He's back. Michael Jackson, the Englishman who's been a liberal radio talk show host for as long as I can remember, until talk radio went ballistic and toppled over to the right, and he was banished to never-never-to-be-heard-from-land.
Someone accidentally moved the dial on the old portable radio I use in the kitchen, a room with the worst radio reception in the world, and I have to move it constantly to get certain stations tuned in with no static cling.
While I was trying to zero in on Thom Hartmann, I ran into a familiar voice; Michael Jackson's distinctive, cultured English-accented voice.
I paused on 1260-AM long enough to make sure I wasn't hearing things, and sure 'nough it was Thee Michael Jackson.
Radio stations in the greater L.A. area have a nasty habit of changing their names, owners and formats with the regularity that people change their skivvies, so it wasn't too much of a surprise -- and a pleasant one at that -- to hear Jackson again.
Saul Levine who launched the rebirth of KGIL-AM in October of last year, said in a Los Angeles Times article that there's too much bluster and not enough news on the airwaves.
"...the theme of the station is going to be the word 'balanced...Anybody who's going to foam at the mouth about Hillary [Clinton] or George [Bush], I'm not going to foster that, and I don't think that's what made America great," Levine told the Times.
If Levine were looking for a 'balanced' and 'foam-free' broadcaster he couldn't have made a better choice than Jackson.
Jackson is the consummate model of politeness, decorum, friendliness and seeming lack of super ego. Unlike a certain right wing nutcase with the initials of O'R, who relishes it when callers address him as "Mr.", Jackson will have none of it. His response is always, "Please, call me Michael."
No matter how insane a caller is, how rude, how critical, or rants, Jackson rarely -- if ever -- loses his cool English aplomb.
A deliciously perfect example with a marvelous punch line: A man called with some rude things to say about Hillary Clinton, her 3 a.m. phone-ringing commercial, the senator’s sex life and mothering skills, all in about 45 seconds.
Where I would have instinctively opined that Hillary did a marvelous job of raising Chelsey as opposed to the miserable job the Bushes did raising two worthless, wild, under-age carousing, drinking girls who haven't accomplished a thing with their rich pampered, privileged lives, Jackson came back with...Hillary Clinton is a lover and a mother, and you, dear sir, are only a mother.
Perfect putdown, and the FCC can’t lay one sleazy finger on him.
If Jackson isn't an ultra-liberal as I described him earlier, after all the labels put on political philosophy are really in the minds of the preceivers, he's awfully close to it in my mind. Sometimes I thought he went off on a tangents that were way too liberal for me when I was a regular listener during his days a KABC-AM. I'd have to mute the sound or change stations until he moved onto another subject.
Back in the day, Jackson had one complaint that always irked me. That was before the days when I had a computer and email, and was far too lazy to write a 'real' Pony Expressed letter. I'll take this opportunity to tell him what I wanted to say then.
During baseball season he'd complain bitterly that his show was going to be pre-empted by the Dodgers. I just want to shout at him, "Quit yer bitchin'!