There’d be a certain logic for a radio station to adopt a pro-rail viewpoint during morning drive, especially one that carries traffic reports four or five times an hour.
This host does invite pro-rail listeners to call, but few if any ever do thanks to the reception they receive. Personal habits being what they are, rail supporters are more likely to have found another station to entertain them in their daily commutes.
But it does seem ironic for a radio personality to be so dead-set against rail while complaining so much about traffic. Two weeks ago today, as President Obama shut down the freeway to travel from the Ko`olina resort in west Oahu to the Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam for his flight to Australia, the host wailed about the plight of commuters affected by the highway’s closure.
Honolulu traffic is among the nation’s worst, according to the Texas Transportation Institute, and it takes a toll on commuters who must deal with it twice a day. Wouldn’t a radio host who both complains about traffic and supports the rail alternative find an audience among those commuters?
Listeners gravitate to programs and hosts with whom they agree – or at least, to hosts who manage to avoid being disagreeable. That’s one way the Perry and Price show has dominated Honolulu radio rankings for nearly three decades – agreeable music, agreeable opinions, agreeable format. (Agreeability isn’t always the winning formula. P&P took over KGMB radio’s morning program after the death of host Hal Lewis – aka "J. Akuhead Pupule." Owner Cec Heftel had made the disagreeable Aku the highest-rated, highest-paid radio host in the nation.)
A station that “played the rail card” might find an audience among long-suffering commuters who look forward to having a rail travel option but find no support for it on a radio dial mostly dominated by conservative talkers -- the exception being (mildly conservative but likeable) Perry and Price.
The rail card play probably isn't going to happen, but it sure would be a refreshing counter-point to the knee-jerk anti-rail opinions we hear Monday through Friday.