At any time of the day on AM talk radio here in Central Florida, you can listen to the “objective” voices of Neil Bortz, Mike Gallagher, Bill O-Reilly, Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, Mike Savage, Bud Hedinger, or a litany of other extremist nutjobs.
Want to get to the bottom of Congresswoman McKinney’s incident on Capital Hill? — Neil Bortz brings you intelligent commentary on her hairdo while using names such as “ghetto slut”.
Want information on the allegations against Duke University’s lacrosse team by a young mother of two? - Rush will give you enlightened criticism by referring to her as a “Ho”.
Need some brilliant insight into the president’s state of the union address? - Mike Gallagher gave an hour-long discussion of how the Democratic senators were traitors for not standing and applauding. (Sadly, that was one of his better shows. It beat the one about how horrible it is that Spanish-speakers actually get an option when calling customer service lines).
The republicans threw out the long-standing FCC rule to be “fair and balanced” a long time ago, which is why I sometimes find morons screaming at me through the radio about how Latinos and other ethnic groups are a plague to this country, how terribly unfair the media is to Tom Delay and Enron, how Valerie Plame deserved what she got, that Bush is a "secret genius", and that everything would be going great in Iraq if everyone would just shut up and stop asking questions.
Two primary radio stations, WFLA-AM540 and WDBO AM 580, provide talk radio with just one point of view, so as not to confuse anyone with different ideas or those annoying “facts” that keep getting in the way of their beliefs. (By the way, as I write this, Tico Perez is giving a rant on WDBO 580. The slogan for that station should be "Where the callers always agree". I guess he decided to go to freindlier territory because he got tired of our own Carol Cox mopping the floor with him on WESH TV.)
Worried that there was not enough of the extremist right viewpoint in Central Florida, Salem Communications Corporation announced late last year that they would buy three radio stations here in Orlando: WTLN-AM 950, WHIM-AM 1520 and WORL-AM 660. (Remember the Bill Bennett controversy last year—that’s Salem’s star!)
Salem is unapologetically partisan, and they wield considerable influence within the GOP. Lucky recipients of their donations have included our own Ric Keller and Tom Feeney.
Sidenote: Feeney was a guest on Hedinger’s lousy show yesterday. He actually told Bud that spending would get out of control if republicans lose Congress this year. Really? Unlike now, I suppose. Not one caller reminded him that these record deficits, record pork-barrel spending ($250m bridge to nowhere), and lobbying scandals are all with the current large republican majorities. And that budget surplus we had until Bush got his hands on it? Now that was under Democratic leadership, wasn’t it, Tom?
I know we can always go to the internet and the blogosphere to hear viewpoints of those people who haven’t stuck their heads in the sand (such as this one), but aren’t there more people like me clamoring for sensible talk shows on our radios not run by screaming, bigoted, and uninformed jackasses?
I am not asking for a 24-hour propaganda broadcast like FoxNews. What I am saying is that Central Florida has a very large progressive population, and its time for us to demand other viewpoints on our radios in our own hometown. And, by the way, I know there is a HUGE market for this. Why can’t we have our own small radio station, or at least a single program on one station that hasn’t been absorbed into the “collective”. What every movement needs is a beginning. In other words, will someone pick up the ball here in Central Florida? Anyone?
Quick Note: You wanted more organization in our party? We got it--now its time to step up! Come to the SemDem meeting at the Eastmonte Civic Center, Altamonte Springs (830 Magnolia Dr). April 27 at 7pm. The National Democratic Party is organizing a massive 50 state canvass—our party’s biggest effort ever. Sign up to register voters, get volunteers, and spread our message at http://www.democrats.org/page/event/detail/4v7cr We need you—the smallest amount of time you can spare beats nothing at all.