Local Stories, Events
Ref. : Civic Events
Ref. : Arts & Education Events
Ref. : Public Service Notices
Books, Films, Arts & Education
Ref. : Letters to the editor
Health Care & Environment
11.18 Air pollution levels ‘forcing families to move out of cities’ [like from desertification, lack of drinkable water and rising oceans, there will also be pollution-caused immigration until humans fix things]
11.17 Policies of China, Russia and Canada threaten 5C climate change, study finds [Climate catastrophe is increasingly likely without worldwide organization, funding and commitment to winning THE WAR AGAINST GLOBAL WARMING.]
11.16 How pesticide bans can prevent tens of thousands of suicides a year [how many thousands more die early from eating pesticide-laced food?]
11.15 The long read: The plastic backlash: what's behind our sudden rage – and will it make a difference? [the world wants to throw-up...]
11.15 Claws out: crab fishermen sue 30 oil firms over climate change [workers are waking-up...]
11.12 This Land is Your Land: The Zinke effect: how the US interior department became a tool of industry [behaving ignorantly again...]
11.11 Trump responds to worst fires in California’s history by threatening to withhold federal aid [behaving ignorantly again...]
11.11 Interior department sued for ‘secretive process’ in at-risk species assessment [behaving ignorantly again...]
11.11 Keystone XL pipeline: judge rules government 'jumped the gun' and orders halt [behaving ignorantly again...]
News Media Matters
US Politics, Policy & 'Culture'
11.18 Trump says Pelosi deserves speakership, offers Republican votes [An affirmation of Pelosi's unsuitability]
11.18 Khanna to Pelosi: Don't Just Create Green New Deal Select Committee, Make Ocasio-Cortez Its Chair [Will Pelosi earnestly change, or end her career in disgrace?]
11.18 Chuck Schumer, Feckless Hack [Neoliberal Democrats must go!]
11.18 What the State of the VA Tells Us About Trump’s War on Welfare [Privatizing often results in outright fraud and higher costs by private prisons, privatized health insurance and health care, privatized public schools and online "colleges" like Trump University]
11.17 As Energy for Medicare for All Explodes, Steny Hoyer's Plan Includes Waiting for Trump to Help Make Obamacare Better [Another who is unfit to be Democrat leader]
11.17 'A Staggeringly Bad Idea': Outrage as Pelosi Pushes Tax Rule That Would 'Kneecap the Progressive Agenda' [Unfit to be Democrat leader]
11.16 As 'Green New Deal' Demand Grows, Democrats Have Choice: Confront and Defeat Fossil Fuel Industry or Take Credit for 'Doomed' Planet [Two choices: Save life-on-Earth or help Republicans let it die?]
11.14 The Guardian view on Yemen’s misery: the west is complicit [WAR CRIMES]
Economics, Crony Capitalism
11.16 Amazon’s HQ2 Will Get a Tax Break Designed to Help the Poor [a Republican program that directly helps participating wealthy companies—but only helps workers if and when 'trickle-down' occurs.]
11.16 Trump doesn’t want to punish Saudi Arabia over Khashoggi. His new sanctions prove it. [George W. Bush made a similar immoral decision for the same oily reasons after 9-11, protecting Saudi defense contracts while facilitating the slaughter of poorer Arab "terrorists" in the region.]
11.15 The Earth is in a death spiral. It will take radical action to save us [fossil fuel burning, un-recyclable plastic production/use and methane gas release must cease ASAP.]
International & Futurism
11.18 France demands UK climate pledge in return for Brexit trade deal [Excellent!]
11.17 Thousands gather to block London bridges in climate rebellion [We're losing WWIII because the enemy is invisible while we're like frogs slowly cooking. We aren't informed enough to be alarmed, but must get organized and motivated to fight back. We need a War Plan to ruthlessly pursue the fight of our lives!]
Air America had come into a market saturated by right-wing talk radio—and then committed suicide by incompetence.
