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Rush listeners and AM radio junkies, help me understand...(47 posts)

Rush listeners and AM radio junkies, help me understand...shawndoggy
Dec 5, 2003 4:25 PM
I believe I understand the "liberal media" and the "liberal elite" arguments well enough (basically that traditional media outlets don't tell good news -- or give good news a positive spin -- when it pertains to republicans). And I'll concede that I've been paying attention a bit more lately and can probably discern some items that would get some rabid conspiracy theorists up in arms.

But after listening to AM for 1000 miles of my 1200 mile Thanksgiving road trip, I was struck by a couple of observations that maybe you can shed some light on:

1. How can I not believe that lots and lots of idiots listen to Rush, Dr. Laura, and their local counterparts, when at least half of the programs' advertising is taken up by magical itch powders, diet potions, penis enlargement systems, millionaire training programs and the like? The ads struck me with the reaction "dude, do you think I'm that dumb," but then got me to wondering... they wouldn't advertise there if there weren't that many dumb listeners, would they? And it would seem to be a disproportionately large number of dumb listeners, given the percentage of advertising dedicated to these silly products.

2. 95% of the callers brown-nose their host, and the other 5% get shouted down. How is that "fair and balanced?" It seems like one thing to listen to an argument and then refute it (lots of which I've seen on this board), but quite another to make fun of the caller and call him dumb (a little of which I've also seen on this board of late).

DISCLOSURE: Clearly I'm an infrequent AM listener. I also frequently listen to NPR. Read the local rag, don't get much news from the TV ("liberal elite" or "fair and balanced" it ALL seems too dumbed down, save PBS).
I used to listen to his show. No, seriously.czardonic
Dec 5, 2003 5:23 PM
It can be entertaining to listen to someone say outrageous things and get the rubes all riled up. Rush is a troll, plain and simple.

Who are the rubes? That is where the fun begins. They are the suckers on both sides who don't realize that Rush is simply an entertainer. Savvy Rush listeners can have a good chuckle at these well meaning and/or misguided saps. (And with all the saps clamoring for Rush's ear, its no wonder that the marketing buzzards are thick in the air).

"Fair and balanced" is just another bait. Nobody takes that phony nonsense seriously (at least nobody who should be taken seriously themselves). But making the claim pisses of the "other side" no end, and you know what happens next.
czardonic, you're wrong again.purplepaul
Dec 5, 2003 6:17 PM
I think.

Rush may, at one time, have believed that he was just an entertainer. Now, I believe, he believes the bullsh!t that comes out of his mouth.

Witness his pathetic struggle to justify his illegal behavior by blaming those who are out to get him. Maybe there are those who are out to get him. How does that change his culpability?

Anyway, I thought you were letting him off rather lightly. As for his listeners being "saavy", there may be one or two. But I can't understand how anyone could enjoy listening to such unsubstantiated and biased whining.
Maybe. Its been a while since I listened.czardonic
Dec 5, 2003 6:27 PM
But his transparently hypocritical whining about his legal problems fits the pattern I see.

His formerly intolerant of any addict listeners rally around him, his long-time detractors squack in indignation at the hypocrisy and the savvy listeners relish in the whole spectacle of sanctimony and outrage.

If you look at it that way, it actually explains how people could enjoy listening to his nonesense. They don't take it seriously, and they know what will happen next.
I only listen when I'm visiting the relatives down southpurplepaul
Dec 5, 2003 6:41 PM
(Atlanta) and I guess I can't see past their nodding heads and approbration. It's too upsetting for me to see them, people I actually care about, taking this sh!t seriously and uncritically. Then I think about the millions of others like them and I fear for this nation. Not so much because they agree with Limbaugh, but because they seem unable not to.
news talk radio is just like sports talk radiorufus
Dec 5, 2003 7:17 PM
a bunch of listeners who think they know everything about the sport, are quick to second guess or berate, and probably never got beyond their freshman team in high school. if they agree with the host's view, they are stroked and coddled and made to feel special, and if they disagree, they're ignored or shouted down.

in both cases, they really don't have a clue what they're talking about.
re: Rush listeners and AM radio junkies, help me understand...critmass
Dec 5, 2003 7:25 PM
Uniformed listeners are malleable. Ripe territory for both Limbaabaa and the kind of advertisers you heard. It will be interesting to see how his advertisers react to the unfolding drug case. I assume some dittoheads have the galactic ability to rationalize and engage in the needed hypocrisy to stick their heads in the sand over the ensuing legal problems but that may not be the case with the advertisers.

