Let Us Save You From Yourselves!
What our senior Senator is rambling about is talk radio. With the banruptcy of Air America, as so ably reported on by Porcupine's friend the Radio Equalizer, the liberal and progressive movement have realized there is only one way to make people listen to what is good for them - pass a law making them do so. Porcupine will not comment upon the alleged conversation between Senators Boxer and Clinton, since these ladies deny it took place; Sen. Kerry can mumble for them instead.
Air America was able to eke out only three years on the air; Al Franken has left for politicing and only Randi Rhodes is still nailing her flag to the mast. Yet Rush, and Laura, Howie and Ann flourish like green bay trees. Clearly, govenment action is called for. Yes, yes, they still have NPR and Noah, but clearly, it's not enough.
Porcupine is interested that this fairness is to extend only to the radio waves. Where is the call for equality on the Olberman show? Or WBZ-TV news, if it comes to that?
You see, at the same time these clarion calls for enforced liberal thought on the radio were being made, a newspaper story emerged about the donation habits of journalists in all media. Guess where the money went.
Bill Dedman, an MSNBC reporter, combed through Federal Election Commission reportings of campaign donations since 2004 looking for anyone who identified themselves as 'Journalist' as a profession, or who identified a news organization as an employer. of the 143 journalists who gave donations, 19 gave to Republicans or Republican causes. A link to the article is HERE.
It is important to note that this tally may not include those who gave less than the $200 in a single calendar year which requires candidates to ask for employment, and doesn't include those who gave at the state and local level and before 2004 (Porcupine sorely wishes that 2003 had been included as well). This was not some hit job, but a well researched piece giving each of the reporters in queston a chance to respond.
The Ethics Reporter of the New York Times was dismissed for being unable to recognize an ethical breach when he saw one. Randy Cohen provided Porcupine's favorite rationalization, saying he thought of MoveOn.org as nonpartisan and thought the donation would be allowed even under the strict rule at the Times.
"We admire those colleagues who participate in their communities — help out at the local school, work with Little League, donate to charity," Cohen said in an e-mail. "But no such activity is or can be non-ideological. Few papers would object to a journalist donating to the Boy Scouts or joining the Catholic Church. But the former has an official policy of discriminating against gay children; the latter has views on reproductive rights far more restrictive than those of most Americans. Should reporters be forbidden to support those groups? I’d say not. Unless a group’s activities impinge on a reporter’s beat, the reporter should be free to donate to a wide range of nonprofits. Make a journalist’s charitable giving transparent, and let the readers weigh it as they will." He went on to warn, "To conceal one’s political opinions is not to be without them."
How is this germane to the objectivity of talk radio? Consider that ABC, CBS, CNN and NPR - broadcasters all - strictly forbid political donations which might be as big a tip-off to ideological bias as those of print media and other broadcast outlets are. Where are the cries to revive the Fairness Doctrine on television, or in newspapers?
If progressive radio is a failure, and conservative radio is a success, it is because people are listening. The comparative decline of newspaper reading is an instructive corollary. Like pornography, people know bias when they see it. Please, progressives, let a thousand flowers bloom. If you can't attract people to listen to you, the flaw may be in the message, not the medium.