Friday, April 16, 2004

Franken and Friends, Off or On the Air? Does it really matter?

Eric Zorn, Tribune columnist and an inspiration to bloggers everywhere, informs his gentle blog readers (, with regard to the continuing saga of Bungalow, Bill, aka, Al Franken, et al "Air America," "I'll keep the station on in the background Friday-- since I don't understand any of it, it's not distracting in the least-- and will update this blog the second I hear Air America's programming back on the air."

And, his faithful blog readers will be waiting breathlessly, no doubt. HA! Perhaps “Franken and Friends,” performance has improved, but I listened to Big Al and the NPR lady the first day they were on as they fawned all over Al Gore and I think somebody else got involved in that conversation and sort of apologized to Franken for supporting Nader. I think that was the high point. Based on that, I thought they should rename it- As the Stomach Turns, a perfect name for a daytime soap. I mean really now, listening to Al Gore, in 2004, whine some more about Florida in 2000? As the kids tell me when I lament something too much, Get over it!

If it's any comfort to my friends, readers and viewers on the left, I don't listen to Rush much either, even if I happen to be in the car, which is about the only reason I would turn on the radio during a weekday. Although much more polished and entertaining than Franken and what's her name, it is all pretty much tendentious, partisan, predictable, not very informative and boring rants.

Yes, Franken might have a friend on with a different viewpoint, even as Rush has some callers from the other side, but both shows are not about a clash of ideas (let alone a Clash of Civilizations) or a serious policy discussion, as Eric Zorn, I believe, would concede. Call me elitist if you will, but both shows are like junk food for kids. Better than Jerry Springer and fun to eat once in a while, but what adult would want a steady diet of that stuff.

Al and the NPR Lady are similar to Ski and Skinner, although Nancy may have been a notch above Al-- e.g., Nancy's reference, at a Northwestern University Democratic Senate Candidate Forum, to the "Wack" jobs that Bush keeps sending up as judicial appointments. Now that was a humorous line, even if it was a bit misguided on substance.

Fine, if the left wants to have silly rants to balance out the silly rants of the right, even if they have to subsidize it because the market is not there to support it, that's just great. A little less room for us fair and balanced guys, but I can live with that. But why Zorn would want to devote so much of his scarce time and space on his insightful blog to discuss whether Air America can figure out how to meet a payroll is quite puzzling, indeed. The commercial success of either program would and does serve to prove little more than De gustibus non disputandum est. Who knows-- they might even try to resurrect Air America on a Multicultural Radio Broadcasting station by speaking a dead language. Try that for total immersion.