The Daily Sandwich

"We have to learn the lesson that intellectual honesty is fundamental for everything we cherish." -Sir Karl Popper

Location: Boston, Massachusetts, United States


Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Franken on Franken

The Guardian has a fun story that looks at Air America vis a vis Al Franken's show. Some good zingers are in there, and it's actually got more raw data on the Air America ratings game than anything I've seen stateside.

I suppose the bad news is that Rush Limbaugh has about 20 million listeners (amazing, isn't it?) while Air America garners about 3 million. The good news is that while the agit/prop maestro has been at it for about fourteen years, Air America has only been at it 14 months.

Tonight the former Saturday Night Live star steps on to the stage at the city's China Club to become the first recipient of the prestigious New York International Radio Festival's World Achievement Award for Breakthrough Radio, which is "only periodically given to one radio on-air talent who has made a great political or cultural impact in his country and/or throughout the world".

"Rightwing radio still does dominate," concedes Franken, "but before Air America it was a monolith." The Right, he patiently explains, cornered the market in talk radio in the late 1980s when the Fairness Doctrine, which ensured that radio stations had to be balanced, was revoked. His nemesis, top-rated talk show host Rush Limbaugh, who claims up to 20 million listeners, launched his station and spawned a generation of copy-cats. Rightwing talk flourished, while there was no real equivalent on the Left.