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May 30, 2005

We're watching. And listening.

Many a city-dweller has also noticed how cockroaches go scurrying about when you turn on the kitchen lights.   Well, it looks like the right-wing cockroaches in the corners of our radio dial (and some of the less-competent liberals too!) have got their knickers all up in a twist since blatherWatch has turned its spolight on 'em. As Michael Hood recently wrote:

Conservative talk radio, especially on the local level, gets away with murder.

[R]adio has no regular critics--never has had, as far as we know--despite that it has an audience larger than newspapers, and local TV.

Hell: movies, TV, sports, theater, print journalism have critics who insert the speculum and gaze into their tender vitals every day. Restaurateurs, in a  profitably marginal business have to worry about critics picking at their food and blaring the details to the world; their ruin perhaps hinging on a waiter’s bad day.

But radio? Nobody in the MSM looks at it unless a talk host or DJ molests a child, sleeps with the livestock or they slander the mayor and someone happens to hear about it.

Usually though, radio talkers can say anything they want and because liberals can’t stand listening to the acrimonious drivel, when the bullshit drops, most of the time it's like a tree falling in the forest.

Michael reports that the cockroaches don't appear like the sunshine.

BlatherWatch... has been getting some very nasty comments on-air from talk hosts and by email from radio folks who question our very existence.

They say we don’t qualify to criticize their industry because we’re not part of it. They accuse us of being talk radio wannabes, or closet conservatives or posers from TV, a land where, they believe, everyone looks down on them. (That tiny paranoia, of course, is fact-based.)

They frequently accuse blatherWatch of having personal vendettas against whomever we’ve got under the microscope at the moment.

Well, guess what -- too damn bad!  The blogosphere is watching (and listening) -- when we can stand it -- and we're gonna hold you accountable for your bullying and your bullshit.

You know, this reminds me of a project my friend Carl (not Ballard) proposed a while ago.  He pointed out that creating long-term archives of all the talk radio broadcasts in a given market is actually a pretty managable engineering project with today's modern computer technology.  This could allow a few interesting things to happen:

  1. Distributed, time-shifted citizen monitoring of broadcasts.  And because it's a recording, you can listen to it in double-time, allowing twice as much fun in half the time.
  2. The ability to positively prove that "they really did say that."
    Usually, only the station has recordings, and if someone says something
    outrageous on-air, it can be easy for them to simply deny having said
    it, knowing that it's unlikey they can be proven wrong.

  3. The ability to immediately circulate sound-clips of any outrageous soundbites.

Just something to think about.

Posted by Jon Stahl on May 30, 2005 at 05:48 PM in Media | Permalink


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I think you and Michael are on to something here. Karl Rove has always used talk radio to smear good candidates away from the limelight. I'm guessing others are following in his footsteps and it would be a good thing to monitor this and shine the light on the parts of it that don't look good. Washington has got to have a big target sign on it for the right-wing. Too much good stuff happening here.

Posted by: Lynn | May 30, 2005 6:01:47 PM

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