Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Man, DePetro is C R A Z Y

So, I went on the John DePetro show today. I had never heard his show before, but I didn't exactly have high expectations. I knew he was a right-wing talk radio host... and that was about it. That said, I haven't heard a right-wing talk radio host who was all that rational. Yet, as bad as I thought he would be, he was much, much worse.

I was a bit taken a back, just moments before I went on the show, to hear that John DePetro wasn't really talking about whether or not John Kerry should apologize. The merits of that discussion are sound either way - it's an honest discussion. No, that wasn't what DePetro was talking about. Instead, the fact that Kerry should apologize is assumed. The discussion is if Kerry should resign! I admit, I couldn't contain myself: I laughed at just how crazy DePetro was and then knew exactly what I was getting myself into. Then I went on air.

I'm not even going to go into the "discussion" on the show. First off, I was contacted by John's producer to give DePetro a Mass lefty blogger's perspective. I figured we'd talk somewhat rationally for a short segment and have ourselves a little debate - from the context of the lefty blogosphere. I prepared a few notes on what John Kerry actually meant to say, why Republicans were jumping on it (they're desperate for a distraction) and how the Herald's headline article was, to put it mildly, crazy.

Well, John's producer (Bill Cooksee) didn't say I'd be introduced as "Ryan from Dartmouth" (instead of Ryan, a liberal blogger, or something like that) and be hung up on in ... oh, I don't know, a minute or so into the phone call. I wasn't being rude or defensive (though John was) - I was just pointing out that John Kerry meant to make fun of the President, but gaffed the joke. You all know, the truth.

However, I found it ironic that the show's promo kept using Jack Nicholson's lines from "A Few Good Men." You know the ones:

"We use words like honor, code, loyalty. We use these words as the backbone of a life spent defending something. You use them as a punchline."

"You want the truth? You can't handle the truth."

"I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very freedom that I provide, and then questions the manner in which I provide it."

Great quotes, all of them. However, the quotes were coming from a character who ordered the murder of a trooper. They came from a character who, it is implied, ends up in prison or at least disgraced and removed from the military. There was quote after quote after quote - and I just kept laughing. John DePetro has a taste for irony, doesn't he?

The crux of it all - the ultimate irony - is the fact that he quickly hung up on the only one who disagreed with him. His show, catering to the yes-men of the country, couldn't dig up anyone to challenge their point of view, so he had to go out and find someone. Then, when he actually found someone to come on, he misrepresented the role that guest would play. Then, when that guest came on - specifically brought on to turn the chorus into a debate - he was quickly hung up on after providing reasonable facts and arguments.

So, where's the irony? It's exactly the same thing John Kerry meant to talk about. There's a serious lack of intellectual curiosity going on in the Bush administration and right-wing circles. When people say things in President Bush's administration and he doesn't like it, they're fired and publicly tarred and feathered. Later, they become the butt of President Bush's jokes and are disgraced by his administration (see Powell, etc.). If that's not the exact reason that we invaded Iraq prematurely and could never right the course, I don't know what is. In fact, I don't think I can put it any better than John Kerry himself:

If you're intellectually lazy... you end up getting us stuck in a war in Iraq

Update:

Memo to DePetro: Kerry did apologize. You said on air he didn't - I hope you'll make that correction tomorrow.

33 comments:

Blue-Xela said...

I've listened to DePetro a bit when I'm in the car. He seems to even limit the argument, so as to be territorial about one minor point which may in fact be correct.

I've been listening to AIR AMERICA more and more. At first I hated it because it seemed to parrot the hostility of the Right, but now I think it's a barrel of laughs.

One guy who's actually fairly moderate is Paul Sullivan on WBZ 1030, usually on after 10 p.m. He's fairly middle-of-the-road and doesn't hang up on people like DePetro does (imagaine that!).

Mass Marrier said...

Hardy har. Ryan from Dartmouth -- that is so Monty Python...Holy Grail. You should design a coat of arms to match.

I don't know whether you are brave or masochistic to do this.

At least you didn't need hair gel.

Ryan Adams said...

LOL at least I didn't need hair gel is right!

Anonymous said...

Remove the "us" from your exerpt and you give a more accurate account of what Kerry said. Anyway as a student of politics I think you'd agree he just "sunk his fastboat" chance of running again for President.

Ryan Adams said...

