Thursday, April 8, 2010

Joy Behar, The Free Market, and Talk Radio

The other night on HLN, which is a division of CNN (The Most "Trusted Name" in News), Host Joy Behar had leftist talker Randi Rhodes, and former leftist talker-turned GQ magazine writer Ana Marie Cox on her show, and the three made an effort to explain to Behar's leftist viewers how the free market works in the talk radio business.

The subject these three chose as an example of "unfairness" was the vitriolic Rush Limbaugh and his dominance of AM radio.

Notice how Ms. Rhodes astutely defined why Rush Limbaugh is so popular:

"They have no choice, he's on every radio station... they have no choice."

According to his website, Limbaugh is "broadcast on over 600 radio stations nationwide."

According to, in 2004 there were 4781 AM stations and 2471 FM Educational stations.

For the sake of fair argument - because we certainly know how important "fairness" is to the leftists - let's just use the AM band number, since that is where Conservative talk radio is most prominent. According to these numbers, on 4781 stations (assuming all AM stations broadcast a full 24-hour cycle) there are 114,744 broadcast hours available. If Limbaugh's show is 3 hours in length and airs on 600 stations, that means he is responsible for 1800 hours of total air time used. Therefore, if we round up, Limbaugh's show uses approximately 1.6 percent of all available air time.

Or, to be more "fair," we could say that Limbaugh is broadcast on 600 of 4781 stations, which is 12.5 percent. 12.6 percent if we round up. Alright - thirteen percent.

Randi is correct. There's clearly no other choice.

Joy Behar next took the discussion to how Air America "Couldn't make it."


The two guests (again, both former Air America hosts) and Behar couldn't step over themselves quickly enough to squelch that idea. The offering Ms. Cox brought is most humorous, attempting to equate Air America to The Daily Show. "That's the same kind of stuff..." Cox said.

For the sake of honest, or shall we say "fair" comparison, here is a clip from The Daily Show in which Jon Stewart mocks Glenn Beck, followed by a clip from the now defunct Air America, in which Rosie O'Donnell and Janeane Garofalo... well, you be the judge of what they were doing.

Yep. Exactly the same - I can't even tell the difference.

I will give Ms. Rhodes credit; she understands the fact that Air America was run "really badly", but she is mistaken in her belief that this is due to the fact that "It was not run by radio people."

Actually, it was a lack of interest in the product.

According to Wikipedia (since I can't find another source for this information), Air America was broadcast on 66 stations nationwide as recently as October 2008, so the network had opportunity.

But as Limbaugh himself wisely pointed out shortly after Air America's inception, you can't build a popular radio show, or network, on ideology – and rightly or wrongly, Air America got the image that it was working from a playbook.

"First," said Limbaugh, "you have to entertain people. You have to make it interesting to listen. I don't hear any of that."

Finally, Rhodes tried to close the conversation by naming all the people who came from Air America. She began by naming her fellow guest Ana Marie Cox, of whom I only hear on MSNBC and CNN. She also named Rachel Maddow, a person who has carved a bit of a niche for herself but has been proven factually incorrect a number of times by this blogger and many others in the blogosphere and media.

And in the end, another defense of the failed Air America, yet clearly no real understanding of the free market and how it affects talk radio.


ozzie said...

Using moral standards as a defining rule for us to use to judge entertainers and leaders while they deny those very standards even exist.

LOL- We believe in forgiveness, but I, specifically, believe in the flaws of man and in original sin. Mostly I believe that we do have a moral standard by which to live. It is our responsibilities to live up to those standards and our choice to forgive those that trespass against us. It is not our responsibility to commit crime against man and justify it by claiming charity should be a virtue of the person being victimized.

While I believe that anyone can have their own theories describing somebody else, I will not be the sanctimonious prick telling them what they are doing is immoral as they do to us. I know we are immoral and sometimes sinful, but I admit that I am flawed and believe that respecting someone else's personal liberty is the best show of respect for your fellow man. Stealing and calling it charity makes you far from "pious".

Woodsterman (Odie) said...

I only have one thing to say ... Rosie O'Donnell has a radio show. I had no idea ...

Just a conservative girl said...

Garfolo is very well educated and grew up with conservative parents. I did a little research on her. So, I will concede that she comes about her views honestly. But it is odd that she is talking about the right not having compassion all the while she is calling someone she doesn't know well stupid.
I don't think she is stupid, I just think her world view doesn't make sense.

And you are correct that they don't understand the free market at all, which is why we are in the mess that we are in.

17R3W said...

What Rhodes meant, (and I agree it's not clear in her interview) is that when she drives into Washington for work the only choice she has for political talk is Rush Limbaugh on the way in, and Levin on the way home.

Which isn't to say there aren't liberal talk radio stations out there (there are about 100), but in large areas of the country it's conservative talk, or sports talk and that's it.

Secondly, regarding Air America, your dead on about it being rejected by the market.
However, I have to add that Air America's "brand" of talk was beaten (largely) by other liberals, namely Rhodes, Hartmann, Colmes, Bill Press, Ed Schultz and Stephanie Miller.

Soloman said...

ozzie -

That first sentence of yours had me thinking in circles, but I think I get it.

If I may... a more simple way of saying some of what you said. Correct me if I'm wrong, please.

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you..

And judge not, lest ye be judged yourself..

And redistribution of wealth through taxation or government programs is not.. I say not... social justice as God would see fit.

