Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Profiles in Centrism

Self-professed centrist "Flash" is celebrating his five year blog anniversary. He links to an Internet archived version of his early days in blogging, from March 2004 where we find this eloquent, insightful observation:

The Northern Axis Radio, and the group of Rush wannabes with their RNC talking points. I really was hoping for a more independent, objective look at the world's happenings. Instead, it is just a bunch of retreaded one-liners from a group of hacks!

Hey, he's talking about us. For having the unmitigated gall to take a conservative view of the world, you get labeled a Nazi? And an unoriginal one at that! When this is the voice of the political center in Minnesota, you can understand why the NARN needed to exist.

The Northern Axis Alliance Radio Network, Saturdays 11AM - 5 PM, on AM1280 the Patriot.

For another glimpse of the world from which we sprang, this observation on the state of local talk radio, from the guy who used to be paid to write about radio as an objective observer for the St. Paul monopoly newspaper:

For the unaware, [Dan Barreiro's] 4 to 7 p.m. KFAN show is something of an oasis of literacy in Twin Cities commercial talk. While the basic stratagem for holding male audiences continues to depend heavily on feeding the ill-informed near toxic amounts of bullshit and candy, Barreiro's act routinely reflects someone who reads material heavier than NewsMax, the deep thoughts of Hugh Hewitt and Fantasy Football websites. The ex-Strib sports columnist appears to actually read -- gasp! -- books, novels and more than one newspaper. What's more, his show reflects something more evolved than a supermarket check-out line intelligence level.

No mention that Barreiro is also a liberal. I'm sure that's not germane in any way to Lambert's admiration of him.

I'll take him at his word. It's all about education and intelligence that sets Barreiro above the AM radio howler monkeys. If only those Ivy League and advance degree holders like Dennis Prager, Hugh Hewitt, Michael Medved, Bill Bennett, John Hinderaker, King Banaian, etc. would read as much, and be as intelligent as, sports writer and journalism degree carrying Dan Barreiro, then maybe they would be worth listening to.

UPDATE: I forgot Chad the Elder. Can you imagine how much better his interviews with the likes of John McWhorter, John Nagl, Victor Davis Hanson, etc. would be if he actually read books!

The Elder Hangs His Head: I gotta admit that I'm not as well-read as Barreiro having never been able get through those intellectually challenging Vince Flynn novels. I'm also jealous that he can keep up with political heavyweights like Pat Kessler. Meanwhile, we just have to settle for the likes of Michael Barone, Mark Steyn, Max Boot, and Michael Burleigh.

SP Piles on the Shame: Chad, if you're interested in rising to the level of the intellectual heavyweights of radio in this town, start taking note of Barreiro's "Book Tip of the Week". This week's selection and review:

Dark House, by Alex Barclay - Very solid thriller about a New York cop who moves with his family to a lighthouse in Ireland, only to find his son the leading suspect in a murder, and that a controversial old case is following him across the pond and will threaten his entire family. The story really moves. Excellent dialogue, ending a bit abrupt for me, but well worth the time.

My brain hurts already.