What Ed Schultz said grieves me deeply.
I have long held that one cannot be all four: well informed on matters politic; of average to above-average intelligence; a loving, truly good-hearted person (eg. "Inasmuch as you have done it and not done it to the least of your brethren, love your neighbor as yourself . . ."), and vote Republican. While a person may be to greater and lesser degrees the last three, one simply cannot also be well-informed on matters politic. It would work a contradiction in terms.
I have also long held that, in the absence of some immediate, potentially traumatizing moment (a motorist suddenly swerves into your path, for example), it is impossible for someone to issue a profane utterance toward them that wasn't first somewhere lodged in his or her mind. When President Obama decided to send additional troops to Afghanistan, an elderly, wheelchair-bound neighbor said she'd "rather fight them over there than over here." Such casual disregard for the lives and emotional and psychological welfare of our volunteer military -- many of whom had been deployed into combat three, four, some as many as five times -- absolutely must have been preexisting, else, from whence could the casual vocalization have sprung?
Whenever I tune to a radio station it is to locate Thom Hartmann, Ed Schultz, and occasionally Randi Rhodes; liberal radio-castors all. Similarly, my television viewing augurs first to the evening weekday programs on MSNBC: Chris Matthews, Lawrence O'Donnell, Rachel Maddow, and Ed Schultz. The disproportionate share of my news derives from a slurry of Internet sources that span much of the moderate to moderate-left spectrum : New York Times, Washington Post, Newsweek, Wall Street Journal (their rather straight forward business news, not editorials!), Huffington Post, and so on. My radio and television preferences augment, not supplant, what I get on line.
For the past several years I have developed an allegiance to Ed Schultz because of the sincere -- near Jesus-like "Ye have made of my Father's house a den of thieves" -- passion he brings on behalf of the little guy; those without representation in the state houses or in Washington, and who are suffering visibly because of the Republican philosophy and policies. That extemporaneous passion has gotten Ed in hot water more than once. Yesterday, on the radio, Ed stepped way over the line, even for me. He called conservative commentator Laura Ingraham a "right-wing slut."
That Ed Schultz has bent himself in pretzels, in genuine, solemn, sorrowful penitence for his sin of commission, and has taken himself off the air while he mulls the heavy embarrassment he heaped on the radio-station owners who carry his program and the staffs involved in the production, on MSNBC and its staff, on his children and grandchildren, and on his wife. He has also tried repeatedly to reach Ms. Ingraham, to offer his heartfelt apology for the outburst he acknowledges was "vile and inappropriate."
The tragedy of tragedies, for Ed and, most of all, for the millions of the beaten-down he's been championing, is that it may not be enough. It may not be enough for me. As much as I abhor -- indeed hate to every cell in my being -- those who are Republican and who vote Republican, what I have never suggested was that their vileness springs from some obscene, sexual predilection. What an informed adult does with his or her body is not only none of my business, it's not anyone else's, nor the government's. Nor may their proclivities there compose any basis for an unrelated standard of belief or behavior.
Most of us have heard "slut" employed by women to describe their own sexual appetite, or rather in jest, describing the appetite of a close acquaintance. I've even heard Dancing With The Stars' judge Bruno Tonioli use the term to describe the passionate, seductive aura emanating from a female contestant's efforts in the tango, or another Latin dance. None of those neither were nor are intended with the slightest meanness. Rather, the word used in those contexts is more an encouraging sort "you go girl" reinforcement of her individualized personality.
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