Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Progressive Talk Radio - are we blowing it again?

I love progressive talk.  I listen almost exclusively to Air America, and Big Eddie is my main man.  It's very existence has been given credit for giving elected Democrats the little bit of spine that is trying its hardest to emerge from those timid beings, in that it's where those same Democrats have a place to speak and be heard without fear of the slightest slip of the tongue being overblown into a 24/7 scandal of the day.

So why am I hearing less of them and more of the rightwing on their air?

Here we finally have a platform for the left, so who's on with our favorite left-of-center talkshow hosts? 

Medea Benjamin of Code Pink?  Nope. 

ANSWER talking about the next large anti-Iraq War demonstation?  Not to be found. 

How about the guys of MoveOn?  Rarely. 

Noam Chomsky?  Absent. 

What are we getting instead?  Big Eddie Schultz has Richard Viguerie on....RICHARD FREAKIN' VIGUERIE!!  You remember him, he's the neocon mail darling of the far right who's been selling the idea that liberals are evil Commies for years now.  He's on the Schultz show to cry about how Bush is selling out conservatives (funny how ol' Dickie neglected to mention this when Bush's approval numbers were over 60%).   Thom Hartmann has on David Horowitz.....DAVID STINKING HOROWITZ!!  You know, that guy who's convinced most professors are card-carrying Marxists.  What is he on with Hartmann for?  So Thom can debate him....when he's not debating speakers from the Heritage Society, or some libertarian, or some other rightwing nutjob.  Other talk show hosts have welcomed such luminaries of the left as Patrick Buchanan and Texas Rep. (and former Libertarian Party as well as current Republican Party presidential candidate) Ron Paul.

Excuse me, but with over 450 rightwing talkshows across the country and over 4000 hours a week of trash right reinforcement on the air, these guys can't get their ideas across anywhere but PROGRESSIVE TALK SHOWS??!

We're blowing it again, dammit.  Here...finally....we have a plaform for Democrats and other left-leaners who can't buy positive coverage anywhere else.  I want to know what the Pissed Off Grannies Against the War are up to.  I'd like a heads-up on the next major demonstration to see if a major city near me is joining in so I can too.  The Progressive Democrats of America - I'd like to know what their current campaign is about.  Tell me how the Green Party is doing.  I don't get to hear about any of that on progressive radio and I wonder why.

If I wanted to know what the barking-at-the-moon crazies of the right were up to, a little twist of the radio dial and I can get all the Rush, Sean, O'Reilly and their various clones I can eat.  Progressive radio is falling into the trap that the beltway Democrats have bitten hard on, namely the idea that the left is not as important as the right guest-wise.

It's not the hosts themselves doing this - when its just them talking and taking calls, progressive talk lives up to it's name very well.  I've heard the argument from them on why they have the trash right on - "we have to have both sides", "it's better if we have them on and destroy their false ideas one on one".


We pushed and pushed to get liberal talk radio on because there was no balance to the myriad rightwing talkers and there was no way to get our views out.  Note to the progressive talk show hosts:  We already know what positions the far right takes on the issues and how they think - for years, those of us who love talk radio had nothing BUT them to listen to.  Groups like ANSWER are getting called communist fronts by the people you're bringing on the air to "debate" - how about leaving the cons to con radio and giving the left a chance to actually get to tell their side of the story and what they're really all about on a national radio show instead?

Let liberal/progressive radio talk to liberal/progressive PEOPLE - that's what most of us are tuning in to hear.  Help pass the word on to them.

No comments: