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August 9, 2004 |

Dear Mr. Keillor,
Have you heard any of AirAmerica Radio? Is there a possibility of your being a guest on any of their shows?

Joe Adams
Hillsdale, NJ

Joe,
I just did the Al Franken Show on AirAmerica when I was in Boston for the Democratic National Convention. I was walking along the concourse of the Fleet Center which is about as hospitable as any other concrete-based arena and heard my name called in a pitiful voice and looked and there was Franken, headphones like a C-clamp on his head, looking up at me from behind a microphone like a basset locked in a car. He was on the air and trying to talk and take calls and manage a laptop computer and was missing a guest, so I sat down and talked to him for awhile, shared some recipes for chili and beer batter and various macaroni dishes, reminisced about Minnesota, and when I had to get up and go, he practically wept into his chamomile tea. I warned Al against radio. He was a big TV and movie star and best-selling author, and someone sold him on the idea that there needed to be a liberal talk radio network to compete with Limbaugh. Wrong, wrong, wrong. Radio is a salt mine. It's heavy lifting day in and day out. It's ErrAmerica in my book. I think liberals are supposed to have fun, ride their bikes, enjoy their Pouilly-Fuisse and cucumber sandwiches, read the Guardian, and argue in small querulous voices about trivial things. Let the rug-chewers have radio and let us spend our time outdoors in the garden.

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