Refusing To Take A Side Alienates Political Partisans-Podcast 623

A friend asked me the other day if I was trying to alienate my audience. The reason for the question? I refused to take sides during election 2016 and will not do the bidding of politicians, in Refusing To Take A Side Alienates Political Partisans-Podcast 623.

On The Road

Last year The Bob Davis Podcasts went on the road to cover the primary campaigns. I traveled thousands of miles back and forth across the United States. When you roll on the backroads you see a lot and you learn a lot. Once you do that, you never view politics in the same way.

Manipulation

We’re being manipulated. Constantly. Republican and Democrat. Did a podcast about that. Detailed how we get our news from social media. Explained how to tell if a story lives up to journalistic standards. Asserted the idea that bad information leads to bad decisions. Apparently asserting ideas like this can put people on the defensive.

If You Want To Know The Truth

To know the truth, don’t take a side. It seems like everyone in media these days is taking a side. Defending a position. Making an argument. Demanding they be followed. Most information defends a point of view. This is the essence of our national manipulation. People say, “I don’t have time to sort it all out”. That is why I am doing these podcasts.

Shooting The Messenger

There are many assertions in modern news coverage these days. Most of these assertions are little more than opinion. This doesn’t mean the facts might one day support one view or another. Sadly the first reaction is defensive when facts don’t support conspiracy theory, commentary, personality endorsements, wishful thinking or the need to feel secure about a decision.

My Style of Communication

I am passionate. Direct. Intense. When I direct that passion and intensity toward something important to a specific listener it can be disconcerting. The value is it is researched, honest and authentic. Not filled with small talk and an effort to ingratiate myself with people so I can finesse a politicians message. This style of communication has certainly caused me trouble, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

History and Peeking Ahead

In Refusing To Take A Side Alienates Political Partisans-Podcast 623, I take a look at talk radio and media history, and discuss aging and changing perceptions, personal growth. Also take a look ahead to plans for covering the next election cycles. Hopefully I’ll continue to ruffle some feathers and get some discussion and thinking going.

Refusing To Take A Side Alienates Political Partisans-Podcast 623

Sponsored by Brush Studio

 

 

 

The Strange Case of Susan Rice and Other Mysteries-Podcast 619

Different Mysteries Left and Right

Susan Rice is the leaker. A political Flack. Running an operation to discredit the new president before he took office. Rice is at least guilty of a felony. At least that’s the story the right wing commentators are telling. In The Strange Case of Susan Rice and Other Mysteries-Podcast 619.

On the left it’s a different story. National security became a top concern after someone hacked the DNC computers. The Russians did it. The Russians did it because Trump did some kind of back room deal.

Opinion Is Not News

In America’s increasingly partisan media most people only want their beliefs confirmed. There’s no chance a political point of view different from my own can be right. Is there? A sea of information. Where opinion masquerades as fact and personalities beat the drums. We’re supposed to dance to their rhythm.

We Know Nothing…yet

Real Facts? In The Strange Case of Susan Rice and Other Mysteries-Podcast 619 we’ll see there are few facts. Russians hacking the DNC? Not so fast. Trump making deals behind the scenes with Putin? Obama ordering illegal surveillance of a president elect? Maybe. Maybe not.

Tin Foil Hats Anyone?

Evidence supporting claims of the right and left in this case is thin. All of it has the classic elements of conspiracy theory. So we’ll take a moment in The Strange Case of Susan Rice and Other Mysteries-Podcast 619 to detail the known facts. You can draw your own conclusions. Mystery lovers beware though. We’re along way from wrapping this one up in the final chapter.

Basic Framework

Is Susan Rice a political operative? What is the legal framework regarding National Security Agency intercepts. Why did the Trump administration leak NSA documents to a congressmen? What provoked the president to tweet he was ‘wiretapped’ in the first place? Is there a difference between a wiretap and an NSA intercept? Who gets to see intercepts? What are the significant legal justifications for executive orders in 2011 and 2017 allowing sharing in the first place. Lots of questions.

Where There’s Smoke

One thing is true. The dust kicked up by the Susan Rice story obscures real developments. North Korean Missiles. Syrian chemical weapons. Congressional action on the ACA, Tax Reform and Immigration. We’ll talk about it in The Strange Case of Susan Rice and Other Mysteries-Podcast 619.

