There are some bright spots in local, regional and national media. You just have to look hard in order to find them. Sort of the way SETI has been searching for alien life forms. Look for a singular signal that doesn’t quite fit into the constant blathering of the right-wing propaganda machine or the gossip mongering that passes for corporate news. You just might hear or see something of genuine value.
You just might discover that we thoughtful, compassionate beings are not alone.
F’rinstance, this reporter was recently invited to appear on KBAI AM 930’s “The Joe Show.” Affable host Joe Teehan has long been a fixture at Whatcom County’s Cascade Radio Group. Prior to hosting his current local talk show on KBAI, Joe was the lone voice of reason surrounded by nationally syndicated conservative blowhards on KGMI AM 790. That show, “The Liberal Outpost,” suffered a fate similar to that of Davy Crockett at the Alamo. A noble effort that got all shot to hell.
That is, until the cavalry arrived in the form of a groundswell of disgruntled and disenfranchised listeners from Bellingham. They began to demand a progressive alternative to the unhinged ravings of the likes of Limbaugh and Beck. And so, KBAI was born. It would be a couple more years before Joe regained his local show, but the wait was well worth it.
Now “The Joe Show” is sandwiched firmly in the noon lunch hour between Thom Hartmann and Randi Rhodes (a curious threesome indeed—mustard, anyone?), offering a local take on a wide range of issues.
And that’s precisely what radio has neglected: local issues, local perspectives, local voices. In the rush to become louder, bigger, and fatter of budget, radio stations have forgotten the very neighborhood in which they live, the very land from which their towers broadcast.
Come home, airwave conglomerates. You’ll find a wide array of local talent, listeners and advertisers just waiting to welcome you. The easy money that spews from syndicated rodeo clowns is one thing; the hard-earned revenue from your friends and neighbors is quite another.
Which is why Liberal in Seattle was honored to appear on Joe Teehan’s show, explaining icedjamb.com to a curious audience and enjoying a rambling discussion with Joe and his listeners.
On the other hand, SETI has lost its funding and is being shut down. So maybe money does walk and talk and corporations really are persons with all the powers and rights but none of the responsibilities.
You decide. Keep swallowing the ear-swill of millionaire loudmouths or demand that your radio stations carry informative, thoughtful local content.
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