I'm tempted to just write a big
because it does.
If, as the New York Times says, The Carbolic Smoke Ball is Pittsburgh's version of The Onion, then certainly John McIntire's The Flip Side is our very own Countdown with Keith Olbermann (High praise indeed if you know how many times we've quoted that show on this blog).
McIntire not only spoke truth to power, in addition to all the usual suspects you'd expect as guests on a local talk show, John featured an entire universe of alternative regulars: bloggers (including this blog), lesbians, twenty-somethings who were given as much credibility and airtime as established talking heads.
But, most importantly, John brought the funny...he brought the snark. And there's no better way to burst the bubble of pomposity of those in power than making your audience laugh at them night after night. Don't get me wrong. He could delve into great detail on real issues too, but how much better when that's followed up with some great snarky remark or comedy bit?
Which brings me to my very own little conspiracy theory.
I was less than thrilled when John's NightTalk TV show ended abruptly as the 2004 election was really gearing up. And, now it seems to me to be a little too convenient that The Flip Side is coming to an end right before the 2007 primary election for mayor starts up.
Mayor Luke "Opie" Ravenstahl just got a present too large for his Christmas stocking. And, that sucks too.
Yeah, John can continue to keeps tabs on Luke from his Pittsburgh City Paper column and his blog (MacYapper), but that ain't quite the same thing as blasting over KDKA's big airwaves.
John will hopefully be coming back on an FM forum in the spring, but does that mean spring as in March or spring as in June?
I know I --and many of you -- will be counting the days.
Now go listen to John and his last historic Flip Side show!