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September 19, 2006

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Citizen Keith

Amen, Professor. I always wondered about the idiots running this network. I've been in radio (briefly), and every decision coming out of management seems to be made by people with no understanding of the industry. It's as if they come up with ideas that only work in their heads, then expect them to succeed in the real world. "Sure, let's fire Maron and make our morning show more like a fun NPR show." Huh?

Poor Mark Riley. The guy deserves so much more and he's quietly swept aside to the 5am-6am slot. Is it worth it for him to get up that early and drive into the city?

I will say this about Jon Sinton: when they were courting Maron to come back to mornings, Jon personally responded to many of our emails of support. He realizes the value of the hardcore fans, unlike the rest of them. I sometimes get the feeling that AAR management considers the fans a nuisance.

Chris R.

I don't think this is a "progressive" radio network, but rather a shill network for the Democratic Party regardless of what positions the candidates of that party take. There's a huge difference. The positions of the Dems are so tortured (chant with me: "What do we want?"/"A phased withdrawal from Iraq contingent upon ill-defined goals!"/"When do we want it?"/"We have no timetable!") that they don't really lend themselves to an enthused talk radio audience. An actual network of people advocating progessive positions independent of both parties would do somewhat better.

norelpref

This is all too typical of "lefty" organizations which never really define their charter. Chris R.'s statement that AA is merely "a shill network of the Democratic Party"
is spot on. I never felt that Air America was particularly progressive; from the onset they seemed poised to be the antipode to the right wing talk radio hegemony, with the same essential formulas: character assassination, cheesy little skits and bits; in short, they seem to want to be the entertainment equivalent of the Rushes and Savages, et. al.

I think though that those of a truly "progressive" mind eschew bipolar politics and the frothing at the mouth so typical of these "entertainment" talk radio program.

So while the right wing pundit radio contingency is fairly solid (they love the frothing, the hyperbole, the disinformation, the jingoism), I think the left wing pundit contingency is rather weak, due to lacking the same type of audience "enthusiasm".

Joe

Amen to norelpref. I don't feel sorry for either left or right demogogues that cannot keep their idealogical megaphones afloat. Its a business and "the people" will decide what they want to hear (even if it is lies).

esoterroriffik

I live in Clear Channel's Flag ship city, San Antonio. Clear Channel experimented with a Progressive radio station in the area. Although well recieved the signal was weak and people on the north part of the city couldn't pick it up clearly. It was called a progressive radio station, but it seemed more time was dedicated to basa ball shows, automotive and gardening than the may three progressive political shows. I remember emailing them telling them that they were purposely ruining the Progressive talk platform for San Antonio. They reassured they weren't. Three month later the radio station changed to an Outlaw country station with a stronger signal.

K.

Anyone living in NYC who is familiar with the cyclic meltdowns and floundering of WBAI will find nothing new here. Different names, but the song remains the same. Try nyc.indymedia.org for yet more of the same. To quote St. Bowie, "she tore down Paris on the tail of Tom Paine, the Left wing is broken, the Right's insane, my pretty Pink Rose".

SueB

This is kindof lie wrking for a non-prof. so i electthat it is incompetence. more $$ = secretaries and webmasters and media reps who would get it done in between lattes.

i am guessing.

Citizen Keith

If you think AAR is a shill for the Democratic Party, you haven't been listening to Air America much. The DNC is constantly criticized by Randi Rhodes, Sam Seder and Thom Hartmann, not to mention the departed Mike Malloy and Marc Maron.

JT

I think the Prof has got it right on. They *should* be paying for his consulting.

The notion that AAR is a Democratic Party organ is laughable. The on-air talent has taken a role closer to that of bloggers - describing what Democrats should be doing, and aren't, to win some elections.

By contrast, Rush Limbaugh gets out and day after week after year tells a good yarn about why what the Republicans are doing is right and will win, and why what the Democrats are doing is wrong and will lose. Doesn't matter how many voice impressions, canards, blatant lies, misrepresentations, etc he needs to do it, either. But I cannot honestly remember having heard him deviate in the slightest from that formula.

DanO

i don't think Air America is a shill for anyone.

whats clear is that that their entire programing schedule is a spew of unending lugubrious condemnations of the United States and its citizens. a piercing catterwaul of negativism, and indictment of our nation.
no one, outside of the extreeeeeme left found in NYC and maybe the pacific northwest, wants to hear this tripe.

as bad as right wing radio's rhetoric is, for the most part they are vehemently defending something about our nation be it christianity, family values, personal wealth. these are things that many may not invest such hysteria into - but at least people can relate.
there is nothing anyone can relate to on the Air America schedule when it is a constant vitriol of attacks.

no one wants to hear that, and that is why the channel is going under. the only thing missing from this extreme left drama is accusations of a conspiracy as being responsible for its downfall.

norelpref

whats clear is that that their entire programing schedule is a spew of unending lugubrious condemnations of the United States and its citizens. a piercing catterwaul of negativism, and indictment of our nation. no one, outside of the extreeeeeme left found in NYC and maybe the pacific northwest, wants to hear this tripe.

