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Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Talk Radio...

I grew up listening to talk radio, though not the news or the political shows on today, just talk. This was not because my parents listened to talk radio, though they both listened to NPR once in awhile. My parents mostly had the classical station on in the car. I think I was drawn to the radio when I was in middle school as a way to connect with the outside world. I really feel many of my beliefs and values came from some of what I heard and people I connected with on the radio.

One time in 1980, I was in 6th grade and listening to Steve Dahl and Garry Meier in Chicago on WLS. Their show was talk based comedy show with an edge. They were pretty funny guys and famous for blowing up disco records at a White Sox game.

During this one show segment they somehow were talking about affirmative action, but in the comedic way they talked about everything. A caller had called in and made a statement that related to this topic. Steve jumped in and informed the caller (who was very opposed to any support of specific groups, ethnic or other) that the reason for these support structures was because of the lack of opportunity in the past. He went on to quickly give examples of what Affirmative Action was trying to do, and how it was better than other options.

Steve was able to explain in about 30 seconds what Affirmatives Action was and why it was important to us. What he said really sunk in and made a lot of sense to me. In the context of a casual radio show, my beliefs were solidified on this topic. I was engaged with the discussion and thus understood what it meant. The real value was I saw a point of view that I could understand and really relate to. This is a very simple example of how talk radio has shaped my beliefs and core values.

There are many people out there that believed, and still believe, that Steve Dahl is bad for kids. I will tell you, though he did have some cutting edge humor that could offend, I think the four hours a day I spent with these guys is invaluable to my personality and life.

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