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Air American History

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Posted on Jun 14, 2007
Clinton and Rhodes
airamerica.com

Air America, the progressive radio network, celebrates its relaunch with a look back on the good and the bad, plus a preview of what’s to come and a shout-out from Bill Clinton.

Watch it:

 

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By ardee, June 19, 2007 at 5:29 pm Link to this comment

Wangman,
You are a breath of fresh air dude, you research, and that rocks.

I read the Fair article, then saved it to my documents file as well. Some surprises, especially in the underrepresentation of women and the snail like increases there. That is such an easily correctable egregious error, shame on them.

For the most part I was not terribly surprised that NPR has warts, but Id love to see them compared to the rest. Thanks again, I will certainly use this article in helping to determine my next pledge to them, and will writethe Board referencing this article and asking for a progress report. I still think them the best available source of news and oped pieces on radio, at least for me.

By the by, re: The Brookings Institute
Funny, I heard, on NPR today (sorry) an interview with the founder of a far right think tank who noted that he was spurred to develop his because of “left wing think tanks like Brookings…...

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By wangman, June 19, 2007 at 9:15 am Link to this comment

ardee,

The problem with NPR is not just CPB, but from groups on the right in trying to pressure it, along with attempt to dry up its funding.  I thought all the McDonald founder’s inheritance would give it editorial independence, but apparently, it has not.

Here is a study by Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR, the group in which Laura Flanders was the founding director of its Women’s Desk)

http://www.fair.org/index.php?page=1180

It basicallys says NPR:
Has elite guest list, which are current and former govt officials, think tanks, not actual journalist, and the journalist that appear, a vast majority are from the corporate media.
No women representation
No representation outside the party duopoly, with CONS to RATS ratio of 3:2

The Counterpuch article below highlights this fact in its parody.  I will link it to you again:

http://www.counterpunch.org/cockburn06302005.html

I didn’t forget about AAR.  Right from the start, it had a bad start where it kicked a historically African American radio station in NYC out of the way so that it could force itself into the air.

Here is FAIR’s assessment on AAR:

http://www.fair.org/index.php?page=3051

As this suggests, Air America’s ideological course has often been unclear if not wishy-washy. Over all, while hosts have been good at belittling George Bush and other Republicans and conservatives, they have not been good at articulating a progressive agenda. This may stem in part from the way Air America hosts tend to cleave to a Democratic Party line that has itself often been hard to decipher in recent years.

...

If Air America was setting out to play a similar complementary role for Democrats by broadening the national political spectrum to the left, it hasn’t done a very good job, particularly on the issue that has loomed largest over the country during Air America’s entire existence—the Iraq War. While Air America has offered opposition to the war on occasion, besides a few of the network’s lower-profile shows (such as Flanders’ Radio Nation), it hasn’t been a reliable place to turn for anti-war experts or views.

And a sidebar on AAR

http://www.fair.org/index.php?page=3050

Where one AAR excutive said:

Had Air America been formed as a not-for-profit and relied on listener support and like-minded foundations, it would have been a more successful route. What’s important is to get the word out that the healthcare system is corrupt and the war is wrong. Meanwhile, Air America is mired in a business plan instead of being immersed in progressive activism.

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By ardee, June 19, 2007 at 5:51 am Link to this comment

For Wangman

Firstly I would thank you for the response and for the tenor of it, an easy read which focussed upon your position with clarity.

I must say that I am puzzled by your interpretation of the content of the NPR network programming and especially by your position that, as you listen to right wing media, you dont need to hear NPR. There is a marked difference between the positions of right and left juxtaposed and the constant and insulting ,sometimes semi literate, bias from both right and left. On NPR one gets honesty from the various sources and no hyperbole. It is far easier to get to the nitty gritty when you have intelligent appraisals right before you rather than sifting through distorted and biased views. My opinion based on my experience. You obviously arrive at conclusions based upon a separate set of such experiences.

Now it is quite possible that, given the attacks upon NPR by the CPB executives, all Bush appointees, you respond to a certain moderation of editorialising. I too have noticed this but understand the power of the purse strings, I also understand the Bush has another year and a half and so do his cronies. I still firmly believe that NPR offers a far, far better choice than do any of the other sources, including the left biased Pacifica chain, though I again hasten to note that I do enjoy some of their programming as well…Different strokes as they say.

