Tue. Jul 23rd, 2024

On Friday September 25th I went to see Thom Hartmann broadcast his radio show live from Ithaca College in beautiful Ithaca NY. As always it was a masterful program. Thom is so calm and professional dealing with dropped signals, misbehaving audio, feedback screeching in his ear, in the midst of live broadcasts. Perhaps his composure is why he is also able to converse with and debate staunch conservatives like Mark Finkelstein host of “Right Angle”.

It being Friday, we were treated to “Brunch with Bernie”, a weekly conversation and question and answer segment with Sen. Bernie Sanders (I) from Vermont. Always a pleasure. Sen. Sanders pulls no punches and answers all questions with clarity and useful information that invites the caller to dig deeper and take action on the issues that engage them.

There was a good crowd of enrgetic, involved middle aged folk of all walks of life, happily soaking up the energy and focus of the show. Health care was of course a major topic but so was the financial industry, the war and farm issues were on more than one person’s list of concerns. One erudite woman took Thom and other news makers to task for not being aware earlier of the racial hatred that fuels some of the opposition to Obama’s policies, and to ask them to take care in the way they express opposition to Obama so as to not use phrases and catch words that could be used by the more radical on the right as inspiration for crimes. I wish I could express myself as well as she did.

Mark Finkelstein, when asked about whether health care was a right or a privilege, answered that, as it was not in the Constitution it was not a right. He also used the “success” of the free market system in providing affordable food, as a reason to use the market to provide health care and health insurance. So Ana guesses he means we should impoverish our doctors, produce our pharmaceuticals in third world countries where regulations are less stringent , and bring in illegal immigrants to run our hospitals? Oh wait – I think that’s already happening.

One concern I had was the lack of young people at the event. Yes there were groups of students who filed in at various times to fulfill class requirements, all with open computers doing what I am not sure. Hopefully they were not Tweeting, emailing, playing games or watching American Idol on Hulu. This is Ithaca College, the Park School of Broadcasting. We need energetic, concerned and informed young people to become prepared to take over the reins from Thom Hartmann, Amy Goodman and yes even Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert. We need smart, young strong voices now to keep young people interested in what’s happening to them and inspired to make a difference. I didn’t see the evidence of that at this event – hopefully that just means that I wasn’t paying enough attention.

By AFarmer

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Ken Carman
14 years ago

I enjoyed this very much. I did hear the first hour: all that Sirius Left plays… because after that they have probably the worst, most obnoxious, talk show host on the Left starting at 12 CST… 1 EST.

I did hear all the tech problems. I don’t know if those at the event knew; listeners could hear both of them, but they couldn’t hear each other. Sounds like their techie had some issues either with abilities or equipment he didn’t know.

I like Thom very much but we do part on his debates. I think he lets his guests slide by with too much. I’ve told him such. (He stopped our occasional digital back and forth when I very politely told him that. Oh, well.) Example: guest he had on about a year ago stated that Bill Clinton was censured for perjury and had committed perjury. Actually: not. The judge censured him for not being forth coming enough. The question he answered that they are calling perjury he answered correctly. “‘Is‘ there a relationship…” Hence “depends upon your meaning of ‘is'” comment. But one is expect to be “forth coming” when testifying. (But where do we draw the line at testifying against yourself when the question is phrased wrong: intentionally or not?)

He has gotten much better. I just think he’s not a naturally aggressive person, so therefore may always have some problems. He has really improved however.

My final degree was Communications/Mass Media. But there was no talk radio base back then. We have Rush to… thank????? …for that. You’re right, one hopes there are up and coming. A little clue as to how to do it, for those in more power than we, when I stopped by my to see my old professor Dr. English in the mid to late 80s, he told me that his classes were filled with very creepy “kids” who all grants to become broadcasters from fundamental churches and schools. I typed “creepy” because he said they seemed to have no interest in real broadcasting, except how it might promote their odd take on faith and politics. They sat in class stone-faced and rarely answered questions. He thought their interest was “creepily single minded.”

Ken Carman
14 years ago

@ Ana Grarian:

We really couldn’t hear the audience. More murmurs than anything else. There was some real bad feedback. If that got into the live feed area ears had to be hurting.

I agree. Rude hosts drive me nuts. However, once it’s the hosts turn to speak he or she had better take on any lies or misconceptions spewed: intentionally or not, by the guest or they will get set in concrete. I think the time I was horrified was when, as I mentioned, his guest went on about Clinton being a proven perjurer and all Thom said was, “That’s true.” After my E to him I did notice him challenge another guest at another time on that topic, to his credit, and the guest said, “Oh, but there other things he said…” Asked what, he couldn’t answer. So… he is learning.

Now, let’s consider a great American tragedy: Ken Carman gets a talk show. I don’t know how well I would do on the back and forth; you kind of have to be in the situation I’m sure. (It’s a stage-like performance thing, which I know a little about… wink, wink.) But the rule would be right up front: you speak, I listen. I speak: you listen. If one of us thinks the other is monopolizing time too much then certain signals, quiet at first, and short comments allowed. If ya breaka da rules ya offa my show and outta da door or offa da air: fast. I would be as fair as I could, but tough.

Scream and talk over fests are not talk shows. They’re just stupid piss contests. And despite the increasing number of females who do it too, boring testosterone-driven macho affairs. I have always said that women, given the chance, can be just as nasty as men. If talk shows prove anything… maybe, though I haven’t quite any Glenda Becks or Rushette Limbaughs, so maybe not. Well, see. Depends upon trends and how long this nuts way to run no-talk talk shows remains popular.

Obviously I’d never get a talk show these days. That’s because today’s big commercial successes talk show-wise are Christians fed to the lions fare’.

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