Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Jeremy Lansman - Part III
I. Progressive Alaska has carried two previous articles about Alaska broadcast icon and iconoclast, Jeremy Lansman. Owner of Channel 5 TV, KYES, and the KWMD radio broadcasting conglomerate, Lansman is an historic figure in broadcasting nationwide, not just here in Alaska.
Unlike some of the cardboard-and-papier-mache local media figures, Jeremy recognized early on the substantial talents of Shannyn Moore. Since before Moore became the TV image of Alaska on MSNBC, Jeremy and I have hoped Moore would get a try-out on local television. Finally, when nobody else came through, Jeremy did himself. He has opened up the Saturday 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. hour on his TV station to Moore Up North. Its first two episodes have aired. Here's a youtube link to last week's episode, which features survivors of Sarah Palin's Alaska bus tour.
The third episode was recorded Tuesday evening at Bernie's Bungalow in downtown Anchorage. A half hour before the show was to begin, the place was packed with a studio audience, technicians, Moore's TV show guests and a lot of exuberant conversation.
I'm not going to give up too much about this upcoming Saturday's episode, but Moore conducted what is probably the definitive interview with Tank Jones, whose most recent incarnation is as Levi Johnston's bodyguard. Those who know Tank, though, are aware he's a great raconteur of Alaska stories, and has some profound views that he mixes with his rich sense of humor. He's wise too - a gigantic Yoda who tells stories like Yogi Berra.
Moore had a panel on science and education in Alaska, featuring gubernatorial candidate Ethan Berkowitz, Alaska Public Radio Network commentator Steve Heimel and University of Alaska professor, Rick Steiner. The panel continued ongoing local discussion on both Steiner's case and on the issue of why Alaskans undervalue education and what that can do for our citizenry.
This show is getting better every week. Fast. Be sure to tune in Saturday, where Moore is painting Alaska bluer, one new hour at a time.
II. Earlier on Tuesday, Alaska Public Radio's Talk of Alaska featured one of the better programs the series has recently aired. Last month program producer Steve Heimel had hoped to schedule a debate between Prof. Steiner and UAA President Mark Hamilton. It didn't work. I've seen some of the emails, and my view is that Hamilton bullshit Steve and Rick and never showed good faith. Whether he was intentionally toying with Steiner or not is hard to tell, but that was my suspicion from the beginning of Hamilton's correspondence with Steiner.
Along with Steiner, Heimel featured Chris Hedges of the Nation Institute, who has just published his seventh book, Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle. Hedges' analysis of a lot of what is currently structurally wrong with our declining American civilization mirrors my own. He was able to add a lot of national perspective to what has happened here to Steiner.
Here's a link to the excellent hour-long program.
And here's Chris Hedges, talking about Empire of Illusion last month: