Saturday, June 23

Immigration and Talk Radio -- mixing it up

What does immigration and talk radio have to do with each other, you might ask? Evidently, a lot.

What’s most surprising about the recent assault on talk radio is that the criticism came first from a Republican. Sen. Trent Lott (Miss.), who had grown frustrated with the steady drumbeat of opposition to the immigration bill, lashed out at talk-radio hosts, suggesting they were ignorant and needed to be brought into line.

When anyone starts lashing out as a result of healthy debate on any political issue, you know the conversation has been poisoned. We cannot let the personal emotions impact our ability to have a rational and respectful debate on the issue of illegal immigration, farm labor, legal immigration, and the American culture. It's detrimental to all and to our country.

But for as bad as Lott’s comments were — for him personally and for their negative impact on the immigration bill — they were mild in comparison to the assault coming from the left.

Two liberal groups, the Center for American Progress and Free Press, last week issued a report claiming 91% of talk radio is conservative. Their recommendation: Get the politicians in Washington, D.C., to fix the problem.

Now that's a novel idea...get the government to fix it. There are to obvious problems with this statement, if you didn't catch it. One, talk radio is not broken. Free market forces have shaped the industry to what it is. Like Heritage Foundation's James Gatusso said, "...conservative talk radio is more successful because it is more popular." He has a full post on this talk radio issue over at The Technology Liberation Front titled "Correcting the Consumer: New Report Urges Washington to Fix Talk Radio “Structural Imbalance.”

HT: Rob Bluey

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