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Sun Dec 11, 2011, 01:29 AM

Black and White TV and AM Radio [View all]

I know that a lot of you don't give a flip about AM Radio. You feel the same way about black and white TV.
But some of us like B&W TV, the same way some people enjoy driving vintage cars and living in mildewy castles.

AM Radio is the truckers', the travelers and the poor person's night time diversion and entertainment. AM Radio is the programming rich and poor people listen to in times of emergency and disaster. Of course it crackles and fades in and out. This drives my kids crazy. But they just don't get it. I grew up in the sixties listening to stations broadcasting up and down the east coast late at night on my chunky, waterproof, indestructible transistor radio. The sputters and fade are part of the charm, kids.

You're as likely to pick up a crystal clear station from Chicago or New Orleans as you are one from the big city nearest you. This used to mean that radio was a great way to "see" the country, through local programs that highlighted the style and concerns and weather and activities of people in cities where I'd never been. Now that a few corporations own most of those frequencies, the majority of AM stations sound the same whether in the Midwest, the Northeast or the South. The programming is centralized (funny how much Republicans hate centralization of power in government, but adore it on public airwaves.) The same answers are presented as solutions whether in Nashville or New Haven; the same voice mimics the voice before it and the voice before it.

To listen to our national airwaves, one would think we are a nation made up completely of regressive republicans, loser libertarians and cranky conservatives. One would think the majority of Americans believe that Democrats are evil, liberals should die, that it's time to take up arms and start shooting Democratic politicians. How is this possible at a time when the Republican Congress has a 9% approval rating and the Democratic President has anywhere from a 35 - 91% approval rating? How is this legal?

How is a corporation like Clear Channel acting in the best interest of 800+ stations' communities when its stations broadcast blatant lies from one party, zero information from the other party, and actual calls to violence against the latter?


The hardware for AM Radio is cheap. If you're in a car, there's probably an AM receiver. If you're homeless, a small battery-operated radio from the dollar store will get you tuned in. In a power outage or while out camping, a hand crank or solar radio will pick up AM Radio no matter where you are and no matter how many other utilities and services and media are down. AM Radio used to be there in times of crisis. I recall hosting my own AM radio show during storms, providing a place for people to call in with up-to-the-minute road conditions and to share their stuck-in-the-dark fears. AM Radio was a medium people looked to for information and reassurance.

But don't count on today's AM Radio to help you. It's a virtual unchecked Clear Channel Gangland of violent rhetoric, fear-mongering and falsehood. In the next weather emergency, you'll tune in only to hear one of the sycophantic blowhard talk hosts being broadcast in Chicago and New York and Miami and Kalamazoo and Chattanooga and Oklahoma City and LA and Seattle telling you whom to hate today, but not a thing about whether it's safe to drive downtown or what made the power go out in your neighborhood. Your local emergency is not Clear Channel's problem.

The FCC may not care that Clear Channel is not living up to its licensing agreements. To me, the FCC's negligence and tacit approval of violent rhetoric and political discrimination is a betrayal of all of us, especially the citizens who most rely on AM Radio.

For those who don't understand the passion over AM Radio, this is a meager explanation. Those who love AM like me please feel free to add your own illustrations.

Please help Occupy Clear Channel. Monday. Every day.

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=439x2457144


And Welcome to DU3!!!!!!!







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