Common sense and truth are supposed to rule in a democracy but right wing talk radio stations dominate the public airwaves in most areas of the US.
Aside from the national blowhards like Limbaugh and Hannity they also have local talkers who have been getting regular GOP talking points and a lineup of think tank guests and paid callers to help them attack local Democratic candidates and progressive ballot initiatives, spread rumors, and generally lie their asses off for Romney. The main function of those radio stations is to be a 24/7/365 advertisement and facilitator for all aspects of the new corporate Republicanism.
During emergencies and when the lights go out and the battery powered radios take over for internet and TV, those carnival barkers are going to get louder. As Sandy approaches, the low-information and well-disinformed voters will be getting a big dose of pro Romney, anti-Obama, no-global-warming-to-see-here crap.
Highly paid PR pros in the GOP think tanks have already spent days on all the scenarios and how to use them to their advantage- like Katrina. The RW talk radio stations do the groundwork barking and repetition for whatever they will do to blame Obama and Democrats and sway voters their way. Instead of a warning of the future to come, Sandy will become a PR tool to increase GOP votes. And any election results confusion and challenges whether due to Sandy or not will also be influenced by those pillars of the community- our local right wing talk radio stations- lying and shouting over legitimately concerned citizens. As was the case in previous elections.
Those radio stations are licensed to operate in the public interest. They're supposed to be using our public airwaves to give their communities information that voters can use to elect representatives to serve them in Washington (as opposed to lying us into a climate disaster). But instead of informing citizens as to a possible connection between global warming, a warmer Atlantic, and this unusually large and dangerous storm national talkers like Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity, as well as their local wannabes, will continue to use those soapboxes to deny global warming and intimidate meteorologists and anyone in the mainstream media who might try to make that link. As they have been doing for over 20 years their corporate scriptwriters will use those stations to bypass the feedback mechanisms a healthy democracy needs to recognize and respond rationally to problems like climate change.
I don't have TV but a couple of 'redneck' friends who do and have been following the Sandy approach on the usual channels and the weather station tell me they have not heard any reference to global warming.
Ironically, many of the loudest of those partisan, anti-science, anti-education right wing radio stations (and possibly as many as a third of all right wing radio stations in the country) depend on university sports programs for acceptability in their communities and to attract advertisers. If those institutions of higher learning took their own mission statements seriously there might not be a talk radio monopoly.
But thanks largely to right wing radio tens of millions of Americans and the apathetic, ignorant, and often overworked people they influence will vote for the guys who guarantee more storms like Sandy. More death and destruction. More flooding and drought. Lower lows and higher highs. Earlier fall freezes and later spring freezes. Bigger hail and snow storms. More powerful tornadoes and hurricanes.
Activists like Richard Myers on Kos and anti Limbaugh action sites like Flush Rush on Facebook and the StopRush Database have done great work cutting into Rush Limbaugh's sponsors and right wing radio's profitability. But there is still no organized effort by the Democratic Party or major progressive organizations to know what is being repeated on those stations or to respond to the GOP's primary media weapon. Nothing. Nothing at all. As if they expect free market forces to take care of it. Not a thing.
And every time I make a local or nationally targeted donation I think about how much farther it would go and how much less important the Citizens United ruling would be if the Democratic Party and the Left's organizations gave the right wing radio monopoly the attention it deserves for kicking their ass the last 20 years.