Saturday, February 25, 2006

Ruth, C.I. and it's the weekend so Laura Flanders (RadioNation with Laura Flanders -- listen to it)

I've been on the phone most of the morning. With Ruth, she was wondering if she was writing her Public Radio Reports too long? Not at all. Everyone loves them. Dallas hunts down links for her posts and C.I. does the tagwork. Last week, I took dictation. Ruth dictated her post to me and it's an excellent report. But Dallas hunted down links while I worked on (my own) punctuation and spelling and hunted down tags. They can take a lot of time.

It is up now at The Common Ills, Ruth's Public Radio Report. Be sure to check it out. Ruth's noting Democracy Now!'s tenth anniversary. Ten years of quality broadcasting. Congratulations to Democracy Now! If you read the latest Ruth's Public Radio Report, you may want to count the tags: 60. And that's not every person she mentions got tagged.

Ruth said they seem so much longer now and I pointed out that she used to do several during the week and now just does one each weekend. She's worried that they are too long (despite the fact that everyone enjoys them and that I keep telling her that they aren't) so if you're a community member, drop her a line and let her know they are just fine length wise.

For this one, she interviewed some of us who do sites to get us to pick a story that stood out from Democracy Now! C.I. wisely goes "historical." Anyone who wants to e-mail, "B-b-b-but what about in ___ when Amy interviewed ____?" just got cut off at the pass. Truly.

That was a smart move. Other members were doing contributions before I started doing my album reviews there but I was one of the first to do a regular entry. And if I didn't like something and mentioned it (even in passing, I've only bothered to review one album that I didn't like at), everyone would want C.I.'s opinion and C.I. would avoid getting in the middle.
Now days, members are used to me (and a number enjoy the reviews) so if they think, "I disagree!" they are more likely to blow off my opinion (fine with me, it's a matter of opinion, feel free to disagree) or just write me themselves.

But C.I. gets stuck into a box where we all expect that it is "Speak for me!" all the time, 24-7. You'd think C.I. would lose it from the pressure. The only time I've seen C.I. "lose it" with regards to that was at The Third Estate Sunday Review when we're all working on an article and Jim's focused just on the article and not hearing or listening. C.I. will have to get loud and say, "That sentence can stay in but if it does, I need to take my name off of this because it will offend a number of members in the community." C.I. takes that responsibility very seriously.

It always surprised (and still does) me that no members have ever been offended by Ava and C.I.'s TV reviews. I guess because it's TV and it's funny, members just enjoy it. I'm not saying that there is anything offensive in the reviews. But C.I. and Ava offer opinions in those and there's never been any fallout. A member wrote me last year saying he was bothered by a joke C.I. made at The Common Ills and that he had e-mailed C.I. gotten a lengthy apology for it and now the member was thinking, "I really over-reacted." He wondered what he should do? I e-mailed him back to "leave it alone." And I told him that he's not the first person to do that and won't be the last. Learn from it and realize that a joke can be told even in "trying times" (I think that was what the guy said he used -- his problem was that C.I. was making fun of the Times about some article they'd half-assed done on a serious topic).

I'm glad that people give Ava and C.I. the room to cut loose in their TV reviews but I really wish members would extend that to the stuff C.I. writes for The Common Ills. When we're working at The Third Estate Sunday Review, C.I. can not just tell you what sentence might offend but also which members will likely be offended. Again, I couldn't take that kind of responsibility. Just keeping track of everyone and their issues alone would fry my brain.

You know who else has that kind of patience and tact? Laura Flanders. You can tell is just by listening. She believes strongly in her opinions but, short of someone making a jerk of his/herself, you can tell that she really takes care to respect people's feelings. (And you really have to make the ultimate jerk of yourself to tick Laura off.)

RadioNation with Laura Flanders!
This Weekend:
Do progressives need a new strategy in the culture wars?
Saturdays & Sundays, 7-10pm ET on Air America Radio
From South Dakota, Planned Parenthood's state director Kate Looby, Lynn Patrow of National Advocates for Pregnant Women and Charon Asetoyer of the Native American Women's Health Education Resource Center on what's next and what's needed as the nation's cruelest abortion ban awaits the governor's pen.

Then, from the Chicago suburbs, Democratic congressional candidate Christine Cegelis on her grassroots primary campaign. Plus an Oscar preview with the Nation's culture-watcher Richard Goldstein.
And a media roundtable with New Orleanian Jordan Flaherty and "Information Is Power" reporter Terry Allen.
If you missed last weekend's live broadcast from Nevada, a one-hour version is available here:
It's all on RadioNation with Laura Flanders this weekend on Air America Radio.

Lastly, in case anyone missed it, Cedric, who only blogs twice a week, did four entries this week (one being the joint entry we all did together). So make a point to check out Cedric's Big Mix. Why did I say lastly? One more thing, it's Saturday so Trina should have a new post up at Trina's Kitchen this evening. Check it out.