Thursday, June 20, 2024

The truth about radio talk shows

Apples To Apples


Most folks feel that radio is "sexier" than print media, but if they only knew the truth about radio talk shows. What really goes on behind the scenes? Are you actually listening to who you think you are? Was that really Jay Inslee or Dino Rossi or a hybrid named Dino Inslee found sleeping in the park?


No one actually checks the reporters to make sure they are really interviewing the real Inslee or Rossi, but of course they are big names and their voices would be easily discernible. What about small town movers and shakers? 


I have a friend in that biz, aka the dark side.


Once she invited me to join her on an interview taped at the subject's location. (Her show was always taped and then aired later.) Anyways, the topic for the week was "How cities should handle your tax money?"


We drove around for a bit, stopped and had breakfast, then drove around some more. I said to her, "I thought the interview was scheduled for an hour ago?"


She said that was just what the boss at the station wanted to hear as an excuse for leaving the place so early, but we can stop anytime and almost anywhere to do the interview, she said, kinda surprising me.


About 10 minutes later she stops at the little Kiwanis Park in downtown Wenatchee right between Key Bank and The Cook's Corner diner.


I kept quiet and watched her do her magic.


Close your eyes and imagine - Ceasar "Salad" Chavez might really be ... Luis Montoya.


"Hey buddy, hey you! Want some Night Train Express?" (Cheap red wine). The guy said sure thing lady, what's the catch?


"I just need you to say a few words into this tape recorder, okay?"


The guy said again, sure thing lady, but I want to see the bottle before I say a word.


With that, she reached into her large overcoat and pulled out a flask-sized bottle of the old poison. She then said into the recorder: "Good morning listeners. Today we'll be talking to a friend of the famous labor organizer Caesar "Salad" Chavez, Luis Montoya, head of the Seattle to Chelan Taxpayer alliance."


She then stopped the tape and asked the old grizzly guy if he could take a few sips to steel his nerves first and then talk to her a bit. He said sure thing lady. He said his name wasn't Luis Montoya, but for some red wine, he'd play along. He also said he never knew Chavez, but that was a minor point, according to my friend in radio.


"Please call me Kathy."


Sure thing lay ---er, Kathy, he said.


The tape came back on and she looked at him and said, "Luis, please tell my listeners what your group is all about?"


After years of consultation and observation of the best practices as followed in a variety of municipalities, we agree that cities should spend taxpayer 

money on more and better social services.


"Can you be more specific Luis?"


Sure thing Kathy. It is great that some non-profits feed us and house us and others even clothe us, but we feel as a group and individually that it just isn't enough. That's why we think we are entitled to more taxpayer moolah.


"Moolah as in milk Luis?"


Milk and moolah are two different dogs in two different fights and we ain't talking bovine here so get yer mind outta the trough. Moolah is money, gelt, greenbacks ... cash. We feel the city ought to build a 50-room, pet friendly, drink and drug friendly apartment complex. Of course it needs to be rent free and have free internet and huge televisions in every room and a free cell phone for each apartment. It would also be preferable if it were on the river so we could fish while we drug and drink.


"Aren't you missing the refrigerator full of beer and wine in the community room too?"


You musta been reading my mind. The fridge is also where the free diabetic insulin will be maintained and my favorite, bleu cheese.


"Then the Ritz, Townhouse and Saltine crackers must be in the pantry?"


That's right, crackers of all types in the fridge and pantry along with the usual food stamp staples: tuna fish, hotdogs, sardines, beef jerky ... you know, staples.


"I forgot to ask why the apartments have to be pet friendly?"


Well Kathy, it is a known fact that when a member of our group employs a dog in their act, folks pity the animal and reward its keeper. Of course the mutt gets a few scraps and the actor another quart of firewater. Many of us use the same dog while the other shift takes a break so the animals eat pretty well. What's not to love? 


"Thanks for listening, be sure to tune in next week when I interview Luis Fara Khan, half brother of that Nation of Islam guy. This is Kathy faux Gifford signing off."


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