- I live in a suburban county, approximately an hour
north of New York City. This community is currently experiencing
over-development and is in the throes of a population explosion. Sadly,
the roads have not caught up with the increase in vehicles and,
as a result, are emulating the gridlock of New York City.
The local radio station, too, has not caught up with present day reality.
- Back in the halcyon days, this morning radio show had
two hosts, one male and one female. This created an interesting
juxtaposition and interplay of ideas and responses to a constant flow of
topics. The female host was a young woman who was bright-eyed and intellectually
curious. The male host was a music lover...and prior to his talkradio
venture, was the spinner of discs.
- In his new "hostly" position, however, he soon
learned the art of spinning politics as well as he did all those CDs.
I might add that he has been blind since birth and, no pun intended, his
politics were also just as much 'in the dark'. Interestingly, the
union of the two hosts was a successful, effective pairing which often
produced strong counterpoints to many issues...and a generally lively and
entertaining show. They attracted listener calls representing many philosophies
along the bumpy continuum of political thought.
- A staunch lover of talkradio, I became friendly with
the female host. She was in accord with my political positions and would
encourage me to call the show. Additionally, there were several listeners
who were in agreement with me.
- As fate would have it, my young friend was
promoted to a more lucrative position in a very large company. Her
replacement was a male friend of the male host. Regrettably,
the sum of the two added up to zero. Many listeners stopped calling the
show, as the hosts had adopted a disrespectful response towards
dissension and the callers grew weary of being deprecated. The
listening base morphed into a non-threatening group of lemmings. In
addition, to the phoning sheeple, politicians and business owners used
the airwaves to curry favor with the local patrons. This once stimulating
show floundered and the station steadily sank to the shallow end of
the radio pool. This same kind of fate has befallen countless talk
shows across America. When a talk show loses its balance, there is
only one way for it to go...and it's not up.
- The local authority on finances had a daily spot in which
he applauded the alleged financial 'recovery' (huh?) in this country. I
wondered how many people residing under bridges and living in tents would
enjoy his "good news." I wondered how many of the underreported
unemployed and underemployed would agree with this "expert."
And following his segments, the hosts would excitedly discuss how
2011 will be a wonderful year. I'm not joking. This ostrich
head-in-the-sand stupidity drove me away from the
- phone and I stopped calling in.
- After a hiatus, inspired by both questionable and boring
banter, I once again began calling the show. In an attempt not to
disrupt the ennui, my comments and offerings were non-threatening
discussions. In this time, it was as if there were two Judys. One
was "playing the game" to avoid invectives being hurled at me
by the hosts, and the other was absorbing the REAL news behind the news
from my favorite Internet sites.
- One day, a caller made a comment about illegal immigration
and the Dream Act. The blind host said that they would continue the discussion
the following day. I immediately contacted Frosty Woolridge, an authority
on the topic, and asked for some statistics. I was preparing to join
the impending discussion. Frosty was more than gracious and even offered
to call the show, too.
- After the program of the day ended, I phoned the
blind host and mentioned Frosty's generous offer. My reception was
beyond chilly. "No. I want to avoid controversy. I don't need
sponsors calling and complaining." He hung up abruptly and so I
took another hiatus.
- And then came the day that the hosts received a
call from an upset listener who was bemoaning the ascendance of gasoline
prices. No longer being able to exercise my self control, I called in
and discussed the rising gasoline prices and the effect it would have on
the price of food and other items.
- The host who had spewed his anger at me on the phone
now launched a full frontal attack on the air. He began calling
me a "fear monger" and said that I wanted the destruction
of America. Even after hanging up on me, both hosts continued
to feast on the corpse of my simple, fact-based contribution. I was appalled.
- Once again, I had witnessed the mainstream media,
even in a small town, in action (or should I say inaction). In an attempt
not to ruffle the feathers of their sponsors (i.e. living in professional
FEAR), the hosts had taken the low road and 'played it safe.' It
was just another micro illustration of how talk shows and the media
suppress and obstruct truth, knowledge and, ultimately, wisdom...and the
bulk of the listening sheep could continue to graze and snooze, uninterrupted,
while they dreamed their dream of a prosperous and happy 2011. Good
luck, America...you're going to need it.