It is currently right near the end of the program's second segment on the evening of May 11, 2004, shortly after Nicholas Berg's taped beheading by an al-Qaeda splinter in Iraq.Dressed, as is his custom, for golf, and wearing a white-billed cap w/ corporate logo, Mr.Pendent in front of John Ziegler's face, attached to the same type of hinged, flexible stand as certain student desk lamps, is a Shure-brand broadcast microphone that is sheathed in a gray foam filtration sock to soften popped p's and hissed sibilants.It is into this microphone that the host speaks: , Mr.
The Nick Berg beheading and its Internet video compose what is known around KFI as a “Monster,” meaning a story that has both high news value and tremendous emotional voltage.“We're not perfect, we suck a lot of the time, but we are better as a people, as a culture, and as a society than they are, and we need to recognize that, so that we can possibly even begin to deal with the evil that we are facing.” When Mr.Z.'s impassioned, his voice rises and his arms wave around (which obviously only those in the Airmix room can see).As is SOP in political talk radio, the emotions most readily accessed are anger, outrage, indignation, fear, despair, disgust, contempt, and a certain kind of , all of which the Nick Berg thing's got in spades. Ziegler, whose program is in only its fourth month at KFI, has been fortunate in that 2004 has already been chock-full of Monsters—Saddam's detention, the Abu Ghraib scandal, the Scott Peterson murder trial, the Greg Haidl gang-rape trial, and preliminary hearings in the rape trial of Kobe Bryant.But tonight is the most angry, indignant, disgusted, and impassioned that Mr.
And why are a few editorials and man-on-the-street interviews sufficient to represent the attitude and character of a whole diverse region? It is because they understand the particular codes and imperatives of large-market talk radio.