On Your Air America Programming Schedule Today

Mary Katharine Ham
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Posted: Jul 31, 2006 11:30 AM

Me, apparently.

I heard a rumor that I was the subject of much discussion, or derision, or both on Air America this morning because I wrote this column last night:

How was your week? I spent mine with Randi Rhodes, Stephanie Miller, and Al Franken, and it was fabulous. No, really. I stumbled on the local “progressive talk” station last week, and the commentary left my jaw on the floorboard of my car so often, I couldn’t manage to turn the station. My jaw was actually in the way of the radio dial.

Maybe that’s the business model. Pack the airwaves with enough crazy and listeners find themselves unable to escape.

I included a couple of lessons I had learned:

2) Hezbollah doesn’t exist, and even if it does, it’s certainly not a terrorist group.
Both Randi and Stephanie can do half-hour segments about the Israel-Hezbollah conflict without ever mentioning Hezbollah. They show awe-inspiring restraint. On Air America, Israel is attacking a Middle-Eastern democracy—Lebanon—without provocation in an attempt to, as far as I could tell, just be really evil.

In fact, being really evil is a motivation ascribed to Bush, Cheney, all neocons, and all conservatives for every action they’ve ever taken.

When Hezbollah is mentioned, it is as a progressive, do-gooding civic organization that could use just a bit of refining of its self-detonation-inclined members.

3) The Left has its own issues with sexuality.
On Air America, Ann Coulter is no longer Ann Coulter. She is Mann Coulter or Andy Coulter because no one on the Left airwaves can manage to discern her gender. Randi excoriated Coulter for 10 minutes about insinuating that Bill Clinton and Al Gore were homosexual before herself saying she thought Coulter was probably right about Gore. She then went on questioning Coulter’s sexuality for another five minutes.

4) Want moral authority? Buy a plunger.
Randi shared a story about how she’s making some repairs on her house. Her abode has recently required some roofing and plumbing. It didn’t sound like the repairs were major, but their impact went far beyond her hot-water heater. Randi explained that working on her own house helped her understand, just a little bit, what it might be like to be an Iraqi citizen who comes home one day, and through no fault of his own, finds his home destroyed. Who knew that all it took to feel the pain of 35 years of dictatorial oppression and understand the struggle to live in the face of a brutal insurgency bent on continuing that oppression was a trip the Home Depot? That must be some kind of horrible customer service.

As a bonus, the same home repairs helped Randi understand what it must be like to be a Katrina victim. Apparently, they stock moral authority on Aisle 14.

During the segment I heard on her house repairs, Randi didn't make clear why she was making them. Apparently, her house was damaged by Hurricane Wilma in 2005 (thanks to an e-mailer for that info, which I confirmed in a couple places). So, to be fair, the repairs may have been more major than she implied, but I think I'm safe in saying that if you live in a hurricane zone, have your house damaged, and have the money to repair it while living in another home, you're not exactly an Iraqi or a Katrina victim. And, to compare your experience with theirs serves to minimize the tragedies they've experienced.

After I heard about my newfound Air America celebrity, I was looking forward to a glut of liberal readers and loopy commenters, but I've only gotten two lefty e-mails to far. Perhaps that's a reflection of the Air America audience size? Bummer.

Y'all let me know if you hear anything.