The PoliBlog
Collective


Information

academic site


e-mail
c.v.
columns
legal
rss .92
2.0
The Collective
Wednesday, March 31, 2004
By Steven Taylor

I listened to the last twenty minutes-ish of the new Al Franken radio show this afternoon. It is one of the new Air America shows (i.e., the new “Liberal Talk” network-not to be confused with the Mel Gibson-Robert Downey, Jr. flick).

Now, I am a radio talk show junkie and my basic attitude on this new Air America network/the attempt to find the “liberal Rush Limbaugh” is two-fold. First, I figure, the more the merrier. I like choices, and would likely listen on occasion, and if it was good more often than that, to these shows if they were on the radio when I was driving. However, I mostly would be flipping around. Second, I do think that the idea of simply creating some kind of liberal radio juggernaut out of thin air is a bit silly and one wonders as to the degree that the pesky ol’ market is being taken into consideration here.

I will also say that I think that Al Franken can be funny, although I find his skills as a political commentator to be lacking. I think he relies a bit too much on the overly cutesy-gee-aren’t-I-cleverly-skewering-the-other-side-sardonic. For example, take the name of the show: “The O’Franken Factor”. Okay, we get the joke, do you really want your show’s title to be a joke? For one thing, it has to get old at some point. Further, as I have noted before, I find it amusing (and not in the way intended) that Franken continually feels the need to utilize O’Reilly and Limbaugh to get attention.

At any rate, here’s what I heard in the relatively brief

-Interview with Al Gore, and some in-studio guest (Mike somebody) talking about how Gore really won and pontificating as to how much better we would have been if Gore had been president. Now, that’s all fair enough-a liberal show ought to be allowed to muse about their preferred counterfactuals. But in re: 2000, Florida and the Supreme Court-could we please get over it?

-A bit where they ‘locked Ann Coulter in the green room” and she freaked out and tore up the place. It didn’t strike me as especially funny-indeed, it came across like a somewhat lame SNL bit-and I am not a big Ann Coulter fan. Indeed, they seemed overly fascinated by Coulter.

-He had some elderly family friends and his daughter and the principal from the school she works at as guests via phone. Now, all sweet and all, but hardly riveting radio. And apparently he plans for all of them to be regulars.

Highights of that segment: to the older gentleman: “You’re liberal and fought at the Battle of the Bulge. Ann Coulter says liberals hate America. What do you think about that?” And his daughter’s boss carrying on about how great Franken’s daughter was as a teacher. Somehow I ain’t smelling a Marconi Award at this point.

-Guests later this week: Senator Clinton, Robert Reich and Richard Clarke.

Note: Andrew Cline of Rhetorica has an interesting post on the subject.

Sphere: Related Content

Previous Related Posts

Filed under: US Politics | |

21 Comments

  1. Still mad about the ‘00 election…
    PoliBlog from the Poliblog,,, -Interview with Al Gore, and some in-studio guest (Mike somebody) talking about how Gore really won and pontificating as to how much better we would have been if Gore had been president. Now, that’s all fair…

    Trackback by Right Wingin-It — Wednesday, March 31, 2004 @ 4:40 pm

  2. One of the unintended consequence of Air America is the wholesale replace of Black Talk show in New York in WLIB with all White talent. As this article states.

    Comment by BigFire — Wednesday, March 31, 2004 @ 5:15 pm

  3. It’s really hard for celebrities to do well at this type of venture.

    Talk radio is hard work. The real work is done by a group of assistants making $45-$55,000 per year. However the celebrity host ignores them at their own risk.

    I’ve been in a related industry for many years, and once talked with one of the assistant producers of Mario Cuomo’s attempt at a talk show a few years ago. According to her (not an unbiased source) the real trouble with Mario’s show was there was nobody there that had the ability to say “Dammit, put down the cellphone” or “You *WILL* read this material before going on air.”

    I suspect that the celebrity factor may be a problem at Air America. Will Al or Janeane Garafalo be able to keep their other interests out of the studio for the 3-5 hours of preparation that’s needed for a 3 hour show? Or will they be talking about his next Jay Leno appearance on the cellphone while supposedly preparing for the next show? Without a production staff strong enough to say “Work on this or walk after which we sue your ass” the celebrity hosts are doomed.

