(More Q&A trailer trash-talk from Billly Bob. He's a guy we talked into giving up his radio management career to write for BlatherWatch. He once lived in Laurelhurst, but he had to give that up for the Happy Camper Man-This-Is Really-Livin' Park & Putt-Putt Golf Course near Monroe, WA. Billly has the ability to make a match burn twice, and has extinguished himself as the only radio critic in America with 3 consecutive consonants in his name. He says the middle L is silent. He's another reason to give us money. Read more BB here).
by Billy Bob
I took last week off, went to the Emerald Queen for Veteran's Day, but now I'm back with more of your radio questions...
Dear Billy: I'm hearing that in recognition of the recent election and the victories by Republicans, NPR is going to start a few new shows which we'll be able to hear on KUOW. The new shows include: Morning Rendition; All Things Replundered, and Wait, Wait, Don't Fuck Me! What do you hear? Signed, NPR Fan in Dupont
Dear Fan: Me and my Tea-Baggin' buddies refer to it as N-Pee-R.
Dear Billy: I'm an old dude. I grew up driving a Mustang and going to the hop. And I like the music from high school as much as the next over-the-hill geezer. But I still can't believe Fisher dumped the once-mighty KVI for a 40-year old jukebox. I've tried listening, but unlike my high school radio memories, there are no Boss Jocks, no DJ's, no big personalities and no sizzle. It's just the music and it sounds dated and, well, boring. Signed, Old Codger in Carnation.
Dear Codger: Fire up a doobie. Makes the music sound better.
Dear Billy: Like everyone in the Northwest, I am really upset about the death of Mariner announcer Dave Niehaus. He was such an important part of our region for so long. But his loss made me realize something the next morning. I turned on KIRO because I wanted to hear what Dave Ross would have to say about Niehaus. But, unfortunately, Dave Ross was on vacation. Luke Burbank did a nice job remembering Niehaus. But I really needed to hear what Ross thought. It made me realize that's how I've felt forever. Whenever something big happens in the Northwest, or in the world, I want to turn on Dave Ross and hear what he has to say... what he thinks. I realized that morning that, just like Dave Niehaus, Dave Ross is part of the fabric of the Northwest. Ross is to news and life, what Niehaus was to sports and baseball. To the Mariner's credit, they stayed consistent with Niehaus. Good years and bad, he was always there. KIRO, unfortunately, seems to have, at least partly, taken Dave Ross away from us. When something big happens, when there's an election, when there's 9-11, I want to hear from Dave Ross. Not Dave and someone else. But I guess that's another part of Seattle that's gone. Signed, Mourning in Kirkland
Dear Mourning: I know how you feel. To me, nothing ain't real until I hear how Glenn Beck explains it to me.
Dear Billy: I try to be a fan of KPTK and progressive talk. But it's really frustrating when there are no local hosts to ever talk about politics in the Northwest. Now I've figured out that even their so-called 'local news' isn't live. I was listening this week and right in the middle of the Norman Goldman show you hear a tape of the Lee Callahan news being "cued up." They keep playing a segment, then rewinding, then fast forwarding, then rewinding. All while the talk show is going on. This sort of thing happens all the time. Commercials starting while the traffic report is playing. Two talk shows at once. Long gaps of nothing. Does anyone pay attention to that station? Signed, Ticked at KPTK in Seattle
Dear Ticked: More proof that libs can't run anything. I hope they don't get their hands on my Medicare.
Dear Billy: The people at Salem must be kicking themselves over dumping their conservative talk format on KOL a couple years ago, now that Fisher has flushed the KVI turd down the bowl. The KOL business format has never even shown up in the ratings, maybe now that right-wing talk lineup they had could be kicking butt. Signed, Talk Fan in Everett
Dear Fan: You can never have too many conservative stations.
Dear Billy: I'd like to be serious and address you and your readers for a moment, because I think this country is in serious trouble. And what you hear, or more precisely, what you don't hear on radio is proof. My father and uncle fought in World War Two. My family saved dozens of newspapers from that time and you look at the front pages and every one of them has multiple stories about the war. I served during Vietnam and I remember turning on the news and every single night there were multiple stories about the war. But, go ahead, turn on KIRO or KOMO or KTTH or KPTK today and try to find any news about our two current wars. Let me know when the local right wing talk hosts do stories about the wars. Or when the news leads with stories about the wars. You won't hear it. Know why? Because it doesn't get ratings, because YOU don't care. Our two current wars have lasted longer than WWII. Our military men and women continue to be wounded or killed. Civilians continue to die. But try to find the news about the wars on radio. Not there. Because YOU don't really care. Oh, you say YOU care. On veteran's day, you fly your made-in-China US flag. You might wear your made-in-Korea flag lapel pin. You have your support-our-troops magnetic ribbon on your SUV. But, be honest, YOU don't care. Not even about the troops. If someone who has been to Iraq or Afghanistan calls a talk show the best you'll hear from the host is "thank you for your service." (And by the way, now that Suits is off the air, not one of the pro-war talk hosts has ever served a day in the military.) Your local talk hosts and morning news anchors will tell you about the Seahawks and the Sounders. And American Idol and Dancing with the Stars and college kids passing out on 4Loco and all about that great hero, the Barefoot Bandit. But they won't be talking about our wars because they know YOU don't want to hear it. It's the real "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." YOU don't ask about the war, and the media won't tell. We got Saddam Hussein. We don't seem to care about Osama bin Laden. The economy is in shambles. But we continue to spend billions on wars and YOU don't even know why we're fighting anymore. And the radio doesn't tell us anything because they know YOU will tune out. Why do they know that? Because they know one thing. YOU DON'T GIVE A SHIT. Signed, Angry American in Seattle
Dear Angry: You were in the Military? Hey, thank you for your service!