Sam Seder of Air America Featured in Boston Globe

Perhaps its because I live in an area without over the air broadcast, but I generally have the feeling Air America Radio is ignored beyond the blogoshere. I was happy to see them receive extensive coverage in the Boston Globe today in Failure is an option: Despite his best efforts to sabotage himself, Sam Seder is finding success on Air America:

Seder says he became more committed politically after 9/11 and the US invasion of Iraq. When Garofalo asked whether he’d like to cohost a show on a new liberal radio network, Seder said sure. The idea of a national platform from which to poke fun at the Bush administration seemed appealing.

Just before it launched in March 2004, Air America hosted a party in New York to introduce its on-air talent. Several of the speakers wound up the crowd by bashing the Bush administration, but when it was Seder’s turn to talk, he pretended to have laryngitis.

“Al Franken was the MC, and it took him a second to get that it was a joke,” says Maron. “It was brilliant.”

Franken was Air America’s marquee name. Most listeners had never heard of Seder, whose “Majority Report” was promoted this week to the midmorning slot — 9 a.m. to noon — on more than 70 stations across the country, including New York and Los Angeles. (Inexplicably, Air America’s Boston affiliate broadcasts the show from 1-4 a.m.)

Seder attracted his audience with inane riffs on the news, chats with prominent bloggers, and interviews with upstart Democratic candidates, including Ned Lamont, whom Seder had on long before his campaign against Lieberman was taken seriously.

“When Sam started, he was kind of an asterisk,” says Markos Moulitsas Zuniga , creator of the popular Daily Kos website. “But he’s in capital letters now. He’s good at finding life’s absurdities, and politics is a target-rich environment.”

The secret to Seder’s success is his preparation. He arrives at his office — a cramped space with bookshelves lined with works by Noam Chomsky, Stanley Greenberg, and Bob Hope — several hours early to scour the Web for stories. He and his producer then prioritize the day’s news, leading with the items likeliest to outrage conservatives — or, as Seder calls them, “the forces of anti democracy.”

“Sam works his butt off and does his homework,” says Franken. “The guy’s the future of the network.”

Be Sociable, Share!

Leave a comment