Negative talk

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In Ruth Ann Dailey's Oct. 21 column ("Could a Large Rubber Duck Mend America?"), she commented that she "can barely bring myself to turn on the evening news or talk radio." My advice to her about talk radio: Don't listen to it!

The hosts are entertainers, nothing more. Their main purpose is ratings. They do not influence policy; their views are not included in a party platform; they do not sway an election. If they did, the Republicans would have a stranglehold on local, state and federal offices. The only thing they do is to inflame their listeners, making them more angry by the end of the show than they were at the beginning. They succeed in separating their listeners from their checkbook by selling mugs, ties, books, etc.

While the angry listeners go on about their daily lives, feeling more resentful, the hosts sit back, smile with tongue in cheek, and say, "good show today." They move on, looking for more topics to anger their listeners on the next show. Comments on social media are good examples. Discussions start out as civil, but as differing opinions are posted, the comments descend into insults, profanity, even threats.

As Ms. Dailey states, "Sustained and relentless anger kills good humor and generosity of spirit. It hampers clear thinking." Although I am at the opposite end of the political spectrum from Ms. Dailey, I agree with her about civility. Turn off talk radio and do something positive with that time!

Penn Hills


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