Random Thoughts

Liberal Talk Radio, and why it doesn't work

There is a basic reason why liberal talk radio is not viable, and that is the entertainment factor.

People do not tune in to talk radio to learn about current events, they do so in order to 1. be entertained, and 2. hear opinions with which they agree being expressed.

The only alteration to #2 is when people who disagree with the radical right wing opinions and attitudes prevalent on talk radio, and tune in to be entertained, that is, to get a laugh at the opinions being expressed. See #1.

The reasons that right wing radio succeeds where liberal talk fails are numerous, but they are primarily...

Right wing thought is much more cohesive and narrowly focussed than liberal thought, and so there is less dissension, less opportunity for frustration and argument "within the ranks" on the right than on the left. A show can speak to a much wider audience if the audience is more homogenous.

Liberal thought is funny, right wing thought is scary. People prefer to listen to funny than scary, and the principal gist for the radio mill is to mock "the other side." Thus, a right wing talk show host has many funny things to talk about. This is very entertaining.

After all, just look at how silly many LIBERAL IDEAS are:

  • Free market economics
  • Democracy
  • Freedom of speech, thought, conscience and religion
  • The right to own and carry firearms
  • The only legitimate power of government is that granted by the governed for their own purpose

There are more - and they splinter the left and make us look foolish. But hey, it's all for a good laugh, and discussing these things tends to generate progress towards a more humane society. Liberalism even sometimes discards ideas that don't work, just like science does.

Here are few comedic, divisive liberal issues:

  • Public education
  • Vehicular safety requirements
  • Workplace safety standards
  • Honesty in government
  • Human rights (Radical feminism)
  • Affirmative action
  • Opening up marriage to mixed race couples
  • Keeping the air and water clean - at the expense of job-creating businesses

A liberal program will invariably have to spend some time digging into the fallacies of the right wing, which tend either towards blindly increasing the wealth of the already rich (which is exhausting and pointless - they will get richer no matter what we do), or getting excited about killing people who live overseas (which is nauseating and primitive).

It is too simple (and thus yields very little on-air time) and too tiresome to continuously refute the "ideas" of the right.

Hey, we might as well list a few RIGHT WING IDEAS for fun, too:

  • Killing people makes their lives better
  • Cutting taxes is always a good thing for everyone
  • Separation of church and state means churches should have access to public funds
  • Federal deficits lead to reduced spending - and vice versa. Or were deficits bad? What week is this?
  • The line item veto is good, or, the line item veto is bad
  • Racial preferences are bigotry, nepotism (legacy admissions) is good
  • Being fully armed is the sign of a truly free people
  • Government cannot do anything well
  • The free market can solve any human problem imaginable
  • Honesty about oral sex is of grave importance to national security
  • The reason businesses exist is to create jobs


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© Huw Powell

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