I am familiar with this argument, and I'm sympathetic to it, in spite of the fact that I own and run the highly trafficked forum you reference. But you are correct. I know the feeling. I love watching the Patriots play each Sunday, of watching Tom Brady stand back in the pocket, complete a pass. There is a rush, an exhilaration. When the Pats win, I feel strong, happy and powerful. I feel proud for myself and my city. I know that it is irrational.
In keeping with the sports metaphor, I posted a comment on another thread where I said that AJ was just playing the part that Lou Pinella played so many times in baseball games, when he got right up in the face of the umps and S C R E A M E D at them.
Lou did this not for the crowd, not even for himself. He did this for his guys. He was was standing up for them as the head of the team doing these ridiculous things because only he could justifiably do it. The players and fans lived vicariously through him, and loved him as a result.
When I watched the first interview of Larry Pratt, and Piers said, "You really are a stupid man, aren't you?" I literally wanted to punch Piers. I was livid at the disrespect. You don't treat people like that. You just don't. And Pratt was dignified, and didn't strike back because he's just not like that. The only one who could really pull that off, was AJ, in the same way that the only person on the team can pull that off with the umps is Pinella.
So he did it. AJ went off. It was payback for the rude idiot that Piers was. AJ's behavior was not to influence anyone in the debate. Is that possible? I explained the whole thing to my wife, who doesn't pay attention to these things. She doesn't know who Piers Morgan or Alex Jones is. But I explained it all out and she summed it up perfectly: "No matter what you do on that show, that guy is going to make you look bad."
Of course! It is the nature of the show, the nature of the host and the nature of the audience. There is no way to win. So what did Alex do? He went off - not to change anyone's mind, but to vindicate Pratt, and every other pro-gun person who's been a guest and been dissed on his show. To show him we're not weak. And to fire up our guys.
And to that extent it worked. But to your point- what comes after this is crucial. Your conclusion is that AJ is just a pacifier.
I think that comes down to each individual. Lou Pinella was not a pacifier. His antics fired up his guys, it let them know that he would go to bat for them, and in turn, they wanted to win for him.
AJ can't fight all our battles. When the time comes, what will we do? What he was able to do was focus a lot of attention on this issue. For the Conan watchers this is just another piece of passing entertainment - a 30 second skit to laugh at and forget.
But as you say, it is up to each individual to judge how they will respond.
To be mean is never excusable, but there is some merit in knowing that one is; the most irreparable of vices is to do evil out of stupidity. - C.B.
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