    Comment by Buckland — Wednesday, March 31, 2004 @ 6:44 pm

  4. I’m gonna do a terrific show today
    McQ has already weighed in on the new Air America liberal radio network below. I suspect I’d feel about the same, if I could hear it. Still, I’ve a few general thoughts to add. 1: “Air America”? What, “Bird on…

    Trackback by QandO — Wednesday, March 31, 2004 @ 8:21 pm

  5. Air America Roundup
    Air America has been a big hit with Bloggers today. In adition to my commentary below, Here’s a sample of what others are saying: QandO: I doubt Al Franken is going to be the liberal Rush. He may be funny,…

    Trackback by The Review — Wednesday, March 31, 2004 @ 9:07 pm

  6. Air America
    I caught parts of the new liberal talk radio shows yesterday. It had me laughing a few times, not because I found Randi Rhodes and Janeane Garofalo particularly entertaining, but because a few headliners seemed either childishly obsessed with conservat…

    Trackback by Priorities & Frivolities — Thursday, April 1, 2004 @ 3:00 am

  7. I’ve heard it speculated that this is all preordained. They know they can say what they want between now and November and get away with it. But a little after the election the money will run out and gee, shucks, they have to close the doors.

    I’m far from a conspiracy theorist but if you look at the gross failures of earlier liberal talk radio and you look at the rest of the way the left is approaching this election, the pieces do fit.

    Comment by Paul — Thursday, April 1, 2004 @ 4:26 am

  8. It is my opinion that everyone should have the right to say and do what they want as long as it is legal. Therefore, I nothing against the new “AIR AMERICA” talk shows. The only comment I would like to make is, people like Franken say they wish to help the little guy, the common American. I say Franken is a fool, all he wants is publicity and more money. Nothing can be accomplished by establishing a partisan news or commentary program. We have to meet somewhere in the middle if we are ever going to unify our country.

    Comment by Sherman Holland — Friday, April 2, 2004 @ 11:11 am

  9. Nice comment Sherman, and very accurate. Not only are they partisan, but they spew pretty hateful commentary which they believe are jokes. And I always figure if you laugh at your own jokes, nobody is gonna laugh with you. Al Franken is a nut case, but still not in the league of his hero…Michael Moore, now thats a bean bag!

    Comment by Dick — Friday, April 2, 2004 @ 8:37 pm

  10. Folks, the timing of this radio program, the timing of the books by Clarke and others that have hit or are going to (Bill Clinton?) are not by chance. The above comments are intelligent and well put but I would like to add one thing,,, this year’s election is the most important of our lives, for goodness’s sakes go out and vote to re-elect President Bush. Why do you think they are fighting so hard and dirty on the left? For the same reason the terrorists are fighting so hard, they know how important this election is, and both the Liberals/Democrats (becoming hard to differentiate) hate Pres. Bush. No, I am not calling Dems (Libs, almost) terrorists, but in my eyes they are both pushing for the same political agenda in the USA, the ouster of Pres. Bush and the pulling back of our troops and now notice the out-sourcing cries from the left, they want to pull back our imprint in foreign lands also. As for the Liberals crying that they do not control the majority of the media, that would be so funny if not for being so harmful, like the control they have over our schools. Talk radio is the only source that has more Conservatives than Libs, selfishly I hope that O’Franken falls O’flat and goes belly up just to prove that Americans don’t want to listen to what he has to say. Stay brave, stay free. WigWag

    Comment by davidw — Sunday, April 4, 2004 @ 4:31 am

  11. Well, looky here. A bunch of rightwing facsists calling Dems and Air America programs hateful. Cry me river, would ya. This is a taste of the anger the rightwing has been dishing out for years now coming their way. I’ve tried to understand rightwing anger (disguised as “conservative” venting) for quite some time now, and you know what? I’ve come to conclude that it’s nothing more than stupidity and latent racism. Yes, I said stupidity. Rightwing people are stupid. Maybe that stupidity comes from an inability (or unwillingness) to think rationally, or feelings of inadequacy. Their arguments make no sense whatsoever. I am done trying to understand their illogic and excuse their stupidity. I will call stupid just that, stupid. Makes you mad, or pisses you off? Boo hoo. Don’t want to be called an idiot? Don’t spout off like one and don’t act and look like one. Left do their own devices these rightwing morons would like to create their own version of the Third Reich right here with all that entails, white supremacy (disguised as “patriotism”, “family values” “personal responsibility”), perfect society, and militarism. What a bunch of crock.

