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Sideshow Bob

The echo chamber effect of politics is well documented. It applies to all segments of the political spectrum, and indeed outside politics entirely. The exacerbating impact of the internet, which allows people to sample exotic new ideas but more often allows people to surround themselves only by those who think along the same lines, outstrips the exacerbating effects of mass media or regional isolation that came before it. Even in these benighted times, when large demographics talk openly of wanting to put God back into government, and at least one party equates pluralism with Satan, polarization are recognized and publicly decried by left and right alike. They aren’t always sincere in that, but openly embracing ignorance and extremism is still politically dangerous.

So to hear Kelsey Grammer openly admit that the new, ultra-right Right Network news service he’s pushing aims at people who want to be exposed only to one point of view is rather refreshing. This is “news” for people who consider Fox a bit bolshy. Wouldn’t it be great if, every time he mentions the station in public, someone reminds him the channel is not to be taken seriously, quoting his own admission that it is designed to appeal to people who only want one viewpoint? Wouldn’t it be great if that happened every time someone mentions the station in public, or quotes it as a source? Sort of like my desire to see the words “Senator DeLay” or “Tom DeLay” followed reflexively by the phrase “…who was forced to resign the Senate in disgrace…”

But it won’t. Grammer’s drug addiction and rape scandal won’t even ripple the surface of the echo chamber. Have we learned nothing about what happens when you let Sideshow Bob enter politics?

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