Monday, April 14, 2008

Why Is Liberal Talk Radio Nonexistent?

Liberal talk radio seems to be on its last legs. Air America is struggling financially, lost its biggest star when Al Franken decided to quit and run for the Senate, and the network has seen the number of stations carrying it plummet. Recently, Air America fired its last remaining star (using the term “star” loosely), Randi Rhodes, for calling Hillary Clinton a “f*cking whore”. Air America is probably facing collapse, and when it ends, liberal talk radio will be virtually nonexistent. The only two prominent leftist commentators remaining will be Ed Schultz, who is heard on relatively few stations, and Alan Colmes, who is even less significant than Schultz. For all practical purposes, liberal talk radio is dead.

Why can’t liberal hosts find success in talk radio? Talk radio has hundreds of voices, and intelligence isn’t exactly a requirement. In my hometown of Cincinnati, there are at least five stations that only broadcast talk radio. Many of these hosts are excellent (Rush Limbaugh or Laura Ingraham), others are dreadful (Michael Savage). None are liberal.

It certainly doesn’t help that so many liberal hosts are completely untalented. I listened to the unlamented Randi Rhodes a few times—she came across as a boring and unfunny liberal version of Ann Coulter. Al Franken, who hosted the flagship show on Air America, was remarkably untalented—even most liberals agreed.

In addition, Air America didn’t seem to exist to entertain, but existed only as a reaction to George Bush and Rush Limbaugh. Al Franken called his show the “O’Franken Factor” (get it? O’Reilly Factor, O’Franken Factor?) solely to tweak Bill O’Reilly. He implied that he would be willing to leave the network if George Bush was defeated. Air America seemed to be built solely to counter Rush Limbaugh and Bill O’Reilly.

Contrast that approach to the approach taken by most successful conservative hosts. They take their conservative beliefs seriously—but they do not exist solely to counter liberals. Their primary goal is to advance their conservative beliefs. Had Air America billed itself as something other than the liberal version of Rush Limbaugh, they might have a larger audience today.

Air America’s lack of talent hurt liberal radio, especially as their size ensured that the network would be seen as the representative of the format. But it isn’t the only reason. Talk radio has been around for years. Many liberals, even before Air America existed, attempted to break into talk radio. Jim Hightower, Mario Cuomo, Al Sharpton, and Ed Schultz are all well-known, talented liberals who attempted to break into talk radio. None of them made it.

Liberals often explain this away by claiming that talk radio is so dominated by conservatives that the rare liberal voice is overwhelmed. Except that fifteen years ago, there was no cable news channel that catered to conservatives. So when Rupert Murdoch attempted to found such a channel, it…uh…became the highest rated news channel on television. The liberal explanation doesn’t quite hold up.

Many conservatives claim that this disparity is due to the fact that Americans are so overwhelmingly conservative that liberal points of view are simply not tolerated. This does seem to have some validity—liberal voices are also significantly less popular than conservative ones on cable television. However, this explanation by itself is not sufficient—the nation is split between liberals and conservatives. So shouldn’t liberal hosts get a portion of audience share?

The answer, I believe, lies in the fact that liberalism is not so much a political movement, as conservatism is, but a confederation of allied causes. Blacks, environmentalists, antiwar groups, feminists—they all agree on most issues, but their pet cause comes first. Many liberal identify themselves as liberals second, and support their favorite cause first.

In contrast, most conservatives consider themselves conservatives first. They believe that government should be as small as possible, that it should uphold traditional morality, and that it should provide a strong defense. Conservatives can be divided into categories (social conservatives, neo-cons, libertarians, etc.). But these categories overlap to such a degree that a host can talk about taxes, for example, and still know that the social conservatives and the hawks will listen and enthusiastically agree. Liberal hosts, on the other hand, do not have that luxury, as each constituency in their audience is interested primarily in its cause of choice.

This puts liberal hosts at a disadvantage. They do have a single, common audience. Instead, they must speak to each groups’ specific concerns, a near impossible task.

12 Comments:

At April 14, 2008 at 7:38 PM , Blogger Beth said...

It would seem then that the liberals think you scratch my back and I will scratch yours in order to promote their own personal agendas rather than to promote an overall liberal set of ideals, whereas conservative ideals naturally adhere to the constitution, and promote freedom, personal responsibility and individualism.

Great post, Daniel!

 
At April 15, 2008 at 1:53 PM , Anonymous S. WEasel said...

Liberals used to have a coherent philosophy. I remember arguing with them back in the day.

I listened to Air America sometimes. It's amazing how shrill and unfunny it was. I know that partly struck me that way because I hated the things they were saying, but that wasn't all of it.

The most successful talkers laugh. A lot.

