Clicking on banner ads enables JWR to constantly improve
Jewish World Review Feb. 20, 2003 / 18 Adar I 5763

Steve Young

Steve Young
JWR's Pundits
World Editorial
Cartoon Showcase

Mallard Fillmore

Michael Barone
Mona Charen
Linda Chavez
Ann Coulter
Greg Crosby
Larry Elder
Don Feder
Suzanne Fields
James Glassman
Paul Greenberg
Bob Greene
Betsy Hart
Nat Hentoff
David Horowitz
Marianne Jennings
Michael Kelly
Mort Kondracke
Ch. Krauthammer
Lawrence Kudlow
Dr. Laura
John Leo
Michelle Malkin
Jackie Mason
Chris Matthews
Michael Medved
Kathleen Parker
Wes Pruden
Sam Schulman
Amity Shlaes
Roger Simon
Tony Snow
Thomas Sowell
Cal Thomas
Jonathan S. Tobin
Ben Wattenberg
George Will
Bruce Williams
Walter Williams
Mort Zuckerman

Consumer Reports

So you want to be a liberal talk show host | You say you just can't stop talking about Woodstock and the 2000 election? You, my good friend might just be a candidate for liberal talk show host.

There's a serious search (read money) going on for the Liberal Rush Limbaugh, or at least a moderate Bill O'Reilly. The left has tried this before (Mario Cuomo, et al) and there are way too many classical music stations to plow through on the left side of the dial before you find NPR.

Point is the same ole, same ole of the left just hasn't worked. If you're going to compete with the bellicose blowhards of AM you're going to have to play their game. Here are some suggestions that can help turn a failed progressive investment into a veritable rating gold mine.


Always open your show with a insufferable, protracted diatribe reiterating your stated point of view; the same point of view that you've reiterated every single day before. It helps to vary your explanation of that same viewpoint, though not so much that you force your listener to think. Remember, repetition sells...repetition sells.


State a supposition based on your topic of the day. The premise need not be all that factual, but all logic based on the premise that follows should be logical. In this way you're presenting the truth, as you have created it. The only thing that's faulty is the original premise and by the time you finish talking, no one will be able to remember what that was. Therefore, no matter where your diatribe takes you, you will be totally justified.


Watch Steve Young and his eBay family on Feb. 20's John Walsh Show. ...

Check local listing for time and station.


I cannot make this point more strongly. Find something to be against. This is not a concept to be taken lightly. Being for something garners the kind of ratings that necessitate public funds and the graveyard shift on NPR. If you want to be for something, don't be a talk show host, join the Peace Corp. Railing against brings out the passion AND the audience; the fans who will follow you into war. The fans who will call other shows and talk about you. The legions who'll write letters espousing your wisdom and shout your name on Larry King; devotees who will be willing to pay big bucks to see your kisser in person when you do your tour; disciples who will buy your books.


When you do commit against something (or someone), you must be willing to drive it unmercifully into the ground. I'm talking about using a wood on the green. Pedal to the medal, even on the victory lap. Tear down the park and put up a parking lot. If you have nothing to rail against, use Hollywood or the "wackos" who run it. It's a gimme.


Aside from your standard antagonist, you will be privy to some yearly piece of news (or lack of news) which will have legs. Legs? A centipede would be jealous. These stories should last the entire year. If you're lucky, even longer. Remember some of the classics of the past decade? Simpson, President Clinton, Campaign Finance Reform, Senator Clinton, Gary Condit. With the exception of Simpson, who still can be counted on to do something idiotic every few months, the others remain a viable treasure chest of daily grist.


Here's your opportunity to shine. You probably know way more than anyone who would be willing to hang on the line for two hours to talk with you. When a insurgent gets though, pounce on him like a female tiger on a distracted gazelle. Let him state his point, then rip him a new one. Your fans will cheer you and awaiting dissident drone will cower from your mastery, limping back to the bunker to warn the waiting opposition troops.

Always remember, it's your show. You get the last word. Always be ready to articulate closing rhetorical questions at the drop of a hat. Most important, make sure you've already hung up on the caller. Here's a fun note. Never let the caller know you've hung up on them. They'll be responding to your statement for twenty minutes before they realize they're not on the air. That, in fact, is the real reason why we tell them to turn their radio down. I swear, it's a hoot.

Here's another caller tip. When a caller is about to rip apart your argument with facts, immediately hang up on him, then concede that it was your fault; that you hung up by mistake. Announce that if the caller calls back, you'll put him right through. (See YOUR SCREENER)


This trusted servant should NEVER put through any call that you just hung up on, no matter what. He should only let through the supporters of your position, or even better, lame defenders of the opposition. He should be sharp enough to differentiate between real fans who are only calling to agree and those who are faking it.


Keep to an absolute minimum. These guys have a habit of going off script. Try not to ask them any questions. In fact, try not to let them talk at all.


You can never be humble, although you must say you are. Always take credit as being at the forefront, if not totally responsible, for any positive change in the world. When anything happens as you have said they would, take thunderous credit. When things don't happen the way you forecasted they would happen, ignore it. And for G-d's sake, don't ever apologize.

