Skip to comments.Why liberals are not in talk radio
Posted on 09/10/2002 8:12:33 AM PDT by Pokey78
The latest numbers showing who is listening to what on the radio dial are good news for talk radio. Only talk radio and Spanish language broadcasts are showing any growth in listenership. This doesn't please liberals. When liberals aren't pleased, something must be going right.
So, what is the source of this discontent for the left? Conservatives. There are just too many conservatives on talk radio. Liberals consider conservatives to be evil, and this makes talk radio evil and something deserving of eradication.
There have been multiple news stories and opinion pieces over the past few months trying to explain the conservative slant of talk radio. So far, nobody has it quite right. Talk radio doesn't skew to the conservative side because that's the way the corporate ownership wants it. There's nothing sinister at work here. No conspiracy ... no grand right-wing plan. Conservatives and libertarians dominate because, to put it bluntly, liberals can't survive in the talk-radio wars.
Newspaper columnists and editorial writers, broadcast commentators, writers and radio talk-show hosts generally offer most of the opinions for mass distribution. Among these, talk-show hosts operate on a completely different playing field.
A newspaper columnist or editorial writer publishes their opinion piece and retreats. Ditto for other writers and most broadcast commentators. They put their thoughts and opinions out there for the general public to digest. When the great unwashed figure out that the editorial, column or commentary is intellectually inedible, the author is safely out of reach, insulated from any challenges to the factual or logical base of their stated opinions.
You can send an editor who has written a hideously flawed critique of some conservative cause all the scathing e-mails you want. They don't have to listen or respond. They're up there basking in the congratulatory hugs and kisses of their fellow leftists, while you're down here on solid ground screaming to be heard on a point of logic or fact. You simply aren't worthy of challenging their obviously superior thought processes. They've told you the way things are, and it's simply up to you to accept their wisdom and applaud their insight.
This is why leftist opinion makers generally survive in newspapers, magazines and on network television broadcasts everywhere but in talk radio.
So, just what is so different about talk radio? Simple. Radio talk-show hosts can't hit and run. They can throw their opinions out there, just like writers and commentators do, but they then have to sit right there and deal with the feedback. There's a blinking row of lights there, and every one of those lights is another caller just waiting to nail the talk-show host to the wall for any factual or logical error.
If you're writing a newspaper editorial, it's easy to play the class-warfare game and say that George W. Bush's tax cut overwhelmingly favors the "wealthiest 1 percent of Americans." You pen the line, and then sit back to gauge the effects of your little class-warfare salvo.
But ... if you're a liberal talk-show host, and you use the same line on the air, your best bet would be to refrain from taking telephone calls the rest of the show. Soon a caller will tell you that it's an "income tax" not a "wealth tax" and that the top 1 percent of income earners in any given year may not necessarily be the same folks as America's "wealthiest 1 percent." One of these top 1-percenters may simply be a widow who has sold some of her husband's assets after his death, or you have an elderly couple selling a business prior to retirement. Uh oh you're starting to look pretty bad here.
Take the next call and you're likely to be asked to explain why it is so unfair for the top 1 percent of income earners to reap the benefits of a tax cut considering the fact that they pay over one-third of the income taxes while earning only 17 percent of the income. No fancy answer for that one? Now, you're starting to look just a bit ridiculous.
The leftist editorial writer doesn't have to deal with those impertinent questions. They can just hit the e-mail delete button. The leftist talk-show host can't avoid those questions. Soon, he either has to change his opinion to correlate with the facts, or face a complete loss of credibility. And guess what? When talk-show hosts have no credibility, they soon have no talk shows.
Bottom line: Liberals don't do well at talk radio because theirs is a political philosophy based on emotion and legalized plunder. Take enough listener phone calls, and your credibility is shot along with your ratings. Time to go write a column somewhere.
I remember when Neal used to be with WGST in Atlanta and they tried to have a guy named Tom Haouk, a Liberal with a capital L, in a timeslot adjacent to Neal. Neal chewed this guy up and spit him out on a daily basis. Haouk would take the typical Liberal ploy of insulting anyone who disagreed with him, rather than debate the facts.
Any bets on how much longer super Liberal Phil Donawho lasts?
I don't think much longer. hehe
. . . and journalism is distinguishable from liberal opinion only if you swallow the marketing swill which implies that you have to believe that journalism is "all the truth that's fit to print".
Editorial pages are there simply to insinuate that the rest of the paper is not socialist drivel.
It's much easier to express liberalism while feeling a bit oozy from too many white wines.
His name is Bob Lankford (i think thats his last name). Plus he is only on 1 day a week for 3 hours. Sunday afternoon from 3 to 6 PM. He is horrible. But not because he is a liberal, but because he lacks even the most basic skills that a radio talk show host should have. Plus his is way off on so many things that it isnt even funny.
