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December 13, 2012 09:46 PM UTC

"Dwelling on the nuances does not win the favor of dittoheads"

  • by: Jason Salzman

( – promoted by Colorado Pols)

The Editorial Page Editor of the Colorado Springs Gazette, Wayne Laugesen, caught my attention last month when he pointed out that talk radio is “viewed, right or wrong, as part of the GOP, a big part of the GOP.”

This, he said, has hurt Republicans among Hispanics.

I asked Laugesen whether the damage caused by talk radio goes beyond Hispanics, to women or environmentalists, for example.

“I think a lot of good comes out of conservative talk radio,” he told me “But it can be a double-edged sword. That which gets ratings is not always in the best interest of those trying to win elections. Trying to find a niche on the radio is different from trying to put together a coalition of voters to win an election.”

I called Laugesen after listening to him on a talk radio show yesterday, where he had this exchange with radio host Jason Worley on KLZ’s Grassroots Radio Colorado yesterday:

Jason Worley: Environmentalism is a religion today. If you compare it to Judaism, Catholicism, Christianity, Hinduism, it has the same tenants, the same ideas. The problem is, the people who follow it, don’t have to actually ever suffer the effects of it. Go drop them off in Borneo in the middle of the rainforest with no mosquito protection repellent, no sunscreen…see how long they could last. They wouldn’t.

Laugesen: Right. If they ever got their way. If they were ever successful at stopping all this progress they intend to stop, they’d be miserable.

Worley: Wayne, you and I share a lot of beliefs. We’re right there on libertarian-leaning conservative beliefs.

Laugesen: Sure. I love progress. Almost 100% of the time, with some exceptions, when someone creates profit, which is really just the cost of capital, that person has improved the human condition. Because what are we willing to pay for? What makes us part with precious capital? An improvement to our lives. That’s the only thing that makes us part with capitol. Human beings are not intuitively into destroying their lives, or the environment that supports their lives.

Lots of people, like swing-voting soccer moms, consider themselves environmentalists.

Could this conversation possibly make them feel good about the GOP?

To be fair, there was a lot more to the KLZ radio segment, including Laugesen’s audio of a group of anti-fracking protesters saying some silly stuff.

But still, if you’re the kind of person who feels warmly toward environmentalism, and you listened to this show, you could easily have felt personally attacked.

But that wasn’t Laugesen’s intention.

I interpreted Laugesen’s 100% comment to mean he’s against most all regulations that might hinder profit. But he straightened me out, saying he believes that rules and regulations are necessary.

He also said he thinks “organized religion is far more legitimate than extreme environmental activism.”

In fact, throughout his radio appearance, Laugesen directed his critique at “radical” environmentalists, not all of them.

But, amid the extreme comments by a guy like Worley, do everyday environmentalists hear the distinction. Or do they just feel attacked?

Laugesen and I agreed that amplification can overpower details on talk radio.

“Dwelling on the nuances does not win the favor of dittoheads,” he said.


190 thoughts on ““Dwelling on the nuances does not win the favor of dittoheads”

  1. Strain 1: Environment’s condition is a big part of human happiness and thus should have resources (disagreement of private v. public here) devoted to it.

    Strain 2: Environment’s well being trumps the well being of man.  See VHEMT as an extreme example:

    I think Wayne was more talking about Strain 2 than Strain 1.  And just because he made such a point on talk radio as opposed to a print format does not detract from the point’s legitimacy.  

  2. Talk radio is viewed as a giant arm of the GOP. And that view isn’t inaccurate. On any given day of the week, I can find a national or state Republican office-holder who says something in the same extreme (even silly) line as your average right-wing talk show host.

    That’s because the right wing has ruled talk radio for decades, and their captive audience has trickled into FOX News and then into the activist wings of the Republican Party. Simply put, the Republican Party is now made up largely of people weaned on talk radio and FOX News.

  3. Big difference on excluding people based on IDEOLOGY and excluding people based on group.  The GOP would be correct to exclude avowed eugenicists and racists from the party as neither comports with small gov’t ideology.  Excluding people because they speak a different language though makes little sense and doesn’t go to anything resembling the GOP’s core mission.

    I understand Wayne’s points on immigration to be that talk show radio programs have been pushing exclusion based on non-ideological bases.  And that exclusion serves neither principle nor intelligent politics.

    To the extent that the above remarks can be interpreted as “exclusionary” (a huge stretch) they would in fact be exclusionary on an ideological basis and thus fall outside what I believe Wayne was talking about  

  4. Who the hell are you?  Boy, I turn my back on the blog for a few days and they are letting in anybody.

    1) So what if some environmentalists are also Pantheists….look it up in your Funk & Wagnells….Didn’t you study Thoreau and Emerson at Northwestern?

    2) Speaking of Northwestern,  any study of the environment that occurred ten years ago is obsolete.  There have been both tremendous scientific advancements in data collection and continuing changes in climate.

    There are two legitimate issues, as I see it.

    1) The first is that those who pollute the environment and/or benefit from the products of that pollution, such as fossil fuel use, are not the same people who may suffer from the impact of that pollution or who may not suffer proportionally.  So how does a “free market” equitably distribute costs and benefits?  The answer is it never does.

    2) It is one thing to document climate change and pollution.  It is another to be able to predict what interventions will have the desired effect without unintended consequences.

  5. I’ll switch from Worley and environmentalism to get us out of the rut and back on to the topic of the diary. How about a second example, by way of anecdote?

    Rush Limbaugh was at least entertaining when Femi-Nazis were well-understood to be the few radical feminists out there. I listened to him back in those old days. But the last time I listened to him, Femi-Nazis were those feminists arguing in favor of the ERA or equal pay for equal work non-discrimination laws – i.e. people who thought women deserved to be treated with the same respect as men.

    I can’t listen to Rush now. He insults my intelligence, and it seems he tries hard to insult common sense at least once per segment.

    The same can be said of Bill O’Reilly, or Sean Hannity, or Michael Savage. Or – away from media entertainment – Rep. Michelle Bachmann, Rep. Paul Broun, Rep. Steve King or any number of other lesser lights on the Republican side of the aisle. And I think they all reflect on Laugesen’s talk show point.

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