Inspection- The Dean of Talk
My Liberal Arts/Communications/Mass Media degree, when it comes to experience, has more of a radio focus than anything but newspaper because I knew I’d never have the figure for TV, but certainly had the voice. In the 70s I was in sales, briefly. By the 80s I was on the commercial radio, and in programming. But I actually started doing radio in college: 73. My persona as a DJ at the time was being Howard Stern before Howard. I too would have ladies in the control room to talk sex, perversely mock certain students and push administration’s patience with beyond edgy sex jokes.
A brief thank you to Brian McKernan for pushing back when administration pushed for me to be pushed off the air. And for not being too offended at using “push” too many times in one sentence.
Fun? Yes, but something I’d do again? No, not even for Howard Stern money.
OK, some readers probably consider that crazy talk. “Oh, you say that NOW, but if offered…” I must agree that one never knows for sure until such opportunities ring fate’s doorbell; but I have rejected work for massive mounds of cash before for similar reasons. But as far as “crazy” goes I plead the fifth. Yes, the 5th I have in my hand right now. Let me take a sip. I plad da 5th… anu thor sip… I’d plud duh schlep…”
Yeah, that was an attempt at humor, what are you going to do about it?
In regard to programming, comedy and comedians, I must admit one of my newest radio favs is Dean Obeidallah. He is doing what I have wanted to do for a long time, if I ever got back into radio. And that absolutely would be 180 spin from my former Stern-like persona.
Like the Stern model, I think Limbaugh-style talk radio may be wearing thin. Wearing so “thin” the sharks under popular programming’s always thinly iced over pond will once again be well fed. Once upon an AM signal who thought popular programming like The Shadow would disappear? Once shortly after FM overwhelmed AM who thought disco would deservedly die? Or that FM would become as mundane as AM?
Oh, how I would have loved to have gathered by the radio with the family without the tube to tell me images I must imagine. And, for us baby boomers, just think of how few top 40 radio stations there are now compared to then. I imagine some youngsters are asking themselves, “Top 40???”
When it come to talk, I believe the day after day, night after night, competition to spout the most hyperbolic, nastiest, cruelest lies about anyone who dares to disagree with the host; to not so slyly incite violence, may mercifully be coming to a close. The time when lazy programmers can get away with Rush being on 3 or more stations in one market may, like Citizen Kane, be about to drop the easy to shatter ball of “create more animosity” programming. All that will be missing is that final whisper…
Even though I have enjoyed my share of hosts like Mike Malloy, hopefully this mock-based, pot down, talk over, insult framing driven, dump the call then talk on as if the host won the argument, programming has run its course. It has more in common with feeding Christians to the wild beasts, Crusade-ing Muslims to death, than “talk.”
Dean Obeidellah is the antithesis of that type of talk: one that hopefully will soon be as frequent as cars with AM only radios. And what’s great about this mild mannered Muslim is he is also the antithesis of how Trump, and the foam at the mouth, rabid, Brownshirt-like portion of his base, desperately want to frame all Muslims.
Sometimes I wonder if the basic difference between them and the Nazis is what group they want to blame and rhetorically force to line up for the gas, for the ovens. And considering the Charlottesville chant, “Jew will not replace us,” sometimes that difference is not much of a difference at all, or just rhetorical.
Too far Dean? Sorry. Sometimes I can’t help but let my disgust blast through.
Unlike my rant above Dean is polite. Dean listens. Dean let’s you talk and rarely interrupts. And, yes, Dean is a Muslim.
Of course that makes him a target by none other than Mr. Offensive to the Max in-Chief. Recently the perpetually un-presidential president Don took several of Dean’s tweets and patched them together into comments he never made: making it look like he was egging on Muslim violence. Pretend pimp James O’Keefe must be so proud of his propagandistic progeny.
Dean is suing, by the way.
But what else are we to expect from the presidential birther who insisted he had many, many investigators and we would be amazed at what they’re finding out? We’re waiting… and waiting… and waiting…
Dean is classy, funny and the mild manner political reporter of talk radio. His show is on XM/Sirius 127 Progress: 6-9 Eastern. He underlines and puts in bold something that should be a big, “Duh!” Muslims are not all fire breathing terrorists… not even close. Dean is the perfect way to counter the kind of vicious framing Trump and the basest of his base are so fond of. You know, the “deplorables?”
Dean is also the perfect way to counter those who incite people to commit murder… at a welcoming black church, at a Unitarian church in Knoxville and, yes, even a Republican baseball game. This makes Dean an easy target for a revenge/hate focused president, for violence focused movements: no matter what side we assume they may be on.
Great job, Dean…
…but watch your back.
Inspection is a column that has been written by Ken Carman for over 40 years. Inspection is dedicated to looking at odd angles, under all the rocks, and into the unseen cracks and crevasses that constitute the issues and philosophical constructs of our day: places few think, or even dare, to venture.
Ken Carman and Cartenual Productions
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