He did a show on Augusta National not allowing women. His argument and reason that he believes that Augusta should allow women is because "it makes the south look bad." He kept saying "this doesn't reflect well on the south" or others are thinking "There go those southerners again, living in the last century." And that was tied in with the whole liberal "its not fair" touch-feely emotional argument.
The strange thing is that ALL of WPTF's on air staff has their contact information and email address posted on the stations website. All except Mr. Lankford that is. Wonder why his contact info is available to station listeners? Probably because he couldnt handle the criticism that would come his way.
Because nobody gives Hillary Rodham Clinton's left testicle for their opinions?
I swear this is true. I had to write a paper for one of my economics classes. No surprise there. Well, I handed it in on time, met the minimum requirements and didnt exceed the maximum size limits. It was a pretty good paper, nothing amazing, but clearly above average work.
Well, when the papers were returned mine didnt have a grade on it. Instead the teacher had written the following on the cover page...
"Too conservative, rewrite"
I handed it back to him and told him I would not rewrite it. I was given a C.
Feelings . . . .
Nothing more than feeling . . . .
Trying to forget my feelings of love.
Teardrops rolling down on my face . . .
Trying to forget my feelings of love.
Feelings, wo-o-o feelings,
If so, why, oh why did the one on the left wander off from the one on the right at death?
Algore talked about that nonsense during the 2000 campaign.
"Too conservative, rewrite"
I would have circled "Too conservative, rewrite" and written underneath that "TOO LIBERAL...GRADE THE DAMN PAPER!"
Oh yeah, its happens all the time. In fact, in college I was forced to abandon a paper I was writing on Margaret Thatcher and change the topic. Oh, the feminazi gave me a choice though - either Pat Schroeder or Anne Richards. Mind you this was to finish my degree. I had to complete my degree at another school.
I also know that its even worse when you try to get a job as an instructor at a university and it comes out that you are a Republican, or even worse a conservative. I know a lady who was on track to get hired by the same college but was black balled because she was a strident pro-lifer. She even sued the university and won.
It seems so obvious now. Good insight.
Worse, they'll be smirking "looks like we hit a nerve" to one another.
I think the real reason that the left seems cut out of the current talk radio mix is that its rhetoric has devolved from thoughtfulness into doctrinaire screaming, ridicule, and accusation. That is a consequence of its radicalization - what happens is that it is much easier to draw its identity boundaries by demonizing the other side and stating that that's what they're against, than to provide an ideological foundation of what they are for. The radicals, having grabbed the microphone, don't want to be too specific about what they're for, or rather, don't even want to face its logical consequences - it's one thing to state that you want to solve world hunger, for example, it's quite another to state that you intend to do so by expropriating land and crops from current farmers without payment. The left has bought into the old "focus on the ends and ignore the means" fallacy; that your opponents may be against your means without necessarily opposing your ends is allowed in logic but not in rhetoric, and they're focused on the rhetoric, because it is the rhetoric that ignites a satisfying level of emotion and passion. What they've begun to seek since the 60s is that level of emotional satisfaction - the movement is long on style but short on substance, and for good reason, style and passion translate into votes.
There is a certain self-regarding hubris at work here, and although it is hardly restricted to the left it seems more at home there, and that is that persons smart enough to exploit these means to power figure that they're smarter than everyone else, that power, rather than becoming a tool to the ends becomes an end in itself, and that acquisition of power absolves them of any duty to examine their means with any particular intellectual rigor. It is no surprise that these often adhere to the doctrine that all truth is relative to the observer - that is not the credo of the intellectually pliant, but of the intellectually lazy.
But talk radio does not dance in these lofty demesnes, it has to make a buck in order to survive. The bottom line is that shrill, shallow, accusatory, demagoguery is boring and temporary. It only needs to be temporary in order to convince voters long enough to acquire political power, but it needs to be a little less superficial than that in order to keep folks listening to the laundry soap commercials day after day. The irony here is that it turns out that it's more intellectually demanding, and satisfying, to sell laundry soap day after day than it is to smear your opponents and sit back basking in self-satisfaction. That is not a conclusion that is particularly congenial to the snoots in academe, but I think it's a true one.
In high school I did a well-researched (OK, it was high school) paper on nuclear power as part of an English assignment. My friend spent half an hour on his research paper regarding the wonders of solar power. He didn't believe a word he wrote, but he knew he would get a good grade. He got an A. I got a C.
Can you say, "Hightower?" I thought you could!
You mean Bernie Ward and Ray Taliaferro (KGO) don't exist?
Any FReeper tips to save me from NPR and other vile alternatives?
Because they lose bladder control if they're ever questioned.
Not to mention the rest of the spectrum, audio and video. Why drive a beat up Hundai when you own a Jaguar?
Exactly. They view us as subhuman and therefore not entitled to the same rights and tolerance as everyone else. It's inconceivable to liberals that anyone could honestly disagree with their ill-considered, touchy-feely point of view.
(Of course, we tend to view them as both arrogant and stupid.)