I look forward to reading more of your posts and the stuff you glean from your choice of media and I will contribute what I learn from mine. We have a common goal after all, the restoration of our Democracy and an end to corporate tyranny.

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By wangman, June 18, 2007 at 9:45 pm Link to this comment

ardee,

I know people who listens to both NPR and AAR.  Some of the topics I bring up with them, they are either completely oblivious to it and therefore take on the mainstream media view.  Those stations shows anti Arab/Islam bias because they did not rise to bring up issues when it was only happening to those group of people, and much of those issues, when it eventually got traction, was raised as a “bad for our country” issue.  The NPR and AAR listening friends frequently talk themself into a dead end because of they are limited to the views their radio station safely discuss, so they often start steering toward MSM views when dwelled deeper into the topics.

I have nothing against Laura Flanders, she is one of the few I respect, since she is the niece of the author that I linked to and is a founding member of a FAIR division (who has a radio show on Pacifica).  But on her AAR show, she sometimes has to divert her callers during her call-in segment when they divert into “AAR” unapproved topics.  But in general, most of AAR’s guest are the run of the mill democrat attack dog reps, democrat think tank groups, or actual crooks from the party itself.

Don’t get me wrong, I was all for AAR when they started, but you notice something is missing (true dissenting view, not the blow in the wind liberal democratic view of AAR spiked with too much testosterone.  But the vicious attack of Ralph Nader on show one was a very very bad start and it went downhill from there.  I think I waited 6 months for the Chomsky interview, and when he came on, alot of lightweight questions were asked, none in the area that he has the strongest views on.

I don’t need NPR’s balance, because I get all the right wing’s view from mainstream media (and DNC’s view from all the so-called liberal media).

I am aware of much of the controversy surround Pacifica, that is why there is much tone down on the shows, with the most toned down like Democracy Now having the widest appeal.

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By ardee, June 18, 2007 at 6:30 pm Link to this comment

Wangman,
What do you hope to accomplish with posts such as this? I am seriously wondering and not slandering out of hand here. When you post this almost incoherent and utterly baseless stuff:

Some stations like AAR are skewed by their islamophobic advertising dollars, while others like NPR are skewed by their islamophobic big grant dollars.  Pacifica relies on small donations and no commerical or corporate sponsorship, so wherever it skews, it skews in the direction of its listeners.

You should read this article parodying PBS’s Newshour on how it gives voice to the right and middle, with the voice of the left drowned out:

Do you honestly believe folks give it credence? Islamophobic must have been your word of the day I guess….After wading through this childish ( or too stoned to do better) mess (sorry) I didnt have the slightest inclination to click on that link, which may or may not have been worthwhile, now Ill never know. Any contribution you might make here is lost amidst the puzzling stream of consciousness thingie….just suggesting here.

As I noted earlier, before you went off the deep end, I listen to Democracy Now, Amy Goodman’s fine program and I tune in late afternoons on the weekend to hear the great music they play, Blues, Jazz, Bluegrass, all very cool stuff.

Usually folks who criticize NPR do so because they arent AAR and vice versa. Have you actually researched where the Pacifica network gets its money? I wouldnt think so but , just as does NPR, they get a large share from listener support and Ive given to KPFA on occasion but they also get large grants as well. What role does the CPB play in the financing , do you know?

I have never, ever heard a single so-called islamophobic rant from KQED or from the few folks I listen to on AAR..Laura Flanders seldom but shes good and Thom Hartmann semi regular and he is better.

Please, WM, if you choose to contribute we already have our quota of dumb shits and could really use some more sincere and capable folks.

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By wangman, June 18, 2007 at 2:36 pm Link to this comment

Bukko,

Why would anyone want to listen to democRAT attack dog radio in SF when they already have KPFA Pacifica Radio?  Its been there way way before AAR.  Listening to those attack dog radio, you will soon get brainwashed only on the subject matters that they want to hear, which gets their agenda from the DNC.  Do you notice how some topics never gets brought up?

ardee,

Some stations like AAR are skewed by their islamophobic advertising dollars, while others like NPR are skewed by their islamophobic big grant dollars.  Pacifica relies on small donations and no commerical or corporate sponsorship, so wherever it skews, it skews in the direction of its listeners.

