Democrats can’t ‘message’ didley as long as they ignore talk radio.
It's not so much about content and technique as it is about volume and unchallenged repetition. The republicans have 1000 think-tank-coordinated radio stations pounding the earholes of 50 million Americans a week. It is a buzz machine Madison Avenue can only dream of. It is a constant all day advertisement for whatever the right likes or doesn’t like.
It doesn't matter what Obama and the Left does or says- if the think tank analysts see something working for progressives they design a response and Rush Limbaugh starts the over-messaging and distraction and distortion and diversion, followed by the rest of the blowhards piling on with their own scripted versions, protected from truth by call screeners and prompted and praised by paid callers.
Whatever Obama says on Thursday, the Right’s dominating messaging machine will be able to convert it into another attack on Obama, with the Left eventually helping out. The radio advantage has been the difference the last 20 years and unless the Left’s organizations start to take it seriously the Citizens United ruling will make that advantage overwhelming in 2012.
Many of the things the Left is criticizing Obama for are a lot of the same things Clinton was criticized for and what Gore and Kerry would have been criticized for- ineffectiveness in the face of a party that dominates media and does not believe in democracy.
RW radio did the heavy lifting for the 2010 elections, gave the Tea Party their alternate reality, beat back the Public Option, forced us to the edge of default, and made it political suicide for Boehner to allow the president to speak on Wednesday.
Progressive organizations have to take the lead or they will continue to waste volunteer time and donations. Someone has to provide a searchable transcript database of the main local and national talkers. That way the readers on the Left will have fewer surprises and the media and politicians will have to become more aware of using radio-prechewed talking points and framing as if it was truth.
Obama and prominent Democrats and progressives need to formally elevate Rush Limbaugh to head of the GOP and repeatedly point out its dependence on the talk radio monopoly that he is point man for. Obama should start that in the Thursday speech.
Ignoring right wing talk radio is the biggest blunder in political history. There is NO organized opposition to it from the left, while it kicks their/our internet ass all over the rapidly warming countryside.
2. You are completely right. Which is one of the reasons
I at times listen to RW radio. I want to know what is being spun so I can have an intelligent, researched defense to all the garbage. It turns my stomach, and I would laugh at the stupidity if I didn't realize how much power there is in these shows.
For some reason, we liberals are usually not into talk radio, which is one reason that left leaning radio does not have the same platform---we have never supported it. The question is, how do we infiltrate that media? We just will never win unless we are able to pound on our points with as much airtime as they have. I have come to the realization that it is true---if you repeat a lie enough times, if becomes a truth, at least for enough people to matter.
And another area that they are succeeding in is those stupid emails with blatant fictions, sent to people all over the country in short order.
18. You present something interesting here...the airwaves.
The airwaves are not "owned" by the corporations, even if the stations are. The airwaves are the property of the people. And if I am not mistaken, there are times when a station has to get their license to use a certain frequency renewed by the government.
So....we probably should be looking at the stations that are not presenting balance, and making complaints at the time these licenses are up for review.
16. the radio monopoly is not an expression of market forces that needs a business challenge
it is a propaganda tool that has been used to make national rational discussion of major issues impossible. it make real democracy impossible. it has turned the GOP into a teabagger horror clown driving us over a cliff. every day those carnival barkers set up soapboxes on every corner and stump in the country and scream liberals are liars and thieves and lazy traitors and the left just walks by. they're getting a free speech free ride.
this is about picketing radio stations when they call teachers and public employees and union members bottom feeders, or saying " obama's head needs to roll" (limbaugh, sept 10, 2008) and shaming their local sponsors and the universities that endorse the racism and anti-science global warming denial because they use those same stations to broadcast their sports.
3. Most people don't have talk radio in the background for calm, reasoned discourse
Most people listen to talk radio as an audio version of the WWF - easy, candy coated fluff that doesn't challenge or take a lot of thinking, but can also get them pumped up to be part of "a team" - any team. Unfortunately, over the past thirty plus years, the right wing has controlled talk radio enough through hyperbole, innuendo, and outright lies, that any attempt at "pumping up the truth" for the general listener gets looked on as radical, unbalanced rabble rousing. Supposedly neutral news and opinion outlets such as NPR have to be "balanced" favorably towards the right - and they still get accused of being liberal shills.
