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September 29, 2004


Thank you! I have come to similar conclusions about Randi Rhodes. I wince when I listen her tear into someone like a T-Rex, then hang up on them in disgust, and trash them for several minutes after she has cut them off. This is, to my mind, a level of immaturity that I rarely see on the left...among adults, at least.
I had the same reaction as you did to the Patti Smith interaction. Patti maintained a well modulated voice, refused to be put down, refused to be manipulated, and did not call names in the process. Randi, on the other hand, tried to illogically equate a condemnation of Ralph's so-clled failures with the Greens to "Ralph Nader is only interested in Ralph Nader." She followed this by trying to illogically equate Patti's polite request to forego discussion of Ralph to having broken some kind of unspoken pact about what is supposed to happen "on a political talk show." When Patti persisted in resisting her, she literally YELLED, "YOU brought it up! and I have an opinion!!" Finally, she said, "I'm sorry you are upset that this is a political talk show." What i learned from that final statement is that she is not only nasty, but manipulative too, quickly figuring out a way to make Patti look wrong (or stupid), repackaging her rudeness into Patti's shortcoming.
Though I agree with many of Randi's perspectives, I would like to see a different talk show host in her time slot.

The Randi-Patti exchange has bothered me for two days, because before it happened, Randi had made me laugh with her attitude enough to make her rudeness just part of the schtick. But it's pretty ugly to invite someone onto your show and then trash her relentlessly. Randi has some excellent points to make about Nader--the one I am so glad to hear someone finally say is that he has done nothing to build a Green Party, he seems above running for any office other than president, and he seems for these reasons to be disingenuous. But still, make your point and move on, Randi, ya know? It was riveting radio for 20 minutes, sure, but you just lost me for all the days ahead. I think this must be what happens to someone whose used to being able to talk on the air, blah blah blah blah blah, without engaging in conversation. You lose the ability.

(Hi. I found this by searching for reactions to the Rhodes/Smith interview.)

I listen to several shows on AAR, and love most of them. Randi's impressed me with her knowledge and sense of humor. I've been put off a couple times, which was frankly hurtful, because she's so knowledgable and cares about researching to find answers.

I also love Patti Smith. For obvious reasons.

I've heard the interview twice. I have to admit I don't think Randi was so wrong. Yes, she sounded loud and aggressive sometimes. But honestly, she sounds like many New Yorkers (that is not an insult). Anybody who has listened to her often knows that is how she talks, even if she's happy. Patti "sounded" calm and collected, but the content of her answers were more hostile than Randi's. Patti was almost mumbling (which can be passive-aggressive), and was dismissive and avoidant every time Randi asked something that was difficult instead of easy. Listening again, to the content, Randi's statements were factual and her questions appropriate. Patti disagreed with facts--Ralph himself said he accepted money from Republicans--and just said she "disagreed" and that Ralph was her friend instead of engaging Randi's questions. When Randi said Ralph didn't care about anyone but himself, Patti's response wasn't to explain why he isn't, just to grouse. Randi shut up when Patti said she was monopolizing the interview, but Patti said nothing meaningful.

It was uncomfortable to listen to, because the two were antagonistic, but I really think Randi was trying to keep the topic at an intelligent level while Patti expected her words to be accepted. Randi called a spade a spade when she saw it. And she wasn't hostile, just frank. Challenging questions can seem hostile. Patti "didn't want to talk about it," and said "Ralph is my friend." Furthermore, she brought up the topic. She was fine with talking about Ralph when she wasn't being challenged.

That was sad. It was pathetic when she took off her headphones.

I felt sorry for Randi. I knew that would hurt her, and later we learned it did, since Smith was a childhood idol and someone she respected now. I admire Randi all the more for that. It would have been easier, and more desirable, to "get along" with Patti Smith. Instead, she opted for smart follow-up questions. It was a chance for Smith to be interviewed. It felt like Smith wanted to be slavishly listened to, or praised.

