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March 31, 2006

Savage

I don't really understand this point of Kos's:

Dean isn't the DCCC or DSCC. His job isn't to win elections in 2006. As head of the Democratic National Committee, his job is to build a national party.

Republicans haven't abandoned a single one of their supporters. You could live in the Bluest part of Berkeley or Madison or Cambridge, and the party will communicate with you via mail and on TV and the radio. Drive into San Francisco over the Bay Bridge, and you're met with a billboard advertising Michael Savage's racist radio show.

Savage is a private entity. The billboards are paid for by his radio company, which seeks to make money off his advertisers by attracting more listeners. It has nothing to do with the Republican party.

March 31, 2006 | Permalink

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Hasn't the flap over clear channel refusing to take adds taught you anything? Or the Washington Times? Its not capitalism and advertisers that drive the "success" of far right talk shows, tv, and newspapers pundits. The Washington Times has lost money for years. But it can afford to spend the money to push its political/religious agenda. I know people listen to savage, and he has his base, but the idea that a blue state supports him without some tipping of the balance sheets seems doubtful. If the dems had the deep corporate pockets of the GOP, or there were enough george Soros' around to do it, or Al gore could do it, we could be running air america all around the country 24/7 and building listeners over time. Instead we leave the red states to languish with very little cultural and political input from liberal viewpoints.

aimai

Posted by: Kate G. | Mar 31, 2006 2:43:02 PM

You really don't get it, do you? It is ALL about winning elections.

The goal isn't to come up with a better philosophy. The goal is to make this country a better place.

That takes political power, and that takes winning elections, and that takes mind share, money, real estate, and psychological presence. There is a reason you want lawn signs and you want people turning out a traffic circles. This is the same reason you want billboards, unfortunately all owned by Republicans at this point, and you want newspapers, radio, cable and television stations, also mainly Republican owned at this point.

Kos is a tactician, and turning things around is going to require a change in tactics. The Republicans understand the power of collective action. Too many Democrats don't get it.

P.S. I'm not advocating the Republican hive mind, but it would be nice if two Democrats could get in a room and not have a destructive factional dispute.

Posted by: Kaleberg | Mar 31, 2006 3:17:29 PM

This still doesn't answer my point: Savage isn't being advertised by the Republican party, he's a profitable commercial entity with a publicity machine of his own. Dean's DNC strategy has nothing to do with billboards for radio hosts, nor could it.

Posted by: Ezra | Mar 31, 2006 3:26:04 PM

Well, yes, Savage is a private entity, but to say that he has nothing to do with the Republican party is a mistake. He is part and parcel of the rightwing noise machine and, as such, has a great deal to do with the Republican party and its continued success. He has nothing to do with the party _officially_, true. _Unofficially_, he and his rightwing radio colleagues are very important indeed.

Posted by: Farinata X | Mar 31, 2006 3:29:06 PM

I guess another way of putting Ezra's point is that if you think the billboard gap marks a problem for Democrats, the right person to complain to isn't Howard Dean. It's the people who run advertising for Air America.

Posted by: Neil the Ethical Werewolf | Mar 31, 2006 3:51:22 PM

He may be part of the message machine, but he is an independent entity. He's not part of the Republican party. There is no "GOP Radio"

Posted by: Dustin R. Ridgeway | Mar 31, 2006 3:53:38 PM

"Savage is a private entity. The billboards are paid for by his radio company, which seeks to make money off his advertisers by attracting more listeners. It has nothing to do with the Republican party."

What fantasy land did you wake up in, this morning? Michael Savage and the radio companies that syndicate and carry his shows have every thing to do with the Republican Party. The Republican Party did not gut the fairness doctrine, or drive Media Consolidation thru the FCC, because those policies accorded with some RAND study. The Washington Post and the New York Times did not keep the Whitewater "scandal" going, for 7 years, because of a disinterested committment to purity in politics. Wake up little man, and get real.

Posted by: Bruce Wilder | Mar 31, 2006 4:12:24 PM

"Dean's DNC strategy has nothing to do with billboards for radio hosts, nor could it."

If Dean had any sense, he would buy editorial control of MSNBC or CNN. The number one problem the Democrats have, is that progressive, moderate and liberal narratives have no chance in the Media, which reaches 97% of Americans. That's a critical part of the Democratic Party's electoral challenge: that any Democratic candidate for President is wide-open to the Whitewater treatment or Swift-boating or both. That the unquestioned assumptions of politics and Media apparently put a political party's control of News Media out of bounds is just plain stupid.

The Republican Party might just as well own Fox News or the Tribune Company or Clear Channel; maybe, it would be more accurate to say that Big Media, together with Big Pharma and Big Oil, have made a condominium out of the Republican Party, but it makes little practical difference. Newspapers were party organs until after World War II, when the rise of radio and television changed the media landscape and made editorial neutrality or even liberalism the order of the day. That day is over, and the so-called liberal media is dead. If liberals and progressive voices are going to be heard anywhere, but boutique magazines and blogs, something will have to be done.

Posted by: Bruce Wilder | Mar 31, 2006 4:22:45 PM

Gee willickers, I guess right wing radio really has nothing to do with Republicans, huh? There's certainly not a direct line, as in money flowing into the RNC and back to radio stations. But to say that there's no connection between the privately-owned promoters of a party's message (and I can't imagine that it's more accurate to call the message "conservative" than "Republican") and the party itself strikes me a kind of odd and short sighted. Granted, Dean can't go out there and buy advertising for liberal radio shows (because it would be too expensive and because it would taint the appearance of independence of those shows, etc.), but the larger point- that the Republican message gets out to the hinterlands pretty undiluted and all other political messages do not, is sound.

Posted by: alex | Apr 1, 2006 2:19:16 PM

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Posted by: peterwei | Oct 21, 2007 11:54:32 PM

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