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Dittoheads: The Downfall of Newspapers

04/16/2009 05:12 am 05:12:01 | Updated May 25, 2011

In an article in the Washington Post conservative columnist, Kathleen Parker, questions whether Rush Limbaugh and his dittoheads have been the cause of the decline in newspapers. This seems like a huge stretch, eh?

Parker questions Limbaugh's constant attacks on the media which is then propagated by his listeners and repeated again and again, with bringing down newspaper. She posits that this is done essentially by one prominent voice being repeated endlessly by dittoheads. Does this give one man too much power and does this power in the mouths of dittoheads actually bear out in the market? Are people actually listening to Limbaugh? I doubt it if he or his dittoheads are the reason for the decline in newspaper readership. Newspapers may be in trouble for their own lack of innovation and narrowness.

Parker credits the freedom of the press with the freedom of an open society, yet bashes Limbaugh and his dittoheads for their words. Although there is alignment here. Where the State owns the media, freedom is often inhibited. But equating Limbaugh with the decline of newspapers seems a bit over the top. Now, I am not a fan of Limbaugh by any stretch of the imagination. But I do wonder about the efficacy of the argument presented. Parker purports that "the chorus of media bashing from certain quarters has succeeded in convincing many Americans that they don't need newspapers." This she believes would affect local news.

Parker gives a statistic from The Pew Research Center for the People & the Press where "fewer than half of Americans -- 43 percent -- say that losing their local newspaper would hurt civic life in their community 'a lot.' Only 33 percent say they would miss the local paper if it were no longer available."

Personally, I have not watched local news in years and I rarely read local papers. The view is often eschewed and most local news is terribly bad news, even worse than national news. I sincerely doubt that Rush Limbaugh and his dittoheads are the cause of the decline in newspapers. It's probably largely due to the newspapers themselves, not to mention the many various open media sources on the Internet.

What do you think?