Whiling (And Gabbing) the Night Away
Someone recently referred to talk radio as "an addiction." And in many ways, it is. All over the country, gentle lullabies are being displaced by the voices of talk radio hosts, and people are being soothed to sleep by abrasive debate. More often than not, they're listening to the gruff voice of Larry King.
Given his popularity, you'd think he was a font of provocative opinions, but the fact is Larry's never been known to take much of a stand on anything, and many consider his show highly unsatisfying.
The other night, his show focused on human rights abuses in the Third World, and caller from a small town in Indiana began with an announcement that he had a long list of injustices performed by Third World countries. Larry hung in there, listening to the citations, which must have been the product of a full day in the heat of the town public library. Having completed his well-researched list, the caller paused, waiting for a response from his nightly companion.
Larry obliged. "All I can say is, I agree with you. Silver Springs, Maryland hello..."
Even for King, who seems to feel that taking a side on any issue is a definite path to getting canned, this was out of the ordinary. But later in the night, King had two guests, one pro-National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and one anti-NEA. He capped a two-hour-long debate between the two with this memorable remark: "Two able spokespersons for two vital causes...next, open phone America."
During that next hour, King dragged out one disingenuous response after another, but his voice stil poured out of radios nationwide, for talk radio is an addiction. And as the night slid on, so did the talk radio host, dissolving all the heated issues of the day into tepid conversations.
Another night with Larry King.