One of the fellows I’m carpooling with likes to listen to welfare radio. Well, I knew but never fully realized how pathetic, how abject, how awful public radio really is. It’s not just boring; it’s not just liberal; it’s bad.
1. The broadcasters are boring — but not the kind of boring that puts you to sleep, the kind of boring that makes you mad. They speak in this calculated, smarmy, monotone voice that just makes you want to punch somebody.
2. They play this stupid bumper music for no reason at all. A. They don’t need bumper music because they don’t have to bump in and out of commercials, but maybe they are trying to imitate real radio. B. the music sucks. Bumper music is supposed to smooth out transitions, help the listener relax and enjoy the show, but this music never has a beat. It just makes you uncomfortable.
3. The bias ranges from liberal to communist. Everybody knows this, but when you have to listen to it you could go insane.
4. They have two, maybe three distinct networks and enough stations to blanket the state with plenty of overlap. Who says conservative talk radio needs competition?
So I am thinking next time I have an opportunity to say “like hearing fingernails on a chalkboard,” I shall substitute something along the lines of “like listening to NPR.”
Finally, it makes you appreciate just how good some broadcasters (e.g. Bob and Brian, Rush) are at what they do. They’re at the top of a profession that requires a lot of skill and it’s the kind of skill that, by definition, you do not notice when it is done right.
Important footnote: M (and anyone else who listens to NPR), no offense intended. If you want to listen to NPR, that is fine with me. I shall defer to your preference. After all, it’s an opportunity to eavesdrop on the enemy’s signals.