Anyone out there in radioland taking notes?

textThis is one of those days when I had a column to write and classes to teach (and tonight is a massive pre-Holy Week choir practice). So I am following the link to Air America a bit, but not much.

I hope that at least a few of our readers out there are listening with notepads in hand so they can share with us there reactions to any religious and/or moral issues that come up in these new programs.

It sounds like, for example, that the bill on violence against the unborn will be a major topic. That could feed back into the “What Would JFK do” thread on this blog.

I also predict that it will not be long, in the world of satire, that we have “Left Behind” riffs started, or simply material on George W. Bush’s fundamentalist dark side. How can the religion side of the same-sex marriages story be kept under wraps? (Cue: Theme song for “As Canterbury Turns.”)

We might even see the whole “Da Vinci Vote” scene open up. I still love that concept. The “Da Vinci Vote.” Doesn’t that just trip off the tongue in a delightful way. Humor me, folks. Imagine if that movie was coming out before election day.

So take some notes. Write something up. Just do it.

And always remember that this isn’t really a blog about religion. It’s a blog about how the media (entertainment media, even) deal with religious issues and information. Talk radio is valid turf for us to discuss.

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About tmatt

Terry Mattingly directs the Washington Journalism Center at the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities. He writes a weekly column for the Universal Syndicate.

  • stephanie mitchum murphy

    Does NPR count?

    In a recent Nina Totenberg story on NPR (Morning Edition), she dealt with the Supreme Court lawsuit about the “under God” in the Pledge. The story is two parents who are no longer together. The father is an athiest. The mother is a born again Christian who says, yes, she was different in her past, but now she is Christian and she doesn’t think God should be removed from the Pledge.

    The father disagrees and has challenged it all the way to the Supreme Court.

    (The mother is not a party in the case, but has spent thousands of dollars in attorneys to help fight the case.)

    Anyhow, I thought Nina did a fair job allowing the mother to have a voice in the story. She didn’t edit out any of the “Christian” in the mother’s actualities. The mother said she was born again etc…

    I also thought she did this in a way not to make the mother look like an “ignorant” person or “religious fool.”

    However, since I was driving I was not able to “take notes.” Hope this is the kind of conversation you were hoping to start.

    Someone who is more blog-savvy than myself could possibly post a link to this story.

  • Douglas LeBlanc

    Thanks for mentioning that story, Stephanie, and NPR certainly counts as a topic we’re happy to discuss here.

    Here’s a link to it:

    The story ends with Mike Newdow singing “Old Religion Blues” from his fundraising CD, which is available at this link:

    Mr. Newdow is no Bob Dylan, of course, so I recommend listening to the sound samples before making a purchase.

  • Brant Hansen

    Caught much of Randi Rhodes show on Air America today. I’m used to hearing her on WJNO here in West Palm.

    As I told my friends: She’s refreshing at first. “Hey! A totally different p.o.v. on talk radio!”

    Then, after a few days, she won’t make you angry so much as make you lose your will to live.

    Her show today was rife with anger and the usual conspiracy-mongering. She also had Greg Palast on; Ralph Nader, too, though I missed that.

    Her takes on news events are limited to one of two reactions: “It’s just so sad” and “Can you believe these people?”

    Today, she reminded listeners that George W. Bush isn’t really the president, others — whose names you wouldn’t recognize, of course — are calling the shots from the shadows. Something about the 700 Club swinging the weight at the White House. A big fan listener called conservative talk radio fans “maggots”. Rhodes said the Bush dynasty’s dark past goes back very, very far, and that explains a lot, though she didn’t give us details.

    Rhodes has a team of comedy writers, I read today in the P.B. Post. They must not be on the clock yet.

    On WJNO, a few weeks ago, her producer once wrapped up a show saying, “Every day, I walk out of here disgusted.” She said, “Me, too.”

    Make that three of us.

  • dw

    I gave up on radio a long time ago. On one drive through Wyoming on I-80 my choices were:

    – A preacher smugly trying to prove incontrovertably that God wants us to put people to death

    – G Gordon Liddy invoking Vince Foster’s name at least once every 30 seconds

    – Really bad adult contemporary, and I mean Air Supply and Dan Fogelberg sort of stuff

    – Really bad “hat country” featuring faceless wonders whom Hank Sr would beat senseless were he alive today

    – The farm report

    I listened to the farm report before giving up and throwing in a Mark Heard CD. Sad thing is, I think there was more choice and intellegence in that farm report than I’ve heard in Seattle radio the last five years.

    So, I’m pretty much down to NPR, KEXP, and my vast collection of CDs. Oh, and my iPod. Where would I be without my musical crack dispenser?

    I don’t think liberal radio is going to fly, anyway. Liberals tend to read opinions, where conservatives tend to hear opinions.

  • stephanie mitchum murphy

    See, this is why I should have listened to the story again before commenting. I forgot about the father’s CD. What a riot.

    I also want to point out that as I saw/read this story in other sources, Nina seemed to do the best job of including the mom and her religion. In fact, she led with the mom.

  • Douglas LeBlanc

    Your memory of the NPR story was accurate, Stephanie: Nina Totenberg turned in an informative, balanced report. I mentioned the detail about Mike Newdow’s CD only because I thought some of our readers would enjoy knowing about it.