 
At November 5, 2014 at 4:46 PM , Blogger oakleyses said...

louis vuitton outlet, coach purses, prada outlet, tiffany and co jewelry, nike shoes, red bottom shoes, longchamp handbags, oakley sunglasses, longchamp outlet, christian louboutin outlet, oakley vault, kate spade handbags, louis vuitton handbags, true religion outlet, louis vuitton outlet online, coach outlet, ray ban outlet, nike air max, burberry outlet online, polo ralph lauren outlet, kate spade outlet online, polo ralph lauren, coach outlet store online, nike air max, tiffany jewelry, cheap oakley sunglasses, coach outlet, true religion, christian louboutin, longchamp outlet online, burberry outlet online, michael kors outlet online, michael kors outlet store, michael kors outlet online, tory burch outlet, michael kors outlet, chanel handbags, gucci handbags, michael kors outlet online, nike free, louis vuitton outlet, michael kors outlet online, ray ban sunglasses, christian louboutin shoes, louis vuitton, jordan shoes, prada handbags

 
At November 5, 2014 at 4:49 PM , Blogger oakleyses said...

nike blazer pas cher, lacoste pas cher, timberland, north face, air max, guess pas cher, nike free, air jordan, sac louis vuitton, air max pas cher, hollister, michael kors canada, lululemon, barbour, abercrombie and fitch, burberry pas cher, hermes pas cher, vans pas cher, north face pas cher, nike air max, sac vanessa bruno, chaussure louboutin, mulberry, nike roshe run, ralph lauren pas cher, louis vuitton, louis vuitton pas cher, sac michael kors, converse pas cher, nike free pas cher, oakley pas cher, ralph lauren, longchamp, new balance pas cher, hollister, nike roshe, louis vuitton uk, tn pas cher, scarpe hogan, true religion jeans, nike air force, longchamp pas cher, michael kors uk, ray ban pas cher, ray ban uk, true religion outlet, nike air max

 
At November 5, 2014 at 4:52 PM , Blogger oakleyses said...

marc jacobs outlet, beats headphones, canada goose, rolex watches, abercrombie and fitch, celine handbags, new balance outlet, instyler ionic styler, ugg boots, reebok shoes, roshe run, uggs on sale, ghd, north face jackets, nike huarache, valentino shoes, vans outlet, ugg outlet, p90x workout, ugg soldes, mont blanc pens, chi flat iron, canada goose outlet, lululemon outlet, ferragamo shoes, longchamp, nfl jerseys, asics shoes, mac cosmetics, bottega veneta, north face outlet, herve leger, birkin bag, wedding dresses, insanity workout, soccer shoes, soccer jerseys, giuseppe zanotti, nike trainers, canada goose outlet, babyliss pro, canada goose outlet, hollister, jimmy choo shoes, uggs outlet, ugg, mcm handbags

 
At November 5, 2014 at 4:55 PM , Blogger oakleyses said...

moncler, moncler outlet, hollister, juicy couture outlet, ralph lauren, moncler, louis vuitton canada, montre femme, moncler, canada goose pas cher, pandora uk, parajumpers outlet, thomas sabo uk, iphone 6 case, ray ban, lancel, oakley, swarovski jewelry, supra shoes, moncler, louboutin, uggs canada, coach outlet, swarovski uk, wedding dress, ugg, canada goose, baseball bats, canada goose, timberland shoes, replica watches, pandora jewelry, gucci, moncler, converse shoes, air max, karen millen, hollister clothing, juicy couture outlet, pandora charms, hollister canada, vans, converse, links of london uk, nike air max, moncler, toms outlet, canada goose uk

 
At October 27, 2015 at 1:08 AM , Blogger 林磊 said...

2015-10-27leilei
michael kors bags
cheap jordans,jordan shoes,cheap jordan shoes
michael kors outlet
Ugg Boots Outlet Clearance,Cheap Uggs On Sale Discount For Women
coach outlet canada
Cheap Louis Vuitton Handbags Outlet
Louis Vuitton Outlet Louis Vuitton Handbags
Air Jordan 8
ugg boots sale
canada goose Jacket/Parka/Coats
Official Coach Factory Outlet Online
Michael Kors Handbags Outlet Online
michael kors uk
montblanc pen
mihchael kors bag
Mont Blanc Pens
Michael Kors Handbags Outlet Clearance
ugg boots
Coach Outlet Coach factory
ugg boots on sale
michael kors bags
michael kors outlet
canada goose sale
nike trainers
Michael Kors Outlet Online Free Shipping
tory burch sale
ray ban sunglasses outlet
coach outlet
ugg boots store
authentic louis vuitton handbags
Michael Kors Handbags Outlet
louis vuitton
Louis Vuitton Handbags Outlet
Coach Factory Outlet Coach Outlet Online
uggs outlet

