Talk Radio

Demand for Sleeping Pills to Plummet

The manufacturer’s of prescription and over the counter soporifics were shocked at today’s news:

Fred Thompson, whose career has ranged from showbiz to politics, including a presidential run this year, is signing on for a gig that promises to draw on his talents in both fields: talkradio.

You might remember that this is the same dynamic Fred Thompson that wowed folks on the presidential campaign trail earlier this year:

But as Mr. Thompson campaigned across Iowa this week, he was something other than the dynamic presence that some in his party have been yearning for. Iowans saw a candidate who is subdued and sonorous, a laconic presence who spoke in soft monotone, threw few elbows and displayed little drive to distinguish himself from his opponents.
Mr. Thompson told few jokes and, while an easygoing presence, he did not appear to have much interest in the small talk that is a staple of retail campaigning. As he defined his candidacy, Mr. Thompson spoke in broad generalities about the conservative principles that he said had informed his political views — in particular, federalism and cutting government spending — and led him to run for president.
In the process, he often lulled audiences into the kind of stillness that engulfed the room when he finished talking at the “Lunch with Fred Thompson” in Marshalltown

He might make an amusing YouTube video and work well in a scripted environment…but, luckily, we will not have to watch him nor will we have to listen to him…unless, of course, we are looking to take a nap.

Boycott Ending?

I’ve have successfully avoided any Clear Channel operated music venues for, well, since clear channel entered the concert promotion business and still enjoyed a lot of good music.
Now comes this possible good news:

Clear Channel Communications, the world’s largest radio broadcaster, will spin off its live-entertainment unit…

This, of course, wouldn’t have anything to do with:

Get ready to hear music to your ears: Concert ticket prices are about to come down.
Paul McCartney, Bruce Springsteen, the Rolling Stones and Coldplay are set to go on tour — but the real news for music fans is an expected drop of as much as 30 percent on some tickets, concert experts said.
Clear Channel Entertainment, the world’s largest concert promoter, is leading the way, cutting the prices for its lawn seats.
The show-biz giant is considering running a big ad campaign with the tag line “Music Sounds Better on Grass,” sources said.
No-frills seats at Clear Channel venues that used to go for as much as $40 will now cost $20. On top of that, Clear Channel is ditching the $4 facility fee it used to charge, all in an effort to lure back sticker-shocked music lovers.

Or, this:

Clear Channel thought its combination of assets would create a powerful, across-the-board platform for advertising sales on its billboards, at concert and sports venues and on its 1,200 radio stations.
Instead, the combination irked music fans, record labels and artists, who complained that Clear Channel used its might to punish artists who didn’t play by its rules and contributed to the sharp rise in ticket prices at venues it controls.

Final decision on the boycott to come after the spin-off happens and I’ve evaluated the new ownership structure.
Via Eschaton.


I had an unfortunate accident last night. On the way home from work, I was, as usual, scanning through the radio stations trying to avoid commercials and find scraps of good listening material.
Just a few minutes from home the station scan found O’reilly saying come back after the break to hear my interview with a scientist about intelligent design. It hooked me. Damn.
PZ Meyers accurately describes the person I was listening to:

I have never, in my entire 12 year career as a college instructor, ever had a student as stupid, as dense, as arrogant, as oblivious, as Bill O�Reilly. I have never had a conversation with a lay person about science that was as grossly wrong as this eructation of ignorance out of the mouth of Bill O�Reilly. And this man is a highly paid commentator on a nationally broadcast and popular program?
I am really impressed with Dr Michael Grant, though. He actually managed to sit through that and make civil and competent responses. I would have been shocked into silence, or would have simply left the room as soon as he said, �there are four seasons. That�s science.�

Read the rest.

Shining a Light on CBS and Fox

Well, it is always better that congress spends time and resources on hearings rather than making sound bites about and voting on legislation though both hearings and legislation are wastes of citizens resources.
Yet, I suppose, Hugh Hewitt’s proposal for congressional hearings concerning Fox News would be entertaining:

Hearings now, immediately, would signal broadcasters and news executives everywhere that partisan maneuverings under the guise of news gathering–especially those that occur late in an election season–would be subject to close Congressional scrutiny.
And, as he says, the First Amendment will forstall “Sanctions against rotten, agenda-driven journalism…”
Apparently, right and left wing talk radio including folks like Rush, Medved, and Savage are not news gatherers or I’d expect Hewitt to include them in his hearings as well. And, if these folks are not news gatherers shouldn’t they exhibit some truth in labeling? You know, non-ficton or pulp fiction, or, maybe, fantasy?
Whoops, Hewitt was talking about hearings on the CBS memo screw up.
If much less power were vested in the executive, legislative and, yes, the judicial branches of US government this issue would be a drop of rain in the ocean. It is long past time to start slicing back.
Update: I see that Walter was tackling this Hewitt hearing idea yesterday and the day before.
Update (9/17): Rick Peitz notes in the comments that Rush does “…does occassionally specify that his program is for entertainment purposes..”

Limbaugh: Surely You Didn’t Expect Honesty

Via Steven Taylor we learn that Rush’s weblog is consistent with the rest of his act.
Apparently his researchers and web builders steal material from others and use it without attribution. The most recent example and an earlier one is noted at Jessica’s Well. Taylor also is a victem.
Kevin Alyward has some action items to which I’d like to add: 1) write a letter to your local paper and 2) call/email other talk shows to discuss Rush’s dishonesty.
I suspect some of his listeners might finally realize that he’s not such a good roll model and quit listening.
Update: See Steven Taylor’s comment below. He point’s out that nothing was taken from his site so my classification of him as a victem is not correct.