- George Zimmerman will not be charged in domestic dispute
- Russian officials press bilateral U.S. trade deal
- Selfies at Funerals blog creator retires after Obama flub: ‘Our work here is done’
- New Obama adviser Podesta is against Keystone but will steer clear of pipeline deliberations
- 40 Australian adults, children found in ‘one of the worst accounts of incest ever made public’
- Venezuela’s Maduro calls on student ‘price vigilantes’ to hit the streets, report businesses
- Atheists smug as Hindus join Satanists to demand display at Oklahoma Statehouse
- Bow before Valkyrie, NASA’s ‘superhero robot’ entry in DARPA challenge
- 10-year-old Pennsylvania boy suspended for pretend bow-and-arrow shooting
- Tea partiers turn on Capitol Hill budget deal
Talk radio ‘dominated’ by right
Question of the Day
THE WASHINGTON TIMES A report from a liberal think tank yesterday criticized the “right-wing domination of talk radio,” saying the current landscape does not serve all Americans.
In a report titled “The Structural Imbalance of Political Talk Radio,” the Center for American Progress concluded that 91 percent of weekday talk radio is conservative, compared with liberal content at 9 percent. The group, which said it analyzed 257 news and talk stations owned by the five biggest radio broadcasters, calls for stricter media-ownership limits and public-interest requirements.
“There is little free speech or free choice in a market system that pushes out one-sided information 90 percent of the time on the radio,” said John Halpin, a senior fellow at the center. “Radio stations are licensed to operate in the public interest. Promoting one point of view over all others does not meet any reasonable public-interest standard.”
The study also analyzed all commercial news and talk stations in the top 10 markets, where it deemed 76 percent of programming conservative and 24 percent liberal.
Democrats seized on the findings, touting the study as further evidence that government intervention to make the media more “fair” is needed.
“The American people should have a wide array of news sources available to them. The more opinions they can hear, the more news sources they can learn from, the better able they will be to make decisions,” said Jeff Lieberson, spokesman for Rep. Maurice D. Hinchey, New York Democrat.
Mr. Hinchey is preparing to reintroduce his Media Ownership Reform Act, which among other proposals calls for a return to the “Fairness Doctrine,” a long-held requirement that broadcasters give equal time to opposing views when covering political issues. The doctrine was repealed in 1987 because it violated the First Amendment.
The legislation didn’t make it out of committee the last time around, but Mr. Lieberson said the congressman is “politically realistic” and might look to attach pieces of the bill to other legislation.
Talk radio has even come under fire from the right recently. Sen. Trent Lott, Mississippi Republican, complaining about the unpopularity of the immigration bill, told the New York Times, “Talk radio is running America. We have to deal with that problem.”
“If it was wrong and self-wounding for white baseball owners to refuse to hire black players in the 1940s, until Branchy Rickey made history with Jackie Robinson, then it’s wrong today for a handful of mega-owners to refuse to provide diverse voices to the diverse communities who listen to radio,” said Mark Green, president of Air America.
Conservatives and talk-radio types dismissed the study, both challenging its methodology and calling its recommendations unconstitutional.
“Nothing in this report addresses the tremendous impact that public radio has,” said Chris Berry, general manager of D.C. conservative talk station WMAL-AM (630). “The fact is, many people, even NPR listeners, consider public radio if not liberal, then certainly in the category of ‘progressive.’ ”
In the Arbitron winter ratings, D.C. public radio outlet WETA-FM (90.9) scored a 4.9 share — although it changed to classical music in the middle of the ratings period — and WAMU-FM (88.5) had a 4.3 share. Together, the public stations top the most-listened-to commercial station, urban WHUR-FM (96.3), which had a 6.9 share.
Moreover, Mr. Berry noted, the report does not include morning FM radio shows that are topical or cover political issues, especially programs targeted at black listeners.
By Donald Lambro
Growth spikes are little more than trend-free anomalies
- Rand Paul: Budget deal 'shameful,' 'huge mistake'
- Teen thugs in D.C. run wild -- even while wearing GPS ankle bracelets
- Tea partiers turn on Capitol Hill budget deal
- Leon Panetta named as source of 'Zero Dark Thirty' scriptwriters information
- Biden guarantees victory on immigration reform
- Obama takes 'selfie' at Mandela's funeral service
- American bourbon now better than Scottish whisky: U.K.-born expert
- FENNO: Honestly, Mike Shanahan, why should we believe you now?
- CARSON: Why did the founders give us the Second Amendment?
- VEGAS RULES: Harry Reid pushed feds to change ruling for casino's big-money foreigners
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Interviews and show reviews from the Los Angeles punk scene past and present. Los Angeles has always been rich in punk rock talent since punk rock was born.
Buzz on Bees is a column promoting the love and life of God’s greatest pollinators on earth: The Honeybee
Brazen, leading-edge, “call it like it is” columns and reporting from Ohio native, radio host and writer, Sara Marie Brenner.
A libertarian look at breaking news and political trends by author Tom Mullen.
Extraordinary day at Redskins Park
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow