More on the conservative talk-radio echo chamber and the damage done

In a post Thursday, I discussed a conversation between two local talk-radio hosts and Colorado Springs Gazette Editorial Page Editor, Wayne Laugesen.

Unfortunately, the good folks at KLZ’s Grassroots Radio Colorado thought I unfairly presented their show as attacking every garden-variety environmentalist under the sun, not just the radical fringe.

So I’ve posted more of the exchange between Laugesen and the KLZ hosts below, including more insight into Laugesen’s thinking on whom he’s referring to when he talks about “radical” environmentalists. Warning: he’s pretty vague, as some suspected on ColoradoPols and elsewhere.

I’d love to meet the soccer-mom environmentalist from Jefferson County who feels good about the Republican Party after hearing this conversation on conservative talk radio.

If the KLZ radio hosts, and Laugesen for that matter, really cared about the toxic effect of talk radio on the Republican Party, here’s a suggestion on how they could begin to do something about it.

Have an actual debate! Bring a mainstream environmentalist on the show, for example, when you talk about radical environmentalists or environmentalism as religion. Refuse to be a guest unless more than shades of conservative gray are present. I’m not saying this never happens, but do it more often, please.

Chances are, when the echo chamber starts echoing on talk radio, it’s turning off most of the electorate. That’s when you need to bring in an opposing view.

In any event, here’s more of the discussion from last week:

Co-host Ken Clark: [chuckling after hearing audio of ] Wayne, what did you think about those whack jobs?

Laugesen: Oh, you know, it was just kind of funny…I couldn’t hear it through the phone, but–

Clark: Well, that was the one who said that I don’t want to be able to light my water faucet on fire.

Laugesen: Right. Yeah, lots of people can light their water on fire. It’s methane gas that you know, that often comes through a faucet. You know, it’s become a big symbol of fracking. You know, lots of people, where there’s no fracking anywhere near the water supply, can light their water. These are the same—. Honestly, I’ve been to a lot of protests in Colorado Springs. Believe it or not, there is a lot of left wing activism in this town. We are a majority Republican, conservative town. But that doesn’t mean that, you know, forty, forty-five percent of the town isn’t on the other side. And it’s a big town. I mean, there’s 600-plus thousand people in the metropolitan Colorado Springs area. So, several hundred thousand of those people are left of center. And of those several hundred thousand who are left of center, you know, a significant number are radical left-wing activists. So, you’ll find that in any large city. These are the same activists you see who will protest any form of human progress you can think of. They will – you know, if somebody finds a way to feed famished children in Africa through a new agricultural practice, they’re going to be there with – you know, they’re going to be on the streets with signs telling us how this is a bad thing….

[See excerpt from previous post.]

Worley: And my question is, “Where did we get this abundance of ignorance?”

Laugesen: You mentioned religion a minute ago. I don’t think — I’m not saying for a minute that we got if from religion. I’m saying that the same – you know, the people who lack religion, who have no religious belief, they need something. They need a cause. They need something outside of themselves that seems like a good thing, to worship, to work toward. And I think that’s what you – you know, we joke, some of us on our side of the equation, jokingly use the term “tree huggers” “Tree worshipers”. But I think there’s a lot to that. I really – I think that—I think these — that activists who – their activism is directed against progress, that it is serving the same – it is doing for them what religion has done for thousands of years for most people.

Clark: Well Wayne , it is also the ultimate feel-good philosophy because think about it, it is the biggest sales job that has ever been perpetuated on the world-wide public as a whole, and I’m talking about climate change, global warming, anti-fracking, anti-coal – the whole nine yards. Because think about it. You create this made-up travesty that is going to kill the planet – global warming. And then you’ve got all these people, “Oh, my God! Look what I can do! I can go out there and save the world!” And these people buy into it. They give them false propaganda, false junk science, on and on and on. And they read this stuff. They think they’re educated. But they’re reading the Sierra Club propaganda. They’re reading this Agenda 21 propaganda. And it is the ultimate in feel-good, left-wing, propaganda. And there – people succumb to it, and man, they think they are really doing something. And in fact –

Laugesen: They feel great! – about a cause like that–

Clark: Oh, yeah! Oh, that’s –

Laugesen: –and the protests themselves are kind of fun. Now, I was counter-protesting yesterday, but it was fun! I really enjoyed it. And I know the people who were there making a lot of noise and holding up signs—they were having fun. It was something to do….

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