Jewish World Review Feb. 20, 2003/ 18 Adar I, 5763
Give us 22 minutes, we'll give up the country
http://www.NewsAndOpinion.com | Rich liberals are planning to fund a talk radio network because they believe -- as The New York Times put it -- they have been "overshadowed in the political propaganda wars by conservative radio and television personalities." If liberals think they are losing elections because of the conservative bias in the media, they may as well give up right now.
But liberals insist they need a radio network "to counterbalance the conservative tenor of radio programs like 'The Rush Limbaugh Show.'" Rush has been driving them crazy for years. In 1994, CNN dedicated an entire program to figuring out how the "mainstream media" could combat Rush Limbaugh. The host, Deborah Potter, introduced the program's topic: "Does Rush Limbaugh deserve all this attention, and what should the mainstream media be doing about it?" In 1996, the Democratic National Committee went so far as to establish a speakers bureau/talk radio initiative to strike back at conservative talk radio by monitoring talk radio and teaching liberals "radio skills."
Among the "alternatives to Rush" that liberals have tried over the years are: former New York Gov. Mario Cuomo, Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz, former Connecticut Gov. Lowell Weicker, former California Gov. Jerry Brown, former U.S. Sen. (and Monkey Business skipper) Gary Hart, and former Virginia Gov. Doug Wilder.
The crowd attending a "Carol Moseley-Braun for president" rally last week compared favorably to the radio audiences for these guys. To be sure, conservative radio talk show hosts have a built-in audience unavailable to liberals: People driving cars to some sort of job. So liberals keep serving up their own dreary radio hosts, and the public keeps turning the dial back to Rush Limbaugh.
Not surprisingly, when given a choice, people don't want liberal hectoring being piped into their homes and cars. It would be like being Winston Smith in George Orwell's "1984," forced to listen to Big Brother 24 hours a day. It's difficult to imagine a world in which people voluntarily choose to listen to liberals. There is no evidence that it has ever happened.
For years, liberals would pass off mediocrities as broadcasting geniuses for surviving the brutal competition of a monopoly market. In the pre-cable era, Phil Donahue was promiscuously called the "daytime guru," a "legend," "daytime television's biggest star," a "star" -- even a "major star." In 1993, Donahue was inducted into the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences' Hall of Fame. His millions of viewers were touted as evidence of his gift for television.
Of course, back when there were only three TV stations, it was impossible to tell whether television "stars" like Donahue were actually popular. Did people enjoy watching a man with the IQ of the average TV newsreader who passed himself off as Bertrand Russell? Or did they just want to watch something on TV?
We have the answer to that!
In a controlled scientific experiment, Donahue was given his own TV show on MSNBC in the new competitive environment of cable TV. That Boy's ratings are the lowest in primetime TV for any news program. They are so low, Nielsen can barely detect them. One wishes bitterly that MSNBC could give shows to all the other pompous liberal blowhards once forced on the public, like Edward R. Murrow and Walter Cronkite, so we could see how they'd fare with a little competition. Nielsen would not be able to "See It Now."
Since liberal speakers lose in competitive environments, they can win only by force. In 1995, Mother Jones was haranguing its readers to "call your local talk station and demand some balance." One of many failed "alternatives" to Rush, Jim Hightower recommended that liberals make "stronger efforts to insist that their voices be heard." Conservatives, he said, "do this all the time." They "hammer the networks and the owners to be heard." That's how we ousted Katie Couric and Dan Rather from the airwaves and ended up with a solid lineup of authentic Americans on ABC, NBC and CBS. Oh, no wait. That didn't happen.
One thing about liberals is they're pesky devils. They'll never quit. And now they are back again looking for the next "liberal alternative" to Rush Limbaugh. They have the money, the business consultants, the radio talent. Now all they need are ideas. There's the rub.
If liberals cared about ideas or knew any facts, they would cease being liberals. Even the audience for the left's government-supported radio network, National Public Radio, has more conservative listeners than liberal listeners. According to a Pew Research Center study released last summer, conservatives consume far more news than liberals -- including listening to NPR and watching PBS more than liberals. (As Mickey Kaus said, "No wonder conservatives are so pi--ed off.")
Liberalism thrives on ignorance. Their media are "Lifetime: TV for Women," NBC's "The West Wing" and 4 billion "Law and Order" episodes in which the perp turns out to be a Christian, white male who recites the Second Amendment before disemboweling a poor minority child.
Liberal persuasion consists of the highbrow sneer from self-satisfied snobs ladled out for people with a 40 IQ. This is not an ideology that can withstand several hours a day of caller scrutiny where their goofball notions can be shot down by any truck driver with a cell phone.