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Lend Me Your Earplugs

In talk radio, is WTKK really a sign of progress?

Email|Print|Single Page| Text size + By Charles P. Pierce
April 27, 2008

Dear WTKK:

You appear to be "Boston's Talk Evolution." Or so say your advertising geniuses, anyway. I admit to being confused. Your typical broadcast day, which has you tied for 11th place in the market, according to the last Arbitron book, consists of the following: the renovated Imus Wrinkle Farm in morning drive; a guy named Graham who is working to become a wit and, thus far, has made it only halfway; a pair of apologetic demi-liberals at midday; and Jay Severin, the Sage of Sag Harbor who thinks Hillary Clinton is a communist but is far more concerned about the size of her thighs, still on evening drive. He's followed by a woman who sounds like she's shouting her program off the back porch of a three-decker in Revere. Later at night, you run a recorded program by Laura Ingraham; in other words, it's a call-in show to which nobody in your audience can call in. Does this make any sense? And even if they could call, how is WTKK different from the festival of sniggering Caucasians over on the AM? If this is the evidence that talk radio is evolving, well, it pretty plainly hasn't yet developed opposable thumbs. More to the point, though, what is this completely conventional dreck doing on my FM dial? It's bad enough that this cheaply produced cheese eliminated AM Top 40. Now, it's beginning to filter over onto the frequencies through which Iron Butterfly once flitted. FM used to be the place where we all fled to get away from the likes of Bobby Goldsboro. Then it became the place we fled to get away from the likes of Jay Severin. Now there's no place to hide. Evolution isn't supposed to be this brutal.

Charles P. Pierce
Cpierce@globe.com

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