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August 15, 2006

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» Goodbye Mike Malloy Goodbye Air America? from Citizen Keith
It was only a few short weeks ago that I was bitching about Air America Radio. There was a good chance that Sam Seder would no longer be on the air. Thankfully, hes still with the progressive radio network, though his show has been moved from th... [Read More]

Comments

Fatherflot

Wow, that'a a lot to digest.

I agree with you about the generally sad state of things with AA. I listen via the web, but it's frustrating and embarassing to have to deal with the chaos and amatuerishness of the operation, especially in comparison to the mighty right-wing wulitzer that dominates the AM dial----especially out where I live.

By far the best thing on Air America is Thom Hartmann, whom they stream at the same time as Franken on an alternative stream. I picked up on Hartmann about six months ago and haven't tuned into Franken since. He's by far the sharpest, most well-informed, and thought-provoking host in liberal radio. No one handles right-wing calls more effectively and humanely. Not even the most hostile caller can bait him. He never backs down, never descends into the gutter, yet he never fails to win the argument, educating and enlightening in the process. He also regularly conducts extensive, civil, and skillfully-handled debates with various wingnuts and libertarians. There is no one in liberal talk so utterly UNAFRAID of facing the best arguments of the right. You can also pick up his stream via his homepage here: http://www.thomhartmann.com/showlisten.shtml

Maddow is great and should be given a prime slot. Ditto Laura Flanders.

The sooner they pull the plug on the inane Jerry Springer, the better.

I must strongly disagree about Sam Seder and Mike Malloy, however.

I realize this goes against the common wisdom, but I find Seder to be one of the best hosts on the network, and he's only gotten better since Garofalo left. He's high energy, but also very quick on his feet and he has a real talent for keeping on point and for having the relevant facts and arguments at hand. I think he's great and I've written to AA several times in support of him.

Malloy, on the other hand, I can not abide. I realize many consider him a "breath of fresh air" or something like that because he gives such unvarnished voice to the angry and wounded liberal id, but his act (to me at least) wears thin very quickly. Like Garofalo, he has a very limited arsenal of ideas and opinions and I find it grating and depressing to hear him react the same way over and over again to events and callers. And frankly, I think he's a coward when it comes to dealing with callers who disagree with him---worse even then Randi Rhodes. He epitomizes, in my mind, the danger of liberal radio becoming a mere mirror image of right-wing hate-fests.

torr

Man, I cannot believe how much you dislike the radio work of Seder and Franken, they're both top notch. Maddow is great too and deserves better than a morning news show.

blatherskite

I really appreciate the continued updates you've been giving about AAR. I rarely read any news about them other than right-wing smears, so it's good to see someonoe with basically my own sympathies writing about the good and bad of the network.

What a mess this move sounds like. It's depressing. Switching to a station that has smaller radius AND has Armstrong Williams on in morning drive? Vile.

My quick take on AAR hosts, in case AAR is actually reading (and they should be reading the Professor's posts).

They really screwed up with Marc Maron. Even though I live on the east coast, I listened to all the Maron shows I could, downloaded and a couple times live streaming. Great show -- nearly as good as Morning Sedition. It could have become even better I think. RIP.

Randi Rhodes isn't my cup of tea, bu I'm glad some host is finding purchase out there.

Franken is remarkably boring. I particularly find his segments on the Minnnesota water purification board meetings (or whatever Minnesota issue he's doing that day) an embarassment for national radio. He's also a poor interviewer. I was infuriated when he had linguist Geoffry Nunberg on to discuss his very interesting book "Talking Right: ... " and Franken spent one or two segments reciting very tired oft-repeated (by Franken) old jokes of his own and asking Nunberg to comment on them. (Many know the jokes by heart, since Franken repeats them endlessly: "I talked with Newt Gingrich about gay marriage.... "--regular Franken listeners will be able to spin the whole joke out from just that premise.)

So Franken has on Nunberg, writer of an important book for liberals, and essentially tells his old old jokes and asks Nunberg to comment on them: "So, what do you think about that joke" -- for most of the multi-segment interview! It was pathetic and emblematic of what a bore Franken has become. Run for Senate, Al -- I'll support you. But if you can't do a better radio show while angling for Senate, please get off the air.

On a couple points I'm with the commenter Fatberflot above, I think Seder has gotten better and shows some promise. Getting rid of the vapid psychobabble (exactly the right term) of Garafalo has helped that show a lot. I do find him a bit smug and he has quite a few annoying bits and tricks (such as routinely mispronouncing names intentionally) that are sophomoric in a bad way. But it's a program I actually want to listen to occasionally, and he does take callers--even usually handling right-wing callers fairly well imo.

I'm also with Fatherflot that Malloy's shtick wears thin really quickly. But I avoid Rhodes and she seems to actually get some ratings, so maybe I'm missing something about liberal radio listeners.

I can't really comment on Maddow and Reilly since I haven't listened to them, even by accident, in many months. But that's a comment itself, I guess. Perhaps I was too pissed by AAR knocking off Maron in the morning to tune back in during those hours.

It'd be great if Ed Schulz were on the air in NYC. He'd get a lot more ancillary media I bet. The little I've heard him he's fine.

It's genuinely distressing how rightwing talkers are everywhere. I constantly see one of the dozens (hundreds?) of Rush/Hannity clones on cable gab shows when I watch. There aren't just the big names -- every local market has several of these braindead creeps pouring rightwing absurdities into people's minds daily.

When war with Iran is getting cranked up, these are the flacks who will help sell it, entirely under tha radar of the mainstream national media. And there'll be almost no one with a countervailing view to stand up to their dangerous bullshit.

Fatherflot

By the way, a pretty good place to keep up on AAR information and rumors is the "Air America Place" messageboard. It's here:

http://www.airamericaplace.com/boards/index.php

I really wish AAR management was more upfront with their listeners. It's insulting that we are constantly left in the dark about policy, changes, rumors, plans, etc. It's the single most galling thing about the whole enterprise. You can't have your hosts complaining 24/7 about the secrecy of the Cheney administration when your own organization is as mysterious and opaque as Kafka's castle.

blatherskite

fatherflot, thanks for the link to the message board. I generally find 'take all comers' boards more mystifying than revealing, but I'm sure there are good data points there.

And I have to disagree about secrecy by AAR: often--usually--you can't negotiate contracts and do programming in public. After things are done, then you lay it all out. Same with government. The problem with the Bushies is that after the decisions have been made they keep them secret. And they keep all information they can that sheds ill light on their decision-making secret. Then they punish anyone who questions their decision-making. Then they make a domestic political determination about how to sell the swill to their suckers.

One thing I forgot in my earlier looooong comment: Springer sucks and I'll be glad when he's gone.

Arctor

Springer is the worst. If some angry nut phones in advocating torture, or nuking the entire Middle East, Springer will respond with something along the lines of "I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree, but isn't that the great thing about America, that we can disagree and still have a civil discussion?" Snoresville!

Webster Hubble Telescope

Great series Professor!

For the curious would-be Maron fans, this web site has an incredible number of bits from 2 years of Maron/Earl and company:
http://thesnotgreensea.com/

Not one contrived song parody in the bunch, which I consider the acid test for non-lame comedy (excepting Harry Shearer of course).

sui_generis

I disagree with you regarding Franken, but I do believe that once he decided to go into politics, he should've left the program immediately.


Hey, as far as where to make room in the schedule for Maddow and Seder's shows, why not put them together? I think their personalities would compliment each other quite well!!!

I used to say that Al could use her, as the quality of his show definitely took a hard dive after Katherine left, but now that he's leaving too, who cares. They should put Maddow and Seder together, and get Maron back in his own slot too.

If they lose Franken, Maddow, Maron, and Seder and only go on with what's left, they will have lost me (and most of the people in my demographic, I bet) as a listener.

Chriss Pagani

Air America is what you get when non-entertainment people try to run an entertainment business... Leaning on TV people who lack the chops to actually do radio, getting rid of good people like Marc Maron, even thinking about putting Jerry Springer on the air in the first place. It's a mess.

