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Posted at 6:54 PM ET, 02/ 5/2009

Right-Wing Radio Conspiracy?

By Gina Acosta

If you’re looking for a break from those conservative voices that dominate talk radio, take time out today to listen to local station OBAMA 1260 AM. You’ll hear the progressive voices of Stephanie Miller, Ed Schultz, Lionel — or, during morning drive, my own “Bill Press Show” — providing welcome relief from the constant Obama-bashing by Rush Limbaugh and others. Unfortunately, Monday is the last day you’ll be able to do so. As reported by The Post [Style, Feb. 2], Dan Snyder’s Red Zebra Broadcasting Co., owner of OBAMA 1260, has announced plans to jettison all progressive talk and replace it with pre-recorded financial advice programming.

The commercial use of public airwaves is supposed to reflect the diversity of the local community, but that’s not how it works in Washington. On the AM dial, WMAL (630) features wall-to-wall conservative talk. So do stations WTNT (570) and WHFS (1580). For the past two years, OBAMA 1260 — even with a weak signal that cannot be heard in downtown Washington — was the exception. No longer. Starting tomorrow, our nation’s capital, where Democrats control the House, the Senate and the White House, and where Democrats outnumber Republicans 10 to one, will have no progressive voices on the air.

Or maybe one.

To mollify critics, Red Zebra has said it will add Ed Schultz to its conservative lineup on 570 AM. This means Shultz will be outgunned in this market by at least 15 conservative talkers: Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, Mark Levin, Chris Plante, Michael Smerconish, Michael Savage, Andy Parks, Fred Grandy, Bill Bennett, Monica Crowley, Bill O’Reilly, Dennis Miller and Lars Larsen. No matter how good Schultz is, that’s not a fair contest — nor a fair use of the public airwaves.

Unfortunately, what’s happening in Washington reflects what has happened in one city after another across the country. In Miami, Clear Channel recently dumped progressive talk for sports: Clear Channel stations made the same move in San Diego and Cincinnati. Sacramento abandoned progressive talk for gospel music. In fact, according to a study released by the Center for American Progress and Free Press, there are nine hours of conservative talk for every one hour of progressive talk.

Why? Station owners complain they can’t get good ratings or make any money with progressive talk, but that’s nonsense. In Minnesota, independent owner Janet Robert has operated KTNF (950 AM) profitably for five years. In Madison, Wis., WXXM, 92.1 FM, just scored its highest ratings ever. And KPOJ in Portland, Ore., soared with progressive talk from No. 23 in market ratings to No. 1. Nationwide, progressive talkers Randi Rhodes, Ed Schultz and Stephanie Miller have proven that, given a level playing field, they can more than hold their own in ratings — and make money for their stations.

In fact, the only reason there’s not more competition on American airwaves is that the handful of companies that own most radio stations do everything they can to block it. In many markets — witness Philadelphia, Boston, Providence and Houston — they join in providing no outlet for progressive talk. In others, as in Washington, they limit it to a weak signal, spend zero dollars on promotion and soon pull the plug.

Companies are given a license to operate public airwaves — free! — in order to make a profit, yes, but also, according to the terms of their FCC license, “to operate in the public interest and to afford reasonable opportunity for the discussion of conflicting views of issues of public importance.” Stations are not operating in the public interest when they offer only conservative talk.

For years, the Fairness Doctrine prevented such abuse by requiring licensed stations to carry a mix of opinion. However, under pressure from conservatives, President Ronald Reagan’s Federal Communications Commission canceled the Fairness Doctrine in 1987, insisting that in a free market, stations would automatically offer a balance in programming.

That experiment has failed. There is no free market in talk radio today, only an exclusive, tightly held, conservative media conspiracy. The few holders of broadcast licenses have made it clear they will not, on their own, serve the general public. Maybe it’s time to bring back the Fairness Doctrine — and bring competition back to talk radio in Washington and elsewhere.

Bill Press
Washington

The writer, host of “The Bill Press Show,” is working on a book about talk radio.

By Gina Acosta  | February 5, 2009; 6:54 PM ET
 
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Comments

Bill Press is not quite 70 years old, however he seems to be suffering from early stage dementia. He has forgotten the First Amendment guarantees freedom of speech to the general populace, including talk radio.

Regardless of how noxious and disagreeable conservative talk radio is to Mr. Press, no one is forcing him to listen to it.

