Where to begin with this one? I would start by crediting David Foster for writing an incredible piece. He was able to bring the audience into the studio with poetic imagery of host John Ziegler’s reactions and movements, the studio setting, and a conversational story-line.
For me personally, the Host read like talk radio, talking about a talk radio show. What does that mean? Foster portrayed Ziegler’s conversations, the setting of the station, problems in the media(a la the OJ Simpson scandal, Scott Peterson trial), switching and back and forth between the mediums. In the text, Ziegler was the talk radio show host arguing and with his callers about substantial topics.
When the piece got into Ziegler’s conversations with callers, it was extremely moving. Perhaps the most interesting conversation he had was with caller Daryl from Temecula.
Arguing over the OJ Simpson murder and whether Ziegler was a racist, Daryl insists Mr. Z only talked about black men involved with crimes. Ziegler goes on to say
“As a matter of fact, Daryl, oftentimes when we go through who’s committed the crimes, there are times when the white people who control the media, we get together and go, ‘Oh, we can’t talk about that one, because that was a white guy.’ This is all a big conspiracy, Daryl.”
The most important thing I learned from the piece is the amount of advertising that goes into a radio show. 40% of each hour is alloted for advertisements alone! Foster’s insight on the logistics of radio shows, especially if it is journalism, was well researched.
After reading this, talk show hosts have some serious balls. For Ziegler to open a show by saying “we(Americans) are just better than they are(the Arab world),” is something most people would hesitate to say to themselves, never mind to thousands of listeners.