The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

10 February 2009

Dems Push, Yet Deny Radio Censorship Effort


Still Focused On Talk's Elimination, Dems Play Mind Games


Given his outspoken criticism of the medium and habit of citing its hosts by name, Obama has made it clear he's targeted conservative talk radio for extinction. With its long history of changing the political landscape, particularly during periods of Democratic Party rule in Washington, Barack fears its demonstrated track record of effectiveness.

That's why an increasing number of Senate an
d House Democrats (including Speaker Nancy Pelosi, seen below) have come out in favor of reenacting the former Fairness Doctrine, which would effectively censor the conservative talk format by forcing unpopular liberal programming into their schedules. The resulting ratings destabilization would also undercut revenues, bringing a likely overall end to the medium.

In supporting the Fairness Doctrine, elected Democrats are even joined by liberal talk show hosts and their syndicators, who feel its reimposition could result in major-market affiliate gains. Other left-wing activists have expressed similar support.

In addition, there are stealth techniques now being devised to achieve the same result with less potential public outcry. One method that has generated almost no publicity is Obama's opposition to a new, high-tech ratings system that has so far noted substantially higher ratings for conservative talk than achieved under the old, diary-based method. Because a larger audience means greater ad sales, fighting this approach weakens the medium at a difficult time for broadcasting overall.

At the same time, however, the left is engaged in a game of doublespeak, as they repeatedly attack conservatives for "making up" the controversy. It will never happen, they claim, so why are those on the right so worked up about it?

Though they claim Obama himself is against the forced elimination of conservative talk radio, we don't have him on the record saying that directly. Instead, a spokesperson made that claim on one occasion during last year's campaign. Since taking office, the question has been ducked during press conferences.

Despite this very real threat, the false premise that talk radio censorship exists only in the minds of paranoid conservatives has been accepted in far too many places. In today's Washington Post, for example, Marc Fisher falls for this even as he rightly criticizes libtalker Bill Press for his openly-conspiratorial Op-Ed piece that ran in Sunday's edition:

So, do Press and like-minded listeners really want a return to the Fairness Doctrine, or are they just jealous that Limbaugh and a couple of other conservative talkers continue to draw strong ratings even as most of the old media lose audience to newfangled communications streams?

Perhaps Press is merely frustrated by the low ratings numbers he and his colleagues draw. Nobody wants to go back to the days when the FCC mandated how and when "opposing voices" might get their moment on the air ("Yes, sir, we'd be glad to put that on the air; would you prefer 4 a.m. on Sunday, or 3 a.m. on Monday?") And nobody wants to return to the bland tripe that aired on most talk stations before the repeal of the Fairness Doctrine opened the airwaves to all voices.

But in the end, the main reason there will be no new Fairness Doctrine is that time and technology have left the old concept of talk radio in the dust. On the Internet, a cacophony of voices ring out, most of them reaching hardly anyone, and nearly all of them being heard only by like-minded people. The real information problem our society faces has nothing to do with one perspective being drowned out by another; rather, our deepening media problem is that we are cleaving into two societies, each with its own, separate version of the truth, each startlingly segregated from the other.

Unfortunately, this premise is fundamentally flawed: many people support the suppression of talk radio and have said so in public settings. They aren't trying to hide this view from anyone. So how can anyone say that "nobody" wants the Fairness Doctrine?

It just isn't true and the rest of us must call attention to this fallacy every time it is encountered.

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  • This is what the demacreeps want to own and control all radio just like all evil tyrants like HITLER and STALIN

    By Anonymous Flu-Bird, at 11 February, 2009 10:18  

  • After reading that one example of how Rush lies on aregular basis, how can a rational human being defend the pig man? How can you defend a guy who lies on a daily basis?

    would you like me to post these daily?
    Would you open your mind?

    This is why decent people want a fairness doctrine, if you listen to Rush, you are lied to everyday, and 99% of your opinions are based on lies.

    This is the question sheep.... do you want actually live a life based on lies just because you hate "libs"?

