En Words

A place to talk about words - whether from books, stories, magazines, brochures, or matchbook covers.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Progressive Radio Host Jumps Air America Ship

The so-called progressive radio network Air America last week suspended Randi Rhodes, who was probably its highest profile on-air talent after Al Franken left, for an obscenity laced tirade against Hillary Clinton at an event hosted by the network. But now the temporarily off-air Rhodes has gone on the road to be on-air elsewhere. Try going to therandirhodesshow.com on the web, her erstwhile show's site, and you end up at Nova M Radio, which advertises itself as "Bringing Democracy to the Airwaves!" At least, as is generally true with conservative radio, to the like-minded people who listen and agree in advance.

Air America bounced Rhodes after a stand-up political routine at an event sponsored by a network-affiliated station. Geraldine Ferraro was also a target for her remarks about Barak Obama - taken out of context, according to Ferraro:
“What did they do with Don Imus when he went after the young black team who was playing basketball with kind of the same language? Treat them both the same,” Ferraro told FOX News. “She’s coming at me and Hillary in a … sexist way”
Excuse me? Since when are political figures, who place themselves willingly in the limelight, the same as a group of student athletes? Some of the language isn't what I'd use - though the line "Geraldine Ferraro turned out to be the David Duke in drag. Who knew?” is pretty funny, even if some see it as offensive - but since when do we start censoring political speech, particularly when it's not being broadcast? Is it acceptable to say what you will about a candidate if you don't use a swear word, no matter how calculated and even dishonest the language may be, but not when you do? All the democratic presidential hopefuls must be breathing a sigh of relief; there still might be life after office - if Air American can manage to stay in business that long.
Broadway Studios manager Francesca Valdez confirmed that video posted to YouTube was the show held at her venue, and that the booking had been contracted through Clear Channel Communications. She said that she sat in the audience for Rhodes’ 45-minute performance, which was chock full of “a lot of F-words.”
“I was actually amazed that she used the F-word so many times,” said Valdez, reached by phone in San Francisco.
Hold it, the venue booked an act without checking it out ahead of time? What kind of business idiots are they? Oh, wait, I've got it - they thought they were booking comedienne Kathy Griffin instead. (Ironically, I accidentally typed Kathy Gifford first. Now there's a scary genetic meld concept.)

So, in the spirit of the First Amendment and political freedom, Air America bounced Rhodes. And the final irony, according to the New York Times, is that the station she's joining, KKGN, is an Air America affiliate in San Francisco. According to a New York Daily News article, Air America will have guest hosts while looking for a replacement:
"We will soon announce exciting new talent that will accelerate Air America's growth," said the statement from Kireker and Green.
Oh, yes, anything to keep that raging trickle moving.

Labels: , , , ,