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My Morning Encounter With Right-wing Radio

This morning, I'm driving to work, and I have the radio tuned to the station that carries Rush "ditto-butt" Limbaugh. From 6:00 to 10:00 they have two morons named Donnie and Eddie on, from right here on Cape Cod. One of them admitted the other day that he is totally flummoxed by voice mail menus. About 3 minutes after that, he allowed as to how every time he buys a camera, he loses it almost immediately. This is the mental caliber we're talking about here.

So I'm listening, and they're all in a lather about the recent news that pressure-treated lumber might contain something that might someday cause someone to contract some sort of cancer. I've come into it in the middle, but they are trying mightily to debunk a study done by some "green" group, that said pressure-treated lumber is BA-AAD. They're calling it junk science, and saying that the study only says what the authors wanted it to say. It was, after all, done by envirowackos, so we must all consider the source.

Some listener calls in, and informs Donnie (pranced all by the guys in the booth, "Dawnie") and Eddie that there was a VERY GOOD study done on this recently, by Texas A&M University, and THAT study said that there's nothing at all dangerous about pressure-treated lumber, OR playground equipment that might be built from it.

Well, Eddie & Dawnie are almost orgasmic over the idea that they can now cite a GOOD study, even though they never even HEARD about it until 10 seconds ago. After all, Texas A&M University... heck... they know their stuff. One of them launches into a soliloquy that goes something like this:

"Texas A&M...A stands for AGRICULTCHA, and M stands for MINING. These people make their livings from AGRICULTCHA and MINING! They certainly wouldn't promote anything that was of any DANGAH to either of these industries."

Now THAT was just ridiculous on the face of it. First, it's Texas Agricultural & Mechanical University, not Agriculture & Mining!!! Second, the most dangerous thing about both agriculture AND mining is that they POLLUTE, and these two cretins are saying they don't? They WOULDN'T?????? Hey, boys, THEY ALREADY HAVE!!!

Well, I just HAD to pull over and whip out my cell phone, and I really don't DO that. Really!

In the first place, I want to tell them that the M stands for MECHANICAL. It's Texas Agricultural & Mechanical University. (I've since learned that it's now simply called Texas A&M University. Neither the A, nor the M, stand for anything. More on that later.)

They put me on the air, and as soon as I tell them they were wrong about MINING we're off to the races. Dawnie (or Eddie, who knows?) is SCREAMING at me that he'd bet me ANYTHING that it's MINING, not MECHANICAL. Eddie (or Dawnie) is screaming his agreement in the background. He more than implies that since I'm idiot enough to think that it's MECHANICAL, not MINING, that anything else I could possibly say would be of absolutely no consequence. He DEMANDS that I fax him PROOF that he's wrong. But, I persevere. I shout back that if they'd just calm down, I'll tell them the REAL reason I called.

Dawnie (or Eddie) then allows me (grudgingly, because he really wants to hammer that MINING thing some more) to point out that after debunking a study he disagrees with, he blindly accepts one that he DOES agree with, without even seeing the thing, or knowing anything more about it than what the caller told him. I further point out that I think it only fair that their listeners be made aware that the George Bu$h Presidential Library is located on the campus of Texas A&M University. (I lived in Texas when the decision was made to put it there, and Texas A&M kissed some SERIOUS Bu$h booty to get the damn thing. I also never met an Aggie who wasn't a raving right wing-nut. But I don't manage to get any of that in.)

Well, Eddie (or Dawnie) is off to the races, again. They're really pissing me off, but I hold on. I know I can't hang up. I just can't. So, Dawnie (or Eddie) launches into this thing about how Bu$h's library being at A&M is just another indication of how RIGHT the study must be because, he screams "They wouldn't do anything to pollute George Bu$h's hometown - not his OWN BACKYAAAAAHD, FOR HEAVEN SAKE!!!"

I'm not sure how the study would pollute George Bu$h's library, but that's neither here nor there.

Of course, Texas A&M is in College Station. George Bu$h's hometown is some 2,000 miles away, in Connecticut, and his own backyard is about 200 miles away, in Houston. But I suspect that would be more than Dawnie and Eddie could take in, so I refrain from pointing it all out.

They maintain that I'm just another wrong thinking liberal, getting all weepy about childrens' playground equipment even though this subject never came up ONCE during our "conversation". (More on that later, too.)

Towards the end, when Dawnie (or Eddie) is shouting about how smart Aggies are, and how they would never do anything that would promote pollution in any way, shape, or form, I do manage to get off a shot about how maybe they were using that poisoned wood to build their bonfires for all those years (they were - they used old telephone poles), and how that would go a long way to explain Aggies because, really, they're not all that smart.... and then Eddie (or Dawnie) hangs up.

They rave on for a bit about how it's MINING, not MECHANICAL, and how just everybody knows that. There's nary a comment about considering the source of the Texas A&M study. Nope.... they spent their time calling me, basically, an idiot.

So, I get to my office, and get back on the phone. This time, to Texas A&M University.

I ask the very nice lady who answers what the M stands for in Texas A&M. I don't want to lead her in any particular direction. Just "What does the M stand for in Texas A&M?"

She says (and this is verbatim) "It doesn't stand for anything."

I say, "Doesn't A&M stand for Agricultural & Mechanical?"

She says, "It used to stand for Agricultural & Mechanical, but it doesn't stand for anything anymore. It's just Texas A&M University"

According to her, A&M went Bono, and became "Just A&M" some time back. She says it's SO MUCH MORE THAN just an agricultural and mechanical school, so they changed the name. I think they did it so as not to confuse new Aggies who have no plans to go into either one, but that's just me.

Well, I fax Dawnie (AND Eddie) with this very information, and indicate to them that they are SO totally corrected. I even include A&M's phone number.

I also indicate that I don't really give a flying rat's hairy behind about possible carcinogens in pressure-treated woods, or playground equipment. What really bothers me, I tell them, is that they don't even WANT their listeners to consider that Texas A&M University is in bed with the Bu$h Klan, or else they were totally ignorant of that fact themselves until I told them this morning. I tell them to consider the source, and allow their listeners to do the same.

I showed 'em... I think.