If you are a Fox viewer which I highly doubt you would be reading our blog if you were, you may want to add some other types of information sources to your single-source habit.
A Pew Research Center survey makes clear the extent of the problem. Among those who get their election news primarily from Fox “News,” 86 percent say Trump is delivering the “completely right” or “mostly right” message about the pandemic, 78 percent that “the U.S. has controlled the outbreak as much as it could have” and 61 percent that Trump and his administration get the facts right about the coronavirus “almost all” or “most of the time.” Perhaps the most disturbing finding of all: 39 percent of Fox News viewers say that QAnon — an insane conspiracy theory that posits that Trump’s opponents are satanic child-molesters — is “somewhat good” or “very good” for the country.
We’ve been pontificating for years that it’s the media, stupid, to borrow a line from the great James Carville, President Clinton’s campaign manager who famously said, “It’s the economy, stupid.” There is plenty of documentation in addition to the Pew Research Center survey cited below, that confirms our hypothesis that our nation’s problems are largely caused by the media.
Just as insidious as Fox News, probably even more impactful, is talk radio. You may notice I didn’t say “conservative” talk radio because now all talk radio on the publicly owned airwaves is conservative, understanding that conservative doesn’t mean what it used to mean. And for the crowd that always says NPR is “liberal” or “progressive” radio, it’s not. It’s supposed to be educational but it does have a Koch brother on its board so there’s that.
And just as a reminder, Iowa has way more hate speech on the air than any state should be asked to tolerate. And it’s not because hate speech is in high demand. It’s because the few corporations that own the stations want it that way. Just try to get rid of one, it’s not easy and is likely impossible, even if you live in a predominantly liberal area. One Iowa town has two hate speech stations.
It’s no wonder we have gone from being a generally sensible people to a chaotic mass of confusion.
And I’ll just add here that it turns out campaigns have terminology for this. They refer to it as the “rural information eco-system.” I get it. It’s not just the station itself, it’s the cult-like community of believers that reinforce going along with nuttiness so as not to be ostracized from the group. Psychologists would say it’s classic group think but in the age of electronic and digital technology, the number of believers has blown up to gigantic, dangerous proportions. This was purposeful on the part of Republicans. See The Brainwashing of My Dad.
So here it is, once again, the state of our commercial AM radio stations blasting the entire state on a daily basis with hours upon hours of right wing hate speech. And just for the record, if you think no one listens to radio anymore, that is incorrect. 53 million people listen to talk radio in the U.S.
Iowa just happens to have fourteen commercial stations that broadcast right wing conspiracy theories and other crap 5-15 hours every day, including WHO Radio, a 50,000 watt station that reaches the entire state and beyond.
Here are the Iowa stations that broadcast multiple hours a day of this type of talk radio. This does not need a link because I did the research myself. All you have to do to verify is go to the station websites and look at their programming schedules. And since I did this, the situation is probably even worse because they have groomed and developed younger hate speech up-and-comers whose names are not immediately recognizable as right wing talkers. These syndicated programs are cheap for the stations to provide. It has nothing to do with what the community wants.
KCPS Burlington – 12 hrs/day,
KBUR Burlington – 6 hrs,
KXEL Waterloo-CF – 12 hrs,
WOC Quad Cities – 11 1/2 hrs,
WHO Des Moines 11 1/2 hrs,
KSJC Sioux City – 13 hrs,
WMT Cedar Rapids 8 hrs,
WDBQ Dubuque, 6 hrs,
KILR Estherville – 15 hrs,
KGLO Mason City – 9 hrs,
KFJB Marshalltown, 6 hrs,
KASI Ames, 6 hrs, and
KICD Spencer, 5-6 hrs.
KVFD-AM (1400 AM) *(Fort Dodge Mo – Fr 11AM – 2PM, Sat 8AM – 11AM*) Limbaugh and Hannity streamed.
I could go on and on.