The Right-Wing ParasocietyBy Marion Delgado at 4:43 PM
I don't think I've expressed this better since I posted this on Salon's "TableTalk" forum. Lately on pandagon and steve gilliard's blogs, they've talked extensively about the lack of infrastructure on the Left, and the abundance of it on the Right. I think we underestimate that difference by an order of magnitude unless we look at the whole thing, all in one place. I also think we forget just how weird it is. David Brock is invaluable on both counts, for example.
Marion Delgado - 01:50 pm Pacific Time - Oct 27, 2004 - #53 of 112
The estate tax drives compassionate conservative and faith-based private spending. In order to make the gleaming palaces of the useless heirs shine just a little brighter, the Republicans are going to snuff a thousand points of light.
Carmel, that #2 thing is something Hannity's been claiming for a long time - it's bogus, but no doubt he has some odd statistical trick to pretend it isn't.
I have seen the same numbers for Stern and Limbaugh - 20 million listeners - but remember, even Stern has fewer listeners than that, because that's based on 15 minutes a day, I believe, and I bet he averages more like a half hour. Limbaugh listeners listen at least an hour a day, so you can cut that to 5 million actual humans (at least a quarter million of them Rush haters listening to take him down or get a laugh out of his dope-addled antics).
It doesn't help that people pay attention to "Talkers" Magazine, a ward of the ultra-right Heritage Foundation, I think. It's difficult to get actual data on radio, as Air America Radio is finding out.
The basic answer is as follows: you get stations with the best signal distribution for their wattage you can find (Rush wins that one in NYC), you get as high a ratings as you can, then you declare a listenership that's not bigger than 4 x your best guess as to your listenership, and make the other guys prove you wrong.
For a while, the show I was on, Experiment Alpha, had the best ratings in Fairbanks in our time slots (Friday, then Saturday night 9-midnite), but I imagine someone could have picked a different overlap or standard and cut us out of that. it wasnt a talk show, more like a firesign theater show, and a hit at parties and with cabbies :)
Basically, the right wing owns talk radio, not competitively but literally. They own the damn stations! So, of course, the distribution of their thug-boys is universal.
It's all part of the parasocialist world of the far right:
You go to college on the Heritage Foundation dime, join groups funded by the American Enterprise Institute. The RNC funds the College Republicans. You work for pay on campaigns, work for pay on RW books, etc. You graduate to a job with a RW foundation. Then you run for office or are perhaps an aide or something. Finally, you drop out of politics, and RW handlers get you a job doing nothing but exploiting your government connections or being a figurehead. Then you go back into government as a businessman who knows what he's talking about, etc.
You spend your days with Christians who would have crucified Christ, Republicans who would have assassinated Lincoln, Daughters of the American Revolution who would have turned Jefferson, Madison, Paine and Franklin over to the King to be hanged, fellow foundation capitalists like yourself, many of them tax funded, politicians who've spent a life on the teat of the government they describe as one of the 7 plagues of the apocalypse. Meet Black Republican groups run by white Republicans and cliques of cruel, self-loathing closeted gays keeping one step ahead of the party's morality police. Somewhere along the line you can probably lure or pressure a young Republican like yourself into various illicit sexual liaisons, building a future for your wife-shopping affairs as you go through spouses 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 .... each time picking your next one from the pool of interns and babysitters. And you'll ostensibly join a far-right church you'll never attend even a single day, and practice screaming at the moral turpitude of Democrats and liberals.
Then you die, never having worked an honest day in your life, nor having had to compete even once in the free market, or say an honest prayer, or ever help another human being, or ever defend your country. You will probably have violated the law twice as often as the average Democrat, and you'll probably never have seen the inside of a courtroom. "He stood for what was right, for decency, morality, and the rule of law," a Dixiecrat will intone at your memorial ceremony.