Sponsored by Brush Studio and X Government Cars.

Podcast 612-Behind My Decision Canceling Radio Show

Behind My Decision Canceling The Bob Davis Podcasts Radio Show

Big day at The Bob Davis Podcasts. Decided to stop doing my syndicated radio show; The Bob Davis Podcasts Radio Show. Podcasts only from here on. Pure Play Podcasting. Find out why in Podcast 612-Behind My Decision Canceling Radio Show.

Mission Creep

The Bob Davis Podcast Radio Show has been on the air for seventy weeks. I started podcasting in 2009. After so many years I thought bringing content from my podcasts back to radio would be a good idea. Eventually I started posting the radio show as a podcast both to monetize it and because I wanted people to hear the show in the digital quality the Internet enables. In the end though, the show was beginning to take over the podcasts.

Podcasting vs. Radio

Pulling back the curtain for podcast subscribers starts with thanks, first of all, to Lee Michaels at Salem Broadcasting in Minneapolis and Saint Paul for believing in and airing the show. In the end, though, I came to realize radio and podcasting are two different mediums. For me the radio format has become too restrictive. I do not like what I sound like when talking about politics in the radio format. Plus podcasters can talk about other things that aren’t political. Like a trip to a motorcycle rally, an air show, or storm chasing.

Digital Marketing

Podcasters think having a radio show is a big deal. People think radio is a big deal. I don’t think it is anymore. Truth is digital marketing works better to build an audience for a podcast than radio. Podcasts have younger audiences more willing to take a chance on unique content. In Pure Play Podcasting we do not have to talk about issues the same old way. Hear about it in Podcast 612-Behind My Decision Canceling Radio Show.

Political Climate

Another factor is the political climate and mainstream media’s role in it. These days something true on Monday is proven false by Friday. Every media personality seems to be fighting to convince the audience of a certain point of view. Choosing a side and promoting that side has become the norm in modern ‘talk’. I don’t want to do that. I’ll tell you why in Podcast 612-Behind My Decision Canceling Radio Show.

French Revolution

Podcasters who only do podcasting may be the antidote for a discourse in this country that has come to resemble the French Revolution, as far as I am concerned. Thank you to those who helped me with the radio show. Thanks to the few that listened to The Bob Davis Podcasts Radio Show on the radio. Welcome to The Bob Davis Podcasts!

Sponsored by Brush Studio in the West End, Saint Louis Park.

 

Podcast 606-“My Personal State Of The Union Message”

Media Event

US Presidents must report to Congress “from time to time” as required by the US Constitution. President Washington delivered the first state of the union message in person. Most presidents literally mailed it in after Washington. In Podcast 606-“My Personal State Of The Union Message”.

Shifting Focus Podcast 606-“My Personal State Of The Union Message”

Think Oscars. White House Correspondents dinner. Events made for the media. Perfect time for me to share in Podcast 606-My State Of The Union Message. A year of travel resulted in an increasing interest in the business of my business. In Podcast 606-“My Personal State Of The Union Message” I talk about how my focus has shifted.

Purpose

Experts tell entrepreneurs to focus. Have a clear idea of what you want to accomplish. They don’t say how much you’ll learn about yourself. How much you’ll change along the way. Starting a business is a process of self discovery. Working for ‘the man’ can cause needless worry about what happens if you make a mistake.

Good News

Every day is a new challenge. When you’re the boss all the good and bad things accrue directly to you. I am much more interested now in building a dynamic and creative business to provide resources for me to do the things I am passionate about doing. A business that serves clients and the audience. My business allows me to change and be more creative.

Breaking Free

Untethering has become my new passion. Selling everything. Getting rid of the house and car. Hitting the road. Staying on the road. Business consultants who travel all the time are doing it. Vagabonds have been doing it for years. The objective is to cover news stories as they happen and find interesting people and places to visit and talk about.

Live Your Passion

The State of The Union Message is an opportunity to talk politics. It’s also an opportunity to examine our own lives over the past year or so. Are we living our passion? Doing what we love? Sharing the passion with business associates, family and friends?

Sponsored by Brush Studio in the West End and Hydrus Performance.

