As we on the right have been predicting for quite some time, the left – unable to match conservative talk radio in either the marketplace of ideas or the marketplace, wants to bring in Big Brother to do what their own feeble talent and intellect can’t.
A report by the “Center for American Progress” – of which more later – writes:
As this report will document in detail, conservative talk radio undeniably dominates the format.
Our analysis in the spring of 2007 of the 257 news/talk stations owned by the top five commercial station owners reveals that 91 percent of the total weekday talk radio programming is conservative, and 9 percent is progressive.
Each weekday, 2,570 hours and 15 minutes of conservative talk are broadcast on these stations compared to 254 hours of progressive talk—10 times as much conservative talk as progressive talk
A separate analysis of all of the news/talk stations in the top 10 radio markets reveals that 76 percent of the programming in these markets is conservative and 24 percent is progressive, although programming is more balanced in markets such as New York and Chicago.
This dynamic is repeated over and over again no matter how the data is analyzed, whether one looks at the number of stations, number of hours, power of stations, or the number of programs. While progressive talk is making inroads on commercial stations, conservative talk continues to be pushed out over the airwaves in greater multiples.
These empirical findings may not be surprising given general impressions about the format, but they are stark and raise serious questions about whether the companies licensed to broadcast over the public airwaves are serving the listening needs of all Americans.
Radio isn’t supposed to “serve the needs of all Americans” (barring, say, local, regional or national emergencies). It’s supposed to provide stuff that listeners want to tune in to – something that the
progressives liberals Fabian Statists have proven themselves dismal at (even in liberal strongholds like New York and Chicago, where the 3-1 disparity in programming hours is generous; the listening audience is even more lopsidedly conservative.
The CAP claim that almost a quarter of talk radio’s audience is identified as liberal – and that, therefore, the market should be coerced to provide liberal programming to “serve their needs” – ignoring, of course, that MPR (of which more in a moment) and the rest of the entire mainstream media establishment already provide this 24/7.
The CAP’s report (WARNING! PDF FILE! GIVE UP ALL HOPE OF REASONABLE PERFORMANCE OR USABILITY!) lists several recommendations (which I’ll summarize, since copying and pasting from PDF is such a pain):
- Restore caps on ownership of commercial radio stations.
- Expand “local accountability” in radio licensing
- Extort money from station owners who “fail to abide”, give it to “Public Broadcasting”.
By the way, the CAP’s report (look starting around page 12 in the report) has some interesting data – or, to be more precise, makes you wonder precisely what “data” the CAP was using to figure out its ratios, and exposes the weakness of these kinds of surveys, where “conservative” and “progressive” mean precisely what the surveyors want them to mean – if you dig into it a bit.
For example, they credit KTLK-FM with 16 hours of “conservative” talk a day – but the only overtly political shows are Limbaugh, Hannity and Jason Lewis, which rack up nine hours a day among them (John Hines isn’t especially conservative, and Dan Conry is aggressively down-the-middle). By the way, for all the CAP’s carping about centralization of radio station ownership, most of the “progressive” radio that is actually broadcast is on Clear Channel stations; CBS has a higher listed percentage of “progressive” talk programming, but they’re a much smaller network. Smaller networks like Cumulus and Citadel broadcast virtually no “progressive” radio (Salem, I’m proud to say, actively squelches it at a corporate level).
Speaking of CBS – they list WCCO-AM in Minneapolis as having no political talk on either side. WCCO broadcasts Eleanor Mondale, former (alleged) Clinton paramour, daughter of Jimmy Carter’s vice president and sister of paleoliberal Ted Mondale, as well as Jack Rice, Don Shelby and Dark Star; while none of these shows are
explicitly political, their tone and topic selection and, when the chips are down, core beliefs do pretty well come blaring through. They may not be “Air America” material, but they are, if not “progressive”, at least exceedingly friendly to the traditional Minnesota paleoliberal status quo. The CAP study doesn’t account for this in the Twin Cities (or presumably any other market)…
…but they do call John Hines and Dan Conry “conservative”.
Food for thought.
Oh, by the way, the “Center for American Progress” – just a bunch of concerned citizens, right?
Not quite. Michelle Malkin:
What is the Center for American Progress and why are they proposing this Government Talk Radio Grab? It’s a left-wing think tank headed by Clintonite John Podesta. It manages a radio studio used daily by left-winger Bill Press’s syndicated radio show. The syndicator is the nutroots Jones Radio Networks. CAP officials appeared frequently on Al Franken’s show and Air America’s airwaves. Seed money for the think tank came from–where else–George Soros, among others, according to the Washington Post.