As long as I've done the Hardline program, I've got emails like this, wondering why I don't play gotcha as much as any particular listener would like.
It's a complaint I've heard before. I get criticized for not challenging the more conservative guests enough too.
"Last sunday's show was awful. the state dem chairman talking about how well democrats run counties when they have ruined every major city in the country? a self-espoused lefty 'newspaper' editor and a life long democrat conveniently turned republican discussing the state of the republican party? joel's feigned ignorance of the tea party? geoff's flippant unchallenged responses to callers? ..... In closing mr debo, you need to grow a spine and get better informed. the show would be better if you challenged your guests instead of chuckling along when they insult the callers. "
And for the most part, the writer is correct. Any interview can be improved by having more background, and deeper questions. But there also comes a point where I have to trust that you and other bright listeners will be able to discern where a guest is coming from, and weigh the opinions accordingly.
If you are smart enough to recall Joel Giambra's past or sense Artvoice editor Geoff Kelly's slant, then isn't everybody? And if not, do I dare dumb the show down for the rest of them, and risk losing your interest?
Our country was founded on the idea that you could hear every point of view; that’s what Thomas Payne was all about. And as long as I open it up for calls, don't always feature the same slant each week or each segment, and don't inject too much of myself into the program, I think balance is possible.
As long as the guests are informed and articulate, I don't think I'm shortchanging anyone in the process.