We have posted a number of times on the wailing and gnashing of teeth among liberals about conservative media in general and talk radio in particular. Yesterday’s New York Times reports on the latest effort to fund a liberal radio talk show network. The headline is not promising: “Liberal Radio Is Planned by Rich Group of Democrats.” Conservative radio wasn’t planned by a rich group of conservatives; it grew up organically as talented individuals and business organizations responded to consumer demand. It is somewhat typical of liberals to think that a few rich people can get together and duplicate this process by shelling out cash.
The Times’ article is reasonably fair, but it does repeat, as though it were factual, one of the liberals’ fantasies about talk radio: the idea that conservatives succeed in radio in part because of their “fire-and-brimstone manner,” while liberals tend to present ideas in “too much complexity.” This stereotype seems to be universal among liberals who never actually listen to talk radio. Even Rush Limbaugh has anything but a “fire and brimstone manner,” and to characterize hosts like Hugh Hewitt, Michael Medved, Oliver North and many others in such a way, or to suppose that they avoid “complexity,” merely indicates that the Times reporter has never listened to them.
The abrasive and not very funny Al Franken is the first liberal entertainer to be courted for the new liberal network; it is contemplated that he will be joined by “other well-known entertainers with a liberal point of view for a 14-hour, daily slate of commercial programs that would heavily rely on comedy and political satire.” Lots of luck. There are few people in the United States (Michael Moore comes to mind) who would cause more radios to be shut off instantaneously than the obnoxoius Mr. Franken.
Until liberals figure out that the conservative hosts who are clobbering them are in fact good-humored and thoughtful, their efforts to duplicate the conservatives’ success are doomed to failure.
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“Arise and take our stand for freedom as in the olden time.” Winston Churchill
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