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  1. #1
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    President of Air America Radio admits Rush Limbaugh is right about the Fairness Doctrine

    Conservative talk radio has worked itself into a tizzy lately over the rumored revival of the Fairness Doctrine -- the FCC policy that sought to enforce balanced discussion on the nation's airwaves.
    As the founding president of Air America Radio, I believe that for the last eight years Rush Limbaugh and his ilk have been cheerleaders for everything wrong with our economic, foreign and domestic policies. But when it comes to the Fairness Doctrine, I couldn't agree with them more. The Fairness Doctrine is an anachronistic policy that, with the abundance of choices on radio today, is entirely unnecessary.
    Instituted in 1949, the Fairness Doctrine obligated stations to "afford reasonable opportunity" for opposing views on topics of "public importance." At the time, most cities outside of New York, Chicago and Los Angeles had only a few stations. AM radio was in everyone's car and home, but there were just three or four stations per market. FM radio was still a quarter of a century away from commercial success.
    Policy makers who introduced the Fairness Doctrine were worried that crafty special interests could overwhelm the airwaves with one-sided propaganda and tilt elections, sway public sentiment or foment civil unrest. Their fears were understandable. Joseph Goebbels effectively used radio in service of the Third Reich.
    Contrary to what some people would have us believe today, the Fairness Doctrine was primarily an issue on TV, since radio didn't have much talk. Until the 1970s, AM stations had a steady diet of music with a couple of minutes of news at the top of the hour. But by 1978, music had migrated to FM, leaving AM in a programming lurch. The history of media is replete with new technologies stealing the content of the ones they supplant. Motion pictures killed vaudeville; radio was full of dramas and comedies before Jack Webb and Jack Benny switched to TV. As for AM radio, it was not until Rush found an audience on WABC in New York City in 1988 that the AM operators knew what to do with their once mighty stations.
    The conventional wisdom is that Rush's success depended on the 1987 repeal of the Fairness Doctrine. Some say that if he had to make time for opposing opinions, Rush would have flopped. Personally, I think he is most entertaining when he is dismantling opposing arguments. He's successful because he is a superior entertainer.
    Rush created the new AM template, and it spread like wildfire. When programmers and sales managers get a whiff of success, it is cloned in every conceivable way until the audience, once grateful for innovation, tunes out.
    So why didn't liberal talk radio flourish as well? There are several reasons, none of which has to do with a lack of talent. Bill Maher, Al Franken, Stephanie Miller, David Bender, Janeane Garofalo, Jon Stewart and Rachel Maddow all have the chops.
    First, boring hosts made the occasional, unsuccessful foray (sorry, Mario Cuomo). Second, some talented lefties like Mike Malloy were cast into the abyss of right-wing talk radio where they were completely out of place. (Radio is a mood servicing drug; format purity rules.)
    Finally, most broadcast owners are conservative. Programs like Rush's have made them rich, so the last thing they want is to mess with success, particularly if it entails airing opinions they don't share. Trust me, it took us years to get them to play rock 'n' roll.
    No one tried a national, 24-hour liberal station before Air America Radio. When we founded Air America, we aimed to establish a talk network that lived at the intersection of politics and entertainment. Of course, we were motivated by our political leanings. But as a lifelong broadcaster, I was certain that at least half the American audience was underserved by conservative talk radio. Here was an opportunity to capture listeners turned off by the likes of, say, Sean Hannity. The business opportunity was enticing.
    It never occurred to me to argue for reimposing the Fairness Doctrine. Instead, I sought to capitalize on the other side of a market the right already had built.
    When conservative talking heads wave a red flag about the possible revival of the Fairness Doctrine, they know it's a great way to play the victim and rally supporters. But I'll let Rush continue with his self-righteous indignation -- and if I want, I'll tune into Rachel Maddow, or one of the thousands of other voices that populate radio today.
    Mr. Sinton is the founding president of Air America Radio.



    Interesting.

  2. #2
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    Actually this doesn't surprise me. He is a business man and knows competition will help his market
    'Political Correctness is a doctrine fostered by a
    delusional, illogical liberal minority, and rabidly
    promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which
    holds forth the proposition that it is entirely
    possible to pick up a turd by the clean end!'

