I'm listening to KUOW, a Seattle NPR station, live via the web in Boston. I do this fairly often, as the hours during which they run Morning Edition and All Things Considered correspond with my go to work around 1 p.m. schedule a lot better than the Boston Station.
Right now I'm listening to an hour long interview with the Governor of Washington, Gary Locke. Live, real time, with calls from listeners. The interviewer (and the callers) ask serious questions. Governor Locke answers them, often displaying mastery of the details, but also frankly admitting it when he's not up on something. And he does this once a month.
Let me repeat that: The Governor of the State of Washington gets on the air live, once a month, on the region's main Public Radio station, and answers citizens' questions.
People in New England always treat me like a slow child when I talk about good government, as if I must be retarded to think things like things like the President of the State Senate's being the brother of the local crime boss aren't normal and acceptable. I can't imagine the Governor of Massachusetts opening himself up to this kind of public scrutiny on a regular basis. Nor, frankly, can I imagine that if he did, the dialog would be as elevated as what I've heard here today.