Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Changes at 710 KIRO in Seattle

Oh, the automobile causes lots of problems. Even played it's role in talk show host Mike Webb's removal from the airwaves at KIRO. Aftermath of an accident and a case with an insurance company. (Details on that case in various medias around the region). Wouldn't it be better if people weren't so dependent on cars, with all the associated problems? Especially if one's politically liberal, makes more sense to walk, bike and use public transit. Cars are often the "weak link" in most people's lifestyles. Here are some of my thoughts on radio and automobiles on "Superbowl Sunday." I don't even know when the "Stupor Bowl" was to be played. I ask, "Seahawk's, are they baseball?" Anyway, on Superbowl Sunday I was curious when the big game would be on. Not that I really care, but so much of Western Washington is gaga over this. Tuned to 710 KIRO just as the "first quarter coin toss" landed. "Well, I guess it's right now." I turned off the radio and decided to go on a bike ride instead. It looked like Bellingham streets were all but vacated. "Everyone glued to a silly game?" I passed one yard where someone was yelling and kicking a lawn chair to smithereens. Something must have gone wrong in the game. The rest of the ride was peaceful as I am often in my thoughts. Time to wonder what happened to KIRO's evening talk show host Mike Webb. He's liberal with a loud "L," but now missing from KIRO's evening. Missing for a while now. Was the show pushed off by Seahawk fanfare and sports talk? A lot of big changes happening at KIRO recently, such as the loss of Erin Hart. I was not a huge fan of Mike Webb, but do think his voice, and perspective is worth hearing. He was a bit more confrontational than I like, often bullying callers he didn't see eye to eye with. I would have preferred a friendlier dialog, but did enjoy much of the show. Mike is a big critic of what is often called "Bush's war" in Iraq. It's called a "war for oil companies," but I seldom hear talk show hosts advocate bicycling, public transit, and / or voluntary simplicity. People tend to forget who buys that oil. Among liberal, as well as conservative perspectives, people often lose sight of the fact that, in part, "we have met the enemy and he is us." Commercial radio is a glamorous media, fast moving with lots of car ads. Kind of the antithesis of life in a slower lane. Interesting to note that the downside of automobile culture played a part in removing Mike Webb from KIRO's airwaves. A Google search brought me to a Seattle Times article dated December 28 05. It explained details of this car accident, not caused by Mike, but followed by a horrendous insurance hassle, or misunderstanding, that, for some reason, lead to the station removing Mike from its airwaves. Seems to confirm my impression that cars, while they have their good uses, can also be Pandora's boxes to great peril. Maybe in web casting, things can take on a gentler character. Also, for liberal talk radio, Air America keeps growing. Would be nice if Air America had some local content, rather than just from the network, but maybe someday. Things keep evolving. While not stridently liberal, or conservative, my favorite Seattle station is still KUOW. Carries networks like NPR and PRI, but also has a lot of very informative local talk.

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