Friday, October 13, 2006

Insipid, Shrill and Bitter, Air America Now Bankrupt

It should come as no shock that Air America has filed for bankruptcy reorganization. The tone of programming was so uniformly awful, even repulsive, only the most dedicated liberals (yes, that's an oxymoron) could possibly listen.

Air America programming is everything that liberals think that conservative talk radio is, few of them having actually listened to conservative talk radio. Air America hosts are shrill and mean, dishing out ad hominems like M&Ms. Themes are utterly predictable and even more repetitive. The best conservatives manage to mix up some humor, much of it self-depreciating, and do cultural analysis along with politics. Air America is wall-to-wall screeds about the stupidity of President Chimpy W. Hitliar, Fascist Mastermind Dick Cheney, Evil Genius Karl Rove, and the end of constitutional freedoms.*

Most frustrating to us about Air America was the utter failure of Al Franken to manage a single funny moment. Franken once worked for the biggest comedy show on TV. Stuart Smalley, Franken's signature character, was amusing, back in the day. But if Franken was even grin-inducing once, it seems to have escaped the attention of all of America--Air, Ground, Water and Other Elements.

No, we didn't listen to Air America consistently. We lacked the fortitude. But many gentle readers would be surprised to know how many times we punched it up to give it a chance. And every time we found it had all the intellectual depth of a high school pep rally, but even less imagination and humor.

We believe that successful liberal talk radio is remotely possible. It will take something inventive enough to hook listeners of all persuasions, drawing not just conservatives from their own talkers but liberals from the rap and rock that presently numb their minds.

Maybe there's a funny liberal out there who can do it.

But we know this. Bill Maher, Whoopi Goldberg, Robin Williams and Al Franken need not apply. None have been funny for years.

Maybe Sacha Baron Cohen?

*We don't know how Air America hosts square the end of freedom with their ability to broadcast freely, even when losing mass amounts of money.


JB in CA said...

I was amused by the NPR segment on Air America's downfall. They said that the bankruptcy wasn't all that surprising because conservatives have always been stronger on the radio whereas liberals are stronger on the internet. (Translation: conservatives are old and dumb, like their technology, whereas liberals are young and smart, like theirs.) No evidence was given for this claim.

Anonymous said...

Jon Stewart is funny.