…..But the main reason why conservatives are successful on talk radio is because they represent, well, democracy. Talk radio is inherently populist. It is the main media forum in which the ordinary bloke gets a hearing for his complaints about what out-of-touch and patronising elites have wrought across the nation. In the old days, you wrote a letter to the editor of a newspaper and it would take days to get published — if it ever was — and then it was sliced and diced by cultural gatekeepers who often viewed conservatism as a mental affliction. These days, you can have your say on most talk shows just by ringing up the ‘open line’.
All of this might explain why the journalist class is so threatened by shock jocks. Until the arrival of talk radio in the 1980s, media sophisticates essentially controlled the political debate in this country, kicking in the same direction like an ugly version of the Rockettes.
Sure, talk radio can be flippant and provocative. Some hosts, too, admittedly tend towards the angry. But talkback radio is also a source of argument, information, different schools of thought and democracy in action. For all their sins, these radio hosts have given a voice to the once-silenced majority of Middle Australia. David Marr, Mike Carlton and Barrie Cassidy are all too eager to characterise ideas that don’t resonate with their worldview as vitriolic and unthinking. But anyone who supports real democracy should be grateful for our shock jocks.
Excerpt from an article by Tom Switzer at Australian Conservative. Its a good site. Bookmark it.