There is a small but growing band of progressive devotees who donate their time, equipment and talents to airing home-based progressive political talk shows on the Internet. One of the stars of this movement is Cleveland-based Ken Picklesimer, Jr. a/k/a Kenny Pick, host of the Turn Up the Night with Kenny Pick show which airs on Tuesdays and Fridays from 7-10 p.m. ET on the USTREAM Radio or Not channel on the web, and on Talk Radio One and Progressive Blend Radio (disclosure: the author is one of the co-hosts of Turn Up the Night).
Ken is a southeastern Ohio native who has always been enthralled with media and pop culture. Over the years, he has produced volumes of illustrations and paintings, written and performed hundreds of songs, created and co-published independent comic books, worked in front of and behind the camera on dozens of short films, contributed comedy bits to several radio programs and eventually started his own Internet talk show.
This week, Ken answered some exclusive interview questions regarding Turn Up the Night, progressive radio, and the state of the political media today:
Your bio mentions that you are into music, comics and illustrating. Can you tell us more about these passions of yours?
Obviously, progressive politics is a great passion of yours as well. How did you become an active participant, and, in particular, an active listener and commenter on other radio shows?
You’re known for producing funny audio clips, backed with music, that satirize conservatives and/or promote progressives. Your “Used Foods Emporium” clips in response to remarks by Herman Cain come to mind. When did you discover this talent?
Can you tell us a bit about the USTREAM Radio or Not channel, and how you made the jump to doing your own radio show there?
Before I had a show on Radio or Not, I started my own pre-recorded podcast of Turn Up the Night. I had no idea what I was doing, but I figured it out pretty quickly. I started booking guests and was cranking out shows on a regular basis. I also started experimenting with co-hosts that eventually led me to the crew I have now. At one point, I asked Nicole Sandler to be a guest on my show and in turn, she checked out TUTN and had a different idea. Nicole told me she really enjoyed my show and asked if I could fill in for her live program while she subbed for Randi Rhodes. Needless to say, I was thrilled at the opportunity. Shortly after filling in for Nicole, I transitioned TUTN to a live show on the Radio Or Not USTREAM channel. I’ve been doing shows on Tuesday and Friday for about 2 years now.
How would you describe the Turn Up the Night with Kenny Pick show?
Since this is the Messaging Matters blog, what have you learned about political communications since starting Turn Up the Night? Are there any examples, people or techniques on either side that stand out as especially good — or especially ineffective?
We know how good Republicans and conservatives are at political communications, generally speaking. They fall into line and follow directions from the top, so they can all say the same talking points at the same time. What do you think of the current political communications by Democrats and progressives in comparison?
What would you like Turn Up the Night to accomplish?
Humor, politics and awesome cheeseburgers. That sounds like a prescription for success.