Sunday, November 09, 2008

Lies and Smears - It is not just Rush and Hannity

Media Matters this week has a brief 25-page summary of what has been on right clown talk radio for this election.
While the hosts vary in the degree of vitriol they spew and in their ratio of rebuttable falsehoods to unbridled smears, Media Matters and Colorado Media Matters have identified common themes that many, if not all, promote.

Several of the radio hosts monitored by Media Matters (their shows are described in detail below), as well as their guests, engaged in an all-out effort to foment hate and suspicion of Obama among their listeners, promoting the most baseless and farfetched of smears and advancing falsehoods -- including about Obama's religion and background -- that have taken hold among a substantial percentage of the electorate.
These hate broadcasts are especially predominately in rural areas. Urban and suburban areas like Houston sometimes have a radio alternative to this right hate and fear clown speech, even if it is usually vastly outnumbered. And no NPR, nice polite Republicans on the radio, is not an alternative. It is biased conservative.

I would think the FCC needs to look into the effect of these many free hours of Republican advertising around election time. Should stations that broadcast hours of political talk every day for one party be required to run an hour or two of political talk approved of by the other party?

The right is already bristling that "equal time" or the "fairness doctrine" are an attack on "free speech" but this speech was broadcast on OUR PUBLIC AIRWAVES that were given to companies only as long as they promote the common good and public interest. It has been a few decades since a station lost its license for abuses, perhaps they should review how that happened in the past. During the civil rights era an Alabama TV station lost it's license for not broadcasting national news it disliked. Radio and TV stations today should be promoting responsible informative discussion, not the present lies, fears, and smears.

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