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Subsidized Propaganda
By Michael Reagan


April 03, 2004

Liberal talk radio has arrived - again.

Call it what you want, but this is nothing but a propaganda machine for the Democrat Party. People may think that conservative talk radio is a propaganda machine for the Republican Party but if it is it is only because we have earned the right to tell the GOP's side of the

story the old-fashioned way - we've worked our tails off in the marketplace to become successful there. Neither the Republicans nor anybody else subsidized us. We did it on our own and it was anything but easy.

In other words, we are in the free market. Air America is not. The liberals found fat cat supporters who used to support the Democrat party and have found a way to skirt the campaign finance laws and take out what amounts to a 24-hour a day political advertisement against George Bush and for the Democrat party.

What they are doing is buying time on the air and handpicking their chosen shills posing as talk show hosts who never had to prove themselves in the national marketplace through hard work. They have to be subsidized as NPR is subsidized in order to get on the air.

This is not to say that there are not any really good liberal talk show hosts. I've known some of them for years. Bill Press, who does a morning show out of Washington D.C., is one of them. Alan Colmes, another longtime friend, has a national radio talk show along with his Hannity & Colmes show. They are not part of the Air America launching of liberal talk radio. They worked hard to get there;nobody subsidized them.

Why didn't Air America take truly good liberal hosts who are already in the marketplace earning their keep, instead of inflicting wackos like Randy Rhodes in West Palm Beach on their listeners?

This latest attempt to peddle socialism will fail, as anybody who has heard liberal talk radio's sorry performances in the first couple of days already knows. They recall how it failed when John Hightower and Mario Cuomo and Jerry Brown tried it. Look, they aren't on WABC in New York - they're on the 34th rated station, as they are in Chicago as they are in Los Angeles and San Francisco. They're preaching to an "almost empty" choir.

When this venture fails what will happen is that good liberal talk show hosts who now want to come into the market as a career, or extend their current careers by going to a national show, will discover that broadcasting professionals won't want to give them a chance because they will inevitably say they already gave liberal talk radio a chance and it bombed. "Why should we take a chance on you?"

As a result, there will be more conservative talk shows and fewer liberal talk shows ­ the liberals will end up having shot themselves in the foot once again.

What I fear is that when they fail and conservative radio extends its hold on talk radio, if the liberals and John Kerry and the Democrats take over the White House and Capitol Hill, they will revive the Fairness Doctrine and then be able to threaten radio stations and their general managers and owners, and force them to put their people on the air who can't earn their way on and need the power of the federal government to shove them down our throats.

Air America launched their liberal talk show programs a day too early. The next day, April first ­ April Fools Day - would have been more appropriate.

Mike Reagan, the eldest son of President Ronald Reagan, is heard on more than 200 talk radio stations nationally as part of the Premiere Radio Network.

©2004 Mike Reagan.
Mike's column is distributed to subscribers for publication by: Cagle Cartoons, Inc.


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