My biggest problem, though (NOW), is with Randi Rhodes - When she was first on, I liked her a lot. I thought, "This is what liberal talk SHOULD be." But that was THEN and this is now... something happened to her. I dont' know what, but she got really weird about shouting over callers and not letting them talk, even the ones who agreed with her.

Admittedly, she was NEVER good at debating right-wingers, but most of the righty talk hosts suck at debate too, which is why they screen callers. If she can't handle right wingnuts (and obviously she cannot) she should start screening like the righties do instead of shouting over them. It's not working.

Whatever happened to Randi, she got a lot less funny and replaced the humor with bitterness. I can't listening to her anymore, I just can't. And that is sad.

I know she had surgery. Maybe she needs to be taking hormones..or MORE of them, or SOMETHING. All I know is she went downhill bigtime and I now find her unbearable.

Al Franken is the classic "limousine liberal" that so many love to hate. I find him boring to the nth degree, but I know that's a matter of personal taste. I'm sure he's a real hoot to the wine and brei crowd.

I have XM and Sirius, so I have a choice. For a year or so, Air America had me. But over time it has fallen apart... During Randi's time slot, I listen to Ed Schultz. Now, I find Ed to be a bit of a dimwit and I personally suspect him of being a phony, but even so he's still the best ACT on lefty radio. The rest of them need to take lessons from Ed on how to REALLY do radio.

New Yorker

Frankly, I think AA is tiresome and shrill. Its only redeeming value is as a counterweight to the equally noxious Limbaugh, Hannity & Company.

krebstar01

So to sum up:
Al - Some people dig him others find him smarmy
Randi - Love or Hate her, at the end of the does her homework.
Springer, as much fun as catching shingles.
Ed Shultz, ehhhh kinda pasty and mediocre
Sam? He has improved his schtick and style substantially. It'd be great to hear him in the morning perked up on caffiene.
Mike Malloy - This guy is my dad if my dad were a bit more liberal

And, lastly, but not leastly, the loss of Marc Maron.

in the future:
Air America needs to bring in someone who has:
a) serious star power
b) something INTERESTING to say
c) either political / social bonifides or a sidekick (ala Katherine to Al)

I've had this odd dream.... call me nuts but...
Someone like ... Dave Chapell?

Eli

THANK YOU PROFFESSOR!! I have been waiting for this update for weeks. Here's my two cents - Randi Rhodes has been getting grief on this page, and I understand and agree somewhat with the points made. But when something is really going on, the lady is smart, and, as she boasts, she does her homework. Al Franken has great guests, and although not a great interviewer, most times gets a very good interview. Plus, he's still funny. Also, I still trying to understand why they're keeping Sam Greenfield & Armstrong Williams. If people think Sam Seder is smug, wait til you hear Sam Greenfield. Hoo boy.

Jill

Thank you for this update. I agree with you for the most part, but we part ways on Sam Seder, whom I think is the second most matured radio personality on AAR after Marc Maron, whom I still miss terribly on the airwaves. The other day I was listening to an old Morning Sedition show and thinking, DAMN, I miss this show. I wasn't as crazy about the MMS as some others, but I was willing to sit through Jim Earl being curmudgeonly to get the smart funny from Marc Maron. I have many, if not all of those shows too, stored for posterity.

I'm delighted to see that Malloy is returning and that the odious, smarmy, and repulsive Satellite Sisters are history. Not that it'll help ME, because 1600 doesn't come in at ALL out here in the wilds of Joisey at night.

I keep having this fantasy that the new AAR management will finally go to Marc Maron with the dollars he wanted, PLUS allow him to broadcast from L.A., and give him the night spot if indeed Majority Report is history. Better yet, I'd want to see him on air WITH Seder doing the "Jewy Jew" show they used to joke about.

Al Franken is the one person whose gotten WORSE on air, not better, since AAR's been around. That they wouldn't pay Marc Maron, who worked his frickin' ass off for those guys, gamely battling his own demons in the process, but are paying Franken huge amounts of money and allowing HIM to broadcast from Minnesota is a crime.

Anyway, thanks for keeping us updated. And would someone please tell Janeane Garofalo to please EAT SOMETHING?

