After writing a column speculating about a way to get some conservative friends to listen to Mike Malloy's progressive radio program, one replied and said that he would offer me a wager about my effort to read Ayn Rand because he knew I hadn't read any of her novels and he also suggested that I should listen to Glenn Beck because his philosophy is remarkably similar to Gandhi's. It was at that point that I became aware of the fact that I should accept the lesson that President Obama refuses to learn: the conservative version of open-mindedness is a binary choice between "my way or the highway."
Will the subtle message conveyed by the fact that Gandhi's autobiography was "The Story of My Experiments with Truth" escape my notice? Is that the basis for the comparison to Beck? Does Beck do with facts what Houdini did with elephants?
Dialogue with conservatives is impossible. I would have more luck by applying my energy to the task of getting press credentials for the next 24-hour race at Le Mans or finding a copy of "Atlas Shrugged."
Why did I specifically pick Mike Malloy rather than some other less acerbic liberal talk show host? The answer would be because I was including results from a test suggested by Fox News' Bill O'Reilly. Back when he had a radio program, the Billster suggested a method to use for selecting reliable sources of information. O'Reilly, at that time, was crusading against Kitty Kelly's book about the Bush family and he urged readers to select three items and fact check them. He pontificated that she would fail such a test and that her book was an unreliable smear job.
I had to go to the research Library at UCLA to find such esoteric resources as a way to check the accuracy of what Kitty Kelly said about one particular story published by a New York newspaper on July 30, 1941. I not only learned that Kelly was correct, but also picked up additional facts about Fritz Thyssen, Knight Wooley, and the Union Banking Corporation which came in handy later when conservatives were discussing arcane items from the Bush family history.
Doing fact-checking about New York newspapers printed in 1941 was possible in Los Angeles and can also be done in Berkeley, but I have some strong doubts about access to that kind of fact-checking resources for residents in Concordia Kansas.
I checked the source for the Kelly claim that George W. Bush had, as a child, tormented frogs. (Kelly blatantly ignored the possibility that the frogs presented a credible security threat.) In the past, I had read John Douglas's book "Mind Hunter." He helped pioneer the FBI profiler program, and said that kids who tortured animals were more likely to become serial killers. Kelly's source corroborated her contention. (What does Glenn Beck's philosophy have to say about the word "corroboration"?)
A third example of fact-checking (about the time Poppy Bush bailed out of his bomber during World War II) was successful and thus by O'Reilly's own standards, readers could continue relying on "The Bush Family" for accurate information. Ironically, that simultaneously proved that O'Reilly's insistence that any such test would discredit the Kelly book was itself wrong and thus, O'Reilly was discredited by his own criteria about reliable sources performing at the "no hitter" level of quality.
At times when we have fact-checked Mike Malloy, he has passed the O'Reilly test and so we believe that if Malloy passes random fact checks that means (by O'Reilly's own standards) that Malloy can be trusted. Furthermore, if Malloy's facts are valid, then the Republican track record veers toward war crimes, favoritism (for the rich), and union busting which indicates that the average working man may not get a fair deal.
Therefore we jumped to the conclusion that since Malloy passed the O'Reilly test, he would be the best basis for a recommendation that conservatives should give him a "test listen" to get a different -- and reliable -- point of view.
All the foregoing is predicated on the idea that conservatives might be interested in knowing accurate specifics about opposing points of view. Wrong! Weren't Germans who listened, during World War II, to news not disseminated by the official government news source, automatically considered to be disloyal citizens? In the conservative mind, isn't listening to Malloy comparable to urging Germans during World War II to listen to unapproved news? Reading resistance newspapers in Paris during the occupation meant that the reader would risk his (or her) life to get the information provided. Would you take that risk just to get an opposing point of view that's wrong?
Speaking of Combat newspaper, Camus, and Sartre; how far is Le Mans from Paris? Are their any good hostels close to the race course?
After JEB is inaugurated (in January of 2013), will he reinstitute the Fairness Doctrine and use that to knock Malloy off the airwaves? Would any conservative dare assert that Malloy is fair? If so, why waste time and energy now getting conservative friends to listen to Malloy?
The very same liberals who do not see the philosophy of Gandhi in the words of Glenn Beck are the very same people who would assert that Malloy would not be adversely affected by a Republican-sponsored measure to reinstitute the Fairness Doctrine and eliminate unfair biased political punditry of the kind that conservatives say Mike Malloy delivers to his audience.
Speaking of JEB and his inauguration, we have to do some more fact checking. The casinos in Las Vegas apparently don't take bets on political races. British bookies are reported to accept bets on items outside the realm of sports. Can good patriotic red blooded Americans legally make an online wager with a British bookie from California? If not, can Americans send a bet to a bookie in London via snail mail? If not, perhaps it's time to start searching for a short duration crash pad in Great Britain before going to Harry's New York Bar (cinq rue Daunou) and the Le Mans race?
Cynics are implying that things are bad and that the USA has become a nation of sheep. Conservatives will respond with a trivia question about what fictional character coined the phrase "Silence of the Lambs," and how much was that imaginary guy to be trusted?