The Supreme Court cautioned in 1969, that if the fairness doctrine ever began to restrain speech, then the rule's constitutionality should be reconsidered.

Posted by: alance | February 5, 2009 9:24 PM | Report abuse

Right wing talk is a fraternal twin of shock radio. It is a form of nAR=COTIC STIMUlaLION. First of all, it belongs on satelite radio next to Howard Stearn, who by the way is cool. There it is OK.
But Radio polemics on public airways is serious. It GOES STRIGHT TO THE EMOTIONAL CENTER of the innocent victim exciting anger resentment and activity absent normal social cues and constraits. Look at the 'Chaos' thing or current crazed calls for an 'Underground' of fierce opposition. This is the dark stuff that goes on in Harsh Hellholes in distant lands.
On Conservative talk radio we hear the bad angel barking, but where is the good angel harking in the same conversation. That's how America discouse works, thats why the MSM is what it is. Standards.
These Conservative guys can't talk that way, in tone and tenor, in a sports bar. Tail would be kicked royally. That's why its a fantasy like Playboy.
It allows the lone listerner drving down the road to experiece extreme ego stimulation and an outsized sense of power, absent the work connection and responsibility, that goes with it. There is a reason we do not elect dictators and demogoges to office.
For mental health alone, a counter-voice is required. These Radio jocks on the Right can't run for dog catcher and win. They try to make this into a virtue, but it's not.
Nowhere in the public square is significant political power so one sided and unassailable, as on Conservative talk radio. Its a form of unchecked absolute force, it smacks of tyrany.
It has been America's greatest weakness for twenty years, and today the results of war and ruin show across the land.

Posted by: empireport | February 6, 2009 12:54 AM | Report abuse

I supose I could care less, but I would have to work at it.

Posted by: gary4books | February 6, 2009 4:37 AM | Report abuse

Lets quote the Democrats,,"Dissent and criticism are the purest forms of patriotism"...thats what we been hearing for 8yrs . Now they have the reigns and they want to silence consevative radio...I notice the only time Democrats talk the need for unity is when they are in charge!

Posted by: fbpdplt | February 6, 2009 10:32 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: fbpdplt
"Now they have the reigns and they want to silence consevative radio"

Um, no, we don't. WE want fairness. We want the political right to acknowledge the opposing view beyond ann coulter stating 'any one who votes for a democrat is a traitor to the US'. That's been the difference between what conservatives view of 'truth' and what the rest of the country views as 'truth'. In order to provide the service to the public as is dictated by the FCC, stations should provide opposing points of view in order to create a more educated electorate. (I'm not making that up, it's part of the FCC licensing agreement). Rush limbaugh et does not accomplish that goal, and in fact urges people to _ignore_ opposing points of view.

We had eight years of conservative ignorance in the white house. Yes, it's time for that to change.

Posted by: zencycle | February 6, 2009 11:46 AM | Report abuse

Apparently most of the posters here didn't read or didn't understand this important part of Mr Press' commentary:

"Companies are given a license to operate public airwaves — free! — in order to make a profit, yes, but also, according to the terms of their FCC license, 'to operate in the public interest and to afford reasonable opportunity for the discussion of conflicting views of issues of public importance.' Stations are not operating in the public interest when they offer only conservative talk."

Posted by: lisa9 | February 6, 2009 11:51 AM | Report abuse

Bill, I don't know if the fairness doctrine is the answer, but I agree that it is not fair for those of us who want progressive talk. In fact, I do believe these companies collude to put conservative propaganda on radio AND tv. I notice that in small towns the only cable news station we get is FOX news. No wonder there is a rurul divide.

Recently, even in areas like Portland, Oregon comcast cable removed MSNBC from basic cable. and now people are forced to spend more money to get it. When we complain they just gave some asinine excuse.

The time is now to break up these companies. Or whatever works to provide more variety. I hope Obama is listening.

Posted by: sandnsmith | February 6, 2009 12:58 PM | Report abuse

Why apply this only to conservative Talk Radio? Why not liberal TV and Newspapers and the Internet and Movies? Everything should be 50-50. Oh, but what about the other viewpoints – libertarians, ratafarians, hobbits ...? Shouldn’t they get some coverage too?

