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Isn’t it awful how we are sometimes more persuaded or at least entertained by style than we are by substance? Doesn’t it make you feel guilty and isn’t it like a chemical addiction? Ideas that repel us can grab and hold our attention just because they are conveyed with panache. We may, for instance, be loyal listeners of radio talk show hosts or television pundits who we know perfectly well are completely in the wrong over practically any issue. And we may find those who share our views to be crashing bores. That must explain why almost all major talk show hosts are reactionaries and libertarians.

Though we may be riveted by their pretensions and narcissism, and though one of their favorite targets of abuse is public school educators and our unions, we don’t change the channel, the ratings show. Many of these “personalities” seem incapable of embarrassment and will engage and shout down audience participants who are far more expert than they are, for they feel entitled to pass as experts on everything under the sun, just because they gab for a maximum of a couple of hours in front of a microphone.

Have you listened lately to the two main 50,000 watt AM radio stations in New York City? What a bunch of blowhards!

I heard one of these hosts, a member of a radio talk show family dynasty dating back at least to FDR, talk about how comfy teachers have it, depicting us as a bunch of spoiled, rich slackers. Another loose-lipped tongue-flapper carries on about every issue of so-called education reform, expressing totally predictable and consistent views that prove he’s a lackey and apologist for every union-buster.

On these two radio stations, almost 24/7, you will hear nothing but disrespect for us public school educators, and though many of the “hosts” are ill-informed and mean-spirited, some of us consent to being their targets because of the “trade off” of some ingredient. Is it masochism or what?