April 29, 2005


Rush to Victory: Why is Harry Reid acting like David Koresh? Because conservatives are winning. (DANIEL HENNINGER, April 29, 2005, Opinion Journal)

In 1987, Rush Limbaugh sat down at a microphone at radio station KFBK-AM in Sacramento and began broadcasting something called "The Rush Limbaugh Show."

The rest is history.

The "rest"--the inexorable 15-year rise of conservative ideas and clout across what Howard Stern calls "all media"--is described in a provocative new book by Brian C. Anderson, "South Park Conservatives." What was once a mostly exclusive liberal country club--television, the press, book publishing, even the campuses--has become heavily integrated with aggressive, even crude, conservatives.

As described by Mr. Anderson, a writer with the Manhattan Institute, conservatives established their first beachhead in the early 1990s with talk radio. Then Fox conquered cable news and finally a virtual Mongol horde of conservative-to-libertarian bloggers swept across the Internet. In the 2004 election, these electric horsemen (apologies to Jane Fonda) pulled down Dan Rather and haunted John Kerry's war hero with Swift-boat ghosts. [...]

Contrary to myth, Roger Ailes didn't do this. Ronald Reagan did. Ronald Reagan may not make it to Mount Rushmore for winning the Cold War. But he secured his place in the conservative pantheon for tearing down another wall: the Fairness Doctrine.

The whole book is excellent, but this portion revelatory.

Posted by Orrin Judd at April 29, 2005 6:25 PM

Anyone else remember the days in the 1960's and 70's when the network Sunday morning news shows interviewed three guests at once to discuss an issue?

Of the three, two were Democrats and one was a Republican. And the questioner was of course a newsman who we now know with certainty agreed with the Democrats. That was explained away as due to the Democrats being in the majority. Things have changed, now that the Republicans are in the majority - haven't they?

Posted by: oswalf booth czolgosz at April 29, 2005 7:33 PM

What you'd end up with if the Fairness Doctrine was repealed would be conservative AM stations would be airing Limbaugh and Hannity from noon to 6 p.m. and Alan Colmes and Ed Schultz from midnight to 6 a.m. to maintain their balance. Meanwhile, what liberal stations there are right now would also have to balance their lineups, and after the few few ratings books came in, you'd end up with Bill O'Reilly and Michael Medved on from noon to 6 p.m., and Al Franken and Randi Rhodes on from midnight to 6 a.m.

Of course, this wouldn't be good news for overnight listeners on AM stations carrying Art Bell and Georg Noury right now, but those folks will just have to deal with hearing really wacky topics coming out of their radios after midnight in the future.

Posted by: John at April 30, 2005 1:51 AM

Among those who helped sink the Fairness Doctrine was none other than Dan Rather. See "Dan Rather's Good Deed" here: http://tinyurl.com/4r7e7

Posted by: Pildorr at April 30, 2005 10:14 AM