Walker Lundy retired in 2003 as editor of the Philadelphia Inquirer after 39 years in newspapers, including three at the Observer, 1973-76. The following commentary appeared in the Charlotte Observer.
The WBT afternoon talk guy began one day by announcing that Barack Obama was a "communist" and "an American-hater."
He wasn't joking.
It was typical of the unrelenting anti-Obama tirades that roil across the airwaves from WBT for six hours every weekday afternoon. The man with the middle name of Hussein is not just wrong on every single issue in the WBT World, he is out, literally, to destroy America, too.
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Now don't get me wrong. I tend to lean left, but I enjoy listening to Rush Limbaugh and WBT's local fellow in the afternoon.
It's entertaining to hear how they manage to conclude – on every issue every day – that Obama is dangerous and disloyal to America. In WBT World, there is no gray. Only communists and American-haters.
But I usually find WBT's talkers entertaining, such as when Rush said the American people really don't want members of Congress to work together or when he said Obama, whose mother once fed him with food stamps, has had a "silver spoon" life. Sometimes I learn something. I think it's beneficial to listen to people who have a different viewpoint. When I was a newspaper editor, I used to tell readers that if they always agreed with our editorials, they should read another newspaper.
Usually conservative talk show topics are as predictable as their legion of callers: Liberals and the news media are taking America down the road to perdition. Illegal immigrants, global warming, gay marriage, abortion, welfare, Bush-haters and bureaucrats are all wrong. Nuance and complexity are part of the liberal conspiracy.
What has been striking about WBT's afternoon subject matter is that most of those subjects have taken a back seat to the single cause of devilizing Obama. If he gets elected, listeners would do well to prepare for America's final days.
It makes me wonder: What is the impact of these unrelenting hate-Obama sermons? If you have already decided whom to vote for, nothing alleged on talk radio is likely to change your mind. But what about undecided voters who may not make up their minds until Election Day?
Read the full story at CharlotteObserver.com.