The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

23 August 2006

Boston Globe, Sam Seder, Jerry Springer


Even In Network's Dying Days, AAR Puff Pieces Continue

Question: what's the difference between a floundering liberal talk show host and an entire group of successful ones?

Answer: while the latter continually find themselves ignored, the former enjoys the kind of puffery that only the mainstream media can provide. Here at the Radio Equalizer, we've put a name to this unique form of journalistic mayhem: Frankenfluff.

Inspired by the obscene amount of free publicity Air America talker Al Franken routinely receives from his media fellow- travellers, the trend seems to continue, no matter how badly the liberal radio network performs.

Even Franken, however, might be jealous of the fluff- dose doled out to fellow talker Sam Seder in today's Boston Globe. From the moment it was published, your Radio Equalizer began to hear from other hosts who wondered what it would take to get that kind of free publicity for themselves.

Meanwhile, the story's timing couldn't be worse for Seder, Janeane Garofalo's former "Majority Report" co- host. At the moment, he's locking horns with the likes of Jerry Springer over the network's 9am to noon timeslot. It still isn't clear who will win, though Jerry has reportedly been making frantic phone calls to Rob Glaser in Seattle in an attempt to save his own show.

Yet the Globe story claims he's been awarded the 9am- noon slot! That's probably because at the time the piece was written, it really did appear that Seder's show was headed there. Now, his future is entirely uncertain. If Springer wins the battle, there probably won't be a place for Seder.

In fact, even at the Majority Report's own website, cold water is poured on the Globe report:

I'm going to recycle this graphic every day until we get word that Sam & the MRR crew will have a home on the new AAR lineup.

Please don't read anything regarding Sam's status at AAR into the graphic. It's just an attempt at humor.

As for the overall story, it tries to make the case that Seder would be world- famous, if only he would stop turning down top- notch gigs! In a lengthy piece that never stops making excuses for Sam's past behavior, we're to believe he's the master of his own failure.

While at first glance it reads like a hit piece, in truth, the story is really all about Seder as the Underrated Genius. If only the world was worthy!

Here's an example:

`Sam's always had a strong impulse to alienate people, to make the audience unhappy," says his longtime friend, comedian Jon Benjamin. ``As a result, he's incredibly adept at failure."

That's no joke. Seder, a onetime actor and comedian from Worcester, has a knack for not succeeding. He's turned down TV roles that would have made him a millionaire and taken jobs others would run from.

If he's not as well known as his comedian friends Sarah Silverman and David Cross -- and he's not -- Seder bears much of the blame. Still, at 39, he's famous to a few: Seder's movie ``Who's the Caboose" is a cult favorite; TV executives say they'd love to work with him; and his Air America show, ``The Majority Report," a mix of lefty politics and loopy humor, is one of the most popular on the fledgling network.

``This is the first time I've had a steady, infinite-horizon job," Seder says, standing outside Air America's New York headquarters. ``But I'm sure I'll [mess] it up."

Seder, whose mother, Mari, is an artist and whose father, J. Robert, is a prominent Worcester attorney, considered becoming a lawyer. But, to the dismay of his dad, he dropped out of Boston University Law School to pursue a career in comedy.

``Sam said to me, `I think I want to be a comedian,' " recalls Seder's father. ``And I said, `Oh, Jesus.' "

While this kind of publicity might have helped Seder a year ago, at this point, it seems a bit too late.

As for Air America's schedule, as soon as the internal fighting ceases, we'll update you with the "winner" of this dubious contest.

ELSEWHERE: Who knew MSNBC had fans listening on XM Satellite Radio? With XM choosing to dump the Olbermann- tainted network, they're now up in arms. In my latest Inside Radio column, read the latest on this and the effort to keep country music alive and well in Los Angeles!

Thanks for your continued and vital Radio Equalizer support, via Amazon orders that begin with clicks here, regardless of what you ultimately order!



    By Blogger @whut, at 23 August, 2006 21:53  

  • If Sam gets the 9-12 Noon slot, John Gambling can kiss his radio career goodbye.

    I'm extremely pleased by this turn of events.

    By Blogger hashfanatic, at 23 August, 2006 22:27  


    By Blogger @whut, at 24 August, 2006 00:21  

  • Mr. Seder -

    If I were the director of a movie called "Who's the Caboose" , I'd be hesitant to suggest I was a
    "fucking genius" if you get my drift, and I suspect that your experience leads you to know exactly what I mean....

    By Blogger Lokki, at 24 August, 2006 12:29  

  • Speaking of Cindy SHAM-HAM, she went under the knife recently in Waco, Texas. No not for plastic surgery (AND NOT EVEN ALL THAT IN THE WORLD COULD FIX HER UGLY MUG!), but for something else:

    She has since been released from a hospital and will resume her Kool-Aid drinking, America-hating job in due time.

    The story is from KWTX-TV 10, the CBS station in wacky Waco (Couldn't resist it, I had to do it!)

    By Blogger The Real Bob Anthony, at 24 August, 2006 18:59  

  • Is that article Sam is referring to from Time Magazine available online? If not what Date was it printed.

    I could use a good laugh.

    By Blogger none, at 24 August, 2006 18:59  

  • I think Kuby really doesn't need his WABC gig, but what is Curtis gonna do on unemployment?

    There IS a market for solid, well-rounded, well-rounded talk. The emphasis that the neoconbots here place on totals, ratings, and profitably simply underscore to the everyday guy on the street just what right-wing one-world-government talk radio really is all about.

    That's for loyalists, not patriotic Americans. And loyalists have been known to have fickle allegiances anyway.

    By Blogger hashfanatic, at 24 August, 2006 20:59  

  • Are there any sites that spend the majority of its time refuting falsehoods on AAR? There's no shortage of sites that spend entire articles switching back and forth between the "unknowns" the "egomaniacs" and "fledgling network" frames, but I rarely see any point-by-point analysis of things that are said on the network.

    I figure that would be a priority, since it's the false information that you should be concerned about, not the fact that the network exists and has been shuffling its lineup and changing stations for the last two and a half years. Liberals spent decades without seriously refuting the conversations that were going on on talk radio, and look where we are today.

    By Blogger Dave, at 25 August, 2006 15:12  

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