Eli

I heard this morning that the Rachael Madow show will be on from 6-8pm after 9/1/06, which is a good thing. So it's an hour less for Randi, and maybe an hour less for the Majority Report, although I haven't heard anything about that show yet. I hope it stays. I also haven't heard anything about the fate of Mark Riley. They really screwed up when they dumped Morning Sedition, and after listening to the posted Maron clip on how they wanted him back, it suggests AAR realized it as well. I will not listen to Arm$trong William$, so it looks like WNYC in the AM for me.

Marti Abernathey

Gosh, I'm so shocked.... A saying from my "Pop" comes to mind, "you'd fuck up a shit sandwich!" AAR has continually pissed on itself, and made obviously stupid choices. I really stopped listening every day when they trashed MS, then tried to bury Marc. You really had to struggle to listen to Marc's KTLK show. I knew from the start that the MMS was doomed. For whatever reason, they wanted to ditch Maron but didn't have the balls to do it via the front door.

Mark Riley's show... just plain boring. Maybe it's because of my loyalty to MS, but I find Mark very hard to listen to. He's a very good straight man without a funny man.

Rachel Maddow is a great news voice, but she's not a whole show. She's the female equivalent of Mark's show. DRY TOAST. PLEASE ADD BUTTER. :)

Jerry Springer's show is odd, in that the writers for the show are excellent, but Jerry sucks. The bits they do rock the house, but Jerry's radio presentation comes no where close. He should stick to mocking transsexuals, it's what he's good at.

Al Franken's show really came into it's own with Katherine, but has really lost it's wheels since she left. One obviously gaping hole is that they have hardly any written comedy skits. Um... anyone realize he used to be on SNL? It seems now that Franken has complete control over the show but doesn't dedicate fully to its success. Just my impression....

Randi is awesome. Cutting her show down to three hours is the only thing that I'd have changed.

The Majority Report, what a fiasco. Janine and Sam were awesome together, when Janine was there. They were a bit short on the comedy end, and a bit long in the crazy ranting end, but the show had potential.

Malloy is a good broadcaster, but a bit paranoid for me personally. His show needs something, but I'm at a loss as to what. I'd listen to it as background at work, but little else.

So, if I were making changes at AAR, here's my magic lineup....

All times EST

4-5am
Morning News Show with Maddow and Wayne Gillman. I'd use clips from the morning news show and the noon news throughout the day.

5-9am
Morning drive show. Morning Sedition on steroids. Tons of comedy, quirky guests, and lots of stupid remotes. This time slot has got to be funny and entertaining as well as political.

9-Noon
Bring in Stephanie Miller. Her show would be a perfect fit for AAR.

12-1pm Afternoon News show with Gillman and Maddow.

1-4pm Randi Rhodes

4-7pm Ed Schultz or The Young Turks

7-10pm The Thom Hartmann

10-1am Mike Malloy

1-4am Rebroadcasts of the weekend shows. It would give exposure to some really solid shows like Mother Jones and Ring of Fire.

Speaking of weekends, I'd do a show on the weekend just of "best of moments" from the last week of shows. I'd require each producer to flag a segment as "best of." I'd have it sound something like "The Best of the Left Podcast."

AAR was a bad concept to begin with. I love progressive talk, but they should have pulled from broadcasters already in the market, instead of trying to create them. If you're going to have people like Janeane Garofalo or Al Franken, require them to give 100 percent. Radio isn't a part time gig and shouldn't be treated like one.

I'd also forget the old flagship station idea. Please notify the AAR people that it's 2006. You don't need a central studio and you don't need a flagship station. In the age of the Comrex (and the like) people don't even need to leave their house. Randi could broadcast from Florida in her bunny slippers. ;)

I'd keep the premium podcast service, but I'd offer free downloads of ad filled shows via bittorrent.

So, ya... that's what I'd do.

