Thursday, October 1, 2009

The Right-Wing Blather Market

It’s said that Limbaugh has 20 million listeners and O’Rielly has as many. I think they are the same 20 million. And, of the same 20 million, some listen to Beck, Hannity and Savage. It’s the same 20 million who listen to the crazy Congresswoman Bachmann, Congressman Boehner (pronounced baynor, not boner, although the latter is preferable) and Senators Mitch McConnell, Grassley, Hatch and Ensign, and Sarah Palin, Anne Coulter and Fox News and another hundred or so neoconservatives, libertarians and right-wing nut job pundits. So, of the 305 million people in the U.S. only 6.5% are full of shit. That’s not so bad when you think of it that way. In fact, it gives us a little more hope. The rest, 93% or so, are a little more practical – and silent. I’m just using a little macro-marketing analysis here. I can guess as well as any professional marketing analyst, can’t I?

The rumor is, from the New York Post, that Sarah Palin’s lecture popularity is fading among the professional lecture buyers. Professional organizations are shying away with one organizer calling her a “blithering idiot.” Several delegates at the Hong Kong event walked out embarrassed by Palin’s naiveté and bad-mouthing the United States in a Communist country. Still using the macro-marketing analysis, I think I can safely say that Palin’s total market of admirers consist of those among the 6.5% of Americans; probably those to the far right of the right.

Let’s make another leap starting with a question. Why do CNN, and in some respects MSNBC and nearly all local television and radio stations try to Out-Fox Fox when there is a much larger audience out there who would listen to good, factual news and talk-radio? Take Anderson Cooper’s 360 “Keeping them Honest” segment. As far as I can tell, this segment never answers a question. Every time I’ve watched it, there are at least two opposing pundits from both extremes on the issue discussed and never a resolution. It’s all about controversy. KGO radio News-Talk is another example. They will schedule an expert to discuss a significant issue, such as an environmental scientist who legitimately speaks for scientific environmental research, and then act as devil advocates to make it appear that there is “another side,” though fake, to the issue. The result is that listeners are just as mystified and confused after the interview as they were before it. Why is the Fox news format the standard?

MSNBC is somewhat better in that they at least report facts on the issues. Rachel Maddow, a hometown girl, is quickly becoming an excellent source of fact and truth and her show does a good job searching out those hidden power brokers behind much of the Republican and industry misinformation. She is fearless. But, if I had my choice, I would rather not have to go to so much trouble to sort out or to hear the truth. I’d rather it be reported in the first place.

I particularly like Brother Dan’s approach. He doesn’t listen to any of it. In fact, he can’t listen to it. His television reception area is limited to local and Public Broadcasting System stations in Lafayette, Indiana. He uses a T.V. Antenna, not a cable or Dish Network subscription. Good for him! He might not even know of Bill O’Rielly! I can’t imagine what serenity that would bring. From what I can tell, he’s pretty level headed about everything. If he’s an example of the 93% silent majority, maybe O’Rielly is irrelevant.

I’m elated that Sarah Palin is losing her appeal. I hear her unpublished book is already number one in sales, but it is not on my buying list and I suggest that 95% of the reading market will not buy it either. With such a large audience out there waiting for legitimate news and commentary, you have to wonder why the “other” major media networks try to Out-Fox Fox. As far as I’m concerned, the entire Republican Party and all those that take their philosophy and views are losing their appeal. I hope I’m right. I hope the 2010 election will see them further diminished to something like a background noise, like a distant freeway hum.


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