I really liked Air America in the lead-up to the 2004 presidential election. Marc Maron and Jim Earl were funny as hell. Even Janeane Garofalo was worth listening to, especially when she had her dad, Carmine, on the show. Carmine was an old Republican and Janeane was always trying to save him. Carmine made a hell of a lot of sense. And then there was Bobby Kennedy Jr., sounding like he'd had voice box surgery performed with a piece of barbed wire by Jack the Ripper.
After the election, Air America got rid of all the humor and the more eclectic personalities. Its best hosts, people like Maron, were deep-sixed and replaced with preachy lefties and shrill harpies yammering a very tedious anti-everything cant. The most abnoxious is that Australian woman in the afternoon who sounds like some bullhorn-carrying Socialist Worker-type. And hiring Jerry Springer to be all weepie and gooey... two hours of him doing that silly monologue that he does at the end of his TV show, the little soul-salve to take away our guilt for watching the hillbilly fights. Yuk.
Maybe, post-911, New York wasn't really ready for a Big Hug solution to the world's problems.
Well, Air America in receivership now. Looks like Al Franken, who's actually as good, or better, a radio host than anyone we have in Canada, will be stiffed for over $300,000. And it's too bad. Franken says a lot of things about the right that need to be said. The more voices out there, the better.
NEW YORK — Air America Radio, a liberal talk and news radio network that features the comedian Al Franken, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, a network official told The AP.
The network had denied rumours just a month ago that it would file for bankruptcy protection. On Friday, Air America spokeswoman Jaime Horn told The Associated Press that the filing became necessary only recently after negotiations with a creditor from the privately held company's early days broke down.
The network will stay on the air while it resolves issues with its creditors, Horn said. In addition to Franken, the network also features shows from liberal talk show host Randi Rhodes and syndicates shows from Jerry Springer and Portland, Ore.-based talk show host Thom Hartmann.