Today on Blogcritics
Home » Air America: Telling The Lies The Left Wants To Hear

Air America: Telling The Lies The Left Wants To Hear

Please Share...Tweet about this on Twitter0Share on Facebook0Share on Google+0Share on LinkedIn0Pin on Pinterest0Share on TumblrShare on StumbleUpon0Share on Reddit0Email this to someone

Since I live in Texas it seems like I'm always driving around in my BigAss EcoTruck, and on weekends there's nothing decent to listen to on my regular radio stations so I find myself tuning in Air America Radio on AM1600 KOKE. Today I got to listen to Ring of Fire featuring Mike Papantonio and Robert F. Kennedy Jr.

I've listened before. It's a lot less strident than some of the other Air America fare, and they sometimes bring up interesting subjects and have good guests. It's one of the few shows on the network which goes beyond trying to be a left-wing parody of what they see as right-wing 'hate' radio, to have some genuinely useful original content.

Much of the time the hosts seem genuinely interested in informing the audience. Which leaves me all the more mystified when they fall into the same habits as their more strident compatriots and can't resist lapsing into elitism, arrogance, condescension and straight-out lying to their audience.

Today was a case in point. The more politic RFK Jr. seemed to be absent, and Mike P. went on a tirade about the ignorance which causes common working people to vote Republican. He described these voters as 'Knuckle Draggers' who had never read a newspaper and were therefore too stupid and too ignorant to know that voting for Republicans was counter to their best interests. He described them as rather like zombies programmed by right wing talking points from talk radio and incapable of reason or original thought. I've heard this line before, but it became particularly ironic as the show went on.

His attacks on straw men and his elitist condescension were pretty irritating, but it began to verge on the humorous when he got a call from a union member from the IBEW. They comiserated a bit about the evil Republicans and their efforts to break down the unions and have everyone replaced with immigrants and working for the minumum wage, while funneling all the money into the pockets of the rich.

Then he got onto the subject of WalMart and how their wages were low because they won't allow workers to unionize. He announced that WalMart pays only $5.15 an hour to its workers, keeping them as virtual slaves at a sub-poverty wage. This would have been a good argument to make, were it even vaguely true.

The truth is that although the wages vary slightly from place to place, WalMart pays a minimum of $7 per hour to its workers as a starting wage – higher in many areas of the country – and even WalMart's most bitter enemies admit that their average wage is around $11 an hour. And this is with a workforce which is dominated by part time workers and workers who move on to other and better jobs within a year. Those who stay at WalMart for the long term and work full time advance in pay very rapidly and find it easy move into management at substantially higher wages.

Ok, that was a big, fat and obvious lie which had me pounding on the steering wheel and shouting at the radio. Sure, the pay at WalMart isn't great. But most of their employees aren't exactly on a long-term career track, and they are generally competitive within the local market. They certainly pay well over minimum wage – their lowest salaries are higher than the new, higher minimum wage currently being discussed in Congress.

I almost switched to my iPod at that point, but I felt compelled to listen on in sick fascination. Almost immediately I heard him saying more confounding things. Apparently America now leads the world in population living below the poverty level. I was shocked. I'd heard that the rich were getting richer, but the stats I'd seen suggested that the poor were at least holding their own and moving upward in wealth as they got older and more experienced. I was pretty sure there wasn't a word of truth coming out of the radio, so I muttered under my breath about it most of the way home and then headed straight for the computer to get the straight facts.

It's hard to use a computer with your knuckles dragging on the ground, but I did manage to find a nice list of recent figures on poverty in various nations. I was positively stunned to discover that my friend Mike P. was lying to me again. It seems the US doesn't lead the world in poverty, but in fact our poverty rate is one of the lowest in the world. At a 12% poverty rate the US has less poverty than 120 of the countries surveyed, including Canada the United Kingdom, Brazil, Russia, South Korea and Israel. In fact, only a dozen countries have a lower poverty rate and half of them are lying about it. Not only that, but our poverty rate has remained steady in the 11-13% range for about 30 years and has not risen dramatically under the 'Bush Crime Family' (as another Air America host calls them). Even more shocking, I discovered that our offical poverty line is higher than the average income in about half the countries in the world. Damn our poor people for being so rich!

I'd listened to Ring of Fire for about ten minutes and in that time had smacked head-on into two egregious lies. What if I hadn't known better? What if I didn't read the newspaper and look up facts in reliable sources when I they aren't at my fingertips? I imagine I'd believe whatever some agreeable fellow on Air America said to me.