    A fear of weapons is a sign of retarded sexual and emotional maturity. Sigmund Freud

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    Conservative talk radio flourishes because people listen to it.

    Libtalk radio does not fourish because people who wish to hear that can always turn on CNN, (PMS)NBC, ABC, CBS, NBC, PBS, NPR, MTV, BET, CSPAN, HBO, Lifetime, Oxygen, Galavision, ..., ...,

    "The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's money."
    - Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

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    Quote Originally Posted by countybear View Post
    Conservative talk radio flourishes because people listen to it.

    Libtalk radio does not fourish because people who wish to hear that can always turn on CNN, (PMS)NBC, ABC, CBS, NBC, PBS, NPR, MTV, BET, CSPAN, HBO, Lifetime, Oxygen, Galavision, ..., ...,
    The funny thing is that most progressive bloggers claim NBC, ABC, CSPAN, and CNN are biased against progressives--CNN is sometimes called "Conservative News Network" or "Cheney News Network" or even "Corporate Nazi Network" on their blogs.

    I don't watch TV, but I read their websites and watch clips posted on the internet, and hear them criticized by conservatives and progressives on the internet, and based on that I think the mainstream TV media are mostly center-left (more conservative than most progressive bloggers, but more progressive than most O/R posters).

    So what do you think are the reasons for conservatives not being able to take over more TV media channels besides Fox?

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    http://www.mrc.org/biasbasics/pdf/BiasBasics.pdf

    http://www.mediaresearch.org/archive...ck/welcome.asp

    So what do you think are the reasons for conservatives not being able to take over more TV media channels besides Fox?
    One answer to that question, Jenna. The U.S. Government itself blocks any such possibility through regulation.

    Reference:

    Regulatory Issues

    April 16, 2003
    Competition, Not Government Should Decide Media Regulations

    Current broadcast-ownership rules strictly regulate business expansion, with caps on market share and prohibitions against corporations having sizable cross-ownership stakes in newspaper, radio and TV markets. Federal Communications Commission Chairman Michael Powell rightly thinks that competition, not government, should decide such business matters, and the FCC is set to release new rules in this regard by June.



    The Washington Times editorializes that it is no mere coincidence that two of the companies handcuffed by the current caps are Fox Television and Clear Channel, America's largest owner of radio stations.
    • Fox, with its refreshing lack of a leftist bias, has been gobbling up market share from the big three networks and CNN.

    • Clear Channel, which operates approximately 1,200 radio stations nationwide, has ruffled some "mainstream" media feathers with the pro-war slant and conservative disposition of many of its on-air personalities.
    These two enterprises are big because they are popular, says the Times; they are popular because they offer consumers the only major alternative programming to the dominant liberal media outlets. Despite growing demand for Fox and Clear Channel, current media-ownership rules stop them from expanding, thus limiting their voice.

    Source: Editorial, "Broadcast Deregulation Needed," Washington Times, April 16, 2003.
    For more on Regulatory Issues:
    http://www.ncpa.org/sub/dpd/index.ph...le_Category=38
    The result of the FCC's attempt to de-regulate media? Failed.

    ... And the Media Access Project, a public interest law firm that filed the successful suit against the 2003 rule changes, said it planned to challenge Martin’s cross-ownership rule in court if the FCC approves it.

    The AFL-CIO and MoveOn.- org have sent alerts to their members in recent weeks urging them to raise a ruckus. About 50 protesters converged on the FCC’s headquarters before an Oct. 31 hearing, chanting such slogans as “We need democratization, not consolidation!”
    http://articles.latimes.com/2007/nov...fi-ownership19
    ... and the regulation-lovers have basically won again, in that with the election of a new administration, those seeking to end Government's strict regulations regarding media ownership will not see light again for at least another four years.

    It is important to note that these stringent regulations regarding media ownership were instituted in the 1930's and 1940's, long before there were 'alternative' media and information sources like televisions, the internet, PDA phones, etc., yet left-wing groups like MoveOn, the Unions and such (who love to be called progressives), are the most re-gressive in their support of Government regulation of media... why?

    Because they like the media precisely the way it is, (especially if they can revive the 'fairness doctrine'), and realize that archaic government regulations like those enforced by the FCC on media ownership are a means to protect the media from being revolutionized by conservativism.

