Archive for January, 2006

Adventures In Amplitude Modulation – Part 7

Monday, January 30th, 2006

Radio_shack_power_2 This post resumes where the last one left off, scanning the AM broadcast band in northern Michigan late at night August 23, 2001. I  recorded this at a campsite located on a peninsula jutting into Lake Michigan. Far from urban and residential radio interference and situated in the midst of a giant body of uninhabited water, it was a promising location for receiving distant stations.

For those who are interested in such things, my equipment was an adequate workman-like setup, using a Radio Shack ripoff of the GE SuperRadio and the Terk AM loop antenna. I’m not a fan of Radio Shack by the way. However, for many years their stores WERE practical dealers of relatively inexpensive radio gear– especially if you had the patience to wait until certain items went on sale. But as I mentioned in the last post, this has changed.

Located just 740 miles shy of the exact center of the continent, my picnic table was a good location geographically to scan AM broadcasts at night. And the time placement was significant too. This session of radio monitoring occurred at the late end of the summer news lull preceding the onslaught of the endless media storm of fear and terror that we still can’t get enough of.

On the hot seat that evening– Gary Condit. The spooky centrist Democrat from California suspected of murder had just faced the television scrutiny of Connie Chung that evening on ABC. You may recall, there was no issue more worthy of our attention at that time. You heard some of the talk radio discussion of that TV incident in the audio presented with the last post.

But before I get into this radio reception of that evening, I wanted to say something about the practice and appeal of DXing itself, and perhaps about the art of it as well.

Ge_superadio In writing about a relatively obscure hobby, like DXing, I guess I’m hoping these will primarily be read by people who would never do such a thing, but are still interested in lo-fi old fashioned mass media. But I’m trying to make sure I have an idea of what I’m talking about because these will also be read by folks who also search out distant radio stations (Many who probably know about DXing than I do). As I stated in my first post, I’m a casual DXer at best and it’s my amateur enthusiasm for the avocation that I hope to pass on to readers here, more than any claim of expertise or knowledge. And in writing about a little known and possibly dying craft, I’d hope that a few readers might expand their radio diet, and that others might renew their interest in fooling around this way.

A_happy_dxer Although I hinted about in an earlier post, I might as well be straight-out honest– DXing is an intimate act. It’s you and the radio. While it’s hard to imagine there aren’t people who DX “together,” I have yet to experience a significant journey through the frequencies with another engaged human being.

While there was a time when people sat around together transfixed to the radio listening to news, dramas and variety shows, but for decades radio has been reduced to a background application in social situations. If you want to accomplish some significant DXing you’re probably going to need to reserve some personal time to do any significant listening. Maybe you have friends who are very patient or are intrigued by a session of tuner adjustment and antenna manipulation AND all the strange noises that goes along with testing the limits of a receiver. But I don’t. And unless I happen to sign up for an outing with a DX club sometime soon, I don’t envision sharing this hobby in the future other than writing about it. That’s just the way it is. You may have noticed that the listening experiences I’ve posted here all generally begin after 11 p.m. In practice, I generally don’t get a chance to get to huddle around a receiver until after my better half and the little one hit the hay.

Super_909_1 In the end, what I’m saying that even if you have an interest in DXing, or have gone out and purchased yourself a respectable AM radio or shortwave set, unless you’re able to reserve some time to yourself in the evening to play with the radio (hopefully somewhat isolated from RF racket) you’re probably not going to have much luck with searching out distant radio stations. If you happen to be a loner without a TV, DXing might be a viable alternative to more traditional activities, like reading.

Also, like most geeky avocations, DXing is a decidedly male habit. Sure there’s exceptions. Some women read sci-fi and design software too. But you know what I mean. I saw a good illustration of this the other day. I was looking at radios on ebay, and saw an auction for a particular digital shortwave receiver I covet from time to time. According to the text, the guy had purchased this rather fancy portable for his wife, but she wasn’t crazy about having to "tune around" for the Shortwave stations. So now the radio is for sale, and the wife is much happier with her new subscription to satellite radio.  Me? I prefer to tune around. There’s no real adventure in punching up satellite stations.

Super_dxer_guy That said, there are many ways to DX. On shortwave, you can look at a schedule of broadcasts and specifically tune to the frequencies (many stations have multiple simultaneous transmissions), which is better suited to digital tuners. Or with AM you can hunt out distant stations you think you might be able to hear. Although I’ve had a some success DXing this way, unless you have a hot receiver and/or a great location you’re probably going to run into a lot of disappointment.

Or you can "tune around," and search out busy sections of the dial. I find analog tuning best for radio exploration of this kind. And obviously I like to record what happens. I consider every dial scan I glean this way to be a unique media archive, and strange as it may seem I listen to most of them a number of times. Like the slave of any bad habit, I’ve grown to appreciate the side-effects, the musicality of distant radio reception and the poetics of capturing swatches of broadcasting. Each recording is unique and an artifact of its time and place.

And speaking of the glory of DXing, I was honored to see that these posts referred by some DXers to Glenn Hauser (of World of Radio) and mentioned in his “DX Listening Digest.” Nice to know that a few serious DXer’s are actually reading these. However, Mr. Hauser bemoans that I made a couple mistakes on the log of my first AM DX post. Of course, he was right, and I made the corrections. However, there is quite a bit of outdated information on radio stations on the web, and it’s not hard to make a mistake when coming across an Dx_outpostunfamiliar station. Although Radio Locator is easier to use, I believe that this site has more accurate listings. In that spirit, I’m always open to corrections, tips, comments and suggestions via email. And comments are good too.

I’ll get back to shortwave listening (or SWL as practitioners like to say) in future posts, but for now I’m going to reconvene where I left off– back to the Michigan picnic table somewhere around midnight in August 2001. It was pre-Patriot Act America, and the headlines were full of Gary Condit. The last station heard in the previous post was clear channel WSB at 750 KHz in Atlanta.

Segment 2 – Northern Michigan Radio 08-23-01 (760 to 900 AM)  29:04

(download)

This dial scan begins at the tail end of my reception of WSB, but quickly segues into…

760 – WJR Detroit, MI

Trucker show, country music. No ID, but I’m pretty sure about this one. Then things get more difficult…

770 to 830 – (Hmmmm…)

Like I said, I’m fairly loose about DXing and rarely log my listening. And trying to ID the next few frequencies that I received at an unfamiliar locale is baffling to me four years later. I never thought I’d be writing about these tapes.

Young_art_bell It’s just after one o’ clock in the morning, and Coast to Coast with Art Bell is just kicking in after the news. Coast to Coast is an overnight staple on hundreds of stations, so between one and five a.m. eastern time it pops up on the AM dial all over the place.

