Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Morning Sedition

So, Danny Goldberg is killing Morning Sedition.

Sedition, if you haven't heard of it, is Air America Radio's morning-drive program, hosted by comedian Marc Maron and co-host Mark Riley. As its first producer, I helped create and launch the show in April 2004 and produced it for its first year. If you've seen the HBO documentary, Left of the Dial, you know that this was an extremely trying process.

When Goldberg started as Air America Radio CEO this year, he made it clear almost immediately that he didn't like (or get, depending on your view) Sedition and that he wanted, at the very least, to make substantive changes. Landing in Goldberg's crosshairs strained the previously volatile, but also rewarding, relationship between myself and Maron and, especially after the network asked me to help Rachel Maddow create and launch her new 5 a.m. show, I ended up reducing my involvement in Sedition, handing over most of the responsibility to the hyper-capable Brendan McDonald and focusing my efforts more on the long-term planning required for the summer's slate of live remote broadcasts.

Eventually, it became clear to me that this set-up wasn't infinitely tenable. I told the network I wanted to stay on in some other capacity. My superiors there felt the same way and sought other ways to utilize me. Goldberg, however, had no interest in keeping me, so I was laid off in September.

All of which is not the point of my story, but a good-faith effort to disclose that, yes, I have a number of axes that could use grinding if I were so inclined.

I don't feel so inclined (okay, I do, but not so much any more and, in any case, I'm trying not to indulge). Maron is pretty damn close to a national treasure. His level of emotional intelligence is off the charts and he applies it to issues of politics and society in ways that make his work the comedic equivalent of "Freakonomics" or "Tipping Point," his synthesis of insights (his own and others) into how people work individually and societally is just about that revolutionary.

And it's piss-your-pants funny. The New Haven Advocate came pretty close, I think, to nailing what made Sedition good and valuable to AAR, and in general. When Goldberg arrived at Air America, everyone -- including him -- acknowledged that Morning Sedition had been neglected by the network.

Al Franken and, to a lesser extent, Randi Rhodes, had received most of the promotional push (including the scant paid advertising AAR purchased as well as the free media). Sedition had a couple strikes against it -- it started off with a mismatched team and only really took off once one of the three initial hosts left the program. Also, Maron had never done radio before and Riley had only done local radio. Maron was the lead host and needed a few months to find his groove -- which he did in preternaturally quick time.

The biggest strike against us, though, was that we were operating in the most competitive daypart -- morning drive. And no one knew we existed. Despite that, however, and despite Goldberg's public rationales, Sedition usually did relatively okay in the ratings. When it stumbled, there was usually some clear reason for it or it was part of a larger pattern (affecting AAR or talk-radio overall). So, we needed to let people know our show existed. And this wasn't another case of a show feeling neglected and making excuses; all the executives agreed, and said, in essence, that it wasn't possible to put a show on in the nation's number-one market, in the most competitive daypart and expect it to succeed without spending a single dollar to let people know it existed. To his credit, Goldberg brought in people to remedy that. Unfortunately, for reasons beyond my ken, the additional staff didn't yield any additional attention for or promotion of the show. We were, in fact, told to wait. First a new logo had to be developed. Then an overall network-marketing plan would have to be developed. Only then, finally, would the network be able to market Morning Sedition properly. If that was true, why cancel the show before allowing the still-unseen marketing to debut? If it wasn't true, why should we believe what we're being told now?

Goldberg's claim that he's dividing the morning-drive slot into two shows of radically different sensibilities rather than retain a sharp, critically acclaimed comedian at a time when fans of Howard Stern (some of whom had already discovered us and joined the ranks of our listeners) would be looking at alternatives, in order to boost ratings, is both laughable and transparently false. The reality is he dislikes Air America's comedic elements. Rather than more of Sedition's comedy, Goldberg wanted the show to interview former NYC mayoral candidate Mark Green.

After I was gone, Green started showing up on Sedition with such frequency that it led the consistently-favorable magazine TimeOut NY to make its first negative comments about the show, with a dig about Green's frequency as a guest.

I'm glad that my friend Rachel is going to get more exposure. She's enough of a star that it's probably only a matter of time until Air America somehow fumbles and lets her slip away. But it's a huge disappointment that Goldberg is rejecting the advice of virtually everyone who's weighed in on this issue in order to kill a show that's been provocative, unique, smart, brave, personal, vulnerable, honest and as funny as gallows humor can be.

I hope Goldberg isn't full of shit when he says they're trying to find a way to keep Maron on the air at Air America. I'd be interested to see how Maron evolved as a solo act on the air. And Maron's is a perspective (that should be plural, actually) you just don't get from any of the other lefty-ish, progressive hosts. No slur against them, they all say important things and expose important truths, but Maron does more than that, he does so with a singular voice.

And silencing that voice just because he doesn't hear it would make Goldberg just as bad as the people he claims to oppose.

92 comments:

pjs said...

Hiya, Clutch! I have to agree. This is a terrible decision, and one that I believe will be looked back on as the beginning of the end of Air America.

Apparently, Danny Goldberg wants to turn AAR into NPR with commercials. Instead of trying to mimic what’s already available (and done much better), Air America had the opportunity to develop truly unique programming. Commercial AM radio operating on a shoestring budget on a relative handful of radio stations (most with poor signals) will not be able to compete with National Public Radio.

Who really wants to try?

I dropped my membership to our local NPR affiliate, since NPR has pulled decidedly to the right in recent years, and has become - for me, anyway – un-listenable. Why would listeners leave NPR to listen to AAR? For straight, "balanced" news? Doesn't he realize that if we wanted straight news programming we'd have stayed with NPR (an international news organization)? Does he think we listen for the Wendy Friesen hypnosis ads, debt-reduction scams, Ovaltine, or those insipid, anti-drug ads?

If I want NPR, I'll listen to NPR! I don't suffer through 20 minutes of commercials per hour whilst trying to tune in a crappy AM signal from a distant affiliate or fiddle with the Internet stream because I want to listen to some NPR wannabe. I have a choice of three NPR stations that come in with crystal clear quality, and no commercials.

I listen to hear a funny, smart guy like Marc - who knows how to stick it to the Bush Administration and make me laugh out loud (at 6 o'clock in the morning, yet) at the same time. I get up EARLY to listen to Morning Sedition.

Will Howard Stern fans be looking for NPR with commercials? Anybody who doesn't have Sirius will be looking for humor and a little rowdiness to start their day, and Morning Sedition would have been the perfect place to go, and while they were laughing, they'd have gotten the truth about what the Bush administration is doing to this country - this world. It would've been a chance to motivate - to activate - young people, to energize them politically, and to get them to the polls in '06 and '08. Wasn't that what you were trying to do, once upon a time? Actually make a difference?

Everybody - except for one person, apparently – knows this is a bad idea. Certainly, the thousands of people from around the world and every state in the union – from red to blue, big cities and small towns – who signed the petition to keep Morning Sedition on the air know it. Morning Sedition has become something very special and, when it's gone, it will never be duplicated. It's informative, has biting satire, goofy humor, and a cast of characters that are committed to the progressive cause.

I’ll still WANT to listen to AAR without Marc. I just don’t know that I’ll have any reason to.

citizenkahn said...

Thanks so much for posting this, Jonathan. It's refreshing to hear a voice that isn't full of corporate or CYA speak. I was wondering what happened to you; I had surgery in September and when I got back on the blog I never saw your name again.

I am sick over this--SICK! Thank you for making Morning Sedition what it was. I do feel privileged to have been along for the ride. It was a special time indeed.

gypsy said...

I'm so glad to finally learn the whole story behind the loss of clutch Larsen. You've been missed by many of the regular listeners.

I'm still in denial about the imminent demise of Morning Sedition. And I KNOW that isn't a river in Egypt. I can't believe anyone can be so paramountly stupid as to think doing away with the show is a good thing. I realize not everyone "gets" MS or Marc Maron. But not "getting" it isn't the same as thinking it's bad. I don't "get" Al Franken but I appreciate his show for what it is. (Okay, it's dead air. But I don't think they need to cancel it.) I REALLY don't "get" Tom Hartman or Jerry Springer but I realize others do and let the shows go on without my demanding their cancellation. Why is Danny so different that he must judge those who like Maron as an unacceptable audience?

My 83 year old mother listens to "Morning Sedition." My 30 year old friends listen to it. My 61 year old sister listens to it. I'm 52 and obviously I listen to it. My 4 year old god-daughter loves to hear Marc make kid-jokes. (I'm waiting for later today to ask her if she heard the flatulence jokes today.)

I guess I'm going to be getting more sleep now, since there's no reason to get up at o'crap o'clock here on the west coast after 12/16. And I guess I'm back to NBC news before I leave the house. I'd already switched to novels on tape in the car when KPOJ moved MS to an early slot. I can only hope that Maron gets a show that a Portland, OR station picks up (I see no reason to insist it be KPOJ and would, in fact, prefer it be an FM station) but in the meantime, I have a couple of his Comedy Central appearances taped and I'm betting he gets back into blogging. He needs his strokes from us as much as we need ours from him.

Enough ranting. I'm not putting my recipes in your blog but come on back to the blog before it's gone forever. I've put in scads of recipes since you've left. I did a full flatulence menu today. Hee hee!

Jill said...

Hey, Jon:

Thank you SO much for this blog entry. It at least helps give us some context for what is clearly the most dumbass media decision in recent memory.

I've been a Sedition listener since Day One, and I've been tubthumping for the show on my blog ever since I heard that Goldberg was planning to axe it. Maybe it makes me pathetic, but Seditionistas are more than listeners, we are a community, and Goldberg is pulling the rug out from under us.

The supreme irony is that a guy who published a book called "How the Left Lost Teen Spirit" actually thinks that more people will tune into "NPR with Wendi the Hypnotist, Ovaltine ads, and ads for hot flash remedies, than tuned into Morning Sedition.

I would love to believe that Jon Sinton's assurances that Marc Maron will be kept on and given a show are for real. I would love to believe that Sinton, Doug Kreeger, the AAR Board, and other Powers that Be realize that Goldberg has made a huge mistake, and that this is their way of trying to address the problem -- without having to address the problem....YET.

Yes, Sedition is largely a "boy show" -- a morning zoo for guys with brains; and often the female perspective just isn't there. But so what? I'm female, I'm 50, and I think the show is hilarious.

Danny Goldberg is clearly one of what Marc calls "progressive utopians with no sense of humor", and he wants to remake AAR in that image. It won't work.

It almost seems that Goldberg is a Republican mole, out to destroy the only progressive talk network to leave the airwaves safe for Limbaugh, Hannity, and Felafelhead.

Thank you for your efforts in making the show the success that it was (and yes, it was). I feel like I'm losing family here, and I think many Seditionistas feel the same.

Jessica D said...

Thank you so much for this post. Saw it on the MS Message Board. Here's an e-mail I sent out to everyone I could think of:

December 15th will be the last day for Morning Sedition on Air America Radio. For those who have come to depend on Marc Maron, Mark Reilly & co. for razor sharp political talk, it's going to be a very sad day.

I'd like to propose some type of informal action/event for AAR listeners and friends to show support for Marc Maron, and to let the decision-makers know what we think about where the station is headed. Maybe a good day would be Saturday, December 10th, somewhere in Manhattan during the day - a comfortable room with a stage of some sort.

If anyone has opinions or ideas they'd like to share, suggestions for possible venues, please go to my blog and post your comments:
http://www.truthcharms.blogspot.com

Personally, I rely on a variety of sources for my hourly news/political junkie fix (still love WNYC, WBAI, watch Democracy Now! all the time, etc.). Air America has been a wonderful thing. I hope it continues to grow and evolve for the better. In my humble opinion, killing Morning Sedition does not help the cause.

Thanks very much - hope to hear from you
Jessica
http://www.truthcharms.blogspot.com

C. Watson said...

I'm probably not AAR's target demographic: fairly conservative, Orthodox Christian, corporate research scientist. But I stumbled on MS on XM radio in Sept. 2004, and soon was hooked. I started coming in to work earlier so I could hear MS, and began listening to Unfiltered, and even Al Franken - almost my entire working day (7a-3p).

Then unfiltered lost Lizz; schedule became 7-9 MS, back to AAR for Franken sometimes, BBC other times. Then Katherine left and Al isn't tolerable by himself; so now I'm down to 7a-9a. After December 16, more than likely it will be no more AAR, depending on how Mark does solo.

MS was the gateway drug - it is a magic mix that is far more than the sum of its parts. I don't agree with some of the politics - but Marc/Mark/Jim/et.al make me laugh, and more importantly they make me think, and I found I agree more that I ever would have imagined. You did a fantastic job bringing this team together, and everyone connected with the show should be proud.

For some reason, I can't connect with Rachel, Jerry, Al, or Randi - they come across as a strident, preachy socio-political cultists not much different from the one that took over the Republican party and "conservative talk radio" - just more liberal.

I've sent similar comments to the AAR board; obviously, this was a done deal, and killing the show is stupid from any perspective you want to look at it.

Bill Tchakirides said...

Jeez,Larsen...
You don't believe Danny G is really going to throw Marc a 1 hour bone from LA.

I've been documenting the loss of Maron for weeks now at Under The Lobsterscope and watched while the petition went from 30 names to almost 6,000.

It's the People that want Maron and Sedition.

It's Goldberg who thinks Jerry Springer is humorous.

DrDance said...

Wasn't this morning's show great? How come the Board is letting Marc, their best interviewer, quickest wit, and most insighful analyst get away? He was so good today, I listened to it over again on the CA station.

I had not idea I would feel so forlorn. The thought of not being able to hear Marc in the morning is breaking my heart. I think it won't be radio at all, but back to my CDs. Talk w/o humor won't do it anymore now that I have had a taste of the best

Ol' Zeb said...

Sorry to be so late in finding your blog!

Glad to see ya' and I'll make it a point to visit regularly and post when I have something worth adding.

Thanks for the blog and thank you for all your efforts at AAR -- you made a positive difference.

Jonmark Pierce said...

Thank you, Clutch, for posting the truth, and thank you for having helped to create the razor's edge in radio...every bit as good as The Daily Show, and maybe better. McCluhan wrote about the differences between "hot" media and "cold", and you guys proved it.

I don't doubt that talent like yours, Marc's and Jim's will out--you've done it once and you can do it again, for a wiser and more intelligent venue.

Goldturd has slammed the oven door on a perfect souffle; I don't know when he will come to regret this petty and foolish act, but I trust he will.

Perhaps the show's real purpose was to give Maron some radio expericence, so he could re-assemble the entire team elsewhere, with far greater exposure.

Thank you again for everything. We have missed you.
JP

WHT said...

Clutch,
Kudos to you for keeping the show together at the outset. Whoever saw the documentary knows the kind of tapdance you went through.

Fishguy said...

Hey Larsen!

"Gimme Some Truth" John Lennon said, and now you've gone and done it. Well, thanks for being willing to burn a bridge to let us know what really went down...
...If only politicians (especially the Dems) could show such spine!

So what're YOU doin wit' yer bad self these days?

CitizenSteve said...

Jonathan,
Thanks for filling us in. It is sad that Danny Goldberg doesn't get "it". Maybe AAR won't go belly-up under his management, but his lack of imagination isn't going to help build anything lasting.

In the early days of MS, I always imagined you producing the show with the aid of a whip and chair. In a way you re-invented radio; MS and TRMS have snap and pazazz, something of the radio programs of the 30's/40's but not simply copies.

Here's hoping that before long there'll be another management change and imagination, humor and wit will return to AAR.

Jill said...

Bill:

I don't think Goldberg wants to give Maron a damn thing, but I do think the board has listened to the fans and they are trying to find a graceful way out of this dilemma without cutting their CEO off at the knees this early in the game.

When Marc was a guest correspondent on Ring of Fire it was a pretty clear signal that at least Mike Pap. was throwing down a gauntlet.

I suspect that Goldberg has just enough rope to hang himself now. The board insists that Maron have a role but they let Goldberg do what he wants with the AM. Then, when "Air America Mornings" gets even WORSE ratings than Morning Sedition, they can refuse to renew GOLDBERG's contract (unless he's kicked in a lot of money to the network, in which case all bets are off).

At least that's my hope.

I'm still despondent, though. Marc has matured immensely as a radio presence in a mere 18 months, and this week he, Jim Earl, and Kent Jones have been on top of their game.

I don't even want to think about how depressed I'll be on the 19th.

Anonymous said...
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Passing Shot said...

Thanks, Clutch. I was wondering what happened to you. And thanks for helping develop MS into what I like to call "appointment radio." I appreciate Rachel's voice, and her take on the day's news prepares me to greet the day, but it's Maron and Riley who put me in the right mindset so that I don't snap the head off the first person I see. I guess I'm not surprised by Goldberg's actions, especially after the killing of Unfiltered, but I was hopeful the Board would exercise a stronger hand. Now I have to hope, perversely, that the ratings for "AA Mornings" are so bad they'll eventually reunite the team.

Anonymous said...

Marc is brilliant, and Sedition is AAR's best show. Goldberg is either an idiot or on the pad with BushCo.

Anonymous said...

Glad I stumbled onto your blog to get some reality-based explanation for what's going on at AAR. What an utterly boneheaded move by Goldberg. I actually got up at 6 AM to listen to the show. Was late to work countless times so I could hear it all the way through. Sounds like Goldberg wants some sort of NPR-ish type show. As much as I like Riley, I'm not getting up at 5 AM to hear him. And as much as I like Rachel, she'll never be "appointment radio" for me the way that "Sedition" was. A pox on Danny Goldberg and the army of MBAs who apparently took over AAR's marketing and promotion department. Best of luck to you in the future, Jonathan Larsen.

Jim Tobias said...

I love Maron, and it hurts to see him go. I am suspicious that the AAR show he'll get will be in LA, directly against Stephanie Miller. I'm also suspicious about why Miller's show isn't in NYC, where she'd get a huge following. If this is an "AAR vs. Jones" thing, it really sucks!

Gary said...

I like both Maddow and Maron, but I've listened to both in my sleep and Maddow gives me nightmares. I need more zany laughter and sociological satire. Marc Maron is genius.

Is it too late to stop the changes?

Anonymous said...

Goldberg is an idiot.

I think the hosts should unionize. Can't SAG help them?

Don't forget that Lizz Winstead is still trying to get her back-pay that Goldberg never coughed up.

Who the hell is Goldberg anyway? Just some idiot who wrote a book about how the left have lost their "Teen Spirit"? He's proven that point pretty well.

I wish someone would jam a stick of Teen Spirit up his rectum.

Anonymous said...

he's probably got a polling service with conflicts of interest that is telling him to dump the show, probably a friendly DNC leaning firm...

the same mindset that took Howard Dean out of the race, not that of the new Democrat grassroots being seeded/built now...

forutnately the net is very feedback receptive

time to put it to task and increase your ability to connect supply to demand

Mr.Murder

MissM said...

Don't EVEN get me started on springer, talk about pandering to the masses. I didn't realize he still did his tv show, too. That kind of crap (ok I'm making assumptions based, on many years ago) just cheapens AAR and the lighthouse they are on the real news and atrocities perpetuated everyday. Or, used to be, anyway.

