‘From the Belly of the Beast’

As many of you may not be aware, here in Washington, D.C. there was a big rally on Saturday. Bunch of damned liberals talking about jobs and shit. I didn’t go. I cleaned out my car instead. Watched it on C-SPAN.

There are several reasons I didn’t go, among them that I’m just not a city guy. I work downtown, and therefore I prefer my recreational efforts to take place closer to home across the river. Besides, a march is only as effective as the media coverage it receives. I think the media pretty much ignored this one, as I thought they would. No, this rally at the end of the month is the one to be at…I won’t be there, either, but I will be playing host to a lot of friends and family who are coming to town just for the Stewart/Colbert thing.

Speaking of media, it would be uncharacteristic of me not to say “I told you so” regarding something. And, here it is.

As you might recall, several years ago an effort was launched to create a national radio network that would espouse liberal ideas. Indeed, at the outset, you might recall that this blogger was a fervent fan of the network.

Of course, all Air America Radio fans are familiar with the slow-motion, bouncy tumble from jubilation to disappointment to disappointments. The network’s glory days were really something else, excellent content, a lovely buzz behind it, star power and emerging new talent. God, it was fun. But as AAR stumbled across bad decision to worse decision, many AAR fans also became little radio experts, thumbing our noses at the call to fire Mark and Marc, hissing when they RIF’d Kent Jones, and so on, and so on. And, it was true, mismanagement more than any other aspect is what finally saw the end to this marvelous network.

One of the biggest points on my “Fix Air America” list was thus: How can you be a national media entity whose entire content is made up of discussing public policy without a serious presence in Washington, D.C.?

It was weird. They just ignored us. It’s like the folks who ran the place were convinced that Congress meets in Manhattan. I’ll never forget the first time I understood this; there was this huge anti-war rally here, and did they bother sending a soul? Hell no. They just pushed the button on the “Ring of Fire” broadcast and went on. How the hell these people intended to be taken seriously as a media outlet for discussion of public policy without a presence in D.C. I’ll never know.

And, guess wot? These talkers are starting to figure out that shit all for themselves.

Bill Press has broadcast from here for a long time. Ed Schultz was here briefly until he got his TV show. Randi Rhodes moved her show here in May 2009. And, tomorrow, Thom Hartmann begins broadcasting from here with assistance from the Talk Radio News Service.

“This is a great opportunity for us, broadcasting from the belly of the beast,” said Hartmann. “For a political talk show it doesn’t get any better…”


Several years ago, this silly blogger suggested that a presence in Washington, D.C. would be a crucial aspect for a national radio network trying to frame policy debates. Said network should, perhaps, have talk radio programs based here, might establish a news bureau here, might even strike a deal with a locally-based satellite radio network for studio space and resources, for instance, argued silly little blogger. Now, it seems, these liberal talkers can’t wait to crack open a studio here.

One can hope this might mean that Press, Rhodes, and Hartmann might try to pool resources somehow, perhaps even use their combined presence here to get on the air here. That’s right. These three might broadcast from here, but if you’re a Washingtonian looking for moonbat radio, it’s off to the Internet for you. Sad, sad, sad.

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