The Center for American Progress is headed up by former Clinton White House Chief of Staff, John Podesta. (Bill Clinton may come across as moderate and reasoned but I am continually amazed by the political positions of his former White House associates.)
Two common myths are frequently offered to explain the imbalance of talk radio: 1) the 1987 repeal of the Fairness Doctrine (which required broadcasters to devote airtime to contrasting views), and 2) simple consumer demand. Each of these fails to adequately explain the root cause of the problem. The report explains:
Our conclusion is that the gap between conservative and progressive talk radio is the result of multiple structural problems in the U.S. regulatory system, particularly the complete breakdown of the public trustee concept of broadcast, the elimination of clear public interest requirements for broadcasting, and the relaxation of ownership rules including the requirement of local participation in management. […]
Ultimately, these results suggest that increasing ownership diversity, both in terms of the race/ethnicity and gender of owners, as well as the number of independent local owners, will lead to more diverse programming, more choices for listeners, and more owners who are responsive to their local communities and serve the public interest.
Along with other ideas, the report recommends that national radio ownership not be allowed to exceed 5 percent of the total number of AM and FM broadcast stations, and local ownership should not exceed more than 10 percent of the total commercial radio stations in a given market.
They simply do not believe that the market decides what is aired and what isn't. They think there is a significant market for liberal talk radio but a cabal of rich conservative owners are blocking it. So their solution is more Federal intervention. Now, it seems more people are joining Dennis Kucinich in his campaign to bring back the Fairness Doctrine. This Center For American Progress, (doesn't that name sound socialist?) report will serve as a fatwa, a call to arms for Democrat politicians. In other words, it's now "open season." I think we will begin to see an escalation as the insurgent left surges. Watch for more stories in the MSM. In fact, on Friday, DrudgeReport broke the news that Senator James Inhofe heard Hillary Clinton and Barbara Boxer clucking about talk radio and agreeing that "we need to do something about it." Clinton and Boxer both denied it and Inhofe will be discounted as a kook. I wouldn't be surprised if we begin to see news stories which tie talk radio and the blogosphere to issues such as the threat posed by right wing militia's. Remember the Michigan militia during the Clinton years when the gun control advocates were trying to make the possession of "assault rifles" illegal? They, along with the White House and the MSM did their best to make Second Amendment supporters appear as Public Enemy Number One.
These people are clever with tactics such as smear, distortion, and misdirection and have a willing media to disseminate their propaganda. The left has once again become a dangerous movement. Moderates within the Democrat party, if there are any left, are like moderate Muslims, afraid to speak out. Talk radio and the blogosphere represent a threat to the far left's pro-socialist/anti-capitalist agenda.
Listening to many leftwingers indicates that they are incapable of or simply refuse to see a left leaning bias in news organizations such as NPR or the press. I don't doubt that many are too naive and ignorant but lately, there also seems to be an active and growing undercurrent of malevolence by the far left. It is a mistake to think that the left is comprised of only "flower children". No, these people are more like Trotskyites and if they ever consolidate political power, things could get very ugly.
Vigilance is the order of the day.