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Tuesday, April 06, 2004
THE JANEANE AND BARRY SHOW. Here's
how I get my Air America. I click on the website,
and get the audio stream running. Then I start up a little freebie
program called WireTap, which captures the stream and saves it as an
AIFF file. After about an hour, I shut it down and save the file.
Then I copy it to iTunes, convert the AIFF file to AAC, and move it
to my iPod. Finally I use an attachment called the iTrip so that I
can play the iPod through my car radio.
If you're thinking this is no way
to reach ordinary listeners - the sort that might possibly be weaned
away from right-wing talk radio - well, you're right. But if you live
in Boston, you don't have much choice.
My convoluted work-around did
enable me to catch about 45 minutes of Janeane Garofalo's Majority
Report last night. (I listened while driving to work this morning.) Her co-host was old friend Barry
Crimmins, and their guest
was Markos Moulitsas Zuniga, host of a popular left-leaning weblog
called the Daily
Kos. The Kos stepped in it
last week when he wrote this about the deaths of the four private
security workers in Fallujah:
I feel nothing over the
death of mercenaries. They aren't in Iraq because of orders, or
because they are there trying to help the people make Iraq a
better place. They are there to wage war for profit. Screw
Zuniga fessed up to coming across
as "an insensitive jerk," but Garofalo and Crimmins were having none
of that, insisting he had nothing to apologize for. (Barry also
worked in a plug for Al
Giordano, who'd written a
post to that effect.) I don't think we've tuned in Rush Limbaugh
Garofalo has a nice sense of pacing
- better than Al Franken, based on my limited listening so far. She's
obviously very smart, and she asks good questions. I would have liked
to hear more from Crimmins, but Garofalo did most of the talking. On
the other hand, this is only the second time I've heard The
Majority Report, and I'm already getting tired of her constant
reference to "new-metal conservatives," her term for latter-day
right-wing extremists. It was cute the first time, okay the second
time, but now ...
A couple of observations. One is
that Garofalo and Crimmins have both had long careers in comedy, yet
neither made much of any attempt to be funny. I'm sure it's not easy
- this is the Bush White House we're talking about, after all. But
the whole question about Air America is whether it can balance its
righteousness with enough entertainment to attract, you know,
listeners. I don't have any suggestions except to point out
the obvious: they've got to figure this out.
My other observation is how weird
it is to listen to a talk-radio show that is this far to the left.
I've become so inured to right-wing talk that Rush could deliver an
ode to Franco, Bill O'Reilly could demand war against France, and
Sean Hannity could insist that John Kerry is a traitor, and it would
pretty much blow past me. But to hear talk-show hosts who are to the
left of my muddled liberalism is startling, though refreshing after a
It just shows how our expectations
of what a radio talk show is supposed to sound like have been shaped
by the rather ugly status quo.
posted at 12:21 PM |
MEDIA LOG ARCHIVES
Dan Kennedy is senior writer and media critic for the Boston Phoenix.