Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Republican Radio

Here in the Seattle area we have had a conservative radio station for a long time. KVI
can be found at AM 570 on dial (if you are in the area). Only recently did we finally get progressive radio with Air America to also join the local options. It can be found on AM 1090. Initially this just seems weird, since Seattle is a fairly liberal place and most of the big elections of the past fifteen years have gone to Democrats around here (Clinton, Gore, Kerry, Locke, Gregoire, Cantwell, Murray, etc.). But you have to have money to have a radio station, I guess. And even KVI doesn't have all local talent - they still tap in to listen to Tony Snow and (groan) Sean Hannity.

But they do have local people on there, too - which 1090 doesn't. So between wanting to get both sides of the issues and wanting to here about local politics, I actually tend to listen to 570 more than 1090. But lately it's getting harder and harder because it's so poorly done there (fortunately I only listen to the radio when I'm in the car and I do split my time between politics, sports, and classic rock and roll). Here is some recent examples of why it's getting hard to listen to KVI anymore:

* Kirby Wilbur does mornings. Recently I've heard him use a comment from a posting at DailyKos and make an entire segment out of it as being "the Democrat's new plan to attack us". One comment from a blog is supposedly the national party's platform?
* Wilbur also then had a tag line on the commercials for his own show where he said of liberals, "No one wants to hear anything you have to say."
* John Carlson does the commute home in the early evening. Aside from the near daily reminders about how he ran (and lost) for governor once (like five years ago), he tends to focus mainly on letting those with opposing views to his call in - and then hanging up on them before they can explain their side (he has done this EVERY time I've listened to him coming home from work).
* Bryan Suits is on later at night. Recently he blamed the Catholic church for what the Nazis did to the Jews AND claimed they had no position to come out against the war in Iraq.
Another time he blamed Clinton for 9-11 because he didn't have the guts to illegally spy on Americans like W.
* And no one on the entire show has ever had anyone from the media come on their show unless they work for Fox News! (which is pretty iffy to label as "media" and not "Republican propaganda machine" anyways)

I understand that you want to keep ratings and to do that you have to appease your target audience, but shouldn't TALK radio be open minded enough to at least be something the other side could at least come on to discuss issues? KVI is mean and hostile and so terrifically narrow minded that I would never call or write them even on issues I agree with them about simply because they are so distasteful.

Should political radio be an open forum or should it just be a thinly veiled mouthpiece for extremists in a party to hear themself rattle on and have their supporters call in to pat them on the back?