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Though most Americans aren’t yet aware of it, talk radio – from Rush Limbaugh to the local talker in small-town America – is under major attack, reports the August issue of WND’s acclaimed Whistleblower magazine, titled “THE WAR ON TALK RADIO.”
And no wonder: Last month radio talkers presided over a minor American revolution when they urged millions of citizens to successfully oppose the immigration/amnesty bill that the president and both political parties had been pushing relentlessly. It went down in flames – a devastating blow to the political establishment.
Now it’s revenge time. If radio talkers, in conjunction with the Internet, can mobilize Americans to oppose the political elite with regard to immigration, what kind of effect might they have on voters during the critically important November 2008 presidential election just around the corner? The fact is, powerful forces in and out of politics feel extremely threatened by this one part of the mass media that overwhelmingly champions traditional American values.
In short: They want talk radio crippled before it does any more “damage.”
Ironically, virtually the entire “Old Media,” including the broadcast networks, major daily newspapers, newsmagazines and wire services like the Associated Press, represent views far to the left of Middle America, as every study for the past three decades has proven conclusively. It is only talk radio and the Internet – the “New Media” – that provide any balance and fairness to what has until recently been a leftist media monopoly.
As the incendiary August issue of Whistleblower magazine proves, “THE WAR ON TALK RADIO” is rapidly heating up, and involves many different types of attacks. Some are already well under way, some waiting in the wings, some out in the open, some behind the scenes. All are intended to throttle talk radio.
Some of the attacks are congressional, such as the controversial “Fairness Doctrine” which would legally require that views expressed on a radio talk show be “balanced” with opposing views – a surefire formula for destroying talk radio, critics contend. But beyond the “Fairness Doctrine,” which was defeated – for the time being – a few weeks ago, Sen. John Kerry has gone so far as to call for bringing back the equal-time provisions. That would mandate not just “fairness” in broadcasts – by forcibly requiring that “conservative” views be balanced with “liberal” views – but actual minute-for-minute, second-by-second measurements of what is said on the public airwaves.
Some of the attacks on talk radio are quiet and technical – like proposals to force minority ownership on radio stations in an effort to get a more left-leaning worldview on the air. That would be accomplished by: 1) limiting how many radio stations one company can own, 2) shortening broadcast license terms, 3) requiring radio broadcasters to regularly show they are operating in the “public interest,” and 4) believe it or not, imposing a fee on broadcasters who fail to meet these “public interest obligations” with the funding to go to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting!
Other attacks are more public and sensational – like the efforts of Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton against talk show hosts. After successfully leading the charge against talker Don Imus for using a watered-down version of the coarse language that permeates today’s black music industry, Sharpton said: “It is our feeling that this is only the beginning. We must have a broad discussion on what is permitted and not permitted in terms of the airwaves.” Talk radio executives are convinced Jackson and Sharpton are sharpening their knives to go after more talk hosts for “abuse of the airwaves.”
Still other attacks are based on charges of “bigotry and hate speech.” Currently, Rush Limbaugh, Michael Savage, Bill O’Reilly, Glenn Beck, Neal Boortz, John Gibson and Michael Smerconish have all been declared to be under scrutiny for their on-air “hate speech.”
Highlights of this issue include:
“America is short on leadership right now,” said WND founder and CEO Joseph Farah. “Radio talk show hosts, who every day belt out the truth that no one else in the broadcast world dares to speak, are the closest thing today’s Americans have to real leadership. Eliminate talk radio and America goes down the tubes. That fact makes this an extremely important issue of Whistleblower – to read and to share with others.
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