February 17, 2003

We don’t need no more chuckles…

A group of rich Democrats wants to start a national, liberal talk radio network. The point is to “counterbalance” some of the conservative radio talkers such as Rush Limbaugh and Michael Savage. Okay, fine. But I think they have the wrong idea. According to The New York Times:

The group, led by Sheldon and Anita Drobny, venture capitalists from Chicago who have been major campaign donors for Bill Clinton and Al Gore, is in talks with Al Franken, the comedian and author of “Rush Limbaugh Is a Big Fat Idiot.” It hopes to enlist other well-known entertainers with a liberal point of view for a 14-hour, daily slate of commercial programs that would heavily rely on comedy and political satire.

There’s nothing wrong with a good chuckle. But are these guys overlooking the fact that Rush Limbaugh is serious? He’s entertaining. He can be funny. But Limbaugh is always serious.

Aristotle claimed that you can effectively counter seriousness with humor and humor with seriousness. That’s true to a certain extent. After so countering, one must then make the opposite appeal because you cannot effectively persuade anyone with a one-note song.

The group wants to hire Al Franken. Great choice! He can handle the funny business as well as anyone. Who will handle the serious business? Without an answer to that question, this venture may be doomed to irrelevancy.

UPDATE (12:50 p.m.): Hesiod isn’t thrilled with the idea either. But he seems comfortable with the comedy part.

One Response

  1. Ben Gardner 

    Frankly, I would have to agree with you. With war looming, the North Korean situation running untended and wild, and a host of other potential crises on the homefront, the last thing the Democrats need is to confirm Republican accusations that they are indeed irresponsible. Humor may be effective at making a point, but it would be disastrous if they appeared to make humor the whole point. The bitterly divided and rapidly disintegrating Democratic Party cannot afford to set themselves up for the accusation that they are making light of issues which mean a lot to the common man.

    In essence, I think Sunday’s (Feb. 16th) Doonesbury said it well. Democrats have got to get their act together before they start plotting to challenge conservative dominance of the radio. Better yet, they need to take themselves seriously before toying with the idea of humor!