Dennis

What some people who have posted here don't seem to understand is that Air America didn't choose to have the Sam Greenfield/Armstrong Williams show continue on WWRL....it was the choice of WWRL's owners to continue broadcasting the show. And Stephanie Miller and Ed Schultz aren't available to AAR...they work for an AAR competitor. Also: many of the bad choices made by "AAR" were made by executives who are no longer with the network and can't be blamed on the suits currently running the place.

steyock

a political talk show should be, first and foremost, informative and interesting. providing entertainment value is secondary. it's nice if it's there, but i can find better entertainment in about a hundred other places (e.g. the daily show & colbert report).

i have never understood how listening to one person bloviate, hour after hour, day in and day out, is particularly interesting or even entertaining. the listener fairly quickly gains a good understanding of the host's opinions and perspectives. hearing them repeated ad-nauseum isn't particularly interesting. and their humor and habits become repetitive and tiresome as well. new shows start to sound like reruns.

this is why guests are key to maintaining an interesting, dynamic show. co-hosts help a lot too, so long as one isn't the others sycophant. a single talk show host, no matter how well informed, can never be as effective as a show with a variety of interesting guests. guests bring in different opinions and or perspectives, challenging and/or informing both the host and the listener. note that i am not asking for "balance" on a show--i DO want lefty talk, but i want more than one flavor of it. why must so many radio talk shows be showcases for egomaniacs afraid to share time with guests? why are different opinions and/or perspectives so often shunned or shouted down? i suppose it's because it can make both the host and the listener uncomfortable. talk radio seems predominantly a world where the listener goes to feel safe spending time with their "friend" who thinks like they do (or more often TELLS the listener exactly what to think).

this is why the franken show and the majority report and the hartmann show are the best shows on the network. they have interesting guests. i learn. sometimes my perspectives are nudged one way or another. yes, franken is a little too enamoured with himself and not quite as funny as he thinks he is. maybe seder's style isn't always my favorite. thom hartmann is pure information and intellectual exercise--no "entertainment" value at all, really. and garafalo is garafalo. (i actually find garafalo entertaining and i miss her perspectives and (what one might politely call) enthusiasm.) but these otherwise diverse shows give me what i ultimately want.

much of the professor's critique seems to focus on the personalities of the hosts or the entertainment value of the shows. but i wonder if many people, like me, listen to liberal talk radio more for its content and capacity to provoke thought?

at least we can all agree that springer is a waste of time.

Eli

My earlier post may have been unclear. I was aware that WWRL is keeping Greenfield/Williams (their current AM team) and it wasn't AAR's choice. (I've heard Greenfield before, I think on WOR, and I didn't much care for him then.) My question is, will AAR have a morning show that just won't air in NYC or will they be adding Greefield/Williams to the network? Seder seemed to suggest that he'll be on during the day in the new lineup. I guess that means 9A-12N.

Marti Abernathey

"And Stephanie Miller and Ed Schultz aren't available to AAR...they work for an AAR competitor."

I'm well aware of that... but either you're playin the game, or your not. I believe it's called "shit or get off the pot." Either that, or you could go get Larry King or Mario Cuomo...

David

Well, I'll be, Professor! That's the same Lionel that I've been enjoying in those Bob Lassiter archives that I've been listening to since you turned me on to Bob. It's all starting to make sense now. . .

Dennis

"My question is, will AAR have a morning show that just won't air in NYC or will they be adding Greefield/Williams to the network?"

No, of course not. AAR has nothing to do with Greenfield/Williams -- just like it has nothing to do with Don Imus or other non-AAR shows that are heard on AAR affiliates. Lionel is heard on several AAR affiliates -- does that mean that he will be added to the network? (No, it doesn't).

Dennis

There's a long article about Sam Seder in the Boston Globe today (subscription required) and buried way down in the article is a sentence that says he's been "rewarded" with the 9am to Noon slot on Air America. I haven't seen this anywhere else.

Casey Buck

Well, if the new Seder timeslot is official, it looks like this blog post was 100% true!

The Professor

FLASH!!!!

Again, this is just another hot fresh rumor, and things could change, but THIS is the way I’ve heard the weekly schedule is going to go evolve, coinciding with the NYC move from WLIB to WWRL September 1--

5 AM to 6 AM - The Mark Riley Show
(For the network. This will not be heard in New York, except via the web.)

6 AM to 9 AM - The Young Turks
(Also for the network, and will not be he heard on WWRL either. Only on the web locally. New York City gets Bush flunky Armstrong Williams every morning!)

