Dec 17, 2008

Strait Talk

Left: Radio host James Strait

As a writer with a blog presence, I am privy to a number of invitations to participate as a guest in other media, and this afternoon I spent about twenty minutes conversing with James Strait, whose "Strait Talks" program can be heard every Wednesday from 7 to 8pm on Philadelphia's WNJC 1360AM, as well as on live netcast.

Now, I have to admit that I cast a skeptical eye on radio and television interviews because you never really know the agendas of the producers, hosts, or reporters, and I've found myself more than once doing an interview that wandered into unexpected territory.

However, I was pleasantly surprised by the high level of thoughtful discourse that Strait displayed on his show. This was far removed from the shout-fest into which many AM talk-radio shows descend, and we went into a lengthy sojourn about the possible parallels between the fall of the Weimar Republic and the grim political, social, and economic challenges faced by the United States in the next few years. While neither of us is ready to pronounce an end to American-style capitalist democracy, we both hold to a belief that the good old USA might find itself at a crossroads in the next few years if the economy slides further into a financial abyss.

What I found especially intriguing about Strait's show was its lack of overt partisanship, and Strait is first and foremost a "small d" democrat - someone who recognizes that one of our most cherished freedoms is the ballot box. He agrees that the threats to true democracy are as serious as any other problems we face.

In short: my kind of thinker.

So, if you are looking for intelligent talk radio (yes, I know that this borders on the oxymoronic), check out Strait's show. You won't find Hannity-style ranting or Savage-like thuggery, but you'll probably leave with new insights and an appreciation for the dying art of broadcast conversation.

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