I can feel it, stinking on the Air tonight

I always hated that my parents listened to talk radio when we were in the car. My dad had a penchant for Rush Limbaugh, my mom for Dr. Laura. The only time I could really handle it was when Dr. Dean Edell was on, because he’s interesting, intelligent and not an asshole, which for talk radio personalities is quite an accomplishment.

So, for most of my driving years, I’ve listened to some sort of music. That was until about a year and a half, maybe two years ago, when I found out about my local Air America affiliate, 1270 AM, the Quad Cities’ Progressive Talk. Suddenly, I was not only listening regularly to talk radio, but I was going out of my way to listen to it. I tuned into Al Franken’s show whenever possible, and I generally liked Sam Seder and Janeane Garofalo’s evening show. Our affiliate had Stephanie Miller in the morning (which was always enjoyable) and Ed Schultz in the afternoon (which was a mixed bag). Usually, I’d tune into Randi Rhodes online while at work, though I do think she’s a little on the shrill and angry side. Out of the shows I usually heard, I liked most of them. The weekend stuff was usually boring, whether it was the vaguely painful environmental show, or the uninteresting (to me) talk about economic and labor issues. I couldn’t listen to Robert Kennedy Jr. and Mike Papantonio’s “Ring of Fire” for any length of time, due mainly to the combination of two obnoxious voices and RFK’s particular quirks.

But there’s one which sticks out as the real stinker of the bunch, the show that would, without fail, upset me with the host’s stupidity on a consistent basis. I couldn’t figure out how he managed to get a show on an ostensibly liberal station, since he didn’t really appear to lean in any direction, except toward idiocy. Combine that with the shrillest, most nasal voice on the station and a smug attitude that would make Glenn Beck look…okay, you really can’t beat Glenn Beck’s smugness, but he gives him a run for his money. Of course, I’m talking about Lionel. I begrudgingly tolerated Lionel’s presence on the basis that, hey, he was an ostensibly liberal talk show host in a world of right-wing talking heads. That was until he seriously espoused a belief that the 9/11 attacks were the result of some huge government conspiracy, and argued the point with more level-headed callers. Now I just think he’s a douchenugget.

Well, several months ago our Air America affiliate died out and was replaced with “Truth,” yet another Christian radio station. And a boring one at that; they don’t even have the decency to be properly hilarious, at least, not in my few listenings to them. The lack of availability and the lack of time have really prevented me from listening to Air America since the Quad Cities affiliate went extinct. So I missed out on Al Franken’s last show, and I’ve missed out on the Young Turks and Rachel Maddow (who I always liked as Al’s fill-in host) and Sam Seder in Al’s old slot.

But Sam’s show is abruptly ending, to move to the weekend, which means Al Franken’s old time slot, which I believe is right across from Rush Limbaugh’s (though I could be wrong), is going to that colossal douchenugget Lionel.

I honestly can’t discern any reasoning behind this change. It certainly doesn’t do anything to make the station more pleasing to the ear; it certainly doesn’t further AAR’s original point as a progressive station to put a centrist conspiracy theorist in the coveted daytime slot. If anything, popping a shrill Art Bell-lite into the spotlight seems like a calculated effort to make the station appear less credible and respectable.

So, along with not having a station in the area, it looks like I’ve got one more reason not to listen to Air America. Way to go, guys.

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3 Responses to I can feel it, stinking on the Air tonight

  1. Dikkii says:

    I’ve asked my wife to have me taken out the back and shot if I ever start listening to talk radio.It’s just that I still think of myself as still being just a little bit “cutting edge” and am hanging on to music radio stations as proof of that. I associate talk radio with oldsters, which is what I’m rapidly turning into.But I’m not there yet.I wonder if Randi Rhodes knows that she shares her name with Randy Rhoads, the late lamented guitar genius who used to play with Ozzy Osborne?

  2. Infophile says:

    It’s hard to say what’s driving the people in charge of Air America. Maybe since they see that Lionel thinks there was a government conspiracy behind 9/11, he fits in with the sane liberals who see government conspiracies to suppress science and free speech and install a theocracy.Of course, if you asked any of the latter group, most would fervently deny that they’re on the same side as 9/11 conspiracy theorists.

  3. Doubting Tom says:

    Well, and I imagine they’d cite evidence that made sense, rather than citing “Loose Change” and the house of cards of a conspiracy theory. When anti-science dropouts and that sort are appointed to major science positions (like NASA) and when the administration supports faith-based initiatives and ideology-driven policies on sex education, stem cell research, science teaching and marriage, it becomes a lot easier to argue for an intentional system of science suppression and theocracy.

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