Every chat chow host – whatever the show – has an ego. I don’t care if you’re talking about the big syndicated radio shows or the lowliest podcast done in a closet.
The thing is, you have to have an ego. If you didn’t, you wouldn’t sit down in front of a microphone and share what you believe to be genuine thought, opinions and knowledge.
And here’s the other thing – of all the poeple who listen to you, whether that’s 10 or 20 million, about 40% are going to love you. Another 40% are going to dislike you. And that other 20%?
I received a rather lengthy message yesterday explaining to me that I am wrong about the issue of Trump just ignoring the Constitution and the Judge and proceeding full steam ahead on the Immigration order. “You see, Dave, this isn’t the 1800’s anymore. We are in ‘real danger’ and besides, you just talk in circles anyway. Obama did it, so it must be okay. Liberals are tearing down the President (the implied good chap rule*), we are in grave danger and besides, which the Constitution is so old that its outdated and doesn’t cover all of this danger we are in. Beside all of this, don’t you know that Bible predicted this happening?”
Now… there’s a rather quick way to determine if something is useful constructive criticism or just rambling complaint. But whether or not it is, there is still another human being on the other end of that message. A human who has expressed some emotion and come to a conclusion about my position. That is what I struggle with on a regular basis.
I can’t even count the number of times I have asked the question to myself, “How do I get people who listen to see this?”
After all, goes the reason, the people who listen the most should be the most open to hearing what I think, right? Nobody is putting a gun to their head and saying “Thou Shalt Listen!” They choose to do it.
It’s possible – as I said above – that 40% of those listening are doing so simply to get angry, and to disagree. In radio, that happens quite a bit. Even I – yes, I – used to listen to AJ on a quasi-consistent basis. I was fascinated by his train wreck. One fine day, Cami made me turn him off because, and I quote, “He’s really pissing me off!”
But I also think that is less likely to happen in podcasting. Podcast listeners are more focused than radio listeners. Radio is background noise. Podcasts are focus assistance. We listen to podcasts when we chose to do so, and they help us to concentrate on things. Workouts, cleaning, lawn work, whatever. Radio is ethereal, here for but a moment and then forever gone. Podcasts can be rewound. A sentence played again and again for clarity and understanding. So I feel like podcast listeners are more in the 60% like, 20% dislike proportion.
I say that because I listen to podcasts that I don’t like. Mostly I listen to learn from them. Whether it’s technical oor some point that I agree/disagree upon.
Back to my question as it relates to me, personally. I have always struggled with how to communicate the idea that the past is prologue. How many ways can I explain that the Constitution isn’t “outdated” simply because it was written “over two hundred years ago,” as Director Comey put it.
Ultimately, what I learned along that way, is that what the masses want to hear is what tickles their ears. If I’m said to be talking in circles, it’s because I am not saying what they want to hear. And if it’s not what they want to hear, why bother listening at all? In radio, that argument is how you end up with the changes we went through. Not enough of the people who liked what we were doing spoke up. And the people who didn’t like it, did.
Here, it is different. Should I change what I say to please a person who says that I am “wrong?” Should I alter my values and beliefs as I communicate them so that I can get more downloads and likes and retweets and shares?
The biggest question of all remains. How do we get people who see things “our” way, Conservatives who agree with us, to understand that the Constitution, that our history matters?
*A good chap doesn’t tell a good chap what he ought to know for himself.” In other words, Dave, you’re helping the liberals attack the President, so you’re not a good chap….