Liberals love to make people feel guilty about success in any form. Even as the country struggles to regain its financial legs, President Obama and his Democratic friends constantly seem to be apologizing for America’s achievements. Business or personal success and any obvious practices of capitalism are severely frowned upon in those circles, reserved only for people named Kerry, Pelosi or Clinton, all of whom are millionaires.
Take public broadcasting, for example, where the liberal talents of cloaking capitalism in good deeds and manipulation through guilt are masterfully played over the airways.
Both the Public Broadcasting System and National Public Radio refer to paying advertisers as “supporters,” and people who give in to their annual pleas for donations in exchange for a tote bag are called, “members.” Insulting the intelligence of their audience with the ridiculous notion that there’s something more dignified about the wordplay, an advertiser is an advertiser and P.T. Barnum would have been able to tell them why pledge drives work.
At local NPR affiliate stations, sound engineers crank the bass, throwing in just a touch of reverb, as a soothing, generally raspy, female voice begins to ply the money out of the wallets of listeners. “Keep the support coming,” the woman says softly, “Your pledge will make it possible for us to tell you the stories of the world.” Yes it will, but they still won’t be able to provide a traffic report that’s less than a half-hour old.
It still seems counterproductive that the only government-sponsored broadcasting services have, not balanced, but staggeringly left-leaning content yet are subsidized by the tax payers. Imagine the firestorm of anger that would ensue if a Conservative radio host like Rush Limbaugh was suddenly awarded federal grant money and began soliciting donations over the air. No doubt the Left would go berserk.
Of course, Conservatives have their own brand of manipulation in the form of, for lack of better terms, fear mongering. Their idea is to scare everyone to death about nearly anything in order to sway voters and promote the American dream, which, in their eyes consists of success in every possible way no matter who is trampled upon in the process.
Exaggerating components of important issues like Mexican immigration or social security, Republicans go on the air and strike fear into their constituents wherever possible. Imagine this scene for example.
The sound of what can only be interpreted as a fist impacting a wooden desk top is followed immediately by a voice kindred only to an evangelist at an old time tent revival. “My friends, we cannot let the socialist commies of the liberal party flush America down the toilet of the world,” the exasperated man says, breathless and loud. Papers shuffle in the background.
“We must protect the Ten Commandments on our court house lawns and keep the Democrats from taxing us back into the Stone Age or handing our country over to their Islamic cohorts.”
This onslaught of right-wing rhetoric is usually followed by the host playing sound bites of some popular Democrat which have been taken thoroughly out of context and cleverly edited to elicit just the right response from listeners. Usually, the desired reaction is anger and outrage.
For the record, it is the opinion of this reporter that Limbaugh and his blowhard buddies are uneducated, uninformed, fear-mongering hairdos. But they still have as much right to the airways as pretentious, know-it-all, liberal “newscasters” like Meeshell Norris and Robert Siegel.
If fair and balanced reporting is what people want, it’s unlikely to be found in a free press. Broadcasters are often at the mercy of advertisers, especially in today’s economy. Once a format is chosen and it gains a following, broadcasters need to meet the demands of listeners by giving them what they want to hear and, subsequently, if no one listens, advertisers (or supporters, if you happen to be a Liberal) will dry up.
Keep also in mind that radio personalities like Terry Gross and Rush Limbaugh are performers, not journalists. Their job is to entertain the listening constituency of lemmings who follow their one-sided nonsense, no matter how ridiculous it might seem to a free-thinking person.
Gery L. Deer is an independent columnist and business writer based in Jamestown. Read more at www.deerinheadlines.com.