Back in January 2004, I wrote this article about KFI-AM 640 bumping my favorite night-time radio show, Coast to Coast AM, from its regular 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. slot and replacing it with right-wing wacko John Ziegler. Coast to Coast AM was the only KFI show that wasn't hosted by a right wing wacko and even though I wasn't as big a fan of silky-tongued George Noory as the show's original host, Art Bell, I complained that, instead of hearing about alien abductions while nodding off, I'd have to listen to Ziegler ranting about illegal aliens from Mexico. Snore!
Apparently, I spoke too soon. The good news is that KFI quickly came to its senses and put Coast to Coast back in its regular slot. The bad news: the show no longer deserves the favor. Gone are the nights when I could fall asleep to the sound of hell (recorded by Russian scientists who dropped a microphone thousands of feet into the Siberian soil) or enjoy an exclusive interview with the ambassador from Planet Reticuli in Star System Vega. A few months ago, shortly after his wife tragically died from an asthma attack, Bell abandoned his solar-powered compound and broadcasting bunker in Pahrump, Nevada, married a young Filipina woman and moved to Manilla. (After a brief hiatus, Bell's back on the air on weekends.)
Meanwhile, under Noory's direction, Coast to Coast AM has become increasingly indistinguishable from the rest of KFI's lineup. Hardly a week goes by nowadays without Noory interviewing some right-wing nutjob about how illegals are taking over our country or how NAFTA is just a cover-up for the eventual destruction of the almighty American dollar and its replacement with single currency for the entire Western hemisphere. Listening to the enraged rednecks who call the show during open lines predicting a bloodbath if Bush allows Mexican truckers to take over U.S. highways is chillingly reminiscent of the beginning of Hotel Rwanda, when Hutus are told that it is time to “cut the tall trees,” i.e. kill all the Tutsis.
Usually, Noory interviews his anti-immigrant, paranoia-spreading guests during the first hour of the show, which typically deals with current events. Fair enough, and I'm not usually listening by then, anyway. But last night, he had Minuteman founder Jim Gilchrist (first profiled by Gustavo Arellano here) on for the whole friggin' show. I'd tell you what he said, but I immediately switched over to BBC. Somehow, hearing the latest news of the civilian slaughter in Lebanon is less depressing than three hours of Noory ass-kissing the likes of Gilchrist.
Where are those redneck-abducting spaceships when you need 'em?