Dear Aunt Sophie,
I’m a well-known humorist and social commentator. One of my many extraordinary projects has been a show on a new radio network. It’s the answer to that big, fat, lying, right-wing, drug-addicted blowhard idiot. You know the one I mean. He isn’t funny. I’m funny. My show is a lot better than his, but people are too idiotic to listen to it.
Even so, I’m sure they would have listened if they’d been given half a chance. It’s so discouraging - here we have this great line-up of non-stop talk and humor and just as we hit our stride in our premier market, they dump us. It takes time for something as incomparable as our programming to catch on. There’s a huge audience for our schtick in New York if we can only get people to listen. But two years isn’t nearly enough.
I’m a really funny guy. I’m a natural. You must realize not everybody can be funny, especially not Republicans, but me, I can just turn it on and everybody is rolling on the floor screaming with tears running down their cheeks. Hold on, that’s a really funny picture, isn’t it? Just thinking about it is making me laugh. Just a minute….
Ah. That felt so good. It’s been weeks.
So the question is: Why haven’t we made it in New York? Anyplace that votes the way New York does should be perfect for us. The only possible answer is that the Republicans got to people somehow. They must have threatened them with the IRS. What else could it be? They couldn’t have paid them not to listen – everybody knows you can’t pry money out of a fat cat - although nowadays, who knows? – the budget’s bigger than ever. But if I had to choose I’d say intimidation is the best explanation. That would be right up their alley. I don’t think they’ve been jamming the station or anything – our friends and families don’t seem to have any trouble tuning in, so that can’t explain it, unless there’s a way to jam selectively.
You know, as I think about it, jamming probably accounts for our ratings in Washington. Imagine if Congress heard what we have to say. It would have a huge impact on their voting and Bush couldn’t allow that now, could he? Even so, it was pretty humiliating to be told we had no measurable audience there. Why did they have to put it that way? Couldn’t they just have said we weren’t in the top three and let it go at that? No, they had to humiliate us.
We’re all sure that idiot Bush is behind it but none of us can figure out how he does it. He isn’t that smart. What are your thoughts on this?
Al, for all of us at A**A******
Dear Al, et. al.,
You’re being much too hard on your crypto-audience. It’s not easy to listen to the radio while you’re standing on a street corner holding up a sign and screaming for peace.
While it’s tempting to blame Bush for the negative triumph of your network, you should probably resist the impulse and look inward. Have you considered tweaking your programming? Maybe you could line up a roster of taste-challenged actresses, comedians and TV slug-fest hosts to slip a little spice into the lives of the proletariat along with their political enlightenment.
You might also consider scrapping your trademark subtlety (it’s way over the head of your target audience) and concentrate instead on presenting hours of snarky half-truths and innuendos delivered by people who’ve trolled the Thesaurus for synonyms for “idiot” to describe the Usurper-in-Chief. Try to limit your one-liners to every-day invective and potty talk.
Whatever you do, don’t let your listeners forget that everyone’s entitled to his grievances, imagined or real.
To be successful your network should also run frequent features on the sort of things most couples whisper about while canoodling – Walmart, the ozone layer, sustainable development, franchise for felons, the torture chambers in the White House basement.
A nightly interview with Al Gore would also be a real attraction. Ask him nicely and he might consent to share his thoughts on the 2000 election in addition to imparting his reasoned insights on the environment. If you can get him to keep his voice down you could pitch it as a sort of Lunesta for Liberals.
Despite voting patterns, New York was clearly not the right place for your network to succeed. You’re in good company though: Communism was never tried in the right place, either.
Good luck and God bless.
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