12/05/03: Ryan Young, 21, Corona California, A Co. 1st Bat,.16th Infantry Reg., 1st Infantry Div., Hostile fire-IED attack
Was just getting ready to turn off the computer and turn in ..Live Steam
Dec 5, 2003 8:48 PM
for the evening and I came across this funny little liberal love fest. How nice. You are all so concerned for the welfare of this nation and we really do appreciate it.

You're all so blinded by what you believe to be the truth, but you really can't be blamed though. You have been watching it and reading it from the same sources for so many years and it always gone unchallenged. Since the curtain has been pulled aside by alternative news sources, you are having a tough time accepting the questions being asked of your reality. Now that things are "fair and balanced" your World is all asunder. Ain't that a shame!

Well yall have a good evening. I'm sleeping in late tomorrow. I like doing that when it's cold and snowy outside :O)
Hey Steam, I'm a registered Republicanpurplepaul
Dec 5, 2003 9:00 PM
and Limbaugh is an idiot. But if you are going to try to defend the guy, at least have a cogent argument. Or any argument.

If "fair and balanced" means that Conservatives can co-opt the bogus arguments they were bashing Liberals over, I just may have to go back into the sunshine. Liberals may be misguided, in my opinion, but I believe them to be sincere in most cases.

Limbaugh, and his apologists, are simply pandering to the rationally retarded.
Guess what steam I found a pic of you toocritmass
Dec 5, 2003 11:53 PM
In one of your perversely pertinacious whining fits no less.

In my previous post in this thread the first word is uniNformed (as in Live Steam/No_Substance). No disrespect to those in uniforms meant.
steam, I know you disagree, but what's the argument?shawndoggy
Dec 6, 2003 5:59 AM
Steam, I know you fall into the rush advocate camp, and that's fine as far as it goes. I'm sure you've got lots more experience listening to him than I do, which is why I've seriously sought your insight (but not your insults).

Really my questions/observations had nothing to do with the host's content whatsoever. I hope I'd be asking the very same questions if I were listening to a liberal talk radio show (unfortunately I'm not aware of any, but again, I don't spend much time on the AM side of the dial).

I'm just wondering how intelligent listeners rationalize the silly advertising, and why, if you know your argument is correct, you wouldn't want your guy to actually rationally debate the other side rather than shout down oposing opinions? Seems better to convince someone than to make him mad, but that's me.
Hi shawndoggy. I'll resond to you since .....Live Steam
Dec 6, 2003 7:04 AM
you started the thread and your response to me was direct and mature. Actually I seldom listen to Rush. Pretty much only when in my car and when he is on between noon and 3? He is not news. He is, I guess you would call it, editorial commentary. Your post was supposed to deal with Rush, but you kept referencing " fair and balanced" which we all know is a slogan associated with Fox News. I don't know if was intentional or not. I do think it was a shot at a differing viewpoint than your own.

I said in my response and have said it before, that pretty much most of us were used to three options for TV news - cbs,nbc, and abc. Their was virtually no difference between any of them in the news they covered, how they covered it and the slant they gave it. You could have changed the channel at any time and found the same story at just about the exact same time, on one of the other two networks from what you were watching.

There is no denying that Peter Jennings and Dan Rather were advocates of the liberal agenda. So it is natural that their news coverage would have a tone that suited their leanings. You can go back and forward in time for all three and find anchors that fit the same mold.

Enter CNN. CNN had a much different format and quickly became the place people tuned to for breaking news. CNN, as you know was owned by Ted Turner and company. He has never made any bones about his positions, and in particular, his political positions. He is way left. Heck he married Hanoi Jane for goodness sakes. He also ruled with an iron fist. Do you think that his own personal news outlet was going to portray news in any way that he didn't see fit?

Now enter Fox News and the many conservative news outlets such as Drudge and NewsMax as well as the many conservative talk shows on both radio and TV. This is where you liberals have a problem. For the first time there are challenges in the public forum that don't fit into your neat little package of how you see things. There was always the big, bad establishment and there was the Don Quixotes of the world. Dan and company always egged Don Quixote on. This is where he knew he would get news and it also agreed with their political leanings. Now that the dragon has bees revealed as just a windmill doing what windmills do, the world of the liberal activist has changed.

