Friday, January 22, 2010

Air America, the Talk Radio Network, Will Go Off the Air

From the New York Times:

Air America, the long-suffering progressive talk radio network, abruptly shut down on Thursday, bowing to what it called a “very difficult economic environment.”

The chairman of Air America Media, Charlie Kireker, said in a statement that the company would file under Chapter 7 bankruptcy “to carry out an orderly winding-down of the business.”

In a troubled time for advertising-driven media businesses, “our painstaking search for new investors has come close several times right up into this week but ultimately fell short of success,” Mr. Kireker said.


I tried a couple of times to get into Air America, but I just didn't like it. I mean, Al Franken was funny and all, and I've come to embrace Rachel Maddow's work on MSNBC, but for the most part all of AA's other shows were either boring or annoying--I never understood the appeal of Randi Rhodes, a loud mouthed asshole who makes Rush Limbaugh appear sophisticated by comparison. And why the hell was Jerry Springer doing a show? But whatever.

In the end, I think the biggest problem AA had was that it was much more partisan than it was liberal or "progressive," whatever that's supposed to mean these days. I mean, for the right wing, there's not much of a difference between conservative and Republican, at least in practice, but the Democrats take so many stupid fucking positions that you lose a great deal of credibility in terms of ideology or political philosophy when you try to defend them or advance their views.

That is, early on, Air America decided that it was going be a pro-establishment liberal network, and necessarily took on all the baggage that doing so entails. And when you factor in that, these days, "establishment liberal" really means "conservative," in the Bill Clinton or Barack Obama mold, it was only a matter of time before nobody cared what AA had to say about, well, anything at all.

I would say "rest in peace," or something along those lines, but I don't really give a shit. Indeed, I'm kind of glad it's gone. They were never really my kind of "liberal."