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Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh
Ken Vogel and Mackenzie Wagner of Politico put a dollar figure on the massive flow of cash from conservative groups to talk radio hosts between 2008 and 2012:
A POLITICO review of filings with the Internal Revenue Service and Federal Election Commission, as well as interviews and reviews of radio shows, found that conservative groups spent nearly $22 million to broker and pay for involved advertising relationships known as sponsorships with a handful of influential talkers including Beck, Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, Mark Levin and Rush Limbaugh between the first talk radio deals in 2008 and the end of 2012. Since then, the sponsorship deals have grown more lucrative and tea party-oriented, with legacy groups like The Heritage Foundation ending their sponsorships and groups like the Tea Party Patriots placing big ad buys.
That $22 million helped fuel the rise of the tea party, and while Vogel and Wagner say the mix of groups funding right-wing radio have evolved, the flow of cash shows no signs of slowing down. Because disclosure rules don't require releasing documents about spending until the year following an election, there isn't much recent data to go on, but this is the sort of thing they are talking about:
Senate Conservatives Fund paid at least paid $427,000 to Simon & Schuster to purchase copies of one of [radio host Mark] Levin’s books in September and October of 2013.
And of course Levin has returned the favor, calling one of the Senate Conservatives Fund's favorite tea party challengers, State Sen. Chris McDaniel of Mississippi, "solid as a rock." The irony in all this payola is that as distasteful as it is, it's a pretty good example of the right-wing media machine unwittingly helping Democrats win elections, because no matter how conservative their politics are, these radio hosts have shown time and time again that they'd rather make money than win elections.

Originally posted to The Jed Report on Thu Apr 17, 2014 at 01:54 PM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  racketeering via bulk book purchases (12+ / 0-)
    A racket is a service that is fraudulently offered to solve a problem, such as for a problem that does not actually exist, will not be affected, or would not otherwise exist. Conducting a racket is racketeering. Particularly, the potential problem may be caused by the same party that offers to solve it, although that fact may be concealed, with the specific intent to engender continual patronage for this party.
    Senate Conservatives Fund paid at least paid $427,000 to Simon & Schuster to purchase copies of one of [radio host Mark] Levin’s books in September and October of 2013.

    Warning - some snark may be above‽ (-9.50; -7.03)‽ eState4Column5©2013 "I’m not the strapping young Muslim socialist that I used to be" - Barack Obama 04/27/2013 (@eState4Column5).

    by annieli on Thu Apr 17, 2014 at 02:24:40 PM PDT

  •  Those crappy shows (8+ / 0-)

    Limbaugh, Hannity, and the rest would be long gone without the Koch play money. They really are sucking Koch.

    A true craftsman will meticulously construct the apparatus of his own demise.

    by onionjim on Thu Apr 17, 2014 at 03:32:08 PM PDT

  •  way underpaid for all they've done for the 1% (5+ / 0-)

    the last 25 years.

    it's great this stuff is coming out but it's a bit mixed up and retroactive- the tea party is just another name for the talk radio base/dittoheads that's been fucking up the country for the last 20 years.

    since rove lost the white house the talk radio monopoly lost its main manager and it seems a few other players are starting to work it but that kind of scripting and control has always been there- that's why limbaugh hannity got such huge contracts- it wasn't for selling product other than propaganda.

    they were always working for those think tanks, who did the detail PR work and coordination for a lot of rovian bullshit.

    they always supported certain rw candidates (corrupt blackmailable sycophants- tea party/talk radio party candidates) over others.

    they always attacked everything liberal and usually used the same material.

    yeah its nice that this became a story that might get widely read. about fucking time. maybe the democratic party and the major left orgs that have been getting their asses kicked by rw radio will wake the fuck up.

    This is a list of 76 universities for Rush Limbaugh that endorse global warming denial, racism, sexism, and GOP lies by broadcasting sports on over 170 Limbaugh radio stations.

    by certainot on Thu Apr 17, 2014 at 05:05:10 PM PDT

  •  illegal radio payola prior to 2008? provable propa (7+ / 0-)

    ganda? illegal propaganda?

    when rove lost control it looks like the stink tanks started getting more directly involved. maybe they're bidding.

    anyone listening to rw radio pre 2008 would know they were all on message benefitting the GOP- that was rove and his helpers. and a lot of it was locally controlled- for instance pressuring AGs in various states to pursue voter fraud cases that didn't exist but served to launch dozens of voter suppression laws and distract from and excuse the real election thieves.

    but rove would have used numerous national and local think tanks to manage and aid the local and national blowhards. anyone listening to these idiots knows few of them do their own research (or are capable of it)- or they wouldn't be able to lie like they do. like their politicians who depend on corporate lawyers for staff, the new republican party depends on think tanks and their corporate  PR pros to feed and manage the 400 or so rw radio blowhards.

    so prior to 2008, how was that help paid for? it was free advertising and messaging for the GOP- to sell war and so on.

    how much of that messaging management that ended up in the hands of the blowhards was provided by those think tanks and who paid for it?

    since it's radio would that have been illegal payola?

