Al Gore’s Liberal Current TV about to go the way of Liberal Air America Radio

Posted by PITHOCRATES - June 24th, 2012

Week in Review

Things don’t look good for Al Gore’s television network.  They have lost so many viewers that their cable company may drop his channel (see 10 Brands That Will Disappear in 2013 by Douglas A. McIntyre, 24/7 Wall St, posted 4/21/2012 on Yahoo! Finance).

Each year, 24/7 Wall St. identifies 10 important American brands that we predict will disappear within a year. This year’s list reflects the brutally competitive nature of certain industries and the reason why companies cannot afford to fall behind in efficiency, innovation or financing…

Al Gore’s Current TV was on life support even before it fired its only bankable star, Keith Olbermann, in March following a set of battles with the host over his perks. He was replaced by serial talk show host failure Eliot Spitzer. Compared to Olbermann’s March figures, Spitzer’s ratings in April were down nearly 70%, according to TV audience measurement firm Nielsen. At the time, The Hollywood Reporter wrote, “Replacement Eliot Spitzer pulled an anemic 47,000 total viewers in the first outing of Viewpoint, with just 10,000 among adults 25-54. The weeks since saw an early rebound, particularly in the demo, but in its four weeks on air Viewpoint has steadily declined in both respects.” Reuters recently reported that Current TV’s audience had fallen enough that cable giant Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC) may have the right to discontinue carrying the channel. The closest Current TV has to a star is talk show veteran Joy Behar, a former cast member of “The View,” who had her own show canceled by CNN’s HLN in November. Gore does not have the pockets to keep a network with no future going.

Current TV will fail for the same reason Air America Radio failed.  Liberals just aren’t deep thinkers.  They’ll watch The Daily Show and The Colbert Report because they are funny.  They’re entertaining.  They make fun of conservatives.  And they’re each on only for one half hour a day, 4 days a week.  They’ll watch these shows to learn what’s in the news.  Because the network news isn’t as funny or as entertaining.

Now contrast this with conservative talk radio.  Which with Air America gone is pretty much all of talk radio.  Why does conservative talk radio succeed when liberal talk radio does not?  Because conservatives are older.  More grown up.  And are interested more in the issues than being entertained.  That is, conservatives are deep thinkers.  A lot of them are because they’re married and trying to raise a family.  So those things the younger liberals aren’t interested in – economics, monetary policy, fiscal policy, foreign policy – greatly interest conservatives.  Because these things impact their lives daily.  Especially when they have the checkbook out.  While college students are more interested in knowing where the good parties are.

It is rather ironic that the very thing liberals use to attract their liberal base is the reason they can’t get them to listen to or watch their programs.  They have sold the welfare state to their liberal base in lieu of rugged individualism.  Basically telling them, “Don’t worry.  We’re here to take care of you.”  So they have.  They trust in government completely.  And enjoy being young.  Not worrying about the issues of the day.  Because government is there to take care of them.

And then there is the population breakdown.  About 40% of the people call themselves conservative.  While only about 20% call themselves liberal.  So they’re playing to a smaller audience to begin with.  And that other 40%?  Independents and moderates who don’t much like politics to begin with.  Their party affiliation, or lack thereof, suggests they may tune into The Daily Show or The Colbert Report because they’re entertaining.  But they’re probably not going to be policy wonks and tune into any hardcore political program.  Because they’re comfortable in the center.  And that’s just not where Air America was or where Current TV is.  Or conservative talk radio for that matter.

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LESSONS LEARNED #30: “Liberal talk radio is not successful because liberals are not deep thinkers.” -Old Pithy

Posted by PITHOCRATES - September 9th, 2010

CENSORSHIP BY ANY OTHER NAME IS STILL CENSORSHIP

When an oppressive, totalitarian regime seizes power, they shut down the radio and television stations.  It’s at the top of their ‘to do’ list.  Because it’s the fastest media.  Then they turn to the newspapers.  Once they control the content they open for business again.  We call it censorship.  The people only hear what they want the people to hear.  And they kill/imprison those who persist in trying to distribute anything other than the state’s propaganda. 

When you control the media, you can tell any lie.  You can report the state has increased food protection while millions die from famine.  You can report the great economic success of the Five Year Plan while people wait in lines for hours to get their rations of soap and toilet paper.  You can report the success of your Keynesian economic policies while record numbers of people go unemployed.  If you have control of the media you can tell any lie.  And prevent the telling of any truth.

