I think Air America's (for those unfamiliar, it is a left wing radio station modeled after the sort of radio that is normally associated with right wing radio, ie Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity) not only falling far short of the popularity and influence of it's ideologically opposed role model, but also failing to achieve almost any popularity or success at all, says something positive about the political left.
I believe it positive that we do not want our news filtered through one individual, who not only makes no attempt at objectivity but thrives on their sense of self righteousness and conformity of their listeners (Rush Limbaugh).
As a child and adolescent, I often overheard talk shows like Rush Limbaugh while riding with my parents. While I was too young to understand the politics, I found myself put off by the condescending tone. I also found it strange that someone would choose to receive much of their information about what is going on in the world about the world through one person who apologetically biased(though, I guess Bill O'Reilly likes to refer to his show as the 'No Spin Zone'). Especially one who seems so angry.
I did not discover Npr until I was 16 and had my own car, but since my first job as a 16 year old was delivering pizza, and so I spent large amounts of time in my car, I found it almost immediately.
Once realizing that a person had the option to get their radio news from a source that at least tries to be objective (I do feel Npr has a biased to the left. I cannot think of a single public radio host that does not, at times, reveal a liberal bias. Think of when Terri Gross interviews of liberal guest versus a conservative guest) and when discussing an issue interviews experts in the particular field being discussed rather than have one person repeat back to you over and over what you already believe.
I do not believe it is healthy to only allow oneself to encounter views they already agree with( although, this is becoming increasingly more difficult to avoid as we now have so many choices of where to get our information, one must almost make an active effort to encounter ideologies different from their own). When one only allows oneself to entertain a single view point it can severely limit the accuracy of ones knowledge. If a person not only does not consider alternate views, but even listen to them, the likelihood they will be able to recognize when their beliefs are incorrect or when another's beliefs are correct is very low. Since we, as a species learn collectively and are still early in our efforts in figuring out how things work and how to best do things, I see it as unwise to not expose oneself to as great a variety of views as possible and to never feel to sure of anything. Also, when when close ourselves off to opposing points of view this tends to dehumanize the opposition.
As an example of the dehumanizing effect: I heard a Rush Limbaugh piece recently about The One World Cafe in Salt Lake City (where he took satisfaction in its current financial difficulty) and was surprised to hear how he used to word "Liberal" as an epithet in reference to the management of One World Cafe. To this man the word Liberal had become an insult. Having that sort of world view must make it difficult to see his fellow world citizens who happen to be liberal as human beings of equal value. I imagine many of his listeners must have the same struggle.
Clearly one who primarily gets their news and information from a source of such single mindedness would have a difficult time having an objective view of the world. Although I realize, some People are okay, and even proud of, not allowing themselves to consider opposing points of view(ie. many Mormons, in regards to their Mormon beliefs), I see this as unfortunate and unhealthy.
Which brings me back to why I believe the failure of Air America to be a good thing. It shows, hopefully, that those on the political left do not want to have their own opinions repeated back to them for several hours a day and consider it news or valuable or interesting.
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