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November 01, 2005


Jeff T

Great post. I started listening to MS after your Wartime Lionel post and it's been a very regular listen since. In sheer hours they produced a ton of great, entertaining radio and it's absence will leave a gaping hole in my daily playlist. Everybody should Danny Goldberg and tell him what he's doing.


I like your analysis, and love Maron, but you omitted the Majority Report. Sam Seder And Janeane Garofalo are funny without the use of pre-written "bits" and slam the Republican regime as hard and detailed as any on the network. Seder has been doing most of the heavy lifting solo these days and deserves a particular glowing review-- he does his job and spends no time bitching or self promoting. (He and Maron are freinds- they've made appearances on each other's shows)


The current AAR management is truely dysmall. They are trying to collect the most boring talk show hosts and call it network.


Goldburg is an utter moron. First Unfiltered and then this. I'm SOL here because I dislike Springer (nothing personal, just not fun) can't stand that the DC "affiliate" and Stephanie Miller, so I stream archives of Rachel and MS and both are solid morning shows like some of the one's I loved in Cleveland growing up. A great mix of humor, commentary and news.

Any chance Goldburg is a mole?


If they wanted to rule the airwaves, they would be advised to give Chris T an airslot...he would kill!

Listener Colin

Really educational post - as somebody who only hears maybe an hour of Air America a month, it's nice to hear about stuff other than Franken.

I agree with the Chris T hosting suggestion, I think that'd be cool.

I think that Wait Wait Don't Tell Me is actually funny, I really enjoy it. Now when I tune in I'll think 'abortion' ...

Chris T.

To accuse NPR of being politically neutered just means - to me - they don't reflect your views. Well, they're not supposed to. They're supposed to report the news. I've had people come up to me at parties and give me shit when they find out I work for NPR, saying we're raving leftist liberals OR we're not liberal enough. I think NPR is striving for the down-the-middle approach that any serious news organization should. Would you prefer they be the anti-FOX or something? Because I don't see that happening. I think they're trying to be this country's BBC - and while they fall FAR short, it's an admirable goal.

Pardon me for going off on this but you know I've got an increased sensitivity to mindless NPR-bashing. Yeah, it's lots of fun - but try to imagine the U.S. mediascape WITHOUT NPR. THAT'S a pretty dire picture, IMHO.



I pretty much agreed with every detail you wrote. Rachel Maddow is perhaps the best talent, IMHO and you can download her show everyday by (about) 7 am with NO COMMERCIALS. Available as podcast, too.


NPR politics is covered by conservative hacks that do more damage in eroding support amongst democrats than FOX. The veneer of credibility that NPR/PBS enjoys makes them a far more potent weapon against progressive issues than any other network. Everyone knows that the major networks are corporate whores and their effect on the progressive base is minimal. FOX doesn't affect the progressive base at all. But NPR plays directly to progressives and when NPR bends over in their constant placation of administration policies they hurt us far more than anyone else.

NPR is not down-the-middle. They were relentless in their attacks against the Clinton administration, they persecuted Gore during the 2000 campaign, but have given Bush and his cronies a pass on every major issue with a lot of he-says-she-says fluff.

The US without NPR/PBS? We would probably have progressives channeling their money to more worthwhile independent media outlets that do support progressive issues.


Really good post (found via the Robot Wisdom page).

It would be an utter shame if Morning Sedition lost Maron - I do not know if the show could survive without him.

Aaron Pryor

I hope the webmaster won't mind if I include in this comment some similar thoughts that I sent earlier today to Danny Goldberg. The webmaster and I, it seems, think similarly. This blog has done an excellent job of distilling AAR's predicament. My thoughts to Mr. Goldberg:

I am concerned by recent comments by Marc Maron on "Morning Sedition" that his contract might not be renewed. Such a decision to me seems counterintuitive and weird and, I can guarantee, will cost Air America Radio more than it will gain it.

I am an avid fan of radio, and I am a liberal. As such, I also happen to be rather opinionated when it comes to many things, including both aforementioned subjects. I believe that the industry standard for morning terestrial radio was established many years ago by a man whose name rhymes with "Boward Blern." I believe that his imitators pale in comparison and should burn in heck. I am a Stern worshipper in a Stern market, and I listen to "Morning Sedition" each and every day (via XM).

That's right, Mr. Goldberg. I am a longtime Sterniac who would rather listen to the Marcks in the morning than Stern. That ought to tell you something.

I think what you might not realize is that "Morning Sedition" has mined a seemingly natural chemistry that is rare, beautiful, and stupid to throw away. Mark Maron is the brash frontman who is just enough of an asshole to wake you up but who is funny as hell enough to be damned likeable. Mark Riley is the perfect sidekick, proficient in radio, more carefully intellectual than Maron, and an excellent straightman. You don't just create chemistry like this in radio--and I all it takes is a quick compare/contrast to the train wreck that is "The Majority Report" to grasp that. I'm not even convinced that Seder and Garafolo like one another very much, much less do they have any palpable chemistry.

If you opt to show Maron the door, I can tell you right now that I will be A) following hiss career carefully and hoping some other radio outfit will snap him up, and B) listening to Sirius satellite radio each and every morning. I suspect there are a lot of people like me, who have actually found more value in the Sedition than in the Stern but who will crash directly back into Bababooeyville the minute you split up this team.

