The LA Weekly's John Powers gives Air America a try and says liberal talk radio has some growing pains to get through.
Air America has a long way to go. Although its opening days boasted a few amusing moments — Al Franken claimed to be broadcasting from an underground bunker 3,500 feet below Dick Cheney’s — the first programs only made The Daily Show shine brighter. Majority Report’s sharp Janeane Garofalo appeared subdued by seriousness, and when the surprisingly dull Chuck D interviewed Spike Lee, I kept thinking that the perpetually pissed-off filmmaker was the one who ought to be hosting — attitude is one thing Spike’s got 40 acres of. The network’s flagship, Franken, is a smart, funny, decent man, whose Stuart Saves His Family remains an unappreciated gem. But he has trouble knowing when to kiss a joke goodbye — remember his old SNL bit about “me, Al Franken”? — and The O’Franken Factor keeps belaboring his spat with Bill O’Reilly, who many of his listeners have probably never watched...
While most of the left listened to the shows with dawning, er, yawning horror — some of us secretly thinking we would have made far better hosts — we were still willing to cut Air America some slack. The first few weeks were bound to be rocky...Where Air America seeks its liberal audience through a Field of Dreams scenario — if you broadcast it, they will come — it took years of an organic process to produce today’s conservative talk radio.
Also in the Weekly: David Corn on the questions that should be asked about two of the hijackers who crashed Flight 77 into the Pentagon.