Air America : The Playbook -- Book Review

Book Classification : Politics - Current Events - Alternative New Media


Please click here to check the book price and shipping information ...
Air America : The Playbook ,
by Al Franken, Rachel Maddow, Randi Rhodes, Sam Seder, Robert F. Kennedy. Jr., et al.
Hardcover - 352 pages
First Edition, September 19, 2006
Published by Rodale Books

ISBN 1594865140
ISBN-10: 1-59486-514-0
ISBN-13: 978-1-59486-514-5

Read a book excerpt

Book Review


New from Air America Radio, the country's first commercial, liberal talk-radio network, is an anthology of sixty articles. It's Air America : The Playbook by David Bender, Chuck D, Rev. Dr. C. Welton Gaddy, Thom Hartmann, Robert F. Kennedy Jr., Rachel Maddow, Mike Malloy, Mike Papantonio, Randi Rhodes, Mark Riley, and San Seder. Al Franken wrote the introduction.

The complete title of the book is: Air America : The Playbook --- What a Bunch of Left-Wing Media Types Have to Say about a World Gone Right

Click me to buy the book
Air America - The Playbook

Several of the article are single-author essays. In her short essay "What Liberals Believe", Randi Rhodes shows that liberals have a coherent list of principles to present. Item 5 is: "We believe in effective crime prevention, which starts with ending poverty (the leading cause of crime)." [38]

"Big Money, Bad Science" is an essay by Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. about the distortion of science for political purposes. An environmentalist, Kennedy compares some of the government's recent actions to the events of 400 years ago when authorities persecuted those who said the earth revolves around the sun. He asserts that President Bush has a "radical anti-environmental agenda", and that some scientists have been not only censored but also blacklisted. [131]

About the Authors

With hosts like the relentless Al Franken, actress and comedienne Janeane Garofalo, activist Rachel Maddow, progressive radio pioneer Randi Rhodes, environmental champion Robert Kennedy Jr., Public Enemy co-founder Chuck D, author Laura Flanders, and singer/songwriter Steve Earle along for the ride, Air America Radio has become compulsive listening fare for liberal news junkies who will eagerly devour Air America. - From the Publisher


Some of the articles are transcipts of conversations or interviews.

Rachel Maddow interviews Al Gore [136] about the planet's environmental crisis.

John Edwards and Jackie Guerra hold a dialogue [41] about about the working poor (families with jobs who are in poverty because wages stink).

Humor breaks up the seriousness. The "Intersectional Awards" are funny-if-they-weren't-so-tragic newspaper clippings, sorted over according to the accompanying red lights or green lights. Yes, there really is an evangelist who uses dinosaur puppets and cartoons when indoctrinating little children about creationism versus evolution. [154] Read the tongue-in-cheek "Psycho-Political Personality Profile" to discover how politically correct you are. [184] The "Liberal Lexicon" is a glossary. It will help you understand that a "compassionate conservative" demands that "a lethal injection must be accompanied by a Coors Light." [188]

What they wish they had never said is documented here to haunt them. On May 29, 2003, President Bush declared, "We found the weapons of mass destruction." [93]

The publisher, Rodale, based in Emmaus, Pennsylvania, says: "Air America : The Playbook shows the failures in policy, ethics, initiative, and imagination that have, sadly, characterized the United States in the new millennium. The book offers farsighted and easy-to-follow principles that will put power back where it belongs -- in the hands of the people. It's called a democracy. Now make it one!"

Air America Radio, founded in March of 2004, features commentary, guest interviews and news. The syndicated network has had recurrent financial problems. It filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in October of 2006, but the staff expects to stay on the air with a significant loss on the part of the investors. The network seems to be struggling to attract a greater number of quality advertisers, and many of its current advertisers are get-rich-quick offers. Some of the affiliate radio stations are owned by Clear Channel, the huge media corporation that owns more than 1,000 music and talk radio stations in the U.S. Most of the Clear Channel talk stations are ultra-conservative. To find a local affiliate, refer to the Wikipedia list of Air America affiliate radio stations . If your local stations don't carry the network, you can play Air America Radio live on your computer .

All of the compositions in the new book show passion about social justice and progress. The reader will be entertained while being educated. Printed attractively in numerous colors, the book would also make a great gift, provided that the recipient either holds anti-establishment views or is in possession of a good sense of humor.

