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Media Review: The John Batchelor Show

Permanent Linkby wisconsin_cur on Sat Jul 03, 2010 4:26 am

The John Batchelor Show (Monday - Sunday from 9 PM-1 AM) is an essential tool for understanding the new order in the 21st Century. Each week John brings 77 WABC listeners breaking news with a carefully cultivated team of sources and correspondents around the world, providing information long before it hits the mainstream media. Described by some as a cross between Matt Drudge and Coast to Coast, The John Batchelor Show is for the thoughtful listener who wants to understand the major players in the great ideological battle of the new millennium.

WABC Radio

I discovered John Batchelor on accident. Flipping through the stations on my satellite radio one night I came across his voice, tuned in for a while and was hooked. I have since traded in the satellite radio for an MP3 play but still make listening to the show a regular part of my week.

What I find most annoying about most radio programs are the callers. More than once I have yelled at NPR or some station on the AM dial, "Give me some more time with the guests and cut out the idiots!" John takes no callers but does have a regular set of commentators with whom he discusses the news of the day and the news that may not be making other outlets. Even when you disagree with a guest, the topic is covered in some detail and stories are often followed over weeks, months or years as they develop.

John covers world geopolitics, economic events, American and (to a lesser extent) British politics. While he does discuss the news that we are all talking about, he also discusses items that I rarely hear discussed anywhere else. I have learned a lot from his show that I am then able to follow up with through my own research. At other times I have found some tidbit of information through my reading of the news before his show; only to have him add to and confirm some information that I had read but could not confirm. He is very interested in and provides updates to the ongoing space programs of the nations of the world. His Sunday shows are generally dedicated to interviewing authors; usually authors of historical works. During the Sunday shows his politics are well hidden.

John's stable of regular commentators has its drawbacks as well. The very sound of Larry Kudlow's or John Bolton's voice makes me vomit into my mouth a little bit and for this very reason I have taken to keeping a bottle of Listerne in my car. John also has right-of-center, pro-Israel, closet gold-bug perspective and is skeptical of global warming. Sometimes I find his reasoning overly simplistic or just plain wrong; yet even when I disagree I leave an interview knowing more about the opposite opinion than I did before. More and more, however, I find myself listening through those guests whose commentary I am tempted to skip past. Even when I disagree there is often something good that can be gleaned from the interaction.

John is right-of-center but he is not your standard right-wing shrill. He is happy calling for the destruction of that corporation known as BP. At times he draws from his own tea-party anger but he can also compliment President Obama whenever he deems credit is due. He genuinely wants the president to do well; even though he voices doubts about what the President is doing.

John strikes me as a journalistic through back: more the commentator mixed with newsman of Edward R. Murrow than the guise of neutrality of many reporters or the hacks from left or right which fill most of the airwaves. He has a perspective, and you may hate it, but at least it is up front. I disagree with some of what he has to say but I learn from him. It is one of only two programs that I listen to daily. Don't tell WABC, but I would happily pay for it.

John Batchelor Show:

Content: 5/5 Stars
Guests: 4/5 Stars
Listenability: 4/5 Stars
Cost/Benefit: 5/5 Stars (It is free!)

Besides, the bumper music is great!


“It does not do to leave a live dragon out of your calculations, if you live near him.” J.R.R. Tolkien

Sevareid's Law: "The leading cause of problems is solutions."
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