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From correspondent Mark Breton:
I'm a conservative. I listen to talk radio. Now before you get your shorts in a knot, listen. The talk radio station I listen to the most is NPR.
I am all kinds of broke and the sounds and stories combined, especially with the local-flavor interviews, leave me feeling like I have actually been somewhere. Of course, am always traveling to empoverished/victimized/war-torn/third-world (insert adjective here) countries through NPR, but it beats being ignorant. I think about all of the people out there in this big world and I hate their suffering. I don't hate people, but I do hate what some people do, especially to each other.
What does this have to do with talk radio? It is a little thing I like to call "listening." Why would a conservative listen to NPR, or read the Nashville Scene? Because, believe it or not, all of us with a caring bone in our body are concerned about the same things. Our problem is that we are choosing to live in our customized echo chambers, that environment of content absorption that we construct around ourselves to only take in what we already agree with and to block out what we don't want to hear -- politics, religion, world-view, whatever. So we strengthen beliefs that might be on weak footing simply because we choose to have it echoed back to ourself over and over again.
I can handle Phil Valentine most days; he and Johnny B are funny and they discuss local stuff. But on NPR I can hear stuff that I can't get anywhere else. The point is this: I am choosing to listen. Try it out. Listen to someone you normally just don't even want to tune in, and try to understand. The world is a big place, too big for small minds.
By the way, the show "All Things Considered" -- it isn't true.