Friday, June 22, 2007

The Marketplace of Ideas

In order to keep my threads tidy, I'm responding to my good friend WAMK here, in a new post. He writes:

What about the other part of my comment, about just turning off the radio, if you don't like what is on it, the same way the Left has told Conservatives to turn off the TV if we don't like the content.
Good question.

My answer, of course, is that you're right. Let the marketplace decide. Unlike many other liberals, I think Fox News is on the air not because of some right-wing conspiracy, but because it gets the ratings. Therefore, viva Fox! It's just a little odd to me, though, that AM talk radio skews soooooooo far to the right, when the polling suggests there's better money in balancing it out a little. Worrisome, but capitalism has built-in correctives for this. If I'm right, I suspect Michael Savage will give up the most market share the earliest, 'cause that guy's just NUTS.

I was kidding about giving us AM stations, but I'm afraid I have to admit that you're right; the left will often call for the silencing of opposing viewpoints, perhaps more often then the right does. Witness the periodic calls for Ann Coulter to be dropped from syndication whenever one of those hate-speech bon mots escapes her lips. The right's method for dealing with those who disagree with them is not to demand they be silenced; it's usually to attack the messenger and attempt to ruin their lives for speaking out. Cindy Sheehan questions our presence in Iraq? She's a crazy, evil, fame-whore who only wants attention. John Kerry runs against the president? He lied about his military record and can't make up his mind. Harry Reid? Grey, defeatist, wants the terrorists to win because his only passion is hating the President. And so on.

Neither side is better in how they treat their debate opponents. We all should be attacking the ideas and leaving the people alone. Personally I like having Ann Coulter around because I can point to her as a particular kind of right-wing crazy. Ann Coulter is a DNC recruiting poster. I know that that was exactly the kind of attack I'm decrying here, but she's gotten most of her best exposure from behaving like that so I'm just agreeing to play on her turf. And she's a solid competitor, being a transvestite and all. *snap!*

Incidentally, no one would really expect you to just turn off the news if you disagree with it. I mean after all, every single MSM outlet except Fox has a far-left liberal bias. Ya'll would get less media than the Amish.


Skot said...

First of all, the Right does not have a monopoly on extremist nutcases who immediately drop into ad hominem attack when even mildly challenged. Check the controversy in SF city hall right now (Lots on City Supe Chris Daly, a card-carrying member of the infantile left, apparently exists to oppose everything Gavin Newsom thinks or does. He recently accused him, out of the clear blue sky, of doing blow.

But Daly is widely considered (except for the progressive bloc) as a giant sniveling toddler, a poor player who struts and frets etc. etc. Now Ann Coulter: she still gets called to a plushy chair on cable chat shows regularly. Of course, she gets called back for two reasons: Good looking blond, and the right-wing Tourette's thing. Great television.

I wonder what her childhood was like?


wamk said...

Good post, Piker.

It's good to see us agree on something from time to time. Makes me have faith in humanity!

Just like you like seeing Coulter on TV, I feel the same way about Rosie. The more the "fringe" (regardless if it is Left or Right fringe) speak, the more the DNC/RNC profit.

The Market will generally decide what "it" wants to hear/see. If there is a market where progressive talk radio can flourish, it will. Boulder, CO has AAR still on, but also has a local guy in the morning, and Ed Schultz in the afternoon. It's on the air because Boulder (and probably part of Denver too) wants to hear it.

As far as getting my news, I get it from the same place you probably do: online. By the time 6pm rolls around, the news they are reporting on has already been updated several times via the internet. Same for my local paper.

Danielk said...

They still publish papers?

wamk said...

Gotta have something to wrap the fish in. And line the birdcage.

skot said...

Laugh it up, you two. If legitimate papers go, we're all in serious trouble. And you'll have nothing to riff on.