Anonymous said...

Wow. This is really sad news. When I first heard rumors of the show's demise on James Wolcott's blog, I sent an email to Mr. Goldberg immediately begging the case that the show needed more exposure and perhaps a slightly later time slot to develope an audience. Maron is truly unique and I would gladly listen to him over Franken if given the choice.

John said...

I am a Stern fan who bounces back and forth between MS and Stern, sometimes Marc is so hysterical I forget to tune back. Is Goldberg also responsible for the genius move of bumping Mike Malloy to the graveyard shift for ALLAN COLMES on XM Satellite radio? Whatever slim chance I had of going with XM vanished when I read their schedule.
One of my favorite Air America moments was when Malloy subbed for Springer and nuked the wingnuts who usually call Jerry.

Baseballgirl (aka Brenda in Lincoln, NE) said...

Hey Clutch:

Thanks for the background. I found you thru Wolcott and I'm glad I did. I am just sick about this.

I have been a devoted Seditionista since day one and a Marc Maron fan for longer than I can remember.

This is a HUGE mistake. I'll still listen (what choice do I have?)but I'm going to be very unhappy about it.

Anonymous said...

I'll just say it too.

Goldberg's a damn fool.

Maron was the best thing going.

I've pretty much stopped listening to AAR since I heard they were killing my show.
-Karl the Idiot

Anonymous said...

I didn't like MS the first time I listened to it, but became hooked. Turn off the radio right at nine when Springer comes on. Like Ed and Al, Randi starting to get old.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the insider perspective.

I'm heartbroken and VERY angry that they're killing this show. Maron is a goddamned genius, and he was getting exponentially better every week.

First they send Lizz Winstead packing, now it seems they want Maron gone, too. Jesus. They want all the funny gone, obviously.

I thought that was EXACTLY what Air America had going for it, at its best -- comedy, wit, and intelligence to give the politics some air appeal. In Maron's case, there was complete gonzo inspiration, too. But no...Goldberg is apparently more comfortable going back to the dry, failed version of liberal talk radio.

Next up: they fire Rachel Maddow and replace her with Mario Cuomo.

Anonymous said...

Huge Mistake. Here in SF, Sedition got bumped from the 6-9 AM slot to 3-6 AM to make way for Springer from 6-9. I was horrified. Springer is dreadful. Reading this article I now understand. Goldberg is a stupid jerk and definitely should be fired. There is simply no excuse for this trajedy. Shame!

Farmerkat said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Farmerkat said...

Hi Clutch Larsen!
It is good to hear "the rest of the story," albeit a sad tale. Thank you for your creative talents and work. You gave us many many hours of enjoyment. Don't know what I'll listen to once MS is gone. NPR is so bland after hearing Maron's brilliance. Riley just doesn't rock my world.
Wishing you the best, Jonathan.

Johnk said...

When Air America came on I had this feeling that it was our radio station. Part of being "ours" meant that it should have a democratic-styled organization. Now I hear that some guy named Goldberg makes stupid decisions, appears to hold to them because of his ego, and the roots have no say.

I agree with most of what's been said here. The leaderhip at Air America is losing a national treasure, and they don't know it. I don't want to go on about the other shows; many are disapointments; many are going downhill.

One final point. Has Goldgerg listened to Randy Rhodes, Al Franken and Marc interview? Marc is by far the best (and Randy the worst). Marc listens, brings out the core of his guest, makes interesting and funny observations, and doesn't take up too much time. In general, I feel that the guests are most comfortable on Marc's show and they frequently establish a comraderie. Sometimes they can be really really funny and get points across at the same time.

I'm just dumbfounded.

Next thing you know, some network head will get rid of Arrested Development, the best show on TV.

peggy said...

What a total drag. As a forty-something white East Coast female, I admit I wasn't thrilled by a lot of the MS humor, but sometimes they were stupendously funny, and I would snort out my coffee whenever Lawton Smalls came on. :) I like Marc's manic, neurotic energy, and whatever happens to the morning, I doubt this can be replaced.

As for Air America in general, I enjoy Stephanie Miller (OK, she's Jones Radio, but it airs on my AA affiliate) but asking listeners to pay for podcasts is pretty obnoxious and stupid marketing. Everyone else I can take or leave... hate Ed Schultz, bored by Springer, Franken is occasionally funny, and Randi reminds me too much of a flamboyant, narcissistic boss I once suffered under.

MS, RIP.

TOTAL KAOS INC. said...

Hey Larsen

Wondered what happened to you.

Morning Sedition was the first AAR show I listened to and blogged on. Since it first came on I have been getting up a 3:00 am Pacific and listening. Unfiltered being canned was a mistake and now they have made another.

Hope everything with you is OK

Kevin

Anonymous said...

sorry, but I completely disagree - I'm a liberal who's been desperate for some good talk radio, but I've felt from the start that Morning Sedition (and most of Air America) hasn't been doing the job

in fact, my feeling has been the exact opposite of some of the posters - it seems to me that Air America has been going after the NPR crowd (bland, no real edge, and not particularly funny)

I've turned my attention to Sirius, which has a liberal station and the best talk show I've ever heard - The Young Turks (weekday afternoons); it does (at least for me) everything that I feel I was missing from Air America

n69n said...

thank you for posting this.

for the first year of aar, it felt like we were all in this together, that ****finally**** there was a media outlet that was gonna actually *listen* to its viewers/listeners rather than its advertisers.
i used to listen to the whole day's broadcast. sometimes, i would dl shows from airamericaplace.com & edit my favorite bits.

this all changed when lizz left. as you may know, i *LOVE* lizz & i am very loyal to her...that was when i began to realize that aar is just another network, its not "my" network.

for the past few months, all i really listen to is rachel & morning sedition...when ms is gone, i'm not sure what i'll do.

i respect mark riley ...but him, by himself for two hours? in drive-time?

Jacob Matthan said...

Morning Sedition has consistently received a higher rating than Randi Rhodes, jerry Springer has dropped of the hart, while Al Franken has never received a rating on the Liberal Talk Show Ratings Blog. This rating system, unlike Arbiton, actually rates listener interaction, overall content and presentation, rather than viewer figures, which is what the Goldberg standard seems to be.

Present ratings of AAR programmes show that Goldberg has it all wrong. Mike Malloy (1), Laura Flanders (3), Ring of Fire (4), Rachel Maddow (6), Politically Direct (8), EcoTalk (9) Morning Seditiom (14), Randi Rhodes (16) and Majority Report (19).

Anonymous said...

You sure thatit isn't Jonoh Goldberg?

Anonymous said...

Oops! Sorry about that, insomnia . Are you sure it isn't Johah Goldberg with a fake I.D?

Anonymous said...

Just to weigh in with the rest of you, I agree that sacking Maron & Earl is a shame and a waste. I think pjs is right -- AAR management seems to want an 'edgier' NPR instead of something unique and original.

That might make some sense as a business strategy, but it doesn't necessarily make for good radio.

Morning Sedition was the first AAR show I took a liking to, and it's what led me to listen to some of their other shows. True, Maron can be self-indulgent or abrasive at times, but that's the nature of a radio personality. There are certainly plenty of AAR personalities who are annoying without being the slightest bit insightful or entertaining.

I like Rachel Maddow a lot, and Riley is perfectly likable, but without the inventive comedy and charisma of Maron and the writers to draw me in, I'm sure I'll lose interest in the replacement shows sooner or later.

Elly Raven said...

This Goldberg guy does not understand his own network. If the network wants to survive, it will get rid of him as fast as they can.

The one thing that made Air America distinctive from the start was humour. And Morning Sedition is and has always been by far the best humorous show on the network. At the same time, it combines the humour with political perspectives that are as wise, and as passionate, as those on any other Air America show.

I love Rachel Maddow, and I listen to a number of other Air America shows, but if I want straight political news I can get that best from "Democracy Now." Air America is decaying from something bright and original into mainstream pap, and I won't continue to waste my time with it if this trend continues. What a waste of all our hopes.

El Cid said...

Jonathan, thanks again for your time and involvement.

First, although I've listened to other AAR shows regularly, Morning Sedition was the only show around which I changed my life habits so I could listen.

Morning Sedition was also the only show which I saw as a *show*: a performance with sketches and bits. A political "Saturday Night Live" of the radio. A "Prairie Home Companion" for less-boring people.

Therefore I can see why bureaucrats would get rid of MS: It's Not Like Anything Else.

They would perhaps, rather, lure away people who normally wake up to the boring, reassuring, non-controversial, non-investigative NPR Morning Edition.

Why? Well, for a start, that demographic is usually older, more educated, and wealthy.

Morning Sedition was a show I could recommend to my younger friends, to friends in the music business, to other cool people, and we could talk about it afterwards.

Sure, NPR would never have Marc Maron call up David Hager's office (the proposed FDA leader) to ask the secretary about "Christian Anal Rape." Never. Never.

But then, I got a great laugh out of it. It was also a well-deserved insult to the faux Christianity of the Republicans, a man who repeatedly forcibly sodomized his wife yet justified his hateful policies by "Christianity."

I made copies of the sound file, and sent it to friends.

DO YOU THINK NPR LISTENERS DO THAT?

I suggest "Weekend Sedition," where Marc concentrates mainly on the sketch, character, and fun-based elements and does a 3 hour show once a week. Maybe then I'd have an entertainment radio show to listen to on the weekends.

Anonymous said...

I think there is a college ceremony that "the suits" participate in to pledge themselves to a life of cluelessness. Mark and Mark -- I do think of them as a team, and a good team -- were one of the better shows on Air America.

