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Monday, May 26, 2008

The War Room - The Best Kept Secret in Twin Cities Morning Talk Radio

The lameness of early morning talk radio in the Twin Cities over the last couple of years has been frustrating. It seems that whenever a decent program comes along it gets killed off by a bone-headed management decision or station format change.

Bob Davis used to be a great early morning choice until KSTP became the "Twins Station" and moved the show to the crowded 9:00 slot, where it is still a good show but airs when most people are already at work and now competes with Laura Ingraham, Chris Baker, and G.Gordon Liddy (internet only around here from 9:00-12:00), all worthy offerings for thinking people.

After Bob's time slot move, Bill Bennett seemed to be the only game in town for intelligent early morning talk radio. Don't get me wrong, Bill Bennett is a fine Conservative and great American, but goes to great lengths to enforce the concepts of dignity and decorum to an extreme that gives the show as much edge as a precision ball bearing (the show could air on Geriatric Radio or Public Subsidized Radio and not receive any complaints other than for the Conservative ideas expressed). The show has great content, but is trapped in a format that competes with drying paint with regard to entertainment value. There is a place for this kind of radio, but it is not in morning drive time when people are trying to wake up.

Dan Conry's move to 5:00-7:00 seemed to finally fill the early morning void (other than the two hour show was far too short) until the bone-head management at KTLK canned him for reasons that have yet to be explained.

But not all is lost in early morning talk radio! There is a relatively new (at least nationally) show called "The War Room with Quinn and Rose" that airs on KYCR-AM 1570 (the former Patriot II) from 5:00-9:00 and on the internet (either direct feed or from the KYCR site). The internet option may be important for some listeners as KYCR unfortunately has a very westward oriented signal and not all that much transmitter power which makes reception difficult in some areas of town (especially before sun rise). The show also airs on XM on Channel 158.

The show hosts (Jim Quinn and Rose Tennent) are proudly unapologetic about their patriotic and Conservative bias that celebrates American Exceptionalism, free market capitalism, support of our troops, and peace through superior firepower. Along with hard news and serious, in-depth analysis of current issues the show is also very entertaining as it is executed with an in-your-face push-back of political correctness.

"Heads-ups" are a recurring feature of the show that are somewhat analogous to Rush's updates. They are generally well researched and presented with coherent analysis interspersed with brutally sarcastic derision of liberalism that drive the points home. The heads-ups often cover material or viewpoints not presented by others as the hosts, particularly Jim Quinn, really seem to do their show-prep homework. Each heads-up has an associated theme song that serves to further make the point presented.

Although liberals/socialists and their stupid ideas are mercilessly skewered in envelope-pushing parody and scathing sarcasm the show is fairly family safe relative to the poor taste of typical shock-jock morning shows. For example, I think most kids can handle "The Bitch is Back" as the theme song that precedes a "Hillary heads-up" and will probably learn more than they will later in the day at a public school. Unlike with the shock jocks, the humor, although often brutal on the targeted person or idea, is actually clever (Tom Barnard and Howard Stern take note) and does not resort to scatological or "T&A" references or intentionally poorly disguised double-entendres.

Jim Quinn has a quick start guide to the show on the show web site that gives a good sampling of the guiding principles of the hosts (e.g. Quinn's First Law: "Liberalism always generates the exact opposite of its stated intent").

Go ahead and give the show a listen tomorrow morning (5:00 - 9:00). Former listeners of Dan Conry and the old Bob Davis Show may well end up making it their new morning choice. Devotees of Bill Bennett should probably proceed with caution and maybe sample the show in small doses at first as the pace and presentation style may be a bit much for those accustomed to and comfortable with Bennett's rather stodgy format. As for you MPR and WCCO listeners, well, listen at your own risk (if you're driving it might be best to pull the Volvo or Weenie Hybrid over first).


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks Hook! I think I found my new morning drive station.


5/27/2008 9:05 AM  

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