As far as Fox News is concerned, the pretty much cover the same stories and though their format is different, especially when Sheppard Smith's show, their presentation is pretty much the same as the others. What they do in contrast to the other networks is to provide critical commentary on it later in the show. Brit Hume has a round table approach of sorts. This is the primary difference with the broadcasts as well as the shows that follow up later in the evening.

I hope this answered you questions. It's kind of funny to hear that the news from any other souces other than the three original networks, that the news is somehow tainted. I know I didn't get into the print media like the NY Times, but they haven't changed a thing is decades, so why bother :O)
critical commentary?rufus
Dec 6, 2003 8:05 AM
how is a roound table of all conservative viewpoints any more accurate,, fair, or balanced than a roundtable of all liberal viewpoints, which i assume you would say is what the three major networks and cnn offer?

it's still only one view of the situation, and whether it is the factual view, or just someone's biased opinion is open for question.

but you go on believing what it is that you want to believe. i'm sure it makes you feel all smart and important when fox news tells you the things you believe are true. everyone likes a little ego stroking.
More critical than CNNpurplepaul
Dec 6, 2003 11:57 AM
At least FoxNews puts people who don't wholeheartedly agree with each other on the same show. Witness Hannity and Colmes.

Frankly, I'm glad FoxNews exists so I can get ANY perspective that differs from CNN/BBC/NYTimes. I just don't see how you can be so angry with FoxNews for doing something which, if true, is no worse than what the networks and CNN have been doing for decades.

Of course, a big distinction needs to be made between the news and pure entertainment, like Limbaugh, which is devoid of facts or even contains made up facts. That's what bothers me so much. All bullsh!t and no one on the other side to point it out.

If people were more interested in seeing reality instead of hearing merely what fits into their paradigm, people like Rush Limbaugh and Jesse Jackson wouldn't have any audience at all. I guess it's human nature to want to be manipulated. Don't know why, but it sure seems universal.
witness hannity and colmes?dr hoo
Dec 6, 2003 1:02 PM
Interesting example!

I too enjoy Fox. I like it that people on Fox News complain that our culture is going in the toilet, while Fox Entertainment puts on shows with women sticking their arms up cows nether regions.
That IS interesting.purplepaul
Dec 6, 2003 1:41 PM
Both points. Yes, Colmes is no match for Hannity's aggression. And Colmes may not be the left's first choice. But he is substantially different in outlook from Hannity. Substantially. You can't watch the program and miss that he vehemently disagrees with Hannity on many, many issues.

CNN, OTOH, just doesn't provide any diversity of views. It seems they believe that, since they're 100% right, why waste time with anything contradictory.

When network and CNN journalists are polled, they almost unanimously admit to voting for the Democratic Party candidate. In universities, there are entire departments that don't have any professors who voted for a Republican. Journalists come from somewhere, and I don't think it's a stretch to suggest that if they are educated in an environment that presents only a one-sided view, they aren't going to be as critical of their positions as they should be.

I think that's why Limbaugh is so popular; people see that he's challenging the validity of almost an entire industry (journalism). It's unfortunate they don't have someone more responsible on whom to place their trust.
That IS interesting.dr hoo
Dec 6, 2003 3:02 PM
Strong conservative vs. weak liberal is HARDLY fair and balanced, but it does provide that illusion.

"When network and CNN journalists are polled, they almost unanimously admit to voting for the Democratic Party candidate"

Uhmm, actually those polls suck big time. They typically have a response rate of 30% or so, and that means they have very little reliablity. If you want to read one of these studies, you can look here:

It has some interesting stuff, but given the low response rate, you have to take EVERY study like this with a grain of salt.

From the summary:

On select issues from corporate power and trade to Social Security and Medicare to health care and taxes, journalists are actually more conservative than the general public.

Journalists are mostly centrist in their political orientation.

The minority of journalists who do not identify with the "center" are more likely to identify with the "right" when it comes to economic issues and to identify with the "left" when it comes to social issues.

Journalists report that "business-oriented news outlets" and "major daily newspapers" provide the highest quality coverage of economic policy issues, while "broadcast network TV news" and "cable news services" provide the worst.
Here is what I know...purplepaul
Dec 6, 2003 8:10 PM
When in college (NYU), it was not okay to be Republican. It was not okay to be conservative. Those words were really nasty weapons to use against someone you wanted to discredit.

Liberal thought was the only way to go. I once had an English teacher who was an outspoken feminist. She made us painfully aware of how sexist the English language is. While I agree that "chairman", "mailman" and "woman" contain that naughty word "man", I don't now and didn't then agree that it was detrimental to womyn. All I felt was this hostility targeting me because I am a man. So, I wrote an essay that was entirely incomprehensible because I changed ALL words that could have been in any conceivable way considered patriarchal. By taking her logic and extending it even beyond where she was, I mocked her and, I felt, did a good job of showing the ridiculousness of her position.

I can tell you, that was the last time I did that in college. Instead, I gradually evolved into the kind of man that feminists wanted me to be; i.e. self-hating. I blamed white men for all the ills of the world, all the suffering, all the inequality because that is what was being taught in the classroom.

Now, my experience may not be indicative of higher learning as a whole. But it demonstrates the tyranny that can exist when opposing views are, at the very least, discouraged.

Somewhat ironically, when I woke up from that shame induced haze, I saw very clearly the folly of uncritical "analysis" though I haven't always applied it as well as I might have.

My ultimate point is that FoxNews seems to be encouraging conflicting views more than CNN or the BBC, yet it is much less respected. Why is that?
compare foxnews to your experience in that class.dr hoo
Dec 7, 2003 6:56 AM
The professor, with years of education and experience vs. students. Is that fair? There are conflicting viewpoints, but do both sides start out in the same place?

Fox is like that. They set up the liberal side to fail on their shows. They set up strawmen... errr, strawpersons, and then call it balanced.

I, personally, would respect fox far more if they just admitted their bias and went with it, instead of claiming to be fair and balanced.

BTW, I highly recommend you read this:

It shows the power of gendered language by.... Well, by doing something interesting!
Interesting that..oldbutslow
Dec 7, 2003 8:23 AM
you would link to a site noted for it's left wing advocacy. If you want to hear the other side, why not link to the Media Research Center. They dissect the news on a daily basis and show the slant/spin of the major media outlets.
So, is that why they go after NPR and PBS and...dr hoo
Dec 7, 2003 9:37 AM
... the New York Times? Seems like they are an equal opportunity critic.

Ok, I would say FAIR slants liberal, but does that mean what they say is inaccurate? Show me where the errors are, please.
Dec 8, 2003 11:14 AM
Yes, if you want to see the side opposite the facts, MRC is the place to go.
Problems with your logic.dr hoo
Dec 6, 2003 8:47 AM
"There is no denying that Peter Jennings and Dan Rather were advocates of the liberal agenda. So it is natural that their news coverage would have a tone that suited their leanings."

It is not "natural" nor has it been shown to be the case on news broadcasts. You can claim that those in the news media are liberal, but note that the data on that is suspect in *many* cases, often due to very low response rates on the surveys on key questions, or other methodological issues. But let's grant that reporters are liberal for sake of THIS argument.

That does NOT prove that the NEWS is liberal in bias. The "news" is the result of corporate policies and decisions. The biggest bias in the news is a corporate bias.

In fact, the most rigorous studies I know of show that any political bias is towards the party of the President, regardless of party and source. It happens this way. News seeks "both sides" of the story. So if they report on national issues, you get a quote from a dem and a rep from the house or senate. But you ALSO get the "administration's" side on the issue.

So this leads to the party of the white house getting ~66% of the time on the news, and the other party ~33%. This was true in the clinton years and seems to be true for the bush years as well.

Please note that I said NEWS coverage. As in coverage of the things that happen in the world. OP-ED or letters to the editor are a different issue (and I have no idea about studies on those).
Very naive of youLive Steam
Dec 6, 2003 1:14 PM
To believe that news can't be and isn't slanted is not only naive it's fooish. The "slant" comes from what stories are covered, how they are covered, when they are broadcast in the show, if they are covered at all or just mentioned as an aside, the "tone" of the language the newscaster uses to portray the event and on and on. Do you really think with the ego that Ted Turner has that his ideals weren't reflected in what CNN presented? That's not reality.

Straight news as you claim is being reported on the major networks, does not exist. That type of news comes from the various services that network news subscribe to. Network news is in the entertainment business and they do a lot more with the data than just relaying it without giving it a perspective.

In many instances a news event is being covered contempoaniously. They have a reporter on the scene - like at the White House. That reporter sometimes gets to ask probing questions as an event is happening. The questions can be leading. Those leading questions can and do have a bias. THat bias more than likely coincides with the "slant" that particular news outlet sees fit for the particular instance being reported.