Soloman said...

Odie -

Yeah... I'm not sure if it was Rosie's or Janeane's show, I think Rosie's.

Either way, it's a wonder they're not the number one show in America, given that substantive dialogue.

Soloman said...


I know some about Garofalo too, and you're right - decent upbringing, Conservative parents.

I see her as a cross between the "preacher's daughter" syndrome and the military child syndrome. Her parents were successful Capitalists, involved in the oil industry, and very Conservative. Her father worked for Enron if I remember correctly?

There's the preacher's daughter syndrome.

They moved around a lot, and again - very Conservative parents.

There's the military child syndrome.

Those are two tough acts combining to make one hateful person, the way I read her.

She reminds me of a female Jim Morrison - I don't know if you know his story - dad was a Navy Admiral and very respected, very Conservative.

Show business fits - it's an outlet for all the frustrations and confusions, and on the surface it looks like there's great acceptance, even though most find themselves very lonely.

However, to say she comes across her views honestly - I beg to differ.

She may have an intellectual perspective, or at least she knows some big words.

And she may - in her own mind's eye, anyway - think things through before bringing them to the table - but as an example, from the mind of Janeane Garofalo:

"You know, there's nothing more interesting than seeing a bunch of racists become confused and angry at a speech they're not quite certain what he's saying. It sounds right and then it doesn't make sense. Which, let's be very honest about what this is about.

It's not about bashing Democrats, it's not about taxes, they have no idea what the Boston tea party was about, they don't know their history at all.

This is about hating a black man in the White House. This is racism straight up.

That is nothing but a bunch of teabagging rednecks. And there is no way around that.

And you know, you can tell these type of right wingers anything and they'll believe it, except the truth. You tell them the truth and they become -- it's like showing Frankenstein's monster fire. They become confused, and angry and highly volatile.

That guy, causing them feelings they don't know, because their limbic brain, we've discussed this before, the limbic brain inside a right-winger or Republican or conservative or your average white power activist, the limbic brain is much larger in their head space than in a reasonable person, and it's pushing against the frontal lobe. So their synapses are misfiring.

Is Bernie Goldberg listening?"

That is not a statement from someone who wishes to be honest or intellectual. That is a knee-jerk reaction to something she can not honestly explain and does not appreciate.

In fact, what she sees in the Tea Party provokes that deep-seeded hatred I mentioned earlier. She sees Tea Parties as large gatherings of her parents, whom she despises.

I mean this with no disrespect to her - I'd bet many a psychologist would like to to have her as a patient.

Soloman said...

17R3W -

I mean no offense to you, but I could care less if that is what led Rhodes to make that statement.

I'll bet you're right, but that doesn't make her statement valid.

In fact if anything it makes me not respect her even more than I don't respect her, because instead of discussing points made by Limbaugh and offering valid and reasonable counterpoints, she and the other two used their entire segment together stringing out a bunch of non-truths and ad hominem personal attacks, which is exactly what the left seems most capable of these days.

When any of these people - Maddow, Olbermann, Matthews - brings facts to a discussion, I have no problem with them. However, when it comes to discussion about Conservative talk radio all the left seems to have is fears and tears, and it's pretty pathetic.

ozzie said...

That first sentence of yours had me thinking in circles, but I think I get it.

Yea, I never reread what I type....a lot of time it's from my phone and a PITA to do so.

What I meant is that it is very hypocritical for those on the left who would deny the very moral standards of God in how we live our daily life, would use those same 'invalid' standards to judge us simply because they know we try to adhere to them. Some would deny they even exist, but use them as a club when convenient.

If I may... a more simple way of saying some of what you said. Correct me if I'm wrong, please.

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you..

And judge not, lest ye be judged yourself..

And redistribution of wealth through taxation or government programs is not.. I say not... social justice as God would see fit.

That was pretty much what was in the second part of my post. I tend to go on and use a lot of words. Words are important to me since they each have a specific 'feel' to them. I think the 2 lines above your last paragraph would work for those of us that use God as our compass, however it is deeper than the last paragraph. Not that it can not be articulated easily, but that the opportunities given to us by God are freedom, and as they apply to us in the here and now, freedom from government oppression. Government is the only entity that can truly oppress and the role of our government is to prevent the tyranny of others against us.

The fact that many liberal ideologies believe that you must harm some to bring about a better 'justice' is so inherently flawed because they are not principles based in religious philosophy. In fact, I would go as far as to say that the having seen in history, the evidence of the tyranny of the all-powerful (in the form of power to the government from the people), it is nearly evil to subjugate the people you claim to protect and a denial of their fundamental rights given by God. It is a cruelty to impose helplessness and dependence on a people when all we want is the freedom of our God-given right to be masters of our life. Without free-will/freedom we can not do good and be good since a 'proxy' entity is introduced to take and to give. The righteousness of virtue of any benevolent act are replaced by harm and enslavement through the government proxy that masquerades as noble charity.

See, I told you- I rambled again!

ozzie said...

I went back and noticed that I really didn't give a context and since there was two videos used it would help.

My postings were in reference to Garofolo's criticisms of conservative reverence for someone like Limbaugh who had a drug problem recently. It bothers me when they point and laugh to an issue, especially one of addiction, and use it so as to say that we can't be trusted because we are imperfect and we accept the imperfect. I thought tolerance was a virtue of the left anyways.