Nevertheless, in the wake of the furor over Limbaugh’s denunciation of Georgetown law-school student Sandra Fluke last month, Sileo’s firing suggests to many that something has changed about the sensitivities of talk-radio stations. A medium built on pushing the limits of acceptable speech appears, once again, to be reassessing just where those limits are.
The Washington Post singles out talk radio and can’t seem to find one above-the-fold example of leftwing inflammatory rhetoric.
And after all that, we have this nifty campaign against free speech — not a campaign against child porn, or schools failing the most underprivileged or the rank sexualization of children on shows like Toddlers and Tiaras — nope. Media Matters and its army of robots fuel calls against a talk show host who differs with them ideologically.
For one thing, the Limbaugh flap has demonstrated anew how individuals and interest groups, such as the liberal Media Matters for America, can gin up and sustain outrage via social media (in Limbaugh’s case, President Obama’s consoling phone call to Fluke probably helped fan public revulsion, too). The group waged a sustained campaign targeting Glenn Beck’s advertisers that drove many off Beck’s highly rated Fox News program and ultimately ended Beck’s association with the cable network. Similar campaigns drove Don Imus and Dr. Laura Schlessinger from the air after they made inflammatory comments.
For another, some see the radio industry as uniquely vulnerable to sustained pressure. A long period of consolidation has left industry giants such as Clear Channel with a vast portfolio of stations but also deeply in debt, making them extra sensitive to anything that might disrupt their revenue (for the record, Premiere has issued a statement generally supportive of Limbaugh).
These thought police and their drones wage campaigns against conservatives and conservatives are still largely silent in the face of it.
How does MSNBC still get advertisers–besides government grants to General Electric, that is. But that question won’t be asked at the Washington Post.
Bias. It’s everywhere. It’s not even often what’s said, it’s what’s left out. The Washington Post skews again.