Thursday, January 21, 2010

The New Growth Industry Is. . .


. . .schadenfreude, of course. Mr. Air America, he dead.



It is with the greatest regret, on behalf of our Board, that we must announce that Air America Media is ceasing its live programming operations as of this afternoon, and that the Company will file soon under Chapter 7 of the Bankruptcy Code to carry out an orderly winding-down of the business.
So who killed Cock Robin? Here's what Air America believes:



The very difficult economic environment has had a significant impact on Air America's business. This past year has seen a "perfect storm" in the media industry generally. National and local advertising revenues have fallen drastically, causing many media companies nationwide to fold or seek bankruptcy protection. From large to small, recent bankruptcies like Citadel Broadcasting and closures like that of the industry's long-time trade publication Radio and Records have signaled that these are very difficult and rapidly changing times.

That's true as far as it goes, but it doesn't go very far. The problem for Air America was never vast, impersonal forces. It was their continual failure to find an audience. Rush Limbaugh isn't facing a "perfect storm" these days. Nor is Fox News, which lately has been beating both CNN and MSNBC combined in the ratings.


The thing about markets is this: you have to satisfy a need and it's best if you can satisfy an unmet need. There's no lack of liberal voices on the public airwaves; there never has been in my lifetime. You get the same basic undifferentiated liberalism on CBS, NBC, ABC, CNN and MSNBC. The public stations provide the same basic fodder, except with more classical music and pledge drives. Rush Limbaugh and Fox have been wildly successful because they have provided something that wasn't previously available. And Limbaugh and Fox will continue to grow because they understand their audience and nurture it.


I keep waiting for one of the major networks to change course and start competing on Fox's turf. There's money to be made. But they won't do it, even though the opportunity is obvious. It's an endless source of amusement. And fodder for blog posts, I guess. And if you want more dancing on the graves of our unfortunate portside pals, Mitch has you covered.

17 comments:

my name is Amanda said...

No broken heart here. I love Liberals and all, but Air America was BORING.

Re: the opposite end of the spectrum, however:

There's money to be made. But they won't do it, even though the opportunity is obvious.

Because it would involve a lack of integrity, deception. As many examples as you can cite of individuals on the Left who supposedly exemplify a lack of integrity, there is a fundamental difference between the two sides. Liberals will listen to the other side, wait to make a counter point, and then listen again. Liberals are willing admit when the opposing side has a point. Conservatives are NOT. Conservatives just holler. There is no listening. This is to the detriment of Leftists, because the public responds to the screamers, and to the advantage of the Leftists in desperate times when the populace is looking for reform.

Of course, a Conservative would never understand that the opposing side wouldn't be willing to be as deceptive. Once you embrace the idea that it's okay to manipulate public opinion via inference or outright deception, you MUST believe that the other side is doing the exact same thing, or you lose your sense of righteousness.

Mr. D said...

Conservatives are NOT. Conservatives just holler. There is no listening.

I can refute that pretty easily, Amanda. We listen to you, Rich, and any other liberals who come to this blog. There might be some hollering, but we do listen. I'm listening now.

Of course, a Conservative would never understand that the opposing side wouldn't be willing to be as deceptive.

Never? So categorical. Of course, if you're always on the side of the angels, you tend to miss your own self-deceptions, right?

I can also tell you this -- go to a college campus and see what happens when a conservative attempts to speak. At my own college, a conservative speaker came and was shouted off the stage. Your assertion doesn't stand up to evidence.

Once you embrace the idea that it's okay to manipulate public opinion via inference or outright deception, you MUST believe that the other side is doing the exact same thing, or you lose your sense of righteousness.

You have it exactly backward, I think. I am a conservative precisely because I realize that we all fall short of the ideal and that righteousness is illusory. I accept that human nature is something we're all saddled with and I try to do my best to overcome my own baser nature, knowing full well that I will fall short quite often.

And precisely because I can cite many examples of "individuals on the Left who supposedly exemplify a lack of integrity," I know that the fundamental difference you claim exists, doesn't.

And one other thing -- you probably don't want to make these claims on the day when John Edwards confessed that he was lying all along. Right? He's certainly not a person of great integrity, now is he?

Gino said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Gino said...

i listened to air america several times over several months.
i once made it point to listen every day for a couple weeks.

why? because i wanted to hear what they had to say.

but they werent saying anything. 'bushitler did 9-11' was an accusation without an argument.
and it was basically all along that line.

i tried it again, and again, just thinking i was missing something. turns out i was just missing out on hours of my time i wasnt going to be getting back.

i could listen to Rush everyday, learn something new, gain a new insight or twist i hadnt heard before, and almost always get a few giggles.
i wanted AA to do that for me too. they couldnt do it.

Mary said...

Mr. D,

I thought that was a very thoughtful response.

I would just add something concerning this snippet.

Of course, a Conservative would never understand that the opposing side wouldn't be willing to be as deceptive.

