Bill! Oh Really?
Now, I listen to conservative talk radio on an almost daily basis (at least whenever I'm in the car). Today, I heard Bill O'Reilly on his usual rant about the "liberal" media. Of course he hates liberals, that's a given. Of course he's glad that Air America is devoid of lucrative sponsorship. Of course he's glad that most liberal publications have seen their circulation drop precipitously. But today, he said it was due to a "backlash" from the principally traditionalist and conservative buying public. Excuse me?
What Mr. O'Reilly seems to be missing is what draws people to media in the modern day and age. Do you think that people are listening to Bill O'Reilly, Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, etc. because they are echoing their beliefs? Perhaps some do, but I guarantee that most listen for the same reason they are drawn to Howard Stern: Entertainment.
I love conservative radio. I can't stand most liberal radio. I'm a liberal. Do you see the problem? Rush Limbaugh is entertaining. He's a bloviating idiot who speaks his mind and ridicules people who don't share his narrow world view. That's entertainment!
On the other hand, liberals don't have the same "pinache" that Rush Limbaugh exudes. Listening to most liberal talk shows (if you can even find one) is kind of like watching paint dry in slow motion. I don't even know what that means, but it's boring, okay. Liberals have often found themselves caring too much about the policy issues they speak of and not the entertainment value of their presentation.
I love Al Franken. He's a talented comedian and writer, but his radio show bores me to tears. Think about it. Would Stuart Smalley be funny without video? I doubt it. That's what it's like.
Here's my point. People have stopped listening to liberal radio because it's boring. They've stopped subscribing to liberal "rags" because they're too heavy on policy (and you can get the same info on many blogs). Entertainment sells, even crude, offensive entertainment as purveyed by Bill "O" and company.
Bill was also failing to mention two of the most successful shows currently in media: "The Daily Show" and "The Colbert Report." Shows that he consistently attacks. I enjoy these shows more than any radio program. They disseminate information, and they do it with liberal bias; but mostly they entertain. If more liberal media outlets would emulate this approach, the patrons of good quality entertainment will return.