I think it's pretty much a wash - so long as Corporate interests own and profit off the media, there will always be a conservative, "keep the status quo" class warfare promotion where the lower and middle classes are going to be pitted against each other like it was a cage match for the amusement of the wealthy and their sycophants.
14. Right, people who's jobs involve thinking usually have music on -
But, when they're stuck in a car, or stuck waiting at a shop, or otherwise doing something "mindless", and don't feel in the mood for music, they ofthen turn on talk radio. And there's three types - sports, religion, news and opinion. If your local station thinks that conservitive talk radio is going to get them more money and regular listeners than liberal talk radio, that's who they're going to carry. Conservitive opinion talk radio has had pretty much a thirty year monopoly on "infotainment", backed by corporations who made money off that sort of thinking. Corporations don't want people thinking or experimenting, they want brand loyalty. So the jokers that push "brand loyalty" type of thinking are the ones who pull in the revenue to get on more radio stations than someone who might get special interest following.
Have you ever driven between the Sierra's and the Mississippi River? Right wing talk radio is about the only thing on the radio 24/7 in rural America! Rural America is "red" because it is completely brainwashed. Christ, you would be overjoyed just to get an Ag station going over hog belly prices vs. the constant Rush fascist blatherings.
Radio Syndicates need to be broken up and a fairness doctrine re-instated. Until this happens, rural America is lost to the Democratic party. Especially since the 50 state strategy was jettisoned along with Dr. Dean.
4. The problem isn't how much RW radio there is, but the fact thgat haters gravitate to it.
Liberal radio can never counteract reactionary radio because the latter are ANGRY people who want to punish somebody. It's less a radio demographic than it is a permanent lynch mob, standing ready to burn down or string up whomever their mouthpieces say to.
Conservative Republicans LOVE hate and retribution and punishment. It makes them feel victorious.
Liberals are wimps who don't enjoy heaping calumnies or calling names. They insist on playing nice and being fair-minded.
9. it's not about a market for left wing radio- it's about ignoring the fact
that they have a pack of jerks standing on every corner and stump in the country screaming liberals are whores and thieves and traitors and the liberals stick their iPods in their ears and walk on by. since no one got in their face the lies those carnival barkers have been screaming are acceptable.
it's about protests and shaming and boycotting of local sponsors, and the universities and pro teams and high schools that endorse the carnival barkers by broadcasting sports on those stations.
15. and many are not followers. but when instructed they are a made-to-order constituency for
whatever they are needed to do - to intimidate or enable media or politicians, to scream in town halls. you don't need a majority if you have a lot of money and just need to make a show. how many times have you heard politicians and talking heads say the people want this or that? my constituents say this or that. our readers say this or that. you can ignore the majority until it comes time to vote, and then you suppress it and steal it. in the meantime you obstruct and move media and politicians and the political 'center' around as you want and claim whatever you want as long as 1000 radio stations have your back and set the tone for you. it beats real democracy.
19. You are wrong. Neither of these forms of media are dead,
and if you dismiss them, you are making a grave mistake.
Many of the listeners and readers are older people, and are voters, and are super-voters. They don't miss an election. And many of these same people will be like born-again Christians, who will preach this drivel every chance they get. Not only are the lies being repeated again and again on the radio, they become multiplied by all the followers every place they go.
Do not underestimate the power we are talking about. Look at the 2010 elections, the election of Shrub (twice), and tell me that these people are insignificant.
You make a very good point about RW radio being the main instrument of propaganda and control of the neo-cons/corporatists and lame brained teabaggers. However, I have my suspicion that part of the reason why progressive/left radio machinery is not taking hold is that wealthy progressives that have the means to support counter measures to the RW are sympathetic toward the corporatists and would rather not disrupt the scheme that is making them extra wealthy as well. The wealthy lefties have not been willing to fund the setting of equivalent think-tanks, propaganda machinery and the coordination that should in place to effectively counter the RW. I do believe that if such is set up progressive would listen to radios as well and far more that rethugs because progressive radios will be pervasive and all over the place which will make them easy to find as well.
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