Long-time Free Talk Live co-host Mark Edge, who has been behind the talk show mike with fellow co-host Ian Freeman since the very first episode of FTL since 2002, has officially quit the show because of its abysmal number of subscribers to the Advertise, Market, and Promote (AMP) program. It has become both a surprise and shock to long-term FTL listeners who have frequented the show’s airwaves spending three hours live listening to the show as well as listening to the podcast via the show’s website and iTunes podcast link.
The segment, which features Mark’s announcement of his departure from the show, is actually a recorded one, which implies that it was recorded earlier and not discussed live during the show’s live broadcast. Why Mark and Ian chose to record it earlier and not converse about it live during the broadcast stream is unknown, but I suspect that Mark didn’t want to be inundated with phone calls about why he made the chose NOT to come back on the air after last night.
Here’s the video of Edge looking at his screen at the LRN studios while the pre-recorded segment was playing live on the air.
Here’s the audio version of that segment as well.
After that segment aired, the news of Edge’s resignation from the show immediately went viral on the libertarian blogosphere. Ian posted his erstwhile partner leaving the show on FreeKeene.com yesterday with the following blog entry:
When I confronted Mark on Facebook Messenger via Facebook‘s website yesterday, the exchange turned out to be this:
The reasons that people are less inclined to subscribe to the AMP program, not “holding steady for many years” as Mark disingenuously puts it, are many, but one reason is not necessarily more paramount than the other. It’s nice that Mark is trying to peddle this image of FTL’s AMP program “holding steady for many years,” but if that were the case, he wouldn’t be bitching and complaining about the fact that he and Ian have alienated many of their subscribers within the last few years for a variety of reasons.
Let’s iron out the reasons, shall we?
- The condescending, insulting, and obnoxious “I-wanna-be-a-libertarian-although-I-am-not” asshole Christopher Cantwell. Thanks to Ian and Mark for allowing this to happen, self-glorifying celebritarian piece-of-shit asshole Christopher Cantwell destroyed the uniqueness, greatness, and distinctiveness that has made FTL an outstanding-produced live terrestrial/podcast show that once has brought people to listen to new ideas with enthusiasm and vigor. Other Internet talk radio shows, except for my show Liberty Cap Talk Live, lacked and never had from the beginning new ideas and a loving atmosphere of individuality that has always been a cultural, moral, and political tradition within the libertarian movement. Unlike the liberal and conservative shows, FTL’s refreshing perspectives created a new niche not only for libertarians but also people who were never libertarians but learned the ideas of liberty and thus evolved into natural libertarians.Cantwell effectively took a wrecking ball and demolished and pulverized the very foundation of the purity of the show that made it consistent. He effectively turned it into The Christopher Cantwell Show with Ian Freeman and Mark Edge, simply because he made it all about him. You weren’t allowed to have a difference of opinion with him. He consistently attacked the limousine Left, although I do concur with him on that. But when it came to the vile Right, he gave that team a free pass.Here’s the video to prove this:Here’s the audio of that version that should prove it more:It doesn’t even help that he had posted some negative posts consisting of racist tweets to a black Twitter user on his Twitter account, which resulted in bad publicity for him and his then-indefinite suspension from the show.That’s the biggest reason why the AMP subscribers and show listeners have felt alienated from the show and why they’ve abandoned it either in favor of other podcasts or doing something else. They hate the fact that Cantwell has destroyed every aspect of the show. They realize that Cantwell is not a libertarian, was never a libertarian, and will never be one because he’s a bitter, angry man who has an ulterior motive the size of a star becoming a supernova. Ian and Mark might as well have brought on Eric Dondero to be their co-host, considering he’s another example of a “I-wanna-be-a-libertarian-yet-I’m-not,” considering he hates Muslims
- Ian’s Arrogant Attitude. It doesn’t help that Ian’s arrogant attitude, which is not all that unusual because it’s been well-known over the years, hasn’t helped the show the slightest bit. Do people remember how he treated me when I called into his show to talk about Cantwell’s letter to the Free State Project in which he objected to being kicked out of the organization for his then-support for the State, including the Police State?Here’s Exhibit A:
- Choice of Co-Hosts. Finally, Ian’s choice of co-hosts ranging from asshats like Darryl W. Perry (who used to be a good friend of mine until he stopped talking to me on account of me for being a “drama queen”) have scathed FTL’s brand, not helping it at the very least. Other people who were co-hosts as well have ruined the good namesake of the show, but what’s done is done. There’s no use erasing it, because the stain can’t be removed. It’s there….for good.
Screenshots of Mark’s Departure from the Secret FTL & LRN Amplifiers Facebook Group
Yesterday, on the FTL & LRN Facebook group wall, Ian posted his blog post. This is what was posted as the following:
It’s a sad time in the libertarian movement when you have a prominent figure in the movement — one who is well-known in the terrestrial radio/podcast show circuit and has been doing it for thirteen years — bemoaning about the fact that the AMP program isn’t what he wants it to be. He tells me that there are not “less people” and that AMP has been “holding steady for many years.” It can’t be doing that when you are experiencing diminishing returns on your investment and your listener base isn’t as solid as it used to be.
My message to Mark: don’t blame your former listeners and AMP subscribers for not giving enough to the show, for the lackluster performance of FTL, and for feeling alienated in light of a former co-host who has demonized good people in the movement who are doing their best to bring the ideas of liberty to them that they weren’t available fifty or sixty years ago.
Don’t blame them; blame yourself. You want more AMP subscribers? You want more listeners? Give them incentives to start donating and listening to your show. If your show ceases to be nuanced and entertaining, that’s on you, not your listenership. Jettison this whining bullshit and get your act together! If you want FTL to be bigger, better, and very successful, you need to work for it. Don’t insult your audiences; they are the reasons why you have a show. If you don’t get that, then FTL deserves to die, and you and Ian deserve to lose your jobs and get real jobs.
Good luck with whatever you do, Mark. What you decide is up to you. I just hope that what you’ve decided to do is worth it in the long run.
Update (12/21/2015): Since the publication of this blog piece, more responses in the secret FTL & LRN AMPlifiers Facebook Group have been added.
Here they are:
I’ll continually update this blog piece if more people add their comments to this thread.