. . . the distinguishing feature of radio is that it exists in a sort of perpetual amnesiac state. In a book, you can go back and read the previous page; on the internet, you can press the 'back' button on the browser. In radio, there is no rewind: everything exists in that moment and that moment only . . .Again, I couldn't care less about Nate's spat of the politics behind it, but I am struck by the observation about radio in that it certainly explains why I find sports radio so unlistenable. While the shows -- even the least obnoxious ones -- are cast as conversations about sports, there is no conversing going on. It's all about eliciting emotional responses instead of intellectual ones.
. . . Moreover, almost uniquely to radio, most of the audience is not even paying attention to you, because most people listen to radio when they're in the process of doing something else. They are driving, mowing the lawn, washing the dishes -- and you have to work really hard to sustain their attention. Hence what Wallace refers to as the importance of "stimulating" the listener, an art that Ziegler has mastered. Invariably, the times when Ziegler became really, really angry with me during the interview was when I was not permitting him to be stimulating, but instead asking him specific, banal questions that required specific, banal answers. Those questions would have made for terrible radio! And Ziegler had no idea how to answer them.
Stimulation, however, is somewhat the opposite of persuasion. You're not going to persuade someone of something when you're (literally, in Ziegler's case) yelling in their ear.
If I want to respond emotionally to sports, I'll watch Game 1 of the 1988 World Series. If I want to think about sports -- to persuade or be persuaded -- I'll certainly not listen to sports radio.