    This is a list of 76 universities for Rush Limbaugh that endorse global warming denial, racism, sexism, and GOP lies by broadcasting sports on over 170 Limbaugh radio stations.

    by certainot on Thu Apr 17, 2014 at 07:03:24 PM PDT

  •  the article references a 2010 piece on air america (5+ / 0-)

    as to

    Liberal talk radio lacks major audience and financial support.
    they're up against a fucking monopoly! idiot.

    This is a list of 76 universities for Rush Limbaugh that endorse global warming denial, racism, sexism, and GOP lies by broadcasting sports on over 170 Limbaugh radio stations.

    by certainot on Thu Apr 17, 2014 at 07:32:45 PM PDT

  •  How much of this payola (7+ / 0-)

    is taxpayer-subsidized, i.e., coming from tax-deductible donations?

    The millions from Hillsdale College and the Heritage Foundation, for sure, and probably a lot more than that.

    Worth a follow-up, by Politico or someone else.

    The 1950s payola scandal pales by comparison -- it involved taxpaying record companies bribing radio stations to play their songs and thereby increase their profits.

    This one involves all of us indirectly supporting right-wing agitprop on the public airwaves that helps kill people.

    A public option for health insurance is a national priority.

    by devtob on Thu Apr 17, 2014 at 08:33:32 PM PDT

  •  Why was this illegal for Freed and Rock N Roll? (6+ / 0-)

    But ok for Limbaugh and politics?

  •  Problem is, (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Stude Dude, certainot

    these racketeers DO propel political careers, with disastrous consequences for the rest of us, and for humanity as a whole. Think: 2010.

    With all that advertiser drop-off since 2012, how had Rush Limbaugh even been staying on the air? I'm delighted the "smoking gun" many of us had suspected, has been found.

    It's here they got the range/ and the machinery for change/ and it's here they got the spiritual thirst. --Leonard Cohen

    by karmsy on Fri Apr 18, 2014 at 06:11:14 PM PDT

  •  They don't want to win (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Stude Dude, varro

    elections. They make too much money when Dems are in office and especially due to a man named Barack Hussein Obama. President Obama is the best thing that ever happened to the right wing media complex.

  •  News Comes Out Same Day As Randi Rhodes Quits (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Krush, TDDVandy, Stude Dude, certainot

    Last show May 16th.

    Brutal atmosphere out there for progressive talk shows. Los Angeles and California lost their stations. Tough to win the communication wars if talk radio becomes even more dominated by the right wing.

    •  that's a big loss. she's a huge asset for the left (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Leo Flinnwood, varro

      she's worth a sixpack of progressive groups because she's one of the few people actually getting in the face of those blowhards in real time, while progressive groups waste donations and volunteer hours by letting a few carnival barkers shout over them.

      This is a list of 76 universities for Rush Limbaugh that endorse global warming denial, racism, sexism, and GOP lies by broadcasting sports on over 170 Limbaugh radio stations.

      by certainot on Fri Apr 18, 2014 at 06:48:56 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I cant believe Beck is sill on air (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Stude Dude

    Does he say anything new? Or they play his old crap over and over? Why even pay him anymore?  If FOX was smart they would retire him and just play his old shows over and over.

    Same with Rush Limbaugh. Just retire both of them. It would save so much money for the corporatists. They need to think about the bottom line during time like this,

    stuck in nazi land

    by Krush on Fri Apr 18, 2014 at 06:38:07 PM PDT

  •  you're wrong jed (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Stude Dude
    The irony in all this payola is that as distasteful as it is, it's a pretty good example of the right-wing media machine unwittingly helping Democrats win elections, because no matter how conservative their politics are, these radio hosts have shown time and time again that they'd rather make money than win elections.
    even though they might be mercenary, everything they do is is geared toward moving the center right, selling republican billionaire lies, and swiftboating democrats.

    they've been kicking our ass in the sense a party that represents 20% of the population has the house and enough senate seats to stop almost everything and anybody what few progressives want! that's the 20% that forms the made to order billionaire constituency that enables and intimidates the corporate media and a hell of a lot of democrats who would have done a lot better if the left hadn't been giving those rw blowhards a free speech free ride.

    those dumbasses with their think tank talking points are why we don't have single payer now. why we ignore global warming, and why we're in most of this disaster, fighting off oligarchy.

    those blowhards are why these sycophant loons are even still in the game.

    This is a list of 76 universities for Rush Limbaugh that endorse global warming denial, racism, sexism, and GOP lies by broadcasting sports on over 170 Limbaugh radio stations.

    by certainot on Fri Apr 18, 2014 at 06:43:59 PM PDT

  •  corrupt as it is (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    certainot, spocko, poco, Stude Dude

    I admit some envy that the right has funding while liberal radio hosts have to work cheap or ask listeners to chip in to cover expenses.  I hate that our side basically concedes a whole medium.

