Skip to comments.Right's Reign on Talk Radio Called 'Structural Imbalance'-(Lib 40 Page Report)
Posted on 06/26/2007 8:26:22 AM PDT by tcrlaf
(CNSNews.com) - Charging that "right-wing talk reigns supreme on America's airwaves," two liberal groups on Thursday called for increased government regulation and greater diversity of commercial radio station owners to "close the gap" between the amount of conservative and "progressive" talk.
An analyst with a conservative media watchdog group responded by calling the organizations' recommendations an example of "amazing liberal hypocrisy."
"There's very little free speech and free choice in a market system that pushes one-sided information 90 percent of the time," said John Halpin, a senior fellow with the Center for American Progress (CAP) and one of the authors of a new report, entitled "The Structural Imbalance of Political Talk Radio."
Speaking during a telephone news conference, Halpin said his organization and the media reform group Free Press carried out two statistical analyses -- one examining the news/talk stations run by the largest owners of commercial stations and another looking at all 65 news/talk outlets in the country's top five markets.
"In each case, we found overwhelming evidence of complete conservative dominance of the political talk programming at both the station-by-station and market-by-market level," he said.
According to Halpin, these surveys produced several key findings:
In the spring of 2007, of the 257 news/talk stations owned by the top five commercial station owners, 91 percent of the total weekday talk radio programming was conservative and only nine percent progressive;
Each weekday, 2,570 hours and 15 minutes of conservative talk are broadcast on these stations, compared to 254 hours of progressive talk;
A total of 76 percent of the news/talk programming in the top 10 radio markets is conservative, while 24 percent is progressive, including the recently relaunched Air America network; and
In four of the top 10 markets - Dallas, Houston, Philadelphia and Atlanta - progressive talk is broadcast only two hours or less each weekday.
Derek Turner, research director of Free Press, said "the potential one-sidedness on the radio dial in terms of political programming is strongly and directly related to ownership and market structure."
Turner argued that "increasing diversity and localism in ownership will produce more diverse speech [and] more choice for listeners."
Mark Lloyd, another CAP senior fellow, attributed the "imbalance" to "the breakdown in the Federal Communications Commission regulatory system during the Reagan administration in the 1980s and the elimination of caps on ownership in telecommunications during the 1990s."
Lloyd stressed that CAP and Free Press are not joining the Democrats in Congress who want to reinstate the Fairness Doctrine, a federal regulation that required broadcasters to present both sides of a controversial issue.
"Our goal is not less speech, but more speech," said Free Press Policy Director Ben Scott. "We want more voices on the radio."
He recommended that local and national caps on the ownership of commercial radio stations be restored "to reduce consolidation. It's not going to hurt anybody's business. It's still going to be a very profitable industry if you can only own 10 percent of the stations in a market."
Also, the organizations called on the government to reduce the commercial broadcasting license period from eight years to three. To ensure that local needs are being met and diverse opinions aired, owners would be required to "get feedback from the local community."
In a further recommendation, "we have to acknowledge that broadcasters have public service responsibilities. They broadcast over the public airwaves [which are] worth billions of dollars." In return, "these broadcasters are public stewards. They have to give us our money's worth" in community service.
Scott pointed out that "Verizon Wireless pays $5 billion or more to be able to use the public airwaves however they like." By contrast, "the broadcasters pay zero, and therefore, we need that billion dollars' worth of public service. Right now, they're not giving it to us."
And if station owners choose not to do so, Scott warned, "then we're going to have to get the money from them just like we get the money from all the other licensees of public airwaves." The money raised from such fines, he said, could be used "to promote the public media."
Tim Graham, director of media analysis with the conservative Media Research Center - the parent organization of Cybercast News Service - criticized both the report and recommendations.
"This study has huge holes in it," Graham said - the biggest of which "is excluding public radio talk shows. It's simply inaccurate to argue there's little or no progressive talk in major markets with National Public Radio affiliates airing Diane Rehm's show, or 'Fresh Air with Terry Gross,' or the other national and local left-leaning talk programs."
Also, Graham said, "for CAP and Free Press to argue that commercial broadcasters should pay fees to public broadcasting for a lack of balance - and then raising no question whatsoever about the tilt or the need for balance within public broadcasting - shows amazing liberal hypocrisy.
"In fact, Free Press has vociferously opposed any congressional attempt to question the balance of public broadcasting as 'partisan meddling,'" he added. "So what do they call their lobbying?"
Center for American Progress had a 40 page report ready to try and justify government-mandated censorship of the one media outlet that can rally the people against Hillary!
CAP is a CLINTON-RUN leftist think tank, run by Hillary Clinton and former Clinton chief of staff John Podesta. They helped launch Media Matters for America.
SOROS is a huge contributor, and other recent donors to CAP include the Rockefeller Family Fund; the Irving Harris Foundation, the Philip Murphy Foundation, the New York Community Trust, the Overbrook Foundation, the Peninsula Foundation, the Robert E. Rubin Foundation, the San Francisco Foundation, the Bauman Family Foundation, the Nathan Cummings Foundation, the Joyce Foundation, the Open Society Institute, and the Robert and Irene Schwartz Foundation.
Yeah, right. These communist-lite b*stards don't want ANY speech. And if they truly want their "voices" on the radio, they could try to put on a program which didn't actively repel listeners like ErrAmerica did. They already have NPR, which I can't bear to listen to since everything has a homosexual slant to it.
Rule #1 of forming a lib group: Name your group the exact opposite of what your true intent is.
Mike Harrison of TALKERS magazine (the folks who gave
Savage the Freedom of Speech award) said that the report
was inaccurate because public radio was not included.