Posted by: RAC11 | February 6, 2009 1:31 PM | Report abuse

The real reason conservative talk shows are so popular is the "DEATH OF JOURNALISM IN 2008". Hannity coined that and I agree. I cancelled my Post Subscription because you are too left for me. You do not know what objective reporting is or should be. You did at one time. It is a shame because one of the pleasures of life is COFFEE AND THE PAPER in the AM. And you and the NY TIMES wonder why your struggling. You are dishonest and a biased cheerleader. I look forward to your demise.

Posted by: john681 | February 6, 2009 3:43 PM | Report abuse

Why is it that we can't trust the free market of ideas to drive customer use of the various networks and talk show hosts? Maybe the liberal intelligentsia just needs to admit that their ideas don't hold water. The poor hayseeds out in the countryside are wise enough to choose which networks are least biased and most informative, that's why they're choosing the only network, FOX, that even tries to get all sides of a story.

Sadly, for our country and for themselves liberals continue to engage in "activated ingnorance". They embrace ignorance by failing to understand why liberal and socialist ideas have failed in the past, and still pursueing similar efforts as the answers to todays problems. And they embrace ignorance in not understanding why Americans are listening to alternative sources of news like Fox and conservative talk radio.

If the new Liberal majority wants to succeed they had better start listening and learning, the American people are not out of touch, but as the politics of the stimulus bill show.... they sure are!!

Posted by: jebozwell | February 6, 2009 4:28 PM | Report abuse

Wow, liberal talk radio succeeds in Minnesota, Madison and Portland, despite the struggle against the dominant forces of conservatism that those geographies are known to harbor. Amazing.

So while those are shining examples of market forces delivering what the public wants, conservatives dominating the airwaves (and driving profit margins) everywhere else are indicative of some shady dealings by greedy corporate interests who seek to stifle freedom of expression.

Funny, you'd think that with the ascent of Mr. Obama to the Presidency, your ideas would dominate the mainstream of thought in the country, but all we're hearing is how your voices are still being repressed. The current backlash against pork-barrel 'stimulus' belies the liberal turn we supposedly took as a nation in November, but that of course, is precisely due to conservative talk radio hosts whipping a facile public into a frenzy like so many millions of small children who don't want to eat their broccoli.

Mr. Press, most folks in this country really don't want to listen to progressives because they bring nothing new. Your ideology is devoid of substance, creates more of what it purports to eliminate, and failed miserably to displace religion in the 20th century as the opiate of the masses. That it continues to fail is testament to its weakness. Come up with better ideas and maybe people will give you a chance to be heard.

Posted by: boohoobie | February 6, 2009 4:55 PM | Report abuse

Hello....! What is your problem "Bill Press"? For goodness sake don't listen to talk radio if you don't approve of it.. I find it difficult to watch CNN (all Obama all the time), so I do not watch it. Even though I like Chris Matthews,I can not watch him since he had a "tingle" in his leg for "O". You liberals "own the media", The White House, and the Legislature. We Conservatives need something. Thank God for Conservative talk shows. Are we not allowed to have some voice?

Posted by: annalee759 | February 6, 2009 5:05 PM | Report abuse

These so-called professional radio people,
still "dont get it". The voters voted for who they wanted. It wasn't a Republican. President OBama will continue to "try" to help the middle class but with all this "big money" in radio, I guess "money talks" BUT
these guys still arent going to change the world! President Obama will make great strides DESPITE the name calling and "little boys wanting to take their toys home" attitude. Tell Limbaugh" nobody
is listening....Voters are WATCHING, instead!

Posted by: kee2manee | February 6, 2009 5:44 PM | Report abuse

Good post Bill Press. I can't stand watching TV anymore and I never listen to rw radio crazies like Limbaugh. We had 8 years of their insane theories. Thank god it's over.

Posted by: joyousMinn | February 6, 2009 10:49 PM | Report abuse

Bill, I hate to have to remind you, but to remain on the airwaves, people have to listen to you. If you'd like to be on the air anyway because you think your views are important to the general population, I suggest you get out your checkbook. I think the electricityto run a transmitter runs about $10,000 a month.

Posted by: hdc77494 | February 7, 2009 9:58 AM | Report abuse

serious joke, conservatism owning the airwaves!

What is conservative anyway? If money can't be made not programming to these beings, than perhaps it is a majority that deserves the same respect that you wish to have.

