(By Lars Larson) Great piece earlier this week on talk radio’s alleged role in discouraging vaccination. I think the blame is misplaced. Phil Valentine is a longtime friend of mine. My family has added him to our daily prayers for a full recovery since we got the news last week that he is sick.
I have never been one of the anti Vax crowd. Here in the pacific Northwest there is plenty of that kind of thinking. I’ve had all my vaccinations and when I’ve traveled outside America I got those recommended for the venue.
On the CPVID vaccines I take the view that every person should make his or her own decision based on the circumstances. Since I’m a generalist and not a specialist, I invite experts on from various fields to talk about all the angles on every subject I put on the air
Here’s the role I believe talk radio should be playing.
Talk radio has a job to inform. That means we provide the greatest range of opinions from all points of view. I deliberately get both experts and callers on to discuss any issue (and COVID has been a major topic as you can imagine) from the greatest range of points of view. My favorite interviews and callers are those I disagree with because then the audience hears the argument for or against…and the questions that raise counterpoints. Then they make up their own minds. Hosts should share their own opinion (because few things are more worthless than a host who can’t figure out where he stands on an important issue) but I always welcome someone who can pose the kind of questions that test whether my take on a subject is worthy and well founded, or not.
Here’s what talk radio should not be doing.
I don’t think any host should say things they don’t believe are true. There’s at least one host I know of who’s lawyer had to admit that, at times, the host makes stuff up. That’s not me. I stand by what I say. I spend six hours doing prep for the six hours I do every day. You have to do the research. If I find out I’m wrong on something I’m happy to correct the error. And we should all act as “rumor control.” At times I’ve heard claims that my research shows to be untrue and I’ll bring it up to the audience and warn them “watch out for this…it’s bunk”
Regarding COVID-19, I tell my audience what I think. That’s simply opinion. Then, I get the doctors and experts on my show to provide all points of view.
For example: I’ve had doctors on (Dr Pierre Kory for example) who point out there are drugs like Ivermectin that can prevent and treat Covid. Our government refuses to say why it won’t recommend the use of this effective and Nobel Prize winning drug
That comes home to an audience hungry for information and distrustful of the elected and the bureaucrats who have fibbed in aid of politics.
I trust my audience to make good decisions about COVID and just about every other subject under the sun. Medical decisions belong to the individual and the state.
Introduce me to any American and if invited to do so I could tell him or her many things they SHOULD do to make their lives better (put green on your dinner plate, drink less, exercise more, read to your kids, work harder, save more etc.)
It’s not my job to do that. It’s not my place to tell others how to live their lives.
Nor is it the government’s place to do so.
If I wanted my life run by government bureaucrats I’d move to China.
Lars Larson is a Compass Media syndicated talk show host based out of Portland, OR and can be reached at [email protected]