    So, wouldn't you think that the media itself would like de-regulation? Of course not, the FCC's provisions actually protect the media moguls as they exist, and are not a financially-centered ruleset like most other government regulations of private industry are.

    The Reagan administration took leaps in relaxing strict FCC regulatory requirements, but faced bitter opposition to repealing some acts, like the 'fairness doctrine'. Bush 41 was able to carry the torch to a limited extent, but the brevity of his tenure limited his ability to continue. Clinton worked hard to reverse the trend, and was able to stop the wrangling over media power, but not the sentiments involved.

    Media ownership rulesets, put in place to stop media acquisition by 'subversive' powers (given the very limited media access available at the time the rules were written), do help serve to keep the current media moguls in power, and prevent the ability of the media to evolve.

    Which only begs the question, why hasn't the media really covered the fight over its own future? Because in truth, most Americans do not realize that such a conflict actually exists, and that's just the way the media bigwigs like it.

    "The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's money."
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  6. #6
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    Thanks for the explanation, countybear. The regulations explain why Clear Channel and Fox haven't taken over other channels. But how did those other channels get their center-left bias in the first place, and why did they keep it through progressive and conservative Presidencies and Congresses alike? Why can't other conservatives besides those who run Fox and Clear Channel take over the other channels? And even if no one takes them over, wouldn't the current owners of those other channels move further right anyway if the majority of their audience preferred more conservative coverage, just to get higher ratings and more profits from advertisers?

    Quote Originally Posted by countybear View Post
    The Reagan administration took leaps in relaxing strict FCC regulatory requirements, but faced bitter opposition to repealing some acts, like the 'fairness doctrine'. Bush 41 was able to carry the torch to a limited extent, but the brevity of his tenure limited his ability to continue. Clinton worked hard to reverse the trend, and was able to stop the wrangling over media power, but not the sentiments involved.
    Why didn't Bush 43 change that, especially when he had a Republican majority in Congress?

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    What surprises me is the liberal/conservative rich media ratio on the net. With the FCC barriers it seems like the wild west of new media would be irresistible to conservatives.

    There are conservative sites to be sure and access to conservative writers is unprecedented. When it comes to audio and video though the left is far ahead and continuing to push hard. Both Olbermann and Maddow's shows are daily offered in their entirety as video podcasts on iTunes; ABC, CBS, NBC have versions of their nightly news there and CNN offers Anderson Cooper's 360. Fox counters with short clips, audio only of Fox News Sunday and Greta has one show from June listed. Full episodes of The Daily Show are available while O'Reilly's Talking Points are all of the Factor that make it online.

    That's just recycled TV though. Where's the new content? Both sides are disappointing me here with amateurish podcasts and bizarre YouTube videos. For now I'll have to be satisfied with watching Cranky Geeks instead.

    *Oops, forgot the Mike Dimone show. There's conservative fresh content in online media and exactly the sort of opportunity the net offers.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Odd View Post
    What surprises me is the liberal/conservative rich media ratio on the net. With the FCC barriers it seems like the wild west of new media would be irresistible to conservatives.

    All you have to do is look.

    I won't post a huge collection of links, but start at blackfive or ejectejecteject and follow on to the other links you find.

    Bill Whittle has even been scooped up by National Review.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jenna View Post
    Thanks for the explanation, countybear. The regulations explain why Clear Channel and Fox haven't taken over other channels.
    You are most welcome.

    But how did those other channels get their center-left bias in the first place, and why did they keep it through progressive and conservative Presidencies and Congresses alike? Why can't other conservatives besides those who run Fox and Clear Channel take over the other channels?
    The simple answer to that is: money. Democrats paint themselves as 'the party of the working class', but in truth, there are far more liberals in control of greater wealth, as studies have proven out consistently. Higher-end academia, especially, is vastly more liberal than conservative, and when any party is classified by platform, only a complete buffoon would conclude that 'working class values' are espoused by the upper eschelon of Democrats currently.

