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Lionel, AIR AMERICA syndicated morning radio host: Mr. Media Radio Interview

  • Broadcast in Radio
Interviews by Bob Andelman

Interviews by Bob Andelman


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Air America morning radio host Lionel teaches Mr. Media thing or two about talk radio!

Let’s get to the Air America morning radio host’s first oft-asked question: What’s with the name “Lionel”? No last name? Nope. Mononymous, like God. Get over it.

The name actually comes from Al Pacino’s character in the 1973 film classic “Scarecrow.” Why? “Ben-Hur” was taken. Born Hiawatha Lipschitz, Lionel has been performing talk radio for 20 years (93 dog years). Don’t even try labeling him or his ideology as such is for naught: He’s the quintessence of sui generis. Carol Channing scares him. He implores and entreats his listeners to critically think and analyze, to parse topics and peel the layers of the issue onion. The barbate Lionel loathes trite shibboleths, playbook and bumper sticker labels as well as leprosy.

Lionel started as a mere caller whilst in law school in Tampa and was given his own show in 1988 on 970 WFLA. For reasons yet to be fathomed, he then jumped to middays, then afternoon drive in less than a year. The rest is . . . well, you know the line. Lionel was a prosecutor and criminal defense trial lawyer, so when a legal issue needs dissecting, whom better to consult? He never wears sandals with socks. He’s a proud polyglot, sesquipedalian and accomplished manualist. He has often said that he’d rather be the editorial cartoon than the editorial.

Lionel's book, aptly titled, Everyone's Crazy Except You and Me . . . And I'm Not So Sure About You was published in 2008.

Listen to Lionel weekday mornings live on Air America beginning at 6 a.m. on your radio or online here!