Saturday, March 26, 2011

The Liberal Media

I don't think that means what you think it means.

When it comes to covering and analyzing the news, the reverse of right isn't left; it's independent reporting that toes neither party nor ideological line. We’ve heard no NPR reporter -- not a one -- advocating on the air for more government spending (or less), for the right of abortion (or against it), for or against gay marriage, or for or against either political party, especially compared to what we hear from Fox News and talk radio on all of these issues and more.

On my morning drive to work, I can tune into WWL News, Talk, & Sports; Rush Radio; or Walton & Johnson on Clear Channel. Until Glenn Beck comes on Rush Radio at 9am, Walton & Johnson provide a long string of invective and false folksy "common sens-ism" towards all things center or left. The number of inaccuracies and misrepresentations are simply stunning most of the time.

Such are the building blocks of agnotology. Even strung together with grossly exaggerated fake gay, black, and overly redneck voices, people listen to that morning show in New Orleans, and later repeat those inaccuracies as fact in discussions.



jeffrey said...

I can't believe Walton and Johnson are still on the radio. They've been doing the same shtick at least since the mid 80s. I can remember listening to them on B-97 in my mom's car on the way to school between contemporary hits by George Michael, INXS, Elton John... the pop giants of the day.

I cannot stomach "Rush Radio" so I don't keep up with W&J so much anymore. From what I understand, their content has become subtly more political (although by no means any less stupid) in recent years. It makes sense that they lead in to Beck since, if you know anything about his career, you'll understand that he's basically a W&J act who made it big.

At least with a station that calls itself "Rush Radio" you kind of know what you're in for. I have a bigger problem with WWL which I think abuses its position as the area's most powerful and most listened to station by insulting its wide audience with know-nothing pseudo-everymen like Garland and Spud, verifiable morons like Delgiorno, and the occasional appearance by Tommy Tucker and his out and out right wing clownery. And that doesn't even begin to describe the mess that their sports department has become since the sad departure of Buddy D.

For a station that prides itself on being the local "news leader" I think they do us a pretty sad service.

Cousin Pat from Georgia said...

Clarification: the way I wrote that wrongly indicates that W&J are on Rush Radio before Beck. They aren't - they are the morning show on the classic rock station until around 10am.

Which is what I consider even more insidious, because it catches the classic rock radio listener on their way into work. And the content of their show is one of examples I use to demonstrate how popular culture continues to be exploited as a vehicle to propogate identity politics. This is the soft power of "aw-shucks" social pathology.

The guy and gal that lead into Beck on the Rush station are fairly boring as far as right-wing hackery is concerned, so I tend to ignore them as too whiny and off message.

Thing is, it is the medium and the audience. WWL wouldn't have the center-right opinion lean if it didn't sell. That's one reason Air America failed, and one reason I pulled the quote I did.

"Liberal" radio that has listener support is about reporting the news; "Right-Wing, People-Who-Play-Conservatives-On-The-Radio-for-Money" radio that has listener support is about opinion, talkback, and outrage.

Cousin Pat from Georgia said...

Oh, and this morning on Rush Radio, the guy who leads into Beck was discussing Obama's speech last night. He compared it to when Clinton went into "Serbia. Well, really Kosovo, Serbia had a little to do with it."

After that, it was all adult diaper and bra-size jokes.