Book review by Mike Lepore for crimsonbird.com

Please click here to check the book price and shipping information ...
This is an Amazon.com link for
Air America : The Playbook
by Rachel Maddow, Randi Rhodes, et al.

Read a book excerpt

Table of Contents
Air America : The Playbook
INTRODUCTION Al Franken8
"BROADCASTING LIVE FROM A BUNKER 30.000 FEET BENEATH DICK CHENEY'S BUNKER..." Randi Rhodes : Ralph Nader23
ONE DAY AT THE WHITE HOUSE28
THE UPSIDE OF ANGER Steve Earle : Lewis Black32
LOVE YOUR COUNTRY WHEN IT'S RIGHT, RIGHT IT WHEN IT'S WRONG Randi Rhodes34
LABOR INTENSIVE Jackie Guerra : Senator John Edwards41
THE REVOLUTION WILL BE WEBCAST David Bender: Joe Trippi43
KOS AND EFFECT Angie Coiro : Markos Moulitsas Zuniga45
CREEP OF THE WEEK Karl Rove50
PAP ATTACK! Rapture Republicans52
TWO HOUSES DIVIDED CANNOT STAND Al Franken : Senator Ted Kennedy54
ROPING IN THE RED STATES Al Franken : Mark Warner58
HISPANIC REPUBLICANS: HASTA LA VISTA, BABIES David Bender66
PARTY ETIQUETTE David Bender: Whoopi Goldberg72
ATTACK OF THE KILLER CORPORATIONS Thorn Hartmann76
THE OIL INDUSTRY'S SLIPPERY GAME82
PAP ATTACK! Bubble Boy Bush86
BEING RIGHT WHILE BEING LEFT David Bender: Senator Russ Feingold88
GREETED AS LIBERATORS A Timeline of the American Adventure in Iraq in the Words of Its Really Resolute Perpetrators92
CREEPS OF THE WEEK Richard Perle, Paul Wolfowitz, and Douglas Feith98
THE FREEDOM THIEVES Mike Malloy and Kathy Bay100
THE HART OF THE MATTER Rachel Maddow : Gary Hart106
PAP ATTACK! Another Halliburton Heist112
CREEP OF THE WEEK Alberto Gonzales114
DEFENSE DEPARTMENT DISGRACE Laura Flanders : Martin Mubanga116
PAP ATTACK! Stem Cell Research Sellout122
CREEP OF THE WEEK Dr. Bill Frist126
BIG MONEY, BAD SCIENCE Robert F. Kennedy Jr130
BATTLEFIELD EARTH Rachel Maddow : Al Gore136
A PRAYER FOR THE PLANET Betsy Rosenberg : Jim Wallis140
GEORGE W. BUSH: Evangelist in Chief143
PAP ATTACK! Taxman Cometh for Right-Wing Churches146
WHO PUT RELIGION IN MY DIPLOMACY? Rachel Maddow : Madeleine Albright148
THE RELIGIOUS RIGHT AND THE POLITICAL WRONG Reverend Dr. C. Welton Gaddy152
THE INTERSECTION AWARDS154
MR. CARTER TALKS TO WASHINGTON Al Franken : Jimmy Carter156
CREEP OF THE WEEK Tommy Noe160
PAP ATTACK! What Would Pat Robertson Do?162
THE FORGOTTEN Janeane Garofalo and Sam Seder: Michael Stipe164
RECORD OF FAILURE Chuck D and Gia'na Garel: DMC166
STRAIGHT TALK FROM THE SUNDANCE KID Rachel Maddow: Robert Redford168
THIS IS WORKING VERY WELL FOR THEM A Timeline of the Hurricane Katrina Disaster Explaining How It Hugely Inconvenienced President Bush170
CREEP OF THE WEEK Rick Santorum176
PAP ATTACK! Bush Thieves and Tobacco178
WHEN THE LUNATICS ARE IN CHARGE OF THE ASYLUM Randi Rhodes : Dr. Justin Frank180
MEDIA MIND GAME Mark Riley190
PAPATTACK! Bob Woodward: Faux Journalist198
JUST THE FACTS PLEASE, ED Al Franken, Katherine Lanpher, and Joe Conason : Edward Klein200
REDEMPTION SONG David Bender: David Crosby and Graham Nash208
QUICK PROFITS, DEAD PATIENTS Mike Papantonio212
WHO'S TO PLAME Randi Rhodes : John Conyers218
THE VIEW FROM BIG SKY COUNTRY David Bender: Governor Brian Schweitzer220
CREEP OF THE WEEK Donald Rumsfeld226
PAP ATTACK! The Sweatshop Republicans230
CONSERVATIVES HATE OLD PEOPLE AND WANT THEM TO DIE Sam Seder232
THINK GLOBALLY, VOTE LOCALLY Chuck D238
THE SOUND OF FREEDOM Gia'na Garel241
WHAT I WANT IN MY NEXT PRESIDENT Rachel Maddow244
In Conclusion252
Notes on the Contributors253

