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View Diary: In praise of Stephanie Miller (100 comments)

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  •  Not exactly a cerebral show (4+ / 0-)

    I found Stephanie's show about a year before the 2006 mid-terms (I still have the mp3 of that post-election show -- the gloating felt so good).  Her show was what I needed at the time.  I found it to be funny (Jim is quite a talent) and fairly informative considering that I wasn't quite as immersed in politics as I am now.

    But, once I started becoming more informed about details of current events, history of specific subjects/policies, how things are handled differently elsewhere in the world, etc., it started to become obvious that Stephanie and crew don't do much more than spout the talking points of the day for our team.  When she does TV appearances that involve having to answer tougher questions (especially if she is pitted against a slimy conservative who has mastered a sales pitch for their bullshit position), she often has a difficult time doing much more than resorting to humor to cover up her inadequate ability to push back substantively, and her framing is often bad.  To be fair, she is, after all, a comedian; not a politician.  On her show, when someone else points out exactly what I have, she's quick to point out that her show is low-brow humor with a heavy dose of fart jokes.  If that's what it takes to keep the otherwise low-information listener moderately informed, then I'm happy to have her on our side.  But, I guess I have this hope that people will eventually "graduate" from her show to others (Thom Hartmann's show, for example, would be a giant step forward) in order to become even more informed champions of progressive causes.  There are a lot of good options.

    I let my podcast subscription to her show expire 2009.  When I saw that she was picked up by Current, I was very happy, and I immediately set up my TiVo to record the show.  I still find it to be amusing sometimes, but I just can't stomach watching the whole thing day in and day out; it just doesn't have the depth to make it worth my time.  However, I'll always be grateful for her show being a stepping stone for my political growth, and I hope she continues to be exactly that for others as well.

    "The political system, including elections, is carefully managed to prevent the threat of democracy."  ~Noam Chomsky

    -7.38, -6.97

    by cotasm on Fri Feb 08, 2013 at 08:57:33 PM PST

    •  Mencken said... (7+ / 0-)
      One horse-laugh is worth ten thousand syllogisms. It is not only more effective; it is also vastly more intelligent.  
      Stephanie is our secret weapon. She does what seems impossible...ridiculing right-wing stupidity but without seeming mean spirited or confrontational.  She does it by making fun of herself first.
    •  I mostly agree, (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cotasm, paul2port, katrinka, PSzymeczek

      though I confess I haven't seen the show on tv. I listen occasionally and sometimes take away something valuable, but that brand of humor isn't my thing. Loud noises and circus music just don't do it for me. A lot of people like it, though, so if she's getting through to someone that's great.

      I like Thom and Sam Seder, and a couple local guys, but in my opinion the most under-rated talk show host for our side is Randi Rhodes. She is incredibly smart and has a great sense of humor. She puts out a substantive, quality show every day and always comes prepared. Every once in a while I hear her state something as fact that I know isn't quite true, but I don't think she's being dishonest or shilling, just relaying what she's heard or read from her own perspective. For the most part she backs up what she says with links on her website, which gives her a credibility you won't find anywhere on the right. A good debater, too.

      "The answer to violence is even more democracy. Even more humanity." Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg

      by poe on Sat Feb 09, 2013 at 12:15:11 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I, too, mostly agree. :) (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        PSzymeczek

        Yep.  I like Sam because has brings on good guests and plays dumb a little (I mean this as a compliment) in order to give those guests the opportunity to fully explain things that he may already know but that the listener may not.

        I love Thom for one thing above all else: if you call in and say that you disagree, you go straight to the front of the line. No ducking, and he uses those moments to show people how to take those people down (while still being willing to incorporate new thinking, oddly enough).

        As far as Randi... The one and I only diary that I have written on dKos was when Air America suspended her after she made some comments off-air at an unaffiliated event. But, I haven't listened to her since she bolted for the Nova M network. I agree that she has great info and debating skills, but I find her to be too harsh with her more moderate listeners sometimes. We don't win people over like that. Still, your comments about her have made me want to seek her out and give her another listen.  :)

        "The political system, including elections, is carefully managed to prevent the threat of democracy."  ~Noam Chomsky

        -7.38, -6.97

        by cotasm on Sat Feb 09, 2013 at 04:36:16 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  You should (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          cotasm

          I know exactly what you mean, but she has toned it down considerably. Still fierce in her way, but willing to have a conversation with someone who disagrees. She's much more patient these days and takes a lot of calls from the other side.

          Find her here.

          "The answer to violence is even more democracy. Even more humanity." Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg

          by poe on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 09:24:51 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Thank you. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cotasm

      I'm as progressive as they come and pull for progressive media, but my humble opinion is that her show is shallow with little to no preparation. It seems she shows up for the show maybe 5 minutes before start even if that much and no homework done. I watched it every morning for a while and listened before Current for a long time and there is simply nothing there.  I know that humor and lightheartedness is the theme  not serious discussion, but even that is banal. I know I'm in the minority and respect other opinions.

      •  I'm with you... (0+ / 0-)

        I think it's something that you grow out of.  I think mentioned that I "graduated" from her program to other much more insightful ones.  There just isn't any depth there, and when I listen now, I'm more informed than she is.  Nothing to learn here anymore.  :)

        "The political system, including elections, is carefully managed to prevent the threat of democracy."  ~Noam Chomsky

        -7.38, -6.97

        by cotasm on Sat Feb 09, 2013 at 05:52:42 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

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