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Asman v Keillor is No Contest

Reported by Nancy - May 11, 2005 -

David Asman's "Observer" segment at the end of FNL on 5/9 attacked Garrison Keillor for an article he wrote in "The Nation", but Asman had to cherrypick a couple of isolated sentences to spin it as "Taking Aim at Conservative Radio". Maybe Asman just doesn't appreciate Keillor's style of humor, but I think something else prompted his editorializing.

A transcript of this Observer can be found on the Fox News website. Keillor's article is also online. I suggest reading them both before leaping to any conclusions.

Asman starts off by claiming that Keillor describes conservative radio hosts as

“…evil, lying, cynical bastards who are out to destroy the country I love and turn it into a banana republic, but hey, nobody's perfect.”

True, but in context that sentence reads just a tad differently:

I enjoy, in small doses, the over-the-top right-wingers who have leaked into AM radio on all sides in the past twenty years. They are evil, lying, cynical bastards who are out to destroy the country I love and turn it into a banana republic, but hey, nobody's perfect.

Asman claims that Keillor "... singles out the NPR show “Car Talk, ...” as a show he likes, ostensibly because "NPR is produced by and for people who think as he does."

In fact, Keillor doesn't single out one particular program, one particular style of radio show, or even one particular radio station. His tastes, he acknowledges, are "catholic" & run the gamut from indie music to politics to celebrity gossip & includes

People like Tommy Mischke, a nighttime guy on a right-wing station in St. Paul and a free spirit who gets into wonderful stream-of-consciousness harangues and meditations that are a joy to listen to compared with the teeth-grinding that goes on around him. Not that teeth-grinders are to be disparaged ...

Keillor's article is much more a paean to the Golden Age of radio & the quirky local wackiness that can be found at random all over the radio dial. It's also a screed against the blandness of Clear Channel-style conformity being imposed on radio by the megacorporations that have gobbled up the media.

And I think it's THAT that has Asman's -- & his NewsCorps bosses' -- "knickers in a twist".

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