Many colleges and universities in the US broadcast sports on the biggest and loudest AM radio stations in the state. Same with professional sports.
Those AM stations are usually the right wing talk stations where the Limbaughs, Hannities, Becks, and their local wannabes attack and lie about Democratic candidates and progressive causes and do global warming denial all day long.
How can our "institutions of higher learning" continue to give credibility to radio stations that work 24/7 to discredit the opinion of the vast majority of the planet's scientific community?
Or support the racism and hate that comes from these loudmouthed fools?
These are the stations that do the groundwork repetition for the coordinated think tank propaganda campaigns of the GOP and Chamber of Commerce.
These were the stations that turned a failed silver spooned AWOL frat boy into Commander in Chief and swiftboated Clinton and Gore and Kerry. They are the stations that sold the Iraq disaster and banking deregulation that destroyed our economy.
They are the power centers of the GOP and teabagger headquarters. These are the coordinated messaging machines that defeated Clinton health care and made single payer a commie slogan. They are where the teabaggers and town hall screamers got their talking points to water down health care.
They are the soapboxes that blamed Democrats for the Katrina disaster, destroyed Acorn, and got rid of Van Jones. They turned the East Anglia emails into an international conspiracy to sell the global warming 'fraud'. They are the stations that allow the Rand Pauls and Christine Odonnells to get anywhere near the senate. They are why Sara Palin was chosen for vice president.
They are the soapboxes that create the made-to-order pro-corporate constituencies that Republican and frightened blue dog politicians point to to enable their corruption and irrational decisions.
These are the stations without which anyone associated with Fox TV would be laughed off any major network. These are the stations that regularly turn molehills into mountains and feed and distract and enable the rest of the media so effectively as to make futile any talk by the Left of strategic messaging and framing.
These are the same stations that turned Clarence Thomas into a victim and Anita Hill into a witch. They ensure Democratic presidential apppointments have to 'centrist'. They put Alito and Roberts on the supreme court and turned corporations into people.
These are the same stations that put our elections on a foreign bidding block. They make election and media reform impossible. They make rational drug policy impossible. Forget bipartisanship.
Most of those stations mix local interest programming in between the 9 or 12 hours of coordinated prime time propaganda from the RW think tanks so management can feel better about itself. They can pretend to be good local citizens and sell ad time to local businesses whose owners and managers are ignorant enough to think Limbaugh and Hannity and Beck are just rodeo clowns and entertainers. Or are willing to sell out democracy for the loudest signal in the state.
These are the stations that use a steady consistent coordinated drumbeat to sell the myths and lies that TV and print and internet cannot. They made Gingrich and Rove what they are today. These are the stations that have purged the Republican Party of rational conservatives and turned the Party of Lincoln into the Party of Limbaugh. They made the last 20 years of American disaster possible.
Every week these 1000 invisible but very loud soapboxes occupy every corner of the country and yell at 50 million people that liberals are liars and thieves and perverts and that it's okay to outsource jobs to China and beat up immigrants and protesters and use foreign money to buy US elections. They vilify teachers and unions and sell Club Gitmo torture-is-cool T-shirts for Limbaugh. Every year they undo the work of millions of citizens volunteering a few hours and dollars here and there.
And they have only been so successful because they get a free speech free ride from the Left. The analysts and strategists read first and then watch the internet and have no clue what fills the airwaves until it shows up days, months, or years later in the rest of the media after the right wing lies and framing have already been given a prominent seat at the table.
While screaming about liberal political correctness and censorship these are the soapboxes that determine what is and what isn't acceptable in America. These are the biggest political correctness cops and censors-by-threat in the country. And they will be the loudest emergency broadcasters in every state.
These are the stations that will be calling out the screamers again when local elections boards are dealing with close elections.
They only get away with it because the Left ignores them. Their blowhards enjoy the benefits of a well protected monopoly and professional call screeners that ensure the royal certitude of their propagandists is seldom challenged. And most of the people they attack all day have no clue.
But they sure do great sports on the weekend.
Until Americans recognize the problem that was created when Reagan killed the Fairness Doctrine 20 years ago they can kiss democracy goodbye. The right's most important weapon is basically invisible. If the collective Left continues to ignore the talk radio monopoly while reacting after the damage is done it cannot claim to be getting it's representatives' backs.
Rehashing a debate on a new Fairness Doctrine is not my intent. Emailing or trying to get a call through to Limbaugh or complaining to the head offices of these national talkers is useless. Boycotts of their national sponsors are somewhat successful but the GOP can usually find big money alternatives.
But if progressive organizations and groups and unions get to organizing protests in support of their causes and candidates and are wondering where to picket, or target local boycotts, I have a suggestion: see above.
I'll be back later.