On the radio you have a great deal of power over the truth. You can say whatever you want and then pick which calls to take or you can talk over and drown out anyone you don't agree with. You have complete control. What's more, on Air America they're mostly preaching to the choir. They tell their audience exactly what they expect to hear, and the audience gobbles it up because it meets their expectations. They never bother to ask whether these appealing 'facts' are actually true.

Radio hosts like Mike Papantonio can get away with murder – at least the murder of the truth – when they have an audience of people who never question what they hear, or use their rational faculties or think for themselves. They would rather hear a familiar lie than a disturbing truth, and the new propagandists of the left are ready and willing to serve up those lies to fill their empty heads. They're doing exactly what they've been accusing right-wing radio of doing for years, and they've found an audience who are willing accomplices in their own deception.

Powered by

About Dave Nalle

  • Clavos

    Dave,

    Couldn’t wait to finish the article–the first sentence got me. There MUST be at least a Tejano station for you to listen to!!

    OK, back to my reading…

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    Well SOMEONE has to balance Rush Limbaugh or the radio’d keep falling off the right side of the desk!

    Don’t tell me you don’t think he’s biased?

  • http://musical-guru.blogspot.com/ Michael J. West

    Dave, Air America was conceived to be lies, as I’m sure you know. Its sole purpose is, was, and has always been to be a lefty equivalent of the Limbaugh/Liddy/Hannity/Savage/Beck talk-radio universe. The ones, of course, who tell the lies the right wants to hear.

    Talk radio, at least talk radio of the last 15 years or so, isn’t about discourse anymore. None of it. It’s about cheerleading. It’s about opening the mic and saying whatever your target audience wants to hear.

    Tell them everything they think about the world is right. Tell them whatever’s wrong with the world, it’s the fault of the other political party. Whatever you do, don’t challenge your listeners’ beliefs or assumptions, and for God’s sweet sake, DON’T allow an opposing viewpoint on the air–if you’re going to have someone on the show, make sure they’re going to tell you how much they agree with everything you say. If someone who DOESN’T agree with you gets past the call screener, don’t DARE let them speak their piece; let them make clear that they disagree, then cut them off, talk all over them, block them from getting a word in edgewise. Your audience, after all, isn’t listening to hear people debating, or challenging each others’ information.

    The only thing that makes the right-wing by any means guiltier than the left is that the right were the first to figure out that this was talk-radio’s future. If Rush had decided to be a liberal commentator, that’s the way the rest of the industry would have gone, too.

    But the worst thing about Air America is that most of it’s not even entertaining. Who the Hell wants to hear hour after hour of tack-spitting righteous anger?

    [The left a]re doing exactly what they’ve been accusing right-wing radio of doing for years, and they’ve found an audience who are willing accomplices in their own deception.

    The left, of course, was absolutely correct when it accused right-wing radio of doing that. But what they’ve done now is prove they weren’t interested in elevating the state of rhetoric; they just wanted in on the same game: their own cheerleading squad to tell them “No matter what happens, you guys are right!” Which is disgraceful.

    Sorry for the rant, Dave. It’s just that I am passionate for the way talk radio once was: a real forum for ideas, for promoting critical thinking, for challenging the way listeners thought about issues and everyday life. Regardless of which side of the aisle you happened to occupy. But now…well, you said it yourself, didn’t you?

  • http://musical-guru.blogspot.com/ Michael J. West

    Jet, bias isn’t the problem. Talk-radio is supposed to be entertainment, and what the Hell is entertaining about an objective host?

    Be as biased as you want. My problem is that they’re not interested in discussion, or challenging, or even in confrontation, in addition to the obvious disinterest in factual accuracy. They want people who take every word they say as gospel–Dittoheads.

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    I might as well go argue with my radio, sorry I made the effort

  • http://musical-guru.blogspot.com/ Michael J. West

    Jet! Was it something I said?

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    Well SOMEONE has to balance Rush Limbaugh or the radio’d keep falling off the right side of the desk!

    Don’t tell me you don’t think he’s biased?

    I don’t listen to Limbaugh, not so much because he’s biased but because he’s irritating. But my point is that if the right is using talk radio to lie, then shouldn’t it be possible to counter them by telling the TRUTH? And if the only way to counter them is to lie, then doesn’t that imply that the right wing talk radio might not be the liars they’re portrayed as?

    I suppose you could argue that both groups are lying to serve their own interests and pander to their own audience, but then what the hell is the point? I guess we should just limit ourselves to Neal Boortz and Glen Beck since they seem to be the only hosts who actually tell the truth.

