Skip to comments.Kopel: Air America: the good and the bad
Posted on 05/22/2004 10:36:00 PM PDT by VisualizeSmallerGovernment
Kopel: Air America: the good and the bad
'O'Franken Factor' rivals best right-wing programs, but 'Rhodes Show' is awful
May 22, 2004
You can't listen to the new left-wing talk radio network Air America on the air in Colorado yet. But people who have Internet access can tune it in at www.airameri caradio.com. Is it worth doing so? I would say yes.
The network's flagship program is The O'Franken Factor, co-hosted by comedian Al Franken and Katherine Lanpher (10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Colorado time, weekdays). The two make a good team and, overall, the show is about equal in quality to many of the syndicated right-wing talk programs, such as the Sean Hannity or Michael Medved programs.
Right-wingers sometimes ask, "Why does the left need a talk radio show? They've already got NPR, The New York Times, CBS, ABC, NBC and CNN." Well, it is true that all of those news outlets (and much of the news staffs at both The Denver Post and the Rocky Mountain News) tilt left. However, the need to maintain a veneer of impartiality usually prevents direct ideological instruction.
Freed from the pretense of impartiality, talk radio hosts (like newspaper columnists) provide the audience new frames for understanding the news. The best columnists and hosts do not just talk about the events of the day, but advance the story.
Like Rush Limbaugh, Franken is unabashedly ideological but brings enough new information to his program so as to be persuasive to some moderates, and worthwhile listening even for ideological opponents.
Unfortunately, Franken is followed by four hours of The Randi Rhodes Show. A good radio host knows much more than the average caller, but Rhodes does not. Last Monday, for example, several callers raised issues (including Colorado Springs Bishop Michael Sheridan's controversial voter instruction letter), about which Rhodes had no idea. Like KHOW 630 host Scott Redmond on a bad day, Rhodes had a single idea (Donald Rumsfeld is responsible for Abu Ghraib) which she vainly tried to stretch into a full program.
On the radio, hyperbole and invective usually succeed only if they're funny - as they sometimes are on Franken and Limbaugh. With Rhodes, however, all you get is the same kind of flat pronouncements you could hear from a seventh-grader in Boulder: George Bush is "deaf, dumb and blind" and "stupid" and "an idiot" and people who vote for Bush are "morons" and "pathological."
For someone with such a smug sense of intellectual superiority, Rhodes is remarkably ignorant. Monday, for example, brought the bizarre claim that United States bombed Dresden after the Germans had surrendered in World War II. Actually, the bombing was three months before the Germans surrendered.
In the Rhodes early afternoon time slot, Colorado listeners who want leftist radio would do much better to tune in Enid Goldstein on KNRC 1150-AM. Goldstein's not good enough to be a national host, but neither is Rhodes, and Goldstein has a better voice. Goldstein brings the advantage of doing Colorado stories. Moreover, Goldstein provides very good coverage of the performing arts in Colorado, and frequent interviews with local artists and critics.
The Colorado legislature recently lowered the legal standard for "driving under the influence." The new standard for DUI is a blood-alcohol content level of at least .08 percent (down from the previous level of .10 percent). The standard for the lesser crime of "driving while impaired" remains at .05 percent. On May 11, the News presented a pair of charts that purported to explain "The new DUI law and you." The charts, however, were almost entirely wrong.
The charts showed the approximate blood-alcohol percentage of men and women of various weights who consume various numbers of drinks. Some boxes were shaded to show when a person is "Legally intoxicated." For example, a 220-pound male who has six drinks within 40 minutes, would have a BAC of .10, and be legally intoxicated. The chart, however, misinformed readers about the new Colorado law. According to the chart, persons with a BAC of .08 or .09 (e.g., a 120-pound man who has three drinks) were not "legally intoxicated." Thus, the chart was precisely wrong on the effect of "The new DUI law."
Other boxes on the chart were shaded to indicate "Driving skills significantly affected. Possible criminal penalties." The proper boxes for this shading would have been BAC of .05, .06, or .07 - which is below the legal limit for intoxication, but which still constitutes the crime of "driving while impaired." The News chart, however, wrongly claimed that a BAC of .04 was illegal. Bizarrely, the News declared that a BAC of .03 (which is always legal for adults in Colorado) was illegal for some people (a 240-pound man with two drinks) but legal for some other people (such as a 140-pound woman with one drink).
