We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Story at Think Progress. It's a seriously, frighteningly wrong impulse to consider shutting up voices you don't agree with.
The way I see it, conservative talk radio emerged and blossomed because conservative views had been suppressed for so long in all mass media - TV, print, and radio. Back in the 80s, I would hear people say things like "Until I heard Rush on the radio, I thought I was the only person who thought that way." Around 60 million people listen to Rush Limbaugh now, I believe.
AM radio was a dying animal until daytime talk came along.
The fresh viewpoints have been great for the country, in my opinion. The debate is good for everyone, because it makes us think and re-think instead of stagnating. Even when you disagree, it helps sharpen and clarify your thoughts.
Talk radio remains one of the few places where alternatives to the MSM "establishment" views and spin can be heard. If print and TV were more balanced, some talk radio and some blogs wouldn't feel the need to exist. Their markets would shrink.
Still, I suspect that if some cheerful, optimistic, warm-hearted, avuncular, humorous, and self-mocking (all traits I attribute to Rush) liberal came along on the radio, he or she could build a sizeable audience. But maybe not.
Talk radio didn't flourish until the Fairness Doctrine was flushed during the Reagan years. Progressives are working v-e-r-y hard to bring this back, knowing that this would make it unprofitable for stations owned by Big Radio Media to offer programming like Rush - they'd have to offer equal time to opposing points of view. Oddly, there are many opportunities for local voices in radio, mainly through outlets such as Low Power FM and AM, designed to help small voices to be heard, and for the operators to make a living at it [Power to the People??]. This doesn't fit the Progessives' agenda, however, of forcing gummint control, and stifling opposing views. I work [actually, I dabble] with such lunatics at a station in New England, and the rhetoric is laughable, but very serious.
Small local stations probably reach a lot more people than any blog.
In my Yankee town, lots of people listen to the mediocre low-wattage local station to find out what's going on in town. Especially women, during the day. The station does make money, and doesn't use syndicated shows - except the news.