Archive for June 2016

The Whad’ya Know Finale–or Is It a Beginning? 6-25-16

June 30, 2016


Chunnel Corks and All the News That Isn’t

June 27, 2016



Study finds the price point for doctors accepting a free meal to prescribe opioids is the $10.49 Garlic Mussels Marinara at Olive Garden. The most expensive item on the menu, so they don’t come cheap.


Doctors are being replaced by a new Google medical app, where you enter your symptoms and a Henny Youngman voice says “Well, don’t do that.”


Hillary says a Donald Trump presidency would result in vermin, lice, locusts, plagues, frogs, boils, restless legs, rock-hard stools, a feeling that you’ve forgotten something, and a world-wide financial panic.

Trump says he would make billions on a world-wide financial panic.


Donald Trump calls Hillary Clinton the most corrupt person to ever run for President, present company excepted.


Wisconsin Senator-who-doesn’t-know-he-is-one Ron Johnson breaks with his peers by coming out in favor of gub control. No, that’s definitely a ‘b’ .


The Trump campaign is nearly broke since it’s counter-intuitive to give money to a billionaire.


Giant corks already heading to both ends of the Chunnel as Britain exits the European Union.

The English Channel has been renamed the English Moat.

Upside: the pound sterling is a real bargain at a ha’penny.

Scotland intends to stay with Europe but will have to wait for continental drift to do it.


An electric car goes 0-60 in a second and a half. But then you have to recharge it.

Still, if it’s real important to get somewhere in a second and a half, this is your vehicle.


New dark spot seen on Neptune, but it could be worse–could be on Uranus.

I’m going to miss Uranus references the most.

You can say Uranus on public radio. As much as you want. Uranus.


The new Panama Canal will go lengthways instead of across, from Punta Arenas in Chile, to Juneau, Alaska.


Turns out the Marine in the iconic Iwo Jima photo was Ronald Reagan–all his war stories were true!


Mark Zuckerberg puts tape over his Mac Book camera, audio jack, and unspecified parts of himself.


After several setbacks, the latest North Korean missile launch successfully strikes an uncle 1,000 kms away.


Even as we speak, Britain is removing all universal symbols from roads, terminals and toilets.


In Congress, the House sits in the House which sits in the House, resulting in nesting Houses.

Or, the House is in the House.

All to get a vote on the Republican gun control measure: a chest bump and a point to heaven.


International Yoga Day, fine, but what about International Hey Boo-Boo Day?


And, still $800,000 in campaign debt even after selling the house, Governor Walker will try Kickstarter to raise the funds–that fails, he will borrow some of the Wisconsin highway repair funds just sitting there, because it is not the role of the government to repair roads.


That’s All the News That Isn’t


Thank You’s (and Youse) Upon our Last Whad’ya Know 6-25-16

June 24, 2016

I’d like to thank–

L. James Packard, who had the unusual quality of sounding like a guy from around here if he spoke really good, which he was, one of the (2) founding fathers of WYK. Couldn’t have done it without you, Jim;

Adam Friedrich, our ultimate producer who steered the Miketannic past the iceberg sailing her into sunny & placid waters, only to be sunk by friendly fire;

John Thulin, who only missed a show when he had to get married. I mean he didn’t have to get married. Anyway, I promised his mom, Eleanor, he would have a job as long as I did–so, see you later, John;

Jeff Hammann, two m’s & 3 n’s , who is, if there is such a thing, a great bass player and had many interesting thoughts that, alas, never aired;

Our newest and most definite-liest cast member, Stephanie Lee, who has brought energy, laughter, intelligence and charm to the show, and can speak Swedish when needed;

The dazzling and charming Clyde the Funky Drummer Stubblefield, who drummed on every road show since 1987 but not so much on the weekly shows because I would have been sitting right in front of him;

Our head tech hubba hubba and very expensive brandy drinker Tom Blain, the only Whad’ya Know stalwart to leave and come back again, without really saying where he had been those years, may have been Norway, or possibly Scotland;

Chris, marshack, marzzerik, Chris, anyway, our show manager, see job description, who also arranged the road shows, the only problematic one being a bus ride either to hell or Columbus, Ohio;

Brad Kolberg, who smiled at me once in 10 years and I looked to see if my fly was open;

Aubrey Ralph, responsible for the mix on Whad’ya Know done entirely while listening to This American Life;

Lyle Anderson, the spiritual center of the WYK ethos and the guy who types my ad libs into the monitor on my desk while letting anybody who calls, no matter their condition nor state of mind, on the air, and does it all in spite of being way overqualified in several important, esoteric fields to do this kind of thing;

Wisconsin Public Radio, by which I mean Jack Mitchell, who made me out of mud in 1985, and, subsequently, never fired me, or I would be porcelain;

Our producer before last, Todd Witter, who gave WYK the best 10 years of his life before realizing it and leaving post haste for Portland, and who is an excellent ballroom dancer;

Our announcer before last, Sarah Nics, who spoke with her hands, and whom, I’d like to think, we catapulted to fame in New York City;

Judith Heise Kovalic, who basically did everything for us, until she had a baby and had to change her priorities;

Diana Cook, who made me sound like I knew what I was talking about on road shows, dumping piles of clippings, books, actual research and candy for the girls on Halloween on my porch swing;

Kelley Osborne, no not that Kelley Osborne, who made me sound like I knew the answers to the quiz questions right off the top of my head with her weekly and very eclectic packets of not trivia but fascinating nuggets of knowledge;

Engineers emeriti, Stephen Colon, who once put a napkin over his arm and seated us at a restaurant in Chicago, Rick Kirkpatrick, whose preference for Pepsi was actually in the contract rider for road show catering, and Mike de Mark, who goes all the way back with me to the Breakfast Special on WORT, and to whom I apologize for all the years of calling Mark de Mike, but you know me.