Just turning the dial slightly from WJR, there’s a weak signal bearing Art Bell, and I believe this is WABC in New York. But then another nudge of the dial (or rotation of the loop antenna) brings in a loud clear copy of a replay of an ancient “Fibber McGee & Molly” radio show. And no amount of internet detective work has provided an obvious candidate for this signal. There is a station at 770 in Calgary (CHQR) running 50,000 watts which does run Fibber McGee and Molly at that time, but because of the two American clear channel stations at that frequency they have a directional pattern at night, and it’s AWFUL far away (like 1400 miles) and it seems unlikely that it would come in this well.

Art_bell_studio_shot_1998_1 Anyway, this is where things get a little loose, because I’m moving back and forth on the dial for a minute, instead of moving in one direction. (Probably trying to get my bearings and testing out my loop antenna for the first time in a promising DX location). What you hear is some country music mixed with a LOT of Art Bell on different stations. In this section of the dial, his Coast to Coast program runs a few 50,000 watt stations in this part of the world– 770 (WABC), 800 (CKLW), 810 (WGY) and also at 840 (WHAS). I believe that I hit all of those here and eventually end up at WHAS coming in nicely. The country station is clear too, and seems to be at 830 KHz. This IS a country station at that frequency in Alberta, but…

Going either unfound or unidentified in this part of the dial, two other clear channel stations I would think would be quite readable– 780 (WBBM) in Chicago and 83 (WCCO) in Minneapolis.

Correction from 02-10-06: I think I figured out some of what was going on here. Although WBBM is an all news radio station, they do feature an hour of old time radio exactly at this time on weeknights. They call it "When Radio Was." That explains the Fibber McGee & Molly. Also, the country music in the middle of all the Art Bell is likely from CIGM in Sudbury, Ontario at 790 KHz.

840 – WHAS Louisville, KY

It’s Coast to Coast AM, with the creator of the program, Art Bell. You heard Bell’s hearty reading of his commercial load in the jumble before this. Now it’s on to the matter at hand– a new crop circle.

Crop_circle_081901 If you’re not familiar with Art Bell, though the nineties his overnight talk show went from being carried by a small network in the southwest to become the biggest program in its time slot in North America. At some point on, Bell went from being a maverick right wing talk host to creating a program specializing in topics supernatural, conspiratorial and unusual. And did I mention the aliens? It’s all there.

From his compound in the Nevada desert, Bell was doing a five hour show five nights a week and a three hour weekend program by the late 90’s. And then when you consider that he spends some of his off time chatting on his ham radio, the guy’s truly a compulsive broadcaster. And he’s had a erratic career in the meantime. Bell has “retired” from radio three times since 1998, and has been through a series of bad luck and tragedies over the years. The worst was the untimely death of his wife just a few weeks ago. Bell’s show is now owned by Clear Channel Communications and as the Coast to Coast franchise there’s been a number of other hosts. These days Bell just does the show on the weekends and George Noory is in charge during the week.

Here’s an extended clip that’s typical Art Bell. There’s breaking news in the paranormal world. A crop circle has appeared in England that looks like the “Face on Mars.” And the message? “Soon.” The guest is non-stop chatterbox and fringe science guru, Richard Hoagland.

850 – KOA Denver, CO

Talk radio giant in the west. I believe this still the furthest west AM band catch I’ve received in Michigan. It’s not a strong signal and there are few stations pulsing underneath, but it is 1100 miles away. I remember once I was in Alabama talking on the phone to a friend in California one night. We were both able to pick up KOA at the same time. That’s coverage.

It’s a small dramatic talk radio moment going into an ID and spot break. The topic? Mr. Condit and Ms. Levy. Talk radio was overloaded with Condit outrage that night. Unless you were following the crop circle situation.

Cjbc_tower 860 – CJBC Toronto, ON

Sounds it’s being broadcast from a tower down the road, but it’s coming from almost 300 miles away. I’ve heard a wide variety of music over the years on this French language CBC outlet– jazz, rock, classical, and some great ethnic stuff. Tonight it’s some lovely French pop.

870 – WWL New Orleans, LA

“The wind chill factor was probably about ninety below zero. The fuel in the fuel tank …looked like Vaseline.”

It’s the Road Gang trucker show with Dave Nemo, which I believe was the first all night trucking radio program. As I mentioned in an earlier post, Nemo has moved on to XM satellite radio and he’s sorely missed on the AM radio dial. When Nemo was playing non-stop classic country through the night and talkin’ truckdrivin’ this was the one of the best listens when driving in the dark across the eastern half of the U.S.

On this night Nemo is taking calls from aging truckers as they share harrowing tales of sub-zero trucking. I could listen to old geezers tell tales like this all night. And not a word about Condit.

870 or 880 – (Art Bell again)

This station is another mystery to me. I believe it’s at 870 KHz in a null from WWL (picked up by turning the antenna.) Again, it’s the ubiquitous Coast to Coast program here with Bell and Hoagland continuing the update on the mysterious crop circle.

Bell mentions his website, which was an extremely popular and huge site filled with information on strange topics. Lots of pictures. However, artbell.com is long gone now. Bell took it down when Clear Channel/Premiere officially took over the show. Now they have their own site. For a while, the original webmaster was selling CD-ROM’s of Art’s website online, and I’ve even seen the whole thing posted on Usenet.

880 – WCBS New York, NY

Traffic and weather on the 8’s. Construction on the LIE, Lincoln and Holland look great. 58 degrees. Top stores coming up. Something about a congressman and an intern. Tell your friends!

890 – WLS Chicago, IL

Condit_levy “Chandra and I never had a cross word.”

It’s ABC News, and a little Canadian news as I dip into CHML a couple of times. ABC features their sound bites from Connie Chung’s TV inquiry. And even the ABC news anchor seems angry at Condit. It’s bad enough that Bin Laden has gone missing all this time, but why hasn’t this man been brought to justice by now? Oh yeah, the other big story– A crazy Ukranian killer on the loose.

900 – CHML Hamilton, ON

Hah! The lead headline in Hamilton? The Ontario Teachers’ Federation elected Hamilton teacher Pearse Shannon as its 58th President. Gary Condit is four or five stories into this Canadian newscast. And then there’s Bubba O’Neal, with sports.

More of this next week.

Thanks for listening.

(This post originally appeared in Beware of the Blog.)

Adventures In Amplitude Modulation – Part 6

Monday, January 23rd, 2006

Milky_way If you think you’ve got a decent AM or shortwave portable, but you’re not receiving much beyond local stations and static at night, there’s one easy way to give it a chance to perform. Take it outside. Most houses are full of RF (radio noise) generating devices and signal blocking material. Big buildings are often worse.

