Talk Radio Transcripts: Edward R. Murrow’s Nightmare

Many of the interviews with public officials that air on talk-radio would be Murrow’s nightmare. Why? Because he cared about holding public officials accountable, correcting them when they had their facts wrong, and not letting them get away with delivering attacks that have no basis in reality.

Don’t get me wrong, I like talk radio, overall. It can be great space for people to test ideas, ask questions of public officials, vent to the world. And it’s entertaining. But talk show hosts shouldn’t let their callers or guests or anyone get away with throwing out misinformation that’s damaging or poisons civic discourse.

With professional news outlets shrinking and politicians appearing more often on talk radio because, among other things, so few reporters show up at news conferences, talk radio hosts obviously should do the public a favor and correct inaccurate information, add key facts that are conveniently omitted, and, generally not let public officials get away with dishing out propaganda on the airwaves.

But talk radio hosts don’t do this, and so is doing it for them, and trying to get them to do it more often.

Below, on your right, you can find transcripts of Murrow’s nightmare. Some of them have been discussed on the main blog page. Others have not. But they are posted here as a public service, to allow people to see for themselves the kind of stuff that officials get away with saying on talk radio and to give the public the chance to set the record straight.