No, I wouldn't. He's charged up the base.

And I won't remove "us," because that would be intellectually dishonest. It was a QUOTE.

john depetro said...

Ryan,
you should have given a plug for your blog on-air. I would not have a problem with it.
John DePetro

Ryan Adams said...

I appreciate you leaving a comment. I just found it a little queer that I'd be singled out for my blog, then the fact that I write about this kind of stuff wasn't even mentioned. I don't really care that much about it - what's much more important is the lack of want for a debate.

I'm very serious that there's a serious lack of intellectual curiousity going on - and the talk radio culture certainly isn't helping. I suggest giving the intelligent, thoughtful naysayers (read: not screaming) the time to challenge your opinion without almost instantly tossing them from the air.

You know full well that Kerry had made jokes before that were phrased just the way he's suggested (and I quoted). He gaffed it in California. Without allowing those facts to cross the airwaves, you can't have an honest debate on the subject.

Anonymous said...

They showed the full thing on MSNBC last night and even the Republicans were laughing about their breathren's attempts to create faux outrage over this.

It's actually kind of reassuring to know that Republican officials and media people are just deliberately lying trying to sucker their followers, because if they were actually stupid enough to believe their own spin, we'd be in even more trouble than we obviously are.

They should have nametags, "I'm just lying, I'm not that stupid" vs. "I'm a true believer" so you could steer away from the scarier ones.

I also enjoy how all the draft dodging chickenhawk members of the 101st Fighting Keyboardists take every opportunity to denegrate actual veterans, who like all the members of my family aren't real vets because they didn't just sit on their asses eating cheetos on their parents' cellar futon spewing the proper right wing talking points.

Anonymous said...

Check it out on "youtube" and watch the speech, then remove the
"us". If he had said "us" then we would have gotten the joke.

Anonymous said...

Ryan is quoting him because he's made this joke before. HE'S (RYAN) QUOTING ONE OF THE PREVIOUS TIMES HE (JOHN KERRY) MADE THE EXACT SAME JOKE. Like Ryan said, if you read his two previous comments. He can't remove the us because IT'S PART OF A QUOTE. Does this need to be explained 6 more times?

Everyone in the room did get the joke, because if you like, read the transcript, he was talking about Bush and it was crystal clear what he meant and they laughed. Everyone got it except, as Keith Olberman says, Bush is too stupid to know he's being called stupid.

Anonymous said...

Should have prefaced your quote, Kerry has tried this lame joke before and it came out wrong, this is what he meant to say.
Anyway I'll bet you a $25 dollar donation to the Salvation Army that Kerry won't be the next Democratic Presidental candidate.

Ryan Adams said...

Well, that was a safe bet even before the comment. However, anyone who thinks this "gaffe" is going to hurt him in anyway is niave - it'll a) blow over and b) it's charged up the base.

Anonymous said...

Just curious where do you stand on the little mentioned war in Afganistan?

StunnedVoter said...

The Salvation Army? How about a charitable group that doesn't use donations to lobby for homophobic legislation.

Anyway, who wants Kerry again? He only got in in the first place because he was suppoed to be more electable than the candidates we actually wanted to vote for. It has nothing to do with this nonscandal, though.

Anonymous said...

Good thing DePetro didn't know you were gay. He's been fired for making homophobic remarks about Grace Ross.

And here I thought WRKO Djs were required to have 10 minutes of fag bashing in every show.

StunnedVoter said...

Amazingly, RKO's spokesperson says “This corporation has zero tolerance for this type of nonsense. We have a high standard."

Tell that to Dennis and Callahan, huh? Depetro must have horrible ratings if they're actually letting him go.

EEI and RKO have the same management and are owned by the same company, for anyone who's going to say I've got the wrong station.

Ryan Adams said...

I heard him call her a "fat lesbian" today - he got fired for it? Props to the station if they did - that really is backing up their "zero tolerance" policy. I was going to blog about it immediately, but he apologized a few minutes later (even if it was more of a faux apology as he went to go on and explain how it was actually true - that she was indeed a lesbian and is indeed overweight. What an ass. The ironic thing is that he called out a caller for saying "bitch" on the radio on the same show - he wanted to keep it clean for all the kiddies listening in on their crazy ass parents who actually put that show on in the car w/their children in it.).

I can't find anything about it on google, leftyblogs or even hubpolitics... so I'm assuming this was just announced?