News outlets editioialize and they alwats did. That wasn't the point of my original post any way. I was responding to the "shock" the original posters were experiencing when they finally realized that alternative news souces such as Fox News and others may have a different perspective on things.
Very intellectually dishonest of you.dr hoo
Dec 6, 2003 1:29 PM
No surprise though, that's how you work. Unless this is still another example of your problems with reading comprehension?

I did not claim that there was no bias. I did claim that the LIBERAL bias is not established, certainly not by you.

In fact, I said clearly that THERE IS A BIAS in the news for the party that holds the white house. How do you manage to read a post where I say THERE IS BIAS and then claim that I said there is NO bias? Pure dishonesty and word twisting? Or just your misfiring brain?
It's pretty ridiculous to try and even try and refute ...Live Steam
Dec 6, 2003 1:48 PM
the idea of liberal bias in the media. Many in the media have gone on record stating there is a liberal media bias. Again, my comments wered directed at the surprize czar and others express regarding the idea that other news sources can portray a news event differently than they perceive it to be.
BUT ANYWAY, back to my original question...shawndoggy
Dec 6, 2003 2:48 PM
#1 -- silly ads on a.m. radio -- explainable?

I think purplepaul did a pretty good job of suggesting that Rush et al are just entertainment for a more easily suggestable audience than exists in the general population. That would also explain why the magic foot tonic folks would want to reach these listeners, no?Can we agree on that point or is there another explanation? Which would then lead me to believe that the conservative inteligencia also view Rush to be [trying to say this nicely] a tad over the top and not a legitimate news source?

#2 -- Unbalanced "fair and balanced" a.m. radio?

Again, I guess if we look at Rush as an entertainer, it's OK. And maybe that's as far as it ought to go. I just can't understand that he'd be cited as a fair and balanced news source. But I've gotten the impression here (and certainly from listening to Rush's callers while I was on my drive) that some people out there view him as a legitimate source of news. Would I be going to far to suggest that as an entertainer he appeals to the less descerning conservative listener?
That is EXACTLY my point...purplepaul
Dec 6, 2003 7:53 PM
"...the conservative inteligencia also view Rush to be [trying to say this nicely] a tad over the top and not a legitimate news source".

If they would just say so out of some freak sense of honesty, instead of embracing him because of the size of his audience, I'd say, "no problem." But how do you determine who is credible and who isn't when all of them back the same things regardless of how idiotic and disingenuous they may be? Answer: they must be in-credible.

I don't think any one news entity is "fair and balanced." It just isn't what they do. FOX truly is making a mockery of the phrase, but so would any news outlet that chose it as its banner.
Really? If it is so ridiculous then why are so many....dr hoo
Dec 6, 2003 3:24 PM
.... arguing that the "liberal media" is a myth? Type "liberal media bias myth" into google and you will find PAGE AFTER PAGE of arguments that there is no liberal media bias. You will also find page after page claiming there IS a bias.

William Kristol, editor of the Weekly Standard "I admit it: the liberal media were never that powerful, and the whole thing was often used as an excuse by conservatives for conservative failures."

Pat Buchanan, : "I've gotten balanced coverage and broad coverage -- all we could have asked . . . For heaven sakes, we kid about the liberal media, but every Republican on earth does that."
Dr. Hoo, you seemed to change.94Nole
Dec 9, 2003 7:07 AM
Maybe these are one in the same but in the earlier post you said " of the white house getting ~66% of the time on the news, and the other party ~33%..."

In this post you said "...that THERE IS A BIAS in the news for the party that holds the white house."

I see the 1st to mean the amount of coverage which would stand to reason that the leader of the free world would get a lion share of the coverage.

The 2nd post seemed to imply a slant in the news "for" the party in power, not necessarily in the amount of news covered.

Just trying to understand.

I believe that people vote with their dollars. The free market certainly would allow opposition radio to Rush, et al. I certainly would love to have the 'alternative' (those who would come from the left, if you will) voices to validate the fact that the audience size would be unable to support it. Maybe those who lean that direction spend more time reading than listening to the radio? Who knows.
Time is bias.dr hoo
Dec 9, 2003 9:24 AM
When one "side" gets twice as much time, they get twice as much opportunity to make their point. I did not mean to imply that the coverage is slanted IN THIS WAY other than in terms of talking time on television.