Of course, what’s better is to get away from all the buildings and electrical devices altogether. That’s why I like to DX on summer camping trips, and that’s where the dial scan I’m featuring on this post was recorded. I was in northern Michigan at a state park located on small peninsula extending out into Lake Michigan. Call me a fool, but give me a nice campsite, a few radios, a picnic table, and a few beers on ice and I’m gonna have a good time. That evening the nearby roaring fire was a bonus, as well as the black sky full of stars overhead. The sliver of a moon didn’t rise in the sky until several hours after sunset and the Milky Way was a magnificent white smudge across the sky. I haven’t seen it that distinctly since that night.

 I was listening to my Optimus 12-603A, also known as a "Tuned RF AM-FM Extended Range Receiver." What it really is a Radio Shack ripoff of the excellent GE SuperRadio. It’s a good receiver, not quite as super as the original GE model, which can Campfirebe found easily online for around forty bucks. Both have great sound and reception, but only AM & FM. No shortwave bands.

I also had an external Radio Shack’s loop antenna (15-1853) hooked up to the radio as well. Like usual, this was a Radio Shack ripoff of another (probably better) product, but it’s a powerful device for thirty bucks. Requires no batteries. You adjust its knob to the frequency you’re tuning in, and then you rotate the antenna to get the best copy of the signal. In a good DX situation like I had that night, it’s quite possible to find two or possibly three separate readable stations at one frequency by just rotating the antenna. And remember, if you’re going to try this yourself the AM antenna is a typically ferrite bar INSIDE the radio (usually mounted lengthwise across the top), so you need to turn the radio itself to improve the reception, not the extended aerial which is for FM and shortwave.

All that said, don’t walk into a Radio Shack looking for the equipment I’m talking about here. They’ve discontinued both the antenna and the radio. While I don’t remember any public announcement, over the last decade Radio Shack stores has become a different kind of franchise. Where you could once find a plethora of shortwave radios and all the clips, cables and connectors you’d ever need, Radio Shack is now a swell place to get accessories for your cell phone and some nice video equipment. I think they keep a few radios around just in case somebody happens to notice that the word "radio" is in their logo.

Bush_2001_vacation_2 And what makes this session of radio listening more interesting than some others is the point in time of its occurrence. It was Thursday, August 23, 2001. George Bush Jr. was on the longest vacation of any sitting President, and the attacks of September 11 were just two and half weeks away. So, the radio recordings I made on that trip are audio specimen slides of our culture on the brink of a cataclysmic event, and right before the dawn of a national obsession. It was a lot like the world we live in now, except totally different.

The bandscan here features me slowly turning the knob on an analog receiver starting at 530 KHz and working my way up. Usually stopping at each point where a signal should be (in 10 KHz steps in the U.S.), and then adjusting the dial and antenna to find the best reception (if there’s something there). And the text below will be an attempt to briefly identify and perhaps describe what was received.

I believe this scan begins sometime just before 11 p.m., but I haven’t verified that yet. With a decent setup and a good location, every notch on the dial at night is filled with something, even it’s just 2 or three stations faintly throbbing on top of each other. And in a situation like this a majority of the allotted frequencies will have some station you can discern if you work at tuning it in. However some stations will come in much weaker than others, and others will have some tough Camp_table_2_2competition with a station sharing the frequency in another part of the country. But at some stops, there really is nothing there to hear but distant tiny noises.

Like usual, I didn’t keep a log   but there are so many familar stations across the dial here that it’s usually not difficult to know what frequency I’m near at most points in this recording. And it sure helps having the internet to quickly research stations as you review a listening session like this.

On now on to the show.

Segment 1 – Northern Michigan Radio 08-23-01 (530 to 750 AM)  25:28

(download)

530 – (Nothing Intelligible)

540 – (Nothing Intelligible)

550  – WKRC Cincinnati, OH 

12603a_1 It’s THE TALK STATION. Starts off with a promo for the 55KRC Morning show. Sounds kinda like a manic loud mouth talk host sounding unconvincingly outraged. This is followed by one of their pre-recorded slogans: “We have an opinion, and we give it everyday.” Just think, in less than three weeks slogans like this would be replaced by “United We Stand,” and “God Bless America.”

This is actually a pretty good catch considering that WKRC is only broadcasting with 1000 watts from 450 miles away.

560 – WEBC Duluth, MN (probably)

Some sports conversation. Apparently there was some bitterness between the Miami Dolphins and the Chicago Bears. I hope they’ve worked it out since then.

570 or 560 – (Unidentified Spanish station)

Might be something in Cuba. Sounds like there might have been some kind of ID in there. Any Spanish speakers out there able to help me ID this station?

570 – WKBN Youngstown, OH

Hendrie_phone_fakery “You’ve got a voice. Use it! Call the comment line…” It must be a talk station. Then some techno bumper music leads us into the Phil Hendrie program. Phil is calling his own show on the phone again, pretending to be “guest”– one of his stock characters, "Ted Bell." It’s another screwball Hendrie monologue where he pretends to be outrageous goofball and suck in angry callers who think he and his guest are actually two different people.

580 – (Nothing Intelligible)

Sounds like at least three different stations somwhere…

590 – WTCM Traverse City, MI

The topic of the night begins.

“I think everybody will agree that this guy is immoral…”

Chungcondit_abc Earlier that evening, Connie Chung interviewed Congressman Gary Condit on national television. The Chandra Levy missing person story (now a murder mystery no one talks about much) was the number one issue in America the month before 9-11. And as you’ll hear repeatedly through this dial scan, it was all over talk radio and the news. While I’m as likely as any of the callers you’ll hear on these recordings to suspect Condit might have had some role in Levy’s offing. But I don’t KNOW, and I really leave it to the police and courts to figure that out that sort of thing. And I don’t spend a lot of time dreaming up scenarios and motives, and invest any of my valuable anger toward a creepy California politician.

It’s funny how foul play against one attractive American white girl combined with a politician’s adultery scandal can capture an entire country’s imagination and make so many people angry, yet the death and torture of thousands of people overseas barely registers any national outrage. Gary Condit had nothing to worry about. In less than a month everybody forgot about Mr. Condit or that body that would eventually be found in Rock Creek Park.

This is “The Jim Bohannon Show.” Bohannon inherited Larry King’s late night radio gig when King gave it up in 1993. Maybe it takes somebody as uncharismatic on the radio as Bohannon to make you really miss Larry King. But he’s real pissed off about Gary Condit at this time. Call in the Ethics Committee! It has already been over two years since the Clinton impeachment and the possibility of another Democrat in a sex scandal was getting a lot people in the media all worked up. As the caller keenly points out, these politicians need to “keep their morality up in their off-time.”

