Me and the Beeb (and It Was Soooo Exciting!)

So, I did get to participate in the talk today, but only early on. If you want to hear it, just go to the WHYS site and download today’s podcast. (You’ll see it easily enough.)

The problem that plagued the last show I was on continues: the guy who is hosting the show now is not very good at balancing the speakers. Today he let a gushing 20-year-old in Minnesota talk three times, but me only once. He interrupted me at one point and then came back saying — to her — “Oh, I’m sorry. I interrupted you.” She had nothing to fucking say except “Oh, it was sooo exciting!” over and over. And over.

Do you want the “opposing view” or not? Do you want a balanced show?

I wrote to Ros, the producer, thanking him for having me again but this time I complained. I don’t mind spreading around the talk with the two radio guests who really had something to contribute. And sure, it’s nice to hear a young voice express some enthusiasm. But to let a young girl with virtually nothing to add speak three times wasn’t their finest moment in programming, especially when I could have contributed information about the French, which would have addressed the actual comments coming in on the blog and SMS about money affecting our democratic process. Or even spoken to other important problems.

And while I have you, I’ll speak to that point: The French hava a law that says every candidate must be given equal time in every medium — radio, TV, newspaper, etc. This keeps the playing field level for poor people who run for office, since they can’t afford TV ads and all that. So what they typically do is hold tons of these town halls and debates to get the candidates on TV and radio. This works because France isn’t nearly as big as the U.S. The candidates can travel around, participate in these town hall discussions and put up political posters.

It doesn’t work for the U.S. because we’re so damned big. We have to have major media to reach everyone. We also have a capitalist society. Making money is part of our culture, but at least it’s transparent (that is, we have to know where the contributions come from).

The part, though, I really wanted to say (knowing that time was short) was that it’s legal here to lie in these media ads. That’s the part that’s so incredibly wrong and broken.

But, gee, I’m glad the world instead knows it was all soooo exciting. Because that was the focus of the show, obviously.

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