When government pursues policies that are not popular, the telling of lies and the controlling of truths becomes policy.  Enter the Fairness Doctrine.  JFK used it to muzzle the Right when they debated the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty.  LBJ used it to muzzle conservative radio stations (who were attacking his Great Society policies, not the Vietnam War).  Nixon tried to use it to silence his enemies (it doesn’t work, though, when your enemies are liberal media outlets). 

Ronald Reagan, a supporter of First Amendment rights, revoked the doctrine during his administration.  And the Left has been trying to bring it back ever since.  (They even want to extend it to the Internet – another medium the Left does not control.  But that’s another story for another time.)

FAIR IS NOT FAIR

The liberals say it’s not fair that a Rush Limbaugh can go on the air for 3 hours a day 5 days a week without an opposing viewpoint to ‘balance’ his views.  Bill Clinton said it’s not fair because there is no ‘truth detector’ to separate fact from fiction (he said that before he was impeached for perjury).  When they talk about ‘fairness’ it’s code for censorship.  What they want is to silence these alternate viewpoints. 

If you want to talk about being fair, let’s be fair.  Do conservatives have an unfair advantage in media?   The Culture and Media Institute (a Division of the Media Research Center) published a special report for the Media Research Center titled Unmasking the Myths Behind the Fairness Doctrine.  It’s 30 pages but well worth your time in reading it.  On page 5 of this report they cite audience reach and circulation statistics for the top 5 sources of information liberals and conservatives use:

Broadcast TV news, millions/day   Liberal  42.1     Conservative  0.0
Top 25 newspapers, millions/day   Liberal  11.7     Conservative  1.3
Cable TV news, millions/month     Liberal 182.8     Conservative 61.6
Top talk radio, millions/week         Liberal  24.5     Conservative 87.0
Newsweeklies, millions/week        Liberal   8.5      Conservative  0.0

When you look at these numbers, you see a dominance of liberal sources.  In fact, talk radio is the only source in the list where conservatives make up a larger percentage of the audience than liberals.  And yet talk radio is the only source that liberals cite as needing a fairness doctrine.  What does that tell you?  The only bias that exists in the media is against conservatives.

FOLLOW THE MONEY

Air America, the all-liberal national radio network (now there’s fairness), went belly up.  Chapter 7 (liquidation).  They tried Chapter 11 (reorganization) earlier but the reorganized business couldn’t make any money either.  By contrast, Rush Limbaugh has been on the air since the late 1980s.  And, according to him, he has never had a down year or had to lay off a single employee.  Why?

Radio is free.  To us.  The listeners.  Others pay so we can listen free.  Advertisers.  Do they do this out of altruism?  No.  They do it out of greed.  They advertise to increase their sales revenue.  It’s a win-win.  They promote their products and services.  We listen for free.  And broadcasters make enough money to cover their bills and earn a profit.  (Well, I guess that’s more of a win-win-win.  There’re three winners.  But I belabor the point.)  It’s really a simple formula.  There’s only one catch.  Advertisers only want to advertise where people are actually listening.

And that was the problem with Air America.  No one was listening.  Weak ratings equal weak advertising sales.  Liberals can exist in the realm of National Public Radio (publicly funded no matter how few people listen), but if their revenue is tied to their popularity, they’re screwed. 

LIKE READING BOOKS

FOX paired liberal Alan Colmes with conservative Sean Hannity on Hannity and Colmes.  The show had a successful run.  Sean Hannity still has that timeslot.  Alone.  As well as the #2 radio program behind Rush Limbaugh.  Colmes has not gone on to such bigger or better things.

Colmes blamed the failure of Air America on unfair treatment.  The conservatives got the best stations and time slots.  So Air America never had a chance.  Despite having big on-air talent like Al Franken and Janeane Garofalo.  But it wasn’t unfair treatment that favored conservatives.  It was advertising revenue that favored conservatives.  If the liberals could have delivered the ratings conservatives did, they’d be on the best stations in the best time slots.  But they couldn’t.  So they weren’t.

Liberals like to be entertained.  They’ll tune into SNL and The Daily Show.  For they love a good personal attack on a conservative.  They’ll watch the network news that is full of entertainment news.  They’ll buy The New York Times and read the Arts section.  They’ll tune in and listen to the shock jocks on FM and satellite radio. But they don’t like thinking about serious issues.  To them listening to talk radio is like reading a book.  And where’s the fun in that?

