BlatherWatch, the self-appointed Critic Of Everything Especially Talk Radio blog serving the Universe and Vashon Island, has been getting some very nasty comments on-air from talk hosts and by email from radio folks who question our very existence.
They say we don’t qualify to criticize their industry because we’re not part of it. They accuse us of being talk radio wannabes, or closet conservatives or posers from TV, a land where, they believe, everyone looks down on them. (That tiny paranoia, of course, is fact-based.)
They frequently accuse blatherWatch of having personal vendettas against whomever we’ve got under the microscope at the moment.
It recently struck us that radio has no regular critics--never has had, as far as we know--despite that it has an audience larger than newspapers, and local TV.
Hell: movies, TV, sports, theater, print journalism have critics who insert the speculum and gaze into their tender vitals every day. Restaurateurs, in a profitably marginal business have to worry about critics picking at their food and blaring the details to the world; their ruin perhaps hinging on a waiter’s bad day.
But radio? Nobody in the MSM looks at it unless a talk host or DJ molests a child, sleeps with the livestock or they slander the mayor and someone happens to hear about it.
Usually though, radio talkers can say anything they want and because liberals can’t stand listening to the acrimonious drivel, when the bullshit drops, most of the time it's like a tree falling in the forest.
(Our favorite example of a radio talker entering the real world and getting slapped like a blow fly on a pork butt was when the deranged queer-baiting slasher Michael Savage (KTTH m-f, 3-6p) got a Saturday TV talk show a few years ago on the tabloid MSNBC. It wasn’t much of a show and it didn’t take him long to get kicked off the air by calling a gay caller a “sodomite” and wishing him death by AIDS. He was only saying what he says every day on the radio to a much larger audience, but on radio, there were no critics, no watchdogs. Few who care about truth and decency listen to him--and we do not blame them.)
Conservative talk radio, especially on the local level, gets away with murder.
BlatherWatch is unabashedly liberal. We exist to expose the excesses and dishonesty we hear on talk radio that’s dominated by the right. They not only proselytize and politicize, they organize events and political action for the Republican party .
As liberal as we are, and as hard as we try to work for the progressive cause, we can’t help but call’em as we see ‘em. We’ve written harshly about liberals like KIRO’s Mike Webb, and Allen Prell; because, in our view, they’re in the wrong jobs and are harming the liberal cause.
Webb should be spinning platters on an oldies station like he used to back in the day; and Allen Prell should get back into marketing.
KIRO’s radio’s problems distress us because it was not only No.1 in Seattle news talk, it was for years the only place on the dial where liberals could be found. We never guessed we’d become so critical of our favorite station.
That KIRO has imploded from bad programming and the internecine machinations of big egos pisses us off. If Air America's KPTK doesn’t step up and make some good decisions on hosts and programming, we’ll be just as hard on them. Infinity Broadcasting, their parent corporation has a reputation for being cheapskates and bungling news-talk--their business is usually in music stations.
(Critics in America don’t need to meet any qualifications,(though it doesn’t hurt). If you have an anus, breath air, you too can be a critic. If you are an anus, you may already be one).
BlatherWatch invites everyone who listens to the radie-yo to pull the alarm when you hear lies, slander or questionable political tactics on-air, especially on the right-wing KVI and KTTH.
Chime in our lively comment threads; send us an off-line email...or write a critique. If it’s good and fair enough, we’ll blog it, even if it’s conservative.
For Ding and Dong and Mr. Happy and all another anonymous chickenshits from radio management who write and complain--the message today is: radio critics are here to stay.