Libtalkers Turn Up Heat In Battle To Socialize Talk Radio
Libtalkers Push Dem Allies Toward Federal Radio Takeover
Aided by far-left cable outlet MSNBC, struggling libtalkers have embarked on a new crusade to bring socialization of talk radio to their party's legislative front burner.
Spearheading the campaign for a government takeover of broadcasting content (but by no means alone in the effort) is syndicated talker / MSNBC host Ed Schultz, who devoted both of yesterday's programs to the subject.
Joined by fellow libtalker / former CNN personality Bill Press and a longtime Rush Limbaugh foe based in the broadcast industry, Big Eddie built his case using a widely discredited 2007 "study" tied to at least one individual with connections to Schultz's employer.
Schultz has gone further, running a viewer poll to determine whether MSNBC's viewers believe Congress should control the content of talk radio.
Here are the clips and transcripts:
BILL PRESS (ED SCHULTZ RADIO SHOW GUEST, 31 MARCH 2010 - 26:09): It would mean that a station couldn't just have all one side all day long, that they would have to have a mix of voices. They could be as extreme as they want on the right or as strong as they want on the right - I hope strong, not extreme - but, you know, they have to serve the community because they are public airwaves and so they have to make sure that the other part of their listening audience had a chance to hear somebody of a different point of view.
But, you know, Ed, I think more importantly, you and I have talked about this, is ownership. There's no reason why one company ought to be able to come into a market whether it's Minneapolis or Seattle or Boston or wherever and buy up five radio stations in there and make 'em all right-wing radio stations. So, we need to get at that too and that's the FCC.
ED SCHULTZ (THE ED SHOW, MSNBC 31 MARCH 2010): First, the story that has me tired up tonight. I guess hate talk is entertainment. At least that's what the righties say. A USA Today / Gallup Poll asked, "who's to blame for incidents of vandalism and verbal threats that followed the health care bill passing the Congress?"
Forty nine percent, 49% Say Democratic tactics are a major reason for the incidents? Hold it right there. The tactic? The Democrats used to pass health care is called the legislative process. There's a reason that Americans believe the Democrats are to blame for the hate talk. It's called the conservative media. This very same poll shows that 46% blame harsh criticism by conservative commentators on television and on radio.
Limbaugh, Beck, Hannity and the rest of the hate merchants on the radio dial on the right have been on a mission to destroy this president and the Democrats since day one. They have a stronghold on the market. Ever since President Obama took office it has really turned ugly.
[... CUT TO COLLECTION OF SOUNDBITES FROM CONSERVATIVE TALKERS]
SCHULTZ: Yeah. Saving lives, 30 some odd million people going to get health care insurance in this country and of course the discrimination is going to be over because of the pre-existing condition. That's the kind of garbage that's pumped out every day on the airwaves by the righties. We're doing "psycho talk" early tonight. This is what passes for entertainment in America. So Americans believe this stuff because it's really what they have access to. The only thing they have access to.
An exhaustive joint study conducted in 2007 by the center for American Progress and Free Press titled "The Structural Imbalance of Political Talk Radio" shows some shocking figures. The analysis of the political talk programming on the 257 news talk stations owned by the five largest commercial station owners reveals this- 91% Of political talk radio programming on stations owned by the top five commercial station owners is conservative.
Only 9% is progressive. Here are the numbers on the hours. 2,570 Hours and 15 minutes of conservative talk are broadcast each weekday on these stations compared to 254 hours of progressive talk. Now, 92% of these stations, 92% of these stations do not broadcast a single minute of liberal talk radio programming.
There is no such thing as balance on political talk radio in this country. Conservatives own it. They program it. They syndicate it. Major radio companies like Salem, Bonneville Broadcasting and Citadel have never had one minute of progressive talk syndicated on their station. Ever. 98% Of Americans consume some type of audio every single day.
Conservatives have used this practical monopoly to push their agenda for years, here's a perfect example, 93% of the folks there registered voters, they are Democrats. Now, there were two talk stations that broadcast conservative talk.
When CBS decided to flip one of their stations to a talk, a signal calling it The Big Talker back on November 10 2008, The program director refused to consider progressive talk saying there were, well, they're just going to take the station hard right. So in an overwhelmingly liberal city with the Democratic votership at 93% they decided it was a good business decision to saturate the airwaves with more right-wing talk.
Even though they have, you know, superstar Glenn Beck on the air. Defy this, Glenn. You have zero ratings in Washington DC. Zilch. Nil. Nada. Zero. Now, the second tier radio talk station, WTNT, ranked 30th in the market with a 0.4 share.
Now, this kind of imbalance goes unchallenged. We're supposed to believe this is the free market. I think it's ownership. I think it's time for Congress to get involved. It's time for the Fairness Doctrine to be reviewed by the congress and implemented.
The airwaves are public. It's not in the public's interest to have 92% of, you know, right wingers out there filling the airwaves. That is just so anti-anything the liberals want to do. Tell me where the fairness is. Don't tell me it's the free market. I gave you an example of the beckster and what he's doing in Washington DC. They decided to put that garbage on the air anyway. It's not about business. It's about ideology and about getting Obama big time. Get your cell phones out. I want to know what you think.
Tonight's text survey is, do you think Congress should take action to balance political talk radio? Text "a" for yes, text "b" for no to 622639. The results later on in the show. Joining me now, is Holland Cooke, with McVeigh Media, one of the best in the business and regular contributor to Talkers Magazine. Holland, good to have you with us tonight.
GUEST: Thanks for having me.
SCHULTZ: What they're doing, is it entertainment or is it electioneering?
GUEST: Objectively what you and Rush Limbaugh and I do for a living is the same thing. We're in the business of attracting an audience and get them to listen to as many commercials as possible. It is intertanment in that sense.
What concerns me is what Rush and the legion of Rush wannabes who are dominating this conservative conversation are doing to attract that audience. Three things. Number one is the potty mouth. I don't think you should say bastards on the radio. I'm embarrassed just quoting rush on my show because my mom and dad are watching. Now there are words coming out the dashboard of the SUV that soccer mom does not want the munchkins parroting back.
Then there's the hate speech. How can you say that Barack the Magic Negro is not hate speech? That's not the biggest problem. You know how they say high blood pressure is the silent killer? I believe what is most dangerous is what's right below the surface of talk radio and it is a deliberate overstatement for the purpose of rising above the cacophony. As the president was pursuing health care reform, Rush Limbaugh said, quote, Obama wants to put your personal, private medical records on Google to that everyone can see them.
Now, he's a smart enough guy to know that that's not true, but what about these nine heavily armed nut jobs hopping around out in the forest in Michigan who have been getting a steady diet of that, of Glenn Beck saying the FCC is going to scrub the Internet so you better start stacking up canned goods and guns in the cellar. This stuff didn't happen overnight with those nine guys in Michigan. Why I have spoken up in conscience is because I don't just think there's nine of them.
Spot the smears and lies: how many do you see? Did Barack The Magic Negro really come from conservative talk radio, or a Los Angeles Times column?
Has Schultz verified these companies have no liberal talk in 2010, or lazily relied on the deeply flawed 2007 study (think Citadel's KGO in San Francisco and Bonneville's KIRO-FM in Seattle).
What about public radio- does that no longer exist? Does it not provide balance?
Why didn't Schultz note how "The Big Talker" in DC debuted with a morning show hosted by an adamant Obama supporter?
The bottom line: the "progressive" temptation to seize control of the airwaves has become much too tempting. Freedom of speech advocates should ignore this at their peril.
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