miniscule 2 percent of their earnings for their own retirement.” Similarly, Americans want government to mandate employer-provided health insurance, set minimum wages, license professionals and regulate television content.

“This country is populated by far too many people who cannot exist at anything other than a basic level without someone else stepping forward to take care of them,” Boortz writes. “They’re adult children. They look upon the government as their mommy and daddy, there to kiss whatever hurts and make sure food is always on the table. These people yearn, and deserve, to live in a dictatorship where their fealty to the government is rewarded by lives absent of uncertainty and choice.”

A dictatorship would immediately ban Boortz from the airwaves. Or achieve the same end by re-instating the Fairness Doctrine.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Boortz's thing about the Fairness Doctrine misunderstands what the fairness doctrine is. The fairness doctrine requires that all points of view get an airing, it's up to the individual station to determine the emphasis that a particular opinion can receive.

A lot of people mix Fairness Doctrine up with Equal Time. They are not the same thing.

4:48 AM  

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