We want the airwaves, baby!

Mr. Programmer, I got my hammer
Gonna smash my smash my radio!

9 to 5 and 5 to 9
Ain’t gonna take it, it’s our time
We want the world and we want it now
We’re gonna take it anyhow
We want the airwaves

(The Ramones)

Bad enough having a White House Republican Palace that takes criticism more pettily and personally than the Dukes of Burgundy. It’s been chilling watching the SCLM report stories proceeding on the given that opposition to the Republican line is illicit. One example that immediately comes to mind is stories about Joseph Wilson including, as a routine “gotcha”, the fact that he donated a fraction of his political donations to Democrats.

Got that? He donated mostly to Republicans, but that little bit that went to Democrats was conveyed as expos?. Personal political donations from career government professionals are irrelevant, as most have worked for various administrations. A partisan relationship would be more along the lines of Ashcroft paying Karl Rove six figures to run his election campaign, and heading the “investigation” into Rove’s alleged outing of Wilson’s wife to punish him for doing his job. This far more serious Ashcroft/Rove detail got virtually no mention in SCLM coverage.

When simply being a Democrat (never mind an actual liberal) is treated as seditious, it’s clear that what we currently have is a distinctly conservative media being suffocated by an extremist right wing juggernaut, with leftist voices on the fringe. Here’s how one of our “liberal” media sources treated Air America’s opening day:

JACK CAFFERTY, CNN ANCHOR: It’s a red-letter day here in America. Air America, that communist radio network, starts broadcasting in a little while.

O’BRIEN: It’s not communist. […]

CAFFERTY: Well. Aren’t they synonymous? We’ll talk about what that means, and whether we really need another liberal media outlet. I mean, if you don’t like “The New York Times” or CBS News, or Peter Jennings, this might be just the ticket for you.
HEMMER: [Referring to angry email] Stirred the hornets?

CAFFERTY: Yes, it’s like hitting the beehive with a stick. If “The New York Times” and Peter Jennings and perhaps CBS News aren’t enough for you, then you’re going to love this. “The New York Observer” reports former vice-president Al Gore is close to the sealing the deal to buy a cable TV channel. Gore’s team says they will make the station a, quote, “youth oriented public affairs channel.” Yes, that should sell pretty well. Can you say liberal? And the liberal talk radio station Air America debuts today. They kick things off at noon; I guess they don’t like to get up early over there. Comedian Al Franken is the lead off hitter and he’s calling his show the O’Franken Factor. Clever, no? His guests today will include filmmaker Michael Moore, never been interviewed I guess before, that’s not exactly a big gamble.
HEMMER: Why hasn’t a liberal radio station or TV network never taken off before?

CAFFERTY: We have them. Are you — did you just get off a vegetable truck from the South Bronx? They’re everywhere.

Yep, you know liberal radio is a desperately needed medium when the likes of Jack Cafferty considers himself an “alternative” to Fox News. After all, CNN is the same network that presented, without healthy skepticism or fact-checking, the Republican Palace’s outright lie that some funny Letterman footage of a GWB campaign speech had been faked. (Follow the narrative of the Letterman kerfuffle foofaraw — that one’s for you, s.z. — in the extension.)

The day before, Wolf Blitzer was happy to pass along — again, without skepticism or an ethics check in this case — a knee-jerk Republican Palace smear to discredit Dick Clarke. This is a news network that routinely features political analyst Bill Schneider, a member of the right wing American Enterprise Institute, without mentioning that connection or balancing his often fawning view the administration with a reality check from the center or left. And where’s the liberal version of The Novak Zone or all the conservative oriented biz/money programming?

I tried to catch a bit of each Air America show throughout the day. It was like finally getting to exhale. I liked their variety of interviews — missed the Grey Turtleneck, unfortunately — and was shocked by the difference in factual content transmitted over a short period to what’s available on alleged news networks like Chimp-NN.

Oh yeah, Bush is toast.

Here’s how the Letterman flap unfolded:


Comments: 7


If you want to post a punk anthem for liberal radio might I suggest “Radio, Radio” by Elvis Costello as opposed to the closet-conservative punk Ramones.


Joey (RIP) was liberal (a self-described hippie idealist), Johnny’s staunchly conservative, and DeeDee (RIP) was all over the place but he moved Joeyward later. I think it was around the time he accepted rap into his life. Marky and Tommy, I don’t know — punk drummers don’t seem to last long (in bands or on the planet.)

But Radio, Radio’s definitely a great anthem.


How about Leonard Nimoy’s cover of “Proud Mary?”


Rage Against the Machine’s “Guerilla Radio”…


It was as if Karl Rove, hidden in some high mountain redoubt, were engaging in long-range mind control of Wolf Bliter, chanting, ?Trash Clarke, you must trash Clarke.?


Beautiful BFDiehl!


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