    •  Agreed (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      poco, Stude Dude

      I have two friends in the radio business who have had to quit because of the lack of support from the left.

      The funny thing is that the right used to brag about how "the left can't make any money because nobody listens." and now we find out that the making of the money wasn't some thing they could count on from advertisers.  Their bullshit "free market" is always rigged in their favor. When they say they want a level playing field that is because someone hasn't rigged it from them this time.

      •  it's always been a monopoly for them and if libera (0+ / 0-)

        ls want to open up opportunities for liberal talkers it won't be by believing they can compete head to head with that established and protected monopoly.

        when the left destroys the monopoly, which it has to do if it wants to keep a democracy, those stations will open up.

        This is a list of 76 universities for Rush Limbaugh that endorse global warming denial, racism, sexism, and GOP lies by broadcasting sports on over 170 Limbaugh radio stations.

        by certainot on Fri Apr 18, 2014 at 07:26:37 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  The turned to the Belief Tanks because of us (0+ / 0-)

    One of the reasons that they went to these Front groups like Heritage and AFP is because of the very effective separation of the consumer facing advertiser from RW radio.

    That is a HUGE success for us. But now what?

    I did a diary the new front group scheme about what happened here The Magic and Beauty Of Hiding Behind Front Groups

  •  Except....the rich are necessarily talented. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Stude Dude

    Not compared to the pros in the entertainment industry that we call "the news." Doesn't matter how many millions they pour into their propaganda, if they do not have  their pulse on what America wants, it will not work.

    For example, in 2006, I watched, highly amused as Karl Rove played all the major MSM franchise except Pentagon-Ge-MSNBC which did not want a war in Iran. While all the other networks were 24-7 terror, NBC and MSNBC kept debunking the terror warning du jour.  And since Americans, by nature, do not wanted to be terrified, all it takes it one mainstream media outlet failing to be scared shitless for folks to say "Hey, there's nothing to be scared of." Plus ABC-Disney, did that little last minute back-stab over A La Carte Mouse.

    The GOP thought they were gonna get a replay of 2002. Instead, they got a Democratic sweep. It shows that GOP/ Conservatives and especially Ivory Tower billionaires  don't know shit about how to talk to the American people. Maybe if they can get another media monopoly the way that Bush did after 9-11 with his crazy promises via the FCC---but Michael Powell pretty much ruined that when he revealed that Karl Rove had played them all for suckers. The MSM will never listen to Rove's promises again. Ever.  The revelations about the secret deal between Guiliani a Fox added another layer of distrust. And Citizens United, by usurping the traditional powers of the press, has made the press hate the gazillionaires all the more.

    So, they can buy all the ads on all the lame right wing talk shows they want and preach to the choir. They will not reach the all important NASCAR dad and soccer mom vote that way and without them the GOP can not win.

    "A dog starved at his master's gate/Predicts the ruin of the state" Blake

    by McCamy Taylor on Fri Apr 18, 2014 at 07:19:20 PM PDT

    •  True! And if you are willing to lie your ass off, (0+ / 0-)

      you can get your diaries on the rec list. Especially diaries that attack ACA! Isn't that right, Dr. McCamy Taylor?

      Susan from 29 has comprehensively debunked your latest rec listed lying diary!

      http://www.dailykos.com/...

      These are the other comments substantively debunking your other lying diaries about the ACA. Are you a Republican troll?

      Here are two credible comments debunking your other recent diaries, not including the most recent one.  

      http://www.dailykos.com/...

      http://www.dailykos.com/...

      The comments were all well tipped, Meteor Blades endorsed one of them and none of these reprimands have made a whit of difference to the way you prey on this site.

      You should be thoroughly ashamed of yourself.

      It's *Gandhi*, not Ghandi

      by poco on Fri Apr 18, 2014 at 08:08:34 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I always use the term "TeaPuppets" rather than... (0+ / 0-)

    ..."Tea Partiers". It rolls off the tongue more easily, reflects the truth about their financial & media sponsors - and it irritates the hell out of them.

    “It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing
    he was never reasoned into” - Jonathan Swift

    by jjohnjj on Fri Apr 18, 2014 at 10:28:06 PM PDT

  •  It has long been my opinion that Limbaugh (0+ / 0-)

    secretly votes for Democrats. When Democrats hold the presidency, he gains listeners who love to listen to him rant.  Only thing is, it seems to have backfired on him. When people hear the same old thing every day, they get sick of it. When they hear "Democrats bad, Republicans good" constantly, they have to realize that such blanket statements can't always be true. It's my opinion that right wing radio is a plus for our side, really.

    I don't know if Ghandi actually said "I love your Christ, but I don't like your Christians", but I'm gonna keep attributing it to him. If he didn't actually say it, he was probably thinking it.

    by pearlsarefuzzy on Sat Apr 19, 2014 at 06:20:58 PM PDT

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