From the diaries by susanhbu. Cross-posted on D-Kos

   I grew up with a raspberry-pink, AM-only, Radio Shack Flav-r-radio glued to my head. It was my constant companion on long bike or car rides, day trips to the beach and late nights in my room when I was supposed to be asleep.  As Everclear sang, I listened to the music on the AM radio.

As I got older, college radio stations introduced me to obscure artists and late night DJ’s with their own style stamp.  Even later, NPR was the first programmed button on any radio I had around, from car to alarm clock.

Then I heard Rush Limbaugh for the first time, and I nearly drove off the road. I’d had no idea that my harmless car radio could be the conduit for such dreck.
In the May 23rd on line edition of The Nation, Garrison Keillor reflects on his own life-long love affair with Radio.

His comments are amusing, insightful, and show a healthy perspective on the right-wing spew that so raises my own blood pressure:

     I enjoy, in small doses, the over-the-top right-wingers who have leaked into AM radio on all sides in the past twenty years. They are evil, lying, cynical bastards who are out to destroy the country I love and turn it into a banana republic, but hey, nobody’s perfect.

     And now that their man is re-elected and they have nice majorities in the House and Senate, they are hunters in search of diminishing prey. There just aren’t many of us liberals worth banging away at, but God bless them, they keep on coming. Just the other day, I heard one foaming and raging about the right to life and about liberals preying on the helpless–I realized he was talking about Terri Schiavo–and then he launched into the judiciary and how they had stood by and done nothing. He held their feet to the fire for a while and then he tore into George McGovern for about five minutes. George McGovern is a kindly, grandfatherly man who lives in Mitchell, South Dakota, and winters in Florida and every year attends his World War II bomber squadron reunion. He ran for President in 1972. His connection to the Florida case is tenuous at best. When you go ballistic over 1972, you are truly desperate to fill time.

Confessions of a Listener



Since I have so many relatives and friends who are total Dittoheads, I have long blamed the right -wing hate shows for part of the brainwashing of my country.  I thought a Michael Savage or others of his ilk could do immeasurable damage .  

But Keillor seems to have a different perspective:

 I don’t worry about the right-wingers on AM radio. They are talking to an audience that is stuck in rush-hour traffic, in whom road rage is mounting, and the talk shows divert their rage from the road to the liberal conspiracy against America. Instead of ramming your rear bumper, they get mad at Harry Reid. Yes, the wingers do harm, but the worst damage is done to their own followers, who are cheated of the sort of genuine experience that enables people to grow up.

These days I have a love-hate affair with my radio. Part of the time I have my car player set continually on “scan” as I search for something reasonable, part of the time I’m practically foaming at the mouth, debating with the idiots I hear on the call in shows, and part of the time I’ve given up and turned it off completely, preferring my cd collection to the corporate owned and programmed stations I find.

So:  whaddya you think?  Is the rise of winger talk radio the reason Bushco are in office?  Has NPR sold out completely?  Will Air America save the day?  

Or do you just long for the days when you could curl down in the backseat of the car, put on those earbuds, and disappear into your own private chosen music haven?  Does Keillor have a decent perspective on this whole issue, or is he missing the point as he surfs through the night time airwaves?

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