Anyone out there name any conservative voices on public
from the Boston Herald, last Friday. By Jesse Noyes
Ninety-one percent of the talk on the radio dial during weekdays is given over to right-wing programming, according to a study by Free Press and the Center for American Progress, both left-leaning groups.
The two groups studied 257 news and talk stations owned by the top five commercial station owners in the country earlier this year and found that over 2,570 hours of conservative talk were broadcast on those stations each weekday, while a much lower 254 hours was dedicated to progressive talk.
In a conference call, the authors of report said the Federal Communications Commission needs to step in to limit the number of stations companies can own and make way for more local ownership.
Our goal is not less speech, its more speech, said Ben Scott, policy director for Free Press. We want more voices on the radio.
But Michael Harrison, publisher of trade magazine Talkers, said the report is flawed and narrow. It doesnt consider the broader spectrum of talk radio, which would include public radio stations, he said.
Theres a lot more to talk radio than what they call talk radio, Harrison said.
Even in blue-state Massachusetts, theres very little liberal talk. WTTK-FM (96.9) recently expanded the time slot of Herald columnist Margery Eagan and NECN host Jim Braudes show by two hours. By talk radio standards, Eagan and Braude are moderate to liberal.
But Clear Channel dumped its liberal talk format heard on WKOX-AM (1200) and WXKS-AM (1430) last year in favor of a Spanish-language format.
Mike Crusham, market manager for Clear Channel in New England, said the move wasnt politically motivated but financial.
I always found, at least in my past life, that its tougher to sell advertising on progressive talk, he said.
Donna Halper, a radio consultant whos been pushing to get progressive talk back on the air in Boston, said the format can work if given enough resources.
It isnt an easy sell but, then again, neither was right-wing conservative talk when it started out, she said.
I wonder why they don’t go on AirHead America and talk about this?
Notice no mention of the obvious liberal bias of the rest of the media and Hollyweird.
Fine, I want half of every department in every university in America to be staffed with registered conservatives, I want a competing newspaper in every city with the same funding as their leftist counterpart, I want 3 conservative, national TV channels to counter the big three, and for every socialist movie or documentary, I want funding for a conservative counterpoint. I also want a right leaning version of the ACLU, the ABA, and the AMA. Further, I want every secondary school in the US to have a proportional # of conservatives, all the grants from the big trusts must give equal $ to conservative causes, and I will also require a radical restructuring of the publishing industry, from booksellers to weekly news magazines. This would be a good start.
Hmmm, I just wonder if they want this to apply to TV stations. As the saying goes "Be careful waht you ask for".
Clear Channel’s Mike Crusham on why he dropped prog talk in Boston: I always found, at least in my past life, that its tougher to sell advertising on progressive talk.”
(on your prog talk station):
“Walmart is evil! All these big corporations are evil,
Bush conspires with the oil companies to raise prices—
ah, well, it’s time for a break. We’ll be right back after
these...er...public service announcements...”
Who said there should be structural balance on syndicated talk radio anyway? How would you know if an issue is Liberal or Conservative since all issues are both? If it is out of balance wouldn’t it collapse on its own? The architectural metaphor is using baked brick where native stone should be.
And what is the author’s take on the main stream media, does he show the imbalance there towards the liberals, with some 90% of all reporters donating to the democrats, as a recent survey reported? Of course not!
Oh, come now - you don't expect fair, balanced, logical thinking from the radical libs, do you?
I DO think that your point is EXCELLENT, and I think that all of the conservative radio shows should harp on just one of your points - let there be a mandate for a conservative newspaper in every market. Let's see what the libs say. It'll either be: 1) silence; 2) statements that "if people wanted conservative papers they'd buy one"; or 3) "Its not fair! Wahhhhhhhhhhhh!"
>>I want 3 conservative, national TV channels to counter the big three
I’ve said the same thing...under a Fairness Doctrine I want:
—CBS Evening News with Ann Coulter
—NBC Nightly News with Bill O’Reilly
—3 more right-leaning cable news channels
—Equal time for conservatives in the Boston Globe and
—If a school shows something like Fahrenheit 9/11 or
An Inconvenient Truth to students, also show them a film
rebutting Moore and Gore (in the case of the former,
FahrenHYPE 9/11 or Celsius 41.11, for example)
—Force atheists to go to church (it’s good for your soul!)
—Force vegetarians to eat meat (it’s not fair to the
meat producers in this country that just SOME people
The government controlling media in this country (and
monitoring it for “fairness”) is an abridgement of
Freedom of Speech or more to the point Freedom of the
Press. Should Rolling Stone be forced to put conservative
political articles in its magazine? Well, that’s about as
ridiculous as forcing station owners to run libtalk if
they don’t want to.
Surveys have been done of the DBM and found the exact same imbalance, but skewed toward liberal dominance. Talk radio IS the balance to the DBM.
Who gets to decide what is conservative talk programming and what is liberal? I find Larry Kudlow liberal on some issues (like immigration), but conservative on others (free markets). Does he balance himself? This is ridiculous.
While everyone talks about the Fairness Doctrine, this pops up...
`Local Community Radio Act of 2007’.
But could someone explain the following for me? I can’t find it anywhere.
SEC. 3. REPEAL OF PRIOR LAW.
Section 632 of the Departments of Commerce, Justice, and State, the Judiciary, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2001 (Public Law 106-553; 114 Stat. 2762A-111), is repealed.
Take Savage, for instance. He’s a complete loon, but he has a large audience so there he is, on the air.
We all have a choice to listen or not. Libs hate choice.
Great idea. Just after we split NPR into two competeing systems, call the new one American Public Radio. That will add thousands of stations all accross the country that can now broadcast right wing propaganda 7x24. OK! Now we are balanced.
Anything to hear less of Terry Gross is good.