590 – (Unidentified lousy rock music)

I don’t know. Could be CKRS 590 in Jonquiere, Quebec, or WJMS, 590 in AM, Ironwood, Michigan.

600 – CFCH North Bay, ON (probably)

It’s faint country pop song– “Yooooo never FOOLED around…” Kinda hokey, but I think I like it.

610 WTVN Columbus, OH

Gary_condit_1 More Condit fever. This caller’s got it all figured out, and the talk host is interviewing him as if he were an invited pundit with years of research under his belt. And he asking pointed questions about an interview the caller hadn’t even seen yet. But look at the facts. Condit has been “ducking the media on the questions,” and “lying to the authorities that were investigating it…What else CAN you assume?” Assuming is even more fun when you do it together, isn’t it?

Ducking the media? Lying to authorities? You could get into trouble… if you’re a Democrat.

620 – WTMJ Milwaukee, WI

This is coming in pretty good across Lake Michigan. Nothing blocking a radio wave flying across all that water. While the trolley to the Mexican Fiesta commercial is nothing special, the two that follow are entertaining local ads. The first is for a company that calls itself the “guardians of data,” and presupposes that customers might be “frolicking naked through candyland” when a monster storm knocks out their “service.” The next is an ad for a music warehouse joint encouraging parents to rent the musical instruments when kids take up music lessons. After all, parents need to protect themselves. It’s nice little manic collage. (Kind of reminds me of someone I know…)

630 – CFCO Chatham, ON

It’s a Canadian oldies station between Detroit and Toronto, "Classic Gold." Nothing special, except the fact that you’re hearing a music format on AM radio, which isn’t so common these days. It’s Bob Dylan, “Lay Lady Lay.” I didn’t edit it, and just included the whole song on this archive. If you can enjoy this song for what it is, from a somewhat distant station with Art Bell’s talk show eating the edges of the signal, maybe you have what it takes to DX AM radio. As far as copying a distant music station, this ain’t bad.

640 – (Nothing Intelligible)

A few stations battling it out here, at least three of them. There’s a man and woman speaking English with foreign accents and a sports station. I do wonder what all this is.

650 – WSM Nashville, TN

Wsmlogo The big clear channel station in Nashville and the home of The Grand Ole Opry. Over 650 miles away and coming in with clarity. Still playing the old country music after all these years. I wish there were more stations like this across the dial. And it’s another catchy song.

660 – WFAN New York, NY

Some deep pop psychology regarding the New York Mets. Some people spend a lot of time and energy thinking about the emotions and motivations of a few rich athletes.

It’s a whopping clear channel signal however, and used to be a big NYC top 40 station (WNBC) once. It’s almost 650 miles away

670 – WSCR Chicago, IL

More sports. Nice awkward live read (at least I HOPE it’s live) of a restaurant spot. Actually this is the best moment I’ve heard on a sports talk station in quite a while.

680 –  (Nothing Intelligible)

A muddle of signals. One of them is probably CFTR, a talk station in Toronto.

690 – CINF Montreal, QC

Info690_1 This is the same station I picked up in upstate New York heard on this post. I had said it was CBF at that time (That’s still how the Radio Locator site identifies it.) But Canadian reader David Bachner in his comment corrected me. And he’s right. Apparently official CBC stations have call letters that begin in with “CB,” and this station was sold to other interests in a national campaign that had the network giving up their AM outlets for high fidelity FM stations. Now it’s "Info690," a French language talk station.

700 – WLW Cincinnati, OH

Sports. After a year the Bengals are getting used to their new stadium. I’ve heard it takes a while to get adjusted to a stadium.

710 – (Nothing Intelligible)

Seems like I should have stuck around a little longer and worked that antenna to see if I could dig WOR in New York out of the noise.

720 – WGN Chicago, IL

Gas prices were rising in the Chicago area. I guess there was a refinery fire.

730 – (Nothing Intelligible)

740 – CHWO Toronto, ON

Frank Sinatra singing “I’ve Got You Under My Skin”

Am740logo_4 Otherwise known as AM 740, this is one of my favorite stations on the AM dial here in the city at night. Although they don’t have a live DJ in the wee hours, their “jukebox” format overnight has plenty of old pop tunes to satisfy and entertain almost anybody who remembers when the AM dial was full of this stuff. It’s a shame that since clear channel WQEW has been reduced to running canned "Radio Disney" that not one station has taken up a format anything like this in New York City. And there’s not a country station here either.

750 – WWKK Petoskey, MI

The Rolling Stones – “Get Off Of My Cloud”

Code_orange_smog_1This is now “Progressive Talk KOOL-750,” but this is when it used to be an oldies station, still called KOOL-750. (Why avoid those intriguing call letters– WWKK?) The transmitter itself is very close, less than twenty miles away, but the signal is dodgy at best. Why? They’re only allowed to run 330 watts at night.

 750 – WSB Atlanta, GA

Just turn the loop antenna, and there’s another radio station. And this one is a better read, AND it’s coming from over 800 miles away. That’s the power of a 50,000 watt clear channel station.

First the weather. It’s August, it’s horrible hot in Atlanta. And there’s a “code orange” alert. However, it’s not a terrorism problem. Just smog. And some radio smog as well, in the form of a rerun of the Neal Boortz program. He’s another second tier national right wing blabbermouth host based out of Atlanta. Like O’Reilly, he occasionally disagrees with the Republican party line and acts like he’s a radical maverick. But he’s just another monkey, and not an appealing one.

Transsexual_1 Actually, he has a male/female duo filling in this evening. And tonight’s scintillating topic? Should teachers who go through a sex change come back to work at the same school or district after they’ve “crossed over?” Man, that’s got a lot of potential for a burning debate. Thanks to talk radio a lot of important issues are thoughtfully reasoned out in public forums like this.

Next week I’ll get back to this dial scan, again starting at WJR in Detroit.

Thanks for listening.

(This post originally appeared in Beware of the Blog.)

CNN Hires Right-Wing Radio Bozo Glenn Beck

Saturday, January 21st, 2006

Nice_sweater_glenn The other day in one of my DX posts I included a clip of “The Glenn Beck Program” and briefly discussed my general dislike of his radio persona and my aversion to his show in general. Apparently, some of the bigwigs over at CNN found Beck’s glib schtick a little more charming than I did.  He just signed a contract with the cable news network and will soon have a show of his own on their “Headline News” channel.