    Couldn’t wait to finish the article–the first sentence got me. There MUST be at least a Tejano station for you to listen to!!

    After driving my teen daughter around for a week listening to all sorts of crappy music I just need a break from all music for a couple of days. But sometimes I do listen to Tejano music, just to hear their hilarious DJs.

    Dave

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    Dave, Air America was conceived to be lies, as I’m sure you know. Its sole purpose is, was, and has always been to be a lefty equivalent of the Limbaugh/Liddy/Hannity/Savage/Beck talk-radio universe. The ones, of course, who tell the lies the right wants to hear.

    Sure, but if one side is lying, shouldn’t it be possible for the opposing side to counter them with the truth? Wouldn’t that be more effective?

    The only thing that makes the right-wing by any means guiltier than the left is that the right were the first to figure out that this was talk-radio’s future. If Rush had decided to be a liberal commentator, that’s the way the rest of the industry would have gone, too.

    I suspect that Rush is a product of the environment in which he started to become successful. He didn’t go national until he had Bill Clinton to rail against, and that opposing position made his career.

    But the worst thing about Air America is that most of it’s not even entertaining. Who the Hell wants to hear hour after hour of tack-spitting righteous anger?

    Ah, so you’ve listened to Randi Rhodes then.

    Sorry for the rant, Dave. It’s just that I am passionate for the way talk radio once was: a real forum for ideas, for promoting critical thinking, for challenging the way listeners thought about issues and everyday life. Regardless of which side of the aisle you happened to occupy. But now…well, you said it yourself, didn’t you?

    Like I said before, thank god for Neal Boortz. If he’s not on the air where you are try the live feed from WSB in Atlanta at wsbradio.com.

    Dave

  • P Marlowe

    Dave! “But my point is that if the right is using talk radio to lie, then shouldn’t it be possible to counter them by telling the TRUTH?”

    Yes. Finally you’ve said something today I can agree with. Air America is depressing. Because it DOES follow the format of Right-Wing-Radio.

    Of course you’re going to insist that in MY other post I am agreeing with Mike P. But I’m not. The issue, as in my post, is that the Republican machine COUNTS on the ignorance of its base voters. It also counts on people such as yourself that goes about shouting ELITIST! It is doing is damndest to CREATE a CULTURAL WAR – ALL FOR THE SAKE OF MONEY AND POWER.

    And, perhaps you don’t realize it but a LOT of your fellow Texans would consider what you do here as elitist…

    Marlowe

    “A club owned the lake and the lake frontage and if they didn’t want you in the club, you didn’t get to play in the water. It was exclusive in the only remaining sense of the word that doesn’t mean merely expensive.” [Marlowe, The Long Goodbye]

  • http://musical-guru.blogspot.com/ Michael J. West

    Sure, but if one side is lying, shouldn’t it be possible for the opposing side to counter them with the truth? Wouldn’t that be more effective?

    Wouldn’t it? It will never happen, though. You’re talking about a style of radio that is gone forever.

    I suspect that Rush is a product of the environment in which he started to become successful. He didn’t go national until he had Bill Clinton to rail against, and that opposing position made his career.

    That is not correct. Rush went national in August of 1988, the tail-end of the Reagan Administration. Ask someone who knows the radio industry: Rush is not a product of the current talk-radio environment; the current talk-radio environment is a product of Rush Limbaugh. (That probably sounds like an exaggeration, but I assure you it’s not.)

    Ah, so you’ve listened to Randi Rhodes then.

    Ugh. Yes, I’ve listened to Randi Rhodes. And the worst part is, she’s far from the worst offender.

    Like I said before, thank god for Neal Boortz.

    I’m familiar with Boortz. He’s better than most, but he’s far from ideal, just as much of a spinmeister as everyone else (e.g., claiming that Osama bin Laden had endorsed John Kerry for President).

    My talk-radio fix at this point consists of listening to airchecks of a certain talk-radio legend, one who was never nationally syndicated but a titanic figure in the business, who went off the air in 1999. Somebody by whom you, Dave, would be fascinated, even if you did disagree with every word he said; “Intellectual honesty” was his mantra. (Have I piqued your interest yet, Mr. Nalle?) Anybody from, say, Tampa Bay will probably know exactly to whom I refer….

