By Holland Cooke
Fast-forward to January 20, 2021. It’s like someone flipped-a-switch. The very same radio righties and FOX News commentators who spent four years telling us how each day was even happier than the day before now sulk that tomorrow will be even worse than today. Our grandchildren are screwed.
The negativity is relentless, notwithstanding Gallup/Ipsos/other polls evidencing widespread post-pandemic optimism, and empirical metrics demonstrating an American comeback. Or was life better a year ago, when the Pharmacist-in-Chief rambled about ingesting disinfectant as refrigerator trucks became makeshift morgues?
Leaders lead, and Trump’s vocabulary intensified the vitriol
“Truth ISN’T truth!” wild-eyed Rudolph Giuiliani hollered, and alternative facts now demonize Dr. Fauci and disqualify election results. We now value having-the-issue over sharing-a-solution; “victory at the expense of truth,” as TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison has termed it.
The phrase “talk radio” conjures a caricature. That seems not to be a problem for station owners and managers focused on FMs losing music consumers to streaming. Down the hall, legacy stations with once-proud call letters – now sadly referred to as “the AM” – dispense daily discouragement. To the suits, that’s “talk radio.”
We argue about arguing
The MyPillow guy launched his social platform by ranting for two days. ‘Had to, after those Big Tech socialists kicked him and Trump off the mainstream apps. Soon, that beef will be moot, because of “dapps.” Decentralized applications could include a YouTube-style video platform, built on the blockchain, with no central authority.
While streaming clobbers FMs, podcasting is mainstreaming spoken-word content, and hello Clubhouse. With our culture is so clearly transitioning to diverse on-demand content, why validate the quaint caricature that we’re a crackly 100-year-old anger machine?
- Every day, things change, as listeners reclaim their pre-pandemic lives. Are you setting the expectation – and delivering on it – that you’ll tell them something enabling today they didn’t know yesterday?
- Or are you re-hashing familiar talking points? Verbatim quote – no names, but you can probably guess: “It couldn’t get any worse than this.”
- To quote Sgt. Hulka, “Lighten-up, Francis.”
Holland Cooke is the author of the E-book “Multiply Your Podcast Subscribers, Without Buying Clicks,” available from Talkers books (click the banner on this page). He is a consultant working at the intersection of broadcasting and the Internet. And HC hosts “The Big Picture” TV show Friday nights at 7ET on RT America. Follow him on Twitter @HollandCooke