re: All Heat, No Light
Thom had Carrie Lukas from the Independent Women's Forum on last week. She displayed her lack of personal knowledge of any of the issues and just stuck to the regulation right wing talking points. The only time she claimed she had any expertised on a subject was when Thom brought up how well the economy in Austria is doing. Carrie said "Are you kidding?" on the basis that she had lived in Austria at one time,
She is just another example of the no-nothing conservative blowhards Thom has on his show for "conversations". It's always the same: he raises an issue, the right winger begins to respond with talking points, then Thom talks over the person and hijacks the conversation as he primarily monologues on what the actual truth of the issue is. Carrie Lukas is obviously a hack, as all the right wingers Thom has on his show are. So what's the purpose of having them on? I learned years ago these guys, usually from the Ayn Rand Institute, or some other right wing think tank, don't know what they're talking about and that they're safely in the pocket of Big Business. Yes, Thom may come up with some tidbits I hadn't known before but basically no light has been shed on the issue. Thom allows the guest to start a thought or respond to Thom's comment and then he rolls over the person again--who's unable to talk at the same time Thom is. Nothing is gained from these exchanges: the guest is a straw man that Thom knocks down every time. I get bored with the repetition of it all. Thom is like many other talk show hosts on the right AND left who book a guest just for the intention of unmasking them as fools on national radio while giving them almost zero time to talk. I've gotten to the point where I usually turn off the show during these "conversations" and tune back in when Thom broaches a new topic and takes phone calls.
I think this is Thom's only weak and blind spot as a talk show host. My suggestion is if he's going to book a guest, book someone he can have a real debate with and LET THEM TALK, TOO! However, just a thought--maybe he has so many stupid right wingers on his show because the smart ones refuse to debate him. But that raises the question: ARE there any smart right wingers?
re: All Heat, No Light
As the saying goes, I think you are spot on. I had the same experience the other day with a guy defending the rights of an 18 year old Texan whose facebook page read something like would be from Charlie Manson, to own a handgun prior to the current 21 year old age requirement. He wasn't even a straw man. He was a fool. It was boring and I turned it off, to tune back in later, which I did. The problem may be the answer to your question - there really aren't any smart right wingers, just greedy ones.
If you were the radio talk show host, how would you fill the time? Perhaps more interviews with people like Chris Hedges, and other brilliant, yet differing progressive/radical viewpoints? It might be wise for Thom to quit giving the right wing idiots so much air time, and delve more deeply into the roots of Progressivism. I love Harry Belafonte. I love Noam Chompsky. How about Thom Hartmann being the 'guest' and talking about why he is a progressive? I like intelligent discussion about what makes progressives progressives. I am sure there are thousands of eloquent unheard voices out there - environmental activists and anti-war activists are two that come to my mind. Something more that boring and defensless ideologues.
I also agree with your statement, "I think this is Thom's only weak and blind spot as a talk show host." My opinions, however, often tend to fall with the minority.:)