Really? Wow, I haven't listened in a while. Maybe I ought to start again ;-) I'd rather hear pessimism grounded in reality than a bunch of ahistorical, mindless cheerleading and rationalizations for the current "regime."

Chris R.

This week Al Franken's featuring a speech by Sen. Obama, no raging liberal. As for Ms. Rhodes, she cut her teeth on that station by attacking Ralph Nader's right to run for public office on behalf of a Democratic Party that wanted no outlet for progressive votes. She was rewarded with a show. If these people aren't shills for the DNC then no one is.

Webster Hubble Telescope

"whats clear is that that their entire programing schedule is a spew of unending lugubrious condemnations of the United States and its citizens. a piercing catterwaul of negativism, and indictment of our nation."

And why does that freedom not have the potential to make great art? The minute this starts disappearing and we hear millions of Medved's spouting "the graetest nation on gOD's green earth" in unison we know we have become doomed.

Some of the pod people commenting here should listen to a WFMU podcast where Stefan inserts an hour long Noam Chomsky diatribe into the mix. Sad to say, AAR has never shown that kind of nerve, because they still have to pay the bills.

Aaron

Never in my life will I understand people who insist that legitimate criticism of the government of the United States is inherently seditious. The message AAR disseminates is especially vital right now, when the weasels seem to be most virulently in heat than they've ever been before. Speak for yerself, sir. I, for one, am listening.

Also beyond my understanding is the rightie-tighties' glee about AAR's demise, which they've been insisting for 2.5 years now is right around the corner. This is America. Change the station. Listen to Comedian Rush Limbaugh and O'Really all you want, but what's it to you a-holes if I get to listen to Randi Rhodes or not? Since when can you be all like that and get to call yourselves "Americans?"

AAR has its troubles, but it's not because of what they're saying. It's because, as the Prof indicted, AAR doesn't think it's very important to promote its own programming. It's because AAR is fast becoming an entire network of single-talker talkies and has lost even the tiny creative spark it seemed to have had once regarding its programming. It's because, I'm convinced, the suits at AAR don't understand that they have a strong, enthusiastic base of an audience that feels passionate about its existence and that would jump in and start throwing sand bags if we needed to. AAR suffers from what I'd consider a "lack of imagination."

Regardless. So long as they're on the air and driving the righty-tighties crazy, that's okay by me. That's success.

Aaron

"This week Al Franken's featuring a speech by Sen. Obama, no raging liberal. As for Ms. Rhodes, she cut her teeth on that station by attacking Ralph Nader's right to run for public office on behalf of a Democratic Party that wanted no outlet for progressive votes. [ snip ]"

Randi's objection to Nader's candidicacies is legitimate: Nader shows up every four years to run for president but does nothing to build third-party political machinery in the off-years. Randi does NOT object to third parties in America, not by a longshot. She believes Nader, however, has proven to be nothing but a spoiler. As for Al's cutaway today to Obama: Recent talk says Obama could be the Democratic nominee in 2008. If you have an opportunity to have that speech on your air, you cut away.

Eli

It looks like something's going on with the Sam Seder show. It didn't air this morning, they aired the horrible Sam Greenfield instead. I called the studio and they kept saying it was technical difficulty, and Sam Seder's show was definitely not canceled. But Sam G. never mentioned Seder on the air, and miraculously the difficulties have cleared for the Franken show. I think something happened, but they WWRL won't say.

DanO

"AAR has its troubles, but it's not because of what they're saying. It's because, as the Prof indicted, AAR doesn't think it's very important to promote its own programming"

AAR is collapsing because people don't want ot hear it. they don't tune in. it isn't entertaining, its angry and one dimensional and that only goes so far.
its not because of lack of promotion.
(i predicted the conspiracy excuse and i was nearly correct)

Will2

To have a paying radio gig (or maybe to just keep living):

1. You are not going to discuss who was really behind 9-11.
2. You are not going to tell the truth about the war in Iraq.
3. You are not going to criticize Israel's invasion of Lebanon.

Dave Emory can pick up peanuts shilling for the Mossad because nobody listens and nobody cares (about Dave Emory.)

Malloy was a prophet, a fearless voice of reason and truth. He practiced "real" freedom and democracy every show. The amazing part is that he lasted as long as he did. Are you kidding?
It's back to sleep, America. Sleep tight.

Faye Quillin

I agree that AAR could do a better job of promoting itself and it's programming.
I hear so many callers say that they were not aware of AAR's existence and happened across one of it's programs by accident.
I particularly am troubled by some of the new hosts, mainly "The Young Turks" who are now in the time slot I loved to listen to on my way home from work. I had even got XM Satellite radio so I could listen to Air America when I commuting to work on the midnight shift.
Now I find myself tuning in to The Bill Press Show and Lionel on the AM channels.
I was not a big fan of your show....you were a bit too ballistic for my tastes, but this Peter Werbe is too milk toast for me. Wish they would play more of Rhandi Rhodes, Ed Schultz, and Jerry Springer.
Good luck wherever you end up, Mike.

Mordaci

I say shoot them all...and make them eat dog shit out of a hair brush.

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