Friday, January 3, 2003

Carr going national ... again
The Boston Radio Archives list was abuzz today over the news that Boston Herald columnist and WRKO blabber Howie Carr is getting a new syndication deal via SuperRadio, according to Dean Johnson's column in the Boston Herald this morning []. But listeners to Carr’s will fall down laughing over this hilarious quote Johnson snatched from Super Radio's COO Jack Bryant:
Howie's show is somewhat unique. He takes on political issues, but he's not identified with a particular party; someone like Rush Limbaugh is. [Carr] just seems to be a little more objective, and he also talks about other issues and has real entertainment value. He's not another 'Bush is great and Clinton is bad' talk host.
Huh? What Howie Carr show is this guy listening to?
At times, I find Carr’s muckraking columns to be quite funny. How can you not love a guy who exposes the offensive patronage of political families feeding out of the trough of our state government? But as a very long time listener of his show, it has become quite hard to listen to.
First off, Carr is not an independent. Sure, he is admittedly registered as an "unenrolled" - the political designation of independents in Massachusetts. But on almost every issue on the political scene, Carr comes down just to the left of Attila the Hun. This is why I have always called him "a knuckle draggin’ old man" when I call in. LOL.
But over the years, Carr’s show is annoyingly repetitive - the same old thing, over and over again, day after day. And many of us have lost interest. He’ll rant for a few minutes, throw out the question of the day [or hour], and then let callers rant for 30 seconds or so before they are hung up on.
Yawn. What happened to the intelligent conversation?
Well, that has gone by the wayside since Carr thinks that every Muslim is a terrorist, every immigrant is an illegal alien who doesn’t work, is somehow collecting 12 welfare checks, with loads of "bahstahd" children, who should be hung by his thumbs until he bleeds to death.
Or - and how can I forget - Carr thinks we should nuke all our enemies into the Stone Age with any regard for anyone else in the world.
Of course, the repartee Carr has with his producers Virgin Boy ["VB"] and "Sandy" [who used to be "Nancy" with Jerry Williams], is still pretty funny. As is the daily "Chump Line" feature at 5 p.m. where callers call and leave witty voicemail messages.
[Sidebar: Carr claims he originated this idea but actually he borrowed it from NYC talker Alan Colmes who was doing his own "Graffiti Phone" years before Carr was even doing a weekly stint with Williams.]
The problem with syndication for Carr is that local politics has always been his strong suit. That is what made him so great when he first started out. However, local politics has been shelved to just one hour at 6 p.m. and even here, the topics Carr chooses to discuss are extremely limited. This has led many of us to think that the move to syndication years ago has slowly slid his show into the gutter.
And so are the ratings.
WTKK FM Talker Jay Severin - the former political consultant for Pat Buchanan and former "Rock n’ Roll Republican" talker of WOR in NYC - is killing Carr in drive time ratings by a huge margin.
Personally, I wish Carr the best because I do love his column. And he does have a bunch of daughters he needs to feed, clothe, educate, and wed - so I can see why he wants the syndicate cash. But that doesn’t mean I have to listen to what has essentially become a bad radio talk show.