I agree that the reason for this is the whole "leader of the free world" thing. It makes sense to find it out, if you are in the news business. But the effect of this sensible practice is to give more seconds/minutes/hours to one side of the argument than the other.

There are other, more subtle ways bias could show up, but I don't have any studies that would show it to ACTUALLY be present. For example, who gets the "last word"? A fair thing to do would be to make sure that the last word is given to the reps 50% and the dems 50%. Same thing for the "first word". Does that happen? Does it matter if it doesn't happen? I don't know.

Another way would be in choosing the people to represent the "sides" involved. What shots are used, how is the lighting, is one person ugly and speaks poorly while the other side is good looking and speaks well? Is one in a t-shirt on the street and the other in a suit in an office? Where is the edit made? Bias could show up in this stuff too, but I just don't know the area well enough to know what the studies show.
The simple reason why the President and ...Live Steam
Dec 9, 2003 9:33 AM
ruling party gets more time is because they are the ones making decisions and making news. Al Gore is adjusting his underwear in some college class. That's not news. Bush is cutting our taxes. That's news :O)
As to Item 1.oldbutslow
Dec 6, 2003 8:41 AM
Drawing a parallel between the advertising and the listeners is a bit of a stretch. Unless, of course, your just baiting people on the forum.

The advertisements you are talking about are not peculiar to Rush, or any other talk show host. The fact is Radio (AM or FM) commercials suck and it has nothing to do with the listeners.

On a final note, if it doesn't entertain you, change the dial.
are you serious?dr hoo
Dec 6, 2003 8:56 AM
"Drawing a parallel between the advertising and the listeners is a bit of a stretch. Unless, of course, your just baiting people on the forum. "

Advertising is TARGETED at the listening/viewing/reading audience. Advertisers KNOW a lot about the audience. Why do you think ADM and Corning and Boeing advertise on (low rated) sunday morning news shows? Because of the AUDIENCE. Why do you think beer commercials with half naked women are show during football games? Because of the AUDIENCE.

It is a basic media principle that if you want to know who tunes into a show, you pay attention to the commercials.
To a certain extent...oldbutslow
Dec 7, 2003 8:19 AM
I agree. However, you have to factor in the economics of advertising. Radio spots are significantly cheaper than TV spots, time of day and local economics also determine who and what company buys time.

To make a broad statement, stupid commercials equals stupid listeners is little disingenuous . IMO. Generally, AM radio is full of these stupid commercials, even when a left winger is on.
Does A.M. just attract the rubes, regarless of politics?shawndoggy
Dec 7, 2003 9:27 AM
Maybe it's just that the "slower" among us listen to A.M., regardless of their political affiliation?
I don't know,oldbutslow
Dec 7, 2003 10:27 AM
I listen to it while going 80 mph:)
Yes, economics is the key factor.czardonic
Dec 8, 2003 11:19 AM
Companies aren't going to waste their money on people who don't want to buy their product just because the medium is cheap.

Are you sure you know what "disingenuous" means?
really bad logicDougSloan
Dec 8, 2003 1:29 PM
You logic seems to be that since some AM advertisers are selling stupid products, then the listeners of the AM shows must be stupid. That is defective logic and based upon false premises, too.

Rush is very intelligent and articulate. He has a great sense of humor, too. He's witty and well informed on current events. He packages all that together with his own well-grounded ideology and presents his opinions in ways that are usually entertaining and often humorous. Sometimes he uses a fair amount of lampoon, facetiousness, sarcasm, but people may not get it. Yes, there often is exaggeration and a bit of overstating to make a point, but I think we are all guilty of that.

Make no mistake about the fact that he believes what he preaches. He has well-entrenched ideology and principles. The humor aids in the presentation and popularity of what he says. He's much more entertaining to listen to than William F. Buckley, for example, but both equally believe in their message.

Finally, I doubt you can make statistical conclusions ("95% this or that) from occasional or infrequent listening. It's purely anecdotal and admittedly biased, at that.

Rush has never made a claim to his show being "fair and balanced." He's not a news reporter, and expressly disclaims being unbiased. He is wholeheartedly and admittedly intentionally biased. Bias is what he is all about. Now, he may cite facts to support his opinions, but the issue of bias does not necessarily mean his facts are wrong, either.

