Ensconced in his safe Fox "News" channel seat, snugly tucked in as Hannity's hag, Alan Colmes has spoken. The Fairness Doctrine is just not something we Democrats should support. Must be nice to have all of your bills paid by TV and radio shows all supported by Fox "News." I smell a rat.
So, with the latest "Hannity & Colmes" in the can, the most recent member to the Lieberman wing of political no man's land can return home to know that his mortgage is paid, his heat and electricity secured, while dealing a blow against the competitors, which amount to all those progressives battling for equal time in a world run by conservative corporate conglomerates supporting only the mouth pieces that tow the big money line.
No rebels allowed.
Alan's found his home.
But with corporate security comes the reality that you have to pay The Man his due. Tag teaming with Hannity while pontificating on the silliness of fairness is simply all in a day's work for Mr. Colmes. With a conservative Democrat from Tennessee as guest, not even a gun toting southern Democrat will pass, or get a word in edge-wise. Lord knows the rest of us progressives don't have a chance.
The only type of Democrat appreciated on Fox "News" TV or radio shows are good little progressives that don't talk back too much. Rowdy Rep. Rangel goes on regularly, but he's then mocked and vilified once his back is turned. If you're a Democratic blonde who can suck up to Rush all the better.
But with his motto secured to the inside of his backside, Colmes's knows better than to rock the boat. Everything he owns depends on it. Oh, except his political soul, which he sold a long time ago.
Colmes has been on the job for years. Sitting next to Hannity barely offering a breath of criticism, Mr. Colmes always makes certain to support the star. In case you didn't know, it's an old rule in Hollywood. If you're the sidekick, you better support the man or woman who's responsible for the ratings or you'll be the next one to go. No upstaging or bucking allowed. But Hannity's Colmes didn't get where he is by being uppity. Kissing up is what he does best and since the Fairness Doctrine is the latest wingnut cause, Mr. Colmes is ready for his close up.
But the Fairness Doctrine isn't going to kill Rush or Hannity. With tens of millions of listeners and a dozen years head start, are they really in jeopardy? This is about something much bigger. The Fairness Doctrine would bring new competition to the radio airwaves at all levels all across this country. It wouldn't keep a show on that wasn't any good either. But even wingnuts like Rush and Sean would actually have to offer facts amidst their snide, condescending decent into propaganda, while having guests on to offer the opposite side. That's just too much work, especially for Rush, who hasn't broken a sweat, except when he was in trouble for allegedly doctor shopping pills, or when he got caught with somebody else's penis pills after his single man's holiday to an underage capital of the world.
If you still don't get it, a friend of mine, commenting, explained it beautifully.
Isn't there a fairly simple way to explain this? There are LIMITED slots on the dial. If a company --let's say, ClearChannel-- owns all the radio stations in a given market (a fairly common scenario), then they control the content of radio airwaves in that market. This enables them to, say, keep the Dixie Chicks off the airwaves in that market.
One thing does come to mind, however. After all the lies, you have to wonder if Republicans could get elected if the public was given two sides to every tall tale they tell every day on wingnut radio all over this country. They took us to war on lies while smearing the weapons inspectors that actually knew the truth, and then re-elected the most incompetent president in U.S. history. Making sure only their side of the story gets told has paid off. It's been that way on radio for two decades in every corner of this land.
In fact, everything was going along just swimmingly until a man named Keith Olbermann entered the picture and brought the spirit of Edward R. Murrow back to TV, offering comments that blew the collective media heads of Fox "News," CNN and every other media outlet and their big time stars off of their overpaid political posteriors.
The imbalance in media also includes Armed Forces radio. Ed Schultz didn't get on until December 2005, becoming one of the very first Democrats to be given air space to talk to our soldiers. It's not by accident that Democrats have been behind in military support. Between right-wing radio and Christian broadcasting, aided by the absence of any Democratic voices at all, the military has been fed spoonfuls of suck ass Republican slop for decades.
So there's a reason right-wing hosts are apoplectic about the Fairness Doctrine. Republicans don't want to lose their monopoly of the airwaves and they're going to fight to the death to keep it from happening. Fox "News" and Hannity's Colmes will be there to help.
It takes more than putting the cost of the Iraq war on your site to make you a Democrat.
Fighting for equality is part of the progressive package. But I guess Colmes doesn't care what the people are told or what the soldiers hear. If it's good for Hannity, that's good enough for Alan.
There are dozens and dozens of progressive hosts that don't get a chance on am/fm radio, because right-wing radio and their corporate sponsors have us locked out. These hosts also don't have the technical prowess, support, network or clout to have a radio show like mine streaming independently on the web, for lack of a better venue. It costs money and you (and your spouse) have to be willing to live in the red for months and months and months. That's too risky for Alan. Once on the air, many hosts don't get the time needed to build an audience and ratings either.
But if Rush and Hannity are so sure about their ratings and their listeners, why don't they allow more progressives to compete?
Because if progressives get equal time something else will break out into the open. An American epiphany will dawn that Rush and Sean et al. have been selling a load of crap to radio audiences for years. Then free expression will become reality, as right-wing and liberal hosts hear a rising up of the people because the muzzle has been taken off of the airwaves. Independent voices will begin to proliferate, giving rise to competition to us all. That's healthy for free speech, not a way to squelch it.
Again, what's so scary about fairness, especially if you're sure you can win? It's only scary to people who now have all the control.
Follow Taylor Marsh on Twitter: www.twitter.com/taylormarsh