    Using the resources of a group called "Open Secrets", the top five political campaign contributors (2006 era) were overwhelmingly Democrat:

    Organization: Amount: (Dem)(Rep) Traditional alignment:
    1 ActBlue $4,711,402 100%0% Solidly Dem 2 National Assn of Realtors $3,840,782 49%50% On the fence 3 EMILY's List $3,571,426 100%0% Solidly Dem 4 Goldman Sachs $3,561,116 64%36%Leans Dem 5 Democratic Congressional Campaign Cmte $3,055,236 100%0% Solidly Dem
    And the top ten 'soft money' donations, 2002:

    Organization Total to Dems to Repubs Saban Capital Group$9,280,000 $9,280,000 - Newsweb Corp$7,390,000 $7,390,000 - Shangri-La Entertainment$6,700,000 $6,700,000 - American Fedn of St/Cnty/Munic Employees$6,586,500 $6,586,000 $500 Service Employees International Union$4,862,739 $4,821,117 $41,622 Freddie Mac$4,023,115 $1,687,500 $2,335,615 Carpenters & Joiners Union$3,868,709 $3,848,709 $20,000 Communications Workers of America$3,748,000 $3,748,000 - American Federation of Teachers$3,467,000 $3,457,000 $10,000 Pharmaceutical Rsrch & Mfrs of America$3,402,287 $133,000 $3,269,287

    When members of Congress were surveyed in 2007, the wealth of the Democratic party members (per capita) was well over that possessed by their Republican counterparts. If poltical contributions made by Dems to the Obama campaign were any indication of party wealth, I'd venture to say that the relationship could be as much as 2:1.

    And even if no one takes them over, wouldn't the current owners of those other channels move further right anyway if the majority of their audience preferred more conservative coverage, just to get higher ratings and more profits from advertisers?
    If you were in the 'inner circle' of wealth and power, and knew that the majority of wealth in this country was held by your contemporaries, would you change your alignment?

    Why didn't Bush 43 change that, especially when he had a Republican majority in Congress?
    The presidency of Bush 43(especially the first two-three years of it), has been much taken up, (and often even, defined) by the war against terror. At no time did the Republicans possess a filibuster-proof majority in Congress, and the incessant filibustering of the Dems over even judicial appointments has been so rampant that the delays created a tremendous lag in getting most items of a very, very lengthy agenda even addressed in Congress. Filibustering in Congress creates a bottleneck, and as a president, you have to pick your battles.

    Furthering the de-regulation of the electronic media has also been tied up in federal court (which blocks any action by any party), thanks to the liberal PACs and groups like MoveOn. A president only has so much political capital to spend, and Bush's capital through two elections was certainly hindered by the delays of legal and political wrangling of his adversaries.

    "The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's money."
    - Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

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    Thanks for the insightful responses, Countybear. Progressives objective enough to recognize that the majority of the mainstream media leans slightly further left than the population usually chalk it up to the media being more realistic because they know more about the world than the rest of the population. It's valuable to hear a different perspective from the other side.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jenna View Post
    Progressives objective enough to recognize that the majority of the mainstream media leans slightly further left than the population usually chalk it up to the media being more realistic because they know more about the world than the rest of the population.
    Oh.... lord.....I....laughed...so.... .hard....

    nearly peed myself....
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jenna View Post
    Thanks for the insightful responses, Countybear. Progressives objective enough to recognize that the majority of the mainstream media leans slightly further left than the population usually chalk it up to the media being more realistic because they know more about the world than the rest of the population. It's valuable to hear a different perspective from the other side.
    Glad to share. I could perhaps take your post to mean that I, being conservative, am ignorant, lesser informed, or dull of the senses, but then again, I'm not debating Bob Loblaw here, so I guess I'll just have to believe that you are inanely quipping and not attempting to assail me. I truly hope your post is not patronizing or derisive of me in its intent, and that you are sincere. I hope that I haven't come off as sophmoric in my responses here.

    The truth is that I certainly believe that most Americans are not even remotely aware of some of the political undercurrents that take place daily in this country. I believe that were they better informed, there would be much less leftist sentiment. I do personally attempt to remain more informed than the average bear, but then again, I do not take my conservatism lightly or base my beliefs on mere supposition.