I think it is good that the new management at AAR seems to understand money better than the old management at AAR did. However, I think it would be really excellent if the new management understood radio as well as the old management seemed to have. I continue to suspect with each passing day that they don't, not really.

Citizen Keith

Folks, please consider sending snail mail. As a Daily Kos commentor said today, email is too easily deletable.

Mr. Danny Goldberg
Chief Executive Officer
Air America Radio
641 Sixth Avenue
New York, NY 10011


Agreed on sending snail mail. E-mail is deleted too easily.

I love the idea of a blogswarm on this.

Since trackback won't let me do a trackback ping, I'm linking to a poem about the betrayal of Marc Maron here.


I've been listening to Morning Sedition since just after it started and Marc Maron makes the show. I've never listened to a radio show EVERY day and looked forward to one so much. The edgy humor on MS makes hearing about depressing, dastardly politics tolerable (sort of like the way The Daily Show does). If Maron is gone, then I may just give up on Air America....


Does Goldberg realize that people go to great lengths just to hear this show?

On vacation outwest this summer, I mapped out each station along the way and fiddled interminably with the radio dial trying to pull the nearest possibility in. Remember the show is earlier out west...I got up just to get it.

I listen to the archives of every show I miss.

I bet there is a very large web/pod/archive audience for this show that AAR may
be missing.

Terrence Parker

I think one of the points Goldberg must be missing is the crossover or "cross sell" (to put it in retail terms) nature of the relationship between Morning Sedition and Air America Radio as a whole. We aren't just talking about the future of Morning Sedition, there are many, many people who listen to some of the other shows who will give up on AAR out of sheer disgust with such a horrible decision as to not keep this show alive. Danny, remember how Bush II got into office in the first place? If a small percentage of folks hadn't been so disgusted with the democratic party and its representatives that they voted Green in 2000 (myself included), he never would have made it into office. Well, it's easier to "vote against" AAR in this case if Goldberg nukes MS (which he essentially will if Maron goes), in the big scheme of things it is not, of course, as important as a Presidential election. Danny, you may end up going the way of Nader in 2004 -- if you continue to ruin AAR like this we will have to go another way.


Great blog. It's a shame that MS is going. It was a breath of fresh air to have a show that's creative, funny and informative and not just bland discussion. Also, NPR is quite awful. I try to listen but for instance in terms of this new possible justice alito there were nothing but pundits both republican and democrat stating how "qualified" this guy is. There is another public station wbai in NY under Pacifica Radio and they're good, but Air America is the bite that the left needs because right now our side is being bitten by the right everyday.

Citizen Keith

Marc said today that they don't care about the streaming or podcasting audience. It seems to be down to WLIB's ratings... why a network cares so much about local ratings, I don't know.


WLIB ratings! That's ridiculous! I was in New York last year and you can barely hear WLIB because of poor reception. Hello! Poor reception = Poor Ratings (Period)! And this is also a problem in many of AAR affiliate stations (Chicago in particular). Danny should invest in a stronger antenna and salaries and maybe he would get better ratings.

Aaron Pryor


It seems to me that AAR could git two birds with one stone here. They recently launched an "affiliate" program that really doesn't offer much value. Yet, they're giving away the streaming and podcasting.

Would it not be reasonable to start claiming podcasts and streaming as proprietary and establishing a members-only online presence to A) Bring in a little extra cabbage and B) Establish a more effective way of measuring this audience? Not to mention to answer the criticism that AAR is hemhoragging money and begging for handouts...

I'd pay for a membership. Hell, I already paid for the bumperstickers.


This is a well-written and fantastically laid-out blog.

Great pictures, good facts, literate, fantastic! Look forward to more, and let's save MORNING SEDITION!


war is over if you want it

FACE IT, folks: the CEO of AAR can't be that lacking in IQ

it may just be time to admit he is playing for the other side

in other words: it's SABOTAGE


I'd much rather hear a morning show co-hosted with Mark Riley and Wayne Gilman or Laura Flanders or Rachel Maddow. Maron is funny sometimes but there are too many diversions. One of the best things I ever heard was when they played some comedy bit and made David Halberstam wait... then Halberstam just lit into them. Maron is also a poor interviewer. I don't mind the occasional comedy piece but the show is too cluttered. Also some of the supporting cast sound one step beyond fratboy with their humor...

Richard Frank

I hope these decisions are not being made strictly based on radio broadcast ratings.

I listen exclusively on the internet. Maddow's show is the best podcast around. I enjoy pretty much all of AAR programming, yes even Springer, except when they hit the phones. My overall opinion would be to consider show lengths. Are 3 and 4 hours too long? Repetion of topics and phone fillers result, which compete with what brings me to AAR. Produced, unique, well-written content is what I enjoy. If that stuff is too expensive, then let's hear about it, rather than getting hit over the head with dramatic and secretive, essentially post-mortum programming decisions that test listener loyalty.


If you listened to yesterday's broadcast (and the "confessional" segment), you'd hear that it wasn't money at all, base on Maron's comments -- he says he was never even given the opportunity to settle for less money -- they just decided not to renew his contract ... here's a link, for all you seditionists, to the online petition.

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