While I don’t really watch television, it saddens me that Beck’s sleazy radio work has advanced his presence in the media. Under fire from the Fox News ratings juggernaut, CNN (from what I’ve read) has made a number of compromises to their programming to make their content more glossy and Republican friendly. But this might be a new low.

Along with right-wing talk stars Rush Limbaugh and Dr. Laura Schlessinger, Beck’s program is syndicated by Clear Channel’s “Premier Radio Network.” Now based in Philadelphia, Beck is widely heard (on about 200 stations) in the U.S. Nationally, he made his biggest splash as the ringleader and keynote speaker for Clear Channel’s pro-warRally For America” gatherings around the country in 2003.

While Beck political spiel falls in line with the armies of right-wing talk hosts who infest the American AM dial, he’s best known in talk radio circles for routinely making outrageous and psychopathic offhand remarks and discussing world issues in a rather cheeky jingoistic manner. A reformed alcoholic, Beck is reminiscent of a barstool loudmouth with a mean streak. However, instead of just being a tavern nuisance, Glenn Beck is broadcasting to a national audience. And now the once respected cable news giant CNN has seen fit to add Beck’s sophomoric hyperbole to their prime time line-up.

Like the mannish and reckless Ann Coulter, Beck becomes another outrageous and flaky TV pundit who will say anything to pollute a debate and get a cheap laugh on behalf of the Republican party. The coarsening and dumbing-down of TV and radio political coverage has created a glut of news and information programming in moral free fall. It seems the checks and balances of U.S. media (like accountability and public outrage) are irrevocably broken. I suppose Rush Limbaugh made irresponsible and vicious right wing commentary acceptable and marketable in the name of “entertainment.” Nowadays, making offensive remarks about the unempowered, and calling for the torture and death of people you disagree with passes as hilarious satire. And I guess CNN just wants to join in on the fun.

Beck_with_flagsWhile it might not be fair to judge Beck’s upcoming CNN program before its launch, there’s no reason to believe he’ll be any more reflective or thoughtful on TV than he’s ever been on the radio. Over the last couple years on his program Beck has called Cindy Sheehan a “tragedy pimp,” and said the victims of Hurricane Katrina are "scumbags." And apparently it only took him a year to start really hating some of the families of 9-11 victims. Chances are the same kind of chuckle-nuggets will flow from his television show too.

Talk host Lionel has a somewhat similar history to Glenn Beck, having also launched to fame from WFLA-AM in Tampa, and spending some time on cable TV as well as being one of Premiere/Clear Channel’s crew of talk hosts for a while. But while he can be as flip and silly as Beck, Lionel ultimately respects the power of "the word" and the responsibility of being a national radio voice. Instead of using easy insults or crafting an emotional attack, Lionel sticks to the facts and makes his argument with logic and compassion for all concerned when the topics are serious. On Tuesday night Lionel weighed in on the announcement of Beck’s new TV show, and I thought you might like to hear it. Just for fun, here’s a couple of clips of Lionel discussing CNN’s decision, and the wonders of Glenn Beck in general.

Lionel on Glenn Beck – 01-17-06 pt 1

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Lionel on Glenn Beck – 01-17-06 pt 2

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A personality like Glenn Beck is representative of the pornification of media. Rather than edify or really entertain, Beck stimulates. He stirs up the bloodlust and mook-hormones of his fans, and angers the hell out of some people who think or care or stand against violence. But unlike Limbaugh, O’Reilly or Hannity, Beck doesn’t come off a chiding chirping Republican talkbot. He has a disarming "ordinary joe" grin on his face as he advocates death, despair and torture. The rise of Glenn Beck is just another victory in the neo-conservative media campaign to get common folks to vote against their own interests and morals. Perhaps his detached goofiness is even more dangerous than the growing media pantry of more strident neo-con voices.

(This post originally appeared in Beware of the Blog.)

Adventures In Amplitude Modulation – Part 5

Monday, January 16th, 2006

Rf2200_guts_1 This post features a few highlights from a few listening sessions from the second weekend in October of last year. I was holed up in an efficiency cottage south of Albany, and it was the last time I really had a few days to scan the bands. As I said before, when I get out of the city is when I try to listen to radio in a more meaningful fashion. For one, there’s more time without the interruptions and diversions of being home. But more importantly there’s less radio noise in lower population density areas which makes picking up distant stations more likely.

I’ve made a couple trips upstate since October, but each time I’ve stayed at a chain motel that seems to be impervious to radio waves. I assume under the concrete the damn thing was a steel building. I have actually featured radio I heard on those trips in this blog series, but if you must know the truth I recorded those listening sessions in a car sitting in the motel parking lot.

I know, I AM a geek. I kept envisioning a cop rolling up and wondering what I’m doing with a slightly exotic radio and a tape recorder out in a parking lot on a winter night. Probably receiving instructions from Al Qaeda…

Anyway, I didn’t really tune into anything especially amazing or unprecedented on that trip. Listening/recording sessions in years past have been more fruitful (and I hope to go through some of those tapes for future posts). But that weekend the noise level wasn’t so bad, and the dial was full of voices. And I heard some interesting and disgusting radio, a little bit of which I will share with you here.

Soundtronic Recently a reader left a comment that he had been given a shortwave for Christmas, and was “kind of disappointed,” remarking that even late at night most of what he was able to pick up was “Christian stuff or Spanish language stations.” And that kind of thing can be a real problem for somebody who is curious about shortwave radio and tries listening to it for the first time.

For one thing, a majority of what you’ll hear moving across the dial (besides static from gadgets and wiring) is either not in English, or is some Christian garbage you wish was in an unfamiliar language. That’s because shortwave in America is mostly Christian propaganda, AND most of the rest of the world uses shortwave for information and entertainment, and most of the world’s listeners aren’t native English speakers.

Shortwave_mystery Let’s face it, if you know another langauge, or several of them, you’re at real advantage listening to shortwave. But If you’re a pathetic unilingual American like myself, you’re probably going to search out broadcasts in English. Although now and then I stop twisting the turing knob for a bit when I hear some Asian, Latin or African music I like. When the music’s good, I’m not so concerned that I don’t know what hell they’re talking about. And while some of the major languages aren’t so hard to identify (or at least I think I have a good idea of the region of origin). Here in New York, you hear a lot of languages and a lot of accents. But sometimes when I’m listening to shortwave I’ll stop at and listen and realize I don’t have A CLUE of what language it is or where it might be spoken. The BBC itself broadcasts in over thirty languages.

