28 January 2004

Why does the dial only go right?

One thing I enjoy about long trips in my car is sampling the different types of radio out there.  Radio in Chicago has steadily diminshed in quality recently, so I'm always interested in hearing what other parts of the nation sound like.  And even out in the middle of nowhere you can get something on AM.

This trip south is different though.  This afternoon I turned off the AM dial for good, because all I can get down here (Texas) is country, Spanish and right wing talk shows.  Nothing against country, it's just not my style, and  I can't understand Spanish anymore depsite six years of it in school.  What's driven me from AM is the proliferation of the right talk shows.

Did I say talk shows?  Allow me to correct myself.  It's not talk.  It's rant, rave, yell, scream and preach shows.  It's Republicans-can-do-no-wrong-and-all-democrats-are-pigs shows.  Pravda was more objective than this stuff.  And their fearless leader, one Mr. Rush Limbaugh? He's desparately trying to avoid a felony rap on drug possession.  How does this man have any credibility?

Last Sunday afternoon in Houston I took a drive around the loop, a highway that circles downtown for about thirty miles, and noticed that the two main talk stations were playing "best of" bits of their conservative shows, the aforementioned Mr. Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Michael Savage, and a few others that I had never heard of.  In the span of one trip around the loop, I heard the following gems:

"John Kerry?  He looks French!"- Limbaugh

"Howard Dean's speech in Iowa was the scariest video I've seen since Hitler in 1932"-Sean Hannity

"If Al Gore had won the 2000 election (Um, excuse me, but he did win, right?) every major city in America would have suffered there own 9/11 by now"-Michael Savage

I'm all for political discourse, but I'm tired of people telling me why the other side is bad instead of why their side is good.  And I can't understand why this tripe is so popular.  I must be incredibly out of touch with mainstream America.

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