First published Saturday, September 25, 2004
Thank You KXXT 1010AM for Air America
I would like to extend grateful appreciation to Phoenix radio station KXXT 1010AM for placing the liberal talk network Air America on the air in the valley. It has brought back many memories I have forgotten over the years.
While finally having the chance to listen to Air America, after personally having spent most of my life in the radio broadcasting industry, there is much to talk about.
The treatment of CNN’s coverage of Electoral College counts before the election as yet another proof of CNN’s bias towards the Bush Administration was priceless.
The parody of Rush Limbaugh hawking an endorsement commercial for Al Franken’s Franken Factor CD was hilarious.
But it is the demeanor of the network that grabbed my attention more than anything else. The only thing it lacks from being a complete memory recall of my days as a hippie in the 70’s was the phrase, “Come on man, pass that. What, you think its just yours?”
If one were to interject that phrase, or a similar request for consideration into the ‘talk’ of the Air America ‘talk network’ one would have the perfect party of the 70’s.
We used to all sit around a common coffee table; the alter of the generation; consume vast quantities of soft drinks, munchies and other substances and discuss the issues of the day. It was always the same way.
Having little experience in the real world, and less knowledge of it from which to form a realization of what reality was, we would banter back and forth about the ‘man’, the ‘establishment’ and the ‘they’re out to get us’ commonality of youth.
We would listen as one after the other, usually in the same order (ala: time slots on a talk network) would espouse our personal feelings over what effected us the most based on what had effected us the most the last time we talked. It was the same thing, over and over. But we didn’t know that. We were more interested in how many other people ’round the coffee table would agree with us.
Our positions were based in acceptance and emotional fulfillment. We had neither in the real world so we found both amongst those in the same condition, so to speak.
Our discussions would begin only when a common enemy was identified. At that time it was ‘the man’. ‘The man’ could be anyone at all, male or female as we had convinced ourselves that any person was a part of ‘the man’ if that person wanted us to accept some responsibility or wanted us to in some way, agree with him or her.
We decided who we would agree with, based on who we had agreed with the last time we agreed with anyone.
Since we had a common enemy, our coffee table sessions would last into the wee hours of the morning when we would then ‘crash’ where we had partied.
The only difference between Air America and those times is the missing ingredient but I’m sure its there, just not discussed. How else could anyone account for a total lack of awareness of anything other than the reality concocted from other concocted realities?
The mentality of agreement and self-fulfillment overshadows every topic they discuss.
This is where my background in radio must intrude.
Talk radio is about immediate incitement of riot. It is not about a group hug. It is about controversy where the opposing argument takes place both on the air and off. It is not about a mutual support group where the listener is either a part of the group or laughing so hard they miss the fun of it all.
Successful talk radio hosts are successful as they do the single thing Air America’s hosts are not capable of doing: they connect to both sides of the audience by encouraging one to understand and encouraging the other to disagree.
Air America cannot encourage the other to disagree. That is already in place. The do not need to encourage the former to understand as understanding is all that group has: understanding of a self-created reality, devoid of relationship to the real thing.
Somebody pass the bong.
So, thank you KXXT 1010AM for bringing Air America to the valley and allowing me the opportunity to listen if for only a couple of days. I will not be listening again though. You see, I’ve grown up since the coffee table and I no longer need the hug of another mutual victim of life’s unfortunate realities.
I also never changed. You see, most of those coffee table friends also grew up. They became important in their fields and never looked back to the error of their youth. Neither will I, anymore.