 

Podcast 593-Surreal Weekend

Surreal Weekend

The Inaugural Ceremony in the United States is supposed to symbolize the peaceful transfer of political power. Podcast 593-Surreal Weekend reviews my reactions to the weekend of January 20th, 2016 from the Inauguration speech of the new President Trump, to the protests on Sunday and a bizarre first-time appearance of the President’s new press secretary. Yes. It was a surreal weekend.

After the new President’s speech, the arguments started almost immediately over how many people watched and attended. Sunday’s protests can only be described as the ‘anti-inaugural’. From talking vagina signs to the thugs smashing windows in Washington to Madonna fantasizing about ‘blowing up the White House‘, this was a was a Surreal Weekend.

FaceBook and Twitter were ghettos of dueling memes and videos posted by furious adherents to one side or another. An old woman berated a fellow passenger on a plane for being a Trump supporter, ending with her being escorted off the plane by police to the cheers of passengers.

If you did not support either mainline candidate you’re in a difficult position. The media believes its job is to react to whatever stimuli is thrown out by Trump’s team. When so called journalists aren’t taking the bait on Trump’s line they’re busy predicting the future. We’re swimming in a sea of partisanship. Pundits discuss the ‘significance’ of protests in urban centers that would have supported any candidate put up by democrats in 2016. News anchors debate something called ‘alternative facts’.

Did you think the tactic of distracting the media with one stunt after another would be over after the election? Think again. Apparently the media will take the bait every time. Hook, line and sinker. Pundits and talking heads will ‘explain’ whatever stunt was employed or argue the reaction to the stunt. ‘Guests’ will appear on every show arguing the merits of the silly outcome of the latest stunt. Popular songs will be written. Memes will be distributed on social media. Videos will be made. People will scream and yell at each other.

What if you support no one. If you don’t believe any of then are going to remove the boot heel on our necks, then what? Substance? Really? Compare the substance and specificity as well as philosophy of the first Reagan inaugural to the vacuum of Trump’s. Examine the difference between the language and intent of the so called protests this weekend to the language of Martin Luther King’s rally in Washington. America’s discourse today is a sad echo of the past. Yes. It was a surreal weekend.

Something Wicked This Way Comes

We don’t think anymore we attack. Attack the messenger. Or attack the source. Attacking the person is always good too. The method is attack and attack and then move on to the next target. This week’s talking head video says what needs to be said. Tomorrow it’s another meme or video. Ignorant of the facts? Unable to put a sentence together? No problem. Just post this meme or video and boom! It’s bad and its going to get worse.

We should certainly give the new president and his team the benefit of the doubt but I do not intend to defend him. He is capable of defending himself. When the new administration does something I think is right, I’ll say so. However, I do think people who supported President Trump all through the campaign have a responsibility to defend him. Trump supporters will have to develop the arguments to defend him and they’ll have to organize against what is already formidable opposition. If you’re a Trump supporter and you’re not our organizing your neighborhoods, good luck in the next election cycles.

I get this feeling there is something evil out there. Something Wicked This Way Comes. Maybe it’s the result of a surreal weekend, but something doesn’t feel right. I keep waiting for the other shoe to drop. I’m not talking about the man in the oval office. I’m not talking about the left’s protests. It is a feeling that I can’t shake.

We’ll see.

(Editor’s Note: Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton collapsed during the State of the State message at the Minnesota State Capitol Monday, adding to the surreal quality of the current time frame. While I find little to agree with the Governor on politically, I have interviewed him and he is a gracious and nice man. The latest reports in the current time frame are that the Governor is doing well.)

Sponsored by Brush Studio in the West End.

 

 

