I did not directly respond to Tom's on-air query today asking whether every beachfront property owner should be required to provide access to a given beach.

By my limited understanding, the California Coastal Comission is charged with assessing a beach environment in its entirety as well as considering individual property rights. Here, it seems the owner's property encompases at least the northerly half (if not all) of a very large, sandy beach cove with no land access other than through the owner's property.

The subject of Public Beach Access is an ongoing story around here.

: = ) Lance


Mark J. Saulys's picture
Mark J. Saulys 4 years 50 weeks ago

One caller to the program complained that the logging companies have recently started charging several hundred dollars for access to their forest land by hunters and fishers after not charging anything before. Thom said he had a house on some forest land when he lived in Vermont and that local laws mandated he make accessable to hunters through his property. He said hunters were always walking around in his front yard and some were pretty obnoxious. He seemed to be against the law requiring him to make his land available to be crossed over to get to the forest.

When it's his property that has to be made available to the public he's against the idea, when it's someone else's he denounces them if they object to having their land used that way by the public. Thom's rather hypocritical it seems.

I'm sorry to say that, I used to think pretty highly of him. I think his relative success has gone to his head, he's gotten more than a little full of himself. Has a bit of a "messiah complex", thinks he's the great prophet of the left and that his shit don't stink.

That's very bad for our movements. He only knows how to talk to people who already agree with him. He may be a little more courteous of other members of the "pundit class" but if you're a "nobody" caller to his program he doesn't seem to think you have any business disagreeing with him.

There is, obviously, a fair amount of intellectual elitism there coming out of his conceit. Such elitism is a great bane of the left. It stops any any movement building before it starts and severely marginalizes the Left limiting it to spoiled middle and upper class bratty academics and completely alienates the blue collar worker - who then encounters some Bill O'Reilly type who speaks their language and draws them into the Republican Party with some "there goes the neighborhood" politics of division.

The blue collar worker has no reason to listen to some pampered academic brat who lives in a library and has no information relevant to the real world. Academics have no business leading a workers' movement.

Ideology is not unlike religion and Thom sees himself as kind of an archbishop in the informal hierarchy of his "church", a goal keeper for ideological orthodoxy whose function is to keep the common members on his "straight and narrow".

Lance Rocks's picture
Lance Rocks 4 years 50 weeks ago

Appreciate your thoughts but have nothing critical to say about Thom. I called Randi Roads for many years...she's gone. Thom allowed me on his program and made me sound better than I deserved. My thanks to Thom and to all the progressive hosts still out there. Progressive shows have been banned from AM radio in Los Angeles - a first in my 50 years as an L.A. radio listener. Grateful to have Thom via WCPT over the Tune-In app on my tablet!

Mark J. Saulys's picture
Mark J. Saulys 4 years 50 weeks ago

I suppose he's not the worst but don't follow him off a cliff. He seems to be gaining a cult following amongst beat down, low self esteem progressive radio listeners. Don't lose your capacity for critical thinking, have always a mind of your own. Cults of personality are weird and deserve to be marginalized.

Legend 4 years 50 weeks ago


Unfortunately most blue collar workers listen to Rush Limbaugh who is not an "academic brat" but is very good at brain washing them. It is good if they listen to Thom Hartman. At least on his show you can hear opposing views. Rush screens out any opposing views. You must not listen to his show very much. I disagree with most everything that you say.

I lived in California until I was 21. Use to surf up and down the coast. The access point to most of the beaches that were surrounded by private property were small trails that were basically hidden. It is not like you were in peoples front yards. Once on the beach you were, in their minds, in their back yard. Back in the 60's and 70's California had some private "club" beaches. Those were made public sometime in the 70's. Even today some of the "State" beaches charge for entry. Hawaii also has beach access laws.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 4 years 50 weeks ago


Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 4 years 50 weeks ago

Mark, I think you make some great points about the elitism on the left side of the fence, how divisive and self-defeating it is. I can even see why you view Thom as a hypocrite in this instance. I'm still a big fan of Thom's though. Nobody in the media spotlight is perfect and I've had reason to disagree with Thom too, from time to time. But compared to most talking heads out there, Thom looks and sounds pretty damn good to me. He's a lot smarter than most of them and on the right side of most issues. In fact, I'd be hard pressed to come up with even one issue where I'd have a serious disagreement with Thom.

