For the first time in a long, long time, I turned on talk radio and found a very literate, well-informed local voice — Dean Barnett. I caught part of a discussion on the crisis in Georgia and thought he came across very well. He was natural and comfortable on air.
During the snippet I was listening, Barnett got a caller who had actually been to Georgia and wanted to tell the audience what he had learned there. Barnett listened and held the caller to the other side of the break. This is exactly what I used to love about the Gene Burns Show almost two decades ago. Burns used his show as a forum to stimulate discussion and got some of the smartest callers in the country. I’ve felt that’s been missing in town for a long time.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m a fan of Michael Graham, who has worked mightily to make his way in what can be a tough market, and the charismatic duo of Braude and Egan is great. It’s hard to believe, but Jim and Marjorie have been on the air now for almost a decade. I think Barnett, who is local although he writes for The Weekly Standard, is exactly the type of newer voice the market needs.
I’ve met Barnett a couple times through my appearances on NECN. Like Michele McPhee, he’s got Boston in his soul. I hope we hear more of him.