The News compounded the false charts by shading all levels for zero drinks (.00 BAC) to declare them the "Only safe driving limit." Certainly this is the position of alcohol prohibition advocates; the Colorado legislature, however, does not take this extremist view, and the extremist view had no business appearing in a chart which purported to describe Colorado's laws.
Yeah seems like they haven't studied the successful business model of the successful right wing radio shows.
As I understand it, they won't allow any of their shows to appear on a station if Rush Limbaugh is also on the station. Now THERE's a great business model. "See those 600 most successful AM stations in America? Don't put our show on one of those."
Really? Because I think the Minneapolis station is only carrying Franken's "show." (I say I think because I'm not willingly going to tune in and find out.)
If so, I wonder how Mpls. got to only play 3 hours of drivel, as opposed to, what, 18?
Leftists don't much like individuals. All is one, one for all, and all that stuff. Sooner or later they are going to PROVE collectivism works. Honest. (snicker)
That comparison is absolute garbage. If Medved is Oxford, (or better yet, Hillsdale) O'Franken is the local "Canine College."
Air America's largest advertising account is Walgreens. You can email their customer relations departmrnt at: Consumer.Relations@walgreens.com
In some markets, they've been allowed to pick and choose. I'm sure Franken got to be on in Minnesota because of his roots there.
Still, when you consider that Air America is PAYING stations to broadcast the programs, you'd think they'd want to be on as few hours as possible.
How many TOTAL markets are they even in? More than a dozen?
As I understand it, the corporate sponsors were buying time on the stations, not neccessarily as an ideological support for the programming.
Still it is funny that Air America spends all its time railing against big business, corporate greed, the high price of pharmaceuticals, etc. Yet their big sponsor is the largest drug store that has ever existed in the history of the world.
Meanwhile, Rush Limbaugh is supposedly the tool of "rich Billionaires" (Al Gore's exact phrase), and his sponsors are mostly Ma and Pa operations like Snapple, Hooked On Phonics, Select Comfort, The Mosquito Magnet, etc. At least, they start as Ma & Pa operations before the Limbaugh advertising makes them enormously successful.
Last I heard, they hadn't cracked the dozen barrier yet. Though supposedly they have 15 stations "on the way" or "lined up" or something.
I know if I had 60 million dollars the first thing I'd do is try to broadcast 18 hours of hate radio on some 250 watt blowtorch in the middle of a swamp.
They have to have the whole station, lest the people hear an alternative viewpoint.
LOL. Smartass! ;-)
The next logical step would be to strap people into chairs to force them to listen.
I've listened to Air America. This is way off base. Franken is horrid in radio. Uh, uh, uh, uh uh, uh. And he talks too slow. If Franken was not bashing Bush during an election year on and didn't have what little fame he had he'd never get hired by any radio station. So, he is on Air America which will die shortly after November when it is no longer needed.
And I don't think people like listening to other people moan and groan and bitch and complain. Air America has the same problem John Kerry has. They see every glass as half full.
Katherine Lanpher originated, as an air personality, on KSTP 1500 AM in the Twin Cities, MN. Prior to her chrysalis, she had been a five-and-dime hand-wringer at a local left-leaning newspaper.
As a talk show host(ess), she was an unabashedly far-left suck-monkey, but she at least tried to maintain an all-viewpoints cover for her devil's advocacy. Since her silly efforts preceded el Rushbo, she sought an edgy, hip-tone that often drove the conservative audience into a blood-frenzy. Station calls demanded her head on a platter.
Pretty soon, Katherine was headed down the ratings tube until the local NPR affiliate threw her a lifeline. When able to vent her Leftist spleen with decorum, she managed quite a few interviews with Alfranken amidst yuks and high-fives. Is it any wonder that they now collaborate on the (Sc)Air-America Network?
These creatures (Lanpher and Franken) actually poison a local deli where I used to obtain the finest Rueben sandwhiches this side of New York. Today, knowing that they have eaten there fills me with the kind of dread one might know if 'Typhoid Mary' was found to work in the kitchen.
G-dmust be saving a special place in hell is the best way I can think of it...
