Check out the right-wing blogs these days and you’ll see they’re scared to death that with Democrats back in power, they will work to reinstate the Fairness Doctrine.
It was their hero, Ronald Reagan, who eliminated it late in his second term and set the stage for conservative talk radio.
It started with Rush Limbaugh in 1988, and now there are Reaganauts up and down the AM dial, from Hannity to Ingraham, from Savage to Beck and more.
Even Dr. Laura Schlesinger, who ostensibly deals with family issues, presents a strongly conservative viewpoint.
It’s tough to find liberals on too many AM stations, which is why Democrats say we need the Fairness Doctrine. Republicans respond by saying liberals have the rest of the media, which isn’t really true.
Yes, what Rush and his cohorts call the Mainstream Media, or in Limbaugh’s case the Drive-By Media, tend toward the left on some issues. But they’re hardly urging people to vote for Democrats, and on economic issues they’re mostly corporate controlled.
I don’t think it much matters one way or the other. Limbaugh is far past his peak, when he claimed 22 million listeners a week. Most estimates have him at 15 million now, but even at the higher number that’s only about 7 percent of the country listening to him.
We saw how much influence he had in the most recent election, and none of the others even compare to him.
The fact is, conservative talk radio doesn’t convert many people. Its hosts preach to the proverbial choir, much of the time talking to folks who don’t have jobs and are home in the daytime.
That’s a number even lower than Dick Cheney’s approval rating.
So let’s not make a fuss about fairness. Let the wingnuts talk to each other using just about the most primitive form of communication — AM radio — that we still have.
Don’t give them an issue to get worked up about.
Just let them work on that Palin 2012 campaign.
We’ll run the government.