We Hold These Truths to be Self-Evident
And we ain’t gonna argue about them any more.
Last week as I chatted with a guest, producer extraordinaire Susan O’Leary took a listener’s call. Roughly paraphrasing: “Angie doesn’t buy into that global warming stuff, does she?”
Of course I do. And I’m not about to waste valuable airtime arguing about it.
As we’ve said from Day One, our team is carving out space on the AM dial for probing, intelligent conversations. The usual gold-mine topics (and their usual scathing, non-productive presentation) have no place here. Abortion, the “birther” nonsense, marriage equality, global warming: settled issues, from our editorial perspective.
That’s a risk. Conventional radio wisdom dictates that conflict equals ratings. Rush Limbaugh and his ilk rake in the numbers and the cash. By dispensing with dependable, go-to subjects that rouse the rabble, we’re sacrificing the sizeable built-in audience they guarantee. But we’re trying to do something different: cater to an underserved audience. Listeners who spend a good chunk of their time listening to public and alternative news sources, but ache for a discussion platform that understands where the true political center lies in America.
We’re not the boogeyman Left who think property is theft and US troops are baby-killers. (Did those people ever exist in significant numbers to begin with?) We’re the true center-left. We respect science. We believe in equality for all. We believe the government exists to ensure every individual life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness, free from theocracy and unmitigated greed. We support our troops; we’re humbled by their service. And we weep that their very blood is – right now, this minute – washing over the altar of cynical political and fiscal gain for the privileged few.
Life is short. Airtime is valuable. Some stuff we’re just not going to argue about, period.
Susan and I sat down with Executive Producer Gordon Whiting and drew up the following list. It doesn’t include every precept we subscribe to. It’s the standard fodder for talk shows we’re not going to waste time with. With rare exception, you won’t hear these topics argued on our show:
- Women have the right to full and equal health care, including abortion. Roe v. Wade is rightful US law.
- Religious precepts have no place in civic law. Separation of church and state must be maintained.
- America is not and was never intended to be a “Christian nation.”
- Consenting adults have the right to form their families of choice. Legal civil marriage must be available to all. All arguments opposed are at heart theocratic, thus irrelevant to the law.
- Global warming is real, urgent, and largely caused by humans.
- Fox “News” is not a legitimate source of news. It is biased, with the intent of disseminating a far-right point of view.
- A plane did crash into the Pentagon on 9/11/01. No Iraqis were among the hijackers.
- America was deliberately deceived by its leaders into attacking Iraq.
- Barack Obama is the rightful president of the United States, an American citizen born in Hawaii. While he is a Christian, his religious beliefs are irrelevant to his ability to govern.
That’s it; we’ve just tossed most of the million-dollar AM topics into the trash bin. Our refusal to dally over these givens limits our audience, and caps the ratings success possible for us. That’s okay. We've known that from the start. Ratings matter, but not enough to hobble our efforts at smart, productive programming. We believe enough listeners and potential sponsors will recognize the value in that, and keep us on the air.
If you’d like to help, the PayPal button is on the right. See you on the radio!