This above all; to thine own self be true.

- William Shakespeare

Air America? Err America?

AirAmerica will go silent into the night. Well, the hosts might be talking, but when no one is listening in the forest are the radios on?

If you try hard, and are in the right area, or have the right link on the web, you might be able to hear AirAmerica and their premiere host, Al Franken. Unfortunately, you will only listen for a short time, then you will start looking for Rush Limbaugh, even if you play left field.

Rush is an ideologue. You know where he comes from, and he believes in his philosophy enough that he invites those who disagree with him to the front of the call-in line, and some of them have made him look bad. He is looking for reason in his principals, which makes for interesting dialog and discussion, as the ratings prove. It does not seem to work that way out in left field.

In left field, it is important that you agree first, and that you do not ask questions that undermine the arguments second, and, thirdly, that you agree. If all else fails, remember rule number one. How does this make for interesting radio? Where’s the debate, the search for intellectual honesty, a bit of truth? You do not always have to find it, but the search is necessary to stimulate the mind, to stimulate debate, to keep the medium alive and vibrant, and to have a successful radio show and attract listeners.

I tried to listen. I want to hear all reasoned sides of an argument, but that was not the radio I heard. On AirAmerica I did not hear a counter to mainstream conservative radio, I heard a counter to the extreme right. I heard conspiracy theories that made the conspiracy theories on the right sound like children’s stories, and it was mean dialog, very mean. They attacked their target not with intellectual challenges to ideology, but like you attack someone verbally because you know you are the loser so you belittle them, you know your arguments will not win the day, so you attack them personally. People are smarter than that. (Not the people talking, but the listeners, the great-unwashed masses understand the truth behind such meanness.)

To put it simply, AirAmerica will go silent, quickly, and there is no one to blame except the hosts of AirAmerica. If they were interesting, dynamic and thought provoking, people would listen, but instead they will go silent, while yelling spitefully into their mics.

Remember: When the attack is convoluted, you are trying too hard, and listeners can tell. When the attack is mean, it is without merit.

Try again, please.

posted at 10:13:07 on 04/29/04 by clearpolitics - Category: General - [Permalink]

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