Posted by R. Neal

If you like talk radio but dive for a different channel button whenever you hear Rush or O'Reilly, and you live in Central Florida or have XM Radio, I highly recommend you check out Jim Phillips and the Philips Phile (FM 104.1 3:00 PM weekdays, or XM 152 4:00 PM weekdays).

We got hooked when we lived in Florida, and sure missed his show when we moved back to East Tennessee (where it's all conservative, all the time*). When we were shopping for satellite radio (mainly to get Air America), XM Radio was the clear winner because they also carried the Philips Phile. (As it turns out, that was a lucky choice because Sirius no longer carries Air America due to their exclusive deal with XM.)

Anyway, Jim Philips is a lucky breed of progressive talk radio guy. He's so popular and has such great ratings that he can say just about anything he wants and hammer just about any elected official, local or otherwise, and the corporate suits have to just sit on their hands and bite their tongue. (He frequently taunts them about this, which someday might be his downfall.)

Yesterday he had Bill Maher on for an interview to promote an upcoming appearance in Orlando and to tee off on the Bush administration. But usually it's just good clean or mostly clean fun with a progressive/moderate slant on politics and national affairs, and off-beat discussion of other topics ranging from food to fashion to dating to etiquette to just about anything. His crew (be sure to check out their bios) appeals to a wide audience, but my favorite is his producer Moira. She's liberal, Jewish, and hilarious. (Jana Banana does a killer Rita Cosby impersonation, too.)

Anyway, check it out. It's like a sophisticated Southern version of Seinfeld for the radio, except more dysfunctional and occasionally more serious. (XM listeners beware: XM preempts the first hour of the Philips Phile with the last hour of G. Gordon Liddy, so don't tune in before 4:00 PM. You are forewarned.)

(*Note: Mark Harmon reminds me in comments that his show, Left Turn, airs 2-3 pm Saturdays on WNOX, 100.3 FM here in Knoxville, except during football season. My apologies to Mark for the oversight. Actually, I should have remembered that. The Mrs. was one of the first callers on their first show.)