I dig talk radio. I got hooked in Oregon on Jefferson Public Radio. Now that I'm in Idaho I mostly listen to podcasts since my local NPR affiliate is rather lame. One of my co-workers listens to KSL in her office. They feature such notables as Bill O'Reilly and Michael Medved. So I gave it a try, and here's my report.
What is wrong with these people? I listened a few times in the car and I just can't take it. I'm not sure if it's because it's commercial radio, or because they're conservatives, or because somebody's been handing out the wacky tobacky, but I just can't stand it.
- There is such a thing as too much yelling. I think these hosts must never have learned about "inside voices" in kindergarten.
- Why must they try to aggravate the callers? And why must the callers be so belligerent? Well, I'm pretty sure it's for the shock value. Apparently people are lapping it up.
- Do they have to resort to name calling? The first time I sat down to Michael Medved I listened to him spend 10 minutes making fun of a congressman. These were not constructive criticisms, but jokes about how he would pounce on a chance to get in front of a camera like a mother bear jumps when her cub is in danger. That sort of childish behavior doesn't help anyone.
- There are some complete nutters out there. Like the guy who said he would shoot anybody who tried to take his land after it had been taken away by eminent domain. Serious dude, it's just land. Guess what, when you die it's not going to be there for you. Incidentally, the hosts kept saying "oh, we can't let you say that on the air" but still left him on for a few more minutes and let him say it a few more times.
The only thing I could think of while listening to these radio stations was what Jon Stewart said to the hosts of CNN's Crossfire the night he got them fired. "You're hurting America." I didn't watch the show, but what from what I hear, it shared a number of the same failings as I've described. It makes me ill that it's so prevalent.
For me, I'll take my podcasts. You can view the OPML export of my current feeds. I'll try to keep it updated as I add new ones.