Trying to talk about Muslim immigration in Conservative Talk Show Country

Steven H. writes:

Last week I called the Bill Bennett show, which I’ve been on as a caller numerous times. I called in reference to a Moslem caller who had complained about American intolerance towards Islam.

The call screener was very polite when he took my call. I told him that I was concerned that I thought that although there may be moderate Islamists, I did not believe that there is a such thing as moderate Islam. I proceeded to tell him that that would not be part of my on air discussion since it is a complex topic.

I then proceeded to explain that I was extremely concerned about the lack of discussion about Islamic immigration and that 2005 was the apex of that immigration even with our current situation.

I was met with a RUDE deafening silence. I asked screener for his name–SILENCE. “Are you still there,” I asked. “Continue,” he said. I said, “Wouldn’t it make sense that since most people agree that 10 to 15 percent of all Moslems are fundamentalists that we halt immigration until we can flesh this thing out?”

With a rude tone–”Will take that under advisement”—slam went the phone.

Re Dennis Pager show 20 minutes ago. Prager was talking about Moslems in Tulsa and their attack on a fellow Moslem’s sympathetic stand towards non-Moslems. I called to explain how our immigration policies were in disarray. The women screener said this was off topic. I said it was SPOT ON. Where did these Imams come from in “cowboy country?”–Click.

Some much for “conservative” talk show hosts.

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Bruce B. writes:

When people hear a non-liberal thought (especially anything that is even remotely tangential to race) the only brain part that remains functional is their Medulla Oblongata. I bet they literally have the same reaction as Larry Summers’s “victim.” That woman biologist whose pulse was racing and who was going to faint during his speech.

They should do a physiological study of Western people subjected to non-liberal ideas. They could measure heart rate, pulse, and brain wave patterns. They could use us as part of the control group.

Jed W. writes:

The same thing happened to me when I called the Sean Hannity show. Hannity constantly mouths the “Islam is a religion of peace that has been hijacked” mantra. I called and told his screener that I disagreed and that Islam was an imperial religion with no separation of church and state. The screen said “I can’t take that.” And then she hung up on me. So much for the free exchange on ideas on conservative talk radio.

LA replies:

I don’t think the issue is freedom of speech. Every radio host, publication, and weblog has the natural right to determine the range of subjects and views it will entertain. The issue is not the right of a caller to the Hannity program to express whatever opinion he wants. The issue is what opinions does Hannity regard as within the realm of the reasonable and acceptable. And he regards truthful discussion of Islam as outside the realm of the reasonable and acceptable. That is what is damning.

Jed W. replies:
I did not say my freedom of speech had been impinged upon. I understand that a talk show host can allow whomever he wants to speak on his show. I said that there is not a free exchange of ideas (some ideas) on talk radio because it was obviously the policy of the show not to even touch on or debate this topic.

LA replies:

You’re absolutely right, I misread you. You said “free exchange,” not rights. The “rights” argument has been made so often that I incorrectly leaped to the conclusion you were saying that.

Russell W. writes:

Your emailer’s experience was very depressing. I’ve had the same thing happen to me. Occasionally I’ve got on the air on topics that sensible people realize are related to immigration (various cultural issues, for instance), and I make a point in passing about that and the host (Prager, in one case) got very flustered for a moment by it and then hurriedly dismissed the issue as beside the point.

It’s particularly troubling since talk radio was supposed to be the first and still biggest weapon in the conservative response to the liberal hegemony that rules over media and the public institutions. This hegemony was for a very long time successful at excluding conservative ideas by labeling them as “political,” “right-wing” or “extremist,” while positioning their own rather shockingly liberal radicalism as an obvious given in American life.

But now we have conservative talk radio acting like a mini-MSM in regards to immigration! The parallel is disturbing: a groundswell of support amongst a majority of people whose voices are being stifled because the gatekeepers have determined them to be out of the bounds of respectable discourse.

LA replies:

Well, this fact precedes the ascendancy of conservative talk radio. Around 1990, when I tried to get an article on immigration into The American Spectator, the editor, WP, told me that the magazine would not publish any articles criticizing immigration, because they didn’t want to encourage racism and nativism among their readers.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at November 28, 2006 02:46 PM | Send

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