The Whitestone Bridge crosses the East River – connecting Queens to the south-eastern tip of the Bronx.
To the east are the ten jails of Rikers Island and to the west are the 18 holes of the Trump Links golf course – the name spelled out in giant letters of grey bricks set into the brown grass.
It was a Tuesday morning and we were on the way to see Donald Trump address an arena full of New Hampshire residents at Great Bay Community College on the outskirts of Portsmouth.
On the radio the former Colorado senator and disgraced 1984 presidential candidate Gary Hart was saying that left and right were less useful concepts than the question of whether a president would push the country forward or drag it backward.
The news updates led with Obama’s visit to a mosque the day before and followed with the Zika virus.
This was liberal public radio and the next segment was about sexism in the technology industry.
When the signal faded I switched over to AM and found the right-wing talk-show host Laura Ingraham asking Donald Rumsfeld whether it was possible that the country was on the verge of another five decades of domination by the Democratic Party as had been the case from the 1930s until 1980 when Ronald Reagan restored normality and routed the commies.
Rumsfeld had for the past week been ubiquitous in the American media – hawking a phone app he had helped devise called Churchill Solitaire – based on a card game taught to him by another diplomat during his stint as US ambassador to Nato and supposedly a favoured pastime of its namesake.
He wasn’t as agitated as Ingraham but he said that if 84 per cent of Iowan Democrats under the age of thirty were supporting a self-declared socialist it was a sign that American high schools weren’t teaching economics properly.
In northern Connecticut Rush Limbaugh occupied multiple frequencies on the AM dial.
His voice seems to emanate from the anterior of his nasal cavity and to bear an evolutionary resemblance to a canine bark.
He was talking about the claims that Ted Cruz had committed fraud in the Iowa caucus by spreading a rumour that the somnambulant retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson had dropped out of the race.
Trump had called for a nullification of Cruz’s votes or a caucus redo.
An aggrieved Carson had asked for an apology and explained that the rumour was a distortion of reports that instead of proceeding from Iowa to New Hampshire he was returning to his home in Florida for a few days to get some clothes.
Limbaugh who has cast himself lately as an opponent of the Republican Party establishment was amused that on a cable morning show Rick Santorum the dropout also-ran famous for saying that the legalisation of gay marriage would lead to the mainstreaming of ‘man on dog’ bestiality had on endorsing Marco Rubio been unable to cite a single accomplishment that made the Florida senator worthy of support.
AM talk radio is dull repetitive and largely repugnant.
Right-wing radio hosts talk about the plague of political correctness.