Click here to see an interactive map of ‘the best college radio stations, in terms of freeform music programming and streaming audio quality.’
In choosing the stations, Zoomout.in’s criteria was:
*Must be non-commercial;
*Must be affiliated with a college/university and be (mostly) student run;
*Must have a full schedule of freeform programming;
*Must broadcast a live, high-quality .mp3 or .ogg stream.
I have a fear of flying, so I drive cross country quite often and find myself futilely spinning the radio dial trying to discover something to listen to other than Bible thumpers and conservative talk jocks . College radio provides some relief from the wasteland that is the American airwaves.
In the current issue of The Village Voice, Tony Ortega, who has been writing about Scientology since 1995, reports on former high-level Scientologist Marty Rathbun’s recent expose of a Scientology ‘dark ops’ program.
Former high-level Scientologist Marty Rathbun revealed fascinating material yesterday on his blog: he claims that it’s evidence of a detailed “dark ops” program launched in 2006 by Scientology to destroy a woman named Tory Christman, who had left the organization several years earlier.
I know Christman well. In 2001, I wrote a lengthy story about her defection, which had gained notoriety because she announced it in an online forum, where for months she had been doing battle with Scientology’s critics. Her sudden about-face, followed by a frantic flight from agents of the church who pursued her across the country, was dramatic enough. But leaving Scientology was not Christman’s only goal. She almost immediately became one of Scientology’s most tireless critics.
That apparently didn’t sit well with L. Ron Hubbard’s wacky cabal.
I like Mark Ebner, he’s a ballsy guy, and a brilliant investigative journalist, who may possibly be possessed by genius. Mark is the author of two excellent books Hollywood Interrupted and Six Degrees of Paris Hilton and the writer of a thick file of highly respected and award-winning journalism, ranging from exposes on Scientology, Pit Bull fighting, and the Ku Klux Klan, as well as pieces on celebrity stalkers, drug dealers, missing porn stars, and Hepatitis C in Hollywood. For this, Ebner has been hailed as “the best investigative journalist since Hunter S. Thompson.” No doubt. But back in 2000, Mark tried his hand as a shock jock, as he told Dangerous Minds:
The year was 2000. A Bay Area start-up investor group decided “internet radio” was the ticket, so they set up a mammoth broadcast base in a warehouse in LA and started hiring up local talent to host shows: Ahmet Zappa.,“Kennedy,” Brian Whitman, Beth Lapides, Greg Behrendt, The Boone Brothers and me.
Me? Comedy? My agent negotiated me $100,000-a-year to host 3-hour show twice-a-week, having never done radio before. This was more money than I had ever seen, and I actually took the gig seriously, assembling a crack crew - all of whom have gone on to big things in their respective careers. Lesson learned: radio is difficult.
When I started the show, it was The Mark Ebner Show - just me and a microphone, trying to work the Joe Frank-style brooding confessional schtick. I ran out of material for that fast, and - when The Comedy World Radio Network went terrestrial (broke into traditional, second-tier radio markets) I flipped the format to more of a Howard Stern-inspired shock radio, hot topic groove. I hired a co-host named “Grommet” - a Venice Beach-dwelling tattoo artist / rabbinical student for second-seat duties, and, well, that didn’t work. Along shambled Peter Oddo, or Pete The Cripple - a transplanted Long Islander taking full-advantage of the American Disability Act. The guy was perfect for the show: Genuinely crippled (cerebral palsy), with a sense of humor about himself and a encyclopedia of movie facts and pop culture.
Oddo sounds a character. Ebner jokingly described him as “more insufferable than Sandra Bernhardt”, so I wrote to him to find out his take on The Mark Ebner Show. After a few emails back and forth and the questioning disbelief that anyone would take Ebner seriously, he wrote back:
Mark’s early shows were what I would call Diamonds In The Rough. He was waiting to shine through. But his Producer didn’t really believe in him or the show and quite honestly was just going through the motions. He had a co-host named Grommit that did not contribute much of anything to the show. The show needed something. The program director at the network was Terry Danuser. And he was such a smart guy. He had a lot of faith in Mark and kept working with him through the changes. I started helping Mark behind the scenes prepping the show. Doug Steindorff was brought in as Mark’s sidekick and eventually Mark found his producer in a Mexican version of Roseanne Barr named Mickey Ramos. Kidding. Roseanne is much more heinous looking.
