My recent involvement with Coffee Party USA and Coffee Party Conservatives has again focused my thinking on the ways in which we can have balanced conversations and how we can recognize when conversations are veering off in irresponsible and polarizing directions. This week I want to share three blogs that I believe have important things to say about this message.
First is Stop Polarizing Talk, a site founded on the work of linguist Kathryn Ruud, whose paper, "Liberal Parasites and other Creepers: Rush Limbaugh, Ken Hamblin, and the Discursive Construction of Group Identies," is a must-read for anyone interested in how talk radio has manifest as political propaganda. On the site you can see full-length videos of her work; highly recommended.
Next up is The Cynical Times, which calls itself an "online news community for middle-class Americans" that is "nonprofit, nonpartisan and nondenominational." Interested in the voices of people (not corporations, and certainly not money), the site offers a number of stories on a number of topics. There's often some snark ("Breitbart Takes a Dirt Nap"), and sometimes it slips into cruelty--the comments about Whitney Houston seemed a bit over the line to me--but, for the most part, the site sticks to its credo: "Our editorial position champions the greater good of middle-class Americans and places their collective long-term interests ahead of partisan politics, for-profit companies and industries, organized religion, and all other income groups."
My third recommendation this week is the site for The David Pakman Show, a radio show that I stumbled across accidentally when looking up some new information on Rush Limbaugh's recent Fluke-up. (Yes, I know. I've used that joke too many times. But it still amuses me, and it's my blog, after all...). Pakman writes a monthly column, but more interesting are the clips from his shows, available as videos and as podcasts. (By the way: David, if you're listening? I'd be a great guest...)