FARTS ARE FUNNY

Liberal talk radio will never have the numbers conservative talk radio has.  Not in a center-right country.  The intelligentsia (liberals in the media, college professors, etc.) is a very small minority.  The other liberals are just children who haven’t grown up yet.  And how many children do you know that eat their vegetables?  Wash behind their ears?  Read a book?  Or engage in deep, philosophical thought?  I don’t know any.  The kids I know think fart jokes are funny.  Think about that the next time someone laughs at a fart joke on TV.  I’ll bet you it’s a child that’s laughing.  Or a liberal.

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FUNDAMENTAL TRUTH #30: “Liberal talk radio is not successful because liberals are not deep thinkers.” -Old Pithy

Posted by PITHOCRATES - September 7th, 2010

LESS THAN MEETS THE EYE

The Left has long searched for an answer to talk radio.  It is one of the few mediums they do not control.   And it’s a powerful medium.  Lots of people listen to talk radio.  Few of them liberal.

When you hear ‘talk radio’, what do you think of?  Rush Limbaugh?  Probably.  Most people do.  When you hear ‘conservative talk radio’, what do you think of?  Rush Limbaugh again?  Probably so.  Now think of Liberal talk radio and what do you think of?  Silence?  Silence that is so silent that you can hear crickets chirping?  Probably.  Successful talk radio and conservative talk radio are synonymous.  Why?  America is a center-right country.  Limbaugh’s success isn’t due to any genius on his part.  He just says what a vast majority of Americans think.  And the Left hates that.  Because they’re not in the majority.

They sound big.  But that’s because they’ve got big mouths.  Sort of a mouse that roared kind of thing.  They’ve got the vast majority of the network news and print media.  The college professors.  The Hollywood elite.  And a bunch of rich people who assuage their guilt over their unearned wealth by proclaiming their liberal tendencies.  This is not a lot of people.  In fact, it’s quite few.  However, if we read or watch the news, watch a movie or a program about entertainers, go to college or hear the obscenely rich talk about helping the ‘little people’ they can’t stand and want nothing to do with, they’re there.  They’re in our face.  Some in positions of credibility.  So people see them as…credible.  However incredible they are.  Which makes it seem like there are a lot more of them than there actually are.  So, then, who are they?  Really?  These liberals?

THE GUILTY RICH

Some people have amassed vast fortunes for doing nothing. Some inherited it.  Some married into it.  Others have made vast fortunes by pretending to be other people (actors).  Some wrote books.  Others made it big in pop ‘music’.  Others rode a wave of celebrity for silly behavior for which they have no shame.  These people don’t live in the real world.  The kind of world where you get up with an alarm clock and go to work 5 days a week (or more) for a paycheck that barely pays your bills.  No.  These people don’t need alarm clocks.  And they never want for anything.  Except to be loved.

Because there are some in politics (i.e., Liberals/Democrats) that like to make everything into a class struggle, these rich people feel guilty.  For in class warfare, the rich are always the bad guys.  And they don’t want to be the bad guys.  Because people don’t love the bad guys.  So they show how much they care for those less fortunate.  They call themselves liberals.  And we forgive them for all that wealth.  The kind of wealth we say CEOs shouldn’t have.  But it’s okay for rich liberals.  Even though they don’t create jobs.  Or make things that make our lives better.

THE YOUNG AND THE STUPID

Kids are stupid.  Don’t believe me?  Ask a parent.  You tell them not to drink, do drugs, have sex, drive recklessly, skip class, lie, cheat, etc., and they still do.  Not all of them.  But many do.  They engage in reckless, stupid, irresponsible behavior all of the time.  And parents find drugs in their rooms.  Deal with a teen pregnancy.  Or an abortion.  Comfort a child with an STD.  Or help her deal with the trauma she suffers when her ‘private’ nude photos aren’t so private anymore (and seeing her arrested for distributing child pornography).  Or hearing from a child’s teachers (or your priest) that they were forwarded a sexting from your child.  Seeing a daughter in a Girls Gone Wild commercial (and seeing her lose a job because of it).  Go to the emergency room because of a car accident or drug overdose.  Enroll a child into rehab.  Or go to the morgue to identify a dead child.  Or something less traumatic, like babysitting a grandchild while your daughter dances at a topless bar.  Or is out turning tricks. 

