Monday, June 15, 2009

Brief Review: Root on the Radio

As a candidate, I've repeatedly promised "a different kind of presidential campaign." While this isn't exactly what I had in mind when I came up with that slogan, it seems to fit into the general theme -- I'm going to say nice things about one of my opponents.

Wayne Allyn Root has his own radio show. Not just "Internet radio," either -- it airs on Saturday mornings in three major markets (New York, Chicago and Los Angeles).

Folks, it ain't bad. I've listened to a lot of talk radio in my day (and done some myself), and I've heard worse -- a lot worse. Wayne's ... enthusiastic ... style, which comes off as overbearing in some settings, is just a little north of normal in this shock-jock-dominated medium.

IMHO, he's better than Savage by a damn sight, and better than Boortz too. He can't touch (for example, and once again in my opinion) Free Talk Live or Scott Horton, but hey, give him time.

Only two weeks in, Wayne's already setting a pretty high standard for guest "draw" quality -- US Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) and Faux News analyst / former New Jersey Superior Court Judge Andrew Napolitano appeared on the first episode and this week he had MSNBC's token conservative, Joe Scarborough, on.

Sure, I could bust Wayne's chops over a few things. He refers to himself on air as a "libertarian conservative," and it would be nice if he would decide which one's the descriptor and drop the modifier, for example. And it would be nice to see him pull out some libertarian issues positions that he expects a "conservative" guest and audience to disagree with and make mind-changing arguments on them. Of course, we're only two episodes in here. Maybe he has some surprises up his sleeve.

Anyway -- I'm trying here to see things from the viewpoint of those who believe that a "mainstream" and "conservative" audience make the best target for libertarian evangelism ... and from that viewpoint, I'm not seeing much to complain about. That viewpoint isn't something that Wayne pulled out of his sock drawer one morning. It's been part of the libertarian movement for decades and has always carried substantial weight in the Libertarian Party. Do I disagree with it? Yes, I do. But since Wayne doesn't disagree with it, I can't blame him for picking up the ball and trying to carry it down the field in that direction.

A+ for effort and enthusiasm, A+ for lining up guests that can draw an audience, C+ (from a hostile grader!) for content. Here's the second episode, for those who are interested.

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