Where is the liberal media?

What media can a young, center-leftist in the United States listen to and/or read to form her opinions these days? I miss NPR so badly. Of course, I’m defining NPR as KQED or WBUR. Sure, Houston has an NPR affiliate, but about 80% of the time it’s playing classical music from the University of Houston. It just picks up Morning Edition and All Things Considered, but then even tramples over their news at the top of the hour with an extended Houston business report. George magazine has folded, KUHF sucks, and Salon is just one tiny outlet.

I want Talk of the Nation, even if Neil Conan is not as good as Juan Williams. I want Fresh Air, even if I can’t stand how Terry Gross says, “I’m Terry Gross, and this is … FRESH AIR!” Literally over a hundred times while at Stanford, I went to lunch, either Quizno’s or McDonald’s, and ate in my car listening to TOTN and/or Fresh Air. Now, I feel disconnected from the rest of the world (that thinks the way I do). I can’t get a newspaper, because really, who reads newspapers anymore? I’ve restarted my subscription to Newsweek, but I don’t consider that center-left. And don’t even get me started on any national evening news program: one more story of hope about a soldier and his family, separated by thousands of miles, struggling to get by day-by-day on his meager salary and faith in Jesus, and I’ll have to believe that Tom Brokaw is secretly a televangelist.

I listened to a very little bit of Sam Donaldson’s radio show the other day while running an errand mid-morning, and it was like this massive, dizzying rush of rational thought. I could feel my brain expanding with sweet liberal rhetoric. But good old Sam’s on mid-morning, so I kind of miss out on that.

Sam was just what I’m looking for, though. He is the perfect surrogate for TOTN. I’m looking for media to help shape my opinions. Not to tell me what to believe, but to frame issues in such a way that I can make up my mind how to feel. I want to listen to a radio program about abortion or the death penalty and know that it’s not going to be a bunch of right-wing moralizing, but instead will be a rational discussion. News programs and other mainstream media aren’t going to give me that. I want unemotional back-and-forth on the issues. For now, I guess I’ll just continue to rely on Salon, until they go bankrupt or sell out to Rupert Murdoch.

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