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My personal musings about anything that gets on my radar screen--heavily dominated by politics.
Air America Radio, the liberal talk and news radio network that features the comedian Al Franken, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Friday, but will stay on the air while it reorganizes with funding from its investor group.
I have a theory about liberal talk radio.
Liberalism is, as a philosophy, heavily dependent on emotion. If you can't be angry about it, or feel sad about it, or fake compassion for it, it has no place on the liberal agenda. Example: welfare reform. The liberal end of the spectrum was uniformly against it, on the grounds that it would leave children starving and homeless as they were tossed off of welfare. The reality, of course, was that once there was an incentive to get off of welfare, most of them did--it was a smashing success. But since it didn't feel like the government was taking care of the poor, it must have been a horrible idea.
The problem with emotion like that is that it depends alot on imagery . . . and imagery does not particularly work on radio.
Radio is a place for reason, rationale, lengthy in-depth discussions, and, well, talk. Imagery doesn't come through the radio, there has to be a willingness to engage and to be thorough with the issues.
And, I know . . . there's a reason I WON'T listen to Michael Savage, and only have about 10 minutes patience for Hannity or Laura. Even Rush, though he's a true broadcast professional who understands better than anyone how to keep an audience (hell, he pratically invented the medium), gets pretty tedious for me after just a little bit. I prefer the show of someone who is a law professor and gets the law, and who has served in government in a counter-terrorism capacity.
But, then, I'm a geek.
The others, I think, have an audience and hold their audience because they are the only strong voice in media of MILLIONS of people who are (favorite word) disenfranchised by the dominant media.
And so liberal talk radio serves a population that is already over-served, and does so with a product that doesn't really reach its population at its emotional core. Which is why it will never really work.
Just a theory. . . while I'm laughing at the demise of Air America.