9 AM to Noon - Sam Seder
(Don’t know if it will still be called “The Majority Report” or the “The Sam Seder Show,” or maybe “F.U.B.A.R.!”)

Noon to 3 PM - The Al Franken Show

3 PM to 6 PM - The Randi Rhodes Show
(Yes, now three hours...)

6 PM to 8 PM - The Rachel Maddow Show

8 PM to 9 PM - Politically Direct
(David Bender’s weekly show becomes a nightly affair)

9 PM to 10 PM - Eco Talk
(Another weekend show goes nightly)

10 PM to 1 AM - The Mike Malloy Show
(Malloy returns to NYC radio, but as before the last hour is cut off here to allow WWRL to broadcast something else.)

I’m not sure if I’ve heard the Young Turks program, but I gather that it has gained a few fans from what I read online. By pluggin this show into this slot, Air America can offer SOMETHING in morning drive for the affiliates. And poor Mark Riley. That’s a thankless slot, and it won’t even be heard in his home town.)

But the biggest surprise is putting Eco Talk on every evening. It just seems like a big mistake to me, and not much of a lead-in for Mr. Malloy. And you’ll notice that other than incorporating an ongoing program into the national schedule (The Young Turks), it’s just a rehash of the old players and schedule. Unless there’s a major revision in one or two of these programs (like Seder’s for example), there’s nothing new here. Not a good omen.

And I want to say that I really appreciate seeing so many thoughtful comments here. Thanks! It's great when comments really add to the post. And in my writings at BOTB that's often been the case, especially with these AAR posts.

Furthermore, let me say that I have respect for almost every host who has graced the airwaves of Air America (except the moronic Mr. Springer). A wealth of homework and inspiration have gone into the many shows that have graced the network over the last two and a half years. However, it takes more than that to make good radio, and it seems to me that creating top notch radio should be the ultimate goal of Air America, especially at this stage of the game. (Locally, WBAI does a fine job of creating really lousy radio with good intentions.)

Talk radio, a format I’ve listened to for decades, is in a bad way these days. And Air America wouldn’t even exist if it wasn’t for the 920 scumbags out there endlessly repeating Republican talking points across the AM dial in every city in America. My affection for the medium dates back to the era of classic "entertainment" talk radio, best exemplified in Florida in the 80's and 90's for some reason. This might have something to do with why I find Lionel's show so engrossing lately. He combines both dynamics- challenging mindless pro-republican talk radio, and providing plenty of laughs and a little drama along the way. There's a fine art to making a talk radio call compelling and/or entertaining. The fact is, Lionel originally schooled under Florida talk greats Bob Lassiter and Neil Rogers back then. These are guys who understand that it's the HOST who makes an incoming call good, or occasionally great. Curiously, Randi Rhodes comes from this tradition as well, but somewhere along the line she has taken to yelling over the top of opposing callers and swooning to the complimentary ones.

And you know, I feel a little bad about dissing Seder and the Majority Report. The show has some of the best bumper music in talk radio, and has featured more prominent bloggers than any other show. It's just that after over two years, it never got much better than a college radio harangue-a-thon with a hearty helping of sophomoric humor. The truth is I really hoped this show would just get some traction and/or grow on me, and I resisted skewering it in my initial AAR commentaries here. But after two years one thing was overwhelming obvious, Garofalo shouldn't host a radio show. Period. And while Seder shined now and then (especially when he made some hilarious phone pranks to some conservative or Republican offices), and does keep his cool during confrontational calls (and occasionally makes them compelling), the loose format of the Majority Report gave him plenty of time to fill, and more often than not it would turn into a laundry list of the crimes and lies of the Bush regime and their Republican friends. Sure, there's plenty of grist there, but worthwhile talk radio requires something more than opining on the news. Ideally, there should be surprises, some theater and at the end the listener should feel as though he or she has been taken on a journey or gained some insight here and there. It's obvious that Seder is both impassioned and well prepared. I guess at his stage of the game I'd recommend that he immerse himself on what makes talk radio really sing. And maybe listen to Lionel, Bob Lassiter, or perhaps Jean Shepard. I believe that in a different talk radio construct he could really make his playfulness work. I do wish him luck.