    By Anonymous ExposingCONlies, at 11 February, 2009 10:39  

  • They can have the Fairness Doctrine when I can hear Rush and Laura on NPR

    By Anonymous NotAFan, at 11 February, 2009 12:10  

  • The left only wants the Fairness Doctrine because they can't compete against conservative talk radio because its the listeners who decide who is on the air radio is business and if a show doesnt do good then it is not profitable

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11 February, 2009 21:44  

  • MOP

    That’s all you post. Lie after lie. Your word is not worth crap. You are living in a world you created in your mind were people actually believe you lies. You post long comments filled with lies. We would not believe you if one day you told the truth. You have no credit left here. You are simply a liar.

    Any other Blog would have banned you, but I suspect Brian enjoys the comic effect you bring. Like I said you’re a clown.

    By Blogger pf1, at 12 February, 2009 09:11  

  • Our friend, The Minister of Propaganda posting as ExposingCONlies, spouts his far left justifications for why he should have free speech for his few internet listeners, but no one who has opposing views should get any air time.

    MoPoop as I call him, and his friend Hashfanatic, whom I call Che Hashhole, are very much in favor of censorship.

    Bill Press couldn't hold an audience when he was on KFI and he was the California Democrat Party chairman, but KFI would not give the GOP chair equal time.

    By Blogger PCD, at 12 February, 2009 09:41  

  • The Rush lie I posted, somehow did not make it here. Since you don't believe me that rush is a pathological liar, and lies at least 2 times a day on his show.... here is his biggest lie of the week. Man up, grow up, the druggie lied to you

    On Monday, Bloomberg ran an opinion piece from Betsy McCaughey, a staffer at a conservative think tank who also used to be a Republican Lt. Gov. of New York, attacking the economic stimulus plan. Specifically, McCaughey insisted that the policy would create a "new bureaucracy" called the National Coordinator of Health Information Technology, which will "monitor treatments to make sure your doctor is doing what the federal government deems appropriate and cost effective." McCaughey said the federal government would then "'guide' your doctor's decisions," adding, "Keeping doctors informed of the newest medical findings is important, but enforcing uniformity goes too far."

    The claim, not surprisingly, isn't true. The National Coordinator for Health Information Technology isn't "new"; it was created by George W. Bush five years ago. More importantly, the measure is about medical records, not limiting physicians' treatments.

    In fact, the language in the House bill that McCaughey ... referenced does not establish authority to "monitor treatments" or restrict what "your doctor is doing" with regard to patient care, but rather addresses establishing an electronic records system such that doctors would have complete, accurate information about their patients "to help guide medical decisions at the time and place of care."

    So, the opinion piece Bloomberg ran was wrong. Ordinarily, that's hardly worth getting excited about; news outlets run misleading opinion pieces every day. But what's interesting about this particular story is they way in which it spread.

    Step One: Rush Limbaugh told his minions audience on Monday about McCaughey's piece, insisting that a "national coordinator of health information technology will monitor treatments that your doctor gives you to make sure your doctor is doing what the federal government deems appropriate and cost-effective."

    Step Two: By late Monday, Drudge was trumpeting McCaughey's mistake with this headline: "'National Coordinator of Health Information Technology' Slipped in to Stimulus..."

    Step Three: Fox News and members of the Wall Street Journal editorial board got in on the act on Tuesday morning, arguing that the government will "essentially dictate treatments," thanks to the "secret" provisions in the stimulus bill. FNC's Megan Kelly said the non-existent language "sounds dangerously like socialized medicine," while FNC's Bill Hemmer said the recovery plan includes "new rules guiding decisions your doctor can make about your health care." All of this, of course, is patently and demonstrably false.

    Step Four: Limbaugh took a bow yesterday, taking credit for the misinformation campaign, and telling listeners that his show "uncovered" all of this. "I found it," Limbaugh said. "I detailed it for you, and now it's all over mainstream media."

    Remember, McCaughey got it wrong. Limbaugh and Drudge took the wrong information and exaggerated it further. Then Fox News took Limbaugh's lies, and stretched it even further still. That none of this is grounded in reality in any way was of no importance to any of these clowns. Untold thousands of Americans, who don't know better, get their "news" from these people, and have no idea they've been lied to.

    This is one of thousands, can you man up, can you face the fact that the druggie lied to you for 20 years. I can post 1 a day if you wish

    are you a man or a coward?

    man up

    By Anonymous RushLies,consDefendLies, at 12 February, 2009 14:05  

  • oh, really, pcdummy?

    what makes you think i believe the fairness doctrine will help matters?

    maybe you need a little more pancake turner treatment, fudgie?