Podcast 564-Trying Not To Talk Politics

Podcast 564-Trying Not To Talk Politics. Live from the Desert in Scottsdale, Arizona in Podcast 564-Trying Not To Talk Politics. After two intense political podcasts, time for an easy talker to start your week out. The real challenge of what I call an ‘easy talker’ is not to talk about the easy stuff, which or me is usually political. This time though, I got into some great content about travel. I feel a motivation to travel and have an increasing desire to cut the tether completely and roll. For good. What would I need to make that happen? About midway through the trip across the Great Northwest, now into the Great Southwest, a sense of well being and relaxation has set in. It’s great to visit friends and family all over the country living their lives, caught up with various pursuit. No matter what you see in the media about the tone of the country life goes on. There’s something reassuring about that reality. Coming through Eastern Los Angeles, into the California desert was a great contrast to a week of rain and wind on the coast. Joshua Tree National Forest is highly recommended. The desert itself is hypnotizing and I have the feeling the most dramatic part of the trip is ahead as we head east on two lane roads through Arizona to New Mexico and then Texas. From the plains of North Dakota to the mountains of Montana, Utah and Washington State, on over to the pacific coastal highways, down through the redwoods to LA, and now headed east in the desert I want to live in so many places! I have always loved road trips and you would think I would get them out of my system, but after a few days in Arizona, I feel like I am starting out the trip all over again. The longer the trip, the better as far as I am concerned. Sponsored by Brush Studio in the West End, Saint Louis Park, Minnesota.

Podcast 558-Pipeline Protest

Podcast 558-Pipeline Protest. Back road tripping across the Northwestern United States. First stop is The Dakota Access Pipeline protest at Standing Rock. A few miles north of Cannonball, North Dakota, about thirty miles south of Bismarck, North Dakota. DAPL – as it is known – is an explosive issue for the Standing Rock Tribe of Native Americans in this region, but pipelines have huge implications for the rest of the United States. As some celebrate the newfound energy independence US Oil Exploration brings, it also brings problems. The biggest is the issue of how to transport the oil out of the state of North Dakota which cannot refine the crude pulled out of the Bakken Reserve. For now, oil is transported on trucks and trains, which may be more unsafe when it comes to accidents and spills than pipelines. At issue is whether the pipeline will rupture, sooner or later, and contaminate ground water. The people at the Standing Rock Protest say yes. The oil companies say no. It’s very hard to get a clear idea of who’s right and wrong. Myron Dewey joins Podcast 558-Pipeline Protest from the protest, which he does not call a protest (as you’ll hear), and for balance an oil company employee and lifetime North Dakotan Eric Nelson joins the podcast not as a spokesperson for the company he works for, but as a concerned citizen. Also check out Standing Rock Fact Checker, and this from Inforum, on Doug Burgham, one of the Republican Gubernatorial candidates in North Dakota. The Standing Rock pipeline protest (sorry Myron but that’s what everyone’s calling it) has certainly focused worldwide attention on the issue. I’m going to take you inside the protest, which is in itself educational. Whenever I cover public events, I am rolling the minute I get there. This time I caught some interesting and educational audio. (Editor’s Note: You might have to strain a little to hear some of what went down, so use headphones. I will be worth it.) Like many local issues, it is filled with emotion and an ocean of ‘facts’ designed to persuade the listener to come to the ‘right’ conclusion. What do you think? Sponsored by Brush Studio in the West End, Saint Louis Park.

Podcast 549

Hillary’s 911. Finally the mainstream media is picking apart the vagaries of the Clinton response to her health scare in New York on September 11th, 2016. After months of harping on the republicans with Trump this and Trump that, suddenly the former Secretary of State is the lead story, and it is not flattering. After Democratic Presidential Candidate Hillary Clinton had to leave a 9/11 memorial event, and collapsed on the street before she got into a van, every news source, advocacy media, You Tube Video, Podcaster, and blogger including yours truly, is speculating on what her problem might be. The answer? No one knows. No one knows no matter what they tell you. No one will know whether Hillary Clinton becomes President, or loses the race to Donald Trump. In the short term the video from this weekend is damaging enough that one would expect future polls – state by state polls – might dip in favor of Donald Trump. On the other hand, don’t count your chickens Trump supporters. First, there’s always the sympathy vote, and second democrats might conclude that Clinton would make a better president on her worst day than Trump on his best. In a race characterized by high negatives, the two worst presidential candidates in a long time continue a comedy of errors, lurching from one rhetorical flourish to another, up to and including Clinton’s latest health scare. Either way, voters will have to make a choice in November to vote for one of the mainline candidates – unless she drops out and don’t count on that – or one of the so called independent candidates. Meanwhile speculation continues with social media denizens and yes, conspiracy theorists armchair and otherwise, telling you she’s an alien, suffering from Parkinson’s Disease, a cancer victim, a stroke victim, a victim of brain damage and anything else that can be ‘proven’ by slow motion video, short cuts of her responses to question, speeches on the campaign trail and whatever people can get their hands on. None of it proves anything other than, we don’t know. We won’t know in the near future and we may never know. We’re still going to have to vote. As predicted the democrats have trotted out pictures of FDR in a wheel chair, campaign staff are crying ‘mea culpa’ in response to questions about who knew what and why the media wasn’t told about ‘pneumonia’ and on and on. Yep. Hillary’s 911. All Hillary All The Time. One more necessary breaking news political podcast in this worst-election-in-memory-and-maybe-in-all-history podcast. Sponsored by Brush Studio at the West End and Ryan Plumbing and Heating of Saint Paul.