It is necessary to have alternate views, it is the only reason bad guys go in and ut of our public offices and do not gain enough power to take over completely.

I cannot count main news media of not having a liberal bias and anit-"conservative" slant on any story for 15 years.

Everyone has their agendas, and every lifestyle has its price. We welcome yours and I hope you find satisfaction in speaking out against the horrible people you feel have silenced you for however long.

Funny thing is to me, your article has the dictatorial slant often associated with liberals. "Anything goes-except where you disagree with me" attitude. Liberal is a totally oxymoronic moniker. Liberals are anything but.

Posted by: SnottyNozeBratt1 | February 7, 2009 10:47 AM | Report abuse

Bill,
You just wrote yourself that the progressives on OBAMA radio are getting replaced with a program giving financial advice. Is financial advice only for conservatives? I'm pretty sure liberals like money too! The replacement of these programs is due to higher demand programs. Point is, companies do what makes money. The progressive voices have done their purpose in getting Obama elected and now that he is president, people want to hear what he is really doing and not just promotions of him. So even liberals, apparently, don't care for these programs anymore.

People make money when they provide a worthwhile service for others, or at least what others see as worthwhile. "Progressive" radio does not do that. You said yourself that in a city with a 10-1 Democrat to Republican ratio progressive radio does not work. Maybe liberals don't need radio. Maybe listening to liberal ideology for 30 minutes straight is too much even for those most favorable. I don't know, but if there were as many people who want these programs as you act like there are, there would be plenty of them. In fact, if what you say is true you should get some loans and start your own station. If you think you are so right, start one in DC. It's easy to say what you have said but actually trusting your finances to what you have said is different. I may even invest if you could convince me it would be profitable...

Posted by: nomowse | February 7, 2009 12:00 PM | Report abuse

I WANT IT ALL AND I WANT IT NOW! Liberals own the House, the Senate, the White House, the television news media, the new print media, Hollywood, you name it - EXCEPT FOR AM RADIO.... As Obama stated "last time I checked we won the election" ... I guess this gives him and his "do as i say not as i do (paid your taxes lately??)" staff of pundits and strap-hangers a free ticket to control our lives (sounds more and more like CHina).... why can't we all get along and just leave the FREE amplitude modulated airwaves alone. Give me a break Bill Press....

Posted by: PATSFAN | February 8, 2009 9:00 AM | Report abuse

Good. The more conservative talk shows there are, the more reminders of why the GOP is out of power.

Posted by: EnemyOfTheState | February 8, 2009 9:02 AM | Report abuse

I have been a regular listener to WRC 1260. I used to listen to it when it was a general local talk show place and had wonderful people like Joe Madison on it.

The signal is weak. It often gets drowned out by AM680 (coincidence??? They are owned by the same company). The owner regularly messes with the format, for instance the more logical and strident hosts like Hartmann and Randi Rhodes have been consistently moved from their Air America slots in favor of more second rate hosts.

Converting it to this other format is not being done to promote free speech, but to suppress it. This is a travesty.

I say its time to break up monopolies, and to treat those that remain as utilities run in the public interest. That appears to apply to the Washington Post as well.

Posted by: chris_holte | February 8, 2009 11:22 AM | Report abuse

As one who would like to break into progressive talk radio, I would favor a return of the equal time rule. However, I marvel how he fails to mention at all the existence of a thriving African American progressive talk radio community. A blind spot perhaps?

Posted by: michaelbindner | February 8, 2009 1:19 PM | Report abuse

Left-wing talk radio fails because it broadcasts foolishness like this.

The First Amendment guarantees Press' right to say anything he wants.
It doesn't guarantee that a station owner has to lose money devoting time to it, that advertisers have to buy time during that show, or that anybody out there in Radio Land has to listen.
If too many people switch the dial, any host, show, or station fails.
Music formats fail regularly as do unpopular radio hosts who don't discuss politics. Nobody demands that they be given "equal time."
The MARKET decides what stay and what goes mercifully away. Some group is always disappointed. Too bad.

The frequency itself might be free but the cost of broadcasting over it is far from free. Those costs must be supported by advertising revenue, justified by a listening audience, drawn by a product that is entertaining and attractive.
As unsavory as it might be to the lefties, a station owner actually prefers to make a profit. The lefty radio hosts like to be paid too; most would love to be as well-paid as they think they deserve.

