Since early 2008, with the failure of leftist competitor Air America, the left has been scheming to shut down conservative talk radio – the only part of American media not dominated by the left. It’s all in the name of “fairness,” of course.
The Obama “transformation of America” has been slowed and, in some cases, derailed by talk radio-driven discussions, debate and demonstrations.
With elections looming that threaten leftist control of the federal government, the scheming is over. The left is taking action.
Citizens for Civility and Accountability in Media, or CCAM, has been formed specifically to pressure radio stations to fire popular conservative talk hosts. First target: Fresno, Calif., talker KMJ (AM and FM).
In the name of CCAM, Les Kimber, former president of the West Coast Black Publishers Association and publisher of the California Advocate newspaper in Fresno, joined by Ellie Bluestein, formerly Raging Grandmas of CodePink, demonstrated outside the studios of KMJ last Thursday demanding that KMJ fire Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and other conservative talk hosts for spreading hate and inciting violence.
Kimber charged that “KMJ programming is dominated by … talk hosts that are anti-government, anti-President Obama …” He went on to declare that this kind of talk “creates an atmosphere of divisiveness that allows for the real possibility of violence toward elected officials including the president of the United States.”
He offered no examples of this connection between critical talk and subsequent violence because there are none to offer – unless you attend one of the lectures given by radical imams.
During the Bush years, criticism and dissent were “patriotic.” Today, the left embraces its inner censor.
Bluestein, a lifelong leftist (Hands Off Cuba Committee to CodePink) asserted at the demonstration that “radio stations should be responsible for telling the truth” – only her “truth,” of course.
Catching herself playing censor, she quickly added, “I have no problem with a radio station expressing a point of view, but I do not believe a radio station has the right to mislead the public.” Heavens no, Ellie. There’s only one truth, isn’t there? Debate, dissent, disagreement – it’s just so distracting.
Two weeks ago in Venezuela, leftist leader Hugo Chavez shut down the last TV station that aired opinions critical of his regime. The owner was put in jail. No misleading the public in Venezuela.
The CCAM demonstration ended by concluding that if KMJ did not fire its talk hosts, the group would complain to the FCC, threatening the stations license to broadcast.
These tactics mirror a call to action from the FCC “Chief Diversity Officer” Mark Lloyd who has praised Hugo Chavez for taking action against media owners who stifle “intelligent dialogue” and the ability of local communities “to communicate.”
As a talk-show host in my 24th year at the microphone, I’m proud of telling the truth about the left in America – the shredding of our Constitution, the suppression of opportunity and the creation of dependency on government, the “too-big-to-fail” creation of a “crony capitalist” state to replace the free market. Oh, there’s lots to talk about.
But I’m most proud of opening the phones every day to other points of view. Real debate in American media only happens on talk radio. When was the last time Diane Sawyer, Brian Williams or Katie Couric, not to mention the odious Keith Olbermann, took a call at all?
Conservative talk radio is increasingly popular with listeners (not one of whom is forced to listen) precisely because our growing audiences hear information and explanation available nowhere else in the lapdog, government propaganda American media.
Talk radio is where Arizona’s right to protect its citizens against the invasion of illegal aliens gets a fair hearing. Talk radio is where the country learned back in 2009 that the Department of Homeland Security regarded returning veterans as potential Timothy McVeighs and as security threats to the nation. Talk radio keeps talking about Maj. Hassan and his jihadist attack at Fort Hood when the rest of the media want to “move on.”
While the rest of American media were content to broadcast President Obama’s endless mantras about his health-care “reform” saving money, preserving doctor choice and covering the uninsured, talk-radio audiences actually read the bill to find out these assertions were not true.
It’s not a comfort to have the Congressional Budget Office, after the bill was enacted and signed, come forward with “new estimates” of cost, proving talk radio was right to be skeptical.
Talk radio informs and drives the debate in this country like no other part of American media, particularly now that radio and the Internet have begun to merge.
Is this a threat to “The Party Line is the Truth” crowd? In Sarah Palin’s immortal words, “You betcha!”
As the tea-party movement has shown, if the left wants to fall back on its bully boy ways to intimidate radio stations, supporters will turn out in far larger numbers to protect and defend talk radio’s right to exist.