Glenwood Springs man starts a middle ground talk-radio show
Don Cheney wants to be the middle man.
Politics, local and national, have drifted so far into their respective corners that communication consists primarily of shouting, name-calling and other boorishness, he said.
To bring back some moderation, Cheney will host a new weekly radio show on KDNK on Wednesdays called “Stuck in the Middle.” It debuts this week.
The program, which airs at 3:30 p.m., was “born out of my pure disgust for talk radio on both sides of the political spectrum,” he said. “It’s not going to be hard-core political talk radio, but I want to talk about things and issues, topical news, in a format where people can call in and talk about it.”
The idea is to allow people who have extreme ideologies to find the political middle ground occasionally, he said. Whether it’s the war in Iraq, global warming or abortion, there’s currently little dialogue between those on the left and right.
“If you want to kill a Christmas party real fast, just start talking about politics,” Cheney said. “It just seems like there was a time when people could have those conversations.”
The hour-long show will follow “Democracy Now!” ” a national show that offers perspectives rarely heard in the U.S. corporate-sponsored media, according to its Web site.
The staff at KDNK, Carbondale’s funky, 23-year-old community station, was receptive to the idea of a show attempting to find the middle ground, he said.
Cheney, a Glenwood Springs resident, has been involved in valley radio for years, including stints at KSPN and KSNO. A recent political trend led to the idea for “Stuck in the Middle.”
“I think the moment for me was realizing how many people still, this long after an election, keep their bumper stickers on,” Cheney said. “It’s sort of a fashion statement. It defines who you are to the point where we still, this far into [President Bush’s second term], have people on both sides who just don’t seem to want to get past it.”
He hopes to bring original programming touches to the show to make it, most importantly, fun. And the goal is also to shatter common stereotypes, such as “left-wing wacko” (Rush Limbaugh’s words) or the right’s “lying liars” (Al Franken).
“As soon as you say, for instance, that you are concerned about the environment, another person will suddenly make 12 other assumptions about you,” Cheney said. “Suddenly you’re a whacked-out, left-wing, dope-smoking hippie.”
Conversely, if one says, ‘You know, I don’t think trickle-down economics is a bad thing for the economy,’ you’re suddenly a Reagan-worshipping, right-wing, greedy bastard,” Cheney said.
“People have forgotten that that’s not how most people are.”
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