Notes on the Atrocities
Like a 100-watt radio station, broadcasting to the dozens...

Thursday, April 01, 2004  

Air America

Yesterday I managed to listen to at least part of every show on Air America. In Portland, that means I missed "Morning Sedition" (we hadn't started broadcasting yet) and got Ed Shultz, who isn't a part of the regular AA lineup. Things were a bit rocky on the one hand--expected--and comfortably professional on the other--unexpected. What was most surprising, though, wasn't what I heard--it was how I reacted to it.

I can imagine, following the decadent 70s, in that sliver of time before AIDS, that Georgia Christians were pretty much shell-shocked. They saw men dressing like women, blacks and whites commingling, women swinging hammers, and everyone having sex. The whole scene must have made them feel like the rapture was near (in fact, it clearly did--but that's a different blog). And so, when the first rumblings of a conservative revolt happened, it muat have been enormously soothing for them to learn that there were others who thought the end was nigh.

That was my experience yesterday. Finally, after a generation of hearing media-promoted normalcy take the form of screeching hatred of liberals (I'm talking everything from NPR to Michael Savage here), it was extraordinary to hear a group of people (beyond the blogosphere) talk about how corrupt our leadership is. Dammit, the end is nigh--thank God someone's finally talking about it!

Because, let's face it--in an effort to remain objective, almost all American media has been abused by the corrupt GOP. When the President offers up propaganda as policy--take the budget, for example--the press's "objectivity" is compromised. Instead of reporting what's objective fact--that the budget is propaganda--they allow themselves to be co-opted by the propaganda and present it as news. There no medium outside the blogosphere (and whether we're a legit medium is questionable) that takes as its starting point the assumption that everything the GOP does is political. If you actually wish to remain objective, it's important to know if you're functioning as a PR arm for the ruling party, right?

Air America for the first time provides a media source that begins from that perspective. (They ain't news, but hey--it's a start.) It could have a profound effect on the way people regard news.

In terms of public impact, I think it may provide a valuable role there, as well. Humans are herd beasts, and one of the reason liberals have suffered is because there doesn't seem to be any there out there--leftists just haven't been publicly visible. Perhaps the greatest thing Air America can accomplish is to offer a reasonable, "everyday" voice for the left. A lot of people probably secretly feel Dubya's an idiot, but failing a herd to join of people who also feel that way, they sit quietly, watching O'Reilly and privately wondering if they've gone mad. Being able to tune into a radio station where people discuss the possibility that things aren't exactly as they should be will give people confidence in their dissention.

One day in and that's my take. We'll see what I think in a month.

(By the way, the late show with Janeane Garofalo and Sam Seder have a blog. So far it's a bit skimpy, but worth keeping an eye on.)

posted by Jeff | 9:32 AM |
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