    Comment by City5Lite — Monday, April 5, 2004 @ 1:10 pm

  12. Hey Citi5Lite. It’s cool how it took you about seven words before you started screaming fascist, racist and all the other big boy words. Yikes. Way to raise the level of discourse. I hope it’s not too lonely over there in the grassy knoll.

    Comment by bullysam — Monday, April 5, 2004 @ 1:47 pm

  13. I find it interesting that you feel that you can judge a 3 hour program in twenty-ish minutes. You wouldn’t care what a movie critic had to say about a movie if you found out that he only wathed 20 minutes of the movie, or a food critic that had some bread and something to drink and left before the food came out. I’m sure you are a very busy man, and I could imagine that it killed you to listen to that twenty-ish minutes. Trust me I feel the same way about Rush, twenty minutes and I’m out the door. But, then again I’m not the one that reviewed a Rush show.

    Comment by Mark — Monday, April 5, 2004 @ 2:10 pm

  14. It’s sad to see that conservatives are using the same worn-out buzz words and attacks. Equating liberals and terrorists, left-wing media, blaming everything on Bill Clinton, etc. The facts are, conservatives are helping the terrorists out more than anyone else by making the production of large SUV’s cheaper and more profitable.

    Televised news is biased to the right, comically so, and Bill Clinton, though a great president, is history. It’s sad that you feel the need to constantly bring up past presidents to try to attack the current party.

    Comment by Anonymous — Wednesday, April 7, 2004 @ 1:31 pm

  15. It’s about time somebody, anybody offered a differing view of politics from the “mainstream” media that goose steps in unision with the same tired old slant on world events. The US is NOT the ONLY country in the world…and the present administration in the Whitehouse is NOT the ONLY voice for the American people. What could be wrong with Al Franken adding his voice to the public discourse on national and world events? To silence an opposing view would diminish all of us.

    Comment by Johnny — Wednesday, April 7, 2004 @ 2:11 pm

  16. This is yor country too,and the Libs have had control of all the network TV news,NPR,News papers,magazines movies,and actors for years.This hasbeen countered by the sucess ,Thank God,of alternativesourcesofnews. The sucessof consevative talk radio and TV news,is THE MESSAGE!!
    Ther people are throngingtoshows that bring a message of hope!! No personality from the misreable left touting “Soup lines..and woe”, is going to grab a huge audience. We are very tired of hearing how evil we are from these fifth column freedom bashers.

    Comment by mjohnsonn — Wednesday, April 7, 2004 @ 2:12 pm

  17. This is my first time viewing this site. It’s amazing the conclusions that people reach, by way of rationalization, that are not supported by other comments and/or facts.

    I don’t think I heard anyone calling for the abolition of Franken’s show. If it succeeds, great, if it doesn’t, great too. That’s what free press and free speech is all about. Let the people decide if they want to support him. If they don’t, and he wants to spend some of his millions airing his views, good for him.

    As for “right-wing dominated airtime”, I’m always amazed that people overlook NPR, which I think still dominates FM radio. I enjoy listening to it, but let’s face it, I can scan my entire radio dial and find 3-4 NPR stations in the Boston area, and maybe 1 other talk show that sometimes has right-wing material.

    I listened to Jessie Ventura on the radio the other day, and he voiced his opinion about the Florida election debacle…that being that Gore didn’t lose the election because of Florida. There were many reasons why he lost, and at the top of the list were the fact that he didn’t carry his own state, and he didn’t carry Clinton’s state either, and either one of these would have made Florida a non-issue…so yes, people really need to get over that one.

    Snappy

    Comment by Jim — Sunday, April 11, 2004 @ 9:15 am

  18. Snappy,
    Good comments. You stated that you saw no one calling for O’ Franken to be pulled off the air, I was one that above said I hope he fails but never did I say he should be yanked for any other reason than he does not have a large following. That is the part that bothers me the most, just like with Howard Stern when he uses his foul mouth to shock people, I believe he has the right, I would fight for that right, I just wish people would shun his filth because it is the moral thing to do,, the part that bothers me is that he actually has a large audience. When our forefathers laid out our Bill of Rights and Constitution I doubt they thought we as a nation would have to worry about someone talking about ‘wanting young girls (he was speaking of under age girls to boot) to hear the sound of his p*nis, or what he would like to do to some woman’s bun hole, and so on and on’ those types would have been shunned. It is sad that it has come to that, people that abuse the privileges we have to up their ratings. I see no easy solutions, only a large dose of national morals will help, but unfortunately I don’t see that happening. Once again, good post, I am new here also, came here looking to see what folks where commenting on the new Liberal station. Happy Easter! all.

