December 16, 2005 will, I believe, mark the end of the dream that was Air America Radio. Danny Goldberg, whether he meant to or not, whether he's evil or just plain clueless, has done what the right-wing noise machine and Bush apologists couldn't.
He's removed AAR's heart and soul, Marc Maron.
Marc has never been anything but honest and genuine. Wear your heart on your sleeve? Maron rips it out of his chest and hands it to you (whether you want it or not). He opens his skull, and lets you muck about in his brain. Is he perfect? Of course not, but it's the flaws that make the diamond priceless. Marc's real, which is why so many of us have come to think of him as a friend - family, even - and probably why Goldberg doesn't "get" him. I don't suppose "real" counts for much in the circles within which Goldberg travels.
There's been some great talent at Air America, for sure. Some are gone, and a few remain. We miss those that have been cast aside, but you can live without an arm or a leg, and you can get along without your eyes. But you can't live very long without a heart, and without a soul, well, you're just Dick Cheney.
Air America will thump along for a while, no doubt, but in the end it will either fail with a whimper, or it will have become something so unrecognizable - so far from what it was supposed to be, and from the promise it held - that it won't have been worth keeping alive. A network of Springers and Colmes, trying to imitate what's already been done somewhere else, becoming "fair and balanced" in pursuit of the quick, easy buck.
Goldberg may have brought AAR some short-term investment money, maybe some "cred" amongst the DLC set, but in the end it will never survive with him - with complete power and impunity - calling the shots.