 
At April 5, 2016 at 10:22 PM , Blogger ninest123 said...

ninest123 16.04
nike air max, tory burch outlet, tiffany jewelry, prada handbags, replica watches, longchamp outlet, louboutin shoes, ray ban sunglasses, ray ban sunglasses, chanel handbags, tiffany and co, longchamp pas cher, oakley sunglasses, prada outlet, nike outlet, replica watches, louboutin outlet, ray ban sunglasses, ralph lauren pas cher, nike free, oakley sunglasses, nike roshe run, burberry, polo ralph lauren outlet, sac longchamp, louis vuitton outlet, jordan shoes, louis vuitton, ugg boots, polo ralph lauren outlet, oakley sunglasses, gucci outlet, longchamp, louis vuitton, uggs on sale, nike free, louboutin pas cher, louis vuitton, michael kors, oakley sunglasses, louboutin, christian louboutin outlet, air jordan pas cher, ugg boots, louis vuitton outlet, cheap oakley sunglasses, longchamp outlet, nike air max, air max

 
At April 5, 2016 at 10:24 PM , Blogger ninest123 said...

michael kors, timberland, north face, vans pas cher, michael kors outlet, michael kors outlet, michael kors, kate spade outlet, ralph lauren uk, ugg boots, replica handbags, coach purses, michael kors outlet, hogan, ugg boots, air force, tn pas cher, lacoste pas cher, nike air max, vanessa bruno, abercrombie and fitch, true religion jeans, sac guess, true religion jeans, new balance pas cher, kate spade handbags, nike free run uk, ray ban pas cher, north face, converse pas cher, hollister pas cher, nike air max, hollister, ray ban uk, michael kors, coach outlet, hermes, michael kors outlet, burberry, nike blazer, burberry outlet online, michael kors outlet, lululemon, mulberry, michael kors, true religion jeans, coach outlet, true religion outlet, nike air max, oakley pas cher

 
At April 5, 2016 at 10:25 PM , Blogger ninest123 said...

north face outlet, soccer shoes, nike trainers, nfl jerseys, iphone 6s plus cases, iphone 5s cases, lululemon, hollister, p90x workout, insanity workout, s5 cases, beats by dre, nike air max, timberland boots, ferragamo shoes, jimmy choo shoes, iphone 6 cases, soccer jerseys, north face outlet, celine handbags, valentino shoes, louboutin, instyler, asics running shoes, nike roshe, babyliss, mcm handbags, nike huarache, nike air max, bottega veneta, hollister, wedding dresses, iphone 6 plus cases, vans shoes, oakley, iphone cases, ghd, chi flat iron, longchamp, reebok shoes, new balance, giuseppe zanotti, hollister, iphone 6s cases, mac cosmetics, ralph lauren, abercrombie and fitch, birkin bag, baseball bats, ipad cases, mont blanc, herve leger

 
At April 5, 2016 at 10:27 PM , Blogger ninest123 said...

swarovski crystal, bottes ugg, pandora jewelry, doudoune canada goose, hollister, ugg,ugg australia,ugg italia, ray ban, barbour, converse, moncler, replica watches, louis vuitton, toms shoes, moncler, canada goose, moncler, canada goose outlet, pandora charms, gucci, supra shoes, links of london, canada goose uk, ugg pas cher, moncler, juicy couture outlet, canada goose, vans, barbour jackets, ugg boots uk, marc jacobs, ugg,uggs,uggs canada, converse outlet, pandora jewelry, thomas sabo, juicy couture outlet, canada goose, louis vuitton, canada goose, swarovski, moncler, karen millen, moncler, montre pas cher, louis vuitton, wedding dresses, moncler outlet, lancel, sac louis vuitton pas cher, coach outlet, canada goose outlet, louis vuitton, pandora charms, moncler
ninest123 16.04

 
At May 10, 2016 at 8:17 PM , Blogger Zheng junxai5 said...

zhengjx20160511
oakley outlet
ralph lauren outlet
nike air max 90
nike outlet
kate spade outlet
nhl jerseys
nike uk
ray ban wayfarer
cheap air jordans
cheap oakley sunglasses
michael kors outlet
nike roshe one
adidas factory outlet
cheap rolex watches
michael kors handbags
oakley outlet
michael kors outlet
coach factory outlet online
coach outlet clearance
burberry outlet online
christian louboutin sale
ray ban outlet
louis vuitton handbags
michael kors outlet clearance
louis vuitton outlet
cheap jordans
cheap oakleys
louis vuitton
ralph lauren sale
tory burch flats
jordan 3 retro
jordan 6s
michael kors outlet online
oakley outlet
michael kors handbags
nike free 5.0
replica watches
cheap jordan shoes
air force 1 trainers
burberry sale

 

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home