Conflicts of interest and perception 45

 Camille Paglia, who has a reputation for being something of a cynic, writes the article we quote from here with a mixture of naivete and perceptive clarity. Does she really believe that Democratic ‘liberals’  are liberal in the true meaning of the word? She does, anyway, recognize a symptom of the totalitarian trend that we fear is gathering strength; also blatant clash of interest, and at least this instance of the partisanship of the ‘prestige press’.

Speaking of talk radio (which I listen to constantly), I remain incredulous that any Democrat who professes liberal values would give a moment’s thought to supporting a return of the Fairness Doctrine to muzzle conservative shows. (My latest manifesto on this subject appeared in my last column.) The failure of liberals to master the vibrant medium of talk radio remains puzzling. To reach the radio audience (whether the topic is sports, politics or car repair), a host must have populist instincts and use the robust common voice. Too many Democrats have become arrogant elitists, speaking down in snide, condescending tones toward tradition-minded middle Americans whom they stereotype as rubes and buffoons. But the bottom line is that government surveillance of the ideological content of talk radio is a shocking first step toward totalitarianism.

One of the nuggets I’ve gleaned from several radio sources is that Michigan Sen. Debbie Stabenow, who has been in the aggressive forefront of the campaign to reinstate the Fairness Doctrine, is married to Tom Athans, who works extensively with left-wing radio organizations and was once the executive vice-president of Air America, the liberal radio syndicate that, despite massive publicity from major media, has failed miserably to win a national audience. Stabenow’s outrageous conflict of interest has of course been largely ignored by the prestige press, which should have been demanding that she recuse herself from all political involvement with this issue.

Posted under Commentary by Jillian Becker on Wednesday, February 11, 2009

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