You should read this article parodying PBS’s Newshour on how it gives voice to the right and middle, with the voice of the left drowned out:

http://www.counterpunch.org/cockburn06302005.html

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By Bukko in Australia, June 18, 2007 at 11:59 am Link to this comment

Right on Dave! You do know that Malloy has been on the new Nova-M “network” (which I put in air quotes because it only plays on a half-dozen stations) for several months now, right? Even down here, he helps me end my nights screaming.

Odd how no one on TruthDig, a natural constituency for Air America types, has anything good to say about the network. Amazing how they’ve hacked off their potential audience, or not even reached it. Even when I was living in San Francisco, I’d run into all sorts of left-wingers who had never heard of it. And San Francisco is one of the few cities where you could hear it on the radio. When I went to visit my folks near Washington D.C. in September 2005 for one last anti-war march before emigrating, I could barely tune in their weak station there. I view this “re-launch” as one more spasmodic twitch of a dying entity.

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By ardee, June 18, 2007 at 5:52 am Link to this comment

#78868 by wangman on 6/17 at 11:39 pm
(2 comments total)

Why listen to right wing media like NPR with their pseudo balance and democratic attack dog like AAR?  You should listen to the real progressive media like Pacifica Radio.  They are non-partisan and brings up the hypocrisy of either of the duopolic parties.  The whole AAR gang are just hypocrites who will stay quiet once the Rats comes back into power.

Well, you certainly dont hold back now, do you? Even when you should. I listen to Amy Goodman’s fine slot on Pacifica Radio whenever I can but they are more than a bit to the left of center and are as partisan in their own way albeit at a higher level of education than AAR.

As I tried to note in my previous two posts on the subject I am looking for discussions of the issues that are NOT slanted one way or the other.

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By wangman, June 18, 2007 at 12:39 am Link to this comment

Why listen to right wing media like NPR with their pseudo balance and democratic attack dog like AAR?  You should listen to the real progressive media like Pacifica Radio.  They are non-partisan and brings up the hypocrisy of either of the duopolic parties.  The whole AAR gang are just hypocrites who will stay quiet once the Rats comes back into power.

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By Dave, June 17, 2007 at 8:00 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I gave up on AAR when they
A) Cancelled Morning Sedition and fired Marc Maron
B) Fired Mike Malloy
C) Screwed over Sam Seder for ...gag…Lionel!

You had a good thing going and had loyal fans like me in on the ground floor, but you blew it, guys.  All to go DLC with a bunch of DINOs.

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By ardee, June 16, 2007 at 7:06 am Link to this comment

If we oppose something why adopt the same tactics in opposition. NPR allows me to make up my own mind by presenting the various sides of complex issues with unscrupulous and unwavering fairness.
.....
Bukko, nothing is ever accomplished , nothing lasting, through anger and invective. Your rant regarding AAR and truth could easily substitute the phrase right wing radio in place of AAR and be as accurate, or as lacking in such.

You, as a leftist or progressive or angry young man, whatever, decide what is truth for you, those who listen and believe the crap spouted by Limbaugh et al do exactly the same thing. This results in an impossibility of meeting anywhere in agreement. In a democratic nation one must have at least 50.1% of the voting public in agreement in order to accomplish anything.

My reasons for preferring what you childishly dismiss so easily as too cool or too balanced ( what the hell is wrong with balance?) is that it embodies fairness, it presents facts in indisputable fashion and allows the listener a way to discuss without rancor the issues that must be decided.

You are convinced of the truthfullness of Rhodes and company because you are partisan. Those who believe O’Reilly are equally positive, so where does one meet to compromise? American politics has become rancorous and partisan to extreme, and no solution is possible under such conditions. Like it or not effective political action requires such meeting in the middle.

You may engage in political discourse for a variety of reasons, one of which may very well be the thrill of adrenaline rush or the unlimbering of testosterone induced ranting, I understand such and do so yet myself, even after decades of activism. But we must, if we at all wish to see results, arrive, sooner or later, at the understanding that cool, calm and collected exchanges are the only effective tool to move forward. Perhaps that is simply too boring for you, you are certainly not alone in that , pity.

