Tom Brokaw Doesn’t Get Limbaugh

It should be noted that Tom Brokaw was, IMHO, the best of the Jennings/Rather/Brokaw triumvirate that dominated nightly news in the 80s/90s. But he’s a member of the MSM machine, the same machine that doesn’t see a problem with the current journalism that dominates the airwaves. And in his latest discussion with Laura Ingraham, he still doesn’t understand that it was the media culture that he propagated that led to the rise of conservative talk radio. With the anchors and reporters on 60 Minutes, the Nightly News shows, Dateline, 20/20, and others (with the exception of straight-shooter John Stossel) during the 80s/90s all propping up a liberal bais, it’s clear that many people wanted an outlet– a second option. And that option was conservative talk radio.

Had the news been “fair and balanced”, there would have been less of need for people to seek out an alternative market. Many people didn’t like the constant harangue that came from ABC/NBC/CBS, and CNN and the cable market were not influential in the 80s. You couldn’t watch CNN at work, and you couldn’t surf the web to read news stories. Instead, you had your radio, and on that radio you could listen to NPR for more of the same or find Rush Limbaugh for something very different.

Market forces drove the rise of Rush Limbaugh, make no mistake. There was an untapped market of people who were alienated by the MSM in the 80s and 90s, and Rush and Co. recognized it. They arrived with a new message on an old medium, and suddenly there was outcry from the MSM. In their arrogance, instead of understanding why Rush was so popular, they condemned talk radio and treated it with great contempt. Instead of nipping it in the bud, they let it blossom, all the while claiming their garden was better looking.


4 Responses to “Tom Brokaw Doesn’t Get Limbaugh”

  1. November 26, 2007 at 12:38 pm

    It is a classic authoritarian (Ed.- That would be me, the “bald” authoritarian) tactic to attack the media when one doesn’t like the reality being reported. That has been true and is true today in Iran, China, North Korea. Dictators throughout history have sought to silence the media. The media is about the last check and balance in a free society, once that is gone, news becomes a tool of the government. Of course, that is what all authoritarians want, to get their ‘good news’ from the government so they can be pleased with themselves and their leaders.

    There is an alternative however, you can go to Fox News where they covered the Ana Nicole story twice as much as any other network, while covering the Iraq war less than half the time of all other networks. I think that makes people happier.

    There is now a cottage industry that has emerged to expose the lies of Limbaugh and the slant of Faux News.

  2. 2 docattheautopsy
    November 26, 2007 at 12:57 pm

    A few corrections, Willy.

    Dictators control the media to prevent what they don’t like being reported. There’s still a media– it’s just reporting what the dictators want to report.

    If the media is the “check and balance” you so desire, then there shouldn’t have been a rise in conservative talk radio in the 80s/90s. And if the talk radio phenomenon was just a niche of righty authoritarians getting their groove on, then there should be a niche for lefty authoritarians as well. Well, truth be told, there are no liberal talkers of the magnitude of a Rush Limbaugh. Why is that? It’s not because there are no lefty authoritarians (I know one whose name starts with W and ends with “illiam”), it’s because a market– a saturated market— already existed for that type of news.

    And can you really say that the press, outside of “Faux News”, has been kind to Bush? Or have they savaged him at every turn?

    It’s easier to say that the news is slanted towards conservatives and offer no proof. But the reality is that market forces were at work and they attracted a disaffected consumer looking for something beyond what the “mainstream news” offered. And boom– you have the success of conservative talk radio and “Faux Nooz”.

    And how is that cottage industry progressing? How’s Air America doing? Still promoting fake attacks by conservatives to drum up listeners?

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My name is Doc. Welcome to my blog. If you're visiting from another blog, add me to your blogroll (and I'll happily reciprocate). I have a Ph.D. in Chemistry and live in Wisconsin. If you have any questions, feel free to email me. My email is docattheautopsy at gmail. (No linking to deflate the incredible spam monsters).



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