The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

24 January 2010

Salon: Ron Reagan Laments Demise Of Air America


When Will Reagan Take Responsibility For His Own Failures?

While it's now clear most libtalkers won't be affected by Air America Radio's abrupt shutdown, that hasn't stopped one of its fired hosts from lashing out at the "corporate support" that somehow props up its conservative counterparts.

Desperate to shift blame anywhere he can, Seattle sourpuss Ron Reagan has bucked the "open for business as usual" approach his counterparts have taken, using Salon to fire at will.

Taking shots at Rush Limbaugh, Scott Brown and others unrelated to AAR's closure, Reagan manages to avoid one key question: his own share of the responsibility.

From the piece:

They pulled the plug Thursday afternoon, but the patient was a perennial intensive-care case. From its inception, the network faced an uphill fight. While right-wing talk radio enjoys enormous corporate support, lefty chat has always been a harder sell. Charlie Kirecker, the chairman of Air America Media, did his best to move mountains over the last few weeks, but it’s tough shoveling with a teaspoon. At times it looked as if investors might be found who could accept losses over the midterm in hopes that the company would eventually turn around and show a profit.

In the end, though, what Charlie somewhat euphemistically called “a very difficult economic climate” combined with the tenuous prospects of talk radio in general and AA’s admittedly checkered history gave even the most promising suitors pause.

So, just when the left could use it most, a platform for progressive thought and opinion disappears.

These are strange days for the nation, the Democratic Party and progressives in particular. Having elected a fresh, dynamic, forward-thinking young president with a mandate for real systemic change, we’re seeing way too much of the same old same old. Democrats control both houses of Congress, yet seem incapable of overcoming minority party intransigence.

Hey Ron, how
about your ratings? Where were they? How about station affiliates- how many did you bring to the table?

Were you entertaining, or a bore, mostly reading from a script and spending much of the show coming across as angry and bitter toward your successful conservative rivals? Did you bring a broad, intelligent perspective to the debate, or was it merely a reflection of dimwitted Seattle white liberal parochialism?

And when conservative talk enjoys "corporate support", isn't that because there's an audience for advertisers to reach?

Finally, Ron, when and where have you ever succeeded at any media pursuit?

As for the content of Reagan's program, it generally revolved around smearing his political opponents with unverified charges, such as inferring that Limbaugh is a wife-beater (the oldest and cheapest trick in the book). Another tactic: grade school-level attacks, such as this "less-blubbery" Rush rant:

Beyond hate speech, there wasn't much to Ron's show. Perhaps his worst crime, however, was in boring the audience by reading pre-prepared monologues rather than utilizing the spontaneity normally found in the medium.

Until Reagan is willing to take his share of the blame for preventing the network from succeeding, his other complaints should be dismissed out-of-hand.

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  • "right-wing talk radio enjoys enormous corporate support"

    AKA they're able to generate sufficient advertising revenue to cover expenses and stay on the air.

    By Blogger Dave, at 24 January, 2010 22:49  

  • To be fair, Non Reagan does an OK job doing TV work for dog shows on Animal Planet. He does know how to explain the difference betweem the Working & the Non Sporting group. But Reagan's problem, & most other "progressive" talkers is they badmouth capitalism, big buisness, & corperations. All of which employ millions of people around the nation. So, you are in charge of promoting products made by a major corperation, are you gonna buy ad time from a radio show/network where the host/s hate the companies who could buy ad time from? Nope. Don't bite the hand that could feed you, Air America did, & they starved to death.

    By Anonymous danybhoy, at 25 January, 2010 12:43  

  • Ron has sucked from the family teat for so many years, he doesn't know what responsibility is.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 28 January, 2010 11:53  

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