Then again, Franken should just give it up. He's had well over two years to figure out talk radio and he's just plain failed. I mean, the guy's been a broadcast professional (TV, not radio) for like thirty years. He oughtta have sense of when a project, or a media concept, just isn't working out, and the fact that no one at Air America seems to be able to communicate that to him is kinda sad. Just being famous doesn't make EVERYTHING you do worthy of interest or praise. Recently coming across his show I was dismayed that he couldn't remember at the time how to set up a commercial break in a professional or normal fashion. He often sounds tired and droll (if not bored), and he should know better. Blatherskite's comment, dismaying over Franken telling the same tired jokes over and over and OVER, and expecting it to be funny (when it never was in the first place) is right on. And the Grateful Dead bumper music... ouch. YES, he has good guests, but they would benefit from talking with a better interviewer. All you have to do is listen to a couple minutes of about any archive of Maron's show, and you realize how WRONG Franken's show is in so many ways. No edge. No buzz. Nothing unexpected.

And on Mile Malloy. I have mixed feelings about Malloy's show, but the ultimate consensus I personally assemble is positive. Yes, when he does his hysterical and manic parodies of right wing assholes I tune out. Too much volume, high-pitched wind and spittle. However, when you're filled to the gills with anger and disgust over all the death, torture, destruction and corruption the Republicans have let loose on the world (in our name), there ain't nobody better on the radio to speak for your rage. While I don't go for all the hysterical mockery, Malloy delivers dark rich invective better than anybody in liberal talk radio. Sure, one could say he's just a lefty version of right-wing nutcases like Savage or Limbaugh, but I would disagree. The legions of right-wing talk radio hosts bark on behalf of the empowered. On the other hand, Malloy's verbal weaponry defends the people who are being stomped on, dehumanized and marginalized. Malloy is a master of the ad hominem attack, and somehow I don't consider using terms like "the Bush crime family" or calling our idiot president "bunny pants" on par with designating female activists as "feminazis" and calling impoverished nations "turd world" countries.

When Malloy delivers his nightly "have I mentioned yet tonight how much I hate these people?" line, it makes me smile. I have to admit, sometimes the raw loathing for the current generation of Republicans that Malloy embodies makes more sense than any raw emotion I've heard coming out of my radio. Just a few hours of overtly politically middle-of-the-road NPR broadcasting can drive me to crave the kind of no-holds-barred wrath of Malloy, as much as an equal serving of Limbaugh or Hannity might do the same thing. When the available media, and your own government, is either willfully ignorant or flagrantly vile, it can really piss you off. And Malloy, for better or worse, can be a comfort. We live in strange times.

Speaking of comfort, it’ll be swell if Rachel Maddow is moving to evenings. Personally, she'll now be on at an time I often have the radio warm. But more importantly I'm happy she'll be on here in New York, and remain part of the Air America schedule. That would be good news.

Although I didn't mention Thom Hartmann in this post, I have previously. His show is fast paced, smart and full of information and resources. He should have already been incorporated into AAR’s network schedule. I’ve long suspected that he’s the guy they’ll replace Franken with once he finally gives up his sinking ship, or runs for Senate.

Apparently, the deal between Radio One and WLIB fell through and they are going to switch to an all gospel format come September 1. You can read about it here.

Lastly, let me say that's it's nice when you can call an online stooge a stooge, and then the stooge follows through with a post that proves he's a stooge AND THEN links to your post which calls him a stooge. Stooge-a-rific in my book. Thanks Mr. Stooge!

cadmium

do you remember former libertarian and now liberal from New York--Jay Diamond. He could run a great show. He sniffs out and understands phone bank right wing callers. Sometimes he slaps them down -- or cajols them and tries to win them over--either way he was very quick on his feet.

He lost his highly rated show in NYC because he was intensely against Bush and the Iraq war during the run up to the war--like Phil Donahue.

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