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Saturday, January 06, 2007

Political Talk Radio: The Left Side Of The Dial

CINCINNATI (TDB) -- Air America is falling silent across the land. Few listeners. It is already gone in SW Ohio. There is a protest brewing to save Franken & Co. in Columbus because of Ohio's importance as a bellwether state in presidential elections. It's a good argument to make.

Rush Limbaugh and his crowd have their place and role in national politics. Whether one agrees or disagrees with the underlying philosophy, Limbaugh adds to the political discourse of American democracy and helps keep it vibrant. Frankly, Limbaugh probably is more successful as an entertainer/talker/bloviator/spinmaster than political master-yakker.

The left should have its spot on the dial as well. Even if one is a conservative zealot, one should believe in free speech, open discourse, and advocacy. Why be afraid of the other side throwing oral punches? Give, take, dodge, weave. That is what makes our system strong and the envy of the world. Besides, it is good to know what politicians are thinking and their radio shills are saying. It keeps everyone informed.

There is a protest rally scheduled and petitions to sign and all who believe in a vigorous democracy probably ought to check it out. Air America may not be your cup of tea -- but it is a political voice -- and those should be preserved.


  1. I reject your assertion that Rush Limbaugh adds anything to public discourse other than lies, spin and propaganda. Al Franken isn't much better. They are both sides of a corporate coin.

    I saw Franken "debate" Tucker Carlson. The only difference is who they think should execute the quagmire. They both think they're funnier and smarter than the really are. We need more unembedded journalist like Amy Goodman on the air, not blow hards for the corporate war parties.

  2. Bill, unless Left Radio can figure out how to make $ with adequate listenershp, it doesn't "deserve" a spot on the dial.

    Clear Channel bent over backwards trying to get its AAR stations to work, gving them a lot more time than most corporate owners would have. It just didn't work. It was so bad in Cincy that they ultimately concluded that they could make more money with an advice channel. Unless they are attempting to round up adverstisers and pledging to listen and patronize the advertisers (as is the case in Madison, WI, which I think is isolated), protesters of the AAR shutdowns are asking station owners to volunteer to lose money. Horse manure.

    I think a less bitter, vindicitve version of lib talk might work, but you have to find someone who will deliver that.

  3. You seem to be missing the most relevant point, which is, Rush Limbaugh is all over the airways because he makes money for everyone involved in his business, by attracting millions of listeners to his show. If Air America can do this, then by all means it should continue to thrive on the air. If it can't, which is what has happened, then it should be allowed to experience the natural consequences of this. No artificial propping up of a network on one side of the aisle, when this is not being done to the other (I wouldn't want it to be done for Rush, either.) If you want public radio that's not beholden to advertisers or shareholders, well, there's NPR for ya. Otherwise, that's free-market capitalism, baby. It's the fairest and most efficient system there is.

  4. Gosh, thank you Noam Chomsky for that comment at 12:41 pm.

    Honestly, Bill I think you are wrong. Air America couldn't bring in the audience and never made a profit- Peter Lewis and others paid for Air America and probably wrote them off on their taxes as a business loss.

    Also, liberal voices do exist on the radio- NPR has some of the most liberal opinions expressed on their shows.

    We shouldn't demand equal broadcasts from the left and the right, regardless of ratings. The market should define what is popular and what is not- And unpopular networks like Air America should be allowed to fail.

    - Matt from Right Angle Blog

  5. Your welcome wrong angle Matt.

    This has nothing to do with the market. These people are handed over monopolies and get to use our public airwaves for free. The don't have to pay rent. They don't have to tell the truth and they don't have to air the views of the people.

    These giant media conglomerates get to define our world for us and make a huge profit at the same times. They decide who our candidates are, what the issues are and that's why we get to pick our poison every year between to prowar corporate owned politicians.

    BTW, Chomsky is arguably the most important intellectual in the world. How come you never see him in the "liberal" media? Nobody from GE's "liberal" NBC or MSNBC asked him about Iraq or anybody that was against the war for that matter.

    I do agree that Air America did suck.