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    Of course you’re going to insist that in MY other post I am agreeing with Mike P. But I’m not. The issue, as in my post, is that the Republican machine COUNTS on the ignorance of its base voters. It also counts on people such as yourself that goes about shouting ELITIST! It is doing is damndest to CREATE a CULTURAL WAR – ALL FOR THE SAKE OF MONEY AND POWER.

    When I call them ‘elitist’, I’m just using their own rhetoric against them and pointing out that they are what they attack. I mean come on, RFK Jr is on the show I wrote about. The elitist issue is a given.

    But I have nothing against people from the elite. Hell, I went to school with RFK Jr (he used to come down to the middle school and stuff us in trash cans during recess). My objection is to those from the elite who don’t have the intellectual honesty to find out how the other half lives and at least attempt to identify with them and choose to pander to them and condescend to them and play on their desire to think of themselves as ‘elite’ too.

    And, perhaps you don’t realize it but a LOT of your fellow Texans would consider what you do here as elitist…

    A lot of my fellow Texans are here doing it with me. And it doesn’t take an elite background to see through the sham, all it takes is some common sense and the ability to read and analyze the news.

    BTW, have you seen the name of my personal blog? Also the name of my BBQ team, of course.

    Dave

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    Rush went national in August of 1988, the tail-end of the Reagan Administration. Ask someone who knows the radio industry: Rush is not a product of the current talk-radio environment; the current talk-radio environment is a product of Rush Limbaugh. (That probably sounds like an exaggeration, but I assure you it’s not.)

    I’d argue that he didn’t become a success nationally and start building up his huge station count until Clinton was there as his foil.

    Ah, so you’ve listened to Randi Rhodes then.

    Ugh. Yes, I’ve listened to Randi Rhodes. And the worst part is, she’s far from the worst offender.

    Ah, so you’ve listened to Mike Malloy too, eh. You know they took him off the air for several months and are about to bring his show back on – I wonder if it will be toned down at all.

    I’m familiar with Boortz. He’s better than most, but he’s far from ideal, just as much of a spinmeister as everyone else (e.g., claiming that Osama bin Laden had endorsed John Kerry for President).

    Boortz does make the occasional exaggerated point, but he tries very hard to be honest and he’s not a doctrinaire conservative, a religiout nut or fanatically loyal to the powers that be.

    My talk-radio fix at this point consists of listening to airchecks of a certain talk-radio legend, one who was never nationally syndicated but a titanic figure in the business, who went off the air in 1999. Somebody by whom you, Dave, would be fascinated, even if you did disagree with every word he said; “Intellectual honesty” was his mantra. (Have I piqued your interest yet, Mr. Nalle?) Anybody from, say, Tampa Bay will probably know exactly to whom I refer….

    No idea who you’re talking about…not Bruce Williamson since he was syndicated. BTW, why does so much of our talk radio come out of that Florida-Georgia nexus? Boortz, Hannity, Clark Howard, Bruce Williamson, Larry King, etc. all used that area as their launching spot.

    Dave

  • P Marlowe

    I haven’t checked out the BBQ blog yet. And my father was Texan. From West Texas actually…

    Surprisingly I agree with you on a number of points N. The “liberals” are a broken record on a lot of things. However, intermixed with that they are right about crap that is being pulled by the Bush Adm. However, no one hears this because they focus on the same old liberal clap-trap.

    Meanwhile, good, hardworking descent “moderate” Republicans are being shoved off the stage… By the goose-stepping hardliners…

    Meanwhile, the ultra-right, (both the religious and the Dick Cheney-types) continue to stoke the fire of virtual hatred for all who dare to question. If you ask why we went to Iraq, you’re unpatriotic. If you question all the administration is doing here domestically, you’re a troublemaker…

    Really? Is this what being a Republican demands of one? Unquestioning, blind obedience?

    Marlowe

    “There was a sad fellow over on a bar stool talking to the bartender, who was polishing a glass and listening with that plastic smile people wear when they are trying not to scream.” [Marlowe, The Long Goodbye]

  • Clavos

    MJW,

    Were you talking about Bob Lassiter? I cried when he went up to Chicago. Then I left TPA. I understand he came back, but I was gone by then.

    Sigh.

  • http://nicholasstixuncensored.blogspot.com/ Nicholas Stix

    I’d say something, Dave, but then there’d be legal issues that you’d have to take up with BC’s lawyers, so I’ll just put the duct tape back on my mouth.

  • http://musical-guru.blogspot.com/ Michael J. West

    Clavos,

    I am, indeed, talking about the Mad Dog. Thanks for proving me right–nobody who heard him in Tampa has ever forgotten him.

