Gloats Rush Limbaugh, as Air America files for bankruptcy. The implication is that his show is "a broadcasting concern," but you've got to wonder: How is his show less about affecting elections than "Air America"?
I like the idea that listeners can tell what the radio guy is up to. We're sensitive to the voice. We can tell when what the speaker wants is to tell you to get in line politically. (I feel the same way about blogging.)
I'm not a big listener of either Limbaugh or Al Franken, but, driving in my car, I've spent some time with both of them.
I think Limbaugh clearly and constantly is trying to get you to agree with his opinions, but he's got a joy in the moment that captures the listener. You know, I am the same age as Limbaugh -- we were actually born on the same day -- and I get the distinct sense that he was influenced by the two great, great radio guys that I listened to every day back in the 60s: Jean Shepherd and Cousin Brucie. These were not political broadcasters as all, just extremely entertaining radio voices.
Al Franken, being a comedian, ought to bring entertainment value to his radio show, but I never got the feeling that he was into the moment, that he had a sense of what it means to be a voice on the radio. He always sounds exasperated, like he's dragged himself to the studio and it's a tough job but somebody's got to do it. Why, oh, why, don't people get it yet? How many times do I have to tell you...