But the other thing about shortwave is that LATE at night is not necessarily the best time to DX shortwave, or listen to English Broadcasts. AM can be great for DXing late at night, but shortwave is better in the early evening for a number of reasons. Generally, that’s when a lot of international broadcasters “beam” their English broadcasts toward North America. By then it’s getting dark in Europe and Africa, and it’s when they assume people would be home and listening– from the dinner hour to the “prime-time” television part of the evening. While not as many countries spend time and money catering to American audiences as in the past (They know most Americans DON’T listen), there are still a number of (typically state-run) stations around the world who do broadcast in English for a few minutes to a few hours everyday. And most aren’t going to go all the effort and have the show run here in the middle of the night.

If you’re new to shortwave radio, or are thinking about messing around with one, the best thing to do is to spend some time on the internet doing some research. Read the experiences of other listeners, read reviews of the radios, and possible check out some stations that stream their programing. Not only that, but you might want to check out a number of sites that feature lists of English broadcasts from around the world. You probably won’t be able to receive most of them, but you’ll have an idea when and where to look on the dial.

Rf2200 Or you can just scan the dial, like I often do. While a digital reciever is good for finding specific frequencies, it’s much easier to find busy sections of the bands with by wheeling through with an analog tuner. Many digital radios do have automated scanning, but don’t depend on that dig out far away signals, and they stop on RF noise just as much in the city.

So, here’s a few clips from that weekend in October. I was listening with one of my favorite radios, my Panasonic RF-2200. It’s from the late 70’s and it’s one of the best analog portables around. They regularly go for $200 or more on ebay. There’s a lot of ‘em out there, and it’s a workhorse that has amazing AM reception and great shortwave reception too.

Here’s a few clips that I found kind of sad. Sometimes a listening session ends up being more of an overview of what’s going on in the world, rather than a fishing trip you’ll brag about. And during this weekend, there were two disasters– an earthquake in Pakistan, and horrific mudslides in Guatamala. And it was just over a month since Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast. As Ken had mentioned in a recent post, if you throw in the Indian Ocean Tsunami from the end of the 2004, there was just a horror of natural disasters around the world within one year. And when things are bad around the world, the shortwave radio is still an important source for news, and perspectives on the news from countries and cultures around the world.

And speaking of disasters, shortwave is also a good way to hear a lot of good old fashioned American ignorance. Like in this first clip.

WBCQCreation Nation 10-09-05  13:09

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Intelligent_design This is a fairly new show on WBCQ, one of the few stations (I think there’s one other one) that ISN’T a Christian outfit. However, they have to pay the bills one way or another. While there’s some cool programs on WBCQ, sadly there’s also been plenty of ignorance, hate and stupidity broadcast from their Maine transmitter over the last few years. Sometimes American shortwave is like the worst open-mic night on Earth.

I didn’t make out the name of the host of “Creation Nation,” but it doesn’t seem that important. But you have to wonder what inspires this character do a whole show about how much he and the good lord really hate homos. And what is that accent? Philly? Sounds to me like a guy who might have made a wreck of his life and then "found" Jesus. Or maybe he’s just an extremely closeted self-hating kind of person. It wouldn’t be the first time.

God_hates_1 “Creation Nation” is where “intelligent minds meets intelligent design.” And how does that happen? Well, it’s simple. He tells you “what immorality is like, and how not to follow it.” In fact everything he says is simple. He’s a simple man. And hey if this guys nasal recitation of passages from Leviticus does inspire any homosexuals to turn away from their abominable misdirected lifestyle, all they have to do is say out loud: “Jesus I’m a sinner.. Forgive me, make me new again,” and crap like that and POOF that queer desire is gone forever. Christianity is SO easy.

And then, in a compassionate moment he asks his listeners to pray for the non-listeners, you know, the whole world. But he wants us to especially pray for the hurricane victims and the “old people who are going to freeze this winter” because they can’t afford heating oil. He doesn’t mention if the prayers will warm them up any, but maybe a few more will get into heaven or something.

And remember, this station is heard around the world. It’s SO sad that there are the types of Americans who’s words reach thousands of miles beyond our borders. Why? Well, time on WBCQ is quite affordable (cheap!) from what I’ve heard. Hey, if YOU want to put together some worldwide radio yourself, call up Allan Weiner! What the hell. Think about it. You could even make money. Change the world! The possibilities are endless. (I have no financial interest in WBCQ)

WHRI (WWL) United Radio Broadcasters of New Orleans 10-08-05  39:01

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The reception here is a little noisy, but it’s the best I could get at the time. There was a bit of antenna adjusting going on.

Super_dome After Katrina, 18 Louisiana stations, and one shortwave station in South Carolina formed a temporary network to serve the region during a time of trouble and inform the region and the world what was going on after the disaster. (Based at WWL the big news/talk station in New Orleans, The United Broadcasters Of New Orleans ceased to exist November 4.) It was a unique response to a crisis, and highlights what real radio (as compared to satellite services and internet streaming) can still do better than any other form of broadcasting– provide real service to a region of the world.

I heard quite a bit of that weekend over shortwave, and here’s one segment of that. A lot of what I heard was talk hosts fielding calls from hurricane victims with questions about what to do, and callers telling their stories of personal loss. For example, a woman in this clip complains about how she doesn’t know what to do with the 2 cars, an SUV and a boat that washed up in her yard.

And there’s plenty of disaster public service announcments warning people about the dangers of mold and poisonous flood waters, and information about how they can be reunited with their house pets.

The hosts are in good cheer here for the most part, and their New Orleans accents are authentic and somehow reassuring. While New Orleans culture and spirit won’t be killed by all this, the city is crippled for many years and will NEVER be the same.

Af the very end I turn to an adjacent Catholic broadcast talking about some Catholic energy bubbling over at an Louisiana evacuation center after Katrina. Amen.

WPHT – Glenn Beck 10-08-05  10:17

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Beck_2 How I dislike Mr. Beck. I almost don’t even want to write about the guy because I don’t want to think about him that much.

Smarmy. That’s the best word I can think of. Smug, glib, and just in general somebody who thinks he’s far more intelligent than he really is. Not that he’s not good at what he does, up to a point. I just find him consistantly repulsive, and not a deep thinker. Thankfully, no stations in the NYC market carry his spew lately.

Glenn Beck is a national host these days, but ironically he launched his syndication gig after a tenure at WFLA in Tampa where he had replaced a much more thoughtful guy, Bob Lassiter.

This is creepy radio. Apparently, Beck had asked on the air for somebody who tortures for a living to call in and talk about it. I believe this clip starts pretty early in a call from “Mitch” (which he eventually says is a pseudonym) who claims to be an “intelligence officer” who has tortured people on behalf of the U.S. government for three decades.