    Comment by WigWag — Sunday, April 11, 2004 @ 1:03 pm

  19. “I listened to the last twenty minutes-ish of the new Al Franken radio show this afternoon. It is one of the new Air America shows (i.e., the new “Liberal Talk” network-not to be confused with the Mel Gibson-Robert Downey, Jr. flick).”

    The term Air America is a reference to the CIA run airline that ran drugs out of Central and South America. Not a movie by a right wing fundamentalist nut.

    “Now, I am a radio talk show junkie and my basic attitude on this new Air America network/the attempt to find the “liberal Rush Limbaugh” is two-fold. First, I figure, the more the merrier. I like choices, and would likely listen on occasion, and if it was good more often than that, to these shows if they were on the radio when I was driving. ”

    There are so many grammar mistakes in this paragraph, I hesitate to try an correct it. I mean, if you’re going to go on record ( and online ) with your pontifications, I’d think that you’d proofread it.

    “However, I mostly would be flipping around. Second, I do think that the idea of simply creating some kind of liberal radio juggernaut out of thin air is a bit silly and one wonders as to the degree that the pesky ol’ market is being taken into consideration here.”

    Air America finally gives a voice to that “Pesky ol’
    Market” . And if you look at, say, the election results of the 2000 Presidential election, you’d notice that that market is right around HALF OF THE US POPULATION.

    “I will also say that I think that Al Franken can be funny, although I find his skills as a political commentator to be lacking. ”

    Well, if by “lacking” you mean, “lacking in sensationalist lies” , I’d agree with you.

    “I think he relies a bit too much on the overly cutesy-gee-aren’t-I-cleverly-skewering-the-other-side-sardonic. ”

    Well, unlike the jerks that he eviscerates (Rush, O’Reilly, etc.) he IS clever. And “the other side” has made “skewering the other side” their life’s work. It’s about time the left opened their mouths.

    “For example, take the name of the show: “The O’Franken Factor”. Okay, we get the joke, do you really want your show’s title to be a joke? For one thing, it has to get old at some point. Further, as I have noted before, I find it amusing (and not in the way intended) that Franken continually feels the need to utilize O’Reilly and Limbaugh to get attention. ”

    Oh, but it was okay for those jerks to rant constantly about Clinton? About matters far more petty. Blow jobs, for example. Furthermore, you should hear what inane, idiotic drivel comes out of Rush about Franken.

    “At any rate, here’s what I heard in the relatively brief

    -Interview with Al Gore, and some in-studio guest (Mike somebody) talking about how Gore really won and pontificating as to how much better we would have been if Gore had been president. Now, that’s all fair enough-a liberal show ought to be allowed to muse about their preferred counterfactuals. But in re: 2000, Florida and the Supreme Court-could we please get over it?”

    Yeah, so they stole the election. What’s the big deal? I will never understand how the people in this country are not outraged. His brother was governor of Florida. That doesn’t make you suspicious?
    I don’t understand the complacency of conservatives.

    I could go on.

    Comment by immensetalent — Tuesday, April 20, 2004 @ 9:20 pm

  20. I would just like to say that my review of the O Franken Factor radio show would be much like the review of Bill Clinton’s book by the NY Times. I would have to say that the radio program is eye crossingly dull, and reminds me of a politically insecure ideologue who ramble’s on without any substance or thought.

    After listening to the show I came away not being surprised that Mr. Franken is having a hard time receiving paycheck.

    Finally I would like to say that you cannot force American people to listen to something that they don’t want to. American people traditionally are optimistic, and do not like to be beat over the head with falsehoods about how bad the war is going, and how bad the economy is going.

    Comment by Dan W — Tuesday, June 22, 2004 @ 10:32 pm

  21. Al Franken is great

    Comment by Richard Smith — Tuesday, July 6, 2004 @ 7:02 pm

RSS feed for comments on this post.

The trackback url for this post is: http://www.poliblogger.com/wp-trackback.php?p=3218

NOTE: I will delete any TrackBacks that do not actually link and refer to this post.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.



Take a Look At This!
Inquiries

Visitors Since 2/15/03
Blogroll

Wikio - Top of the Blogs - Politics
---


Advertisement

Advertisement


Powered by WordPress