SO what? Ideological propaganda is still propaganda, in bucketfuls. Gobs and gobs of it; in over 150 newspapers in the country and ubiquitously over the airwaves. Who wants a radio station shouting the same tripe, only stridently? This could never work. I agree with another poster; it dies in November, no matter what.
Actually, they see every glass as 90% empty, with the republicans having taken all the good stuff out and replaced it with warm spit.
I was glad for the article if only because the reviewer had to listen to Air America and I didn't. Also, I got a kick out of the idea that Air America's best show is "almost as good as Michael Medved", like that's some kind of impossibly high standard.
I thought it was weird that Randi Rhodes would spend so much time yammering on about the bombing of Dresden. It begs the question- what other Franklin Deleano Roosevelt policies does she have a sharp disagreement with? If they actually had discussions on that network, it might make for an interesting conversation.
Perhaps a new name. Hmmmm, how about the "O'Tankin' Factor"? No? Maybe the "O'Oh Factor"?
You see, rather than present himself as merely an imitator of successful guys like O'Reilly and Limbaugh, he needs to start from where he already is: oblivious, abrasive, sophomoric, whiney and lame. If he would just be himself, I firmly believe he will make all other liberals look terrific by comparison.
That's what thier reply to me stated. But when 100% of a station's programming is anti-Bush, it doesn't matter what time slot the station chooses to run your ads, it's always going to be during an anti-Bush program.
Right. But when they were buying the time on the station, it might have been a Caribbean swing music station or something.
I'd also heard that some of the commercials are run for free, just to give the illusion that there are actually paid sponsors.
After Air America collapses, I hope someone writes a comprehensive analysis of it from a business standpoint. This could be a textbook case of what not to do which could be taught in business schools for the next 200 years.
Air America is dying as it should. Who needs it when the left controls the media as a block in the U.S. There just isn't a need for leftist socialist radio. Nobody listens. NPR wouldn't be on the air if the government didn't finance it. PBS would go belly up as well. As for it's better programming, I'd survive.
What's amazing to me is that Kopel is still on the air. I haven't had the stomach to watch him for at least five years. Who watches his borchst anyway?
From Catie Courick in the a.m. until Kopel and the late night hosts in the P.M. and early A.M., it's leftist central throughout. How much of that cr_p can you watch in 24 hours? At some point it must get repetitive even for a card carrying socialist.
That's the classic definition of an optimist. I believe that Franken and his minions are pessimists (the "half-empty glass" mob).
"I firmly believe he will make all other liberals look terrific by comparison."
Uh, isn't that the LAST thing we want?
My kids are all grown now but one thing that really bugged me (and them) during middle and high school was that everything had to be a group project. Which usually ended up meaning my kids did most of the work and the slackers in the group got the same grade (or sometimes better, go figure.) I wish, now that I'm more in the know with all the cr*pola, I'd raised more of a stink with the teachers.
Mostly it's just boring. Often embarrassing, like when they step on each other's lines. The offensive parts aren't necessarily political - for example, they do a regular bit where she reads the headlines and Franken exclaims "Oy!" after each one, a pointless exercise in schtick.
Weirdly, I'm guessing it offends its own partisans by its lack of fire and brimstone. I expected to be angered, but Franken doesn't make his points strongly or well. One of the weirdest things they do is talk on the phone to an old friend of Franken's who's a Limbaugh listener. They try to grill him about things Limbaugh said that day, but he usually ends up explaining the points back at them calmly and politely and (I would think that, wouldn't I?) scores more points. It's all bizarrely cordial.
I'm surprised you don't see lefties complaining more. Perhaps they aren't listening.
Did he really mean "persuasive to moderates" or "the moderately insane"?
If I had the software to do GIFs, this would be great with
Al Franken(stein)'s face in it.
Michael Moore would be another good one ! hehe!
SO what? Ideological propaganda is still propaganda, in bucketfuls. Gobs and gobs of it; in over 150 newspapers in the country and ubiquitously over the airwaves.
Ramesh Ponnuru points out in Why They Hate Him [Bush] that "The pretense to objectivity of an NPR may seem laughably or infuriatingly false to us conservatives. But that pretense imposes real constraints on the media. The liberalism has to be kept implicit. Dan Rather may be more effective than, say, Michael Moore in getting Americans without deep political convictions to absorb liberalism. But for the very reason he is more effective, he is less emotionally satisfying to liberals [emphasis added]."
