...I'm okay with being REALITY-based.

Thursday, April 01, 2004
      ( 2:05 PM )
Try Not to Gag

I find it mildly annoying that the start of a radio network featuring liberal talk show hosts is so amazingly bizarre in this country that it gets massive amounts of news coverage the day it goes on air. If liberal talk radio is such an anomaly in our culture, then how is it that liberals rule the media again? As our (sometimes mildly annoying) friend Eric Alterman puts it, WHAT liberal media?!?!?!

But the Republicans don't buy it. They're still firmly of the belief that a) Liberals own the media and all they (the repubs) have is radio and b) there aren't enough "liberals" in the country to make the radio program work. Try this one on for size, from Southern California's Daily Breeze:

Harry Eicher, the second vice president of the Beach
City Republican Club, said the network--airing on
KBLA (1580 AM) in Los Angeles--probably wouldn't
attract much of an audience because of the liberal
stranglehold on mainstream media.

"If there were all conservatives running the media,
the liberals would be drawn to radio, but since
they're running most of the media, all conservatives
have is the radio," he said.


"There are more Republicans interested in honesty
and truth," he said. "They'll find (liberal radio)
filled with lies."


"You've got 30 million people listening to conservative
radio," he said. "A lot of them work, a lot of them are
self-employed. Democrats do better with passive
media like Oprah Winfrey. On talk radio you have
to think and you hear a number of issues."

South Bay political consultant Allan Hoffenblum
said the left simply doesn't have the numbers to
sustain its own radio network.

Oh GAG ME. That liberal stranglehold must be why there aren't ANY liberal pundit shows on the 24-hour cable networks, why CNN has to cover the White House's lies for it (see recent Letterman scrap), why not one news outlet called Fox News on its declassification and revealing of confidential source when it gave out the Clarke briefing - endangering all future classified background briefings, and why Alan Colmes is the best that media can come up with for a liberal foil to Sean Hannity. Give me a break.

Oh, and there are more conservatives than liberals in this country...that must be why George Bush won the popular vote in the last election...oh, wait a minute! HE LOST. Not ony that, but a far MORE liberal candidate than the Democrat (who WON), Ralph Nader, got massive votes as well. Hmmm. Consistently in poll after poll, national results show that most people agree with the liberal side of social issues, even if they vote republican. Ralph Nader in 2000 was able to draw stadium-full crowds during his campaign, last year Howard Dean, the underdog, was able to draw 15, 000-large crowds on his first public campaign tour. George Bush has to stage his puplic appearances to look like there are alot of people there (not to mention getting his costume jacket straight for each event). Lucky for him, even when only 60 people show up, he still manages to bank $1 million.

I wonder if the conservatives have the impression that they are larger in number simply because they are the Borg. They all think exactly the same and repeat (or in their language, "ditto") everything that is told to them from their talk show hosts, who themselves repeat the White House talking points every day.

Liberals are far more willing to disagree with each other and allow for variances in their levels of belief or agreement on all sorts of issues. Liberals actually try to discuss and weigh options. They often think they are in the minority because the media acts as if the conservative audience is the only one worth reaching. One thing I was struck by listening to the various shows on the new Air America yesterday was how many folks called in to disagree and how the hosts engaged them in thoughtful discussion. The fact that they were allowed to go on air with disagreements was in itself a novelty not usually seen on conservative radio. But the additional fact that many of them had done lots of research on their own and were knowledgeable about facts that weren't just told to them, but that they found on their own, really struck me.

When you think for yourself and make up your own mind, sometimes you feel alone in the world. Air America brings together all those independent thinkers and shows them that there are more just like them out there, while at the same time introducing them to ideas and facts they may not have heard before. (Something, by the way, that the Blogosphere has been doing for us very nicely the last few years).

As for the conservatives, they are conditioned to think and repeat that the media is owned by liberals and caters to liberals, all the while not even knowing that they have been assimilated into the one great, manipulating Borg GOP. The Borg tells them that all is well, that they have not been lied to, that this president has done only good for them and their country.

In other words, to mix movie metaphors, they don't even know that they're dumb.

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