Eds Note: Nothing like a good old fashioned rant to warm up a cold winter’s day. So here is an open letter from one radio professional to the rest.
By Dino Corvino
This is an open letter to 550 AM here in Wausau. Please, for the love of God, reconsider your programming. Everything about it, each and every moment is wrong. It is driving this country in a direction that makes no sense. Anything that resembles journalism has seemingly left the building, and were left with nationally syndicated hosts that use the bully pulpit to demonize those that are critical, to elevate themselves to heights of deity, and to influence our country in ways that sickens me.
Even Pat and Tom in the morning are horribly guilty of pandering, and failing to even engage any sort of idea in anything other than party line bullet point discussions. Making broad and sweeping generalizations about local figures, while refusing to even entertain any sort of discussion. The call in segment is limited to roughly 15 regular voices that seem to be hand picked by the right, feeding into the more conservative host, made to challenge and berate the pseudo liberal leanings of the other host.
Pat and Tom, if your reading this, and I do not think you are, I want you to know that I have met both of you. I liked you both as people. And I know what radio is like, generating content in a seeming vacuum is tough. I get it. But I know for a fact that you’re both smarter than your show, and you can do a lot better. I respect you as broadcast professionals, and I know that one of you came from far away with eyes on the Conservative talk show prize, so this cannot be making you happy.
Please guys, amazing! I know its right there. Stop coddling Sarah Kamke (her mom was my 4th grade teacher) or the putz running for Republican office who clearly has nothing to say. Or the moron the Democrats put up there…jeez you carry those interviews to such an extent it is mind boggling. Why not just say that and stop giving them meatball time.
One more thing, radio hosts are not baristas at Jeannie’s coffee. You are not there to meet everyone in the middle. I have heard people call in with divisive, malicious, incendiary crap, and you just allow it to go out on the air. Please say something and take a stand. I do not care that we see the world differently, but man alive, just take a stand. Be smarter than all of us, be Edward Murrow or Walter Cronkite or George Seldes. Tell me something. Oh, and one more thing, lets stop the hypocrisy about email. You both know that you do not respond to emails sent to you in either through the website or a professional capacity. Just stop talking about emailing people back.
When you look at the rest of them, Rush, Hannity, Savage, I just come away sorry. This is the level of public discourse in my America. Rush sits there, in his addiction recovery chair, his million dollar earphones, his Golden EIB microphone telling us that the Democrats this or the liberal media that — yet we live in a world where this man spent a decade attempting to destroy the life of a President. Yet he calls for us to support our Commander in Chief with blind allegiance. He spent a decade doing just the opposite.
I am really not even going to get into Hannity. His weak Karl Rove apologist crap sort of seems to speak for itself. The pseudo libertarian shtick fools no one. Hannity is a lap dog for Rove. According to Hannity to question authority, to raise the level of debate in America, to be critical of our administration is to be in league with terrorists. Hannity just sits and rails about the media, when in fact he is now it now. You’re the media Hannity. Get it?
And Mike Savage…Savage. Mike Savage. I think your degree is in nutrition, right? Or botany? Today I heard you call Google Earth a tool for terrorists, and it should be shut down. Did you call for the censorship of Google? Under the guise of the government. What is next Mike? Book burnings? Thought police? You’re a Masters degree guy, you needed a library at one point. Are librarians of a political agenda, and need to be vetted by Homeland Security? Where does your thinking stop? You called the District Attorney in Durham, North Carolina a scumbag. So I guess that is thumbing your nose at power, taking on Google, and telling a lawyer he is a bad person. How did your producer let you get away with a clear-cut case of slander in the District Attorney case? You called that person a name that had nothing to do with the elected position they held. You’re mean spirited, short sighted, and a lot of time you’re incorrect. Even about San Francisco restaurants. I also think it is important to remind you that you are, like the rest, a part of the media. You are the media, so your blanket indictments are ultimately self-defeating.
So, 550 AM program director, station manager, advertising guy, and ultimately the big Kahuna, take a look at the programs you air. What good are you doing for this city by putting these negative name callers on the air? I long for a positive conservative to talk about the good things in this world, instead of 10 hours a day of conservative name-calling. Heck, the other side, the liberal side is no better. But you have a chance.
You have a chance to really become a positive voice in the community. A place that people want to listen to, because they hear ideas exchanged. A place where people talk civilly and exchange ideas, and affect change. But until that happens, your station is just one in a million drowning America in mediocre ideas. If this is a political thing, if the Republicans and Democrats are to blame, then do not accept the mediocrity that they give you. I have grown sick of it. I call on you 550 AM, to make my city a better place. To bring people together, to unite us. Dump these bums.
Pat and Tom, get in the game.