Monday, December 15, 2003

Liberal Radio! At Last!

(3-31-04)Air America Radio launched today at noon [WLIB 1190 AM in New York] after a furious block of political songs that included Marvin Gaye's "What's Going On", Bob Marley's "Get Up, Stand Up", The Beastie Boys' "In A World Gone Mad" and -- most fittingly -- Gill Scott Heron's "Revolution Will Not Be Televised." Saturday Night Live veteran Al Franken started things off with the premiere broadcast of The O'Franken Factor, in which he castigated Bill O'Reilly and his fellow Foxers for trying to disallow satire. He also noted that during seven years of Bush family rule not one new job had been created [statistically] and that if Bushies led us in the prehistoric age we'd all still be "hunters and gatherers." Mr. Franken played it straight for most of the first hour before blending in more comedy. He claimed that Governor Arnold was set to sit next to Laura Bush, at Dubya's last State of the Union misaddress, but was JanetJacksoned because an aide feared that the networks might cut to him whenever "steroids or abstinence" were mentioned. Even his co-host, Katherine Lanpher, at first, wasn't sure if Mr. Franken was joking or not. It was at such moments - the juxtaposition of the factual and facetious - that the show really sparkled. Hopefully, future broadcasts will retain this flavor, even if - consequently - a few water cooler conversations get it twisted.

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