Unfortunately, my local Air America affiliate a few weeks ago moved their only good _local_ broadcaster into overlapping competition with Mark and Mark. And bought a couple more hours of "I'm just a duck-shootin' Bubba of a liberal" from the Jones Network. The upshot of all this is considerable loss of interest in both my local affiliate and in streaming New York. It's already showing in moving back to streaming more music.

I can read most of it myself on Buzzflash without Franken regurgitating it for me, right?

Anonymous said...

I was in my local mega-bookstore yesterday, and I noticed Danny Goldberg's recent book - and what a terrible cover design it has. Blue background, with a red arrow pointing left.

Face out on the shelf, it leads your attention directly toward the book on its left: Bernard Goldberg's 100 People Who Are Screwing Up America.

David C. said...

a sad sad day for liberal/progressive morning news listeners. It was only in the last few months that my lifestyle changed and I was actually awake in time to hear part of Morning Sedition.. after the first week of hearing only the last hour of the show, I found myself waking earlier and earlier to listen to Mr. Marron and his crew deliver the morning news.. Morning Sedition should not be cancelled! and as much as I have enjoyed AAR programing (I've been listening over the internet from day one!) it wasn't until I started hearing Morning Sedition that I thought the network was really going in a good direction.

A Sad, Sad day indeed!!

on a slightly different topic: Al Franken needs a Co-Host... and FAST!!!

Ian said...

Radio in Miami, Florida is a wasteland of corporate (clear channel?) crap. I eagerly awaited the arrival of AAR, although it's local signal is not that great, especially in the evening. I listened to Morning Sedition from start to finish (in my car and at the office) and really thought it was the best thing on local radio. Maron is a genius and the cast of charactors; The Cardinal, Lawton and the rest of the ensemble made my day. When Morning Sedition ends at 9, the radio goes off until 10, when a local personality, Neil Rogers, signs on.

I just can't stomach Jerry Springer. The man is a waste of airtime on radio and TV. What a namby pamby, gutless ex-political hack! "I just can't beleive President Bush and Vice President Cheney are evil", well beleive it wimpy, because they are! He's a perfect example of the term "gutless Democrat". His show is unlistenable.

Franken has a super-ego and is rather obnoxious to listen to. He's a great author, I own several of his books and truly enjoy reading them, but as a radio host, I'll pass. He's not funny and his love affair with himself is, well, boring.

Then there's Ed Schultz. Not an AAR program, but he's on the AAR station here in Miami. I listen to Ed on the drive home and think he does a decent job. We don't always agree, but hey, I respect his opinion.

I like Randi, but usually cannot listen to her because the AAR p.m. signal on the local station just doesn't cut it. If I'm out on the road, Randi drifts in and out and I really try to listen as best I can. I like Randi and she does a great job. But here in Miami, she hobbled by a poor signal.

But, alas, my mainstay for AAR is Morning Sedition and when it goes, so will I. I'll miss the humor, the biting commentary, the cast of charactors that really started my day and made me laugh out loud. I think they need to get rid of this Goldberg creep and keep Maron and the crew. The way I see things now, AAR will be history in another year or so.

I'm starting to think about Sirius. After December 16th, AAR is dead to me.

Anonymous said...

I have really enjoyed Morning Sedition when I could catch it, and was gravely disappointed this week when I learned it was being pulled. I wondered why they would have to do this, so thanks for the back-story. This makes no sense. Sigh/.



Cassandro

neil said...

I came in here through James Wolcott's site. I'll have to thank him for turning me on to it. Who knew there was a sactuary for atheists?! Very interesting to get the viewpoint of one "who was once there" in regard to this whole Morning Sedition debacle. Unlike many of the posters here, I'm a complete newcomer to AAR - having only started listening this past August. MS quickly became my favorite show. In fact, I started getting up half an hour earlier in the morning just to listen from the begining. It's funny, intelligent, it's got a pissed-off, ain't-gonna-take-it-lying-down energy that I really like, and Marc Maron is not afraid to tell the truth, and call things the way they are from an unabashed lefty perspective - in short, it's like nothing else on the radio. This is a really unfortunate decision, and I don't know what I'll do. I wrote letters, signed the petition, all that stuff - even though I could tell it wasn't going to make any difference. I think a radio executive who doesn't "get" Morning Sedition isn't going to "get" why the people who love it feel the way do. They also have a big fat hole where their sense of humor ought to be. I like Rachel Maddow, so I'll give her a try, and I'll listen to what she's going to do with both ears and make up my mind. I'm glad she's getting a chance at more exposure, but I wish it was for another reason. I respect Mark Riley, but I can't see myself getting up at 5 am. Mark with a "k" is a fine man, and in some ways is the *head* of the show, but it's Marc with a "c" that is the heart, and the balls, of the show. There are a number of other AAR / Jones shows I listen to during the day, and enjoy to a greater or lesser extent. But Morning Sedition, in my opinion, is by far the sharpest, most consistently incisive program on the network. I think Marc and Mark are great foils for one another, I enjoy the sense of comeraderie, the sharp writing, the insane, neurotic humor, the guests almost always interesting and articulate. They have an ability to take my very deep-seated anger at the way my govenment is behaving and actually make me laugh - while conveying a sense that everyone involved with the show somehow understands exactly how I'm feeling. I'm going to miss this show more than I can say. I've grown so attached to these guys, just after four short months. (I already miss Dan Pashman. What a great laugh!) I'm glad there are so many others who feel the same way I do. I'm just really sorry we aren't being listened to. I would love it if Marc Maron got another show on the network - but I really doubt it will happen. If only they'd left well-enough alone, and actually put some advertizing dollars behind MS...maybe then they would have received good enough ratings so that Goldberg wouldn't *need* to "get it".

keviemetal said...

Thanks for the post, Cluchster. Here's the e-mail I sent to AAR management, for all the good it's gonna do:

Subject: thanks

First we lose New Orleans, and now this. Thanks for taking away Morning Sedition, one of the few cool things left in this world. Marc Maron was the only thing that kept me coming back to Air America. The man's a warrior, not some self-satisfied douche who spent a hundred years writing lame SNL sketches. You had a true genius at work and you should have been thanking him for the privilege of pimping his ass. Instead you kick him to the curb. Excellent work, gentlemen.

pneuvo said...

As a retired businessman, I know about making unpopular decisions when business considerations dictate, but I don't think that's what's going on here. DannyG made no attempt to correct the problem, which means he had a personal vendetta or wild hair.

I love Rachel, and think Riley is great, but anyone who thinks they are going to do significantly better than MS has gotten hold of some bad weed.

I would like the opportunity to make the business case for getting rid of DannyG to the board. Can anyone provide contact info?

Anonymous said...

Sorry to be the dissenting voice here, but I think some of you need a little splash of cold water. Every time a TV or radio show is canceled, we always hear the same old familiar whining. The producers/stars/fans bitch and moan about "the lack of promotion" and the powers-that-be "not getting it." (I love how "not liking" something always means "not getting it"...but that's another story). Once...just ONCE when a show is canceled, I'd like to hear a producer say, "Well, I guess we just weren't popular enough." Just ONCE in my life I'd like to hear someone admit that. Newsflash: powers-that-be don't cancel hits, even if they don't "like" them. Radio and TV are business. It's about making money--putting asses in seats. Sorry if that's cold water in your face, but that's what it's about. Deliver a hit and you won't get the ax. That's how it works. You can whine about lack of promotion and commitment all you want...but back in the early 1990s, no TV show ever got less respect or promotion by a network than a little show called Seinfeld. In fact, NBC only ordered FOUR episodes, the lowest in network history. It was put on the air as a mid-season replacement with almost zero promotion. Well, guess what. It was great and PEOPLE LIKED IT...so it caught on and became the biggest hit of the decade--despite worthy competition and a profound lack of enthusiasm by the powers-that-be. Perhaps this should be considered before reacting all hurt and persecuted. Just sayin'.

Cowpunk said...

Why don't they get rid of that whack-job Mike Malloy, the Wiener/Savage of the left? He's on during my peak AAR listening time, but he's so bad that I often have to turn him off. Malloy and his moron callers are an embarrassment to AAR and liberals in general.

beemer said...

So, we've got two posts that agree with the cancellation of Sedition, and they're both from Anonymous.

I think that Sedition DOES have quite a following, and a rabid one at that. Also, instead of playing the show at drive time in its various markets, we've got garbage like Jerry "Yes, but" Springer taking their timeslot.

Count me among the Seditionists listening since day one, and who don't see any reason to listen when Marc is gone. Back to Mike & Mike on ESPNRadio for me.

Anonymous said...

A very big mistake if you ask me. Mark Maron was/is the best host of any Air America show, except for Laura Flanders, who is also excellent.

Maron's humor requires intelligence and and understanding of nuance. Too bad Goldberg couldn't see that he didn't have the brains to understand why Mark Maron was evolving into one of the nation's best talk radio hosts.

What a dumbass.

I'll look for Maron in the future - perhaps at Jones radio network where he could do the lead-in show for the excellent Stephanie Miller (America's best morning host.

Anonymous said...

Hits don't get canceled. Limbaugh didn't get much promotion at all back in the late 80s, but for whatever reason, his act caught on. People heard it, word of mouth spread and grew, and now he's the biggest thing in political talk radio today (by a longshot). If he hadn't clicked with an audience, he'd have been canceled quickly. That's the game. It's not about being good or important. It's about people listening, liking it, telling their friends, and getting an audience. You have to do that pretty quick. Otherwise, you're gone. That's just how the game works. For everyone. Most people I know think Arrested Development was the best, funniest show on television. Maybe it was. But few watched so now it's gone. Is that Goldberg's fault, too? Is it the fault of FOX? No. It's the fault of the show for not attracting enough viewers, plain and simple. I'll say it again: that's the game.

