On Friday’s Battleground State Report with Michael Patrick Leahy and Doug Kellett – a one-hour radio show from Star News Digital Media in the early stages of national weekend syndication rollout – Leahy and Kellett discussed the mental state of the nation and how people have either succumbed to the age of unreason or outrage. Leahy did, however, give kudos to the concept of social media as it helped launch the Tea Party movement in 2009.
During the beginning of the show, Leahy and Kellet concluded that Twitter has become a volatile place and a platform for ‘left-wing attack dogs’ against conservatives. The men both admitted that they rarely use their social media platforms.
Kellett: I’ll Tweet out a story or re-Tweet or whatever with no comment about it. No analysis on my part. I think it’s kind of an interesting story. I’m not taking a position about it one way or another. Depending on which side you’re on you’ll get hammered on Twitter. (Chuckles) Why are you such a leftist or why are you such a right-winger.
And it’s just a story I found interesting and didn’t comment about it. But people, whatever side they’re on Mike, they seem to immediately think, ‘You’re against me.’
Leahy: We’ve gone from the age of reason to the call it one of two things. Both apply. The age of unreason, that’s one way to describe where we are today. The other is the age of outrage.
Kellett: I’m easily offended kind of thing right?
Leahy: You’ve offended me. I’m offended by that. (Chuckles)
Kellett: Well, I’m sure you are. You’re not woke enough. You’ve gotta be more woke than that or you’ll be offended constantly. Also, too social media was supposed to bring us all together. That was the idea, right? Facebook and some of these other avenues of social media were going to bring the world closer together. Is that really happening?
Leahy: No, if you look at all the studies it’s tended to isolate people because instead of actually being in a room and talking to people and looking at them and trying to understand what they’re saying. I mean you go to a room right now, for instance, go to a restaurant and when you’re waiting to be seated, have you done this? Just look around and see what people are doing. Are they talking to each other or are they looking at their phones? (Kellett laughs)
Kellett: That’s true. That is true. The young people especially. But older ones as well. And maybe I’m guilty at times. I’m like, well if everybody else is I might as well check my email. I don’t know what that means for society at large. There’s something great about it. You’re the ability to get a lot of people together and have common ideas.
Rally to certain maybe position or point of view or some sort of need that’s out there in the community. I think that’s great. But it is also amazing how many sorts of vitriol comes out. I rarely respond to anybody to any of these things because you stepped into it when you do. (Laughter)
Leahy: Nor do I. I’ll tell you my Twitter philosophy. I used Twitter way back in 2008 as a national rallying capability for conservatives. We put a list together and it grew rapidly. Conservatives were out there and they were lonesome. They were competitive. They wanted to be at the top of the list at the most followed conservatives.
And so we used that actually the ability to communicate via like-minded folks. And of course, on February 19th, 2009 when Rick Santelli had his famous rant on CNBC and said, ‘Let’s have a Tea Party in Chicago!’ On July 4th, I quickly put together a conference call with 50 people I’d come to know through the top conservatives on Twitter.
And we launched the Tea Party movement the next week. We had 50 rallies at cities around the country. And then a few months later, April 15th we had 1,000 rallies that a million people attended. And the Tea Party movement was born. But, since then we talked about this before. I have a completely different Twitter philosophy. Would you like to hear about it?
Kellett: Sure why not. Everyone needs one.
Leahy: You’re going to hear it whether you want to or not. (Laughs)
Kellett: I was just going to be congenial here and say tell me about it, Mike.
Leahy: Yes, tell me about it. Twitter is basically a sewer of left-wing attack dogs.
Kellett: Oh yes.
Leahy: It’s a very small percentage of the population that spends all their time basically attacking and saying nasty things about conservatives. I don’t use it at all. I’m not going for that little blue check at all on my name. And I use it just to see what’s going on and to measure what the latest left-wing outrage is.
But it serves no purpose to me now at all. There’s no reason to communicate a thought or idea on Twitter. Now we sometimes on Battleground State News and Tennessee Star we do put Tweets of our stories out. But in terms of engaging in a dialogue, goodness gracious no. There’s no point to it.
Kellett: Especially, you don’t know who you’re having a dialogue with now. I have some fun on Facebook with people I’ve known for 20, 30 years or they’ve been callers to a show or something and have fun with them. And they get mad and I get them riled up.
A lot of times you don’t know who they are. I’m not sure how a good idea it is to get in some sort of long discussion about one thing or another. As you said, there are some vile people out there that use the social apparatus to bully people of something?
Leahy: Oh, absolutely. And the other problem with it is any Tweet is now on your permanent record Doug. (Laughter)
Kellett: That is so true, man.
Listen to the full show:
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Tune in every Friday morning or listen online to The Battleground State Report with Michael Patrick Leahy and Doug Kellett.