And that disappointed me alot. It's unfair Randi is being cast as someone who trashed her guest just because she had a real conversation with her.

Yeah Rolivar, you're absolutely right on point.

If anyone had been listening to the actual interview, they would have heard that Randi tried several times to pull the conversation to the area of music-- a place where Patti Smith would have been more comfortable--put Patti insisted on talking about politics. I for one, have a lot of respect for her that she didn't allow Patti Smith--someone she idolized--to come on her show and misinform people about Ralph Nader.

I think that exchange points out a common problem in politics that my girlfriend and I both experienced working on political campaigns -- the difference between ACTIVISTS and POLITICOS. Activists don't really know anything about politics at all. Some don't even know anything about their issue, but they believe that they know right from wrong and move from that position. Politicos understand how politics work and understand what needs to be done to get as much of your agenda accomlished as possible with the power and strategy that you have. Patti is an activist and Randi is a politico.

Finally I would just like to say this in defense of Randi Rhodes. I've been listening to her long before anyone ever even thought about making Air America, so I'm a fan. And I'm a fan precisely because she's an attack dog with facts and when you get the facts wrong or your strategy stinks (like voting for Ralph Nader), she'll tell you in no uncertain terms.

Liberals need to drop their self-righteous indignation about her tone and listen to her message. Because frankly for too long we've been coming to a knife fight with a rubber chicken. We've spent too long trying to be reasonable with people who don't have any desire to be reasoned with. And that's why we're out of power in all three branches of government watching Republicans dismantle everything that we've worked for over the past 50 years.

And honestly, indignation isn't going to speak for us when it becomes dangerous in this country to be a liberal and the way things are shaping up that may be pretty soon. We're going to need someone with a big mouth and a loud voice.

i didn't hear the interview but i heard randi say,i think last friday, that she couldn't care less about what differences she and patti smith had over nader, but that she was just upset because of the obvious "condition" that patti was in. does anyone know what she meant by this? i'm just curious because i didn't hear the interview.


There is no "condition", Patti Smith is just fine. Randi came on Friday first complaining about how people where trashing her on her own message boards, then went into character assassination mode and drop all this innuendo about Patti to try to save face for her own poor behavior the day before.

FYI -- if Randi gave Patti a chance to speak then perhaps Randi would have found out that Patti does not back Nader in this election. Smith endorses Kerry, but is still a personal friend of Naders, so of course she is not going to want to hear crap about a friend -- even one who may think is going wrong.

All and all, I think Ms. Rhodes is the one who "needs help".

Air America is nothing but nasty hateful crap. Randi, Ed and Al all call people stupid, morons, etc. Hate speech plain and simple. I would rather hear honest discourse not name calling.

Randi at the end of her run in with Lars said to him "go to hell Lars"

How lame can you get??? Air America is the mirror image of all that they say right-wing talk radio is. No different in tone or spirt. Slam-bam-thank-you-mam!!

When will we all grow up and TURN OFF THE NOISE!!!!!

You can't love people when you HATE THEM ALL DAY LONG!!! You can't agree on anything when you love listening to your own voice go on and on and on.

Mike Malloy is the worst I have ever heard in radio, he makes Michael Savage sound like a nice old drunk guy at the park playing checkers. He is spiteful, hateful and I can only imagine what the world would be like if he was in charge. Every one that ever went to a Christian church would be ushured into the death camps again.

Diversity means you don't want to kill everyone just because they don't think the same as you do.

Kill your television & your radio.


I could not agree more. Mike Malloy is the worst radio personality who has ever put up a show.

The kind of abusive language he uses and the kind of hate he airs is unprecedented. If anyone could

ask him to stop doing this-it is urgent. This guy is a scum who would like to befriend Osama Bin Laden if by doing so he could defeat the Republicans.

Just a quick reminder: Randi Rhodes once "joked" about how President Bush should be assassinated just like Fredo in "The Godfather, Part II". That was back in May 2004. I think that meets the definition of "hate radio".

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