The News That Shook The World

Your first impulse?

I don’t think it will be one of those moments in time that is forever seared into my psyche.

Not the way November 22, 1963 or September 11, 2001 are for me.

Still, it was big.

And wasn’t your very first impulse, on hearing the news that US Navy Seals had shot and killed Osama bin Laden, to share it?

Twitter went crazy. Facebook was on fire.

And yet…

that kind of sharing wasn’t actually satisfying. People felt the need to congregate, in front of the White House, at Ground Zero in NYC, in public places throughout America, so they could share a physical experience, an affirmation of patriotism.

They wanted to hear other human voices expressing the same pride and joy they felt.

So, how did you handle the news yesterday, on your show?

Was it pretty much business as usual, with Battle of the Sexes benchmarked at its usual slot?

When is something big enough to give you permission to push aside formatics?

If you’re saying that’s not your station’s job, that News-Talk stations handle that kind of content, I’m going to challenge you.

If you’re not talking about what all your listeners are talking about, you are irrelevant!

Unfortunately, as I tuned around Monday, the News-Talk stations I heard had found a way to instantly politicize what could have united Americans the way 9-11 did that first week.

And just like at your office and mine, when Mr. or Ms. Negative start bitching and moaning, there’s always one or two more who get sucked in — so each side had plenty of calls agreeing with the outrage expressed by the host.

News-Talk’s a great format, but this is its Achilles Heel: it is often trapped in its own partisan rhetoric, mostly hosted by shrill, angry, self-righteous and smug a-holes. Can you name one you’d actually choose to invite to your home?

Your station, your show, should have provided the opportunity to bring people together, to give people who wanted to express their patriotism, their pride, their unity, a voice in your community.

And if it didn’t, then that is music radio’s Achilles Heel: it is trapped in an inane funnel of unbelievable boasts and mindless chatter, neither of which is actually heard any more.

And on days like yesterday, that’s almost a crime.