Sunday, January 15, 2012

Conservative Talk Radio: A Documentary

I used to live in Milwaukee and I am a big fan of talk radio. Milwaukee has some very good talk radio, so I listened to a lot of talk radio when I lived there. Once podcasts became popular, I resumed listening to talk radio from various places I used to live. I was fascinated by this documentary discussing some of the people I listened (and still listen) to in Milwaukee.

"Liberty or Lies, Conservative Talk Radio in Milwaukee, Wisconsin"

I really enjoyed this documentary. Lots of views presented and very well done.

One of the biggest criticisms of talk radio is that it's biased. I completely reject this, and I thought that those who presented this argument in the documentary were pathetic. Sure, individual shows are biased (and they do a much better job of stating their biases than the mainstream media). But the medium as a whole is not. Anyone is free to start their own show. Radio stations are motivated by money, not ideology. If a left wing show would make money, radio stations would air it. Air America tried this, and failed.

So why is talk radio overwhelmingly conservative? I believe it's because when you HEAR an argument you respond much more to the logic of the argument. Whereas visual media (pictures and video) tend to favor more emotional (and more shallow) arguments. Right wing talk radio shows succeed because more often than not they have the facts on their side.

Radio is not the only source of news. Newspapers and television stations tend to favor the left. Why don't the same people who criticize radio for being biased towards the right also criticize newspapers and television stations for their leftward bias?

I found out about this documentary from John McAdams' "Marquette Warrior" blog. Specifically, these two posts:

"Documentary on Conservative Talk Radio, With a Milwaukee Focus"

"Documentary on Milwaukee Conservative Talk Radio / More"

Incidentally, I, too, am a Marquette Warrior. Not a Golden Beagle, a Warrior. :)