Why do advertisers utilize his program? Could be that it has the largest audience of any radio program in America?
22 million a day..if youre counting (nm)bill105
Dec 8, 2003 2:00 PM
22 million couldn't be wrong.czardonic
Dec 8, 2003 2:10 PM
Or stupid.
Utterly brilliant. Thanks for your contribution. nmNo_sprint
Dec 8, 2003 2:47 PM
No offense intended.czardonic
Dec 8, 2003 2:59 PM
really bad logic explainedshawndoggy
Dec 8, 2003 3:46 PM
My assertion wasn't that they're ALL stupid, Doug (just lots and lots ;)). Driving through your neck of the woods I also heard quite a few ads for Bay Area Mercedes dealers. Not that an S class is the most rational purchase either, but more rational in my mind than untested and unregulated diet potions.

But turning to your argument, if Rush has a large audience, he probably commands a premium for advertising on his program.

Which leads me back to a more direct (and a bit less inflamatory) question... why is this the only place that I hear about these magical pain relief potions, diet systems, and penis growth elixers? Why are these particular types of products so heavily advertised on AM (not just Rush)? Sure, he's got lots of listeners. The Superbowl's got lots of viewers, but I haven't seen these ads there. Nor do I hear them on the FM side of the dial (though to my dismay I have been hearing quite a few more ads for "title loan" (car pawn) and early check cashing services). Are you saying that there is not a demographic reason for the advertising and that it's not particularly targeted at the kind of folks who listen to AM?

As for the fair and balanced issue, I think I've concluded from the reasoned responses I've received that conservative media outlet advocates concede that their outlet isn't necessarily more fair or more balanced than their allegedly liberal counterparts (fox's slogan notwithstanding) but rather that they present the news with a different spin than the other outlets. I.e. the reason Rush (in my anecdotal experience) sounds like he's preaching to the choir is because that's what people who listen to Rush want.
Dec 8, 2003 4:06 PM
First, I think you are overstating the quantity of the types of ads you describe. I can't say I've thought about it much, but I know that many of the ads are also about that inflatable bed, Snapple in the past, lots of those "donate your car" ads (hmm, are Rush listeners philanthropic???), the Wall Street Journal, etc. I cannot recall a single instance of any penis ads or "magical pain relief potions." Not sure about diet systems, either. So, my point is that I think you have focused narrowly on one type of ad, when there are many others that would not support your thesis at all, rather, they would seem to contradict it.

Also, and I'm not certain how all this advertising thing works, but I think that some ads are national, and some regional or local. We may not be hearing the same ads. Could be some regional or local company has a big ad budget and thinks, right or wrong, that the exposure on Rush's program will pay off. It's a fair amount of speculation either way.

Also, I do see lots of the types of ads you describe on television, and on lots and lots of shows. Typically, they are more of the late night/early morning shows. I see tons and tons of diet ads on television. So, I know for certain that this is not the one and only place to hear or see the ads.

FM ads, in my experience, tend to be much more localized. It's the car dealerships, etc., maybe due to the more limited broadcast area of FM. Also, I don't recall hearing hardly any nationally sydicated programs on FM. "Bob and Tom" is the only one I can think of, less news programs.

So, I think you have focused on only one type of ad, maybe subconsciously. It's like when you are interested in a new car, you then start seeing that model everywhere you go. I'm sure there must be a psychology term for that.

Therefore, I can't even accept your initial premise that these ads are pervasive and the primary type of ad on Rush's show and absent elsewhere. I just don't think that's true, and if not, I don't see where your thesis goes from there.

Most of use on this side of the political spectrum have no problem whatsoever with news people or commentators being biased. What many object to is news people being biased, but denying the bias and cloaking it in ostensible objectivity. Rush is admittedly biased and not a news reporter. Fox's slogan of "Fair and Balanced" may not be achieved, but then they do attempt, from what I've seen, to air people of different points of view and to balance other news sources. I wouldn't want my news only from Fox any more than I'd want it all from NPR, CBS, or CNN. It is nice to see another point of view, though, and I'd bet that, even if nothing else, this may force all news sources to at least attempt to be more unbiased and complete.

Thanks for the chuckle.czardonic
Dec 8, 2003 4:27 PM
Kudos to Fox News for at least trying to be fair and balanced. Perhaps the liberal point of view is routinely out-numbered and out-shouted on their network, but is it Fox's fault that liberals are a tiny and timourous minority?

Talk about "ostensible objectivity".
In regards to their advertising...No_sprint
Dec 8, 2003 2:41 PM
They're targeting the lib lurkers they know that are there. I'll bet it's working. :)