Or, why live and local radio is way better than un-live (non-live? dead?) national radio.
Two seemingly unrelated things…
1. Remember that scene in Private Parts when Howard Stern decided to go for it? Hold nothing back, put everything out there? Turned out to be a key moment in his career.
2. My favorite things at the Nixon Library are a couple of brown padded binders. They’re usually laying on an exhibit table, which houses dozens of “keys to the city” awarded to Nixon throughout the years. Meh…I’m not too interested in keys to the city. But I’m totally into the binders.
Inside the binders are letters. (Like email – only on paper.) There’s the letter he wrote in 1985 relinquishing his secret service protection. And there’s a letter to Ray Kroc praising the deliciousness of the Big Mac. (I’ve never had a Big Mac, but he makes it sound good.)
OK, so what do these things have to do with radio? (Hang on, I’ll pull it together…hopefully.)
It’s like this. The talk radio I like is honest. Like Mr. KABC always said – no scripts, no planted callers, no contrived viewpoints. I don’t really care what you’re saying, as long as it’s authentic. This is what leads me to listen to radio shows about cigars and gardening, when I don’t smoke cigars or garden.
It’s also personal. I mean, you don’t have to tell me all your deep, dark secrets, but I would like to feel as through I know you. (Wait…am I turning into the creepy one now?) If I know you, I’m interested in what you want to tell me.
OK, so not ALL local shows are honest and personal. But un-live national shows universally lack these qualities. They’re a talk radio mirage. It seems like talk radio but, when you look closely, you discover it isn’t real.
It’s totally the Mirror of Erised, yo. There’s a reason Dumbledore doesn’t want us to go looking for it.
And I trust Dumbledore.