Wev. Predictably, conservative bloggers are touting this as evidence that there’s simply no market for progressive ideas. I don’t actually think this is true. I’m ostensibly the perfect target audience for Air America, and I can’t frigging stand it. Obviously, it’s not because I disagree with what they’re saying most of the time, but because I just find political talk radio absolute shit no matter who it is or what they’re saying.
The thing about talk radio is that the discussions just hang in the air and I can’t wrap my hands around them. If someone says something, and I think, “That can’t be right, can it?” I have to note it, then go research it—and half the time they don’t even cite sources, because the nature of the medium doesn’t really accommodate such detail, so I’m stumbling around in the dark trying to find the origin of some esoteric statistic or whatever. Books have endnotes, or footnotes. Blogs have links. People can be asked, “Where did you get that number?” I’m not good at being a passive receiver of information. I like to make up my own mind, and to do that, I want the whole context. Talk radio doesn’t suit me. I really like the interviews, but that’s about it—and I feel much the same about political talk shows on telly.
And many of the criticisms of Air America being poorly run are valid. Even when I was trying to give Air America a good chance, they were completely screwing up in Chicago. On the air, not on the air, a different station, filled with static, off the air, what the fuck? In one of the bluest cities in the country, and hence presumably one of the best audiences, they should have sorted that shit out long ago.