Monday, August 18, 2008

"KPTK forum fills hall, bill" (with video)

Michael Hood (BlatherWatch), with video (00:47):
Rachel08 Saturday night's KPTK forum headlined Rachel Maddow, Thom Hartmann, Sam Seder, Stephanie Miller, Randi Rhodes, and Mike Malloy, with cat herding by Ron Reagan.

If measured by crowd size and enthusiasm, was a great success. The Flowmax crowd dominated in sheer numbers as they do the audiences of talk radio in general.KPTK's line-up was hot with the top of the heap of liberal radio talent Rachel who's the election cycle's hottest property on the teevee. This she's done, she told us, with the help of Keith Olbermann's advocacy.

(While the line-up was stellar, the venue sucked: The Expo Hall at Seattle Center is built for booths and mini stages; amplified sound is a disaster, as anyone knows who has suffered music in the space during Bumbershoot. Although they improved the situation al little by moving around speakers as the 3-hour forum progressed, the noise was high, the voices garbled. At one point an audience member stepped right up to the stage and interrupted by asking the talent to speak louder and more directly into the mics because "only about 1/2 of this audience can hear what you're saying." The panelists did that and the sounds further improved, but it was never easy to hear). Sam2

The conversation was filled with humor, optimism, pith and feck. We'll be writing more about the substance of the discussion after Tuesday when the station promises to put up a podcast. Check here.

(photo: Sam Seder)We really appreciate these promos which have happened about once a year since the station's inception in 2005. KPTK is actually a bunch of CBS-loyal downtown robots blinking, beeping, and murmuring to satellites hundreds of miles above the earth who beam down these hosts from New York and LA.

There's no local programming, no local talent -- the progressive station has little real-time, human connection to the community other than these events.

(We were told Friday by acting promotions director Paul Fredericks that live & local isn't coming to KPTK any time soon. "The economics aren't there right now," he said. We also requested in that conversation that Mr.Fredericks and KPTK be more diligent in kissing BlatherWatch's ass: he demurred on behalf of himself and his station).Miller2_o8

That said, and that KPTK's management are CBS corporate running dogs, it's the only talk station doing any events at all these days.

(photo: Stephanie Miller)

After the show, they let the multitudes swarm the stage to meet the panelists. It was a demonstration of what a big deal Rachel Maddow has become. As fans pushed up to mainly her, we stood and watched as she laughed and joked and answered questions; signed clothing and body parts, and posed, and grinned and gave and gave.

MalloyEveryone wants a piece of Rachel Maddow -- even us, but unfortunately she had just so much to give. this sudden celebrity must be hard to get used to , sprung up so suddenly.

BlatherWatch had a small post-event up at a nearby bar, which Rachel and most of the others had agreed to attend. Seder and Malloy, some bloggers, a few media types, and Darcy Burner came by for drinks. But unfortunately Rachel begged off having been up since 3a East coast time. We forgave her that: it was plain to see, after this long night, there wasn't much left after so much so freely given.

Howie P.S.: Check the link to the original post for Rachel's charming apology for her no-show. I googled Flomax, in case you need more information.

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