Inside The Loony Bin – The Beltway Baiters

Banner- Looney BinThis week I am going to concentrate on the Beltway baiters. Just what is a “baiter”.  I assume many of you know who I am talking about but for the rest of you, it is the cable news networks. I understand it is hard for them to concentrate on one thing 24/7 especially when that subject is politics which is about all they seem to cover now.

They do their best to raise their ratings by getting one politician to say something negative about another politician. When they manage it they run the video segment hundreds of times until a better one comes out. The more sensational the comment the better.

I don’t know how many of you are old enough to remember the FCC rule about “equal time” or sometimes called the “Fairness Doctrine”. That was a rule that said when you put out one point of view you must allow those with another point of view equal time to respond. This rule was repealed in 1987 after almost thirty years, by the FCC chair Dennis R. Patrick, a lawyer and Reagan White House aide. It then allowed Rush Limbaugh on the scene soon to be followed by cable news.

I have had a lot of time for some deep reflections lately and I have discovered that much of the anxiety I have today is probably due to spending too much time watching cable news. It doesn’t really matter which flavor, they are all equal opportunity beltway baiters.

So, here is my advice to you this week.  If you want to calm down a little and not be so anxious I suggest you simply pull the cord on any cable news network. Now I realize that for many of my GOP friends who have Fox News on constantly throughout the day this will be very difficult for you.  It could even be as bad withdrawal pain as getting free from an addiction of an illegal narcotic. But believe me, after the detox period you will definitely be a calmer and probably a more rational person. You might even stop hating all Democrats.

For my progressive friends, dare I say liberal? MSNBC is not much better than Fox.  You might eventually become to realize that not all Republicans want to live in the 19th century again. You might also come to understand that not everyone who disagrees with you is playing the race card.

I think if we re-instituted the equal time rule, cable news would quickly cease to exist as they would have nothing to talk about. Just face it, the beltway baiters contribute very little to the overall functioning of our society.  All they really do is to bait us into hating people who just might otherwise end up being a friend, albeit with some different opinions.

 

17 thoughts on “Inside The Loony Bin – The Beltway Baiters

  • I’m so tired of the news…constant politics and if not that murders, cop killings, horrible terrible weather and near disasters in the air. Not to mention N. Korea and ISIS. It’s enough to make me never watch it and live in a bubble of ignorance…..and peace.

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    • Me too Mary. I am sick of the news and will be taking my own advice and shut down cable news, ALL cable news. Yeah, we need to keep an eye on the troublemakers but don’t fixate on them. The loony bin is just not worth my limited time left. I need to use that time in finding joy, not fear and pain.

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  • Personally, I think the only thing on your list we should pay attention to is ISIS (and maybe North Korea). If we are willing to let our soldiers (someone else’s son or daughter) be killed for the “good of the country” we should be very aware. To me those are the things we should be discussing- how to disengage from war.

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    • Jan, I really don’t know how you arrived at this point of view but I will tell you that RJ gives the most balanced and rational view of anyone I know. If you don’t agree move on or add to the discussion in a civil tone. Don’t “troll” a blogger that is stating what they believe in their own space. It is unbecoming and mean spirited…period.

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      • Jan, thanks for the thoughts. I know you are relatively new to RJsCorner so I will tell you that keeping kids from being killed due to the folly of our political leaders is one of my main focuses in politics. We lost over 55,000 of my generation in Vietnam and continue to do the same with every succeeding one. WAR IS NOT THE ANSWER.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks for the kind words Barb, they mean a lot to me. Jan has been around for a while and I don’t think she meant the words as an attack on me or my writing. But she sometimes does have a differing view. 🙂 That’s ok here, I welcome it at least to a degree.

        Liked by 1 person

    • I think I over reacted to your comment and missed the reference to the opinion in a previous comments. I apologize. I may have been guilty of committing the very mistake I protested. Darn! 🙂

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      • I love that you came to my defense Barb, even if it was a little too aggressive for the situation. It is nice to know what others think about what I say.

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  • You are so right, R.J. During the pre-election period (which lasted forever) my husband and I favored opposite candidates and platforms. I didn’t realize how much anxiety we stored up by watching FOX and MSNBC and arguing about who was right and who was wrong. And it hasn’t lessened any since the inauguration, on the contrary, we feel like we’re being played by both sides of every issue and don’t know what to believe anymore. And the internet is even worse. So, we too are tuning out more and it has definitely reduced the stress around here. I don’t wish to be an ignorant uninformed citizen, but I think the world will keep on turning without our constant angst. At least I hope so.

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    • Hi Jane… My wife and I are almost exact opposites in many regards but I thank God that we both feel strongly about brother’s keeper issues which I rail about quite a bit. Yeah, I can see where it would be tough inside a relationship. I also think it is best to just shut it down, especially in those circumstances.

      I have come to learn since my recent near death experiences that the beltway loony bin is just not worth the energy. We need to stay informed so we can react to the important issue and disregard all the posturing that goes on in political circles. It would be nice to not have this type of power struggles but it has been around almost since the beginning of our country.

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  • I try to avoid the cable personalities at all costs, with the occasional exception of Fareed Zakaria who seems relatively sane. The whole FOX and MSNBC thing just makes me wonder: who really watches this stuff?

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    • Hi Tom, I think your comment here fell into the proverbial crack. Sorry about that. I too watch Fareed and the PBS Newshour as just about my total video sources now. Even with them I record them first so I can skip over things that don’t interest me.

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  • I am really sad that I have been so taken out of context and shamed. I was referring to MY son and daughter (soldiers). I, too, am very opposed to the wars we are in right now and thought I was actually supporting what RJ believed. We do differ on some things, but this is one that I side with him on. The political news is out of control and taking our eyes off of what is important to be watched. Maybe I read it incorrectly again?

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      • Hi Jan, I too think that we agree on more than we disagree. One of the problems with comments is that you are not facing the person making them and can then take them out of context. In some ways that is why smileys should be used more often. Keep on coming back and commenting, you are not a troller, I have had MUCH worse than you my friend.

        Barbara’s site is pretty popular among the retirement community so yeah, I did get a few more visits as a result. 🙂

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  • I just reread all of this and since I was the first poster, I think Jan Bo was maybe referring to my list. I read her response and honestly didn’t see anything in it mean spirited, negative or controversial. Seems she was just pointing out the waste in money and lives of war and how we should be trying to change that. And I agree wholeheartedly.

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    • Maybe you are right Mary. Even Barbara admitted she overreacted. Who know what was going on in her mind, but she is a wonderful blogger who is on my Blog list on the Home page. It is nice to be able to come to a reconciliation instead of screaming at each other and not listening, isn’t it? That is the kind of dialog I like best. 🙂

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