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Road to Air America: Breaking the Right Wing Stranglehold on Our Nation's Airwaves Hardcover – January 1, 2010


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 144 pages
  • Publisher: SelectBooks; 1 edition (January 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1590790650
  • ISBN-13: 978-1590790656
  • Product Dimensions: 0.7 x 6.2 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,262,837 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"(The Drobnys) want to do something good for our country by working to restore a sense of balance..." -- Bill Clinton, Chicago magazine, December 2003

From the Publisher

This very timely book gives an eye-opening perspective on what it is like to be a mover and shaker in liberal politics.

Provides first-hand, behind-the-scenes accounts of Air America Radio’s origins-and how it almost didn’t make it off the ground.

And, perhaps most important, it explains media bias, i.e. how the media serves the agenda of its corporate ownership–and why this "corporatocracy poses a danger to having an informed public.


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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

36 of 41 people found the following review helpful By Carolina Summer on November 6, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I long suspected it, but my suspicions were confirmed that the "liberal media" in America was vanishing after reading this book. A handful of major corporations with strong ties to Republican conservatives now owns the bulk of radio and TV stations, as well as strings of newspapers. Trying to overcome this stranglehold of corporate-owned media is a major part of the Air America story. It's an inspiring story about how one person -- admittedly one with a lot of financial means and people in high places -- can change a landscape if he or she doesn't give up. I listen to Air America from time to time, and while it's clearly a fledling network that's still got a ways to go, it's a refreshing change from the other right-wing AM stations who repeat the same misinformations all over the place. By the way, if you're interested in this title, you should really check out "Outfoxed," a documentary about Fox News and Rupert Murdoch. I watched it after finishing this book, and it echoes what is said in this book.
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22 of 25 people found the following review helpful By audrey TOP 500 REVIEWER on January 4, 2005
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I would give this book 3 stars for writing quality and 3.5 stars for content, but I was extremely interested in the story, so I'm rounding it up to 4 stars anyway. The author and his wife are venture capitalists who were convinced that corporate-owned media were unwilling to cover stories such as Prescott Bush's (W's grandfather) collaboration with the Nazis, and they were inspired to respond to the stranglehold of right-wing radio after Al Gore's "defeat" in the 2000 fiasco.

The story of the beginning of Air America Radio is quite compelling, though the book suffers from repetitiveness and a lack of detail. This is definitely the story from Drobny's point-of-view, and it lacks interesting information that he was either not privy to or chose not to share. For instance, I was interested to know how and why the station started, but when it came to learning about how they found and negotiated with on-air talent, we get only a little information about Al Franken and nothing about anybody else! Also, there was a bit of a fiasco with early financial dealing, but we get only sketchy details from Drobny.

As for content, while Mr. Drobny seems like a very nice fellow and an angel for the left, the book was unintentionally revealing regarding some of his weaknesses. On several occasions, we learn, the Drobnys were asked to give interviews to various networks about the new station, but they declined to do so, fearing that the story would get negative spin!! No wonder they had troube getting initial investors, when they were perpetually declining free publicity! Drobny spends a lot of time lamenting the difficulty in finding finanial backers, but it never seems to have occurred to him to have the station be a non-profit organization funded by contributors.
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14 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Patrick on April 4, 2005
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I've been listening to Air America since day one. I tuned in for Al Franken but kept coming back for Randi Rhodes. She is the true star of Air America and probably the most brilliant commentator in the country. I listen in Los Angeles on KTLK AM-1150 every single day. If you want to know how this whole thing started pick up the book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Kurt A. Johnson on April 30, 2014
Format: Hardcover
In late 2002, venture capitalist Sheldon Drobny decided that there was an untapped audience waiting for a liberal talk radio network. After more than a year of organizing, Air America Radio (AAR) was born, appearing on 100 stations, including eighteen of the top twenty markets. Two weeks after its launch, on March 31, 2004, AAR lost two of its three key stations (in Chicago and Santa Monica), and was close to collapse. During the subsequent endeavors to save AAR, Sheldon Drobny penned this book, his explanation for why he started AAR.

First of all, I found this to be a disturbing book. Mr. Drobny shows a great deal of venom for those with whom he disagrees, reminiscing about his father who would wish death upon those he disliked, or worse, “Dad said cancer was too good for him and wished for him to be paralyzed.” (Page 17.) “I believe to this day I am still mentored by his spirit.” (Page 25.)

In his analysis of modern American radio, Mr. Drobny discusses the corporate ownership of stations, but does not discuss National Public Radio (NPR), which holds a very large liberal audience. What this book is, in fact, is an apologia for Mr. Drobny, a place for him to air his grievances and explain his thinking.

As for me, I was hoping for a book on Air America Radio, what went right and what went wrong. This is not such a book. If you are interested in Mr. Drobny as a person, then you will probably like this book, but if you are interested in the history of AAR, then you will be disappointed – as indeed I was.
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