Ugh, this is what passes for insight at elite media outlets. The Times' David Segal thinks it's really, really interesting that he can draw connections between rappers and right-wing talk show hosts. i.e. Ludacris and Glenn Beck are similar. It's "uncanny" and "revealing," writes Segal, who's a big gangsta rap fan.
See what the Times is doing? It's comparing two groups of people rarely associated with one another. The Times is being contrarian!
Of course in the process, Segal, adhering to the media's Gold Rule of never directly quoting the disgusting vile that hate talkers actually traffic in, portrays Beck and Limbaugh and Savage as artists, not hate-mongerers. They're merely "colorful" and "highly agitated" in the hands of Segal. And instead of leading a blood-thirsty, right-wing pack set on dehumanizing Barack Obama by claiming he's a foreign-born, Manchurian Candidate sent to the United States to undermine our freedoms and liberties from within by leading a left-wing revolution, the talk haters are actually artists behind the mic.
Indeed, according to the Times, Beck is "genuinely hilarious." And nut job Savage "riffs are a quirky, zig-zagging flow of ideas that at their best are a kind of talk show scat, jumping from a mini-lecture about the Khmer Rouge, to a rave about barbecue chicken, to a warning that he feels a bit manic, which means he'll be depressed for tomorrow's show."
But the real kicker comes at the end when Segal plays monumentally dumb and wonders if the hate radio is detrimental to the country's debate [emphasis added]:
There's a curious role reversal here, with fans of Mr. Limbaugh, et al., now under the very suspicion that had long been cast on fans of gangsta rap. The suspicion boils down to another question: Can people listen to highly provocative words (and in rap's case, irresistible beats) and still be civil?
See, in the mind of Segal this question is open to debate. Having watched the right-wing mini-mobs unleash a raw kind of vitriolic hatred not seen in this country's public discourse in decades, after watching radicals show up at anti-Obama rallies with loaded pistols and parading around with posters of Nazi's and Hitler and swastikas, and after watching the 9/12 rally where openly racists attacks were made on America's first African-American president, Segal can't figure out if right-wing talk radio is causing listeners to be less civil.
Yeah, me neither.