    ROFLMAO! you never learn!

    By Anonymous hashfanatic, at 12 February, 2009 17:31  

  • Brian... Brian... Brian...

    Pleeze ... You know! "The fairness doctrine" propaganda is a red herring, a straw man and a diversion etc...

    Read my lips: It's neva commin back!
    ...not gonna happen.

    So don't worry bout ole

    Talkin Turd Benadict limbaugh the third.

    It's just that some of U.S. will dance a jig when he keels over at the mike...

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 13 February, 2009 01:39  

  • The fairness doctrine is not necessary, radio programmers have destroyed radio, and bankrupted the entre medium. The Fairnes doctrine would actually help radio billing, if you think about it.

    but why have a law which forces companies to become more profitable? Let them fail on their own, which they HAVE...

    These are the facts. Conservative radio BILLS poorly, because of the older audience and small CUME listenership. KABC is an example of a station that ran both Liberal and conservative talk and was one of the highest billed stations for 2 decades, before they switched to all con,all the time. It's about BILLING, not AQH 12+ numbers, they mean very little.....

    I enjoy watching Clear Channel and the others go bankrupt. They took management prefrence over what makes money. Con talk was easy to do, hire Rush clones, and use syndicated shows...... Management has turned radio into a money loser, and it's not just music radio.

    Conservative talk is LOW billing. This is not an opinion, this is a fact.

    An all "lib" station is a money loser, an all "con" station, contrary to the hype, in REALITY is a money loser...... Most of you do not work in radio, many of my friends do, as I used to work in syndication and made a lot of friends in the business. Conservative talk is a money loser.

    We don't need a law to help radio, let them sink to the bottom , maybe then they will learn their lesson.

    I deal with reality, I'm not a "fan boy", I don't give 2 flying craps about Randi Rhodes, AAR, or Nova-M.... I'm just showing you the obvious. Look at WABC, when WABC was a mix of conservative talk, local talk and liberal talk, they billed triple what they bill now. These are the facts.

    The difference between all "lib" and all "Con" is simple, all "lib" can not even pull good AQH ratings, the average share of the total audience tuned in in an average quarter hour. I suppose most "libs" get tired of each host repeating the same DNC talk points over and over. "lib" talk does poorly in AQH and CUME..... "con" talk does well with AQH and poorly with CUME, in other words with conservative talk the same people listen all day long , boosting their AQH numbers. I suppose conservatives are more obsessed with politics and enjoy hearing 5 hosts repeat the same thing all day.

    somehow the combination stations do a lot better billing wise, and always have. This is not rocket science. I'm being objective

    You do not need a law to help these people make money. Let the radio people fail into oblivion

    By Anonymous HonestEvilLib, at 13 February, 2009 11:27  

  • The degenerates, MoPoop and Che Hashhole, have returned to demostrate their Liberal Hate Speech, which is all either wants aired.

    By Blogger PCD, at 13 February, 2009 12:28  

  • "This is what the demacreeps want to own and control all radio just like all evil tyrants like HITLER and STALIN"

    or bush and republicans. . .

    I want 25% (up from 5%) Progressive / Liberal talk programming before I will ever listen to terrestrial radio ever again !

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 14 February, 2009 07:55  

  • but ayn rand is dead, fudgie!

    it's my turn at the whip...

    By Anonymous hashfanatic, at 14 February, 2009 22:41  

  • Che, You are delusional.

    By Blogger PCD, at 16 February, 2009 12:04  

  • ExposingCONlies:

    1. I see you have resorted to name calling because your argument has no logic.

    2. You need to open your mind. If you yourself had an open mind, then you would not say that 99% of such a large groups' opinions were lies.

    3. I bet "decent people" would also like the government to tell them what's fair and what isn't. Holding conservatives back in an already liberal dominated government is very fair.

    4. There is a difference between a joke and a lie. Rush likes to joke on his show, that does not necessarily mean that the things he says are lies.

    5. Even if he did lie non-stop (I'm not saying he does and I'm not saying he doesn't), he,and other conservative talk show hosts, should have the right to lie (CBS news had the right to lie and they used the right to lie about Bush, why do you thind Dan Rather resigned). Dd you forget the first amendment?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 24 March, 2009 19:02  

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