What is the Role of Newspapers, Magazines, Radio,
And The Internet?
What is the role of radio today, specifically talk radio? Back in the 1990’s, when Bill Clinton was President, talk radio was the primary tool that I used to convey the truth to the American people. This may be difficult to believe today, but talk radio was so new at that time, the Clinton Administration initially paid little attention to it. As talk radio began to grow, I was able to secure interviews on many radio talk shows. Through this medium, I was able to sidestep the liberal TV and print media and get my message to the American people.
Today, we are told that the largest audiences in talk radio are conservative. This is true. Liberals have not been as successful as conservatives in this arena. Nevertheless, although the conservative audience is large, it is not as vast as some imagine it to be. When you study the audiences of Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, and others, you find they have many of the same listeners. Additionally, the same people who watch Sean Hannity also watch other conservatives on the Fox News channel. Thus, although conservative talk radio and cable television are important sources of news and information, their audiences tend to overlap. Therefore, they are oftentimes just preaching to the choir. I like to call this overlapping group of conservatives audience members “politicos.”
Rush Limbaugh, the “king” of talk radio, is now said to have about 26 million weekly listeners (in 2017), and Sean Hannity has consistently maintained 13 million weekly listeners and viewers. Nevertheless, the number of daily listeners is unknown, and is certainly much less than the number of weekly listeners. It must also be noted that these two conservative radio talk shows are counter-balanced by two leftist NPR public radio news and talk programs. Both Morning Edition and All Things Considered have about 14 million weekly listeners.
Armed with this information, we must not have an inflated impression of the magnitude of the influence of conservative talk radio and cable television. Many conservatives were surprised by the election and re-election of a seriously flawed candidate like Barack Obama. Nearly every Obama weakness was exposed by conservative radio talk show hosts, so we believed he should never have seen the inside of the Oval Office. We were surprised by the election results because we falsely believed a sufficient number of voters must have been converted by Rush Limbaugh and others. They weren’t! Conservative talk radio is a necessary tool for success, bur alone it is insufficient.
Let’s take a look at newspapers. As you may know, many have experienced a sharp decline in readership in recent years. Some have even gone out of business. This significant loss of readership can be blamed on many factors. Firstly, newspaper editors and writers have shifted so far to the left, they have fallen into disfavor with readers who want an unbiased report of current events. Secondly, more Americans rely on talk radio and cable television for their news and information. Thirdly, the internet has truly revolutionized how people stay informed. It is rightfully called the “information super-highway,” travelled daily by owners of desktops, as well as laptops, smartphones, and other mobile devices.
Of those newspapers that are still in business, especially local, small town newspapers, we may ask how they gather news and information from around the world. They certainly cannot afford to have international correspondents placed around the globe. The answer is, they stay informed through a news feed, such as Associated Press (AP). They may also tap into United Press International (UPI), as well as other sources. As a result, nearly all secondary news sources in the nation can be manipulated simply by controlling a few major news feeds such as AP and UPI.
Ultimately, today, the Internet is to the media what talk radio was back in the 1990’s. With the Internet, one can bypass the leftist media and seek contrary views from a nearly unlimited number of sources. With talk radio and the Internet, the leftist media monopoly is truly over! However, conservatives tend to restrict themselves to conservative news sites, and liberals tend to limit themselves to leftist news sites; so conservatives and liberals will go to websites where they will hear what they want to be told, and read what they want to examine.
Unfortunately, not all websites, whether conservative or liberal, are legitimate sources of news and information. To add to this problem, Obama has turned control of the Internet over to the international community. This means the Internet has fallen under the control of the United Nations. This subversive activity by Obama is a tactic designed to stifle the free speech of his political opponents, such as the Tea Party, while blaming the restrictions on foreigners. It is an ominous end run around the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution—the very document he swore to protect and defend!
According to Gallup, as of July 2013, most Americans (about 55 percent) said they got their news from television. About 21 percent relied on the Internet, and only nine percent said they turned to newspapers, magazines, and other print media. A mere six percent stated that they got their news from radio.
While news junkies turn to cable news sources, far more people rely on network news sources. For example, in 2016, four top cable news sources—Fox News, MSNBC, CNN, and HLN—together averaged about 3.4 million primetime viewers. However, ABC, CBS, and NBC collectively averaged about 22 million viewers for their nightly network newscasts. The number of people seeking news from local TV news sources is difficult to determine, but the audience size is believed to exceed that of the network news sources by far. While more people are seeking news from alternative sources, network and local news outlets remain top resources for tens of millions of Americans.
It should be noted that, while many conservatives hope the Fox News Channel will help them advance the Tea Party agenda, this cable news source attracts an average of 1.8 million viewers during primetime. The 1.6 million viewers who collectively rely on the leftists at MSNBC, CNN, and HLN for primetime news nearly cancel out those who turn to the Fox News Channel. Add the 22 million viewers who get their news from the decidedly leftist ABC, CBS, and NBC nightly network news teams and you can see that the conservative message is routinely overwhelmed by liberal talking points on America’s TV screens.
Far too many Americans continue to believe the “spin” they routinely receive from the leftists who control national network and local television news sources. Too many people believe that, if it has been printed, it must be fit to print. Spin, of course, is just a euphemism for “lie.”
Fortunately, the leftist grip on their audiences has loosened a bit as a result of the devastating effects of Obamacare. Millions of Americans have been forced to change doctors, have lost their healthcare plans, have seen their premiums skyrocket, and have had their weekly work hours cut below 30 hours or lost their jobs entirely—all as a result of this freedom-crushing piece of legislation. Because these leftist news sources supported Obamacare and continue to defend it, they, like Obama, are viewed with a more skeptical attitude by their nationwide and local audiences.
The Left is now paying for their endless lies about Obamacare. We must learn from this observation. Given the large amount of disinformation available on the Internet and from other media outlets, Tea Party members and other conservatives must be careful to verify all news and information. We must always check with sources that have proven to be reliable over time. Failing to do this, even once, can result in a loss of confidence in anyone as a reliable source of news and information. This can dramatically hurt our cause, just as the multitude of intentional lies told by the Obama Administration significantly damaged their cause.
Note: The mainstream news media lies are now known as ‘Fake News’.