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By Bukko in Australia, June 15, 2007 at 10:29 pm Link to this comment

So what’s wrong with bile?

The difference between the AAR programmers I like—the spittle-spewing ones—and the repulsive reptiles of reich-wing radio is that the leftists have FACTS with their rants. I LEARN things from them, and I’m a well-read person to begin with. Randi Rhodes, Sam Seder and others have congresspeople on, bloggers, agitators from left-wing study groups—people with things to say that don’t get into mainstream media.

The trouble with NPR is that it’s SO wimpy. I don’t want to hear “balance”—a global warming denier presented alongside someone telling the truth, just so there’s an illusion of “on the other hand.” Let’s skip straight to the TRUTH, why don’t we? NPR people are the types who, when their company fires them, dismantles their factory and sends the machinery to China, would say “Well, I understand your need to increase profits for the stockholders. I prefer the type of people who want to set fire to the factory late night after they get the layoff notice.

Good luck, you mellow “Mustn’t get too upset” types. Have you noticed that lately Hartmann has been talking more about fascism in the U.S. and National Security Directive 51, that allows Bush to take control of the country during a “national emergency,” which he has the power to define? Hartmann’s radicalising because he sees it coming. You too will realise, but by then the anger that you’ve been too cool to listen to will not do you any good.

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By ardee, June 15, 2007 at 5:19 pm Link to this comment

#78030 by Jim Edinger on 6/14 at 12:29 pm
(Unregistered commenter)

“still listens to Limbaugh..the real thing” Poor thing.

Err Jim, please renew your reading comprehension skills, they seem to have eroded rather awfully….I stated rather clearly that I STILL LISTEN to NPR, not Limbaugh. It does help to understand what one reads prior to commenting upon it, poor thing.

Tom Chicago, No Young Turks out here but Hartmann is unequivocably the best of the lot on our lineup. I, too, am repelled by the hyperbole and bile. If we oppose something why adopt the same tactics in opposition. NPR allows me to make up my own mind by presenting the various sides of complex issues with unscrupulous and unwavering fairness.

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By TomChicago, June 15, 2007 at 6:58 am Link to this comment

I’d second the kudos for Thom Hartmann and add some for The Young Turks.  Regular guys who have some spunk without the bile.

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By Jim Edinger, June 14, 2007 at 1:29 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I think AAR is on the right track and hope they become very successful.  We can always find something or someone to bitch about.  Why not get off our collective critical asses and support our progressives?  We have more in common than those little things that separate us.  “still listens to Limbaugh..the real thing” Poor thing.

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By ardee, June 14, 2007 at 11:05 am Link to this comment

After over twenty years of that bloviated gas bag, Rush Limbaugh, after being force fed Bill O’Reilly (hope he gets psychiatric treatments real soon) and Sean (do I have a brain?) Hannity I really truly looked forward to the airing of a network dedicated to a saner and more truthful perspective.

What I found was that hyperbole on the left is the same as it is on the right. I call AAR “Limbaugh Left” and continue to listen to the real deal, NPR. With that format you get all sides as fairly as possible and are given the adult treatment I feel I deserve. I can make up my own mind and dont need slanted sound bites and appeals to my adrenaline or my testosterone.

I would qualify this criticism with the statement that this network is in its infancy and may evolve. I still listen to Thom Hartmann more or less regularly as I think him the creme de la creme of the AAR lineup.

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By Bukko in Australia, June 14, 2007 at 2:56 am Link to this comment

I have listened to Air America since it came on, when we had to tune it via computer because they didn’t have a station in San Francisco. We still listen from our political exile on the other side of the planet, downloading podcasts of Randi, Thom and Sam Seder’s weekly show.

And you know what? I don’t care if AAR goes in the capper. Any network that would fire Mike Malloy, and replace a good broadcaster like Seder with a non-entity like Lionel, is not a liberal place. It’s faux, faux, faux, so let it go. I hope Randi Rhodes would go to Nova-M if AAR folded. That’s Malloy’s new home, and it’s an actual fire-breathing left-wing outfit. AAR 2.0 is a pale pretender.

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