Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Wednesday morning mea culpa

Yes, I have to fess up today to missing yesterday's big story.  Before I get to that, though, a few words from Jon Stewart who, I believe, has become one of our best political commentators.  He drives home his point with a comic touch that makes even the most bitter pill easier to swallow and, metaphors aside, the truth easier to understand.  

That is, of course, unless you're a right-wing talk show host.  

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The next clip that you need to see today comes from another of our best -- Keith Olbermann.  He and Jon Stewart arrive at many of the same conclusions and help to inform the more erudite segments of the population (i.e. those who actually think), but get there via different routes.

Keith is more in-your-face, more to the point.  There's not as much of the comic nuance as we get from Jon Stewart's brand of commentary.  Keith leaves little to the imagination.  He calls it exactly as it is, though sometimes we don't like hearing what he has to say. 

And that was the case last night.

I blew it yesterday on this story.  I was speaking with Ron Brynaert, Executive Editor at when I guest-hosted on Air America.  We were talking about the top stories of the day, and I didn't even deal with the headline that read Obama Administration quietly expands Bush's legal defense of wiretapping program.  

I knew just by looking at the headline that it was bad.  Perhaps that's why I skipped over it, and opted instead to talk about the story of actor Kal Penn (of Harold & Kumar fame) leaving his cushy gig on the TV show House to join the Obama administration as a public outreach liaison, and other such light fare.  My mistake.

And I made that mistake after discussing with Mr. Brynaert the fact that we, as "progressives and liberals" don't tow the party line unchallenged.  I think my exact quote was "I'll call a spade a spade, and if I believe Obama is wrong about something, I'll call him on it!"   I even had a similar conversation earlier in the show with author and activist David Swanson who, although he voted for Obama, has remained as vigilant about exposing the hypocrisy of this administration as he was the last.  

A quick aside here, as I neglected to do this yesterday.... Although I've interviewed David Swanson numerous times over the past few years, the post that prompted me to invite him on the air yesterday, What's the Real Reason?, is must reading for everyone. 

Back to the main point.  Keith Olbermann covered the story of President Obama and this administration not only defending the Bush Administration's warrantless wiretapping program but, in essence, expanding on it!  

In the following two clips, you'll hear Keith speaking with Newsweek's Howard
Fineman about the story, and then discussing the ramification of it with one of our foremost experts on Constitutional law, Jonathan Turley.
It's up to us to make sure President Obama hears us on this.  If you want to get involved, I'll once again direct you back to David Swanson's numerous websites --, and as some good starting points.

On another note, I promised that I'd put together a primer of sorts on progressive talk radio that you can hear online.  Actually, the work has already been done.  You can find a very comprehensive listing at    I will check with the proprietor of that blog and ask if I can cannibalize his listings and create a page here at Radio or Not to make it easier to navigate your way through it.  But that's a good starting point for you to check out, and bookmark your favorites!

As for the lack of local progressive talk here in South Florida, I promise to use this blog and podcast to pick up the slack.  In the coming days, I will speak with some of Florida's legislators who are still entrenched in Tallahassee for their annual 60-day legislative session.  We'll likely pick that up after the Easter/Passover break.  In the meantime, please check back here regularly, as you never know what will spark my interest.

If there's a local story you think needs addressing, by all means, post it in the comments section below, on the message board, or email me.  I read it all!