Podcast 539

Podcast 539 What Now? Election 2016 is a bust. Primary voters and the party political process selected the two worst possible candidates. No one can make the case that one will be worse than the other, despite the constant attacks and demands that each side ‘bleed red’ or ‘bleed blue’. Hold your nose and vote for the ‘least worst’. Which one is ‘least worst’? The tragic story in this whole drama? If Trump wins, Republicans will be the most shocked and disappointed by what he does. Meanwhile, Trump trails Clinton 6 points with serious deficits in key battleground states. If the democrats maintain this lead, republicans won’t have to face the reality of their decision to embrace and nominate someone who seems to be both a republican and a democrat, when it suits him. Someone who has doubled down on rhetoric and ‘earned media’, someone who doesn’t really stand for or the carry the standard for ‘traditional republican values’, whatever those are. In Podcast 539 Now What? Election 2016 is bust, time to go back to the drawing board. What is a liberal? What is a conservative? What are the issues? What is grassroots? What do we believe? What do we stand for? What do we want? Building a movement strong enough to take on the establishment, especially now that rules have been changed to prevent such movements in both mainline parties, is going to take more than a few protests and some meetings on Tuesday nights. Guess what? An establishment that stands for nothing except maintaining their hold on political power isn’t going to reduce the size scope and and power of government, and I’m talking about republicans. Podcast 539 Now What, as a beginning, asks some of the questions that need to be asked. I don’t expect answers and don’t answer these questions, but think about them. Meditate on them. Answering questions, and making a good plan are only a start down a very long road. The sooner we start, the better. Sponsored by Ryan Plumbing and Heating of Saint Paul and Brush Studio.

Podcast 535

Sturgis 2016 & The Black Hills. A trip to Sturgis 2016 turns into a tour of the Black Hills. Lots of riders come up here for the motorcycle rally but they head out on day trips to the many historic and interesting places in the Black Hills. Deadwood, and of course Mount Rushmore to name two. Lots of history in the Black Hills, especially in Deadwood. In Sturgis 2016 & The Black Hills I stop in Deadwood and have a great conversation about the history of the town, the history of the West and what it meant then and today, with a local historian in character as ‘Colorado Charlie Utter’. Then it’s onto Mount Rushmore and Keystone, South Dakota. A listener to the Bob Davis Podcasts emailed recently to suggest that some of the political podcasts contained some ‘repetitive thoughts’, as she put it. It seems like, when you talk about politics these days in any form, you come to an impasse and it’s almost always about the voters, or the political parties, or the candidates or the media and the fact that almost everyone is disappointed in the choices they have. The great thing about coming to Sturgis, and by extension these other cool places in the Black Hills, is that you forget about politics. It took awhile to come up with a theme for Sturgis 2016 & The Black Hills, Podcast 535 but it finally came to me. With all the talk about the founding fathers and the US Constitution, maybe it’s time for a new myth, a new ‘theme’ from American History. The fact is, the story told by the dime western novels, Hollywood and later TV pales in contrast to the real history of the west. The Hollywood version of the west made it seem like it all happened in Zane Grey’s Arizona, or the Sierra Nevada’s or California. Part of Western History did take place in those places in the late 1800’s and even early 1900’s. Many characters and themes later portrayed in Hollywood Westerns and popular TV shows happened a lot sooner – in the 1870’s – in places like Deadwood. Independence, self reliance, working harder and smarter and the opportunity to reinvent yourself, and to jettison your past are all themes that echo throughout the region’s history and across the area from Deadwood and Rapid City, to Mount Rushmore. As Colorado Charlie suggests maybe that inclusive, opportunistic theme is what’s missing a lot of times in the rest of America. Sponsored by X Government Cars and Brush Studio in The West End.