Talk radio

When I'm in the US, I like to listen to talk radio on AM. It's a phenomenon that is not well known in Europe and whose political impact in the US can hardly be overestimated. Our own Flemish talk radio icon Jurgen Verstrepen is a wussy compared to what guys like Michael Savage, Rush Limbaugh or Shawn Hannity are broadcasting over the airwaves. Verstrepen's current problems with the authorities are more revealing about Europe's unwillingness to allow freedom of speech, controversy and a "clash of ideas" along a broad spectrum of political opinions, than about Verstrepen's alleged "arrogance", "intolerance", "extremism" or "hate speech".

Last September, I was in an hour-long interview with talk show host Dennis Prager, aired nationwide on the Salem Radio Network. Dennis was in the studios of KRLA in Los Angeles, but I recorded the show from the stream of WIND in Chicago. Last November, I saw a billboard in the vicinity of LAX airport, promoting KRLA. "Liberals might not like it", the poster said. I always have to explain to some of my European friends that in the US, "liberal" means "leftist", while in Europe it usually means "pro free-market". Unfortunately I was not able to take a picture of that billboard, but thanks to Ilya Vedrashko I found a similar picture with a billboard for WIND Chicago.

WIND Chicago, promoting itself with "liberals hate it".

Last week, I saw this billboard in San Diego, promoting the leftist radio network "Air America".

Air America: "Bush bashers welcome".

And, oh irony, the Air America poster is on a billboard from Clear Channel, demonized for its connections with Bush, while the WIND poster is on a billboard from "liberal" Viacom. Bad day for conspiracy theorists, isn't it?





Isra'il baladna w'al arab kalabna!!!




uhm ... i get what you're saying about the billboards, but uhm ... what's the connection with conspiracy theorists?
I haven't heard anyone talk about this ... btw, couldn"t it be that there's a different interest in radio-listening here in Europe ... I can't imagine myself of one of my friends listening to some guy on the radio talking about politics ... it's lame ... if we want to read news we buy a newspaper, check tv, check the internet ... but who cares about a radio commenter ... by the way, Jurgen Verstrepen was never prohibited to talk on the radio, he got fired by a commercial station remember ... than he joined the flemish fascist party "Vlaams Belang", but he's still broadcasting a show from a station in Germany ... but I don't think anyone listens, because it has been very quiet about him the last months ... personally I can't really appreciate the guy, he doesn't have much to say and it's always the same crap over and over ...




Zanjalejos y Galardon


PacRim Jim


Rush, Sean, and Michael Savage are all streamed over the net. If you Euros wanna listen, go 'head on.




And studies of US talk radio listeners generally show a higher demographic (education, income, political involvement, consumption of a VARIETY of news sources) marching across the spectrum of the talk shows out there.

Bearing in mind, too, there are non-political talk shows on the air as well.



Pat Patterson


The photo shows that Air America's reputation and market penetration is like the tattered poster on the billboard. Plus like the broken clock the old canard of the capitalists selling the rope for their own nooses might be true someday but hasn't happened yet in 150 years of Marxist philosophy.




@ivan: I agree, it shows that for Clear Channel, Viacom and the likes, selling is more important than ideology. And honestly I don't think this is a weakness of capitalism which will cause the downfall. On the contrary, I think it is one of the great strengths of capitalism, showing its flexibility and adaptability.




Besides this also show I think, that capitalism is a rather tolerant system.




No, it just shows yah: capitalists are prepared to support everyone, even their enemies, as long as it sells. Somehow i think this will be the downfall of capitalism one day, conspiracy or not.




"Bad day for conspiracy theorists, isn't it?"

That is what they want you to think!