“Thug, socialist, bully, liar, un-American, racist, most dangerous president in US history, the food stamp president, Kenyan, communist”…these are only a few of the things that are regularly said about President Barack Obama on talk radio.
Conservative hosts raise fears about a New World Order. They talk about President Obamas Czars. They claim that the auto industry bailout and Obamacare are the beginning of a complete government takeover. They claim that Republicans were shut out of the negotiations for Obamacare. They insist that liberals are trying to take away religious freedom.
Of course, none of these things are true.
But, for those who rely on the likes of Rush Limbaugh, Michael Medved, Michael Savage, Dennis Miller, Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, G. Gordon Liddy, Michael Reagan, et al, for their news, these things have been accepted as absolute facts.
When the Fairness Doctrine was abolished in 1987, large media conglomerates began adding conservative talk radio shows. By 2007, 91 percent of talk radio was conservative. In cities like Philadelphia, Dallas and Houston, conservatives controlled 100 percent of talk show content. In no major city did progressive content match or exceed the conservative rants. Even in so-called liberal San Francisco, conservative content overwhelmed progressive content 69 percent to 31 percent.
Of course, Teapublicans still claim the media is dominated by liberals. And, when confronted with the facts, they claim the reason for conservative dominance is that these talk shows appeal to the majority of Americans. Again, thats not substantiated by the facts. In 2010 (a big year for conservatives), a Gallup poll found that liberals and moderates outnumbered conservatives 55% to 42%.
So whats driving the conservative ideology in our nations media if it doesnt reflect the beliefs of the majority of Americans? It’s propaganda intended to shape beliefs. Why? Conservatives tend to support large corporations, and media conglomerates are large corporatons. Their propaganda appeals to those who are inclined to believe that government is evil…that its squandering their money…that lazy others are living off their hard-earned money. Moreover, many of those same people want to believe that their problems are not their own fault. They’re the fault of pointy-headed, over-educated liberals.
Contrary to claims by conservative radio hosts that theyre telling the truth that the lamestream media are hiding from you, theyre presenting half-truths and falsehoods in order to increase ratings and profits. Their manufactured hatred of Bill Clinton, Al Gore, Nancy Pelosi and Barack Obama have made them tens of millions. If you doubt that, just look at the lifestyles of Boss Hawg Limbaugh and Glenn Beck.
So what can be done about this growing barrage of nonsense? Ignoring it wont make it go away. The best way to fight back is to hold the advertisers accountable. Write letters and make phone calls to the sponsors of these hate-filled talk shows. Tell them you will no longer buy their products. And be sure to tell them why.
I still believe that, when confronted with the choice, most advertisers would rather make money than make political enemies.