Mainstream media sources claim to provide unbiased news. But a few journalists, in moments of candor, will admit the bias. I spent 30 seconds googling and didn't find the particular interview that I remembered, but it is a brief and telling article.

http://abcnews.go.com/Business/story?id=6099188&page=1

W.B. Picklesworth said...

Egads. Sorry, that was me.

my name is Amanda said...

Mary/WBP,

That's why I listen to NPR. :)

Mr. D,

There are many examples on the Right as well.

I didn't think you would agree with me at all. And I don't necessarily mean you, or specific independent bloggers. But I do mean Fox News. I do think they holler. Finally, I do think there is a fundamental difference in the way Liberals vs. Conservatives participate in the dialogue and that it must have something to do with why there isn't a Liberal Fox News.

(This is somewhat of a digression, but my colleges - CSB/SJU - were/are actually pretty conservative. I don't think conservatives are booed off the stage there. Conservative students have columns in the student paper then and now. Apparently the new MN Dems EXPOSED dude is a SJU alum; another SJU alum who is married to my college rmmte used to work for the GOP - he put together the NYC convention in '04 for the MN GOP. But I won't argue with your experience in college.)

It's not that Liberals are angels, but there is a reason that Conservatives like to call them "bleeding hearts," right?

Mr. D said...

It's not that Liberals are angels, but there is a reason that Conservatives like to call them "bleeding hearts," right?

Yes. The reason is derision.

Let me stipulate that many (I won't say all, because it wouldn't be true) liberals have good intentions. The practical problem with liberalism has two components:

1) Good intentions are never enough -- hence the old saw about the road to Hell being paved with good intentions; and

2) Human nature being what it is, frustrated do-gooders often become a larger problem than the problem they purport to solve. This is the Nanny State instinct: Behavior A causes problems, so let's ban it.

I don't know if I've ever recommended this book to you before, but I'll recommend it now: The True Believer, by Eric Hoffer. It's a shortish book that Hoffer wrote around 1950 and it talks about the nature of mass movements and the people who are attracted to them. Hoffer himself was an interesting fellow: a self-taught longshoreman/roustabout who became a noted midcentury social theorist. You could probably read it in one sitting.

Anonymous said...

Amanda=Brainwashed=Naive

W.B. Picklesworth said...

Amanda, I try to listen to Public Radio as well. It is true that the tone is different. That is to say, it is more cultured, calmer. It certainly sounds more "newsy", more trustable.

But I've also noticed a distinctly liberal point of view in their stories (not least in story selection: climate change becomes a part of many stories, illegal immigrants are always portrayed sympathetically, etc...) There's nothing wrong with a liberal point of view. But NPR/MPR doesn't claim to be a liberal outlet like Rush Limbaugh claims to champion the conservative cause. They claim to be in the "news" business.

Conclusion: Public Radio delivers a product that sounds good and is great if you want the liberal perspective. But it purports to be news and is, at least in part, funded by tax dollars from people against their will. That fundamental dishonesty is troubling and belies their tone.

K-Rod said...

Amanda, by your own admission, in a comment section, you said you refused to listen or respond to an opposing view.

Your projection is obvious to everyone but yourself.

In your heart you know I am right.

Gino said...

thats bullshit k-rod.

amanda comes here, and elsewhere, including the best place (that shreds blog), and she knows she not likely to hear her pov reaffirmed.

but still she comes, she engages, and shares her thoughts on a wide variety of topics.
she has the brass pair, and my respect, as well.

Mr. D said...

including the best place (that shreds blog)

Ask anyone!

FWIW, I appreciate all my visitors, from Amanda to K-Rod to the various anonymous posters (who are people that I know, for the most part). And I especially appreciate Picklesworth/Mary/Rev. Mother/Mall Diva/???.

Mr. D said...

Oh, and Gino too. Especially Gino.

Anonymous said...

him?
yeah, he's a pill.

my name is Amanda said...

Why thank you, Gino! I think that made me blush a little.

WBP - I won't get into the extent of Liberal bias of NPR at the moment (bc I'm on my phone and typing is tedious), but I have specifically argued the pointlessness of Air America in the past because of the existence of NPR. So I can't say I completely disagree.

K-Rod said...

Gino, you are wrong once again. The fact of the matter is that Amanda once commented (hint, that is the "by [her] own admission" part if you can't keep up.) that she wouldn't bother responding to certain opposing viewpoint.

(It may even have been on the best place (that shreds blog), so it really looks poor on you, old bean, when you are so uninformed.)

With all due respect, Gino, be sure someone can't take YOU to task before you call 2-855-7448.

Don't get me wrong, I really think Amanda puts up a good effort even when she is spewing absurd liberal misinformation. I just hope to enlighten her to the fact that the failed policies she supports won't work this time either. And, in fact, when we look at what Obama is doing, are actually making things worse.