War Criminal: Radio

October 19, 2007 | Comments (0) | by Governor X

War Hero Freddie Mercury once wrote, "Radio, someone still loves you..." Sorry Freddie, it isn't me. I'm not sure if radio has gotten worse or if it was always this bad and I didn't notice. Every radio broadcast is a complete disaster. As you may have expected, I'm prepared to tell you whats wrong with all aspects of it:

Morning Shows

This may not be the case everywhere, but here in LA, you cannot find music during your commute to work. Danny & Lisa, Dave, Shelley, and Chainsaw, Douche, Dickhead, and Colostomy Bag - they're all the same. Basically you have three middle aged yahoos too ugly for TV yammering from 6-9am every day. None of the jokes are funny and the guests are boring.

I don't think its the hosts so much as the format though. Take the Adam Corolla example. Adam is a pretty funny guy. Remember The Man Show? Classic. Now listen to his hideous morning show with Danny Bonaduce and Teresa Strasser. Aside from the constant rips on Huell Howser, the show has no redeeming qualities. During my research for this collumn, grotesque amounts of time on this show were devoted to Teresa's fake wedding. Apparently phony wedding plans are comedy gold. No one told me though.

I just want to hear music on the way to work. Is that too much to ask?


With all the songs ever written, the average oldies station plays maybe 50 or so. "Hey Jude isn't the most overplayed song of all time or anything, lets run that into the ground some more!" Listen to any Oldies station for an hour and you're guaranteed to hear Hey Jude or Hotel California.

Classic Rock stations seem to have even shorter playlists. If you don't love Styx, don't bother.

Pop and Modern Rock Stations

If you love a band that has a new song out, listen to these type of stations at your peril. You're going to hear that new song about once every two hours. Too much KROQ actually made me dislike Green Day for a period of time because I heard "When September Ends" too much. I've since gone through detox and enjoy American Idiot again, but the radio tried their damndest to kill them for me.

Another gem from our local modern rock station: Their tagline is "LA and OC's only new rock." This is almost always followed by an Offspring or Nirvana song from 15 years ago.

The Flashback Lunch

A spinoff of the pop/modern rock critique...

Every day at noon, the pop and rock stations go into flashback mode. Need to here Come on Eileen? Tune into the pop station. They WILL play it. Nirvana's Come As You Are more your fare? Go for the rock. Nirvana had alot of good songs. Unfortunately the ones they play on the radio are so tired at this point I can't bear to listen anymore. This is why Kurt Cobain shot himself.


Country radio has been notoriously bad for years. Some country is good. Johnny Cash, Willie, and even some modern artists like Dwight Yoakam and Brad Paisley. Carrie Underwood and TimFaith McGrawHill are not country. Putting a fiddle in a pop song does not make you a country artist. Carrie Underwood's voice makes the Baby Jesus cry. Sure she's hot, but her singing is like nails on a chalk board.

Country radio is SO bad in fact, after winning a Grammy for one of his brilliant American recordings late in his career, Johnny Cash took out this full page ad in Billboard flipping them the bird to thank them for all their support. They hadn't played any of the CD even though it was loved by critics and fans accross all age groups.

Talk Radio

Talk radio isn't immune either. You have several types of crap that can be heard on your AM dial without fail:

The Hypocritical Right Winger

Right wing radio hosts seem to be the biggest hypocrites on the planet. Bill O'Reilly decries the moral decay in society and gets nailed for sexual harassment and a lufa fetish (Fox security has just been dispatched to my home.) Rush Limbaugh blasts drug users for years while simultaneously doing enough oxycontin to subdue a whale. OK, comparing Rush to a whale may be a little redundant I guess. Dr. Laura dispenses conservative family values and it turns out she had nude photos taken of her in the 70s and didn't know her mother was dead for over two months. Come on guys, at least try to practice what you preach.

The Whore

This section is brought to you by On-Star. On-Star turn by turn navigation - directions from where you are to where you're going! Now lets check the Michelin inbox. Tom Leykis here recomending 1-800-FLOWERS as the perfect Valentine's Day gift (even though Tom's whole schtick is telling you NOT to spend money on women, particularly on holidays like Valentine's).

Christ, have some pride and say no once in awhile. Congrats to Dan Patrick on this front. He left ESPN and no longer has to peddle crappy navigation systems or tires.

The Guy Who Can't Talk

If you have a job where you speak for hours at a time, you should probably be able to speak clearly. This seems to be particularly prevelent in sports talk radio where you get these former athletes who couldn't find a coherent sentence with...well, with On-star turn by turn navigation.

There's also the stutterer. ESPN radio seems to love these guys. Just spit it out already.

Another common one is the guy who sounds like he has a sock in his mouth.

Rarely, you get one who nails all three parts of the "can't talk" trifecta. I'm looking at you Petros Papadakis.

(Remember my too ugly for TV remark? Yeah...)

The Idiotic Premise

I know you have hours to fill, but you're only hurting yourself by wasting time on ridiculous hypotheticals like "what if Ohio secedes from the union?" or "will the Dodgers move back to Brooklyn?"

The Clock

Thirty-six minutes after the hour...

Well, I'm spent. There are probably hundreds of more examples of how radio sucks, but all I have to say is thank god for the iPod.