Liberal radio has not proved viable because it loses money except in a few narrow markets; conservative radio makes money because it has a broad audience across the US and obviously fills a need.
If it didn't, it wouldn't be such a threat to the left.

Posted by: parkbench | February 8, 2009 5:13 PM | Report abuse

Did you forget, Mr. Press, that the Lib's already have a voice on public airways? It's called the Main Stream Media! If people don't listen to the liberal talk shows and history shows they don't, then advertisers won't pay for them to be on the air. Simple as that! The Fairness Doctrine would do nothing but support programs that cannot support themselves. Sounds like Radio Welfare to me.

Posted by: kaycee1945 | February 8, 2009 5:23 PM | Report abuse

This is too funny. Liberal radio fails because it cannot compete in the arena of ideas. If libral radio truly had an audience then 1) the stations would be rolling in dough from advertisers and 2) there would be a huge outcry when, yet another, lib station goes under. Where is the outrage that Obama 1260 (also known as Radio Pyongyang) has failed and is going under?
The libs dominate the TV/cable market and newspapers, although the liberal rags are also folding as well. Then there is the internet which is the preferred method of lib propaganda and conspiracy mongering. Yet, little ol' am radio....essentially 1930's technology and the libs can't hold their own. Hey, even really, really smart guys like Al Franken couldn't keep despAir America afloat.
RIP Dear Leader 1260, next time develop a message people want to hear. LOL

Posted by: 65apr | February 8, 2009 5:58 PM | Report abuse

I’m devastated, especially by the timing — I and two friends just spent $75 apiece to attend the Obama Radio Nation on Jan. 18th that was covered by CSpan. The audience was filled with rapturous Stephanie and Randi male fan "stalkers". The reception afterwards was jammed. Actual listeners here have made great points about POOR station management and competition from enduring grassroots listener-supported WPFW and the more reliable internet. Here in the DC area there is another overlooked competitor — CSpan radio which probably grabs Democrats who must listen to hearings and press conferences for their jobs. I switch between all of them. Much of the imbalance problem is station ownership monopolies by conservatives. At the Radio Nation event, various speakers described outright sabotage of would-be advertisers who were rebuffed by station personnel when they tried to place ads. I believe Rove has armies of moles who get such key jobs so Rethugs can falsely claim there’s no financial backing of liberal talk. It's also very suspicious that 1260 frequently ran DEAD AIR between loud commercials to kill listenership. Also, the rating systems are run and rigged by conservatives. A few years ago, 1050 AM briefly blessedly broadcast conservative Bush-basher Alex Jones and his other fabulous 9/11 Truth network hosts who sent me to the internet when the station dropped them. I was impressed when one of Air America’s Green brother owners bravely aired a Clout series on 9/11 Truthers. 1260 needed to keep Tom Hartmann in the afternoon and Mike Malloy at night. It would be great if other stations mixed their line-up by picking up one or more of these liberal hosts. It’s an insulting fascist assault to have to keep turning the station dial and only get bigots like Limpball and Ingraham. The long term solution is breaking up the dishonest conservative monopolies and sending drug thug sexual hypocrites like Limpball to jail. By the way, MSM is NOT liberal, or Bush and Cheney would be in jail by now.

Posted by: clonedlamb | February 9, 2009 3:28 AM | Report abuse

This is an informative and useful debate. It would be all the more useful and informative if the Post could move the story forward with a closer examination of the facts. Just what is the balance or imbalance of conservative vs. progressive talk radio? What are the numbers of stations locally? Nationally? What is the status of the FCC's localism initiative and how could it help bring about balance among voices?

Meanwhile, the news about the big radio consolidators sounds grim. They are firing staff in droves as their stock values plummet (You reported that Clear Channel fired nearly 2,000 people last month). But the chain broadcasters' problems appear to extend beyond the economic downturn into programming. Does this say that "cluster" or "repeater" broadcasting is a failed model? Is there a demand for real local radio where real local people facilitate the debate and focus on real local issues? Could the Post do more reporting on this?

Can the Post help establish a common set of facts with which we could replace the emotional noise with some intelligent plans and decisions?

