I never miss a chance to have sex or appear on television. – Gore Vidal

2014 will mark 23 years on the air for On the Air for Richard S. Drake, and being a staunch believer in Sturgeon’s Law (90% of everything is crap) I ry to keep a fairly level head on my shoulders when it comes to reflecting on just how good any of my creative efforts really are.


Still, in all, OTA has managed to score some pretty good guests since July 1, 1991, including a live mayoral debate during the 1992 campaign, in which all candidates save one participated. And he just didn’t like public access on general principle.

Over the years, I have been asked about my “favorite” shows, and in truth, I try to steer clear of answering that question. For one thing, most folks who come on have never been on TV before, and it would be unfair to judge them as if they in any sort of contest.


I do have my least favorite interviews, but I don’t mention those, either.

Still, we (“not “we” as in the Royal sense, but in terms of my crew and myself) have managed to pull off some pretty exceptional interviews over the years, whether I was sitting down with former CNN anchor Bob Losure, local singer/songwriters (such as Jed Clampit, Jori Costello, Marshall Mitchell or Emily Kaitz), KUAF’s Kyle Kellams or Dotty Oliver of the Little Rock Free Press.


Any show which gives you a chance to sit down and just have a conversation with folks like the above (and oodles and gobs of other fascinating people), and then air the unedited results with the world is is a gig I’d recommend to anyone who wants to spend time with smart people, and hope that some of their smartness might, you know, rub off on you.

Still, this past November, we were able to score two interviews which sent me over the moon, so to speak.

One of the interviews was with a local critic of the current Iranian government. That I didn’t agree with him on many issues didn’t matter a jot; what counted was the conversation.

The second interview , which took place after we both played countless games with our calenders, was with Wade Rathke, the founder of ACORN.


Let me just say that again . . . Wade Rathke, the founder of ACORN.

Sometimes you can tell during the interview itself just how good it will come out, even before editing (not for content, but for any graphics or art/photos which the guest may have brought specifically for the show), and I had that feeling throughout the Rathke interview.

How good did I think it was?

Well, for the first time since 1991, I thought I had finally created a show worthy of competing for a national award.

Our time in the studio done, the only thing to do now was to sit in the editing room with my director C.F. Roberts (a.k.a. “The Most Dangerous Man in Fayetteville”) and get these two shows ready for public consumption.

Yes, November was time well spent in the Fayetteville Public Access Television studios . . . for me and my guests, at least.


Giving thanks where thanks is due

The folks at Fayetteville Public Access Television (telephone number: 444-3433) perform yeoman’s work as the folks who run public access, just as the folks from Fayetteville Open Channel, Access 4 Fayetteville and Community Access Television did before them.


Much appreciation, as always, to the city of Fayetteville, which has for more than three decades, strongly supported (okay, that’s revisionist history – sometimes in the past it wasn’t so strong) public access, and has pretty much always known not to mess with what makes public access such a popular and vital part of our community.

This has always been a feather in the cap of the city, a station which promotes diversity, and has had programs produced by folks from all walks of life in Fayetteville, including the disabled and the homeless.

And thanks to the Government Channel staff, which does such an exemplary job of taking care of the equipment.


Quote of the Day

Democracy is not a matter of sentiment, but of foresight. Any system that doesn’t take the long run into account will burn itself out in the short run. – Charles Yost