One of the clearer divides between conservatism and progressivism is readily witnessed in education, with the former preferring instruction on how to think whereas the latter would rather promote what to think.
With that in mind, 35 years after talk radio legend Rush Limbaugh revolutionized the medium, the success of free speech on the airwaves has only grown as a threat to Democrats’ agenda driving the latest attack from CBS that talk radio is “bad for America.”
With out-of-context snippets from leading voices like the late, great Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Dana Loesch, and Dan Bongino, CBS’ senior national correspondent Jim Axelrod lamented the decades-old repeal of the Fairness Doctrine on “Sunday Morning” with a total lack of self-awareness. Joined by media historian Brian Rosenwald and Talkers Magazine publisher Michael Harrison, not one among them identified that what they were promoting was the antithesis of anything American.
“Thirty-five years after the talk radio revolution, on the air is still often an exercise in off the rails,” Axelrod snarked before introducing “industry expert” Rosenwald who authored “Talk Radio’s America.”
When asked if the current state of talk radio was the same or different, the historian replied, “If anything, Jim, I think it’s more extreme.”
“It has unquestionably divided Americans. It has unquestionably hardened our politics,” he went on, leading Axelrod to ask, “And how is that good for America?”
“It’s not!” Rosenwald declared. “It’s bad for America.”
The correspondent had led into the argument by addressing the Reagan-era repeal of the 1949 Federal Communications Commission regulation known as the Fairness Doctrine.
“Following the repeal of the Fairness Doctrine in 1987, broadcasters were no longer required to present both sides of controversial political issues…which ushered in Rush Limbaugh’s polarizing and immensely popular style that attracted 15 million listeners a week who felt dominant media outlets had a liberal bias.”
The regulation had been imposed at a time when broadcast networks like NBC and CBS dominated the market and there was little room for competition. With the repeal of the doctrine, the doors were opened for Limbaugh to usher in a new era of broadcasting.
Harrison, too, lamented the successes of conservatism as he said, “If we could have on the liberal side what we have on the conservative side, the talk radio industry would be better.”
“Free speech would be better served,” he suggested if only people would listen, or perhaps be made to listen, to what progressives have to say. “And the nation would be better served.”
Amidst this therapy session, venting on how the long format style of talk radio where hosts are frequently challenged by callers of opposing viewpoints where only fact-based arguments can win the day, was an admission that the left has control of other formats like late-night comedy.
“I think Jon Stewart has been every bit of a trailblazer as Rush Limbaugh was,” Rosenwald expressed as to why there is no “liberal Rush Limbaugh.”
“And he happened to colonize late-night comedy. Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Kimmel most of the late-night comics lean left at this point,” he added.
“The mission of talk radio,” Harrison claimed, “is to generate ratings and revenue.”
What he also failed to acknowledge, as the contrived smear did throughout the segment, was that the ratings could only be made possible if the audience remained satisfied with what they were being offered. Therefore, the ultimate conclusion from the liberals was that Rush Limbaugh was bad for America because they cannot stand the free market.
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