A question: if MS had taken off and become a huge hit, would you have said, "We're a hit because we were so well promoted and because we got so much wonderful attention from AAR!" Doubtful. I bet that Marc, Mark and the producer would have gladly taken the bows. But now that it's canceled, just point the finger, right? Lay the blame with anything except for the show's content itself.

If you're going to take the bows when you're successful, how about taking a little of the responsibility when you're not?

Anonymous said...

Morning Sedition was cancelled because of its rating and because the show sucked. Personally I am a hybrid of progressive, liberal, and moderate thought. But the show sucked. The hosts may be great people whom I politically agree with most of the time but radio is radio and not everybody is cut out for radio.(Ex: Al franken is a brilliant writer and analyzer but sucks on radio.)

On that subject, Air America could triple its audience in 2 years with some substantive changes.

Put Thom Hartmann on from 12-3. Keep Randi Rhodes from 3-7. NOw you need key slots for 5-9, 9-12, (am) and 7-10 at night Use Ed Schultz and Stephanie Miller for 2 of these 3 slots. Mike Malloy, although further to the left that the entire station, has shock value for that 10-12 at night time slot. Jeanine GArofalo, if she's part of a team and will take more calls, is ideal for a time slot and possible switch to the early morning with someone like Rachel Maddow. (Solves the extra slot.)
As for Sam Seder, you can listen to him for about 20 minutes but after that, he sounds like a 17 year old amateur on radio. if he can improve, then keep him as the rover. Otherwise, find others.

Then use 12-6 in the morning to try and develop new talent. Some of the callers would make great talk show hosts. Try em out, see who makes the cut, and use them.

Anonymous said...

<< beemer said... So, we've got two posts that agree with the cancellation of Sedition, and they're both from Anonymous. >>

Um, if the host doesn't WANT anonymous comments he can easily not allow them. Also, are you suggesting that my point of view is less meaningful than yours (or others) because I don't have a cute little screenname like "beemer?"

Okay, beemer.

And when did I say I "agree" with the cancellation of Sedetion? I didn't say I did or didn't. My point was simply that, when you get the axe, it's a bit cliche to point fingers at the powers-that-be for lack of attention and promotion. What canceled show HASN'T done that? It would just be refreshing to hear a producer (once) take a little blame for his/her product not catching on. I'm sorry that point of view scares you so much.

Petty Larseny said...

Couple quick notes:

I omitted a key phrase from the original posting, which has now been inserted, in italics. Sorry about that. I suspect my original point somehow made it through in that run-on sentence anyway, but I apologize for any confusion.

Also, some posters have suggested that I'm blaming the show's demise on poor promotion. For the record, I've worked on cancelled TV shows and never felt or expressed that view before. If it'll make your day, I'll even concede that some of them deserved to go.

However, my points about Sedition have been misconstrued. I'm not blaming low ratings on poor promotion. As far as I was aware, Sedition's ratings weren't what anyone wanted, but they also weren't so low as to cause significant concern about the show's quality.

I've never worked in radio before, but the AAR people who had done so repeatedly told us that shows generally take 18-24 months to get off the ground -- and that's with promotion.

That said, I didn't raise the promotion issue as part of the timeworn lament that lack of promotion killed us. The reasons I raised the promotion issue were to address the network's credibility and to relate the network's stated interest in promoting us better, because it had faith in the content. As I said in my original post, if that was true then, why did it never promote us? If it wasn't true then, why should we believe the network's line now?

Anonymous said...

You SHOULDN'T believe the network now. Or then. Or ever. Is that what this is really all about to you? The veracity of your network bosses? Do you think it's news, or even out of the ordinary, that a network didn't play it straight with a producer? No offense, but you sound like an idealistic kid just out of college – which I assume you are not.

You seem like a nice guy, so I'm going to help you out by educating you a bit here. Networks LIE THEIR ASSES OFF. Always. If you feel like you were lied to or mislead, your experience is far from unique in the world of broadcast news and/or entertainment. In fact, your experience with AAR would be shockingly unique if they WERE always truthful with you.

If what you're truly upset is that you feel AAR, a network, lied to you, get in line. There are 10,000 producers, 10,000 writers, and 10,000 musicians and actors ahead of you, all pissed off because they were told things that turned out to be untrue. The fact that you're now saying, "But... but... but they TOLD US (whatever)..." makes you seem bewilderingly naive about your field – which brings me to my next point:

I think your last post was disingenuous. I don't think that "being lied to" is what you're really upset about. I'm sure you'll vigorously disagree, but take a breath and think about it because I'm pretty sure I'm right. I think you're pissed off because you put together a really cool radio talk show, and it didn't (for whatever reason) catch on fast enough to avoid being canceled. You're pissed off because you know it's good and Goldberg doesn't. And you're pissed off that he's pulling the plug, and that he has the power to do so. All very fair, valid feelings.

But again, I don't think your last post was sincere. I seriously doubt you're all in a tizzy because you "just can't believe" you were lied to by some network douche.

Multiple times in your original post, you complained that MS wasn't promoted well and because management didn't give it the attention it deserved. And many people on this thread keep saying the same things over and over: MS wasn't promoted, Goldberg's stupid, it wasn't given enough time, blah blah blah. These are the gripes of EVERY producer with a canceled show. I'm not suggesting there isn't some validity to those assessments – I'm saying that you also have to consider the PRODUCT which, obviously, did not attract enough listeners to keep it safe from the swinging ax.

You wrote: "If it wasn't true then, why should we believe the network's line now?" Answer: YOU SHOULDN'T. And here's some more free info: they don't give a flying fuck if you believe them now, or ever. They don't care because they're too busy lying to some other producer now. And who cares if you believe them now or not? Surely THEY don't.

To claim now (59 posts later) that you're upset because you were told things by a network that you feel were "laughably false" is, itself, laughable if you were naive enough to believe them in the first place. You seem like you have experience, so you should know better (I think you do).

Incidentally, I've noticed something about you. When you're challenged, you usually go to your safe place of responding with: "You've missed my point." You might want to cool it with that rebuttal. Often when you accuse people of missing the point, they haven't.

Yeah yeah, I know. I've missed the point.

bozo said...

Maria Tomchick, in her review of Dispatches from the Culture Wars: How the Left Lost Teen Spirit from counterpunch.org

Danny Goldberg's Imaginary Kids -
Chew Swallow Digest


=========================

[ .. ]

Older societal leaders are forever clueless to the ways of the young. Including, apparently, Goldberg, who fails to tell us what "teen spirit" is, how it could be regained, or how it might be applied in politics. Youth, here, don't have energy or ideas--only votes and disposable income. Goldberg never once quotes or cites an actual young person; in his world, unit sales and hip corporate executives, rather than politicians, speak for the young. The young themselves still don't speak.

Far more people are drawn to a good time than to a position paper--or to a music executive's free speech memoir. I'll take Emma Goldman's revolution any day.

=========================


Unlike Maron (and Howard Stern) both of whom are anarchic 40-somethings-going-on-14 - and fun to listen to - Danny Goldberg is like an old Jew with arthritis. He's discarding the left's greatest weapon - its sense of the ridiculous - to bore us all to tears with liberal yak-yak-yak.

Anonymous said...

I've been reading this controversy with interest, and I had an "aha" moment about why MS is really getting the axe:

The argument that Goldberg cancelled the show because the numbers weren't there doesn't pan out. Who is the other host replacing Maron in drive time? Rachel Maddow. Anyone remember her having a little show that was cancelled not long ago? Goldberg obviously didn't think much of her then. She was replaced by Jerry Springer, a TV personality who sucks on the radio. So why does Goldberg suddenly have confidence in Maddow to carry the drive time slot? Simple: because in the meantime she became known as a TV personality.

All this is is cowardly, uninspired management. Goldberg doesn't so much hate Maron or MS per se, he just disregards them because in his mind they don't have any "real" media cachet. Goldberg doesn't have a vision for developing a radio network with its own identity. He feels it's a safe bet to just bask in some reflected glory from TV. It's that simple. Hence Garafolo and Franken can make themselves comfortable. I guarantee you, if Maron makes some waves on TV anytime soon he'll have his job back so fast his head will spin.

keviemetal said...

Dammit, I forgot to type my ID for that last post about the TV connection. Keviemetal exclusive! Must credit Keviemetal!

Petty Larseny said...

I'm going to try to keep my replies to a minimum, but I do want to clarify a few things.

"You SHOULDN'T believe the network now. Or then. Or ever. Is that what this is really all about to you? The veracity of your network bosses?"

No, actually. I didn't think I ever said anything suggesting that's what this was all about, did I?

"Do you think it's news, or even out of the ordinary, that a network didn't play it straight with a producer?"

In this case, yeah, it was out of the ordinary. For the most part, the network did play it straight with me. For all I know, they did in this case, too. And given that more people have replied and linked to this post than any I've ever posted, this incident would seem to have the greatest, not the least, claim to being news.

"No offense, but you sound like an idealistic kid just out of college"

None taken!

"You seem like a nice guy, so I'm going to help you out by educating you a bit here. Networks LIE THEIR ASSES OFF. Always."

That hasn't been my experience.

"I think your last post was disingenuous. I don't think that "being lied to" is what you're really upset about."

Which dovetails nicely with the fact that I never said it was, don't you think?

"I'm sure you'll vigorously disagree, but take a breath and think about it because I'm pretty sure I'm right. I think you're pissed off because you put together a really cool radio talk show, and it didn't (for whatever reason) catch on fast enough to avoid being canceled."

You're right.

"You're pissed off because you know it's good and Goldberg doesn't. And you're pissed off that he's pulling the plug, and that he has the power to do so. All very fair, valid feelings. But again, I don't think your last post was sincere. I seriously doubt you're all in a tizzy because you "just can't believe" you were lied to by some network douche."

I'm glad you doubt that, because I never asserted that was the case.

"...I'm not suggesting there isn't some validity to those assessments – I'm saying that you also have to consider the PRODUCT which, obviously, did not attract enough listeners to keep it safe from the swinging ax."

That's exactly right. I have, however, considered the product. And we were always considering and re-considering the product as we were making it. We were always struggling to do things better, so I'm certainly now not going to claim that we had found a magic formula. But the show's imperfections are something anyone can judge for themselves upon listening. I was trying to focus on sharing information that wasn't readily available.

"You wrote: "If it wasn't true then, why should we believe the network's line now?" Answer: YOU SHOULDN'T."

Which was kinda my point, right?

"And here's some more free info: they don't give a flying fuck if you believe them now, or ever. They don't care because they're too busy lying to some other producer now."

Actually, I think they do care.

"And who cares if you believe them now or not? Surely THEY don't."

Then why do they bother lying in the first place?

"To claim now (59 posts later) that you're upset because you were told things by a network that you feel were "laughably false" is, itself, laughable if you were naive enough to believe them in the first place."

Please check my original post, I never claimed that's why I was upset.

"Incidentally, I've noticed something about you. When you're challenged, you usually go to your safe place of responding with: "You've missed my point." You might want to cool it with that rebuttal. Often when you accuse people of missing the point, they haven't."

Fair enough, but even if you didn't miss the points I made, you do seem to rebut a number of points I never made! Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts, though, and for giving me the opportunity to address them.

Phoenix Woman said...

One of my e-mail correspondents works at a SoCal AAR affiliate.

He says that the reason MS got dumped is ratings, pure and simple. The local affiliates' morning shows did so much better in the ratings than MS that it just didn't make sense to continue to screw the locals in the Arbitrons. (Especially since the local stations were demanding the right to have a flexible programming format.)

slim said...

Goldberg is killing the goose and he doesn't even realize it. I hope Maron stays on the air somehow - I've grown tired of Randi's rants, Al Franken seems lost on his own, and after morning sedition goes all I'll have is MR. It seems like AAR had one golden year, and now they're determined to commit suicide.

Petty Larseny said...

Phoenix Woman, I don't doubt what you say at all. We were advised early on that the pressure for local programming would be greatest in the mornings. That said, several affiliates -- Madison and Sacramento spring immediately to mind -- really got behind the show and reported doing well with it, particularly after the network finally added local availabilities for traffic and weather. In any case, the bottom line is that if the problem were that local programming does better, the solution would not be new national programming, would it?

Anonymous said...

Mr. Larsen – you seem reluctant to stick with a point of view on this MS cancellation discussion. You take a position, then when you're challenged, you shift. And when you're challenged again on your new position, you shift again.

In your original post, your message was clear. If I may crystallize... your main point was that you're upset MS is being canceled, and that you mostly blame the network/Goldberg for the show's demise. I drew this conclusion based on your following comments in your original post:

(#1 Larsen Writes) ---> "Danny Goldberg is killing Morning Sedition"

That was the TITLE of your post. You assert that the show is being killed by Danny Goldberg. Your clear implication is that the show's demise is because of Danny Goldberg. Because HE'S "killing" it. Your title alone suggests that this "killing" is being DONE TO Morning Sedition – not that the show failed in any way on its own. Your title, alone, is an accusation, as if to say, "My poor show is being murdered by a mean, stupid man."

(#2 Larsen Writes) ---> "I told the network I wanted to stay on in some other capacity. My superiors there felt the same way and sought other ways to utilize me. Goldberg, however, had no interest in keeping me, so I was laid off in September."

Here, you blame Goldberg for your termination. You claim that other people of importance wanted to keep you, and that it was only because of Goldberg that you were terminated.

(#3 Larsen Writes) ---> "When Goldberg arrived at Air America, everyone -- including him -- acknowledged that Morning Sedition had been neglected by the network."

Here, you mention your first reason (excuse) as to why MS failed. You write "Morning Sedition had been neglected by the network." Your first reason points the finger at the network.

(#4 Larsen Writes) ---> "The biggest strike against us, though, was that we were operating in the most competitive daypart -- morning drive"

Ah. Now we have your second reason as to why MS failed. The daypart was too competitive. Again, you're painting MS as a victim not deserving of its fate. You're pointing the finger somewhere other than the show itself.

(#5 Larsen Writes) ---> "And no one knew we existed"

Here, you blame a lack of promotion. "No one knew we existed."

(#6 Larsen Writes) ---> " Sedition usually did relatively okay in the ratings. When it stumbled, there was usually some clear reason for it or it was part of a larger pattern (affecting AAR or talk-radio overall)"

Once again, you refuse to let the show itself accept any responsibility. When the ratings "stumbled," you suggest it had nothing to do with the show's ability (or inability) to attract listeners. According to you, there's some OTHER "clear reason" for it. Again, you're blaming anything other than the show. Pointing fingers.

(#7 Larsen Writes) ---> "we needed to let people know our show existed"

Again, your implication is that the show would have caught on, if only it were better promoted.

(#8 Larsen Writes) ---> "the additional staff didn't yield any additional attention for or promotion of the show"

Here, you complain again about being let down by the network. Not enough promotion.

(#9 Larsen Writes) ---> "The reality is he [Goldberg] dislikes Air America's comedic elements"

And now, you advance a conspiracy theory. According to you, of course MS couldn't have been canceled because of its lackluster ratings. Oh, no. It just HAS to be because Goldberg (your villain) "dislikes" the show's comedy. Again, it can't be the fault of the show... it's mean ol' comedy-hating Goldberg.

(#10 Larsen Writes) ---> "it's probably only a matter of time until Air America somehow fumbles and lets her [Rachel] slip away."

Again, you point your finger at the network. Your implication here is that AAR has proven itself incompetent for not recognizing the brilliance and potential of MS, and therefore will also be stupid enough to let Rachel slip away as well. Again, you're blaming the big, dumb, mean ol' network.

(#11 Larsen Writes) ---> "it's a huge disappointment that Goldberg is rejecting the advice of virtually everyone who's weighed in on this issue in order to kill a show that's been provocative, unique, smart, brave, personal, vulnerable, honest and as funny as gallows humor can be."

Do I need to say it? I will. Once AGAIN... MS is brilliant and wonderful and great and awesome. Nothing wrong with the show, according to Larsen. It's only being canceled because Goldberg's an idiot. Even you can't run away from this very clear charge (made by you).
--------------------------------------
As I've shown, the main point of your original post is crystal clear. The only reason Morning Sedition is being canceled, according to you, is that it wasn't properly promoted, the daypart was too competitive, and Goldberg's too stupid.

YOU ASSIGN ZERO BLAME TO MORNING SEDITION. It's all the fault of external forces beyond the show's control – according to YOU.

That is what prompted me to write my original post where I chided you for being a stereotypical producer, blaming everyone but himself and his show for its demise. I wrote the following paragraph:

<< Every time a TV or radio show is canceled, we always hear the same old familiar whining. The producers/stars/fans bitch and moan about "the lack of promotion" and the powers-that-be "not getting it." (I love how "not liking" something always means "not getting it"...but that's another story). Once...just ONCE when a show is canceled, I'd like to hear a producer say, "Well, I guess we just weren't popular enough." Just ONCE in my life I'd like to hear someone admit that. >>

I also wrote:

"...when you get the ax, it's a bit cliche to point fingers at the powers-that-be for lack of attention and promotion. What canceled show HASN'T done that? It would just be refreshing to hear a producer (once) take a little blame for his/her product not catching on."

Well, those comments I made clearly annoyed you, because in your FOLLOW-UP POST, you responded:

(Larsen Writes) ---> "Also, some posters have suggested that I'm blaming the show's demise on poor promotion."

Suggested? Um, Mr. Larsen, please re-read your comments above. Read #5, #7, and #8 -- all words YOU wrote. To save you the trouble of scrolling up, here they are. Your words, from your original post:

(#5 Larsen Writes) ---> "And no one knew we existed"

(#7 Larsen Writes) ---> "we needed to let people know our show existed"

(#8 Larsen Writes) ---> "the additional staff didn't yield any additional attention for or promotion of the show"

And you claim I'm SUGGESTING that you're blaming the show's demise (partly) on poor promotion? No, sir. I'm not suggesting it. You did it. Multiple times.

In your follow-up post, you write "I'm not blaming low ratings on poor promotion."

Yeah, you did (as least partly). Otherwise, why would you have written comments #5, #7, and #8? Why type those words about poor promotion if you didn't feel they were relevant to the demise of MS?

Now, you hopefully see why I wrote my original comment in which I chided you for being a stereotypical producer, blaming everyone but himself (and his show) for its demise.

Your original post was mostly about you pointing fingers of blame at anyone/anything other than MS itself. But in your FOLLOW-UP post, you claim you weren't really pointing fingers of blame at lack of promotion, a competitive daypart, and a lack of attention. You claim your "real" gripe is that the network lied to you.

However, Mr. Larsen, I don't think that sentiment was sincere. I don't think the MAIN thrust of your original post was to point out the dishonesty of AAR (Goldberg). Your MAIN thrust was to complain and whine (in a clichéd manner), and to point fingers, as most producers do when their show gets the ax.

And frankly, I think you know I was correct. Which is why you backed off that point and tried to shift to another point, i.e. that the network was dishonest.

