Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Bias in Talk Radio

By: Maggie Lilac

A lot of political talk radio is known to be right-wing, with few that sway to the left. In recent years the conservative side of talk radio has almost produced a type of monopoly while the liberal talk radio is almost anything but a myth. It is easy to name the conservative talk show hosts like Rush Limbaugh and Bill O'Rielly, just to name a few; these are right-wing radio kings. They may conservative, but how is their bias influencing you? 

Political talk radio started out as a primary form of entertainment but can now be considered as a major political influence to its listeners. Some audience members attribute talk radio as a determinant of political opinion. In an article about the right-wing radio monopoly, William Bike talks about its direct influence on voters. "In an America in which voters, despite the results of the 2006 elections, are split almost evenly between conservatives and liberals or Republicans and Democrats, a large part of the reason that the Conservative ideology has so many adherents is its articulation in the media--particularly on talk radio." I believe that there has been a recent boost in conservative talk radio that allows Republicans and Republican leaders to influence what is considered to be news. 

On the other hand, the media that reports the news to the public is usually considered to be liberal and left-wing and that is but a myth. Since conservative are so well represented in every facet of the media, it is easy to see that if a talk show or radio show says something that they don't agree with, to simply label them as liberal or left-wing media. The actual liberal media is so overcrowded by right-wing conservative media, that when the liberal media does actually protest the conservative media the liberal media is flogged by conservatives for their nonsense. 

In 2011, Rush Limbaugh officially admitted that he was conservative, actually on accident. While looking to play a liberal soundbite to expose on his show, he said "If it weren't for MSNBC, there wouldn't be ant liberal soundbites." This is proof that there is liberal bias in the media because if Limbaugh won't even play MSNBC on his show because he considers it "isolated", then his views must be considered as the complete opposite.

 Not all Political talk show hosts are Rush Limbaugh's. Take Rachel Maddow for example; a lesbian, catholic, liberal. As a comedian, Maddow calls herself a "half-articulate conservative". When asked about her well-known liberal bias, Maddow replied, "Not more than the average bear. I try to be open about where I'm coming from and what I believe, while also being trustworthy about the facts of whats going on in the world." Maddow believes that she has no political objectivism, however her podcast "The Rachel Maddow Show" on MSNBC begs to differ. Even though MSNBC is known to be very liberal, Maddow firmly believes that just because there are liberals on the network that does not mean she is as well. She claims that MSNBC was not cooperating with a political objective. 

Although bias is evident in political talk radio, as listeners and further more, journalists, we need to be well-rounded, generate our own ideas and views and steer clear of bias ourselves. 

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