This week, Ed Schultz from MSNBC's The Ed Show invoked the idea that Congress should use the Fairness Doctrine to regulate talk radio.
In a laughable attempt to control ratings through government manipulation of the radio airwaves, Schultz says that conservatives are "low information voters" and therefore, the government has a responsibility to break up the free market supply and demand system used by radio station owners. Schultz claims that because the 5 largest commercial talk radio station owners run a majority of conservative shows on their stations, the government should step in to balance the numbers out - a kind of liberal affirmative action program for talk radio.
But this was no April fool's joke - it was March 31. Schultz was serious.
Let's start by setting aside Schultz's pathetic hypocrisy that talk radio should be regulated by the government but the main stream media's 50 years of liberal bias goes without a mention. And let's also set aside his ridiculous elitism that assumes conservatives blindly follow radio hosts by being easily manipulated and hood-winked with "low information". And let's also set aside the fact that Schultz is actually attacking America's free-market system when he suggests that private companies should offer talk radio programs even though there are few listeners and advertisers to support it. If we set all that aside, the fact remains that liberal chatter doesn't sell in America. It's just not popular. It's like Schultz didn't know that Air America, the highly marketed liberal talk radio network, failed. Newsflash, Ed: Air America went bankrupt. Either the liberal owners of Air America were bad at business or there wasn't a demand for their experiment. Schultz would like people to believe that conservative talk radio stations have little listenership, make no money but stay on the air anyway.
Schultz thinks the traditional supply and demand model for talk radio should be replaced with government intervention programs that "even out the playing field". I guess taking over 1/6 of the Nation's economy wasn't enough for Schultz. With healthcare hijacked he's moving on to talk radio.
The Ed Show asked viewers this week to respond to the question, "Should congress take action to balance talk radio?" And to "debate" the issue of imbalance on the airwaves, Schultz invited two liberals but no conservatives. The irony was brilliant! There they were; Holland Cooke and Bill Press, the pseudo-journalist, discussing fairness with Ed Schultz. Talk about low information...