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Liberal Talk Radio - An End Run Around the Law

Liberal Talk Radio -- An End Run Around the Law

Making Sense

By Michael Reagan

The chattering classes are all atwitter about the liberal Democrats' latest idea for selling their discredited programs and policies -- putting left-wing comedians on talk radio to go head-to-head with Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, me and my fellow conservative talk show hosts.

Ignoring the liberal domination of the three networks, CNN, most of the mainstream media, and their very own National Public Radio, the Democrats are whining that all they want is a chance to tell their side of the story which, if it weren't for talk radio and Fox Cable News, would be the only side Americans would ever hear.

But that's not what it's really all about. This fat cat group of Democrats may hope they'll be able to peddle their sleazy brand of politics, but what they really want is to get around the campaign finance law that has put an enormous crimp in their ability to pour hundreds of millions of dollars in soft money into Democrat party coffers to finance the spreading of liberal propaganda.

In the unlikely event that the Democrat donors behind this idea succeed with this harebrained venture they'll have found a substitute for the soft money contributions they can no longer make. Instead they'll be funding Democrat informationals on talk radio.

Sheldon and Anita Drobny, a couple of so-called Chicago venture capitalists who gave big bucks to the Clintons, Al Gore and the Democrat party have put up $10 million to create a liberal talk radio network and are looking for another $200 million to launch it.

It will not work.

To begin with, past attempts such as the ill-fated Jim Hightower and Mario Cuomo talk radio shows quickly bombed -- listeners stayed away in droves. But the main reason it will fail is that they haven't got the foggiest notion about talk radio and what it takes to make a success in that medium: the kind of hard work those comedians and the Hollywood types they want to recruit simply won't do.

It takes at least an hour of preparation for every hour Rush or Sean or I spend on the air. They think that I simply walk into the studio and say, 'Hi, I'm Mike Reagan. Please call me' and the phone lines immediately light up and that's allI have to do.They don't understand the hours and hours of work that each one of us in talk radio, Rush, Sean and I and all the othersdo in researching and readingand doing the work necessary to allow us to go on the air and talk intelligently about the issues of the day.

People like the Drobnys want to buy their way into the system. They don't want to get where they want to go the way Rush and Sean and I did - through hard work and perseverance. They don't want to spend five years the way I did building a network of 200 stations. They want a liberal Democratinformational show paid for by them to make up for the money they can no longer give to the Democrats and they want to get it without working for it.

Finally, it won't work because they have nothing to say that the American people want to hear. Everybody is sick of listening to the class warfare and the stirring up of racialdiscord and the oldRepublicans-want-to kill-Social Security diatribes that are the liberal Democrats' only stock in trade. Not even a gaggle of Hollywood stars can sell that kind of tripe.

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