General Debate 14/03/11

Talking back

…..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.

4 thoughts on “General Debate 14/03/11

  1. David Marr is the epitome of the Chardonnay Socialist. He is a condescending cardigan-wearer who gets his arse handed to him every time he and Andrew Bolt appear on Insiders (ABC) together. (O/T but Bolt was on Insiders yesterday morning and the ABC has received literally hundreds of complaints from apoplectic lefties because of comments he made about Chernobyl and the Gillard/Rudd dysfunction)

    Switzer is right, of course. And the more modern partner of talk radio is of course social media. I find, particularly with (for example) facebook I can have a conversation with a politician and, because all of their ‘friends’ can see the detail, they’re apt to engage in the discourse. Witness, for example, my recent posts on Crusader Rabbit about my conversation with Hilary Calvert.

    Incidentally, I’ve noticed an interesting new trend among the charlatans currently running Australia. When Tony Windsor received his non-death-threat, he blamed ‘shock jocks’ for inciting hatred in the context of the carbon scam. Now, it seems whenever anybody takes a position the leftist liberals don’t like, they blame ‘shock jocks’ for inciting the sheeple.


  2. Yep I read about the rage Bolt’s ABC appearance has caused among Australia’s leftists. It shows you how intolerant the left are, how they always want to silence dissent, but worse, how they regard the ABC as their own, and an organ for the broadcasting of left wing views rather than balanced reporting.


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