The Lincoln Plawg - the blog with footnotes

Politics and law from a British perspective (hence Politics LAW BloG): ''People who like this sort of thing...'' as the Great Man said

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Friday, August 27, 2004

Shame about Air America...

Re-reading my first impressions (April 6), I'm struck by how little has changed.

It's as if they looked at Limbaugh's show, and O'Reilly's and Hannity's, and concluded that the only thing wrong with them is that they were working for the other side.

Franken is still all about the gags, and the Catskills delivery, and the O'Reilly/Limbaugh obsession. Liberated this week from the sidekick he loathes, he's even worse. Every line has to be the set-up for a gag, endless Swift Boat-men, but slightly more chaotic than usual - proof that the sidekick makes some contribution after all.

He had on a woman expert on stem-cell research ethics, and his first question was (more or less), Tell me everything about stem-cell issues. He then asked her a question on Bush's policy on USG funding which appeared not to be the answer he was expecting; and then followed up as if he were prompting her for a line in a script that she'd forgotten.

Uncomfortable and uninformative.

The campaign and the issues rarely get more than talking-points treatment. Kerry's raft of policies don't get much attention. Perhaps this is because research shows the audience wants the formula stuff. Or because examining the issues is more expensive in research, and demands experts who, based on past experience, may be unwilling to come onto the station for fear of being badgered into taking up a partisan stance on issues that they do not hold.

Oh, and, apart from Franken, they shout. Even that nice Laura Flanders thinks megaphone, rather than microphone. Listening via streaming is not the most pleasant thing - what with the compression and all. The shouting doesn't help.

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