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Has Air America jumped the shark?

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hellbound-liberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-03-07 07:04 PM
Original message
Has Air America jumped the shark?
Does it bother anybody else that Thom Hartmann and Randi Rhodes are hawking subscriptions to the New York Times on Air America? Isn't this the newspaper that helped lie us into the current situation in Iraq? Are they so desperate at Air America that they are willing to compromise their own integrity in order to stay on the air? I'm sorry, I think Thom Hartmann is one of the most thoughtful, intelligent people on the air but I think less of him since he has been doing these ads. I also have a problem with Rachel Maddow, one of the other most intelligent voices on our side, having Howard Kurtz on her show to try to defend his claim that the MSM was responsible for turning public opinion against the war. For some reason, this doesn't bother me as much as hawking the NY Times but it bothered me enough to send the following letter:

The only thing more annoying than having your hosts, including Thom Hartmann and Randi Rhodes, hawking the New York Times the "newspaper of record" that helped the Bush Administration lie us into war, is having Rachel Maddow give air time to that MSM apologist Howard Kurtz to hawk his new book. I know you have to support yourself but to continue to allow "un-reliable sources" such as Kurtz to come on and spin the misinformation that is fed to us on a daily basis by the corporate media is inexcusable. The fact that Kurtz says that people want, and are supposedly provided with, "serious news" by the three major networks is ludicrous when night after night we see, Gibson, Couric and Williams lobbing softball questions at administration officials to give us their side of the story without any real challenges to their claims. You do your listeners a disservice by giving these people a chance to spin their lies on your shows.

Am I out of line?
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BuyingThyme Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-03-07 07:09 PM
Response to Original message
1. You have a point, but the fact of the matter is that
AAR must rely on evil corporations to survive.

Start with Clear Channel and work your way down (up?).
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nachoproblem Donating Member (327 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-03-07 07:17 PM
Response to Original message
2. I always thought that as liberals,
we believe that "the truth will out." (Don't we?) Air America hosts should be able to talk to anybody they want to, whether it includes Dittoheads, Freepers, Michael Savage, flesh-eating zombies, or whatever. The way to expose liars is not to deny them a voice, it's to put what they're saying out in the open and then respond by saying exactly what you think of it. Otherwise genuine skeptics might start to wonder if you're hiding something.

It's kind of moot to me anyway. I stopped listening when Al Franken left.
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KharmaTrain Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-03-07 07:37 PM
Response to Original message
3. It's A "For Profit" Business
Unfortunately, we regularly see posts here about another AAR station changing format. The reason cited is almost always lack of revenues. Operating a full-time network of that scope isn't cheap. Besides the air talent's salary, there are producers, technicians, marketing, sales people and so on...along with the costs of distributing their programming (satellite time). It ain't cheap and political talk formats run into problems that many agencies and advertisers shy away from any controversial format. Finally, radio is suffering from a self-induced economic disaster...large debts, shrinking revenues and greater competition. Personally, I'm glad I'm no longer directly connected to this world...it was tough making a living in the good times.

I'm grateful for any advertiser on my local AAR station...it means money to keep the format alive another day. I'm old enough...and I would image most other listeners are...to determine what is a "good advertiser" and who isn't.

Now, if you're willing to make up the revenues AAR loses or find alternative ways for the network to keep the lights on, I'm sure they'd be all ears.
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maseman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-03-07 07:47 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. Obviously a radio veteran
I also work in radio and you are dead on. Look people, we can't have it both ways. If we want progressive talk radio then we will have to endure at least some commercial messages that we might now agree with from time to time. If the Home Depot, which donates millions to right-wing and religious causes, wants to spend a million dollars of advertising on Air America shows, then they should most certainly take the money.

Let's say Randi Rhodes is making $500,000 per year. Where do you think that money comes from to pay her? Listener donations? I think not.

I used to do talk radio and at times played commercials on my show of businesses that I didn't like. One was a restaurant which I knew campaigned for and funneled thousands into the local Repuke party. But I played their ads because that is the way it works.

Let's get real folks.
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KharmaTrain Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-03-07 08:03 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. A Necessary Evil
Thank you for your post. Yep...played in the radio world for over 25 years (too long) and worked at all levels. Most stations did (note the past tense) have advertising standards or restrictions...for example prohibiting liquor advertising...and some even prohibited political advertising to avoid having to deal with Fairness Doctrine and all the other paperwork that went with it. If TPBB at AAR felt this advertising would offend listeners they reserve the right to reject what's aired...it appears that wasn't the case.

I also had to deal with clients I couldn't stand. At one station a major advertiser was a right wing, anti-semetic asshole who I wouldn't do business with if he were the last store on earth...however his store employed several of my friends and he pumped in several thousands dollars to the station that ended up in my paycheck. Yes...it's the trade-off we all make when we enter the business world. Not everyone is gonna be a good guy...you do what you need to so you survive to fight another day.