Is he for real? I’m not sure. Could be an act, or worse. Might be telling the truth. But the matter of fact manner in which he discusses blowing out eardrums with a high pressure hose and drilling on live teeth is enough to make you depressed, if not ill. Whether it’s a put-on or not, "Mitch" is a convincing immoral asshole. A perfect fit for the Glenn Beck program.

Abu_cheerleaders_1Obviously titillated by the gruesome topic at hand, Beck tries not to giggle too much while making jokes and lobbing softball questions at Mitch to assist him in justifying his theoretically sickening career. Beck says he was put off by the miscreant behavior of U.S. soldiers and contractors at Abu Gharib. Not that all the torture was so bad, but he was offended by all that “kid stuff.” (Perhaps those pyramids of naked prisoners reminded him of his high school days or something.) According to Beck, if we’re going submit people to cruel and unusual punishment, we should get “pros” to do it. You don’t want some amateur blasting out eardrums incorrectly. Somebody might get hurt.

By the way, this was a Saturday late night re-broadcast of a Friday morning show (which was discussed on this page at Media Matters For America) broadcast on WPHT-AM in Philadelphia. Late at night there are actually very few right-wing shows on the air. Which is a relief. (And the world IS a better place since whiney and miserable Steve Malzberg lost his overnight gig on WABC.) However, a few stations replay daytime Republican propaganda talk shows overnight– because they’re too damn cheap to hire a real person to fill that slot.

That’s all for now. And hey, think about putting on your own shortwave radio show. The world needs you!

 Thanks for listening.

(This post originally appeared in Beware of the Blog.)

 

Adventures In Amplitude Modulation – Part 4

Monday, January 9th, 2006

Radio_post_1 Indulging in television or FM radio may be recreational behavior, but it isn’t a hobby like listening to distant stations on medium and short wave. The main reason is that DXing and broadcast band listening takes a little work– as well as some curiosity and patience not necessary when tuning into clear, predictable and popular local VHF signals.

And it’s kind of a sport. Like fishing. The propagation of radio waves changes from month to month and day to day, and besides the local stations that are always there it’s always a bit of a mystery what you’ll find on the dial on any given evening. But perhaps the biggest draw for many of us who scan the AM & SW dial by night is the allure of novel and exotic broadcasting.

While I admit that hearing news and commentary from Atlanta, Havana or Moscow on the radio is still a little exciting to me (even in this era where you can almost do the same thing via internet streaming), it’s the fringe broadcasting, especially on shortwave, that I continue to find compelling and often humorous. And this is where the epidemic of Christian broadcasting on shortwave in the U.S. can actually get interesting for a minute.

Bcl2000 Most of audio samples I’m offering in this post are programs broadcast on the monster U.S. Christian shortwave stations. The big ones that come to mind– World Harvest Radio, Family Radio and WWCR (World-Wide Christian Radio) are really more networks than stations, with multiple frequencies broadcasting simultaneously and covering the entire country and much of the world with Christian propaganda, as well as a few shows focusing on listener fan letters and the DXing hobby, AND a startling number of programs that specialize in fear, suspicion and raw paranoia.

While shortwave doesn’t appeal to very many Americans, there’s a significant portion of the existing audience that does exist who are isolated and disenfranchised out in the heartland. And they are afraid of a lot of things most of us don’t spend a lot of time worrying about– like the U.N., Freemasons, homosexuals and space aliens. Much of this consternation is lumped together in overwhelming concern over the coming "New World Order."  I’ve never been quite sure of what that the heck that is, but from what I’ve heard it’s going to be a lot less pleasant than the old world chaos we’ve enjoyed over all of these years.

There’s a wide variety of these kinds of programs. The content of these shows range from deeply Christian to secular, from tangible alternative news to the ravings of disturbed individuals, and everything in-between. The common thread is a distrust of authority, and a concern that the world scene is spinning out of control… and maybe Jesus can help.

Beyond the questionable credibility offered by these programs, you gotta give these right wing type broadcasters credit for creating the exact opposite of mainstream AM conservative talk radio. Shortwave paranoia broadcasting almost never takes the side of power and privilege (unless you count the ultimate power of the baby Jesus and his dad the cloud being). It’s the sound of self-appointed visionaries and the worried voice of the little guy you hear amid the static and whining noises. These marginal media figures appeal to the fearful and umpowered huddled around their radios looking for guidance and truth. As I’ve said before about shortwave (and some AM broadcasts as well) it’s radio that still isn’t just about money– it’s about power and identity. And somtimes it’s about being really apprehensive about the future.

So here’s a few MP3 clips of radio trepidation I’ve picked up on assorted shortwave sets over the last few years. The reception varies as does the credibility of the claims and concerns you’ll hear in these pieces. However, nothing you’ll hear in these MP3’s is less believable than anything Scott McClelland might offer in a typical White House press briefing.

 01 – The Mystery Religion – rebroadcast 10-18-05  54:54

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Pale_horseThis is the late William Cooper with a discussion of the unknown (or little known) religion of the power elite of the world– The Mysteries. According to Cooper, it’s the secret religion of the movers and shakers of the world, and it’s all about keeping us dumb and productive. Apparently, it has something to do with some powerful being known as “Mithra.”

William Cooper was one helluva character. His strange life came to an end in a shootout with the cops at his home in November, 2001. His book, “Behold A Pale Horse,” he outlines his assorted conspiratorial theories and concepts. Cooper used to make a big stink about the government UFO cover-up. Yet in later days, including this broadcast (originally from 2000 or 2001 I believe) he considers UFO believers to be a “looney tune fringe element.” I think he always had a freshly arranged bouquet of opinions at any one time.

I personally was always taken by his "sound"– a paced and emotionally-steeled voice of doom that always made me stop and listen for a while as I was slipping across the dial. In the end, Cooper might best be summed up as a disturbed contrarian who loved attention and had a driving sense of mission. William Cooper said a lot of stuff, and while I doubt it was ALL fantasy, what’s still amazing to me is how SERIOUS he always seemed to be. He was a colorful and strange guy. I miss his show and was happy to come across this rebroadcast.

This was recorded in my Brooklyn apartment in the late afternoon. There is a little fading and another station is chewing on the signal. And I had problems with the recorder I was using. However, it is most of an entire “Hour of the Time” program, with a chunk of 3 or 4 minutes missing in the middle. But if you do listen, you’ll get the idea(s).

02 – The Silent War – 10-07-05  16:17

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Pastor Pete Peters is a controversial guy. The author of a pamplet entitled “Death Penalty for Homosexuals is Prescribed in the Bible,” and renowned as someone more in favor of white Protestant Americans than other types of folks. Pastor Peters pisses a lot of people off, and has been cited a number of times as a dangerous broadcaster.

