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Air America And Its Faux Progressive Programming Shuts Down

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Air America, the groundbreaking talk radio network that started out as a lone beacon of real progressive programming, finally ended its long, slow agonizing five year death spiral and breathed it last this afternoon. I loved this network’s original lineup when it started out in March of 2004 with a real life hard hitting progressive/liberal time slots that included the likes of Marc Maron, Sam Sedar, Janine Garafalo, Rachel Maddow, and my favorite and future U.S. Senator from Minnesota, Al Franken. For a variety of economic reasons and changes in executive management the network began making changes in its programming and letting original lineup hosts go until they all either went their own way or were forced off the air for one reason or another.

I felt the liberal perspective was being watered down to a more moderate/centrist dynamic with the gradual disappearance of each component of its original lineup. It finally reached the point around 2007 after bankruptcy filings and ownership changes where its progressive perspective was no longer viable as a liberal network outlet. The final nail in the coffin was when Al Franken left to run for the U.S. Senate and a self described raconteur named “Lionel” dropped into the future U.S. Senator’s prime slot from 3 – 6pm. The first pronouncement by this waste of airtime was he was not a liberal or progressive but a critic at large of all things political. In other words he presented a so called moderate view within the context of conservative framing of each issue he brought up or covered. It was at this point I decided I was done with the entire network.

By then I was rooting for its demise because of its continuous use of a false label of progressive programming under the guise of self-serving non-political personalities such as Montel Williams and others. I just wanted to blow the thing up and start over with a real network that served the liberal/progressive cause.

Currently former Republicans Ed Shultz and Stephanie Miller are the recognizable faces representing the liberal/progressive perspective. Both aren’t quite my cup of tea personality wise but I know the market has room for a such voices as Tom Hartman and Mike Mallory that would go along way toward moving some segments of the media away from right wing conservative issue framing and give the public a fresher view of progressive ideas and policy solutions.

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