I was first introduced to Randi Rhodes on January 3 as I was riding with my old friend Baron in his car southbound down U.S. 101, I believe it was, toward San Rafael, California.

Randi Rhodes

“Listen to this lady, Randi Rhodes,” Baron said as he turned up the radio, tuned to KNEW-AM 960, part of iHeart Radio.  “She’s my hero.  She is sssooooooo good!”

It’s only been over the last 3 1/2 years or so since Baron and I reconnected after being totally apart for well over 20 years that I’ve come to find out how like-minded Baron and I are when it comes to political issues, especially when it comes to issues that affect the middle class.  He’s called me up a couple of times just to chat and see how things have been going for me, even in the weeks and months before I lost my job in late October, and it wasn’t unusual for our discussions to turn to current events and the political scene.  It was like we were picking each other’s brains to see where our philosophical and political mindsets were at after all those years apart, or just enjoying the fact that we saw things eye-to-eye.  We were right in step with each other.

On that particular day in early January, Baron was driving his car — on a day off from work for him since I was visiting him that weekend — toward his workplace in San Rafael.  He was keeping a 2001 Dodge Caravan there that he needed to drive back up north to his place, about 30-45 minutes away, and he needed me to follow him back in his car while he drove the van.

Baron quickly got back on U.S. 101 heading northbound, and I did my best to keep up with him.  As I drove, I turned the radio up to hear more of the Randi Rhodes show.  Coming from Utah and Idaho, where I’ve lived and worked between the two states my entire life and I’ve been exposed to NOTHING BUT CONSERVATIVE TALK RADIO and I’ve actually appeared as a special guest to talk about Col. Bo Gritz on a particularly far right-leaning talk radio show during my newspaper editing days (what fun THAT was — seriously!), I have to say this:  RANDI RHODES, YOU ARE LIKE A BREATH OF FRESH, CLEAN AIR TO THIS COUNTRY BOY!  BLESS YOU, RANDI RHODES!

I’ve listened to ssssooooooooooo much conservative talk radio through ssssooooooooooo many years — all the way from longtime Idaho Falls local legend Mel Richardson on KID-AM and his son whose name escapes me but who’s carrying on that far right-wing torch his father carried for many a year, to the local hosts on KSL-AM Radio in Salt Lake City, to the nationally syndicated windbags — errr, I mean HOSTS, sorry — on the various other far right-wing stations in Utah’s capital city (Laura Ingraham, Rush Limbaugh, Michael Savage, Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, etc., etc., ad nauseum while making me nauseous) that I’ve gotten downright MEGA-JADED!

What did I hear when I listened to Randi Rhodes that January 3?  A full speech in its entirety from President Obama, without interruption.  Not some fully clipped sound bites from a speech and statements taken out of context with some talking head butting in and analyzing what they THINK the President was saying.  It was more like, “YOU listen to the speech in its entirety, YOU think about it, and YOU decide how you feel about it.”

In all my years of radio listening between Idaho and Utah, I had NEVER heard anything like it.  I felt absolutely refreshed.  It brought a smile to my face.  And in the time that I heard Randi speak herself, she talked with something else I haven’t heard much of in the time I’ve listened to talk radio around these parts.


She doesn’t come across to me as someone who’s a die-hard liberal, she seems to me to be more on the moderate side.  She just wants people at national media outlets like Fox News and MSNBC to stop talking so much about each other and how bad and evil each other is (although Fox News is hands-down the worst when it comes to skewing the truth, otherwise known as facts) and start TALKING ABOUT WHAT’S GOING ON IN THE WORLD THAT IMPACTS US, LIKE REAL NEWS — WITH HARD FACTS!!!

What a novel idea!  Bravo!!!

Check out the Randi Rhodes web page in the link below:

Randi Rhodes:  Turn Up Your Mind

But I don’t want to just talk about Randi Rhodes, I want you to see and hear her.  I’ll lead off with my favorite clip of hers that I found on YouTube.  A few things to notice in this clip …

  • She does not scream in a caller’s ear whom she happens to disagree with, crying out like a little girl throwing a tantrum (AHEM, Glenn Beck, are you paying attention?), “GET OFF MY PHOOOOOOOOOOONE, YOU LITTLE PINHEAD!!!” before dumping the caller like a bag of rotten potato peelings, and then calling it “comedy” when Glenn looks like a fool, or claim that she’s “tweaking the media” like Rush Limbaugh says when he’s caught saying something totally outrageous but he genuinely means what he says, he’s just too big of a coward to admit it.  Randi actually carries on a discussion all the way through, and lets the callers get their points across, but at the same time if they don’t have their facts straight (and, yes, there is such a thing as “hard facts,” believe it or not) you will pay a hard price.  Randi is ultimately prepared, extremely well-researched.
  • Listen for her to talk about her frustration with Fox News AND MSNBC.  Does that frustration make her a “fringe left-wing” element as the caller suggests?  Well, if it does, that only goes to show just how polarized we have become politically in this nation.
  • Burning Bill O'Reilly's book "Pinheads and Patriots"

    Listen for her toward the beginning of this first video to mention “bulk buying” when it comes to why books written by conservative authors are so often found sitting on top of national best-seller lists.  If you’re not familiar with “bulk book buying,” it’s a practice in which conservative groups buy up HUGE amounts of books and either just give them away to groups of people or sell them to people at a much lower price than they’d normally sell at, that kind of thing.  It drives up book sales numbers in a big way.  (Click here for another blog’s explanation of “bulk buying.”)  The photo I’ve included here is of a book-burning with a remark made by a U.S. soldier whose company in Afghanistan was dumbfounded that they got a bunch of Bill O’Reilly’s book “Pinheads and Patriots” sent to them, and they weren’t burning the books because they disagreed with O’Reilly’s political statements.  They were burning them because the books were sent to them “in bulk,” and they HAD NO ROOM FOR THEM AT A REMOTE OUTPOST IN AFGHANISTAN!  There’s one reason why the O’Reillys and Ann Coulters and Sean Hannitys of the world are such best-selling authors.

But, enough talk from me.  It’s time to let Randi Rhodes and her guests chat a bit now.  GO GET ‘EM, RANDI!!

If Randi Rhodes asks you who the President of the United States was during World War II, and you don’t know, heaven help you …

And here are a few things that really need to be said about Ann Coulter …

If all of that doesn’t fill you up with “Randi Rhodes goodness,” try this last one on for size …

Do you hear what I hear?  Actual discussions, or attempts at actual discussions — actual dialogue, back and forth?

Yeah, she HAS to be a “fringe left-wing radical!”

Yes, that all-too-brief car ride from San Rafael while listening to Randi Rhodes talk common sense was an absolute treat!  Refreshing!  Thanks for the ride, Randi!  Bloody well right!


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