Jim Walsh's Big Hairy Weblog Thingy

Friday, November 11, 2005

One Reason You'll Never See Me On Hannity/Colmes Is I Say Crap Like This

A fellow you’ve probably never heard of named Mike Rogers has written a fine column on the Mass Media and how they have prostituted themselves in recent years. One particular passage stands out for me:

Most TV announcers have sold their souls to the devil in exchange for fame. I know, I have met many who readily admit so. We should not expect anything from them except lies and a full plate of vanity...Of course they’ll lie about anything. They have no conscience. After all, all they want to be is on TV and to do so, they think they have to give the public what it wants. It doesn’t matter if it’s the truth or not.

I know where he’s coming from; I’ve seen the same sort of self-prostitution in my own branch of the Mass Media, that moribund muck of mediocrity that is American talk radio.

At the risk of sounding high and mighty (and since when did that ever stop me), I will tell you that I decided some time ago that as a talk host I would only play the game to a certain point. I understand and respect the business imperatives of broadcasting (we’re all here to turn a profit for the boss), and I never plan to become one of those sophomoric assholes who scorn commercial radio as “selling out.” That’s self-indulgent liberal crap.


I never want to become one of those tiresome Rush clones, playing upon the fears and prejudices of elderly right-wing extremists sitting at home in their underwear, unimaginatively parroting the neocon party line, pandering to some drone of a program director and his pimp of a general manager whose idea of programming a radio station is to fit in, not make waves, and kill time between the commercials as painlessly as possible.

Unfortunately, that seems to be what sells in the major markets these days.

This means that in the long run I probably won’t make it to the “big time” in my chosen field. I can live with that. I’m not bitching.

What I’m looking for is a gig where I can have some fun and do the kind of radio that works for me and pull down a livable salary while furthering my education and enriching myself on my own time. I think that's realistic.

Ultimately, I want to follow the example of one of my radio heroes, the late David Brudnoy: have fun teaching history by day, have fun yakking on the radio by night.

Does this make me better than those guys who have hit the "big time" by playing the game? Well, in some cases yes. Some of those guys, frankly, stink on ice.

So don't listen for me in syndication. Don't look for me to "write" some crap vanity book that nobody but a handful of the true believers will ever buy.

If, however, I wind up working on the air in your home town, check me out. You may be pleasantly surprised. And if you decide to buy time on my station, I promise to do my damndest to move your product.

It may not be the big time - but I'd rather be able to sleep at night.