So now that I’m a big hoopla talk radio show guy thing, it got me thinking a little more about liberal talk radio, particularly Air America. And the question I can’t answer is “how will liberal talk radio work?”
Sure, we all listen to Rush and how he bombastically scoffs at their chances. Sure we all know why right wing, patriotic, Republican, Capitalism talk shows work since they serve an underserved market. Sure, we all know that the chances of liberal talk radio succeeding are minimal because we can get it already on NPR. But the answer to the question why, is much more insightful than most of us would realize. Not in as much as it points out the obvious, but that it highlights the fundamental differences between the capitalist and socialist ideologies purported by the Republicans and democrats, respectively.
First, radio talk shows of the right leaning sort have succeeded in the traditional manner that radio has operated; the market.
A host or show entices sponsors to spend money on advertising which finances the show. If the show is successful enough, it attracts enough listeners, and enough listeners then patronize the sponsors which begets more advertising dollars. This is a very simple, yet beautiful example of the market at work.
A service (the radio show) is essentially provided for free (via sponsor’s dollars). The market.
Yet after thinking about it, the only real way liberal talk radio would work is purely out of charity, or confiscatory taxes to subsidize it. No legitimate business, concerned about their own survival is going to support left wing radio. What sense does it make for a business to pay somebody to spout ideas of increasing their taxes and vitriol for the entrepreneur? It’s counterintuitive.
Therefore, liberal radio is relegated to primarily three main sources of financing:
Charitable contributions from spoiled brat trust fund baby or Hollywood leftists
Socialist political interest groups such as unions or bona fide parties like Democratic Socialists of America, etc.
Organic Coffee Shops
Oh sure, I’ve heard a couple private sector firms make an advertisement on Air America, primarily investment or insurance shops. Car dealerships and what not. I’m sure socialists buy cars and reluctantly buy insurance (because the government should pay for that, DUH!). But they’re eclipsed by the sheer volume of pathetic ads put up by unions, non-profits and other appendages of the democratic and socialist parties in the US.
Thusly, it is this, that is the fundamental reason that liberal radio will at worst fail, at best, never achieve the greatness of right leaning radio, simply because it is not based in the market and will rely on handouts for their financing. No person is willingly going to pay to hear how they should pay more taxes, forgive the terrorists, feel guilty for being white, or pay reparations for minorities of 300 years ago. Only the public sector and those to benefit from such inanity would be willing to pay for it, if for any other reason than job security.
It is the classical battle between the establishment and the people. The people willingly patronizing those that sponsor the right leaning shows, while the left leaning has to go out and (role befitting) beg for their money.
Alas the only real difference I can see between liberal talk radio and NPR is that NPR feigns its objectivity while liberal talk radio emphasizes its bias.