The truth is, the dishonesty of AAR is about 10% of your gripe. 90% of your gripe is with how it all went down... what YOU feel lead to the cancellation of MS. You can deny my assessment of percentages all you want, but all anyone has to do is read your original post. They'll see I'm quite on target.

And to address your most recent point to Phoenix Woman:

(Larsen Writes) ---> "the bottom line is that if the problem were that local programming does better, the solution would not be new national programming, would it?"

Yes, it would. The fact that local programming does better IS THE PROBLEM. Perhaps Mr. Goldberg's goal is to create new, improved national programming that can BEAT local programming. Or do you feel Goldberg, now that he's canceled MS, should just throw in the towel?

Let me make this more simple for you: MS got canceled because (as Phoenix Woman pointed out): "the reason MS got dumped is ratings, pure and simple. The local affiliates' morning shows did so much better in the ratings than MS that it just didn't make sense to continue to screw the locals in the Arbitrons."

Mr. Larsen, your response to that reality is laughable. You wrote: "if the problem were that local programming does better, the solution would not be new national programming, would it?"

You can't be serious. You MUST be pretending to not get it, because I know you do. GOLDBERG IS TRYING TO CREATE A NATIONAL MORNING SHOW THAT GETS BETTER RATINGS FOR THE LOCAL AFFILIATES THAN THEIR LOCAL PROGRAMMING CAN. I have a hard time believing this didn't occur to you after reading Phoenix Woman's post.

Or even simpler: Goldberg wants a national show like MS, but with HIGHER RATINGS.

There. Now you know. The sad thing is, all these words, all these 60+ posts... all for nothing.

Morning Sedition was canceled because it didn't attract enough viewers.

Period, the end.

anastasi said...

Thanks for publishing your insider's view. I could never comprehend why Goldberg would cancel a show with such a great outpouring of fan support. The only reasons my spouse and I could figure out were a personality conflict with Maron, or just plain prejudice against comedy. In the age of new media, Arbitron can't be the only determinig factor - how many people stream and podcast this show?

I'll sorely miss Maron, I just hope the archives will be up for a while after the show changes over so I can download as many podcasts as possible. I work long, crazy, hours, but I still set my alarm for 6:00 am and listen in and out of REM sleep. While Riley and Maddow are at least up-tempo in their delivery (unlike the morning guy on WBAI - a tranquilizer personified), something about a biting satirical voice is refreshing. The only other host I've heard is Bernie Fleshkin, and his visits to the East Coast are few and far between.

I don't get to listen to Randi as much as I'd like - I do enjoy her and Mike Malloy's righteous anger. Franken ... well, he still keeps trying to do TV sketches on the radio - it doesn't quite work without the costuming and makeup when he's trying to have a conversation with Stuart Smalley.

I have to agree with everyone else here - I'll still listen to AAR, but I won't be losing any more sleep after 12/16

AM Marshall said...

To Larsen, thanks so much for the post and for bringing Maron so far so quickly. He really did develop into a unique radio personality; there's no one else like him.

And to the unbelievably belligerent and verbose Anonymous poster who has his or her panties in a wad about what's *really* irking Larsen . . . .

So Goldberg's genius idea for national programming is Rachel Maddow. Do you actually think that two hours of listening Rachel Maddow reading from last night's Talking Points Cafe and Atrios and Daily Kos is going to compete with local programming? Do you really think that she's going to draw listeners away from NPR? Do you think Howard Stern's abandoned listeners are going to prefer her erudition to Morning Sedition comedy? Yeah, dream on.

I love Goldberg apologists. Within 2 years, Goldberg will have you listening to Rush Limbaugh, and you'll think it's okay. The ratings, don't you know.

Anonymous said...

MS is awesome! I wake up to it on my alarm clock. Mark Riley is a perfect counterbalance to Marc Maron, but everyone is forgetting the magic behind the men. The GUYS Dan Pashman, Kris LoPresto, Brendan McDonald - these guys RULE. The week of Katrina when M&M were out and the guys did the show, was one of my favorite weeks EVER on AAR.
Clearly, major mistakes are being made by management (just listen to Randi, she bitches about it every day). They are losing the "voice" of AAR, the distinctive style that made it different from NPR and all the crap on the right.
I used to listen from sun-up to sun-down. I heard Randi and Mike Malloy's first shows, and I was hooked. Now I podcast Rachel, Randi, Morning Sedition, and Mike Malloy - that's it.
AAR is ABSOLUTELY VITAL! Don't blow it by getting rid of everything that makes it special.

Anonymous said...

I am also one of the addicted who started listening when my alarm went off at the beginning of the last hour and now get up TWO HOURS early, just to hear the entire show!

What impressed me about the show was that it didn't only give me the important news of the day,
but through the interviews and the humor, it worked on the cultural, political, moral and spiritual significance of current events. Often in the last hour Maron would come up with some pithy phrase or name which would better capture the meaning of a current issue than anything I heard from any writer, blogger, pundit or other broadcaster. MS gave us the news, looked at that news from many angles, did a gut check on it against our own liberal values and put it in a cultural and emotional perspective. It is also the only show on AAR that pokes gentle fun at liberals themselves, exploring our guilt, the tension
between our idealism and our earthy side, our often uneasy relationship with organized religion our attraction to both revolutionary and weekend brunches, etc. It helped us put ourselves in perspective. I also loved the way the characters and bits grew over time and the wonderful ensemble nature of the show that made the entire cast and crew part of your radio family. The more you listened, the more rewarding the show became. When the ratings of the replacement shows drop lower than those of MS (and they will), will management admit its mistake? I have listened to all the AAR shows since the network came to our town over a year ago and it is clear that MS is the best. I only hope that its demise is temporary - I need this kind of radio.

surrogate said...

I live in uber-conservative Grand Rapids Michigan, so although we do have two and a half talk radio stations, we only have about two hours a day of what MIGHT be considered left leaning radio.

I started listening to MS as soon as it was available where I was living before and have listened just about every morning over the web since coming here and I'm saddened by the cancellation. Maron and Riley have gotten better and better over the months and to cancel them now seems like firing the postman after he's sorted his mail, driven to his route and just after he's just started putting letters in boxes.

Sure, eventually everyone will get their envelopes, but it'll take a while and during the inevitable lag, people will look elsewhere for ways to communicate... Silly timing if nothing else.

Barry Champlain said...

By way of credentials, I’m a 34-year broadcaster myself, and have recently plunged into the career description of the dread Broadcast Consultant. Having had AAR on my presets since Day One, I believe I have the perspective, both of a fan and of a designer who knows how the vehicle is built.

The first thing we must accept is that the other “Anonymous” has some sort of media involvement. Not to mention an ax to grind, much as Mr. Larsen does. Protests by “Anonymous” to the contrary would be futile, to my ears. I would like to address the broad scope of his remarks about broadcasting in general, as it relates to the cancellation of “Morning Sedition”.

AAR started with a weak network which offered its programming to potential affiliates in any form that would ensure clearance for its primary acts, Franken and Rhodes. Affiliates of major networks and program providers more often than not retain their morning drive daypart as their own property, because morning drive demands more dollars for its share point, regardless of how meager that share might be.

The caveat is that the show in morning drive must be local; excepting the Stern phenomenon, and a few local “networks” (“Slappy and Wappy and the Alabama Morning Zoo”, etc.), no national morning show has ever made a ratings dent. Yes, there’s Imus; his numbers stink everywhere, but he’s got TV and a big, committed corporation behind his syndication. Believe me… it just doesn’t happen for national morning shows. In general. And usually, the structure is such that it doesn’t matter all that much.

I’ve always had a saying that you could have Jesus Christ, giving the cure for cancer in power rotation, on a low-power, zero-share AM radio station with no signal over the metro, and not one dollar for outside advertising… and it will still never pull an audience. “Anonymous” disingenuously fails to point out that the failure of MS is not content-related at all. For all practical purposes, it IS JC in the morning with the cure for cancer. But the company behind it is not, however, committed to total clearance and support during times of lean shares, as it is with Rhodes and Franken.

This makes all the difference in the world.

I will be the first to acknowledge that radio and TV programmers all too frequently use excuses about the proverbial “lack of promotion”, when apologizing for the failure of a dog program. But 9 times out of 10, adequate promotion is still quite essential, and lack of promotion is still a completely valid problem… something not stipulated in the argument by Anonymous. In this case, promotion for a show with the comparatively low morning drive clearance of MS was critical… and virtually nonexistent. Do not expect MS’ successor to do one iota better, although I’ll wager that you certainly will see more outside visibility, once there’s a morning show in there that the company “likes”.

“Anonymous” treats as a given that the show allegedly stunk, thus causing its demise. More weight must necessarily be given to his untold agenda, here (whatever that may be), because as we all know, “stinks” is subjective. Stern, in the eyes of many, “stinks”. But unless you acknowledge that that opinion is subjective, you’d have a hard time explaining Stern’s $500 million Sirius contract and the ensuing publicity. SOMEBODY doesn’t think Stern “stinks”.

And unless you’re unusually comfortable with totally ignoring a groundswell of protest, you’d be hard pressed to write Marc Maron’s program off as worthless. As a radio programmer, I can tell you this: it is completely possible (for whatever valid reasons, like the ones I’ve tried to illuminate here) for a radio personality to have crappy ratings, and yet be a cause celebre among the listeners he or she DOES attract.

This is a critical point, thoroughly whitewashed by “Anonymous”. In the case of morning radio, it is that listener passion which quite often makes a salable commodity out of a low-rated morning drive program. This is known as the “concept sale”; it’s how come Imus makes a few mil himself and the coffeepots that carry his low-rated show (not to mention his powerhouse New York flagship WFAN… NOT a ratings monster in NYC morning drive!) make decent coin out of the deal.

Given MS’ rotten affiliate clearance, the outside promotional invisibility and the resulting lack of numbers, the only thing left that could have made it work would have been aggressive marketing to affiliates and solid support by Air America Radio. That didn’t happen. I’ll let you in on one more reality of this business: corporations program what they LIKE; what they are comfortable with. I don’t want to hear about “research”, either. I have witnessed dozens of situations where a radio group walks in and throws out a successful format or personality, and replaces them with one of their “brands”. Miraculously, these moves are always supported by their “research”. They may or may not do as well or produce as much profit as the original, but they’re happy, and that’s all that counts.

And finally, I’d like to echo the comments of earlier posters here, that if Mr. Goldberg has more interest in offering radio listeners an ideologically-diligent course in politics, mixed-into a plethora of dollar-a-holler per inquiry commercials consisting of a high-pitched intern reading “GoToMyPC” copy 12 times an hour; the drawling goober with the same highly-emotional personal endorsement for 100 different financial clients, ending with the 800 phone number repeated three times in a row; and any number of get-rich-quick schemes… then even the most committed of AAR fans are both no longer going to tune-in for not having enough decent programming (the “Cume”), nor will they remain tuned-in for being bombarded by that crap (the “Time Spent Listening”).

I am rapidly becoming one of those ex-listeners. Randi and Al are just not worth the effort. This was a subjective move, pure and simple (Goldberg’s prerogative, if wrong-headed), and to classify it as a “business decision” is to belie the fact that Marc Maron was only in the content-producing “business”; the marketing was all Air America’s. They chose not to. Period.

Anonymous said...

Nothing really popular gets canceled.

JohnInSP(MS) said...

. . . and the winner is ---

the tag team of Larsen & Champlain!

(glad we got that out of the way)

I'd like to offer up a different point of view, a paean of sorts to "Clutch" Larson.

Clutch, you did for morning radio what Lorne Michaels did for late night TV comedy in '75. As a sophmore in college then, I can remember the tremendous buzz at seeing something so revolutionary, you just knew pop culture would change forever as a result (not to mention the political landscape).

It took almost thirty years to get that exact same feeling back again with Morning Sedition. God, what I would give to keep it going . . .

But things pass, and memories can be better than their well spring. And I got to share it this time with my two boys. Priceless!

You deserve a damn fine & hearty Thank You for what you did, and what remains. Clutch, I'll be looking for you (with Marc?) out there again.

Peace, buddy.

emcg said...

I would like to throw in my two cents. Yes, the most stupid media decision ever. And if it is even true that MS's NYC ratings were not high enough, they would have gotten there -- of that I am as certain as one can be and still be on the progressive side of the aisle....

Morning Sedition was a completely new kind of talk radio, I think, really fresh, on the cutting edge. out of the ordinary. It was art. So, okay, maybe there are those folks who had been listening to and participating in talk radio before Air America was born, who might actually prefer to listen to someone like Rachel Maddow (no offense, Rachel) -- because that's what they came looking for, that's what they expected. (And to tell the truth, I know not one of them.)

Me, I didn't know what to expect, because I'd not ever listened to "talk radio". But now I have. I've listened to a lot of AAR, and Morning Sedition just blew me away. And it's how I have gotten new listeners hooked, including many who were quite disinclined to even check it out, because they were perfectly happy listening to "Democracy Now" and WBIA. (Hmm, those elusive local market listeners?) But one little taste of Morning Sedition made them AAR junkies, just like me.

My point, though, which I seem to be having a bit of trouble making, is that there are millions (maybe just thousands and thousands?) of folks like me, who are not already avid consumers of "talk radio", and thus have never listened to Air America or Morning Sedition, but who, given the opportunity -- which requires that they turn it on for the first time, which would be a new behavior for them, and as such might take a little time to fully develop as a trend -- would become ardent admirers, supporters, and loyal listeners. Who would then put up with the stupid commercials, and even keep AAR tuned in all the time, out of loyalty.

There are those of us who find the straight-ahead earnest presentation a little bit over-bearing, maybe somewhat boring; tiresome! (perhaps especially those of us who are, like me, a wee bit humour-challenged and more than a wee bit over-earnest ourselves). Some of us need some effing RELIEF from the nightmare of today's -- what -- situation? reality? Geez, Morning Sedition was so.... welcome! It gave you a lift with really sharp humor that did not insult your intelligence. Au contraire, it turned a little light on in your head! Sort of like good poetry does.

Now, what will I do? I used to listen to NPR, to WNYC; I used to read the NY Times; I used to do a lot of things I no longer do. Do I miss them? Let me see: how much would you miss a nasty splinter right in the end of your dominant-hand index finger?

I will most certainly miss Marc Maron, and I will also miss Sam and Janeane -- because I will no longer be listening to AAR. I'm going back to good old, comforting music.

Marc Maron in Morning Sedition -- I think he created a new performance art form. I hope someone somewhere with some vision will start all over again, with a new station, a new "progressive" talk radio (duh! how progressive?), built around Marc's insanely brilliant, illuminating, inspiring, breath-of-fresh-air approach to today's -- whatever. He set a new standard.

No more Marc? How can they? I am sick. Ill. Beside myself. Furious. Distraught.

Oh, well, in this day and age, what is one more assault on our silly sensibilities?

Anonymous said...

Hello Jonathan! SO GLAD you posted those remarks on the MS site, so we could all find you. I have had trouble getting my MS because the Minnesota station kept pre-empting it. The are totally middle-of the road now, playing Stephanie Miller (ishhhh) and Ed Schultz. I drive by their studio and the sign doesn't even say Air America... So my withdrawal has been long and hard. I have been a lurker on the blog during work, just to keep connected with the best thing ever to hit radio. THANK YOU for your role in this. Right now I'm hearing Marc on MR and I'm smiling again! This has been clever, funny (and I'm also 50 and female. Just the giggling was enough for me)... and fabulous guests. I'm just miserable about this. Hope to hear more about you AND Maron very soon.

don in Pdx said...

So this was the last MS show this morning. WTF am I gonna listen to now when I'm at work out here in Oregon at 3 am? I guess I'll have to break down and buy an iPod. Why should I even bother to listen to AAR now? To be bombarded with loudmouthed talk show hosts whose opinions I agree with? Borrrring .... MS gave us the gift of laughter as well as insight. What a revolutionary thing for talk radio to do.The only thing I can think of that comes close to MS is Firesign Theater.
The only comedian who was on the same level as Marc Maron was Richard Prior. That same edgy, walking the tightrope, never know if he's gonna fall, big heart on his sleeve brand of humor.

RIP MS. RIP AAR.

samantha said...

Hey, everybody - check out Air America Place and download mp3's of the episodes while you can. Maybe that will tide us over until Marc resurfaces somewhere else.

Philip Miller said...

I departed Stern when MS began and never looked back. Many a morning I sat in my car at the curb, late for my first appointment of the day, listening to the brilliant blend of humor and righteous outrage that was MS.
Now I feel bereft. What a stupid decision. I never thought I'd say it, but David Lee Roth in the morning is starting to sound palatable.

karen said...

Thank you for telling us the sad, stupid truth. I cannot believe I will not be hearing Marc and Mark tomorrow morning. I, too, will be among the multitude downloading past episodes to play over again.

Danny Goldberg was a "suit" in the music business, riding on the talent of the artists, and is still a "suit," with no creativity, vision or, apparently, a sense of humor.

Morning Sedition was the future of progressive radio. The show talked about not only politics, but culture; its humor was not only intelligent but often silly and stupid. These guys had their fingers on the pulse of the liberal zeitgeist above and beyond politics.

I mourn its passing with not just sadness, but fury. How dare they keep the banal, insipid Jerry Springer?? How is he more worthy than Marc and Mark?

I urge all listeners to boycott AAR. Nothing against Rachel Maddow, but I want the ratings to plunge. That's the only way the suits in charge will realize their mistake.

Listen up, sheeple!!!

karen
obstinateeye.blogspot.com

Godless US Soldier said...

I am now in Iraq again and I have to say that the only thing I looked forward to besides going home to my wife and sons was finally getting to podcast MS again. After over 2 months without, I was finally able to download it only to discover that I was listening to the last week ever. I was literally teary-eyed. I have had comrades shot in front of me (Haiti '95) and this moved me every bit as much. I lost more than a favorite show, I lost my buddies.

I was filled with a hopeless, helpless rage and sorrow. Have you ever sat, head bowed and eyes wet, so angry that you wanted to scream, but paralyzed by that same rage. I shook after the initial shock wore off and felt a creeping numbness and a cold emptiness in my stomach settle over me. My feet felt like wood and every sound seemed muffled and distant, as if I were alone miles away from my body. I feel this same sick helplessness whenever I see footage from the WTC attack. Something precious was taken from me and now I am alone here in a faraway land where I can no longer find truth.

DM said...

I just heard about this (been out of the loop) and I am shocked to hear that Danny Goldberg is involved with AAR on any level. Is AAR committig suicide? That man does for progressiveness what Hillary Clinton does for liberalism: NOTHING.

Get him out of there!

Anonymous said...

Well, it's been a little over a month now and I STILL miss MS every morning.

k.barrick said...

I agree with the latest anoymous. I have love for Mark Riley and Rachel Maddow and I'm trying to still listen but...

I'd wait to leave my apartment for MS to download. I WOKE UP AT 4 AM for the final show! The 2-hr long Rachel and sadly the 2-hr Riley shows...they get nothing stirred up in me besides sadness, nostalgia, and the occasional uncomfortable shiver when awkward conversation happens.

I don't know what to do. MS made me create my own radio show on my campus station and think about getting an internship with MS. Now... who knows.

Carlo said...

Good Job! :)

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