For well over 20 years, conservative voices have dominated radio. Their message has not been “conservatism is good”. Their message has been “liberalism is bad“; it’s anti-American and will destroy the Republic. I finally lost a brother to this near-seditious drumbeat and that hurt a lot. It still does. Then, FOX News joined the noise machine in 1996, just in time to leap into the relentless drumbeat against Bill Clinton.
Now conservative media figures claim that the ‘mainstream media’ is liberally biased and that’s why they had to come into being. I guess they see themselves as out of the mainstream of American life, fighting the mainstream, since most Americans turn to newspapers, magazines, local TV, network news, public radio and TV for their information. In other words, mainstream Americans turn to the mainstream media. And since those media are not liberal bashers (except maybe the Wall St Journal editorial page!), conservatives say they therefore are liberal. This is nonsense of course.
Nevertheless, when Keith Olbermann showed up on MSNBC a few years back, it was pretty exciting for this liberal. I hadn’t heard that kind of talk anywhere outside the pages of liberal magazines (and maybe on Bill Moyers – who speaks, however, in soft and even tones). So it was a thrill.
And he brought many of the bright emerging stars from the blogesphere into the conversation. That made his show fresh and dynamic. Worst Person in the World was fun. The very earliest ‘special comments’ were water in the desert. They were ‘yeah, yeah’ moments, especially when he said the things about Bush we all wanted to hear said publicly. For a change. And he made Rachel Maddow a liberal star.
He mocked Fox News relentlessly, especially Bill O’Reilly. And then, he became Fox News. Now liberals like me aren’t listening anymore. Thehe Fox style is not our style. (I know he’s going after Dems too. It’s the consant outrage that’s wearisome.)
Today, the LA Times tells us (rather jubilantly) that Keith’s number are slipping. He’s losing his audience. I wonder if he knows why. I wonder if he’ll figure out that we is not them.