Tuesday, January 11, 2005

That's "Taking Care of Business That I Keep Putting Off." And away we go.

Kos wrote yesterday about talk-show host Ed Schultz, which sparked a discussion of liberal talk radio in general, and reminded me that I've been wanting to write about Air America for a while.

I wouldn't call myself a dedicated listener to our local Air America affiliate, though. It's not that I'm uninterested; it's just that after spending an hour or two every day (at minimum) reading and blogging about politics, I often prefer sports-talk radio instead of more from the political firehose. I was a fan of Unfiltered (8-11AM Central), featuring Daily Show creator Lizz Winstead, Oxford-educated co-host Rachel Maddow, and rapper Chuck D, at least until our local affiliate dumped it, and I enjoy Randi Rhodes (2-6PM). She makes me laugh and nod in agreement, but occasional moments of over-the-top stridency have made me go away, too. I've been less enamored of Morning Sedition (5-8AM), mostly because I don't care much for the "morning zoo" radio concept in the first place; and I'm often surprised by how dry Al Franken's show can be (11AM-2PM). I've caught only scattered bits of Air America's nighttime programming, not enough to have an opinion.

Even though I'm not glued to the network day and night, I'm glad it's there, even if I do experience a bit of cognitive dissonance now and then when I remember the local affiliate is owned by Clear Channel. Gross wingnuttery has gone unchallenged on the air for so long that it's accepted as if it were oxygen; that liberal ideas have a similar chance to reach the as-yet-unchurched can only be a good thing.

Recommended Reading:
Imagine a terrorist attack that wiped out everybody in the House of Representatives except for five members, and that three of them were wingnuts Tom DeLay, Ernest Istook, and Tom Feeney. Under a new rule passed quietly last week, those three men--constituting a majority of the representatives able to attend a session--could do the nation's business for a matter of months, until special elections could be held to reconstitute the body. Congress has been debating various "doomsday" plans since September 11, and some scholars claim this one is unconstitutional. I am sure DeLay and Company see only the potential power-grabbing beauty of this plan, so it would serve them right if the only ones left actually turned out to be Tammy Baldwin, Barney Frank, and Sheila Jackson Lee.

On Another Matter: I have noticed that participation in the Useless Web Poll has been way down in recent weeks. Should I keep it on the site, or bag it for a while? Use the poll (at least one more time) to help me decide.

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