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OTHER ITA SITES:
Talk Radio: The Lost Art Of Listening
Talk radio is a mirror of the American mindset. Those who host program after program take great pride in what they perceive as conservativism. Assurances that everything will somehow work out is the platform many talk show hosts use as a standard.
Callers opinions are rare because various hosts spend hours expressing a wide variety of personal views with little input from listeners. Only if a caller agrees with the host is a person allowed to talk. If any hint of disagreement is expressed, a caller is interrupted and cut off. Nothing further can be said on the part of anyone who has been put on hold for perhaps 30 to 60 minutes or longer before being permitted to speak a single word.
Politics is the driving force behind talk radio. Anything spiritual is completely disregarded and the inability to be balanced by the host is more than obvious. The perception of the host is that he either represents views held by many like minded Americans or contrary views are attacked against those who don't agree. The average talk show host does not understand what it is like to be an average American who struggles from 9 to 5. Although they may have at one time had to sweat and toil as so many Americans do, they now have a high profile job that is out of touch with the average person.
Listeners are simply at the mercy of those who control such programs. To call in is impossible because the host rambles on and on without allowing callers to express an opinion beyond 60 seconds in most cases. Callers are cut off with the push of a button and the host of talk radio can say whatever he wants about comments made. Some program formats border on the ridiculous while others strive at some semblance of sanity, but fail.
Television is a world all unto itself. Debates are ongoing with guests interrupting each other. If verbal abuse was a crime, many guests, including the host, would be in jail. TV and radio personalities address issues as if they are the only ones that have an understanding of whatever topic is discussed.
Scoffing at anyone who disagrees with an opinion of a host is rampant. Various presenters ramble on endlessly and reminds anyone with a different opinion that he or she is simply uninformed and out of touch if a disagreement is expressed by the caller. It is amazing that anyone would want to take the time to call because talk radio is one sided and the opinion of the host is all that matters. Competition is fierce and ratings are the number one driving force behind each programs format and listeners are constantly reminded of how knowledgeable and all knowing various hosts are.
What happened today is what has prompted this editorial. The first of a three hour program I listened to was shout radio by the presenter. The program suffers from misdirected enthusiasm. Anyone who is hard of hearing doesn't have a thing to worry about. The second three hour program is heard nationwide as well and an all knowing view is more than evident by the host. Listeners are reminded daily that he is "on loan from Gawd". The word "God" is exaggerated when expressed. The last three hour program I listened to today presented shout radio by everyone throughout the afternoon. Constant bickering was the theme. The host feels he has the most comprehensive format on radio, but I was left with the impression it was a constant verbal boxing match..
II Timothy 2 gives a modern day portrait of talk radio
2 Timothy 3:1-5-But know this, that in the last days perilous times shall come. vs. 2-For men
What has happened to common sense on the part of those who represent talk radio? I shook my head in disgust today because of the arrogance and pride was more than obvious on the part of those I listened to. Talk radio is a mirror of just how America does not listen, but only wants to talk. Someone else's opinion is not respected and by constantly interrupting one another on the nation's airwaves shows just how much disrespect is a fact of daily life. It is more than obvious that in so many cases, another person's opinion is not important and we simply do not listen to one another with an open mind. Talk radio is a mirror of the nation and many people are influenced by an in your face attitude.
It is a sad day for the country when a talk show host is looked to for answers. Little do those who rule the airwaves realize there are Americans who are capable of drawing conclusions without their input. There are actually people who have a far more balanced approach to what is happening around them and know that it is futile to call any given program and express an opinion. Why? Because radio talk show hosts do not give the benefit of the doubt to anyone who disagrees with their views. They feel threatened by those who can hold their ground and may know more than they care to hear.
Many Americans do not listen to talk radio and so perhaps what I have addressed is a non issue. I wish it wasn't for me. I wonder what it would be like if America's air waves would be quiet for just one day instead of a shouting match and in your face approach taken by hosts who have a high opinion of themselves. I think those who rule the airwaves may find out we can live without them.
(c) 2005 By Richard Markland
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