Friday, January 30, 2015
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Debunking ‘liberal media’ myth

TomEliasW

By
From page A10 | January 31, 2014 |

Listening to radio host Rush Limbaugh and former Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, you’d think all newspapers, radio and television stations are owned by the pinkest of leftists.

But a series of moves by the nation’s largest owner of radio stations, Clear Channel (controlled by the Bain Capital firm once headed by 2012 Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney), means the most-heard medium in California will now carry almost exclusively conservative material.

That medium is talk radio, where until this month at least a couple of high-wattage liberal or “progressive” oriented stations in this state’s biggest metropolitan areas offered a semblance of competition to the far-right voices whose ratings are tops here even as California voters mostly register and vote Democratic.

Here’s what Clear Channel, which owns all stations involved, is doing: It has taken liberal talkers including Stephanie Miller (daughter of Barry Goldwater running mate Bill Miller), Randi Rhodes and Bill Press off its KTLK 1150 AM station in Los Angeles and removed the liberal hosts who worked at KNEW 960 AM Oakland-San Francisco.

Into their places go Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck and other ultra-conservative hosts. All are syndicated by Clear Channel-owned Premiere Networks. KTLK has even been renamed The Patriot, KEIB AM 1150, taking its letters from the satiric, fake “Excellence in Broadcasting” network that originates in Limbaugh’s fertile imagination.

Clear Channel made these moves for reasons of profit. The three conservatives bring far higher ratings than any liberals. All were already on the air in the same markets, while their most left-leaning colleagues probably will disappear from California’s publicly owned airwaves.

The sheer number of cars stuck in traffic in the two big metro areas at times when Clear Channel’s favored hosts appear guarantees higher advertising rates for the stations they’re now on.

Liberal talk won’t quite completely disappear from California’s airwaves. The Pacifica Foundation’s stations, KPFK 90.7 FM Los Angles and KPFA 94.1 FM Berkeley, will continue operating as before, as will the 39 NPR stations, which carry a decent share of liberal-leaning programs mostly underwritten by large corporations.

But virtually all those stations broadcast on the FM band, where signals are much less powerful and far-reaching than many AM stations. Where FM radio signals often don’t make it even over low hills, the nighttime signal of Clear Channel’s KFI-AM Los Angeles can be heard throughout most of the West.

Limbaugh says he happy with the shift. He should be; he’ll have many thousands more listeners than before to his constant commentary. “(Limbaugh) has built the ratings and revenue of hundreds of America’s most successful radio stations and is looking forward to doing the same at these new Clear Channel homes,” said his spokesman, Brian Glicklich.

The other view is that the move leaves a major medium in extremely one-sided condition. “This leaves radio listeners completely unserved by anything but corporatist, right-wing radio over our publicly owned airwaves,” griped liberal blogger Brad Friedman.

Because Clear Channel controls so many stations, both in California and across the country, there’s not much listeners can do. A liberal boycott of stations like KEIB and KNEW likely would have low numbers and little impact, because Clear Channel already expected those listeners to leave those stations the moment it moved in the conservative hosts.

The bottom line is that the old shibboleth of liberal media has just been debunked again: Two of the nation’s largest and most liberal metropolitan areas will have nothing but rightist rhetoric on their AM airwaves, which far outdraw whatever liberal talk might be available via FM. That’s conservative domination, not the other way around.

— Reach syndicated columnist Tom Elias at [email protected]

 

Comments

comments

.

News

Town hall focuses on Coordinated Care Initiative

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A1

 
Schools give parents tools to help kids thrive

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Suspected Ebola patient being treated at UCD Med Center

By San Francisco Chronicle | From Page: A1

Need a new best friend?

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2 | Gallery

 
Stanford University to get $50 million to produce vaccines

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

Two more cases of measles in Northern California in children

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Dartmouth bans hard liquor

By New York Times News Service | From Page: A2

 
Great Chefs Program will feature Mulvaney

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

Walkers head out three times weekly

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3Comments are off for this post

 
Free tax preparation service begins Monday

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

Vote for your favorites in Readers’ Choice poll

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
No bare bottoms, thanks to CommuniCare’s Diaper Drive

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3 | Gallery

Storyteller relies on nature as his subject on Saturday

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Still time to purchase tickets for DHS Cabaret

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

All voices welcome at sing-along Wednesday

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
February science fun set at Explorit

By Lisa Justice | From Page: A6 | Gallery

 
Take a photo tour of Cuba at Flyway Nights talk

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A6 | Gallery

See wigeons, curlews and meadowlarks at city wetlands

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8 | Gallery

 
.

Forum

Time for bed … with Grandma

By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

 
Tom Meyer cartoon

By Debbie Davis | From Page: A10

 
A ‘new deal’ for the WPA building

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A10

Protect root zone to save trees

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

 
Weigh quality of life, density

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

Olive expert joins St. James event

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

 
We’re grateful for bingo proceeds

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

.

Sports

UCD has another tough football schedule in 2015

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

 
Gould’s influence felt mightily in recent Super Bowls

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1

Mustangs hold off UCD women

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
UCD men set new school D-I era win record

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Sharks double up Ducks

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
Sports briefs: Watney, Woods start slow at TPC Scottsdale

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2

Recall that first Aggie TV game, national title?

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B8 | Gallery

 
.

Features

.

Arts

‘Song of the Sea’ is an enchanting fable

By Derrick Bang | From Page: A11 | Gallery

 
‘Artist’s Connection’ launches on DCTV

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A11

 
Gross’ paintings highlight a slice of Northern California

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A12 | Gallery

February show at YoloArts’ Gallery 625 is ‘Food for Thought’

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A12 | Gallery

 
.

Business

.

Obituaries

.

Comics

Comics: Friday, January 30, 2015

By Creator | From Page: A9