I'm going to preface this by saying that I know both Charlie Sykes and Mark Belling well. I like them both and I think they both do a great job on their respective radio shows. [That makes Begel a minority voice on Whallah-Xoff.]
But everything they were in favor of lost last night. Obama won. The sales tax hike won. The sick leave bill won. Conservative talk radio lost, and lost by fairly resounding margins.
What that says is a couple of things.
One, of course, is that people are tired of anger. Say what you will, if there are no enemies, then there is no conservative talk radio. They have built an empire being against things. Conflict is something that has proven to be very good for talk radio hosts.
Talk radio show hosts talk continually about the "mainstream media." Well, in Milwaukee, where both Sykes and Belling draw big ratings, they are the mainstream media. They are the big dogs on the block.
But they may not be so popular as people thought. Listening to those shows, you¹d figure that everyone in the world thought Obama was a corrupt, non-American, terrorist-loving Muslim who read Karl Marx to his kids at bedtime.
But this election has shown us something.
We are tired of the bitterness. We are tired of somebody always being angry at somebody else.
I don¹t want to go all Rodney King here, but maybe, just maybe, we can all get along.
Oh, we can have policy differences. And we can talk about them, and debate them, even heatedly. But what we really are tired of is the "us versus them" patois of conservative talk radio.
I am sure that Charlie and Mark will continue to have their shows. I¹ll personally fight any efforts to stifle talk radio with new kinds of legislation.
But if I were programming a radio station, I might just decide to get ahead of this curve and find some talk show hosts who aren¹t looking to make a name for themselves on the back of other people. I doubt if that¹s going to happen but there's no harm in wishing.
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
Angry talk radio was an election loser
This from Dave Begel, longtime observer/commentator/agitator of the Milwaukee scene: