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PZ Myers is a biologist and associate professor at the University of Minnesota, Morris.
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More articles by PZ Myers can be found on Freethoughtblogs at the new Pharyngula!

Godless talk radio

Category: Godlessness
Posted on: May 28, 2011 10:40 AM, by PZ Myers

Minnesota Atheists is trying to raise money to keep their radio program on the air — they have to, because it looks like rich Republican think tanks or gold-sellers aren't paying for ads, and the woo-infested shows that surround its time slot are selling air time to quack medicine companies, another option not open to an organization of rationalists. Help them out if you can.

They've been putting on great programs, too. Tomorrow at 9am central time, they'll be interviewing Eric MacDonald of Choice in Dying, one of the rising stars of the atheist movement. If you can't listen to the radio show, you ought to be reading his blog…but then you'll want to listen to the interview, so I recommend you make time to tune in anyway.

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Comments

#1

Posted by: Nerd of Redhead, OM Author Profile Page | May 28, 2011 10:53 AM

For those of you out of state, Central daylight time is UT -5. Here's the world time zone chart. For the out of state folks, use a Minnesota zip code: Minneapolis, 55401; St. Paul, 55109; Morris,56267.

#2

Posted by: The Tim Channel Author Profile Page | May 28, 2011 10:59 AM

I thought they had a pretty good sponsor lockin with that buffet restaurant. I know it from the podcast. Cucumber's Restaurnt-One Heavenly Buffet. Great ad for the podcast.

Enjoy.

#3

Posted by: flatlander Author Profile Page | May 28, 2011 11:25 AM

"One of the rising stars of the atheist movement...."

I dunno, the whole idea of Celebrity Atheism is a little off-putting. Or so it seems to me.

#4

Posted by: Aliasalpha Author Profile Page | May 28, 2011 11:31 AM

Couldn't they take adverts from woo-pushers and then spend the time between the breaks savaging the products? Sure it wouldn't be a long term strategy but it could be good for a laugh

#5

Posted by: Steven Mading Author Profile Page | May 28, 2011 12:01 PM

It's a bit like the death of Air America Radio. When the actual problem was that advertisers were ideologically opposed to sponsoring the show, but right wing radio, when gloating over it, typically lied by saying the shows weren't getting popular ratings when in fact they were usually outperforming right wing radio in the markets where they competed with each other. (The numbers game they played to make it look like it had poor ratings and listeners didn't want to listen to it was to also include cities where there was no Air America station yet because the network was still getting started, and then acting as if in those cities the "zero" share in the ratings must be due to the listening audience choosing not to tune in.)

So basically the corporations don't want to fund the show, and then lie by pretending the resulting low ratings as the show becomes less available are due to the listeners *choosing* not to listen.

I'm not complaining here about the decision of an advertiser to not fund something they don't want to. I'm complaining about the blatant lying of pretending that the resulting dip in ratings is due to low popularity. Corporations decide the show shouldn't be on the air and then claim that their choice was the public's choice.

#6

Posted by: Warm Little Pond Author Profile Page | May 28, 2011 12:24 PM

We need more atheist talk shows. It would be nice if it could be the liberal response to conservative talk radio. We just need to get some people intellectual enough to compete with names like Rush Limbaugh and Michael Savage. . .

#7

Posted by: deadly Author Profile Page | May 28, 2011 1:05 PM

I dunno, the whole idea of Celebrity Atheism is a little off-putting. Or so it seems to me.

Tends to be a meritocracy at least.

#8

Posted by: Matt "Nora" Penfold Author Profile Page | May 28, 2011 1:11 PM

In the case of Eric McDonald, any fame he has earned is very much deserved. He understands all those "sophistiacted" theological arguments the four horsemen, Pz, JC et at are alleged to ignore.

The reason he understands them is that he used to be an Anglican priest. I put sophisicated in inverted commas as it is clear reading Eric that they really are not that sophisticated. They pretend to be, by using long words and long sentences with loads of subclauses, but when you look into them they are nothing more than a load of wishfull thinking coupled with willful ignorance.

#9

Posted by: tuibguy Author Profile Page | May 28, 2011 1:20 PM

We do have good guests coming up, in addition to Eric MacDonald; on June 5th Greg Laden (hello, Brownian) will be talking to Desiree Schell, June 12th I will be talking to Ed Brayton, June 19th features Jamila Bey, June 26th is set for Chris Rodda, July 3rd for Amanda Marcotte and July 10th we have Hector Avalos.

Thanks for the help, PZ!

#10

Posted by: downtown dave Author Profile Page | May 28, 2011 1:37 PM

Why don't they pray to the God who doesn't exist so that the will not get the money they need. http://atheistlegitimacy.blogspot.com/

#11

Posted by: Ed jay Author Profile Page | May 28, 2011 1:37 PM

Just donated $75

#12

Posted by: chaseacross Author Profile Page | May 28, 2011 6:09 PM

The reason liberal talk radio fails: conservatives need the assurance of talk radio to inure them against reality, to provide them with their inoculation of anti-reality. Liberal radio by and large tries to sell reality, which, since reality is free, is lousy business model.

#13

Posted by: Rokkaku Author Profile Page | May 28, 2011 11:54 PM

I was about to donate $10 but from what I could see my options were either to mail in a donation (which I'm not doing) or fill in a bunch of demographic information (which I'm not doing.) If anyone from this group is reading - add a simple PayPal option and your donations will increase by at least $10, and probably a lot more.

#14

Posted by: tuibguy Author Profile Page | May 29, 2011 8:47 AM

Rokkaku - I have forwarded your comment to the board to see if there is a way to make it simpler to donate.

Thanks for alerting me to your difficulties.

#15

Posted by: john.marley Author Profile Page | May 29, 2011 7:42 PM

Nowhere in that talk do I claim that a pile of driftwood is analogous to a cell.

Nor did Dawkins ever claim that WEASEL was analogous to evolution. In fact he specifically stated when he introduced it that it wasn't. Didn't stop creationist from claiming that it was meant to be.

From the theistard's post:

One of my mentors, Rabbi Yaakov Weinberg, (of blessed memory), made the following, rather sobering, observation about human nature: “Nobody ever allowed something as trivial as facts and logic to interfere with their agenda. If the facts and logic don’t fit, then the facts and logic will just have to fend for themselves.”

There goes another irony meter.

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