Sunday, September 04, 2005

Garrison Keillor: "Why I Still Love Radio"

I came across this delightful little article by Garrison Keillor "Confessions of a Listener: Why I still love radio" in the current issue of Utne Magazine, reprinted from the May 23, 2005 issue of The Nation. (You probably know The Nation, but check out Utne if you're not familiar with it.)

While I'm not sure I fully agree with his quick assessment of right-wing vs. left-wing radio, I think there's more than just a crumb of truth in it. And I would suggest, as I find myself doing more and more, that we distinguish between what passes for (mainstream) Republican these days versus a generation ago or more.

The reason you find an army of right-wingers ratcheting on the radio and so few liberals is simple: Republicans are in need of affirmation, they don't feel comfortable in America and they crave listening to people who think like them. Liberals actually enjoy living in a free society; tuning in to hear an echo is not our idea of a good time. I go to church on Sunday morning to be among the like-minded, and we all say the Nicene Creed together and assume nobody has his fingers crossed, but when it comes to radio, I prefer oddity and crankiness. I don't need someone to tell me that George W. Bush is a deceitful, corrupt, clever and destructive man--that's pretty clear on the face of it. What I want is to be surprised and delighted and moved.

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