As to the topic this thread addresses, I can't help but empathize with Thom's complaint about hunters. I wouldn't want those macho creeps in my front yard either. What's more, I'd be worried that one of their stray bullets might penetrate my house and hit me, while I'm sleeping or washing dishes.

However beaches are another matter. I do not think rich people should hog the beaches. My one satisfaction is knowing that in the event of a tsunami, those fat-cat beach houses will be the first to go. - AIW

Phaedrus76's picture
Phaedrus76 4 years 50 weeks ago

What Thom said was he had put up signs posting "no tresspass" and a hunter, armed with a rifle on his front lawn had a pocket stuffed full of said signs that he ripped down was aggressive and belligerent on Thom's lawn.

Lance Rocks's picture
Lance Rocks 4 years 50 weeks ago

As noted prior, public shoreline access is an ongoing issue here: progress has been made down the years.

When I was a boy it was commonly accepted that owners of beachfront property could block access to the shore from land. For example, Emerald Bay in Laguna Beach cannot be accessed by land except through a guarded gate. It is likely I will never get to see Emerald Bay because I don't live there: Emerald Bay is a defacto private beach.

The Coastal Commission has changed this approach to the benefit of ordinary Californians like me. (I live a mile inland from the beach.) A good example of the new approach is the development of the Montage Resort Hotel in South Laguna.

Formerly a private beachside mobile home community called Treasure Island - you could not get to the beach through this large property - new regulations required the Montage to provide direct beach access to the public as it developed the old Treasure Island property. As a result my partner and I now visit a beautiful beach cove accessed by a path through the Montage Resort which we were never able to reach when the bluff top was controlled by its former owners.

LAND WHICH ONCE BLOCKED ACCESS TO THE BEACH IS NOW OPEN TO PUBLIC http://www.montagehotels.com/lagunabeach/

Bottom line, beaches in California are as important to local culture as they are in Hawaii: they are our patrimony. Large new developments which have the capacity to block beach access from the land MUST include public access in their plans...Californians demand it.

Lance Rocks's picture
Lance Rocks 4 years 50 weeks ago


Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 4 years 50 weeks ago

Lance, I couldn't agree more wholeheartedly. As one born and raised in California, I am outraged that beach access has even become an issue. Isn't it amazing, the sense of entitlement these elites seem to have! I'm so glad to learn that "ordinary" folks have finally taken back some of what has been stolen from them. But the struggle is never-ending, isn't it! Such is life in the 21st Century Guilded Age!! - AIW

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 4 years 48 weeks ago

Mark, I too have listened to Thom's show and I'm sorry, I have to disagree with your characterization of him. That's not been my impression at all. I haven't picked up on the kind of elitism you describe, claiming Thom acts like no one has any right to a differing opinion. Unless the conservative callers are flat-out rude, they are treated with courtesy and respect. That is what I've observed, listening to Thom's show.

I wouldn't be so quick to dismiss the role of academics in any movement, and think it's wrong to stereotype them as a bunch of elitest brats. Please, let's not adopt the anti-intellectual attitude of the righties! This movement needs folks of all stripes to be strong.

One final point I'd like to make. Only Thom knows how Thom perceives himself. Nobody else has access to the brain & psyche of another person. - AIW

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 4 years 48 weeks ago

Oh shit... Here we go again... numbers BACKWARDS, last post listed FIRST! Come on, Nigel, get it TOGETHER! I'm tired of this. Everything was working fine until this change of format; now it's just one screw-up after another! I can't remember where to find Nigel's webmaster link... Damn. - AIW

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 4 years 48 weeks ago

Try "contact us" at the bottom of the page and look for "Problems with the Web Site or podcast". Or just click on webmaster@thomhartmann.com

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 4 years 48 weeks ago

Thanks PD, and thanks Nigel. Problem solved. Hope it stays that way. - AIW

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