Image by Thorsten Hartmann CCA-SA 3.0

I’ve been drifting over the radio waves since the dark days in December 2011.  Every so often there’s a program bobbing in the waters that I cling to, but after some time my grip loosens and I let it go.  Too much of the same, not enough local, too many annoying commercials, and awful hosts who should have never been introduced to a live microphone, but who now talk to themselves for hours on-air.

For three years now, I’ve been sinking lower and lower into the depths of the waves and it seems I’m now stranded on another shore.  It’s a very different land over there, on the other shore, with different mindsets and the sort of radio waves I would have never considered dipping a toe into before.

Yes, folks, I’ve fallen overboard and am dog-paddling through the rough waters of AM,  immersed in right-wing radio waves.

Should I be ashamed to admit this?  I even listen to Limbaugh for an hour every day before Ed Baxter begins his program on Talk910-AM.  And, after Ed’s program, I listen to Sean Hannity for two.

Limbaugh and Hannity are hawkers, peddling their shared agendas, syncing on the same words and phrases.  It’s humorous in a sad way.  But the saddest part is that where I’ve landed is the only station that has a talk format and all of the hosts take calls.  Even with a conservative agenda they allow all types of calls, and there are many callers who counter their talking points.  Guess what, it’s interesting!  Gee, what a concept.  Radio with varied viewpoints.

There’s always something to learn if you know how to listen.

I won’t apologize.  I had to do something.  SF Bay radio should be sending their apologies to listeners.  When Talk910 added that sorry excuse for a show at 1:00pm, it was time to head out to open waters and navigate the ionosphere.  What I found was a radio talk-show host who makes it sound easy to be on the air.  Something we are sorely lacking here in the Bay Area.

I found WOR710-AM in New York.  I found Mark Simone.  It’s an iHeart station so you won’t be giving the Cumulus Dick-eys any hits.  We want that dark cloud to dry up and disappear.

Simone should teach radio talk-show hosts how it’s done.  It’s effortless with him.  He doesn’t drag his wife on-air to destroy his show with awkward, moronic comments, he doesn’t need to set-up long, unrewarding jokes trying to be funny, and he certainly doesn’t need a partner on the show so he can giggle and primp with him.

If you are open to opinions that do not agree with yours (and, it’s always good to hear what’s out there) then Mark Simone is the host to hear.  Be warned, he does criticize anyone or anything liberal.  And, his criticism is unchecked and he’s blunt about his opinions.  He doesn’t step gingerly around mud puddles, he stomps through them.

If a caller says Hillary, he usually mentions how old and haggard she appears, and that grandmothers her age should be home taking it easy.  Or, every time he mentions Al Sharpton’s name, he plays the sound effect of a cash register: cha ching!  He talks about how Sharpton’s Viagra prescription was found during a criminal investigation into civil rights lawyer Sanford Rubenstein (all charges were dropped) and that UK’s Daily Mail reported Sharpton shakes down businesses for money.

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/sharpton-admits-viagra-prescription-found-article-1.2073345

http://www.breitbart.com/big-journalism/2015/01/06/report-al-sharpton-shakes-down-corporations-to-make-racism-claims-disappear/

Simone even brings up the fact that Richard Blum, Dianne Feinstein’s husband, is chairman on the board of the financial company that has been assigned the contract to sell 56 postal properties.  The contract is worth billions and the firm associated with Blum will bring in fees worth millions.  Simone questions why did Blum’s firm get the job?  You can read the finding at snopes.com and factcheck.org and make your own conclusions.  It did make me raise an eyebrow and it was the first I’d heard of it.  Here are the links:

http://www.snopes.com/politics/business/blum.asp

http://www.factcheck.org/2013/06/sen-feinsteins-husband-the-postal-service/

Talk amongst yourselves or call the show.

Although these various hosts have talking points with an obvious agenda, it’s Mark Simone, even with his faults, who stands out with an easy style and the confidence to allow callers to express their own views.  On a recent show Joy Behar was a call-in guest, and she really let Simone have it.  He let her talk.  We heard what she had to say.

If you want to hear it, here’s the link to the podcast:

In this segment, he also brings up the Blum issue to Behar and you can hear what Behar has to say.  Her interview on the podcast starts around 20:25:

http://www.wor710.com/media/podcast-mark-simone-show-marksimone/mark-simone-012015-hour-2-25748224/

It’s what I appreciate about Simone’s show.  Listeners hear what others have to say.  They are not confined to one viewpoint or the same Politico correspondents’ viewpoints day after day.  It really is a radio show in the true sense of the word.

Here are the links, if you can’t stream the show live then you can listen to the podcasts.

Simone has a show page on iHeart and WOR710-AM has a Facebook page.  Mark Simone posts daily video on his page.

https://www.facebook.com/WOR710

http://www.wor710.com/onair/mark-simone-52176/

http://www.wor710.com/media/podcast-mark-simone-marksimone/

Now, I’m not saying Limbaugh’s show has the same qualities.  I’ve never listened to him before in my life.  I am mildly amused at his egotistical blather.  The way he always talks about himself, how he scours the media to find any mention of his name, it’s not hard to imagine him sitting there in Florida, with his hands in his pants Al Bundy style, wiggling his little finger around in there.  It’s truly astonishing.  It’s a bit of comic relief, the only redeeming quality of his show.

Hannity has similar qualities, he also seeks some strange sort of validation of his ego, but he takes calls and listening to his show is better than having to sit through that idiotic two-hour show on Talk910 from 1:00-3:00pm.

Thanks, Talk910, for that embarrassment on the air.  I’m not the only one who has fled that time-slot for a show an audience can actually listen to without agony.

Unfortunately, what the Bay Area has to offer now, with the exception of Ed Baxter, we listeners will continue to drift in another direction.  Why support a talk station that will not take calls?

Maybe they’ll figure it out while their audience drifts away…

Rod McKuen knows about drifting.  He even wrote a song about it.  I’d forgotten about it until I heard the news of his recent death.  I used to listen to ‘The Sea’ on vinyl, scratches and skips and all, and hearing it again brings back memories:

While Drifting – Rod McKuen/Anita Kerr and the San Sebastian Strings

My Friend the Sea – Rod McKuen

 

Don’t forget to visit the Facebook page of No More KGO:

https://www.facebook.com/NoMoreKGO

Or, Ed Baxter’s site: The TalkPod

http://thetalkpod.com/

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