One of the first things one discovers when chatting with radio show host George Noory is that he’s such a nice man. On-air personalities almost always have out-sized egos, but Noory is a genuinely nice guy.
He’s also tough as steel.
When I spoke to him about his new book, “Mad as Hell,” and his overall view of the culture, it became clear that Noory genuinely cares about people. He also is an expert on topics that until recently were considered fringe.
Frankly, the world has gotten so crazy in just the last few years that few anywhere really think there is any such thing as a fringe topic. And that opening-up of minds is something Noory not only taps into, but uses for good. He believes getting more people to talk and share information can lead to positive societal change. He has also cemented his reputation as a guy who doesn’t see himself as having a vast audience (though “Coast to Coast AM” does have just that).
Rather, every night Noory considers that he is talking to one person, just having a conversation. It’s one of the reasons he has such a loyal following. People believe he cares, because he does. “Always. I’m not talking to the vast millions, I’m talking to one person. I think that’s why the show has become so successful,” he says.
In all of it, he is really an optimist, even as some of his show’s topics are considered dark.
“I want them to have hope,” Noory states, “to understand that this is not always doom and gloom; there are going to be horrendous rough patches, but it will be okay. It’s like driving down an old road and you’re hitting potholes. But eventually you’ll get through that road, and it will be smooth sailing. There are too many good intelligent people out there, in spite of what’s going to happen.”
Noory’s new book, “Mad as Hell,” pivots off the 1976 film character Howard Beale, who stands up on his anchor show and yells that he’s not going to take it anymore, “it” being the manipulation of society by unseen hands. While Beale’s end was less than optimum, Noory sees the same cultural chaos, but refuses to be bowed by it.
Interestingly, in “Mad as Hell,” Noory quotes the author William S. Burroughs, who made it okay to think differently: “Sometimes paranoia is just having the facts.”
Whoa! Often in history, all it takes is one influential voice to give legitimacy to previously taboo subjects. If Burroughs understood that, Noory embraces it today.
He’s perfectly happy to talk about anything his listeners want to get off their chests, and his own nimble mind is able to artfully and seamlessly move in and out of a whole host of things, from potential contact with ETs to whether Donald Trump can really make a difference.
On that last topic, Noory has a somewhat surprising answer: “At this point he’s [Trump] going to lose his mandate. People are saying, We want change, we like what you say. Even though he didn’t get the popular vote, he did get the Electoral College. So he was given a mandate to effect change and unfortunately too many in his own party didn’t want him in charge! I think there’s an underlying tone that they want him to fail. He seems to be playing into their hands. His ridiculous tweets are part of the problem. He needs to act like a president.”
And what if the great Trump Experiment fails? What then?
Sadly, people may have to revert back to the old system, the old system they weren’t happy with. It will make it difficult for another candidate like Trump to succeed. I want them all to succeed, because if they do, we succeed. I’m afraid if this administration doesn’t, it’s going to set the message back for a long time.
As an expert communicator, Noory recognizes that the toxicity in the culture threatens to unravel us:
It never stops, it’s endless. No matter what the gamut of the guest might be, paranormal, health related, everyone shares the same similar views. People want to take care of their families and don’t want to get shafted. People still do not trust and are edgy, on guard. You can see it every day. The old days of being able to talk to people about their views are over. They don’t say, Hey, let me see it from your perspective.
Hopefully through “Mad as Hell” I want them to come back a little to the middle of the road and say, Let me be a little more open-minded. I hope that’s the message that comes through.
Finally, literally, Noory gives a platform to the Bible. He actually does believe in the biblical “last days” and thinks we’re living in them: “Many of the Bible prophecies are close at hand. The Tribulation, all these things are happening. The book of Revelation is very prophetic, and we’re living that now.”
Thankfully, the man that has that one conversation each night with the person on the other side of the microphone in reality has a large voice that goes against the Establishment tide.
It’s those many thousands of conversations he’s had over the years, coast to coast, that have made him a contented realist. His is an important voice, and we’re lucky to have him out there batting for the Regular Guy.