I'm no fan of talk radio, but a comment
by Trent Lott in tomorrow's New York Times certainly gave me
Comments by Republican senators on Thursday suggested
that they were feeling the heat from conservative critics of the
bill, who object to provisions offering legal status. The
Republican whip, Trent Lott of Mississippi, who supports the bill,
said: “Talk radio is running America. We have to deal with
The important part of that quote isn't the irony of Trent Lott,
Rush Limbaugh's best friend, criticizing talk radio. What is far
more interesting is how angry the establishment is about avenues of
democratic participation in the media. Whether it's Denny Rehberg
suggesting we limit freedom of speech on blogs or Lott suggesting
we "deal with" talk radio, political leaders and their friends in
the establishment media sure don't like regular people mobilizing
and expressing their opinions, and why would they? Largely given a
free pass by the media, politicians have become quite unacustomed
to anyone challenging them and their policies.
I'm not one to overstate the power of blogs or praise the
democratizing power of talk radio (good God, that phrase hurts),
but if all we accomplish is to rankle and annoy the establishment,
then the effort is well worth it.
Update: Jay has a another take on a related issue.