Road-trip Radio Roundup
Ahhh.... the joys of a several-hundred mile drive, one of the highlights being an overdose of good ol' AM radio. Having grown up on KABC newstalk 790, AM can only mean talk radio. Along with the usual mix of Savage and Hannity and such, my jaunt through the Portland broadcast radius gave me a chance to listen to that new-fangled "Air America Radio" the Democratic Party whipped up... I was bummed that I went out of range just before the show with Janeane Garofalo kicked in; I am a bit curious to see how her acting and stand-up talents translate into commentary, or if they translate at all. I also missed out the the O'Franken factor, but I've never been much of Franken as a performer, so that was no great loss.
I did manange to catch the majority of the Randi Rhodes show which was somewhat entertaining, but would wear a little thin after a week or so. (Unless, with a significant segment of the talk radio audience you are one of those people that just wants to listen to someone spout random things with which you agree... or at least spout random things against your Common Enemies Who Are Evil.) She kept repeating that she "always verifies everything" before saying it on the radio... but she also seemed to through all sorts of oddities out there, seeming to approve of the idea that Bush "knew" about 9/11. She also had an odd theory that bin Laden only wants to "get Bush"... as if good ol' Osama just sat around, twiddling his thumbs during the Clinton Administration. Her callers at least seemed to eat it up.
The closest to disagreement that seemed to come from any of her callers was on the issue of whether or not Noam Chomsky would be a good guest for her show. Everyone, including the host, thought that Noam was essentially infallible, they just had squabbles over whether or not he would be good radio. Even "debating" such trivia, Rhodes seemed to want to cut off her callers. Dissent? What's that?
Randi Rhodes was followed by a show called So What Else is News? ... picture the "entertainment" segemnts from NPR news with one tenth of the research staff and one third of the excitement. (Since the lineup is so new, the Portland station played a recounting of their schedule every commercial break or so; the thing that puzzled me was that they never said what was on the 7-8pm slot... apparently, they didn't even want to mention that they bothered to waste valuable electromagnetic waves to broadcast that dreck.
As I neared the Bay Area, though.... good 'ol KSFO and KGO. And, after dark, I could even get KFI from Los Angeles. More on these stations... someday.