    His following has not diminished. He’s got a webpage devoted to his airchecks, a Wikipedia entry (which I have done a good deal of work on, and a blog.

    Dave – Check this stuff out, in all seriousness. At least the airchecks page: how many non-syndicated talk-show hosts (or for that matter, nationally syndicated ones) do you know of whose fans loved them enough to create an online repository of recordings? I also recommend starting with the Wikipedia page, it’ll give you a pretty good idea of what to look for on the airchecks site. A hint: he was brilliant, honest, funny, and the meanest sonofabitch in talk-radio history.

    Clavos – Before you see the blog and stuff, I should give you a word of warning, since you were obviously a big fan back in the day:

    Bob has advanced Type II diabetes, is suffering slow kidney failure, and has been told by his doctors that he has maybe two years to live.

  • http://musical-guru.blogspot.com/ Michael J. West

    BTW, why does so much of our talk radio come out of that Florida-Georgia nexus? Boortz, Hannity, Clark Howard, Bruce Williamson, Larry King, etc. all used that area as their launching spot.

    So did Randi Rhodes. And, for that matter, Glenn Beck, one of the most despicable people who ever talked into a microphone.

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    I haven’t checked out the BBQ blog yet. And my father was Texan. From West Texas actually…

    I assume he escaped as quickly as possible.

    Surprisingly I agree with you on a number of points N. The “liberals” are a broken record on a lot of things. However, intermixed with that they are right about crap that is being pulled by the Bush Adm. However, no one hears this because they focus on the same old liberal clap-trap.

    The ‘crap’ being pulled by the Bush administration is incredibly minor and then blown out of proportion by paranoids on the far right and political opportunists on the left. If you run down a littany of the things the administration has actually done, the real impact for the public and for our rights is virtually nil.

    Meanwhile, good, hardworking descent “moderate” Republicans are being shoved off the stage… By the goose-stepping hardliners…

    This isn’t happening, it already happened. What we see now is the effort by the traditional republicans the moderates and the libertarian republicans to reassert themselves and drag the party back to its roots.

    Really? Is this what being a Republican demands of one? Unquestioning, blind obedience?

    That doesn’t sound like most of the Republicans I know. Maybe some of the blue hair party loyalists are like that, but most Republicans seem to be inherently contentious and rather anti-authoritarian.

    Dave

  • Clavos

    A hint: he was brilliant, honest, funny, and the meanest sonofabitch in talk-radio history.

    He was every bit of that and more. I’m so sorry to hear about his medical problems. There’s never been a better talk radio guy; before or since.

    “Get off my phone, you stupid jerk!!”

    Good times, good radio.

    Thanks for the links, MJW.

    Clavos

  • http://musical-guru.blogspot.com/ Michael J. West

    I do what I can, Clavos. :-)

    Have a bad night! Hippie!

  • JP

    Michael, I disagree–“Talk-radio is supposed to be entertainment, and what the Hell is entertaining about an objective host? ”

    The problem is when “entertainment” starts marketing itself as news–such as Hannity’s “three hours of the hardest-hitting news and information…,” which implies there are facts on the show. There usually aren’t.

    Criticize AA all you want–I do, except that I find Jerry Springer has the calmest and most objective show on that network–but let’s not ignore the result, which is that people give more weight to talk radio than they should. They should check facts, but often they don’t. And so people vote based on the lies they hear on talk radio, which although it’s “their responsibility” affects all of us nonetheless.

  • Clavos

    JP,

    The central asumption of your #21 is that people who listen to talk radio vote based on what they’ve heard. I disagree.

    Here’s why:

    As mentioned in previous comments above, most people listen to the end of the spectrum they themselves adhere to; righties listen to right radio, and lefties tune into the left end of the dial. Since they are coming to the show with their minds already set, what they hear is unlikely to change their thinking and voting.

    Radio is far from being the only biased scource people will tune into or read, and those interested enough to tune in or read are sophisticated enough to draw their own conclusions about matters before entering the voting booth.

    The left often sells the mass of American voters short by claiming that they are easily swayed, stupid, etc., and offering as their proof of such stupidity the fact that the voters didn’t vote the way they (the lefties) said they should. Maybe that’s because so many of the “masses” don’t agree with them, rather than that they’re stupid?

    Those who actually take the time and trouble to vote have generally given their vote some thought and consideration.

    To me, the really sad part of the electoral process in this country is how few of the eligible citzens even bother to register, and fewer still then vote. THOSE are the people who are stupid and ignorant.

