Image from MV Recycling
I listen to a lot of talk radio, probably too much. Especially in a "political Christmas" like what is going on now. I probably would have half as many posts on the blog if I wasn't as plugged in as I am to Rachel Maddow, Randi Rhodes, Thom Hartmann and Stephanie Miller. I've even been known to work in a little Rush Limbaugh, Sean [ack!] Hannity and Mark [accckkkk!] Levin, from time to time.
But one thing you get along with the talk, is commercials. Lots and lots of commercials. And that goes for most of radio, not just talk, not just right or left-wing. And the common trait among these commercials (excluding most of the local ones) is that they are annoying, too repetitive and usually deceitful.
The ads use many tricks to deceive. One tactic is the fake interview, where they make it sound like the host (or a faux host) is talking to an expert on some product. Often, they'll even flub a line or two to sound more "live," throw in a chuckle here or there, and rarely ever actually tell you exactly what they're selling. You have to buy the book or the product to find out what's in it!
They sell time shares this way, notably Tahiti Village right here in Las Vegas with an overly exuberant Tanya Roberts trying to give you a "free getaway" (note: not a vacation, and not actually at Tahiti Village). They sell get rich schemes, work at home schemes, home security schemes. All using trickery, and very careful wording to do it.
The ad that inspired this post is one that plays on KTLK out of Los Angeles (and undoubtedly elsewhere) about a grocery bag tax. A very concerned female voice laments the price of gas, and of groceries, and implores Californians to vote against a grocery bag tax that would add $400 to each family's budget. That's a 25 cent tax per bag. My math works that out to 1,600 grocery bags per year! How many families do you know that buy 133 bags of groceries per month?
This ad is sponsored by some nebulous sounding group that turns out to be--wait for it--the Progressive Bag Affiliates of the American Chemistry Council and The California Film Extruders and Converters Association. No wonder they're worried.
When I get a deceptive sales pitch, I'm almost 100% guaranteed not to buy what is being sold. If your product, plan or idea is valid, it should not need to be sold with tricks and lies. 'Nuff said.