But listen to his dramatic metaphors for the ongoing cultural war against the devout and disenfranchised. “They” are firing on the common folk– shooting situations instead of bullets, using data instead of gunpowder and computers instead of guns. How can you defend yourself from that?

Peters isn’t very specific about what’s at stake or how to defend yourself, but even if you think he’s full of shit you still get an urgent sense of needing to so something after hearing this moving call to arms. “If you wanna win you better believe that we’re going to gain the victory.”

03 – Man-Made Diseases 12-30-02  16:37

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HIV and other nasty viruses were invented by human beings to kill other human beings. That’s the theory here.  Depopulation. Dr. Boyd Graves will tell you all about it.

04 – The Parasite Issue – 11-22-02  6:43

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Wet_parasite_1 This is a scary one. It’s a problem escalating out of control, and nobody is talking about it. Some kind of nasty little-known critters are camping out in our digestive tracts. Are they worms? Blobs? Republicans? They’re not specific about the nature of these parasites, but they are supposed to be pretty darn gruesome. Why haven’t we heard about this before?

Listen at your own risk. If you’re curious, drop a string down your gullet and see what you might catch, or take a long lingering look in the toilet before you flush next time. It’s all new information to me. It’s like the most unappetizing infomercial I’ve ever heard.

Also on this clip, a Bible show host concerned that Jesus broadcasters may end up facing prosecution if they don’t promote and condone homosexual sex, and a little bit of Catholic confessional confession.

05 –  Nukes From Mexico, Yahweh Not Gay – 04-23-05  7:21

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Lastly, here’s the current king of shortwave conspiraciesAlex Jones. This is a very short and unrepresentative clip, but at least you get to hear the gruff voiced Jones (who sounds quite a bit older than his 31 years) squawking darkly from his shortwave pulpit. Jones is always extremely controversial, and has plenty of fans and a number of detractors. Either way, I don’t think there’s another broadcaster out there more worked up over this New World Order problem. He has several websites, a bunch of videos, and a reputation as one of the most pessimistic voices in broadcasting. And watch out for those suitcase atom bombs sneaking over the Rio Grande.

Also, in this segment a some hard-core Christian kookiness. Stop the madness and pick up an orgone generator today! And just a few carefully placed magnets may be enough to protect you from being a mind control slave. Elvis Presley is NOT God! Like I said, some of these people are very very serious.

Thanks for listening.

(This post originally appeared in Beware of the Blog.)

New War’s Eve

Monday, January 2nd, 2006

Shock_and_awe The beginning of each new year often invokes feelings of anticipation in a human being, and occasionally warrants one to brace for changes to come. Remember six years ago when the Gregorian odometer lined up three big zeros in a row? Many of us in the city bought up canned goods and bottled water in fear of that dreaded Y2K bug. But thankfully the Giuliani administration welded up all the manhole covers in Midtown and everything turned out all right. Kinda like how the invasion of Iraq has prevented any further terrorist attacks here in New York. I guess it’s similar to burying pennies in the garden to get rid of warts. You don’t know exactly how it works, but somehow it does.

But seriously, as the dead pile up in Iraq and you might scratch your head here in 2006 wondering how we somehow attacked and occupied a defenseless country. And in less than three years our country has been responsible for the death, wounding and maiming of thousands of people AND has fired up a civil war over there with no end in sight– ALL based on false intelligence. It might be interesting to look at a different kind of eve– The EVE of the Iraq war as heard on right wing talk radio.

Conflict Almost three years ago on St. Patrick’s Day 2003, there was a different kind of celebration going in America. Instead of a yearning to gulp some bubbly and kiss somebody, a lot of Americans were all pumped up to kiss a regime goodbye. And they were thirsty for blood. Iraqi blood.

The Bush Administration convinced enough of us that Saddam Hussein had huge stockpiles of “weapons of mass destruction,” possibly nukes, and the time had come to go to war against him to save ourselves. There was an epidemic of war fever in the U.S. of A. By March 17, 2003 thousands of American and British troops were ready at the Iraq Border, and Bush was about to give a speech that evening that everybody knew was going to be a “final warning” for the Iraqi government. Thankfully, the evil French weren’t going to get in our way this time.

That day there was a blood lust in conservative talk radio that’s still shocking to me. Let’s listen to how it sounded that afternoon in New York City…

01 – WABC Rush Limbaugh – President Cowboy 03-17-03  14:30

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Rush is confident and enthusiastic about the coming bloodshed. He doesn’t see the war lasting much longer than a few days. Certainly not weeks. After all, America NEVER loses. In reality, all those anti-war types are only hoping for defeat, right? What’s even more embarrassing is Limbaugh shamelessly making Bush into a matinee cowboy hero.

02 – WMCA Jay Sekulow – Modern Blitzkrieg  03-17-03  2:02

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By the way, this is a "Christian" talk show relishing all the death to come. Get ready for the new blitzkrieg! And will weather get in the way of our glory?

03 – WOR Bill O’Reilly – Alright, It’s On  03-17-03  11:08

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Bill O’Reilly, a cocky and powerful political pundit, and just the biggest and most ignorant asshole in American media today. Yet from what I understand, his boycott of France has put their economy into a devastating unending depression. Pretty impressive. Anyway, here you have O’Reilly beating the war drums awful hard. And once the war starts, YOU had better be in favor of all the mayhem or you’ll not only be a bad American but big bad Bill is going to come after you with his TV & radio guns ablazing. The funny part is when O’Reilly says if Bush invades Iraq and finds no WMD’s and the Iraqis resent our invasion he’ll never trust the Bush Administration again. Me neither.

04 – WABC Sean Hannity – Saddam Threatening Global War 03-17-03  10:39

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The right wing’s ultimate talkbot, Sean Hannity is salivating pretty heavily on this day. The “moment of truth” is upon us. Within five minutes Hannity has made the case that Hussein will level the world with nuclear weapons– unless if we stop him!

05 – WOR Bob Grant – Some Things Come Before Peace 03-17-03  5:28

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Congressman Vito Fossella of Staten Island is planning a big pro-war rally for the weekend. Here he talks to the throbbingly war-ready Bob Grant. After all, there’s some things that come before peace and security. And what are those things again?

05 – WOR Tom Marr – God Is On Our Side 03-17-03  1:30

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Stan calls up to tell us how anti-war demonstrators are “abysmally ignorant of history.” Then, as Marr stares longingly at the TV set in the studio waiting on President Bush to step up and unleash the dogs of war, he reminds us all that the cloud being above is still America’s biggest fan.

(This post originally appeared in Beware of the Blog.)