Angry Radio Debuts

Al Franken has a piece in today’s LA Times plugging his new radio show:

Bush got a pass on this, as he’s gotten a pass on so many other things, because there’s no liberal echo chamber in this country. But starting today at noon, there will be one.


Plus the rest of us at Air America Radio, the new liberal talk-radio network, which, according to our promotional materials, “combines cutting-edge commentary with laugh-out-loud funny political satire.”

The 45 most powerful radio stations owned by the top five station owners broadcast more than 300 hours of conservative talk radio each weekday. They broadcast only five hours of liberal talk. Right-wing talk-radio hosts lie, distort, and bloviate, and nobody calls them on it. Not even Alan Colmes, who provides the aforementioned five hours.

Today, we will not merely call them on it. We will use their words against them, holding them up to the scorn and ridicule they deserve. My show, co-hosted by Katherine Lanpher, will be called the “The O’Franken Factor,” a name chosen for a single reason: to annoy and bait Bill O’Reilly. “The O’Franken Factor” will run from noon to 3 p.m., opposite Rush Limbaugh. It will not only be factual, it will be drug-free.

Republicans are accusing us liberals of being angry. Yeah, we’re angry. It’s one thing for a president to lie about sex. It’s another thing for a president to lie about why we are sending our young men and women into harm’s way. And to dismantle our environmental protections. And to expose a CIA agent as an act of political retaliation. And to shift taxes from the children of the very rich to the children of the middle class. And … oh, there’s so many other reasons to be mad. Listen to my show for a more complete accounting of them. Plus jokes.

Ah, yes. Finally, the evil, conservative station owners who have been forcing people to listen to lying conservatives ahve been foiled. Frankin to the rescue!

What this country needs is several hours of angry people with no previous experience doing it hosting three hour national shows. And telling jokes!

Cam Edwards notes that Washington, D.C. is not among the places where this programming will debut. Hmm. Now, if I had to pick a city that 1) was very interested in politics and 2) had a sustantial number of liberals in the population, the nation’s capital would be #1 on my list. If this is the level of market insight behind Air America, it won’t last very long.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Boyd says:

    Yes, it will be interesting to observe if they continue the shrill, shrieking tirade to vent their anger. If they do, they won’t last long.

  2. Paul says:

    Bush got a pass on this, as he’s gotten a pass on so many other things, because there’s no liberal echo chamber in this country.

    Yeah cuz Bush has hardly ever been criticized since he took office.


  3. Mark says:

    It is available in Washington D.C., on XM Radio. “America Left” is an entirely new channel. I asked them when they were going to be adding Rush Limbaugh and Neal Boortz again since I’d asked before when I first got XM Radio. I never heard anything back and they haven’t been added. Oh well, at least I can listen to Fox News when I don’t want music.

  4. Bithead says:

    Two words for all this:

    Mario Cuomo.

  5. It’s not a matter of marketing or a realistic business; it is a Democrat campaign organization. I suspect they will shut down in December.

  6. M. Murcek says:

    Who will advertize on it? Would you pay to identify your company to the approximately half of all potential consumers who would be willing to boycott you?

  7. I live in Downtown Los Angeles and the station that’s supposed to carry Air America (1580 AM) has a decidedly….ummm….Latin flavor as of 11am this morning.

    In other words, when 1580 wasn’t playing “Funkytown”, “Hotel California”, or “Billy Jean”, it was entirely in Spanish.

  8. My one word review for this show: “O’Broken”.

    The only “laugh-out-loud funny” parts I heard came from guest callers G. Gordon Liddy and Ben Stein.

  9. Teri M says:

    THANK YOU AL FRANKEN!!!! I have one question……after watching Niteline tonight…
    Does anyone know “THE PSI” for the lips on that female “Tami Faye Baker” wannabe guest???
    Firestone or Goodyear should check into those tubes! THANK YOU AIR AMERICA!!!!!!!!!!
    WE ARE LISTENING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 🙂 🙂