Book Description from the Publisher

Have you ever secretly felt that you would do a better job of running the country than the people in charge now? Well, the truth is, you're right.

And you're not alone in that feeling. Air America : The Playbook -- What a Bunch of Left-Wing Media Types Have to Say about a World Gone Right offers a rowdy and incisive challenge to the astoundingly stupid ideas and actions of the Bush administration.

Here's what the loudest and funniest voices in talk radio have to say about taking back your country. Air America stars Al Franken, Randi Rhodes, Sam Seder, Rachel Maddow, and the rest of the network's lineup have created a simple, bracing referendum on stopping the madness and getting maximum mileage out of your citizenship.

This book is a call to make the United States of America work for you, not vice versa. Twelve in-depth, thought-provoking original essays by the heavy guns at Air America map out the deep-rooted problems that confront this great country and point the way to a better future. Fascinating conversations with high-octane visitors such as Vice President Al Gore and President Jimmy Carter, as well as rising stars such as Senator Russ Feingold and Governor Mark Warner, illustrate how Air America, every day, showcases the fact that progressives do have a plan for making America great again. Their lively interviews are included alongside riveting exchanges that testify to why live radio remains such a powerful medium, even in the age of 500 TV channels. Here is Randi Rhodes confronting Ralph Nader over his controversial third-party presidential bid in 2004. Here are Al Franken and Joe Conason taking author Ed Klein to task over the shoddy journalism in his attack-biography of Hillary Clinton. Memorable appearances by progressive activists such as Whoopi Goldberg, Robert Redford, and Michael Stipe round out the collection, making Air America : The Playbook the one truly complete picture of what progressive thinkers have to offer the United States today.

Critics predicted that Air America would be a fly-by-night adventure in liberal folly: the radio network that wouldn't last the week. Instead, in twenty-four dynamic months, it has risen to become the most charged and entertaining forum for citizens committed to change. In this entertaining and informative volume, the collective expertise of Air America's extended family has been distilled to show readers what went wrong after George W. Bush took office, why, and how to fix it. It all begins with understanding who is pulling the strings -- how deliberate campaigns of misinformation on everything from Iraq's so-called weapons of mass destruction to global warming have obscured the truth about the country's real problems. In a time when short-term profits of corporations and the narrow-minded values of the religious right have trumped every other concern, the regular citizen is looking for a way to fight back.

Air America : The Playbook shows the failures in policy, ethics, initiative, and imagination that have, sadly, characterized the United States in the new millennium. The book offers farsighted and easy-to-follow principles that will put power back where it belongs -- in the hands of the people.

It's called a democracy. Now make it one!

Book Reviews

"This is such a welcome development, and not a moment too soon."

-- Jackson Browne

"Your unique voice is informing and entertaining America. I wish you many years of continued success."

-- Rep. Nancy Pelosi

"The influence of the average citizen wielding knowledge and strong opinions has shrunk, and we've got to fight back. Air America is a big part of the push back."

-- Al Gore

"You're growing faster than the deficit under the Bush administration, and I'm glad to see it."

-- Rep. Jerry Nadler

"A great organization. I think the future is going to be more assured because of the work of people like Air America."

-- George McGovern

"Thank goodness for a strong progressive voice on the radio."

-- Sen. Dick Durbin

Please click here for current price and shipping information ...
This is an Amazon.com link for
Air America : The Playbook

Next Page -- Read an Excerpt from the Book