    As far as the media "knowing more about the world", all I can honestly retort is that such is typical of the liberal elitist sentiment. They honestly think that they know more about what action has taken place in Iraq and Afghanistan than the troops and the leaders of those troops themselves, a belief I think that we all can grant a very large raspberry to. From my personal experience, most liberals do tend to think that they are more intelligent than anyone else on the planet. I believe that there are certainly differences between 'intelligence', 'common sense', and wisdom. Generally speaking, I find many liberals to be intelligent, yet terribly lacking in the other two categories. I've never equated 'liberalism' with 'reality', I think the two terms are oxymorons, especially when we study history in proper context and how liberalism has faired over the course of human events.

    This presidential campaign left me a bit numb, not because I have lost faith in the American people, per se', but moreso because to me it struck at the very heart of the much overpopulist plethora of misinformation that bombards the people, to such a degree that they are left lost in the torrent. "Man on the street" interviews consistently display the pure ignorance of our population, not truly because of the fact that the information isn't out there, but simply because finding the truth takes some diligence, and the media seemingly feeds the populism and sensationalism, rather then displaying the journalistic integrity of reporting facts without slant or bias.

    Media is certainly self-serving, and its agenda has always seemingly dictated its coverage, but now to an extent that it almost serves as a platform in and of itself, rather than a means by which to truly educate, enlighten, and inform the people. Evidence of that can certainly be found in opinions such as Walter Cronkite's, who, although he once admitted that there was a liberal slant on journalism during his time at the microphone, even he sees dangerous times ahead of us:

    Cronkite - (From an interview with Larry King on CNN):
    We're an ignorant nation right now. We're not really capable I do not think the majority of our people of making the decisions that have to be made at election time and particularly in the selection of their legislatures and their Congress and the presidency of course. I don't think we're bright enough to do the job that would preserve our democracy, our republic. I think we're in serious danger.
    Although Cronkite's views on World Government, the Iraq War, even historically on Viet Nam, and mine are nearly diametrically in opposition, I have to admit that in this statement, he and I are in perfect harmony. He claims the root cause of this is our poor policy on education, and I rather believe that it is due mostly to our 'choices' (or lack thereof) for information, combined with Government's fostering radicalism under the guise of political pandering, union-ist jackbooting, and bowing to leftist agendas in allowing political and socialist indoctrinations in our educational settings. Government, again, I believe, is not the answer to our problems, but is a large part of the problem, itself.

    The people must realize that it is a core goal of the media to sell itself, to advertisers, to watchers, to readers, and to listeners, and often that takes on a guise which undermines the 'educate and enlighten' duties. The people must also realize that each facet of our information networks serve an agenda, and will editorialize, taint, slant, and bend facts to suit their own purposes. Not all that is percieved as 'truth', is really 'whole' and 'unadulterated', especially when it is related by those whose agenda is compromised by release of what is 'whole' and 'unadulterated'.

    Case in point; after the majority of the media repeatedly touted the "no weapons of mass destruction found in Iraq" stories, and spearheaded the "Bush lied" conspiracies, but who really looked way back on page 36D to find that 550 metric tons of yellow cake uranium were sold and transported to Canada in July of 2008, from Hussein's stockpiles less than 100 miles away from Baghdad? Do you think that breaking such a story in the open might have influenced the rollercoaster presidential campaign that was in full swing at the time? The story broke, and it was reported, but was it covered even remotely as closely as Palin's wardrobe?

    What we must understand is that there are "Dan Rathers" in all walks of media life. We cannot allow the editors-in-chief at any network decide for us what is good or bad. In not pursuing our information like a hungry wolf pursues an elusive prey, we are falling prey to those who would have us fat, dumb, and happily ignorant of the world around us.

    /rant off.

    "The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's money."
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    The opinions expressed by this poster are wholly his own, and should never be construed to even remotely be in representation of his employer, its agencies or assigns. In fact, they probably fail to be in alignment with the opinions of any rational human being.

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    Of course I mean it sincerely when I say that I appreciate your insightful responses, and that I value learning about perspectives different from what I usually hear from my fellow progressives. You have much intelligence as any progressive I know, and more wisdom and common sense than most. I agree that the media don't present the full story; that's why I also look for insights from other sources, such as smarter-than-average bears from the other end of the political spectrum like yourself. I don't think it's possible for any particular individual, profession, or group to present a full, unbiased picture of the world--everyone's perspective is biased in some way. The best way to get as full a picture as possible is to try to learn from people from as wide a variety of perspectives as possible.

 

 

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