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RIP Old Time Radio

Empower Wisconsin | June 19, 2020

MADISON — Goodbye “Gunsmoke” and “The Great Gildersleeve.” So long to “The Shadow” and “Jack Benny.” 

The Cancel Culture has claimed another victim: The Golden Age of Radio. 

Wisconsin Public Radio recently announced it’s canceling “Old Time Radio Drama,” a long-time weekend programming staple that brought back many of the radio classics from the Greatest Generation — the shows many Baby Boomers grew up on. 

Why? 

Some of the shows, originally broadcast 60, 70, 80 years ago, are deemed “racist and sexist” by the progressive folks at the taxpayer-funded Wisconsin Public Radio. 

“Despite significant effort over the years, it has been nearly impossible to find historic programs without offensive and outdated content,” Mike Crane, WPR’s director, said in a press release. 

That’s the problem for much of media amid the disastrous culture wars. Everything’s offensive to the perpetually aggrieved. So everything must go.  

Once upon a time the left fought against burning books, movies, TV shows, radio programs. Now they’re outright banning them. 

Such is the case with the ridiculously woke HBO. Recently HBO Max said it would temporarily remove classic Civil War drama “Gone With the Wind” from its lineup until it can add “cultural context” to the movie. 

Good grief. 

Frankly, my dear, we don’t give a damn about HBO, but we are offended by all of the offended. 

Classic radio shows — when radio was king — are a significant and vital part of U.S. history. They entertained and connected a country in depression, at war and on the rise. They were magical, transportive, inspirational pastimes enjoyed by many, many millions of listeners, of all races, in their time. And yes, some were patently racist, by today’s standards, and even yesterday’s standards. 

But they are part of the warts, scars, birthmarks, dimples and cleft chins of the body Americana. 

The cultural elites, the deciders of what is good and bad, what we can write and think and feel, not only want to provide “cultural context” to our shared past, they want to burn it down. 

Last weekend, Wisconsin Public Radio held a funeral for Old Time Radio Drama. It’s gone with the wind, so to speak. The long-running program’s time slot will be filled by something called PRX Remix, featuring “some of the best stories, podcasts and documentaries from independent creators …” 

Goodbye Golden Age of Radio. 

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