Kids live in the now.  And they want to have a good time.  All of the time.  Sex, drugs, abortion and STDs.  That’s what they’re thinking about.  And the ‘skankification’ of women.  Of girls.  Boys want only one thing.  Sex.  And girls want to be loved.  So they’re liberals.  They’re all for the liberation and empowerment of women.  Of girls.  Anything that makes girls ‘easier’.  And helps a girl’s self-esteem by making them more ‘popular’.  So legalize drugs.  And lower the drinking age.  Makes it easier to get girls into bed.  And keep abortion legal.  So a girl doesn’t have to worry about getting pregnant.  Makes her less hesitant in putting out.  And cure those incurable diseases, damn it.  Sometimes you’d like to hook up with a girl without having to get her drunk first.  And she’d be a whole lot more cooperative if she didn’t have to worry about an STD or two.

LOOK AT ME

I drive a Prius.  Because I care.  And I’m better than you.  That’s the message.  But when a rich celebrity drives a Prius and then flies away in their private plane for some fun in the sun, they give a different message.  They’re saying, “I’m a hypocrite.”  And, of course, that they’re better than us.

There comes a time in a rich celebrity’s life when they realize they haven’t done anything worthwhile.  I mean, sure, they’ve become rich and famous.  But they did that by pretending to be someone they’re not.  Or by writing some songs that Big Music marketed well.  Or simply for being good looking.  At some point in that ’empty’ life they need validation.  That their life has meaning.  So they champion a cause.  Warn us about the oceans.  Global warming.  The hungry.  They become politically active.  And provide expertise in things they know little about.  They’ll testify before Congress not because they have scientific credentials.  But because they played someone in a movie who did.  And to show their cerebral prowess they’ll call themselves liberals.  And warn us not to vote for George W. Bush.  For if we do, he’ll legalize rape or send all the gay people to one state.  (And, no, I won’t say who said these things.  I’m sure they’re embarrassed enough.)

And we love our celebrities.  Want to be like them.  So we, too, drive a Prius.  Because we, too, care.  And, of course, because we’re better than you.

THE SELFISHLY NARROW MINDED

The single-issue people care only for single issues.  Gays and lesbians who vote based on only gay and lesbian issues are single-issue people.  People who vote based only on a person’s abortion stand are single-issue people.  People who vote based only on environmental issues are single-issue people.  Etc.  Social Security.  Welfare.  Anti-war.  Anti-nuclear power.  Race.  Redistribution of wealth.  Animal rights.  People can be passionate about any one issue.  And if they are only passionate about any one issue, they’ll vote to advance that one, narrow issue.  And damn the unintended consequences that result from advancing that one narrow issue.  And they’ll call themselves liberals.  Because they’re about the enlightened ideal.  Not profits.  National security.  The rest of us.  Or common sense.

IT’S JUST A JUMP TO THE LEFT, AND THEN A STEP TO THE RIGHT

Liberals are indeed a minority of the population.  And yet our government governs very liberally.  How does this happen?  Simple.  Politicians lie.

During the primary election, they have to appeal to their base.  And their base includes all the small little groups of people noted above.  And more.  To get that liberal vote, they have to show how liberal they are.  Once they get the nomination, they have to move to the center and lie to the independents and moderates in the general election.  Convince them that they are centrists.  If elected, they move back to the left to pay off the far Left that financed their election.  When their poll numbers fall, they then move back to the right.  It’s a dance.  Like the Time Warp.  From the Rocky Horror Picture Show

It’s just a jump to the left
And then a step to the right
Put your hands on your hips
You bring your knees in tight
But it’s the pelvic thrust
That really drives you insane,

Let’s do the Time Warp again!

And there is some pelvic thrusting going on.  But it’s not the good kind.  If you know what I mean.

IS THERE ANYBODY OUT THERE?

So why isn’t there a ‘Rush Limbaugh’ in liberal talk radio?  Because liberals are a small demographic.  And it’s a demographic created from small, narrow, special interests.  And a lot of them have things on their minds other than monetary and fiscal policy.  Foreign policy.  Affordable housing.  They’re thinking about sex and drugs.  Where to jet off to next.  Or checking into rehab.  They’ll rock the vote at election time.  But after that, they have better things to do.  You add it up and there is simply no market for liberal talk radio.  At least, not like there is for conservative talk radio.

When Liberal talk radio succeeds, it’s often by shocking the audience.  Belittling conservatives.  Name calling.  Like on SNL.  Or John Stewart’s The Daily Show.  It’s heavy on the comedy.  Light on the issues.  Because their audience is there for the entertainment.  Not for deep, intellectual thought.

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