York’s Public Radio station) and the independentrnstation WBAI. As a firstgenerationrnEnglish boy who spoke onlyrnPolish at home, BBC radios Three andrnFour helped me become acculturated tornEnglishness at its best, and helped merndevelop an understanding of Englishrncharacter, history, and literature. Listeningrnto WNYC and WBAI, first-generationrnand immigrant children in New Yorkrnare likelv to learn only loathing for theirrnadoptie country—and if they are blackrnor Ihspanic, the- will also be patronizedrnand catered to in the most nauseatingrnway.rnI first came across Shakespeare, VictorrnHugo, Scott, Stendhal, the Greek tragedians,rnSei Shonagon (of the “Pillowbook”),rnand Jane Austen by listening tornradio dramatizations of their works. Asrnthe radio drama on NPR seems mostl}” tornbe by or about lesbians or congenital idiots.rnI wonder what there is to enthrallrnand educate an American child turningrnfor entertainment or solace to the radio?rnI recall falling in love with Shelley’srn”Epipsvchidion” at the age of 12 becausernan English professor did a program on it.rnPoetr- on WNYC? Forget it. Later, inrnm teens, I remember amazing somernolder Americans on vacation fromrnLouisiana by talking to them aboutrnHuev Long. Most graduate history studentsrnin America could not tell HueyrnLong from Huey Lewis, they told me.rnOf course, I was lucky; most graduaternstudents ne’er got to hear Radio Three’srndocumentary on the “Kingfish.” Norrncould thev hear Conor Cruise O’Brienrntalk about modern history, Edward LuciernSmith about art. David Munrowrnabout early music, and Enoch Powellrnabout Herodotus.rnAdmittedly, ./American media arernmostly anti-intellectual (or worse, pseudointellectual)rnand market-driven, butrnthat is precisely why NPR ought to bernproN’iding programming that makes highrnculture freely available to all. Everyonernhas access to a radio, even in the ghettornand the inner cit’. Accidentally comingrnacross broadcasting that is civilized, noble,rnand high-minded might enlightenrnand inspire underprisileged children tornstop rapping and start reading. So whatrndoes NPR provide? A melange of fakernhipness, condescension, and “diversity”;rnall the same correctly political hogwashrnwhose heroes are all Latinos, “proudrnblack women,” AIDS victims, andrn”artists.” From it one learns nothing onerndid not airead- know.rnAre there no characters left on publicrnradio? No eccentrics? Virtually all thernpeople who broadcast on WNYC arernsoft-voiced snobs, full of piety and fakernconcern. I used to listen to RobertrnRobinson’s “Stop the Week” on thernBBC. Bob Robinson (a cross betweenrnDr. Johnson and Mr. Pickwick) held civilizedrnand amusing conversations withrnthree or four friends, and all of them saidrnwhat the hell they liked. I remember listeningrnto Marghanita Laski and EleanorrnSummerfield, real women, feminine,rnwitty, charming, and rude when necessary,rnwomen who could not be sexuallyrnharassed, women who seemed to bern18th-centurv mesdames de salons comernto life. Compare such folks with the homogenizedrnfeminists and New Men onrnWNYC.rnWBAI, the listener-sponsored Pacificarnstation, is worse. It could well be namedrnRadio Chomsky—its fundraising drivesrnusually involve selling tapes of the goodrnprofessor’s speeches or remainderedrncopies of his books. The presenters arerneven more soft-voiced and hip than thernones on WNYC, and they think thatrneverything is a CIA plot. The host of thernmorning shov’ sounds like a black llriahrnHeep, mumbling quicth” to the rapt audience,rnso arrogant, yet so very humble.rnMuch of the station’s output is devotedrnto the Afroccntric cult, and it shares thisrnperspective with the frightening ruminationsrnand rantings on WLIB, “1190 ThernChoice” (a “black-oriented” talk station)rn. The choice appears to be betweenrnnecklacing and shooting. If the station isrntruly as “representative of the African-rnAmerican community” as it claims, thenrnracial war is unpleasantly close.rnSo much for serious programming inrnNew York. There remain the attempts tornentertain. The golden age of Americanrnradio is obviously gone—no longer canrnchildren cut their imaginative teeth onrn”The Shadow” or “Escape” or “DangerousrnAssignment.” Instead we have Imusrnin the Morning. Mr. Imus’s morningrnshow is the only program in America thatrnmakes me glad to be living here in 1995rnrather than 1945. The show is resolutelyrnmasculine in the best sense of the word.rnImus himself is the nearest thing we havernto H.L. Mencken these das, and his productionrncrew ably supports him with sardonicrncomments and insults. CharlesrnMcCord writes satirical pieces (performedrnby an excellent impressionist)rnand is probably the best comic writer inrnAmerica today. His monologues for arnspoof on “Cardinal O’Connor” (readingrnout the lottery results) are hilarious, asrnare the frequent interruptions by thernPresident’s drug-fiend “brother.”rnThat’s about it for radio comedy. Thernrest of the FM dial is distributed amongrnbrain-dead “easy listening” slush, St. Vitusrndance music, and a couple of collegernradio stations, one of which played 24rnhours of Bix Beiderbecke on his birthday.rnIt is possible to hear good jazz and classicalrnmusic on New York radio, but only ifrnyou can get past the annoyingly attitudinizingrnDJ’s. Radio Three, the classicalrnmusic station in England, has presentersrnwho are polite, informative, and self-deprecating;rnfor some reason their New Yorkrncounterparts are made up of the worstrntpe of pretentious poseur: “We hear,rnfrom the BWV catalogue, and havernheard, the kappellmeister, gessellschaftrnDresden, perhaps Schnabelwopskirn1 7 1 4 . . . “rnThat leaves AM radio. Amongrnyounger people, it is fashionable to claimrnno knowledge of the existence of the AMrndial. Talk radio lurks there, and the peoplerndoing the talking are usually middleagedrnor elderly. The talk is resolutely andrnangrily political, political in a way that isrnTHE RIGHT GUIDErn1995rnCAN YOU MA TCH CEO