Iowa in the Age of Consolidated Media
Getting Our Message Out: Fighting Fire with FM (and Net Neutrality)
The Great Surprise – The Telecommunications Act of 1996
The Plane Facts About Media: What I Learned While in Flight
A Brief History of Media Consolidation
Observations on the Media in Iowa
We would like to see Iowans become more familiar with how the right has taken over the media through the courts and how they now control the national conversation. If you don’t have time to read all of Dave’s articles on the political history of media theft by the right, we would recommend that you read Lewis Powell’s memo, also known as the Powell Manifesto. We believe that once you read the 1971 memo from Lewis Powell to his fellow conservatives at the Chamber of Commerce, shortly before he was appointed to the Supreme Court by Richard Nixon, about what they needed to do in the coming years to acquire and maintain power over the masses, you’ll feel the need to join the media reform movement and to make sure media reform is at least your second priority, if not your first.
Conservative talk radio is one of the ways the right has taken over the national dialogue. This is a huge problem in Iowa, as we’ve posted about here on numerous occasions. When we last checked, in March of 2009, there were no progressive programs on the radio airwaves anywhere in Iowa with the exception of Alan Colmes whose show, Liberaland, came on in the 9-midnight time slot on an Ottumwa station, KBIZ. The rest of the day on the Ottumwa station is basically devoted to right-wing talk. Ed Schultz appeared briefly on a station or two, but was quickly dropped from the Boone station that aired his show. I was told by someone at the station that people were complaining because Ed said “damn” too much. Davenport and Iowa City have both enjoyed brief interludes of progressive programming before Clear Channel had them forcibly removed from the airwaves.
Iowa now has the Fallon Forum, but one progressive program in a sea of right-wing talk radio is the exception that only proves the rule. [Update: Earlier this year, 2012, The Fallon Forum and Bradshaw were removed from on-air programming by their corporate boss, Cumulus].
So here are some things that we found out when we did a little checking. I have not included today all the stations that carry talk radio in Iowa that we have mentioned in the past, but these are most of the larger stations. We think that all of the commercial stations in Iowa with a talk format, are airing conservative talk programming and no progressive programming. If anyone out there knows of any progressive programming on a local station, please send us an e-mail.
The State of Iowa Radio
KCPS Radio in Burlington, broadcasts 11 hours a day of conservative talk : Starting at 8 am with Glenn Beck for three solid hours, Rush Limbaugh for the next three hours, Dennis Miller for the next three hours, and Michael “Liberalism is a Mental Disease” Savage finishing up the day 7-9. So between the hours of 8 in the morning until 9:00 at night this station airs nothing but right-wing talk. “Sandbagging a levee against a tide of ignorance,” it says on their website. There was a bit of a change on this station since we last checked in 2009 – after they lost Bill O’Reilly, they added an hour of Glenn Beck.
KXEL Waterloo-Cedar Falls-Cedar Rapids-Iowa City broadcasts 9 hours a day of conservative talk with Glenn Beck, Limbaugh and Hannity, starting at 8 am all the way to 5:00 every weekday. Not much change in this line-up.
WOC 1420 Quad Cities airs 9 hours and 5 minutes a day of conservative talk (Mike Huckabee is the 5 minutes). Three hours each of Limbaugh, Hannity and Dennis Miller daily.
The stations we have mentioned so far are Eastern Iowa stations – not Iowa’s conservative left coast where you might expect right-wing nuttiness on the publicly owned airwaves to have a bit more appeal.
KXIC, located in the most liberal community in Iowa, Iowa City, provides 6 hours a day of conservative talk with Sean Hannity and Dennis Miller. KXIC seems to have no interest in progressive programming even in a very progressive, democratic surrounding community. I was told by KXIC personnel that conservative talk radio is the only kind of radio that pleases the advertisers.
WHO-Radio in Des Moines broadcasts 11 1/2 hours per day of conservative talk in a pretty solid block every week day and evening all the way from 9 in the morning to midnight interrupted only by Dr. Laura and Mark and Bob: Jan Mickelson 9a-11:30a; Rush Limbaugh 1p-4p; Steve Deace 4p-7p; Michael Medved 9-Midnight. A slight change on WHO. They apparently dropped Michael Reagan’s 3 hours of conservative blather and added two hours on to Medved for a net loss of one hour of conservative wing-nuttiness.
KSCJ, Sioux City, broadcasts on the publicly owned airwaves, 13
hours a day of conservative talk. Limbaugh, 11a-2p; Hannity 2-5, O’Reilly 5-7, Glenn Beck 7-10, Dennis Miller 10-12. (The website said Fred Thompson was to take over for O’Reilly in March).
Just for the record, the Fallon Forum is a progressive talk radio program that is broadcast at 98.3 WOW-FM 7-8 pm, Mondays-Thursdays, for a total of four progressive talk radio hours per week. What is also different about their program is that the show entertains a balance of ideas, not just the progressive point of view. Hosts Ed and Lynn Fallon are very gracious and accepting of the many Iowa conservatives who call in to their show. This is not the case when you are listening to conservative talk radio.
There it is, the publicly owned airwaves in Iowa, completely useless as an educational tool or for the public good, saturated with the likes of Limbaugh, Hannity, Beck and friends. We should be outraged and upset by this. We should do something.