Tuesday, June 10, 2003
For me, it's not being revelatory that bothers me as much as being boring. Seriously, I would be horrified at the thought of ever subjecting anyone to reading about how many times I went to the bathroom and what color underwear I had on and how long it took me to rewind a videotape day after day after day. I would want to reward the people who came to read me by being interesting, and recounting the details of my incredibly boring life is not very interesting.
Which brings me to yet another impersonal list
I mostly listen to music on my overlong commute, but I still find myself sampling talk radio, hence my new list of TEN THINGS I HATE WHEN TALK RADIO HOSTS DO THEM:
1. Eating on the air. Eww. Really, there are other times in the day to do that.
2. Teasing a story multiple times through multiple commercial breaks before actually talking about it. Annoying in the extreme.
3. Taunting the audience to get them to call. "Well, I guess absolutely no one in the entire metropolitan Philadelphia area hates the Cowboys anymore. A shame, really. Oh well." If you're so boring that you can't entertain an audience without cheap stunts like that, I suggest finding another line of work.
4. Talking politics with no substance behind what you're saying. A mindless "rah, rah, I hate Bush/Clinton/Hillary/Ashcroft, don't you agree?" is not at all interesting, and if I don't agree, I'm gone instantly.
5. Having no clue about people you interview. "So Mr. Geldof. I hear you've been to Africa. See any cool animals?" Yes, I know Larry King became a multimillionaire that way, be quiet.
6. Deliberately leading a really stupid caller on. "Why yes, your idea of trading Keith Van Horn for Kobe Bryant is brilliant, tell me more." It's petty, uninvolving torture, like watching someone pull the wings off a fly. Not entertaining.
7. Holding grudges against some anyonymous goofball who ticked you off three callers ago. "Remember that guy three callers ago? Wasn't he a jerk?" Who cares? Move on.
8. Drooling on the air over women in the studio, asking intimate questions, etc. When anyone but Howard Stern does this, it comes off sounding like The Ted Bundy Show.
9. Crossing the very fine line from opinionated to haughty. Not wanting to debate legitimate points with callers makes you look like a phony.
10. Ignorance as a defense. Talking extensively about subjects that you know absolutely nothing about. The basic "I don't know a blessed thing about chaos theory, but I'll offer my opinion on it anyway because that's the kind of stand-up guy I am" statement. Whenever I hear anyone on radio use the phrase, "All I know is..." my hand is immediately on the dial. If that's all you know, then why should I ever listen to you again for any reason?