Right wing politics dominates talk radio

| June 24, 2007 | 4 Replies

Think Progress reports on these findings from Free Press and the Center for American Progress: 

– In the spring of 2007, of the 257 news/talk stations owned by the top five commercial station owners, 91 percent of the total weekday talk radio programming was conservative, and only 9 percent was progressive.

– Each weekday, 2,570 hours and 15 minutes of conservative talk are broadcast on these stations compared to 254 hours of progressive talk — 10 times as much conservative talk as progressive talk.

– 76 percent of the news/talk programming in the top 10 radio markets is conservative, while 24 percent is progressive.

And why is it that conservative viewpoints dominate a country where conservative attitudes no longer dominate?

Our conclusion is that the gap between conservative and progressive talk radio is the result of multiple structural problems in the U.S. regulatory system, particularly the complete breakdown of the public trustee concept of broadcast, the elimination of clear public interest requirements for broadcasting, and the relaxation of ownership rules including the requirement of local participation in management.

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Category: Media, Politics

About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich and his wife, Anne Jay, live in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where they are raising their two extraordinary daughters.

Comments (4)

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  1. Devi says:

    I expect that even the standard definition of "progressive" has been watered down. NPR and similar are often referred to as "Progressive" when I consider them to be pretty neutral (they can't get too progressive or they lose money). I seldom hear anything I truly consider progressive. Where is the discussion about public utilities being held by the public instead of get rich corporations- where the standard is profit and not service. Wonder why the trees don't get trimmed and we lose power, or why the power company doesn't put more lines underground? Because it costs money and the investors won't make enough money.

    Do you ever hear a really well reasoned discussion on access to health care? Not often. Generally you hear access to health INSURANCE, which is money to corporations. That's not progressive.

    I could go on, but until you are really talking about a society's obligation to members of the society without making some guy on wall street rich, you aren't talking progressive.

    Using what I consider to be an accurate definite of progressive, I doubt 1% of talk radio is progressive.

  2. Niklaus Pfirsig says:

    I often hear the devout followers of Neo-Conservativism regurgitate the the rhetoric about the "Liberal Media", yet I have seldom seen news from the American media that is not biased in favor of the right wing extremists. This morning, the "Liberal" morning TV talk show featured non other than Ann Coulter in an interview expressing her point of view.

    The situation is easy to explain. Increasingly the media is being bought and controlled by corporations. The corporations have the money and the power to quietly and slowly overthrow our government. When you look at the organization of the corporation, It looks democratic, with a president and sockholders, but in reality, it is the few in the seat of power control who get to vote and decide how much their vote counts. The organization of the corporation is an oligarchy. A one-party democracy is also an oligarchy of sorts.

    The corporate control of the media means that ther can be no free press, because anyone that speaks out against the corporate interests is not allowed to be heard. The hierarchy of the corporation favors the right wing, with a small elite dictating the conditions and rules to the masses.

    They want a public that quietly does as they are told, a public that doesn't want to think for itself, but trusts the "Wisdom" of the "benign dictators" that the corporations present themselves as.

    While at the video store over the weekend, I noticed in the cheap dvd section, there were some interesting documentaries. "The Control Room" gives details information about the way the media has been controlled in the war in Iraq. Of couse there were a few copies of Fahrenheit 911, and stranglely enough one called "A Man of Faith. The Spiritual Journey of George W. Bush" ( the Neo conservative rebuttal to Micheal Moore).

     

  3. Mary says:

    Erich – Here's what has happened to the 4 FCC radio licenses in my small community. Three of them have been bought up by a conservative politician and his wife. The fourth has such short range that it doesn't do anyone any good to have it. I believe that Karl Rove had a plan for the conservative takeover of America by going to the local level, both by getting as many conservatives as possible put into township, city and county offices, and by taking over the airwaves of small local radio stations. I think it may be backfiring, at least locally, with our radio stations because people are getting turned off by the constant conservative chatter and listenership is dropping. We'll see where it goes from here.

  4. Erika Price says:

    Do these numbers include satelite radio? I would think that progressives have a more, ah, progressive technological flair, and hence delve into the world of satelite radio more often. Also, progressives may have progressed beyond using opinion radio at all, on to the arena of blogs and podcasts. The typically more old-school conservatives seem more likely to stick to their radio guns. But this doesn't account for the full difference- obviously many, many conservative blogs and podcasts and satelite radio shows exist out there.

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