Glenn Beck versus public access | Street Jazz

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Glenn Beck versus public access

Posted By on Sun, Dec 16, 2007 at 12:09 PM

I was watching CNN’s Wolf Blitzer “interview” fellow CNN talking head Glenn Beck this week about Democratic front runners in Iowa, and I thought - not for the first time - how did things get so bad that Glenn Beck gets taken seriously? Either as a guest or an interviewer?

I get this feeling every few years, as I watch the self-satisfied interviewers on public affairs programs, who seem more impressed with the fact that they are on television than the fact that they have an audience which is eager for information about candidates and the issues.

For millions of people, Glenn Beck, Tucker Carlson, Bill O’Reilly and others may be one of their primary sources of information. Those who actually read magazines and get their news online often watch these programs in despair - especially when you compare their on air antics to the world of public access interview shows.

Fayetteville is one of those communities lucky enough to have public access televison.  In the sixteen years since I have been involved with it, I have seen something I rarely see on commercial television - interviewers who actually study before a show, and ask relevant, coherent questions.

Oh, public access (and Fayetteville is no exception) has it’s share of what some consider silly programming, but in Fayetteville, without public access - and the Government Channel - people would be a lot less informed. 

Why can’t we expect the same of folks like Glenn Beck or Bill O’Reilly or Chris Matthews? Why is it that people who work for free show these guys up on a regular basis?

Top that, Homeland Security!

I see that local weathermen were able to accomplish what Homeland Security can only fantasize about: drive residents of Northwest Arkansas into a frenzy. Shopping at Wal-Mart yesterday, the crowding in the food section was like the crowd trying to get onto the Ark as the rain started coming down.

It sort of reminded me of the Y2K scare.

Beethoven - the Real Superstar

When I was in high school, one of our teachers told us a story of how Ludwig van Beethoven thought that Napoleon Bonaparte was one of the world's greatest leaders - until the day that one of Napoleon's cannon balls came crashing through into his house.

What a great story; too bad it wasn't true, huh? But for many years I suffered under the belief that it was true, and repeated it to many people. After reading the excellent biography by Edmund Morris, "Beethoven: The Universal Composer," I now know that the cannonball incident never happened.

The guess the only moral of the story is - some teachers have a lot to answer for.

Childhood disillusionment aside, the life of Beethoven is one of the most fascinating in the history of music. We all know the story of his deafness, but he had a whole host of other ailments that also plagued him throughout his life, from colitis to migraines. And through it all, he created some of the finest music the world has ever known.

If you don’t buy this book for someone else this Christmas, but it for yourself.

On the Air with Jori Costello

This week I’ll be rerunning aan old interview with popular singer Jori Costello (also profiled in “Ozark Mosaic”) which features several songs by the talented artist who rereleased her  album “Homegrown” earlier this year.  Those interested in learning more about her can check out her website at:

Show times will be:

Monday - 7pm
Tuesday - noon
Saturday - 6pm

We’ll be running the same show during Christmas week. So why watch “A Christmas Carol” when you can watch “On the Air with Richard S. Drake”?

Obviously someone here is in serious need of some sort of medication.

Quote of the Day

What do people mean by sending you a dozen Christmas cards during the festive season, and not deigning to send you three lines by way of a letter during the rest of the year? - J. Ashby-Sterry




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