Cheers...

P.S. - Are you still in radio? I'm always interested in connecting with other radio people here.
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JackRiddler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-03-07 10:23 PM
Response to Reply #4
13. Let's say Randi Rhodes is making $500,000 per year?!
Let's start then by breaking her and anyone else at that level down to a very generous $100,000.

This is progressive radio - paying half a million to someone, anyone for the freedom to blather? Or have I confused this with pro sports?
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hellbound-liberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-03-07 08:15 PM
Response to Reply #3
8. You both make very good points and I agree that AAR needs all the help it can get
I guess I am being a bit unrealistic to hope that there are enough of "us" and businesses owned by people who think like us that we don't need to suckle at the same corporate teat. It just makes me wonder how long AAR will be able to maintain an independent voice if it becomes too reliant on the same people over whom they are supposed to be providing some type of oversight. The fact that it is a "for-profit" business puts it dangerously close to the other "for-profit" media who long ago shirked their responsibility to investigate the issues with a free and critical perspective. Someone once said that the worst thing that can happen to an artist is that they get paid for their work. I'm beginning to think that the same holds true for "journalists".
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KharmaTrain Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-03-07 08:28 PM
Response to Reply #8
10. For Profit Doesn't Mean Evil
It's the individual who creates the evil. It's the greed factor or the desire to social climb that are excuses to compromise standards, but that's also human nature.

If anything, the more commercial secure an AAR becomes, the more embolden it will become in its personalities and their voice. If Randi Rhodes were to attract an audience of millions and be a major revenue generator for the network, do you think she'd "sell-out?" She'd use that power (as she did at her stations in Miami & Palm Beach) to leave her alone. The bottom line is the bottom line...if it makes money you do it.

We have "non-profit" media...Pacifica and many community radio stations across the country. Their mission and focus are more altruistic and even then they rely on corporate underwriting as their prime sources of funding. It's difficult to rely on donations.

The problem isn't the profit side, but who owns and makes the profit. Conglomerates like Time-Warner and General Electric aren't Mark Green...they will compromise quality to maximize a profit.

Cheers...
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greenman3610 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-03-07 08:09 PM
Response to Original message
6. Lighten up. What should they sell, tofu?
I'm just damn glad they're on, and I'm glad they
sell all that ridiculous stuff that they sell. That's the
business model, and if it doesn't work as a business,
then the whole experiment doesn't work and we cede the whole thing
to Limbaugh.
If you want them to sell something morally righteous,
get out there and start making something
righteous, and then buy ads on Air America.
Problem solved.
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Ilsa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-03-07 08:13 PM
Response to Original message
7. Ugh. I suppose there are worse things they could hustle. But I don't
get AAR anymore in my car. The Austin station switched to another format. And it seems like I have to jump through hoops (logins, etc) to get it to run on my laptop, whereas Nova M radio is a breeze to access on my laptop, or even on my cellphone.
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Berry Cool Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-03-07 08:25 PM
Response to Original message
9. My biggest concern today was the LACK of commercials on Air America.
I listen on XM Radio and I noticed that today on Randi's show there was a lot of "generic filler music" where ads would normally be. I mean, lots and lots. I wondered if this was a bad sign.
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originalpckelly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-03-07 09:35 PM
Response to Original message
11. AAR has a shark fetish.
Edited on Mon Dec-03-07 09:36 PM by originalpckelly
Quite frankly, I'm opposed to propaganda from either side. If we're going to have opinion, there ought to be an equal mix of it. I'm certain few liberals watch Faux News, and few conservatives watch MSNBC and that's the point. Why is it that either side is watching liberally/conservatively biased media if their of the same persuasion? Seems like the folks on our side are trying to keep us in line, same for the other side and their propaganda. Both sides ought to have enough confidence in what they believe to stick to the facts, not just the facts that make them look right.
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in_cog_ni_to Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-03-07 09:59 PM
Response to Original message
12. Thom Hartmann had PAT BUCHANAN on his show today! It's insane! When was the last time Mike Malloy
was on Rush's show or Hannity's show? Or O'LIELLY's show? Or how many times has ANY Progressive been on RW talk radio? REPUKES SHOULD BE BANNED FROM AIR AMERICA AIRWAVES!

My head was ready to explode when I tuned into Thom Hartmann today and heard PAT BUCHANAN!(*&^%$#@#$%^&*( :grr: I don't want to hear their shit. We hear it every freakin' day on the MSM. That's why I listen to Air America Radio...fercryingoutloud! We should NEVER give them a voice on PROGRESSIVE talk radio...NEVER, NEVER, NEVER!
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