The new line-up worked, partly because Ebner was more in control. He had also called in an old friend, the actor and writer Douglas Steindorff, as Mark explained:
Doug was funny, but coming from an improvisatory school of life and acting, he had little patience with my show’s largely scripted format. He rebelled on the air, and got himself fired. But, he will always be remembered for dropping trousers in full-frontal monty in the middle of a interview with one Carrie Fisher. Drastic Radio, along with the entire network, was finished exactly one year after it’s founding, and the talent reunion was held in bankruptcy court.
Oddo recalled the show with Carrie Fisher best:
One day, Mark secured a big guest. Carrie Fisher was going to come in and spend an hour. Being the huge Star Wars fan and movie geek that I am, I begged Mark to keep me in studio for that hour. I promised him I would bring something to the table. I wouldn’t tell Mark what I planned. I told him to just react to whatever I did. As Carrie sat there munching on donut holes that she brought in a sandwich bag, I hit her with such FANS WANT TO KNOW QUESTIONS as “What was it like doing drugs with Belushi?” or “Paul Simon? Really???” and “Is it true Harrison Ford has the best Pot in Hollywood”? It was what would come to be known as Pete The Cripple takes a bullet for the show. We were a great crew together and it all ended too fast when the Powers That Be pulled the plug.
Ebner’s radio career may have been short-lived, but his last show is still talked about with a mixture of shock and awe:
Our last show on-the-air in six syndicated radio markets found me and Pete breaking every FCC rule in the book by breaking into the insufferable Sandra Bernhardt’s pre-recorded show, and loudly snoring, swearing and taking calls throughout.
All of the team have gone on to bigger and better. And as for Ebner, what’s been radio’s loss has been journalism’s gain.
Does former Miss America and Fox News personality, Gretchen Carlson play dumb—deliberately—for the money? I have my suspicions. After all, it’s not exactly easy for a Stanford and Oxford-educated person—as Carlson is—to really get down on the level of Steve “The Dumbest Man on TV!” Doocey, one of her co-hosts on “Fox and Friends.” I mean Steve Doocey? That’s pretty fuckin’ stupid. (He’s the Jerry Hubbard of Fox News and that’s really saying something. He even makes Rick Sanchez seem… well, less stupid).
Then again, Rep. Michele Bachmann herself was one of Carlson’s nannies growing up. (It all makes a strange, sad sense now, doesn’t it?)
Here, Carlson talks to a young boy who has had a near death experience (NDE) under anesthesia, and his father. They’ve written a book called Heaven is For Real. The takeaway? God is a very big person and he can fit the whole world in his hands, Jesus has a dazzling smile and there are no old people in Heaven. Gretchen seems to like this quaint notion. It seems to give the 44-year-old former Miss America comfort that she’ll be all raptured up there in the clouds with Jesus and the rest of the Republicans at the peak of her physical beauty. (Note that the kid doesn’t seem to buy a single word of what he’s saying, even though his father does seem to believe it, or badly wants it to be true).
Is pretending to be stupid, when you’re (probably) not that stupid the least dignified thing someone can do, even for a big paycheck? Wearing an El Pollo Loco Chicken costume is at least an honest way to make a living. Porn seems less degrading in many respects…
Forget clairvoyants, soothsayers and alike, for CG artist Maxime Luère has made a short film that depicts how our lives may go - mapped out by posts and tags and pokes on Facebook. Her rather fun short, A Life on Facebook is the fictional biography of Alex Droner from his signing up, to being in a relationship, to being a “fucking asshole”, to nights out, holidays, and finding love with mystery poker Diana Houston.
Parents TV Council claims profanity is up a shocking percentage in primetime. (In fact, they say it’s up 69% ... snicker). While I don’t think the PTC would intentionally cook their numbers, they’re not exactly an unbiased organization about this stuff, so you have to be a tad skeptical when any activist group presents in-house research. Most interesting is the PTC’s list of words they’re objecting to (their chart, below), which expands mightily on George Carlin’s famous list of seven words you can never say on TV. Wondering: Does the Bible-based “hell” and “damn” really seem like profanity? What about “suck” and “screw”? Is bleeped profanity the same as profanity that you actually hear? (Perhaps ... you do sort of get the point). And is anybody else curious what the euphemisms were for “fuck”? And what does “other breasts” mean, exactly?