Talk radio talking points
0 comment Saturday, May 31, 2014 |
The White House gathering for a number of talk radio personalities is reported as a bid to shore up the conservative base of the GOP before the upcoming election.
Is this even necessary? Most of the 'conservative' talk radio personalities are already full-time cheerleaders for the GOP and the administration, to wit: Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh, and perhaps Laura Ingraham. I have not heard Ingraham's show lately, but from what I recall of her, she was less of a shameless shill than Limbaugh or Hannity, however.
Recalling the recent case of black pundit Armstrong Williams, who was apparently paid by the administration to talk up the 'No Child Left Behind' program, it's hard not to be cynical about this effort to shepherd the 'conservative' radio pundits in an appropriately loyal direction. I don't say that they are being bribed to be cheerleaders for the administration, but surely the privilege of access to the White House and the administration is a powerful incentive for some people to take a favorable view. And of course, with the talk radio personalities not being journalists in the purer sense of the word, the lack of a bothersome code of ethics leaves them free to take whatever perks they might be offered in exchange for a friendly stance, and for putting out the talking points to their listeners. It may be that they are just 'entertainers' as Limbaugh styles himself, and it may be that they are true believers, who are in lockstep with the administration (they certainly give a convincing performance, if they are not) or whether they are being offered some kind of incentive, as Williams was -- who knows. The result is the same: I no longer look to talk radio, even 'conservative' talk radio for true conservative viewpoints. Outside the blogosphere, there is almost no real conservatism in the media, and that commentary which is labeled 'conservative' is often simply neocon or right-liberal boilerplate. It seems as though the 'conservative' media, or that which is labeled as such, is just a means to get people on board with the neocon agenda, and to define the conservative debate in a more liberal direction, further limiting it and marginalizing true conservatives as 'extremists'. That seems to be the purpose in mind.
But I expect to hear the talking points issued from talk radio with a renewed fervor after this little garden party.

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