As I have often stated in this space, the news and opinion outlets on the island of Okinawa - for Americans - are dismal, and if it weren't for the Internet there would be very little offered in the way of variety or intelligent discussion. While there is a bit more balance with television options, the Armed Forces Radio Network is abysmal.
AFRN offers one radio program aimed at helping people learn how to master their finances, but the host is hell bent on promoting his own "university" and products - and Christian proselytizing.
It is, however, in the realm of political talk radio where AFRN especially sucks wind. Rush Limbaugh is a staple the network likes to air during evening drive time when everyone is trapped in their cars with limited audio options. Rush, of course, oozes right-wing crap and slime by the bucket.
Liberal talk is primarily represented by Alan Colmes, an employee of Fox News - thus allowing them the false claim of being "fair and balanced." Mr. Colmes is pro-Obama and in favor of government involvement in the economic sector. He also holds liberal views on social policies. The problem with Alan Colmes is that he is every bit as loud, offensive, and obnoxious as Rush Limbaugh. Colmes takes pride in the fact that calls to his program are not "screened" and anyone can call in to talk about anything. He then, quite obviously, gets swamped with chowder-heads who think that Sarah Palin would make a great President and illegal immigrants should be shot and then deported.
But those are the callers that Alan Colmes wants. He likes picking on morons, yelling at them, making fun of them, and then hanging up before making some more demeaning remarks on the air. He is every bit the intolerant bully that Rush Limbaugh is.
And that's a shame because there are people on both ends of the spectrum who are smarter than these yahoos and much easier to tolerate. It's almost as though Armed Forces Radio Network prefers noise over thoughtful opinion. Perhaps the network doesn't trust its listeners to think critically - or doesn't want them to.
I now turn off Rush and Alan - that is my version of "fair and balanced."