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Hannity, Beck, Liimbaugh, Savage, Levin. Maybe some of the others mentioned at this link are also somewhat aligned, in terms of philosophy of government, with those five.

on this group of radio stations:

  • So, this company is the single largest radio station group owner in the US and is providing a platform for these folks, and those five and others are part of the reason so many Americans are confused on important issues.

  • I live in a somewhat rural area in Arizona, and we don't get that many conventional airwave radio stations as we drive along. Most of what I hear is even further narrowed to those five above. So, I'm wondering if the limited airwave aspect could be impacting how the vote is splitting along rural lines in the US.

  • I'd like to see some enlightened people counter this toxic stream of thinking these five and others are spewing by putting better voices of reason on the radio, over the next few months, and beyond.

kmaz 7 Dec 13

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Another thing to consider here is that I heart media had its own share of financial issues including some sort of bankruptcy proceedings. I don’t know if this related a lot to their talk radio aspec, but if a goal here is to ask if there is some realistic way in which the toxic airwaves throughout the us can be addressed then it may be useful to know if the toxic part is not fully always paying its own keep

kmaz Level 7 Dec 16, 2020

"I live in a somewhat rural area in Arizona" So what were the voting results like in you area? Red? Flip blue?

Hi -

Net sum (acknowledging plenty of disagreement among individuals) Santa Cruz County (small at the bottom of the state) went for Biden, but there was zero surprise in this, as we tend generally toward Democrat for President (even when McCain ran). This does not at al mean we vote liberal/progressive on all things.


My county only has 50k people total, and so the net sum voter tallies for President are/were not a big factor.

I can't write a lot right now, but I will say generally about trying to understand the demographics here that there are probably some useful things to say, but that I have learned to be cautious. For example, one might try to overlay the map with the COVID 19 infection maps and with an understanding of which areas in effect got short-changed on access to testing, and with areas where extraordinary infection and death rates have shown up, and there might well be something in this, but I don't know that the results of this are entirely clear.

I do think that the Maricopa county story, with its much bigger population that turned, is worth studying and understanding.

For purposes of my thread topic of who the radio stations are reaching, and understanding the extent of impact, and understanding whether we can come out of this election with any ideas, I do also think there could be some useful things to discuss in looking at the map, but here again I am wary of over-simplifying a conversation that may demand some nuance in some aspects. I will have to try to make more time for the topic later. I do think it would be useful to ask if there is anything to my point about understanding better which rural areas receive what sorts of cocktails of decent signals.

a couple more links to round out the picture. My county's results:


past results, we can see in 2008 and 2012 we went for Obama:

county-by-county covid-19, this is among the top 3 counties in reported cases per capita.


Right wing hate radio.

I'll edit this to say:

While there is some hate in the utterances of those five, and others of their type, I don't think we're going to get to making real progress in opposing them unless we are less dismissive and get to understand much better why so many Americans are listening to them. It's not all about indulging in their baser tendencies. I'll maybe try to add to this thought after work.

so, why did I bother about this, and why do I think it's important?

[edit] I tried to write this out, but it didn't come out very well. I'll shorten it for now to say:
a) for me there was a "yikes" element to realizing how much people had invested, over the last 10-20 years in hating on HRC, Obama, Biden, etc. To me, this was in part about the ringleaders of that investment really going down a path to encourage people to dig their heels in intellectually and in a dark corner where they should not be dug in.
b) there was also a predictable element. I personally think there are logical and useful and good elements to some capitalistic visions of government, but it seemed logical to me that those elements and ideas would be cherry-picked to cater to some of the more gullible radio audience.
c) in order to address the issues raised by this corner we find ourselves backed into, as to the hateful radio positions and presidential approach, I think it will be needed to give better thought to those elements in some of hte radio shows as to why they appeal to people, and what is there that should be discussed rather than dismissed..

@kmaz Right wing hate radio appeals to people because, at some level, they know that the economy is rigged and that the government as it is, a corrupted plutocracy, is not on their side. Right wing radio acknowledges their grievances about a system that is rigged against them and offers a convenient scapegoat, namely rich and upper middle class liberals, the Dem Party, and racial minorities as well as queer people. Liberal mass media (there really is no Left wing mass media in the US, other than those programs like Democracy Now!, on FSTV or the internet) does not address the grievances of working class or poor people about a rigged economy or a plutocracy. Instead, it scapegoats the Repubs, bigots, and religious conservatives. None of these groups, esp. the latter two, have that much power in the system. Even the Repubs only are as powerful as they are because of the collusion of establishment Dems in congress.

Since both right wing radio and liberal media, like NPR, CNN, and, worst of all, MSNBC, use scapegoating of groups that are mostly not part of the plutocracy, it's not surprising that people in the lower classes, who are the majority of talk radio's audience, choose the viewpoint that at least addresses their grievances and lets them channel their anger at being powerless and victimized by a government that doesn't care about them. I bet most of them are like Blue-No-Matter-Who Dem voters, they vote for any Repub not because they think they are on their side economically, but because it gives them a chance to vote against and stick it to those liberals in the higher classes who look down on them and to those minorities they blame for stealing their chance to advance in the class system.


It has been attempted before.
Liberal to Democratic Socialist level Progressive stations have formed but tend to lose their audience by spending a lot of in depth time on local issues while the Sith stations just keep repeating the same old baseless lies that Joe and Jane average just assume there's at least some truth to.
There isn't and never was truth to any of it.
Meanwhile in the next hour we'll be talking about the pine borer epidemic in the pine forest around big bear.

Thanks, good point, but for those of us blown away by how close the country just came to the end of the rule of law, and the impact of those stations in bringing us to the brink, I think we still have to try again, and differently.

You make a great point about the lame nature of previous efforts. I don't think future efforts should be so lame, but neither do they all have to earn their keep. Some wealthy people have signaled they are willing to spend big money to try to save the country from the sort of fate that the Hannity's of this world are pulling toward, so maybe those wealthy people could be persuaded to help line up competing voices of reason.

We also do not have to assume that competing shows would be all about politics. Perhaps they could in some cases stem from popular wider-ranging podcasts.

when I drive down the road in a semi-rural area, I generally hear:

right-wing political radio (one or two at a time, but pretty reliably available, and full of anger at something).
also, sometimes:

  • a religious show or two
  • the news
  • radio from across the line in Mexico
  • the occasional non-right-wing dial-in show
  • an occasional financial dial-in show.
  • an occasional NPR show though kind of boring-seeming

the right wing radio shows seem to be very popular, almost as though folks were turning angry politics into some sort of easy angry religion. Some of them could probably tell you more about the 2nd Amendment than the 2nd Commandment. Even though I'm 100% atheist, I sometimes like to listen to the religious shows because they involve people talking about issues of right and wrong that matter a lo to them. So maybe that could form the basis for some ideation around what sorts of shows could start to be very engaging and start to chip away at the disconcerting persuasive powers of the angry right wing political shows.

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