Can talk veer left?

Variety editorial

So now at last we have the explanation as to why talk radio has become the exclusive province of the Hard Right.

Liberal views are too complex, we are told. Conservatives explain themselves better.

That, at least, is the view of Kraig Kitchen, chief executive of radio syndicator Premiere Radio Networks, as related by the New York Times. According to the Times report, a group of wealthy Democrats is putting together a liberal radio network to challenge the Right. They’ve even hired a new chief for the operation, Jon Sinton.

But they’re not going anywhere unless they can find the talent. Al Franken is one person under consideration, which would suggest that only a comedian can explain the liberal position with sufficient simplicity. Maybe they’re correct, but there’s something odd about the basic premise. Is it really complicated to explain why you’re anti-war rather than pro-war? Or why you’re pro-women’s rights? Or why you’re concerned about the skyrocketing budget deficit? Or why you fear an anti-environment agenda?

Arguably, the liberal position should be easier to explain that that of the right, if only it could get some airtime. And it may take a comedian or two to crack the right-wing oligopoly.

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