Thursday, 19 March 2015

Dear Mr.Prager

I have been your   enthusiastic listener for more than ten years. Of the three regular talk shows I listen to, Hewitt, Medved and yours, I have a hard time to justly allocate time. However, I often manage to listen and enjoy most of the  shows, even if many of these I have to listen to after the fact, that is on podcasts, both in the US and Europe.

You have many listeners and differences of opinion on topics, discussions, opinions can and do vary.

I am not going  to talk about the many wonderful hours you have given your listeners on many , many topics. You don't need accolades, you hear them , live, every day of the show.

However, I have some observation about some aspects of your discussions which need to be corrected. I have waited, literally some years, before I decided to write you an open letter on these issues. I would like to tell you about these, as well as your listeners , via Twitter, so they get a different view from that of yours.

You are , unfortunately, not well informed about Europe. You make groundless generalizations about some aspects of European lives, particularly about present  lives. Having lived some 3 months in a UK college , decades ago,  cannot qualify you as someone knowledgeable about present day Europe.

You often state that "Europe has no talk radio", and then make some rather sweeping conclusions about this.
Let's take it from the beginning.
Mr.Prager, today's Europe  is comprised of some 50 countries. Nearly as many languages are also spoken on the continent. How do you mean that Europe has no talk radio? If there were, in what language would they broadcast ? And what company would sponsor such a "talk radio"? What market opportunities would they represent  to someone like Salem  Radio Network?
You are trying to equate the US  with her uniform language and market place from coast to coast with that of Europe and bemoan the lack of "talk radio", as you know it.

But let's suppose you meant just a few big "markets" , like Germany, France, UK, Italy, Spain.
You are sadly mistaken about these as well. There are many radio and television shows, with diverse and colorful differences of opinion from politics to everyday living. Some of these are state owned , and some are privately owned. Nearly all of them offer a variety of "talk shows" with commercial sponsors, as well. State owned tv and radio is not closed to diverse points of view at all. Just as other means of media, they  are free from censorship, even in today's Russia, opposition is still alive , although becoming more  difficult under Putin.
You may argue that many of the leading publications, broadcasters are left leaning. You may be correct. But they don't have a monopoly in any European country on public opinion of today. There is plenty of alternative viewpoint, and not all current governments are centre left. There is plenty of change from election to election, perhaps more so than in the US in recent years.

Your listeners are not served well  by  you giving a false picture about Europe today. If there are notions about Europe that come to the surface, the reasons for these  must be elsewhere than in the absence of "talk radio", as you know it.


Peter Urban , aka @eurobird

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