The inhabitants of southern Ohio are blessed with a couple of radio stations which between them provide excellent choices of syndicated and local talk shows. WLW and WKRC, 700 and 550 respectively on the AM dial, both feed the minds of conservatives and provide torture to the more left leaning members of the Cincinnati area.
Love him or hate him: Rush Limbaugh is worth listening to if only so you can get the in-depth story of current politics in an entertaining fashion. Of course the show leans heavily to the right and you have to always take that into account but you still get more background about people and events that relate to what is happening at the moment from Rush then you will anywhere else. Rush not only tells you what is happening but gives his own prospective into the behind the scene strategies of why it’s happening.
Rush gives nicknames to the major political players (well the ones who are democrats or turn-coat republicans) which makes it easier to remember who they are. Examples: KKK Bird, Dingy Harry Reed, Sandy Burglar Burger. Limbaugh takes few calls from listeners and seldom has guests on his program. During most of the 3 hours between noon and 3PM Eastern Standard Time that his show encompasses Limbaugh engages in a stream of consciousness like monologue with an occasional musical interlude for a politically inspired parody of a popular song. Those who aren’t driven to distraction by his theatrics and bravado can learn a lot about politics even if they don’t agree with him but unfortunately few who are not of the same political persuasion as Rush can stand to listen to him for any length of time.
In the 3 hour slot right before Rush Limbaugh both WLW and WKRC each have entertaining and informative radio programs. On WLW Glenn Beck, the poster child for Ritalin gives in depth analysis on the news and events with an historic perspective and apocalyptic overtones. Either Beck is the world’s best actor or he is the world’s quickest cycling bi-polar personality; for him to make the complete cycle from euphoria to despair and around to euphoria again takes about 15 to 20 minutes. Although some might question his conclusions or feel that he makes many mountains out of a few mole hills he does deal in facts usually with the video tape to prove it or historical data that can be checked. Again, if you can stand to watch you can learn a lot regardless of what it all means to you or whether you agree with Beck about its importance.
In addition to the previous two examples of syndicated talk shows, Cincinnati also has several shows hosted locally. In the same time slot as Glenn Beck is Mike McConnell. McConnell come across as a bit of a know it all and is, in fact, very knowledgeable on many subjects and always does his homework when having an author on as a guest. Mike trends conservative but won’t abide generalizations from his callers. Don’t call Mike and expect to rant about this President or the last one unless you have the facts to back you up because McConnell will be down your throat in a minute. Among the things Mike’s guests talk about are science, psychology, politics and pop culture. An example of a typical McConnell take on a subject: while other talk show hosts several years back were ranting about some foreign nationals buying the Empire State Building. Mike said something along the lines of: so what, are they going to move it? It’s going to stay right where it’s at and the property taxes will still be paid to the state of New York. Relax its still on U.S. soil and it doesn’t matter who owns it.
Finally from midnight to 5AM, seven days a week WLW has the only live night time trucking show, American Trucking Network. Why listen to a trucking show if you don’t drive a truck for a living? Steve Summers weekdays and Bubba Bo on the weekends report and explain issues relating to trucking and to truck drivers in such an informative and entertaining way that even if one doesn’t drive its still worth listening to if you work the graveyard shift. Where else would one learn little known facts about the supply and demand for gasoline? Not only can you learn that the demand for oil is down but that also that supplies are at a near capacity and that millions of gallon of oil which were purchased when oil was cheaper were sitting in oil tankers all over the world waiting for the price to go up. Most of the callers sound like country bumpkins but many have really intelligent analysis to offer about such things as how hedge funds work and what is keeping the price for a barrel of oil at an unnatural high price. Even the weather forecast is gone over in details that are easy to understand and retain.
Thanks to the internet listening, podcasts and subscription radio you don’t have to live within the range of WLW or WKRC to hear even the local radio shows and you don’t even have to listen to them at their scheduled times! Whether you find yourself nodding in agreement or yelling in frustrations you can be entertained and educated by any of these shows.