Wow. That guy with all the rings stuck in his head, must love it when lightning hits close by...like ON HIS HEAD! Yeeeeooow!
Dave Kopel is a leftist??? I think he's fought a Supreme Court case in favor of the Second Amendment. I'm a little fuzzy here, I may be thinking of Stephen Halbrook. I do know that Dave Kopel works at the Independence Insititute in Colorado, and regularly writes pro-2A articles. If he's a leftist, he's my kind of leftist. Unless, of course, he's a different Dave Kopel.
I think he's mistaking Dave Kopel with Ted Koppel.
They have to have the whole station, lest the people hear an alternative viewpoint.Easy there, we don't want the libs saying we're advocating torture over here. >:0
The next logical step would be to strap people into chairs to force them to listen.
I vote we put the Al Franken show on NPR...and perhaps it might kill off NPR too.
Minneapolis - WMNN 1330 is an AM all-news station, part of Mn. public radio.
And now the bad news (if you're an "Air America" fan)
MINNESOTA PUBLIC RADIO AGREES TO SELL WMNN 1330 AM TO CATHOLIC NETWORK; GREENSPRING SELLS THE MNN RADIO NETWORKS TO SAGA COMMUNICATIONS
(St. Paul, Minn.) Minnesota Public Radio announced today that it has agreed to sell WMNN 1330 AM, an all-news radio station in Minneapolis, to Advance Acquisition, Inc. a subsidiary holding company of Starboard Media Foundation, Inc., a Wisconsin company that distributes Catholic radio programming under the brand name Relevant Radio.
The purchase price is $6.75 million. The sale must be approved by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), a process expected to take about 100 days, before it is final.
Separately, Minnesota Public Radio's for-profit affiliate, Greenspring Company, announced that it had sold The MNN Radio Networks (MNN) which currently operates WMNN 1330 AM to Saga Communications, Inc., a broadcast company based in Michigan. The purchase price is $3.25 million.
Bill Kling, president of both Minnesota Public Radio and Greenspring, noted that these properties had provided a revenue stream for more than 25 years to support MPR. "These sales will allow us to convert this revenue stream into a permanent asset, helping to assure MPR's financial health far into the future," he added.
"This will help Minnesota Public Radio achieve its goal of setting the next standard in public service," Kling added. "It will enable us to focus our attention on the nonprofit mission of Minnesota Public Radio and to assure continued operating revenue for MPR. We will secure our financial standing as we adapt to technological change; strengthen our arts and culture coverage; introduce a new model of journalism that taps the expertise of our audience; and expand our programming and disseminate it in new ways, for example over the Internet."
Details of the two sales follow.
WMNN 1330 AM
Minnesota Public Radio has owned the 1330 AM frequency since 1979. It was originally part of MPR's public radio service, broadcasting news and information programming. In 1995 after establishing KNOW 91.1 FM as a news and information station and KSJN 95.5 as a classical music station Minnesota Public Radio leased 1330 AM to The MNN Radio Networks (MNN).
MNN a for-profit company that operates a regional network providing news, farm, sports, weather, and lifestyle programming to commercial radio stations has operated the station since then as an "all-news all the time" station with the call sign WMNN.
Minnesota Public Radio's Board of Trustees decided to sell 1330 AM in an effort to maximize the company's resources to support its priorities for the future. The sale was agreed after Starboard Media Foundation, Inc. (through Advance Acquisition, Inc.) contacted Minnesota Public Radio. MPR completed a due-diligence examination of the buyer and determined that it was qualified to own the station.
I understand Air America will be going off the air here at the end of the month.
I've listened to several episodes of Franken's show, and, lo, it is bad!
With Katherine Lanpher I'm not suprised. She's a real piece of work.
This is the fundamental description of the modern liberal. We've all seen the trolls on here display the same basic theme - a barely literate screech filled with total moral self-satisfaction. It's sad to see people think that they are such smart people and be so laughingly ignorant of any basic facts.
Why They Hate Him [Bush]
Very good read, thanks.
There is never anything genuinely "remarkable" about any given liberal's ignorance. :)