MISCELLANEOUS Give your show a powerful, yet subtle maxim along the lines of "Genius On Board" or "Master Of All That Is Right And Good."

Constantly drop names of high-profile people you have golfed with.

Good luck. Have fun. Make liberal waves. Make a lot of money. Let me know how you do. I'll be watching TV.

JWR contributor Steve Young, Prism Award winner and Humanitas Prize nominee for his television writing, is contributing editor at the Writers Guild of America's "Written By" magazine. He is the author of "Great Failures of the Extremely Successful: Mistakes, Adversity, Failure and Other Stepping Stones to Success," "The 130 Tales of Winchell Mink," Harper Collins (Winter, 2003) and the director/writer of "My Dinner With Ovitz." His website is Comment by clicking here.

02/18/03: The Sting, Part II: Osama turns himself in
02/10/03: Michael Jackson threat level raised to "orange"
01/23/03: Can we really blame HBO for terrorism?
01/09/03: You can buy your very own family...on eBay
01/02/03: A look back at a sorry but pretty funny year
12/30/02: Using 2002ís failures to make a successful 2003
12/20/02: McCartney Credit Reverse Sets A Dangerous Precedent
12/18/02: Radio talk takes a surprise hit
12/16/02: Apologies running rampant: The country is in a sorry state
12/13/02: Lott apologizes for his apologies
11/26/02: Finding the McTunity within their McFailure
11/15/02: Can the Dems learn from Lincoln's failures?
11/06/02: The Day After... who'll comfort me now?
11/04/02: We can all fight ageism!
10/29/02: Was I totally responsible for the market's upsurge?
10/09/02: Finding The Bull Within: Wall Street Needs To Rethink The "F" Word
10/01/02: Merriam-Webster Needs To Rethink the "F" word
09/25/02: Held up in the passing lane ... and life's other positive curve balls
09/23/02: Shrinking the waist problem: Using Good Old American Failure To Lose Inches
09/17/02: Earth to Florida: No more elections
09/11/02: The humor will return. Just not yet
09/09/02: Bush coalition on fast track
08/30/02: N'Sync's Bass gets NASA okay: Former astronauts Gagarin and Glenn form boy band
08/21/02: Insider's a good thing
08/05/02: America goes Madison Ave.: The Selling of America
07/29/02: ROCKIN' RENO: The Newest Political Strategy For Filling The Coffers
07/23/02: Is Wall Street the enemy? No, but that's where the enemy hides
07/10/02: Cooking the books
06/27/02: Apocalypse now!?
06/14/02: Coulter for the defense?
05/21/02: SUICIDE BOMBER KILLS SELF! NO ONE ELSE INJURED! Inept bomber is refused entrance into Paradise. 72 Virgins breathe sigh of relief
05/19/02: Hey world! How about trying the shoe on the other foot hypotheses
05/13/02: AM Radio and Enron
05/03/02: "Deep Throat" to Be Revealed ... But will America Swallow It!?
04/29/02: Britney Spears next in line to blast off into orbit
04/22/02: Former Liberal Seeks Conservative Book Deal
04/15/02: If you truly care about America, you'll read this column
04/01/02: My Uncle Miltie
03/27/02: The Fightin' Righties
03/20/02: Woody Allen refuses to cast self...
03/18/02: The Realies
02/19/02: Greenspan Announces Lower (Television Network) Interest Rates
02/15/02: Ken Lay sells soul to the devil: Beelzebub loses life's savings
02/12/02: Enron's Skilling mistakenly takes the Fourth, forcing him to spill his guts
02/06/02: BOOSTING THE SAGGING ECONOMY: Let Green Stamps be our financial brassiere
01/24/02: "I'M THE ONE!"
01/16/02: Goodbye "Rincoln Continental," we hardry knew ye
01/14/02: "But He Was Such A Good Boy" gene, found to be defective
01/04/02: PLAY BUZKASHI!
12/31/01: Come on war. You can do better!
12/26/01: NOT MY OSAMA!
12/24/01: TIME caves
12/20/01: Finally! Friends of Color
12/14/01: Bin Laden's Funniest Home Videos
12/10/01: What if Catching bin Laden is in dispute?
11/30/01: Back to normal...too bad
11/16/01: Osama not enough for some
11/09/01: Networks at war!
11/05/01: Bridges Over Troubled Water
10/29/01: The other terrorists
10/16/01: Diary Of A Young Defense Department Comedy Writer
10/01/01: Playlands, burgers, and family sanity
09/25/01: Dissent is walking on red, white and blue egg shells
09/21/01: OPEN LETTER THE MOST HIGH (RE: Falwell and Robertson comments)
09/17/01: Gary, we miss ya
09/10/01: Smelling out a real hero
09/04/01: Don't give up on that dream!
08/24/01: Pitch day at the Mouse
08/21/01: It Depends On What Your Definition Of "Unlimited" Is


© 2002, Steve Young