The vicious polarization that has divided our country over the last thirty years has a direct correllation with the rise of right-wing talk radio. It was couched in “free market” terminology…Liberalism would have to compete in the marketplace of ideas, they said. Ronald Reagan realized that the only way to radically remake American society — and make no mistake, that is exactly what he did, and not in a way that benefits the majority of Americans — removing the fairness doctrine, which kept things civil and informative and the extremes in check, would provide an advantage that would last for thirty years, which is about how long cycles tend to run in this country.
That was thirty years ago.
Two weeks ago, the alarm went off, and America awoke from her long, complacent, slumber when one gross old pervert who has had four marriages, a drug habit and zero children called a Georgetown law student a “slut” for speaking to a congressional panel about treating hormonal contraception like any other medication.
Now that same “free market” that the right-wing used as a cudgel to beat the left with for decades has been picked up by consumers and used against them.
Rush Limbaugh’s three-day tirade against Sandra Fluke, and the continued attacks this week against “overeducated” young women with socially conscious leanings and book deals, have had a ripple effect.
From today’s TRI Newsletter: Premiere Networks is circulating a list of 98 advertisers who want to avoid “environments likely to stir negative sentiments.” The list includes carmakers (Ford, GM, Toyota), insurance companies (Allstate, Geico, Prudential, State Farm) and restaurants (McDonald’s, Subway). As you’ll see in the note below, those “environments” go beyond the Rush Limbaugh show –
“To all Traffic Managers: The information below applies to your Premiere Radio Networks commercial inventory. More than 350 different advertisers sponsor the programs and services provided to your station on a barter basis. Like advertisers that purchase commercials on your radio station from your sales staff, our sponsors communicate specific rotations, daypart preferences and advertising environments they prefer… They’ve specifically asked that you schedule their commercials in dayparts or programs free of content that you know are deemed to be offensive or controversial (for example, Mark Levin, Rush Limbaugh, Tom Leykis, Michael Savage, Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity). Those are defined as environments likely to stir negative sentiment from a very small percentage of the listening public.”
Advertisers realize something that the Ferengi of the right don’t…Women do the purchasing and they won’t spend their family budget buying products that support gasbags that call a young women we would all be proud of if she were our daughter a “slut” and then take it farther and make the demand that he wants to be paid back, so let him watch. She should post videos of her sexual encounters online. And she didn’t even testify about recreational sex. She testified about treating contraception like any other medication. Seriously.
The same “marketplace of ideas” that they were so insistent on letting work it’s magic is speaking, and it is telling them that the shelf-life has passed on their hate and bitter misogyny, but the progress and feminism look fresh and fabulous.
And you know what this means…when the advertisers abandon them and **they** are losing in the marketplace of ideas they once worshipped and touted, they will start whining for a return to the fairness doctrine, because their viewpoints are being silenced. You bloody well know that’s what’s coming.