Interviewing KMBZ conservative talker Darla Jaye for this week's cover story naturally involved arguing with her. That's what she does for a living, after all, and when it comes to politics, she's completely wrong about everything ever, so we were bound to get feisty.
(Note to the Darla-heads who seem astonished that my piece was not a gotcha hit job: The above sentence has a joke in it.)
Perhaps our most spirited exchange came when I presented the closest I had to gotchas, my principal criticisms of her show. One of the biggest: her habit of getting sputteringly mad about things that don't seem to me in the least bit important.
That's when I discovered for myself what many callers, including my father, had already learned. Arguing with Jaye ain't easy. Even when you think you're getting somewhere, she always has another subject-changing outrage to throw at you. I count three sudden changes of subject in the little playlet below. See if you can spot how her attempts to Jedi Mind Trick the liberal into a different discussion.
The Pitch: "Sometimes, you get just as worked up about something insignificant as you would about something important. The week Obama flew to Copenhagen to make his Olympics pitch, you were outraged that Michelle Obama described the trip as a 'sacrifice.'"
Jaye rolls her eyes.
The Pitch: "You leapt from that to saying, 'No, it's the soldiers in Afghanistan who are sacrificing.' You raised your voice and said, 'How dare she? How dare she?'"
Jaye: "I find her arrogant, and I find him incredibly arrogant. Obama had the report from General McChrystal by that point for 60 days, and she calls it a sacrifice to fly overseas to bring the Olympics to their hometown so everyone they know can make a buttload of money? Bullshit."
The Pitch: "But you're putting so much on just one word choice."
Jaye: "I get e-mails from soldiers saying they can't even buy toilet paper because the PX's are empty. Day after day, people are dying, and going to Copenhagen is a sacrifice? It's not."
The Pitch: "Why is the shoddy treatment of our soldiers Michelle Obama's fault? Remember, it was the Democrats who were upset at the conditions at Walter Reed Hospital."
Jaye: "That was an outrage. Anyone who served this country should not be treated that way. But it has been a year since Obama won the presidency, and every time someone gets mad at him the immediate liberal response is 'George Bush.' You've done it four times since we've been talking."
The Pitch: I'm not passing blame to Bush. I'm saying that you get madder at things under Obama than you would under Bush.
Jaye: I was outraged when Bush worked with [Senator Ted] Kennedy to pas the education bill. There was outrage at the prescription drug bill.
The Pitch: But not like there has been toward Obama on cap and trade or this health-care bill. You used the word "abomination" earlier about this administration.
Jaye: I liked George Bush, but I don't think he was a great president, and I disagreed with him on several things. I wish he would have taken care of Afghanistan so it isn't back to where it was. I'm glad Saddam Hussein's not in power. Was that the right thing to do at that time? I would say maybe not. But I'm so proud of our military, and I honor them. For anybody to say that war was a waste--"
Understanding that this will go on for a while, The Pitch reporter gives up, wondering when he had ever suggested that the war was a waste or that our soldiers didn't deserve honor. Also, he sends silent props to his kick-ass brother in the Air Force.