While googling, I did see that he got suspended for 2 days over the summer for calling Matt Amorello a "fag" - but only in the "sissy way." LOL

Homophobic people make me sad. It's so irrational.

Anonymous said...

Looks like they've backed down a little and are only suspending him, pending an investigation:

http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/articles/2006/11/03/talk_host_gets_snidely_personal_then_gets_hook/?p1=MEWell_Pos2

Anonymous said...

What about everyone's favorite Eric Cartman incarnation - Scott Allen Miller? He makes DePetro's positions on just about everything seem enlightened.

Remember his comment about Scondras' salty barbeque sauce?

Or does being part of the Healey campaign give you a free pass?

Anonymous said...

Stunnedvoter, the Salvation Army helped my immigrant single parent grandmother 80 years ago, no questions asked. So I figure I owe them. Don't always agree with them but if you notice when you look whose really helping the down and out, they're there.

Anonymous said...

You should all check out "day by day cartoon", hilarious.

Ryan Adams said...

I couldn't support an organization that does good for some, but would do bad to others - on purpose. My money will go to non-religious institutions that have a respect for *all* people, black or white or gay or straight and anything in between.

Anonymous said...

suggest a charity then, what the DNC ?

StunnedVoter said...

That's cool anon, I'm glad The SA helped your grandmother, and they do do good things, it's just that they could do even more if they would stop spending money on lobbyists to defeat anti-discrimination legislation. But a bet should involve a charity that's equally acceptable to both parties.

StunnedVoter said...

Or does being part of the Healey campaign give you a free pass?

You gotta ask? :) Looks like maybe Kerry's found herself a new spokesperson.

Anonymous said...

If I call Patrick a "black running for govenor"...
If I say Patrick is black and running for govenor...
If I call Aretha Franklin "a great fat singer"
If I say Aretha Franklin is fat and a great singer.
If I call Barnie Frank "is a gay congressman"
If I say Barnie Frank is a great gay congressman.
Come on, Ms. Ross is fat and is gay.
So, what you're saying is that no one can say the truth?
Ummm? What amendment was that???

Anonymous said...

No honey, you can say whatever you want. Nobody's advocating that anybody be dragged off to gitmo for being an asshat. It's just that, we can then listen to what a person says, and then call him an ignorant asshat. We can criticize him and use our speech to do it, after he uses his speech to be an asshat! Woo! That's called the "First Amendment." You might want to look them up because seems like you need a refresher course.

elizabeth said...

You're so darn sensitive. Why don't you just listen to NPR, or AIR AMERICA. Have you ever listened to IMUS? Fat lesbian borders on a compliment.I am going to miss John for the reasons he got fired: He's outspoken, provocative, and always interesting. Elizabeth

Anonymous said...

Lucky for you, you can find the exact same "unusual, outspoken, provocative, interesting" statements repeated verbatim by....every other talk radio host in America. Including whoever they replace him with.

You won't even notice he's gone. You'll tune in and constantly hear the exact same talking points repeated, you'll think he never left.

Ryan Adams said...

People need to remember that it was a private company that made a judgement call. John DePetro had free speech and used it. His freedom of speech did not extend beyond his employer though - he couldn't get arrested for what he said, but could get fired. There was no free speech violation here, without even considering the fact that we're talking public airwaves here.

Ryan Adams said...

There are lots of great charities. People should do research before they give. Personally, I like to give towards charities looking for cures for cancer, etc., that aren't affiliated with religions.

StunnedVoter said...

"I am going to miss John for the reasons he got fired: He's outspoken, provocative, and always interesting"

ROFL Um, okay. If you think it's interesting and provocative to refer to a political candidate as a "big fat lesbian" on the public airwaves, I've got a whole bunch of 7 year old boys who've been held back in school for immaturity you'd find FASCINATING.

You won't be able to tear yourself away from their reasoned debates, and you'll come out with far more knowledge than you had going in.

"eddie, did you just refer to him as a boogerhead and push his face into the dirt and rub? OMG, that's PROFOUND."

Try Radio Disney.

Anonymous said...

Depetro is disgusting. So sancimonious, never wrong and SUCH an angry man. I would become livid listening to him in the car because of the ways he would demean some of the callers. Im glad he's gone. And no one will take you back on the air John, knowing the reasons why you were fired. Youre a pig.

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