From LA Radio.com
Jackson on KPCC
hen LARadio launched, Michael Jackson was a daily presence on KABC. In the ensuing years radio became very loud. The objective interviewer was replaced by Rush Limbaugh and a cadre of pale Limbaugh imitators, all of whom would operate as their own guest; offering their admittedly biased perspective on the crucial issues facing our nation.
Challenged by the times, even Michael Jackson in his last years at KABC was, I sense, 'forced' to make personal politics an element of his show. My perception is the ranting was simply an entertaining novelty; sufficient in its impact that the objective interviewer was no longer marketable.
The concept fit Jackson like a bad suit. Indeed, those who rant today, no matter their point of view, are all wearing ill-fitting suits. And we are the worse for it.
It is the job of radio programmers and hosts to entertain. On reflection, do we truly believe that sober, balanced and enlightened conversation is boring? Sharp hosts and great producers create more stimulating talk radio.
One thing is certain. The effort to seek out guests who present both sides of an argument requires more research and effort. Pointing one who rants toward a mic and letting him or her go unchecked requires little of this. Does the former cost more? I wonder. Check the salaries of Limbaugh and that cadre of sound-a-likes.
So this week, Michael Jackson resurfaces as fill-in host for Patt Morrison over the KPCC airwaves. What a breath of fresh air!
Kudos to Jackson who today, in covering the Murdoch News Corp scandal and the debt crisis being hammered out in Washington, understood that the stories were already packed with drama.
I salute this host who, for so many years, has kept the spotlight where it belongs, which is on the story.
My hope is that KPCC finds a permanent home for Mr. Jackson and that Michael moves in.