Peter Collins on truthout.com (my favorite socialist cum communist website) laments about progressive talk radio not getting any traction over the years. In ‘An Insider's View of the Progressive Talk Radio Devolution’ talk show host Collins goes through a litany of liberal radio’s travails during recent years, and concludes –
As someone who took substantial personal risk in syndication and station ownership, I can tell you that progressive talk has not panned out as a viable business. Clinton's 1996 deregulation of broadcasting and the end of the Fairness Doctrine in 1987 didn't help. I do think the FCC should require some balance of viewpoints on the stations it regulates, through the license renewal process, but there is simply no interest on the part of Obama and his appointees in regulatory reform - even as the president is pilloried by right-wing radio on a daily basis. Air America's parade of management blunders produced the downward spiral that brought us to this tipping point for progressive talk radio, and most station owners, rightly or wrongly, see that failure as an indication that audiences won't support liberal talk radio.
His appeal to government diktat to limit the success of conservative radio is indicative of the overall disease that afflicts liberals’ desire to muzzle the right with the power of the government’s gun. (It appears that the wind is blowing the other way, cf ‘Fairness Doctrine, RIP’.) But nowhere in his recounting does the light ever go on to illuminate the real problem with liberal radio. He and other progressive pinheads believe “that audiences won’t support liberal talk radio.” Sure they do; but the problem is that those audiences are tiny, and correctly reflect the intellectual demographic of our nation’s Left.
To enjoy talk radio beyond the 17 slogans that drive liberal thought on the evening's sitcoms and lamestream news, you have to have a working ideology, one that is constantly weighed against the daily happenings across the nation that impact the operations of governance. You can't promote a leftwing dialectic against the realities of the day's news, it doesn't work. Even people with limited abilities start giggling after being subjected to that kind of 'rationale'.
Therefore, such large audiences have never existed on the Left. Look at the idiots who represent them (I know, the Repubs have had a few notable lumps there too lately), all of whom convince their know-nothing constituencies of a few simple class warfare messages, and that about puts a bow on their participation in the national dialogue. Collins et al don’t have a clue here, or are in understandably deep denial of that reality.
But Collins is one of their heavy thinkers, and he’s not satisfied with the Left’s victories at the polls. Well he should be. And there’re more of those voters on the way with new Dem 'voter rights' bills that promise to sweep the streets clean of all the residuals who can still make their mark (optional at that) on an instant registration form – no address required, thank you very much. What would Collins say to these 2x4s with faces painted on them? most certainly nothing that will satisfy a keen intellect that’s been honed over the years to communicate complex collectivist rationale for bigger government and a more even distribution of wealth across America.
My advice to Collins is to rejoice in the Dems having finally forged a compliant (and growing?) flock of voters that can override any assault which conservative talk radio could ever hope to marshal. The power of “stash” is beyond intellectual debate - as long as the government checks keep coming, all is well.