Media Watch


Those wacky Tucson Suffragettes, in the middle of their three-month effort to register, educate and motivate "virgin voters," have taken to the air with a 10-episode radio drama.

No Exit--not to be confused with the Jean-Paul Sartre play of the same title, but probably also set in some version of hell--airs on KXCI 91.3 FM, at 7 p.m. every Monday through Nov. 1. We're already four episodes into the show, which the Suffragettes say is about "why voting matters." Doesn't sound quite as compelling as The West Wing, but give it a chance; for starters, the series does feature music by the likes of Calexico, Tom Walbank and Al Perry.

Here's the pitch from No Exit writer-director Drew Burk, who doubles as publisher of Spork magazine:

"Every election cycle we are presented with a wealth of entertaining and educational, coherently told fictions.

"This is not one of them.

"The world of the radio drama series No Exit is one where the perceptual filters that allow us to make linear sense of our lives have stopped functioning, and we are forced to exist and perceive those existences objectively. Efforts have been made to make it entertaining as well. The careful listener will hear, in every episode, the point at which the enormity of the absurdity of American political and social reality becomes too great, and the author's brain runs screaming out the back of his head.

"The story centers around Our Girl, who is suddenly very interested in her role in American Politics when American Politics comes and suddenly--literally--hits her on the ass. She unintentionally finds herself deep inside the machinations of the American Corporation, where, in time, the absurdity of reality threatens to send her running and drooling from the page."

Hmm. It's not every day you can hear people's brains go screaming out the backs of their heads. That, alone, may be worth tuning in for.


My column a couple of weeks ago, relaying the dismay by some Arizona Daily Star reporters at the paper's restrictions on their political activities, drew this comment from Mike Boyd, whose résumé includes stints as both a TV sports anchor and Pima County supervisor:

"I think you are dead wrong. ... First off you say, 'What's wrong with a sports reporter or music critic' taking part in a political rally? Well, today's music critic is tomorrow's political reporter (i.e. the gal asked to interview Mrs. Edwards). Secondly, there are already so many accusations of bias in the media ... why throw gas on it?

"There are a few reporters in the media who do an excellent job of masking their political leanings, some here in Tucson (Bud Foster, Sandy Rathbun). I'd be disillusioned if I saw them passing out campaign literature or cheering at a rally.

"The Star has a lot of faults, but discouraging political participation is not one of them."

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