My car has a cassette player along with the CD player and radio, and most of the time, while I drive around town, doing my errands, I play a cassette from my glory days on the air. Not all the time, but recently I have played some stuff from the mid-1980s when I was at my personal “mountaintop” on the number one New York City radio station.
Later in the day, I got back in my car, not playing the cassette, and due to hitting the “scan” button rather than my programmed FM stations, I heard host Michael Savage act like his surname on one of these political talk stations, ( local Cumulus, one of the evil radio empire’s outlets) espousing about how “Obama is the most divisive President in history!” As I’m driving, I thought how stupid and potentially racist this host sounded, unabashed at the divisions and anger that he was creating with his words upon those ears within the sound of his voice. President Obama is still cleaning-up the mess of eight years of Bushwacking part deux. I thought, “How can the managers of these radio stations allow these ‘little Hitlers’ on the air daily? The do not practice “free speech”, it is ignorant hate speech sanctioned by the selectively three-monkey mentality of the FCC of the past twenty years.
Then it came to me again that it is this kind of “talk radio” that is responsible for creating all of these “angry voters” because they are the divisive ones. How did they get this way, you ask? Intelligence – or the lack thereof on the radio today on these stations. Simply, the FCC now will allow anybody on the radio or TV. When I began in radio, in order to even break [open] the microphone on the air, you had to pass a difficult test: the FCC Third Class License exam. Although I hated studying how to calculate the plate voltage and the plate current at the time, I now look back on the process as one that filtered these casual “entertainers with an agenda” who have become so prolific and selfish with their messages that they’d rather create havoc under the guise of needed political discourse which become controversy that veils any positive discourse, than espouse messages of diverse unity and commonality for all peoples from we true radio professionals that even went to school for it or paid the “dues” necessary to get to the major markets.
I bet none of the popular political talk show hosts, from Limbaugh to whoever, could pass that test if it was required today! Happily, if that were the case, none of them would be allowed on the radio!
The remedy? Please, Federal Communications Commission, bring back the Third Class License test as it was when you abandoned it, so that intelligent broadcasters can return to the air who may disagree without yelling “fire!” in a crowded theater. America, put political “talk radio” out of business; advertisers pull your spots! PUL-EEEZE, for the unity of the U.S.A.’s sake – and what is left of terrestrial radio (which sadly, ain’t much); dont you think? Holla back.
Pickhit Update: Congresswoman shot in Arizona made me come right back to this post. This is what I mean, tragically and graphically illustrated. Make people get FCC licences to be on the air – it is one way to filter the hate-speech that can insight lunatics like this shooter .