Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Michael Benton: Why I Listen to "Common Sense with Dan Carlin"

Common Sense with Dan Carlin

I recommend this political opinion show because Carlin comes from an independent perspective that sees the domination of the two party system as a major problem in American politics. He is self-described as "fiscally conservative and socially liberal." I just think it is refreshing to hear an honest voice that moves beyond simple soundbites, baiting and cliches. Carlin brings a strong historical background to his political analysis. His shows can veer across the political landscape and like all of us, in these times, he can rant, but it always seems to come from a desire to think through the situation and to offer solutions. His desire is to analyze the problems of our political/social system without pushing the agenda of either of the two major parties and moves back-and-forth from the micro/macro to flesh out the broader ramifications of the situation/problem. A recent example is "#131: Intoxicated Priorities" which examines the "priorities of our Drug War" through a recent "tragic mistake in a drug raid."

In his current show #133 "McCain's Hail Mary" I was impressed by his astute analysis of the significance of the fact that in the cities of both major party conventions independent journalists were arrested. In particular he mentions Amy Goodman of Democracy Now (while mentioning that he is not a fan of her program because he has different politics) being arrested outside a Democratic corporate fundraiser for asking questions and later her producers (and eventually her when she arrived at the scene) brutal arrest during the Republican Convention simply for being independent journalists. He remarks on the scary implications of the brutal suppression of independent journalists in a democratic society and ask where the so-called "hard" mainstream journalists (60 Minutes/Keith Olbermann/etc...) were during these arrests. Most telling is his analysis that the two major parties, in their disregard of the credentials of independent journalists, have demonstrated that they are not public parties, rather they are private parties who refuse to permit public media to have access to their "private" functions.

Dan Carlin a tip of the hat! I recently did a search of progressive political analysis podcasts and I ended up purging most of them (there were a few nuggets that I will mention soon) because they were mindless rants of the worst sort (that is a sad commentary as I am at least sympathetic to their politics). See the Bill Moyer's post on "Rage Radio" below this one for the reason why I didn't bother to search out the conservative political opinion podcasts.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

very nice points about Dan Carlin. I also find his political insights very lucid and ... entertaining! his pragmatism is provocative and poignant.