Friday, March 12, 2010



So. Health care reform. Or, more properly, health insurance reform.

It might pass. Ms. Pelosi is even threatening us with a Public Option (which Durbin says he'll whip if it's in - I think that's a good thing). With a Public Option, we might see changes in the health insurance industry. And it won't be let in later, either, if they don't do it now.

So, for now, what we have to look forward to is a new revitalized health insurance industry, with everyone on the rolls, paying whether they can afford to or not, into a system that may or may not be regulated. That may or may not be de-monopolized.



We don't know. Up or down vote maybe next week. At which time, I will cease to hold my breath (as I have been doing since the Clintons promised this back in 1993).

Air America is Dead (long live Air America)

I know, old news. However, I've decided to talk about their radio show hosts, past & present, because I feel like it, and because I have nothing useful to say about the topic above. I am only going to comment about hosts I've heard more than once. Bill Press - sorry, buddy, I've only listened to you once or twice, and that's because you're on late, and when I'm driving late, I usually have the iPod cranked up.

In order of time slots:

Stephanie Miller
Pros: Cute, funny, pretty well-informed about the topics of the day (though she fell for the "John Roberts Retiring" hoo-ha). With her two co-hosts Chris Lavoie and Jim Ward (voice actor extraordinaire), and with, nowadays, constant special guests, including Carlos Alazraqui, and Hal Sparks, as well as regular input from several folks working at Media Matters. Generally balanced and intelligent, though perhaps a little too happy clappy (as she puts it)
Cons: No longer doing Stand-Up News (or at least, not when I'm listening). Not enough fart jokes. Too many jokes about hot dogs and hallways (you figure it out).

Thom Hartman
Pros: Currently the smartest one of the bunch. Prior to Rachel Maddow defecting to the TV Machine, Thom and Rachel were running neck-and-neck for the smartest people on radio (sorry Rush). Thom brings on people who are guaranteed to get argumentative on his show, and he lets them speak their peace. No matter how dumb they might actually be.
Cons: Occasionally a little too lecture-y and dry. I like facts as much as the next guy, more, maybe, but sometimes, Thom, one needs a little zip with the brain dump.

Ed Schultz
Pros: Now also on the TV machine is a fellow from the American heartland. Ed lets people talk to him, he listens, and sometimes they agree, and sometimes they don't. I don't think you can ask for much more than that.
Cons: Occasionally a little too shouty for my tastes. If I want shouting, I can always head over to Randi Rhodes (more on her later).

Norman Goldman
Pros: Smart legal person who has occasionally talked up the legal issues when it comes to actions by both the previous adminisatraion, and the current one.
Cons: Very shouty. Gets all up in folks' grilles about their viewpoints on things. If a right-wing fool comes on, he calls them a right-wing fool, and all other kinds of bad names. Being insulting is not necessarily a debating point. Don't like it when Rush calls someone a pinhead, nor do I like it when you do (even if they deserve it).

who replaced

Ron Reagan
Pros: Again, a very smart individual with excellent credentials and a long history of commentary. A pretty respectful host to folks who called in.
Cons: Any and all stories got played on this segment. Please, can we stick to simple political info, and not stories about the balloon boy or other tabloid fodder?

who replaced

Rachel Maddow
Pros: Funny, smarter than heck, is the ghey, Rhodes scholar, former AIDS-in-prison protester from back in the 80s (totally imagine her listening to a variety of Grrlpower punk bands - which may be sterotyping, but I don't care). Knows political science like the back of her hand. Oh, and Kent Jones, for his innate ability to find joy in the sublimely silly stuff people do. Oh, and cocktail recipes!
Cons: no longer on the radio, and I don't get MSNBC. Occasional clips via the interwebs ain't enough.

Randi Rhodes
Pros: former Air Force lady, so she knows her stuff about the military. "BS News" is a great segment. Pretty darn smart.
Cons: too quick to shout callers down when they come up with a slightly different slant than she does on the topic she's discussing. Way too quick. And lots of yelling. Plus, "Bounce Yer Boobies" every stinkin' Friday? Just not that funny anymore.

Those are the ones I mostly listen to. When they're being annoying, I flip over to NPR. Oh, and AM radio has what, 10 minutes of programming per fifteen minutes of ads?


NYLefty has pointed out to me that several of these personalities were never actually part of the whole Air America thing, specifically Stephanie Miller, Ed Schultz, Norman Goldman, and Bill Press. If it offends them that I've included them in the AA roster, I apologize.

I should also point out, that, unless I've specified otherwise, all of these people are still on the radio, at least in my market. (AM radio voice) "Seattle's AM 1090!"

Stephanie 6-9 am
Thom 9-noon
Ed noon-3
Norman 3-6
Randi 6-9

After that, I leave it to others to fill in the blanks, as I neither know nor care.


NYLefty said...

Stephanie Miller, Ed Schultz, and Norman Goldman were never on Air America. They may have been on stations that carried some programming from Air America, but they never had anything to do with that network.

NYLefty said...

I forgot to mention that Bill Press was also never on Air America.

stEn said...

Forgive my ignorance of the matter, they were all playing on the same station that kept repeating Air America, even when these folks were on. And they're still on the air on the same station. Perhaps I should have made that clearer. Maybe I will. I will.

NYLefty said...

Of course they're still on the radio. None of them were on Air America when it folded. Bill Press, Thom Hartmann, Stephanie Miller, and Ed Schutz were (and are) syndicated by Dial Global. Randi Rhodes was (and is) syndicated by Premiere Radio. Norman Goldman was (and is) syndicated by Compass Media. I doubt that they were "offended" by being identified with Air America. That wasn't the point. The point was that you were wrong is so identifing them. And you "don't care" when you screw up so badly?

stEn said...

Mr Lefty, if you'll forgive me, you seem to be laboring under the misapprehension that I think these people read my work in any universe.

What I "don't care" about is who is in the other time slots on my radio station. Take a breath, will ya?

I'm talking about my opinion of various radio personalities. When it comes things like how many people were killed via handguns last year, or how many Americans die due to preventable illnesses and lack of insurance, you can be damn sure I'll work to get my facts straight. When it comes to (in their own words) minor celebrities and who carries them, I'm sorry, I might let a few facts miss their mark.

stEn said...

By the way, thanks for reading me at all. I do appreciate it.