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?"
Drudge had a good take on it this past weekend. How will they regulate the Spanish stations?
They spew pro-amnesty, hate America rhetoric every day? Do you think they will get regulated and who does the regulating.
Senator Frankenstein from California years for the good old days of the Fairness Doctrine. Someone should tell the dear that the world has changed- internet, cable station, etc. etc.
I want a national organization: NAAWP
National Association for the Advancement of White People
I want all school systems to hold a week called:
White Awareness Week
I want a CWC in our congress:
Congressional White Caucus
Seems the USSR’s propaganda writers are working in Poedesta’s little left wing thought crime mill.
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!
This is EXACTLY what this is about! This sham of a socialist, anti-free speech front, is FUNDED BY THE CLINTON MOB AND SOROS, ET AL, for the SPECIFIC PURPOSE of protecting Hitlery from EXPOSURE AND COMPETITION IN THE 2008 ELECTION. What a crock of BS. These scum bag liberals are so filthy, they cannot win in a FAIR FIGHT, so they have to go to the back alleys and gutters to win.
Watch for their all-out attack on TALK RADIO and other forms of free speech that they cannot compete against and are willing to trash your Constitutional rights to get POWER AND CONTROL in the White House.
I’ve said it many times before - it’s about Talent, not ideology. I’m sure Jon Stewart would get more ratings than Al Franken or Alec Baldwin were the Libs serious about competing.
“Seems the USSRs propaganda writers are working in Poedestas little left wing thought crime mill.”
When you start looking at the bios of these people, that comment isn’t very far off the mark.
That’s the ticket! Equal on ALL information channels, not just talk radio! Brilliant!
As the Democrats/Libs push this forward I think they will find out that the worst thing to have happened would have been their failed putsch of Air America. Proof that the market cannot support the drivel that drips from Liberal talk radio.
We outnumber them so let the fight begin. Liberals want a confrontation on this issue. I say, let it begin. Everyone I know (both Parties) is saying that they are voting against “ALL” incumbents. Incumbents that want to limit our freedom of speech are toast. Freedom of speech, in their book, is only for the likes of Michael Moore and George Soros. Their goal is to silence us. They can think again, they’re very WRONG!
Let's not forget "News and Notes" -- another raging liberal NPR program.
Let's not forget that several NPR correspondents are regularly used as the liberal voice on the Sunday news shows.
Call it irony, or poetic justice but Aire Amerika was replace by the Catholic radio network here in North Texas.
You mean like in the print and TV media, where the so-called "fair" journalists are 90% Democrats pushing Democrat agendas?
Karma. Or, in other words, the mills of God grind slow, but they grind exceeding small.
It’s like trying to tell a fish about water.
“Liberal bias? What liberal bias?”
No, it's related to revenue. Profitable shows stay on the air, money losers get canceled. It's called the free market, I can understand why a Soros-funded group might not have heard of the concept.
You forgot to add Whiteness Studies as a degree program in universities.
Astroturfing at its finest.
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.
Ah, yeah....you might have known she would be involved
In other words, it would have to be subsidized.
Deja vu all over again. I seem to recall the Title IX supporters saying, "Our goal is not less sports. We simply want more sports for women." Sounds fair, right?
We ended up with less sports for men in order to achieve "balance". Why? Women didn't want them.
Same thing with talk radio -- witness Air America. Air America had every reason to succeed and no excuse for failure. None.
People chose not to listen to them. So how has that fact changed?