Voices Stilled by Radio Rush Crush

If the purpose of language is simply communication then Americans do it better than any other people in the English speaking world.
Listen to Talkradio across the AM and FM. bands, around this  nation; North, South, East and West, when an American speaks, you understand what they mean. Rich or poor, well-educated or illiterate, resident of inner city or middle class, ghetto, barrio or inner-city, callers make their points, express their feelings, share their frustrations without affection, hesitation or nerves. When they are listened to they have amazing stories to tell and an abundance of ideas to share, but Limbaugh, and many who attempt to emulate him,  has made it clear on numerous occasions that the role of the caller is to make him look good. They are there to serve his agenda.
“The media are controlled by the Liberals.” That’s the mantra of the majority of talk show hosts in this country. Liberals are bad, as are Democrats. Conservatives and Republicans are good. If that statement, so oft repeated, has merit to it, then it would appear that those who hire these combative, “in your face” and frequently bombastic people, are hired by Liberals. Liberals have “an agenda”; an obviously sinister plan, including a desire to turn this into a socialist state, to tax the rich out of existence, to weaken the military and a mission to disarm the American public, while at the same time advocating the tearing down of our national borders and a strong desire to legalize and promote the use of drugs in the schools and the goal of making this “a Godless society,” while advocating the killing of babies (i.e. pro-choice).
None of that is accurate, but if you repeat the lie frequently enough, on thousands of radio stations, there will be many who believe it to be gospel.
In most cities the major conservative players are syndicated, which means that local issues are utterly ignored.  It would appear that to them, Los Angeles and California concerns don’t matter. When L.A is the place, more and more, where the stone hits the water, sending a ripple- out effect right the way across the country; new fashions, fads, films, music and much more it becomes difficult to comprehend. How pathetic that California should be ignored when it ranks along with France as the 5th or 6th economy of the world. Perhaps they ignore California because most people in this state vote Democratic and every single major elective office, without exception, is held by a Democrat.
We are at war with terrorism. We are likely to be at war against Iraq. There is the prospect of conflicts arising in many parts of the world, at any time - from North Korea to the Indian sub-continent, from Indonesia to Israel, and only conservative voices have the stage from which to parrot the administration’s point of view. It is, apparently, “un-American” to be critical or to even question the policies, aims and motives of the Bush administration. We need, urgently, voices of dissent on the air. The Republican Party keeps the faithful abundantly supplied with information and talking points to use on their broadcasts. It is all so well staged-managed.
 We have seen a radical change in station ownership since the Reagan administration, where fewer and fewer corporations own more and more of the means of communication. ClearChannel, for example, owns over twelve hundred radio stations. Fewer and fewer  outlets are owned by individuals who live in the communities from which they broadcast. The large corporate owners are not people who subscribe to the idea that these are the public’s airwaves. There was a time when every station felt obliged to present news on the hour and half-hour and all made a willing attempt to broadcast public service announcements that dealt with issues pertaining to the community’s needs and interests. That no longer is the case with the majority of radio stations. Very few have a newsroom of any sort and fewer still have a staff member whose function it is to ascertain the needs of the community.
My alma mater, the BBC, had on its Broadcast House doorway the simple inscription, “To inform, entertain and enlighten.” I’ll add to that, simply, “to show hospitality.”

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