I've cooled on the presidential race, as all three candidates have become more and more disappointing, as the race has progressed. If the presidential election occurred today, I'd probably sit it out for the very first time in my life.
Beng a political junkie, it's very tough for me to ignore politics entirely, however. As I was out and about, running Saturday morning errands, I managed to listen to much of John McDonald's show, on WGAN-560. I even managed to place a call and shamelessly work in a plug for Moxietown. John's a gentleman, and a storyteller supreme. Most of the time, he manages to promote some reasonable debate, and respects his listeners.
The follow-up program, Inside Maine, with Phil Harriman (who is always absent, requiring a weekly guest host) and Barbara Merrill followed. This week's fill-in was Mike Violette, who is part of the left-right morning team of Ken (Altshuler) and Mike.
Weekdays, Violette plays Altshuler's right-wing foil, regularly resorting to personal attacks, and ideological blathering on issues that more times than not, would benefit from a more nuanced approach. That's not part of WGAN's programming, as nuanced would be at the bottom of a list of characterisations befitting a lineup the likes of Glen Beck, Rush Limbaugh (who at least has some entertainment value), and Bill O'Reilly, with few exceptions.
This morning, Violette took shots at credible Second District Congressman, Mike Michaud (calling him a "moonbat"), as well as 1st District Senate candidate, Laurie Dobson (can't remember the term used for another personal attack), and besmirched 75-year old psychologist, Dr. Herbert J. Hoffman, also running against the status quo candidates, Susan Collins, and Tom Allen. Hoffman's crime? He dared support Dennis Kucinich, which in Violette's book, is the equivalent of a political scarlet letter. Sadly, Kucinich was a candidate with integrity, and someone still in touch with his less than stellar origins, and people facing the economic challenges that he's managed to conquer.
WGAN is free to staff their programming with anyone they want. The market obviously supports their choice of hosts, like Violette, who cling desperately to ideology, rather than offering the kind of pragmatic solutions that Maine, and beyond, require. But then again, all he has to do is talk, and spew his attacks. He doesn't have to actually contribute something tangible towards making Maine a better place to live.