Ruth: Blame me. I woke up with an idea for a yearly report and called C.I. to ask if she could use the time to finish up writing her year-in-review? She had actually just finished but said go ahead and type up whatever I had written (in longhand) and she would post her piece two hours after I got mine up.
So what was 2020 in streaming?
For most of us, that meant YOUTUBE.
Back when the internet was young and new -- or, at least, new-ish -- we would put up with a lot. That included really bad audio on the computers. Between iTunes and many other things, we may have gotten spoiled. C.I. has long noted that she cannot take the squeal that you can hear in a lot of podcasts (I can only register it if I turn up the volume -- which I had to do the first time she mentioned it because I was not hearing it). Equally true, a podcast on a website compared to one posted on YOUTUBE can be like the difference between mono and stereo for those of you old enough to remember the big excitement when stereo came along.
THE PROGRESSIVE RADIO NETWORK sometimes posts their streaming programs on YOUTUBE. I enjoy it when they do because I can listen to BLACK AGENDA RADIO and to PROJECT CENSORED. I wish I had the enthusiasm to listen to the programs at their own websites but the sound quality just does not do it for me anymore.
I see that they posted this week's BLACK AGENDA RADIO so let me include that here.
What did I listen to regularly in 2020?
And I say "listen" because I will generally do an activity -- like clean or wash the dishes -- while I am streaming a program -- even if it has visuals.
THE CONVO COUCH. I love this program because it makes me think and the topics and the guests are not the obvious ones.
RISING. There is a circle jerk yet again. Is this their 'parent' (THE HILL) dictating who can come on the show? A circle jerk means that you do not get a lot of female guests and the men on the show seem to be all on the shows. I used to have a great deal of hope for this show but that has faded.
KATIE HALPER. Sometimes hope can respark. For at least two weeks, maybe longer, Ms. Halper had nothing but male guests, day after day. As this was repeatedly pointed out, she made adjustments. Now I would love to see more women on her program; however, I do give her credit for looking at a criticism and attempting to address it. I also give her credit for disclosing her prejudices -- such as admitting on her other program, USEFUL IDIOTS, that she does tend to be a Bernie defender.
Niko House. Mr. House has many great qualities but the best one is that he is a born broadcaster -- he really makes it seem that he is speaking just with you and this is a conversation.
THE JIMMY DORE SHOW. For many of us, the gold standard of what we can listen to online. This show delivers strong coverage on issues and it does not have to be the issue that everyone is talking about because he is not a Sam Seder -- meaning he is not working from talking points issued by the Democratic Party. I will never forget Sam Seder's misguided and, yes, whorish efforts to sell Simon Rosenberg as the head of the DNC back in the days of AIR AMERICA RADIO. He was pompous even back then and he had so little to be pompous about. I guess that is still true today, right? But Mr. Jimmy Dore, by contrast, is going to surprise you because he is unscripted. He is going to make you think.
What about the shows I intentionally skip?
Life is too short for Sam Seder. I learned that after he poisoned the audience against Janeane Garofalo and while Ms. Garofalo may have forgiven him for painting her as some equivalent of a Scientologist, I have not. That was her program and he worked and worked -- in the bitchiest ALL ABOUT EVE fashion -- to steal it from her.
Other than Mr. Seder? I cannot listen to WSWS and that saddens me. Maybe after January 20th? For now, they continue to waste their few video segments with their continued conspiracy talk about how President Donald Trump will use the military to avoid honoring the votes of the American people and leaving the White House.
I cannot listen to JACOBIN. I know there is a mid-week program and C.I. highlights it, and she defended it this week at HILDA'S MIX. I get her point. But as long as JACOBIN is going to dilute their own brand by allowing the hideous Ana Kasparian to host their weekend program, I am not going to stream them. Ms. Kasparian is hateful and she is rude. More to the point, she is part of THE YOUNG TURKS. I thought JACOBIN was about Democratic Socialism. I am confused how the DSA can endorse Madeleine Albright because that is what Ms. Kasparian has done.
Ms. Albright is a War Criminal. If this is what JACOBIN wants to represent, I hope they understand that many of us on the left will not be visiting their website. Ms. Kasparian already works for THE YOUNG TURKS. She has an outlet. It is time to let someone else -- especially someone not giddy over copping a feel of War Hawk Albright -- host the weekend program.
What I would like to listen to?
How about a program that had a segment on Iraq?
I do not mean Amy Goodman's simpering nostalgia programming where she yacks about something that happened in Iraq over a decade ago when she was still paying attention. I mean programming that addressed what was taking place today in Iraq -- like the assaults on the protesters.
I would really enjoy that. Since our government started that war, I feel like, as Americans, we have an obligation to pay attention to what is taking place in Iraq.
From C.I.'s December 30th snapshot:
And I'm getting really damn tired of their Whiteness. This goes to Jimmy Dore too. It's past time that you invite on Margaret Kimberley and Glen Ford. Margaret especially has an audience that you all are not reaching. Jimmy, it is a huge mistake to build a pro-Medicare For All argument around White voices only. It's an issue that effects all communities. And bringing on Margaret or Glen (BLACK AGENDA REPORT is their outlet if anyone's unfamiliar) would make the discussion taking place as broad-based as the issue truly is. Brihana Joy Gray and Nina Turner sprinkled into the discussion is not enough (a) because they're not on that often and (b) they owe their fame to White outlets. We were talking about Luther Vandross (Betty and I) in "Roundtable" and the White music fans to this day don't seem to get just how important and popular Luther was. That's because he really didn't crossover. He was built by soul radio stations and the listeners saw him as "their" Luther because of his lack of crossover (two top ten hits on pop radio is not a crossover). By the same token, a Margaret or a Glen who has come up outside the White circle jerk and against the odds is someone who rose on the strength of their talents and someone who comes with an audience that you are not reaching. It's amazing that the whole circle jerk -- and this includes Katie Halper on her own and with USEFUL IDIOTS -- can't find Margaret or Glen on their contact list and invite them to be guests. Glen and Margaret have a lot of important information and analysis to share, reason enough for them to be guests. But you're also opening yourself up to more viewers who aren't watching right now. It's smart for discussion, it's smart for the issue and it's smart in terms of building your audience. So what's the problem, what's the barrier? Why aren't Glen and Margaret invited on?
I am really tired of that as well. I keep waiting for a host -- Ms. Halper, Mr. Dore, Krystal Ball, etc. -- to bring on Mr. Ford or Ms. Kimberley. And the longer I wait, the more I wonder what is preventing them from doing so?
[Ruth also covered programming for the years 2019, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009 and 2008.]