Wednesday, July 30, 2008
On the airwaves:
In a longish post about McCain's untruthful attacks on Obama, The Moderate Voice's head honcho, Joe Gandelman, writes
Since July 1 I have been on a drive through 3 states, sometime driving 650 miles in a single day. I have listened to a lot of talk radio and many of the conservative radio shows are wall-to-wall medleys of anti-Obama riffs that mirror McCain or GOP strategy. ...
Nowhere can you note the glaring failure of progressive talk radio more than on a drive like this. With the exception of picking up a few hours of progressive talker Ed Schultz, all talk shows on the stations are conservative ones, all basically putting out the same message.
That's a big disadvantage for Obama and Democrats. It's the result of deregulation, changes in broadcast standards (nixing equal time and fairness), and media consolidation - at least as far as AM radio is concerned. Those trends started under Reagan when Mark Fowler
was in charge of the FCC ("The television is just another appliance - it's a toaster with pictures.").
BTW, The Moderate Voice is a mixed bag of commentary, not always favorable to Obama or liberals, and is a good measure of how independents (and ostensibly neutral observers) react to political news.
I'm actually surprised that Democrats do as well as they do considering this fact.
It's not just the names we recognize (Rush, Hannity, O'Reilly, et al.), but it seems that every acre in the US is covered by several radio stations with clones of those guys, repeating and localizing the same conservative distortions over and over and over. You can't get away from it and they're generally no smarter than Hannity (i.e., they're usually dumb), but then they don't have to be smart to parrot the themes of the day.
With brain-dumping like that on such a massive scale, it's an enormous impediment to Dems everywhere. I'm sure it costs us several percentage points or more in voter ID and in votes.
riffle: You mentioned the big 3 and referred to the smaller fry. You are right, there are plenty. Here in Los Angeles: Dennis Prager, Hugh Hewitt, Larry Elder, Kevin James, Michael Medved, Al Rantel, Tammy Bruce, Mark Levin, and a conservative midnight radio show aimed at truckers (and which defends oil companies!).
It's huge. You're right, you can't get away from it.
None of this is a new phenomena. We have been suffering through this for the last ten or twenty years. The blogs have helped a little but the one hope I have are in the words of Lincoln, "you can fool some of the people all of the time, and you can fool all of the people some of the time but you can't fool all of the people all of the time."