Air America, the liberal radio network, went down in flames on Jan. 21, when it filed for bankruptcy. It wasn't because of air-to-air combat with conservative talk shows and bloggers. It wasn't because of the Recession, although reduced advertising revenue, a reality of all media, also affected Air America. It wasn't even demographics, even though older, marginalized conservatives tend to listen to radio more than do younger liberal professionals. And media history was only part of the problem.
By the 1960s, liberals had become masters at developing and using not only mainstream media but also an emerging alternative media to advance a social agenda. But then they choked, sputtered, and fell into disarray.
During the past two decades, conservatives slowly, almost methodically, established a talk show base that ignited its own movement.
By 2000, with liberals more focused upon the print media and the emerging social media, and having neglected the advantages of a re-energized AM bandwidth that was more adaptable to talk than to music, the personality-drenched conservative talk radio medium filled the vacuum. The talk shows targeted the same kind of audience that the liberal '60s alternative media had targeted—the socially and politically marginalized who distrusted Big Government and believed in individual liberties. Any emerging liberal network would be seen as merely an annoyance, rather than competition. The conservatives, embraced by Fox News and talk radio, solidified their hold upon the listeners by playing to the irrational fears of their base—that the media were controlled by liberals, and that government was out to get them.
Air America had begun as a fresh challenge to the conservative talk show movement. It had a decent mix of comedy, rant, and music. Eventually, it would syndicate shows to about 100 affiliates. Air America had come into a market saturated by right-wing talk radio—and then committed suicide by incompetence. Its death was celebrated by a vitriolic rightwing mix of radio commentators and listeners.
Even facing the Recession, diminished advertising revenue, a target population that had almost abandoned radio except for niche music stations and NPR, and the dominance of conservative talk radio, the six-year-old network could have survived . . .
IF it had had better investment funding . . .
IF it hadn't spent a disproportionate share of its small investment on lavish studios in a high-rent Manhattan commercial building . . .
IF it hadn't had so many management changes, and so much ineptitude among senior managers. . . .
IF it had hired more on-air personalities and off-mike producers who had significant radio experience. Even the most talented (among them Al Franken, Sam Seder, and Rachel Maddow) had minimal radio experience. In contrast, almost all of Rush Limbaugh's career was in radio before he became the man most loathed by liberals.
Air America might have survived IF it had tried to evolve slowly, as had conservative talk radio, and not tried to match it in salaries and personalities the first year.
It might have survived IF its primary message wasn't to attack the conservative infotainment hosts but to develop its own entertainment and issues, and to deliver a focused message. By the time of the demise of Air America, conservative talk radio not only had a larger fan base but better websites and outreach.
But, most of all, Air America might have survived IF it hadn't been so arrogant. Its hosts and producers ignored phone calls and e-mails from liberals and moderates who were not on its radar as "important." And, it and many of its affiliates also ignored calls from many reporters who were trying to do stories about the network and its personalities. If the producers arrogantly didn't think something mattered, then it didn't.
Air America didn't do for the liberal movement what the rest of talk radio did for its conservative movement—it didn't respect its listeners enough to allow them their own voice
In the end, Air America didn't do for the liberal movement what the rest of talk radio did for its conservative movement—it didn't respect its listeners enough to allow them their own voice.
Dr. Brasch is an award-winning reporter and editor, media analyst, and author of 17 books. His latest are Sinking the Ship of State: The Presidency of George W. Bush; 'Unacceptable': The Federal Response to Hurricane Katrina; and America's Unpatriotic Acts. All are available at Amazon.com and other bookstores. You may contact Dr. Brasch at email@example.com, or through his website, www.walterbrasch.com.
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Baltimore News Network, Inc., sponsor of this web site, is a nonprofit organization and does not make political endorsements. The opinions expressed in stories posted on this web site are the authors' own.This story was published on February 4, 2010.