  • http://musical-guru.blogspot.com/ Michael J. West

    Criticize AA all you want–I do, except that I find Jerry Springer has the calmest and most objective show on that network

    As a result, Springer also has the WORST show on the network. Which was my point in the first place when saying “talk radio is supposed to be entertainment.”

  • http://musical-guru.blogspot.com/ Michael J. West

    Actually, I’d like to qualify the above comment. I think Springer is the worst, but since Katherine Lanpher left Franken has certainly been giving him a run for his money.

  • http://www.futonreport.net/ Matthew T. Sussman

    You know, if everyone just listened to ESPN Radio we might like each other more.

  • Clavos

    Until your team beat mine, Suss.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    Springer is certainly the least entertaining thing on Air America. But that’s the problem. The more entertaining the shows are the more crazed and extremist they seem to be. There’s clearly a connection there.

    Dave

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    The problem is when “entertainment” starts marketing itself as news–such as Hannity’s “three hours of the hardest-hitting news and information…,” which implies there are facts on the show. There usually aren’t.

    I agree that Hannity is an irritating blowhard, but his show certainly has as much factual material on it as most other talk radio or talking head TV. Hell, he even has guests on who introduce facts from time to time. It’s not all just ranting.

    And so people vote based on the lies they hear on talk radio, which although it’s “their responsibility” affects all of us nonetheless.

    I think an argument could be made that they’d find something else equally idiotic to use as the basis of their decisions if we didn’t have talk radio.

    Dave

  • SHARK

    Davey, I see yer still shooting fish in a barrel. Mighty brave of ya there, comrade.

    Coupla additional points:

    1) Some marginalized left-wing Democrat TELLS LIES on a radio program listened to by 12 people… zzzzzzzzzzzzzz….

    2) Bush TELLS LIES to the nation and the world about WMDs;

    RESULTS: he invades a nation, sends over 2000 americans (and counting!) to their deaths, sends hundreds of billions of dollars down a sandy drain known as Baghdad, and we inspire a few million relatively moderate testosterone-addled Muslims to become suicidal terrorist murderers out to fuck up Uncle Sam.

    Thanks George!

    PS: Davey, in your most honorable pursuit of um… The Truth — you really should get your priorities straight — or as Shark sez: “Pick yer battles.”

    xxoo
    S

  • Maurice

    Is SHARK repeating repeating himself?

    Maybe he gets all his “facts” from Air America…

  • http://jpsgoddamnblog.blogspot.com JP

    Michael, you’re certainly entitled to your opinion.. if you call yelling and outrageous hyperbole on the scale of Ann Coulter entertainment, then perhaps you’re right. I disagree, as Springer is the only one I could listen to for more than 15 minutes without wanting to throw something at the radio. To each his own.

    Dave, you have a point about people finding other biased material to base voting on, but whether or not anything is or should be “done about” talk radio, I have a hard time believing it contributes to an informed electorate.

  • Nick

    Air America does what the rightwing has been doing for years so why whine about it? There are PLENTY of rightwing talk shows out to tell YOU what YOU want to hear so I wonder why you can’t find anything to listen to?

    Just remember the ‘Godfather’ movie scene with Roth telling Michael Corleone that THIS is the LIFE we chose. Rightists like Rush, Hannity, O’Reilly have been doing this for years to the JOY of their listeners. So when the left pushes back using the same tactics don’t complain.

    Switch channels?

  • troll

    *Air America does what the rightwing has been doing for years so why whine about it?*

    because the hope was for something more than snide reactionary propaganda – ?

    troll

  • JustOneMan

    Air America was and is uncessary…all you have to do is listen to NPR and you can hear 8 hours a day of Bush bashing and – blame America first commentary…

    Air America failed because no body can take people like Jerry Springer and Stuart Smalley seriously….

  • troll

    so jom – is it ok with you if one blames others first and America second – ?

    or are you just another advocate of revisionist ‘my country right or wrong’ double think

    troll

  • Clavos

    revisionist ‘my country right or wrong’ double think

    Aah, Troll you’re so good with a cliché.

    Didn’t realize until now you use the Manifesto as a source, though.

  • JustOneMan

    Again the Crazed Left throw stones rather than address or comment on the issues…how sad…

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    Again the Crazed Right throw stones rather than address or comment on the issues…how sad…

  • http://musical-guru.blogspot.com Michael J. West

    Air America was and is uncessary…all you have to do is listen to NPR and you can hear 8 hours a day of Bush bashing and – blame America first commentary…

    You say this a lot, JOM. I would assume that you spend 8 hours a day listening to NPR?

    Air America failed because no body can take people like Jerry Springer and Stuart Smalley seriously….

    First – you say “failed” in the past tense. You do know that Air America is still on the air, right?

    Second – “Stuart Smalley”? You watch Bill O’Reilly, don’t you? That’s unfortunate.

  • troll

    I do enjoy cliches though that one’s more Orwell than the Manifesto

    and I am sympathetic to the concept of class struggle and the writing of the idealistic young Marx

    much of his analysis in Capital is crap IMO as is his idea that some material necessity drives us toward a more just society

    All Hail Kropotkin

    troll

  • JustOneMan

    Mikey J. Left

    You do know that Air America is still on the air, right?

    It is so you must be the “one” who is listening…if Air America couldnt get ratings or pay their bills is there really a burning need?

    Now if Jerry where to have on guest from his tv show–stripers, whores, transvestives, women who want to marry their brothers – now thats worth listening to! Oh wait Howard Stern is already doing that!

    LOL!

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    Davey, I see yer still shooting fish in a barrel. Mighty brave of ya there, comrade.

    They shouldn’t have put them in a barrel if they didn’t want me to shoot them.

    Coupla additional points:

    1) Some marginalized left-wing Democrat TELLS LIES on a radio program listened to by 12 people… zzzzzzzzzzzzzz….

    These ‘marginalized left-wing’ folks are about to take over a major political party. I think there’s reason to be concerned.

    PS: Davey, in your most honorable pursuit of um… The Truth — you really should get your priorities straight — or as Shark sez: “Pick yer battles.”

    I think I did.

    Dave

  • Bliffle

    JOM: “Air America was and is uncessary…all you have to do is listen to NPR and you can hear 8 hours a day of Bush bashing and – blame America first commentary…”

    Really? I listen to NPR pretty regularly. In particular, Michael Krasnys “Forum” every weekday: 2 one hour segments. Surely you know “Forum”, since you know so much about NPR. Now, sometimes Terry Gross has a political person on her program, but she’s such a political lightweight that she gets mugged by rightwing zealots like O’reilly. It’s sort of embarrassing to hear a grown man assault such a political child.

    Meanwhile, the hardleft KPFA complains every day that NPR is touting the Bush line on Israel vs. Hezbolah, since the good jewish reporters Dennis Bernstein and Amy Goodman are assiduously pro-palestinian and anti-israeli.

    Left and right both seek comfort in radio programs that reinforce their prejudices. But us independents prefer speakers that challenge our positions, because, after all, times change and events alter circumstances: we may have to CHANGE a position!

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    Speaking of NPR. With Air America the way it is and the right wing talk shows the way they’ve always been, NPR starts to look like the sensible, moderate alternative to both of them, despite JOM’s ridiculous claims of constant Bush bashing (I’m pretty sure he’s never actually listened to NPR).

    Dave

  • Nancy

    I’m always torn between amusement and outrage when the Right has a hissy fit & starts screaming “no fair! Un-American! Bias!” when the Left even vaguely uses the same tactics as their own radio programs. No Leftie radio show can even remotely compare in sheer lies, partisanship, and viciousness with Radio Right, like Limbaugh & his peers. The Right needs to clean up its own act before it starts yelping about anyone else.

  • http://musical-guru.blogspot.com Michael J. West

    JP (#31):

    It’s not what they say, it’s how they say it. See, Air America makes the same mistake that most everybody makes anymore: they think all you need to do in order to have a good radio show is be articulate and informed. And while those things are good, they do not a radio announcer make.

    Radio is a skill and a craft, just like anything else. To be a good on-air personality requires attention to things like pace, phrasing, timing, elocution, etc. Just as being a standup comic requires so much more than being funny.

    Springer and Franken–but mostly Springer–have less understanding of the medium than any other professional broadcaster I have ever heard. Say what you will about Rhodes and Malloy, or Limbaugh and Beck, at least they are honest-to-God radio people.

  • Nancy

    God must be rolling in His heaven after that comment.

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    Articulate and informed? Springer isn’t informed and Franken isn’t articulate.

