Best Talk Radio for Artists and Shut-ins (2008)

On The Line, NY&CO

Radio was the original electronic mass media, and is still the best, precisely because it is the least interactive—it streams information into your brain while you\'re busy in the studio, office, or kitchen. Weekday mornings at 10, WNYC (820 AM) broadcasts Brian Lehrer\'s ON THE LINE, which traverses the hard news of the day thoughtfully and evenhandedly, and during the \"Common Ground\" segments seeks to reconcile implacable foes on either side of such passionate divides as abortion, gun control, and Israel. Politics, local and global, are constant topics, with not just Republicrats but Greens and the odd LaRouchian getting airtime. At noon, Leonard Lopate focuses on culture; his guests on NY&CO include artists such as Chuck Close and Art Spiegelman (both of whom are also avowed listeners). He probes authors diverse as Irvine Welsh (who did a beautiful on-air reading from Glue) and Henry Kissinger (who growled over Lopate\'s \"strange ideas\" while dodging incisive questions about East Timor). Listen to these four solid hours over lunch, which goes down nicely when Lopate interviews some world-class chef or vintner. It\'s talk-radio fat in content, but trimmed of the furious demagoguery typical of the genre.


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