While thinking about the novel version of “The Kite,” I’ve been listening to AM talk radio. I do this every now and then because it revolts and fascinates me; it’s the same feeling I get thinking about cows with portholes in their sides. On the one hand, look at that food processing; on the other, sweet Jebus, but that’s nasty. AM talk is like having someone provoke you and provoke you and provoke you and get ready to get out of the car and start punching people…and then it’s time for a message from the sponsors about mortgage refinancing or vinyl siding. There’s no way I could do it; my brain runs about twenty steps ahead of my mouth, and my tongue doesn’t have the finesse to keep up. I’d babble incoherently, as opposed to the semi-coherent babble you get from John & Ken, Larry Elder and that pompous douchebag Hugh Hewitt (go go Googlebomb!).
But there’s something about the simmering cauldron of anger and bile that makes the medium step over the entertainment line into incitement. I keep thinking about the horror of Rwanda and the role that RTLA radio played in the genocide and what it would take for the FCC to turn a blind eye to the jabberheads’ advocating the elimination of the opposition. The pessimist in me says that it woudn’t take much; breasts, of course, are a much greater threat to the Republic than, say, calls for mass murder.
By the way, this is my roundabout way of pointing out that David Foster Wallace’s article on talk radio, “Host,” is free to view on The Atlantic’s site. Go and read, and be afraid.