    Dave

  • Ederlore

    After reading all the comments I’ve come to the conclusion that very few of you actually LISTEN to AirAmerica. I’m disabled and have my radio going pretty much 24/7. I’ve heard many, many interviews being done by the hosts of AirAmerica. To simplistically state that it’s all just “Bush bashing” shows a complete lack of knowledge on your part. Limbaugh blows out constant lies and accusations without any proof. Boortz made fun of Theresa Kerry’s accent while playing Nazi marching songs in the background. Yeah, keep telling me about how mature the Right is and how infantile those of us on the left are. Criticizing Bush is not bashing. It’s trying to get you to take a hard look at the disaster that he has created in this country. The Nazis conducted a very successful campaign against the Jews. Rove learned well from them and we can see today as to how successfully he’s divided this country between the NeoCons and the rest of the American population. Stop drowning yourself in the Kool-aid kiddies and come up for some fresh air and a fresh perspective on the situation because unless you make over $200,000 a year you and yours will be paying dearly for this incompetent putz for generations to come.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    So apparently listening to Air America DOES brainwash you if you listen to it enough.

    And BTW, Boortz has a sense of humor. Some of the folks on Air America would be a LOT more effective and entertaining if they had one.

    Dave

  • http://jswynne.typepad.com/gropes/ Jim Wynne

    This is commercial radio you’re talking about. Are you not familiar with the concept of schtick? Air America is pseudo-obnoxious in exactly the same way that Fox News is. The reason that Air America has had so much trouble getting off the ground is that its target audience apt to recognize it for what it is. Conservatives, on the other hand, will keep eating out of Rupert Murdoch’s trough for as long as he’s willing to keep feeding them.

  • Bliffle

    Hard left and hard right radio serve much the same purpose as those famous Saudi Arabia madrassa schools we’ve all seen on TV. The adherents and supplicants listen attentively while rocking back and forth in their seats memorizing readymade mantras. I guess it’s comforting to be absolved of responsibility for thinking and deciding on ones own.

  • JustOneMan

    Ederlore…”The Nazis conducted a very successful campaign against the Jews. Rove learned well from them ”

    Your disability is obviously a mental one!

  • http://queertexan.com Queer Texan

    This liberal agrees — he’s right about the Wal-Mart wage thing. It is higher when you include ALL Wal-Mart employees (corporate execs, warehouse workers, truckers, etc.). The “low wage” thing only counts when you are solely talking about the average wage for people that work in their stores.

    Even though the retail workers make up the vast majority of the Wal-Mart empire, I agree that it’s entirely misleading when we on the left don’t include — you know — the regional management, Bentonville staff, and the big rig drivers. They ALL work for WalMart. Veeerrry misleading, and I think we on the left are going to pay for that deception! Grrrr!

    [/sarcasm]

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    QT, you need to brush up on your math a bit. The vast numbers of low-level employees at WalMart so totally outnumber the few workers in management who get paid high wages that those higher paid workers make no meaningful difference in the average salary.

    In addition, there’s plenty of data on WalMart starting salaries and what they pay workers in various specific jobs, and not one of those jobs starts at $5.15 an hour as the fellow on the radio claimed.

    Dave

  • Baronius

    Someone upthread wished that talk radio would return to the balanced pursuit of truth. It’s been about two decades since Rush Limbaugh went national, so maybe my memory is fuzzy, but I remember talk radio as being the home of Bigfoot, religious fundraising, and high school football analysis. No wonder Rush was able to mop the floor with them.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    I must have missed the era when talk radio was balanced. My recollection is that when I was a kid there basically wasn’t talk radio except for news-oriented interview shows, and then there was the emergence of talk radio like we have it now and it was never balanced as far as I could tell.

    Dave

  • IgnatiusReilly

    “how many non-syndicated talk-show hosts (or for that matter, nationally syndicated ones) do you know of whose fans loved them enough to create an online repository of recordings?”

    I never heard him elsewhere but Jim Healy had a very funny sports headlines program. And Phil Hendrie had a few before he went national.

  • IgnatiusReilly

    “The left often sells the mass of American voters short by claiming that they are easily swayed, stupid, etc., and offering as their proof of such stupidity the fact that the voters didn’t vote the way they (the lefties) said they should.”

    Change left to right, and add African in front of American.

  • Clavos

    I must have missed the era when talk radio was balanced.

    Me too, and I’m older than you Dave (at least older than you look in that picture you put on your articles).

    OTH, it wouldn’t be entertaining if it were balanced.

  • IgnatiusReilly

    “Articulate and informed? Springer isn’t informed and Franken isn’t articulate.”

    Why hold radio show hosts to a higher standard than the President?

    You know things aren’t going well politically when Joe Scarborough hosts a segment entitled “Is Bush an Idiot?”

  • Clavos

    IR #59:

    You’re right, I’ve heard that said.

    And…?