Posted by: randalallen | February 9, 2009 10:28 AM | Report abuse

Maybe Bill Press would have liked some cheese with his whine in his argument that conservative radio talk shows take an unfair predominance of air time over more “progressive” (liberal, for those of you in Rio Linda) talk shows. However, he failed to note that nearly ALL the major media – in fact nearly all of our ENTIRE CULTURE – leans to the left, thereby providing liberals a constant sympathetic voice on all popular issues. Consider the major broadcast companies from which most Americans get their TV news – ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, PBS, MSNBC – all are enthusiastic supporters of anything liberal. And what about TV, Hollywood, and popular music? Only a small obscure element of any of those media advocates conservative views. Same goes for the major newspapers, including the New York Times and Washington Post. Conservatives are frustrated and ignored. Therefore, talk radio is the overwhelmingly strongest and most popular medium for espousing conservative views on current issues. IT FILLS A NICHE. That’s why it works so well! The niche for liberal views is already filled to overflowing by many, many other main stream media sources.

Posted by: sallytaylor | February 9, 2009 10:54 AM | Report abuse

Like Schummer said people want Porn restricted ... so in the same affect we must restrict the airways. Like all other Liberal radio station talk shows have failed. Why would you think Obama 1260 would survive??????????????? we already have the alphabet news channels... the newspapers that support these liberal views. People want the TRUTH.

Posted by: 56lady | February 9, 2009 11:09 AM | Report abuse

Perhaps if progressive, liberal talk shows made more common sense and didn't contain the Air America-type of hating hyperbole that drives middle Americans away, they would have more success. Ratings determine viability and those shows don't bring in the ratings. Period. Legislation that tries to force a direction that goes against the majority's opinion is bad legislation. Besides, the taxpayer is already being forced to pay for a progressive radio station. It's called NPR.

Posted by: Tosh1 | February 9, 2009 1:15 PM | Report abuse

Bill Press is not quite 70 years old, however he seems to be suffering from early stage dementia. He has forgotten the First Amendment guarantees freedom of speech to the general populace, including talk radio.

Regardless of how noxious and disagreeable conservative talk radio is to Mr. Press, no one is forcing him to listen to it.

The Supreme Court cautioned in 1969, that if the fairness doctrine ever began to restrain speech, then the rule's constitutionality should be reconsidered.

=============================
We are forced to Listen to Conservative Talk Radio...It is integrated with FOX and Sinclair, Corporate Meida ownership and a delibrately evangalized in xian Churches.

IT is the delibrate Propagandizing of Prejudice..lies are delibrately added and made into the mainstream thinking.

The NEOCONS are staging another takover.

The next one will be brutal

Fei Hu

Posted by: Fei_Hu | February 9, 2009 1:49 PM | Report abuse

It is absolutely ridiculous to say we are FORCED to listen to conservative talk radio. In fact, I can't believe someone making a comment this stupid can actually read this column. Take your meds.

Posted by: Tosh1 | February 9, 2009 2:25 PM | Report abuse

It really is a remarkable coincidence that in major markets, where large numbers of people could perhaps be influenced by alternative ideas, broadcasters seem to be able to make money with, say, Arabic or Amharic language stations but, rather oddly, not with liberal/progressive talk stations -- not one -- but there's enough money to be made by having multiple right-wing pro-business "hosts" competing head-to-head against each other.

It doesn't help when most of the time (e.g., when sports games aren't on), WWRC's signal doesn't make it to the 14th St. Bridge and when they seem to have been able to go without an engineer for months. (Perhaps if they did not alternate so much between having commercials played on top of one another, causing "make-goods," or dead air, it might be more profitable.)

To quote Sumner Redstone, who controls CBS and Viacom, which owns all the MTV and BET networks, 'I look at the [2004] election from what's good for Viacom. I vote for what's good for Viacom. I vote, today, Viacom.'" Redstone may indulge us with Comedy Central, but are we seriously supposed to assume that he and other media moguls will encourage programming that points out on a daily basis how much the beneficiaries of the GOP tax cuts, strip-mining of the Treasury, and deregulation of everything from worker safety to safety of our peanut butter are working to bush the other 95% of us over the edge?