My daughters Ellie and Nora, for supplying my absolute best material, and my wife Sandy, who never has to worry again about someone telling her something I said on air, and for her forbearance after I had to send  Consuela back to her native Narnia.

Thanks to each and all, and to any omitted due to time and memory considerations, and, thank you so much to the best audience a guy ever had, who did me the favor of bringing the show with you or, if you couldn’t make it, phoning it in– for that, and for your many kindnesses and good humor, collectively, I am your biggest fan!


Whad’ya Know!

It’s a Bird! It’s a Plane! It’s the Whad’ya Know Radiocast!

June 20, 2016

Coming to a set of earbuds near you this September: The Whad’ya Know Radiocast!

Thank you all for your amazing support–if you’d like to join us you still can!


Public Radio Existentialism or La Nausee

June 17, 2016

La Nausée




Public radio is facing an existential crisis. Some of the biggest

radio stars of a generation are exiting the scene while public

radio executives attempt to stem the loss of younger listeners

on traditional radio.   –Wall St. Journal, June 16, 2016


The Wall Street Journal says that public radio is going through an existential crisis, and not one which can be resolved by an All Sartre, All the Time format, but one stemming from the fact that all radio, public and otherwise, today, is only for geezers and roofers. Public radio, granted, is unique to the extent that you can be old as sin or dead and still be an evergreen on KUND, Great Forks, even if Lake Woebegone, due to drained water tables, is now Lake Wakebegone.  You can see how young public radio talent, were there any not podcasting, facebooking, blogging or snapchatting, might understandably resent the dead or dying broadcaster laid out in their time slot; they might and even feel that way about someone surprisingly peppy like myself, for whom public radio, after all, was an employer of first and last resort. They should be happy for me.

The problem is exacerbated as we, the Public Radio Legacy Undead, are driven in our induced but walking comas in search of sustenance in the bloodless un-nourishing virtual world of digital media, it’s either that or be driven into estate or tent sale announcing, or extolling blue light specials at K-Mart, if either or both still exist. Maybe you can snag a walk-in bathtub commercial, a miracle ear, or a scooter voiceover, and maybe you can’t. Longevity being what it’s gotten to, it’s pretty competitive.

I made the next to last paragraph of La Nausée, way after Garrison’s self-delivered eulogy, then after the accounts of a few public programmers merely middle-aged, even following the several whining upstarts only cutting-edge as far as their own edges, who, trust me, will never make it to legacy status. That’s me following the clause “Some older hosts still balk at the digital experience” ending in “[Feldman] said podcasting is like pretending you’re on the radio. It’s designed for one individual who is doing an elliptical machine for 20 minutes.” I know what I mean, since trying to entertain, enlighten or engage such an individual, gasping for breath, who, at his age and condition, should be mall walking, for me to direct all my creative attention and 30-plus years of radio trial and error skills, upon him, and him alone, is enough to give me an existential crisis.

Thank God for Wall St. Journal readers, who, to a man, woman and self-styled pundit, have never doubted that National Public Radio is a Communist Front, and who still and always will revile Garrison Keillor for appearing at the podium of the 1988 Democrat Convention with a blended bunch of kids (were they all above average?) and Michael Dukakis, admittedly, a very scary and confused scenario, if not a Marxist-Leninist one. I, true, was not singled out as a fellow traveler by a single commenter, none of whom, I presume, had heard my endearing heartwarming stories from Lake Jewbegone. I will say, based on their biting, unequivocal and unanimous decision, not one of them has or will ever suffer an existential crisis.

Problems in Podcasting 5: Timeliness

June 17, 2016

Hot topics for Michael Feldman in this undated podcast include the Star Wars anti-missile system, the ERA, the unauthorized biography of Frank Sinatra, Daddy Warbucks taking over at CBS news, and Barbra Streisand threatening to sing Yentl.


Whad’ya Know Benjamin Buttoned!

June 16, 2016

Dear Whad’yaNauts!  As we work on making the new Whad’ya Know podcast happen (thanks to you!) in the fall, we thought it only fair we complete our abruptly ended 2016 radio season by Benjamin Buttoning (going backwards in time for those of you who couldn’t sit through the movie) WYK from June, 2016 back to the holiday show, December 2015. To that end we have already posted the June 11 show with Senator Tammy Baldwin, with the rest to precede!

We get slightly younger now with the June 4, 2016 Whad’ya Know featuring Michael Perry, of Population 485 fame, and Chicago Tribune film critic Michael Phillips.  Enjoy!