Posted by: edallan | February 9, 2009 4:01 PM | Report abuse

It occurs to me that this country is right of center. And because the right is inclined to hold a very vocal and loud contingency (this is by nature of conservatism) it gets tremendous sway going. Additionally and by nature - the left is reserved and quiet, listening to all sides, embracing opposition PLUS it harbors a strong and influential wimp minority. That minority even in its own party is despised, dividing it unmercifully. They wimp on any voice raised -especially their own(political) allies. Think about this and its natural the right is winning the propaganda wars. Theirs is a tight ship- My choice is to silence the wimpy left. But it would be a difficult proposition.
I live in Rochester NY and the Clearwater Channel did the same thing here even before the election. Radio stations that are owned by big corporations are want to do the rights bidding. Same for Fox and to a lesser extent, but no means inconspicuously, the networks. This is an awakening for many liberals. Good morning Mr Press. Good morning and good luck.

Posted by: jjf1 | February 9, 2009 6:39 PM | Report abuse

OMG! Some of you are just plain "Out there". Who gives you people jobs?! Business'. Who sleeps with business?! Government! Who wants you to believe the enemy is the very people your work for?! The Democrats! Are we going to go back to the middle ages?! If there is not profit, there is no program. If there is no profit, there is no job. Isn't this the attitude that sunk the housing market?! Get real or get out! Everyone wants something for nothing. You want mom and pop jobs but you want mom and pops to pay a living wage, health insurance, give you family leave and pay into disability, social securiy, unemployment insurance. Should I go on?! Can mom and pop afford you?! No profits, no job. Besides there is NPR, PBS, BBC and if Al Franklin wins you get his loud mouth 24/7. Oh yeah, he was taken off the air too. He couldn't make a profit there but if he wins he will definetly be making a profit then. Oh, what am I saying, he is making a profit, just ask George Soros how much he pays. Wow, there another man who makes his billions from big business. I just cannot seem to stop!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: Daddyslittlegirl | February 9, 2009 9:07 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Press, you are the epitomy of the liberal, wanting something for nothing.

Figure out how to produce an engaging program which people will want to listen to, and you will have no problem with getting a station to broadcast your show.

As most others have said here, it's about ratings, which then attract advertising dollars, which gives the station the money it needs to operate, and turn a profit.

Obviously you and your show suck, so no one listens.

Posted by: urallimbeciles | February 10, 2009 1:59 PM | Report abuse

It is funny how those who claim that liberal radio is dieing because it is out touch with common sense. But I have found that Conservative Talk Radio has push what was years ago fanatic ideas but, now are called common sense. The reason Conservative Talk Radio does not want progressive radio on the air is when the people hear both side of a argument they will understand that Conservative Talk Radio has play them for fools. Most if not all of what they said is not common sense and is against most working Americans best interest. The people who support these talking head are wanting something for nothing meaning working people would lose. This not what our founding fathers want for this country. Oh! by the way they are not conservative at all

Posted by: Terry8 | February 11, 2009 11:26 AM | Report abuse

Any progressive station here in Maine is very low power. ClearChannel stations broadcast 24-hour conservative claptrap. It's not about commercial viability - liberals here outnumber conservatives - even our Republican senators are left-leaning. I don't think the Fairness Doctrine will be resurrected anytime soon. There's too much water over the deregulation dam now, and Rush has his battle plan all ready to go. What would work, though, is increasing the regulation of media ownership through aggressive anti-trust laws. That would improve all of the mainstream media - to loosen the stranglehold of large corporations over the information we receive. I think we'd see more of a return to the days of Cronkite, when TV journalists provided real news and challenged the status quo instead of feeding us pap and running in fear of government or corporate punishment. Small is beautiful.

Posted by: essbird | February 11, 2009 11:54 AM | Report abuse

You are crazy. The reason conservative talk is on the air is that it is profitable, liberal talk is not. The markets you describe in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Oregon are nearly communist, so it is no surpise that liberal radio does well there. It should, and I'm all for it. If it is so easy, just start your own station in DC. It is a crazy liberal city so you should make a fortune. Of course, very few Democrats would want that risk when someone else should do it for them. Heck, they can't even remember to pay their taxes when they get out of their limos... Don't whack-jobs always say the Jews control the media? You sound just like him with your "evil conservative empire" crud.

Posted by: JohnGaltIsHere | February 11, 2009 12:09 PM | Report abuse

Progressive radio? Or liberal radio? Dems have trashed the word liberal so bad they had to move to the next contextual host to live on. How about radio stations that survive based on ad revenue, is that fair enough? Is economic viability not an equal enough footing for all businesses to start on, including radio stations?

Posted by: collegekid | February 11, 2009 12:32 PM | Report abuse

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