Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Vanity: Has Talk Radio Killed the Grassroots Conservative Movement?

by Chuck Ness

Back in the beginning when the Fairness Doctrine was abolished, the field was wide open for anyone who could connect with an audience. Up until then, radio stations who could only broadcast via AM radio were a dying breed. Most of them had changed their formats to broadcast via FM transmitters. The AM stations were lucky if they could sell enough add time for summertime baseball, local sports wrap ups, or farm information programs to pay a live body to be in the studio. There were certain markets that seemed to be somewhat successful with the numerous “Tradio” type shows across the country where individuals could buy and sell items in a radio type off flea market, but for the most part AM radio was dead.

Then in 1989 the DC court of appeals upheld the 4-0 ruling by the FCC that abolished the Fairness Doctrine. That is when radio stations across the country started hiring whoever they wanted to say whatever they wanted as long as public decency laws were not violated. Now it still wasn't as easy as just putting someone on to talk about anything, the person needed to be somewhat charismatic, his topic had to be worth listening to so they could keep the audiences attention.

Well, it wasn't long before talk radio was able to find a niche in the small world that the AM radio was able to transmit to. It was similar to the market that late night radio was able to capitalize on, only this was daytime when most people were out of the home. Like the truck drivers on the freeway, or mothers driving around taking care of their shopping and jumping in and out of their car. Then there was the workers who listened while they worked, and the stay at home mothers who preferred it over the soap operas and game shows on the television.

The big markets like New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles found they could fill the airwaves with Shock Jocks talking about things you would normally only hear at bachelor parties full of drunk college students. Then there was the smaller mid sized markets that started a trend that would eventually sweep the country and dominate talk radio for the next 2 ½ decades with no end in sight. No end that is, unless the “Anointed One” and his cronies decide to bring back the Fairness Doctrine. That however is for another day and another column.

Thats where the King of all talk radio comes into this story. Yes, Mr. Rush Limbaugh, the Doctor of Democracy, Mr. Right, the man with one arm tied behind his back just to make it fair. The man with talent on loan from God who does not give equal time, because he is equal time. While the left would like to shut him up, and if possible lock him up, the right would like to elect him to the office of the Presidency. In fact when the Republicans won the House in 1994 they made him an honorary member, because they knew he was responsible for getting them there. Love him or hate him, he is the Bill Gates of talk radio, and with out him there would be no talk radio as we know.

So you are probably wondering why, if I credit him with creating talk radio and building the Republicans into a majority in 1994, I titled my article, “Has Talk Radio Killed the Grassroots Conservative Movement”? Well, lets first look at what he has done for the once dying dinosaur known as AM radio.

Since his rise to prominence in the small market of Sacramento California, Rush Limbaugh has written the book on how to be a successful talk radio personality. It can be boiled down to three two word phrases that, when followed works every time. I call them the the three rules to rule on radio.
1.) Be truthful.
2.) Be Yourself.
3.) Be Entertaining.

Thats it, if you can master those three qualities then you can be successful in any market of the world. Many radio personalities have tried to duplicate his success. Some, like Sean Hannity, Michael Savage, Laura Ingraham, and Glenn Beck have come close, but none have equaled it. Talk radio is a prodominantly conservative venue, and while there are some liberals who can boast of some success, they are few and far between.

The thing that makes conservative talk radio so much more successful is the passiveness of listening without having to look at any props that make ones point so relevant to the discussion. I for one am a firm believer that just as liberals dominate TV because they have props that distract the viewer from the discussion, it is the absence of distraction that makes conservative radio so powerful and successful. It is the same thing you see in Christian radio. When you are confronted with only the truth of the word you need no visual show to dazzle the listener. On the other hand when you turn on the TV and see the heretics speak, you are often distracted by the glitzy show they put on. I am reminded of the old carnival magician who would distract your eyes with his right hand while fooling you with his left hand. Talk radio cannot fool your eyes, so they must tell the truth to your ears. Well, it is that passive listening habit of the audience that forces all successful talk radio hosts to be truthful, and thus successful. That covers the first of the three rules, now lets look at the second rule to rule on radio, being yourself.

Now you would think that this should be an easy task, but have you ever tried to keep an audience you cannot see happy by being yourself? Many a person has stepped behind a microphone and made complete fools of themselves. Even if you can keep from stumbling on your words and your voice is pleasant to listen to, what do you do to fill those moments that are awkward? A good host will be able to reach back into themselves and share a part of there own life with you. Good pastors do it all the time, but very few radio talk hosts can master the part of being themselves. It is an essential part if you want to connect with your audience and make yourself a part of their every day lives.

Over 20 million people tune into Rush Limbaugh every week to listen to him about many things, and one of the big things is his life. He is who he projects to his audience to be. I have talked to hundreds of people who tuned him out after he had his unfortunate problem with pain medications. They said he was not who they thought he was, now most if not all are again listening to him. Mainly because he fessed up and received help. Now those same individuals say they relate to him even better then they before he had his troubles, because he truly is himself again. Finally we have the third rule for being successful in talk radio, and this is the rule that has killed the grassroots of conservatism.

I know I took a long time to get to my point, but I would have done an injustice if I did not properly set the table before I snatched the tablecloth from beneath the china. Probably the most important aspect of a successful talk show host is his ability to entertain his audience. This is where Rush Limbaugh's detractors focus on when they say he is just an entertainer. Have you ever tried to sit and listen to a professor of biology do a lecture on the mating habit of a the pinacate beetle, or better known as the stink beetle? Well if you listen to some talk show hosts it's no different, especially the locals filling in the dead hours before Rush even comes on in the morning.

And that is the crux of the problem. Like all venues, it comes to audience share and advertising dollars when the station decides who is going to be on the air. When Rush first came to our area he hit it off with the audience like an ice cream vendor playing his music outside of a day care center. We could not get enough of him, but he was over by noon and we still had the rest of the day to go. Well, thats when the radio in our area did like so many others did around the country. They saw a bonanza in their revenues and decided to change more of their format hours to talk radio.

They found local talent that could give the audience what they wanted, more talk radio about what was going on that the MSM wasn't giving. That's about the time small communities across the country started getting involved in what was going on in their communities. Local city councils, school boards, and county seats were all being populated by local conservatives getting involved because talk radio got them interested in wanting to serve. Then we saw the general public get interested in who was running things. The result was what happened in 1994 and we all thought things would be great from here on out. It has been said we thought we won so we stoped teaching, well that is partially true.

See, thats when competition started to push the local guys out of the way. This is not to bash competition, but facts are facts. Radio stations want and need to make money, so the voice who sells advertising time will win the time slot. Most people in rural America are not as entertaining as most hosts, their not as well spoken, and their lives are just plane boring. So slowly the small local personalities were replaced by the national hosts, like Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, Dr Laura, and the Michael Savages. Local issues stopped being talked about, people went back to how they thought before, that locally things are ok. So, i guess while we may have kept teaching cinservative ideas, we quit teaching it in a local venue, and about local issues. Lets be honest, whats more interesting the fight over the local compost site, or the fight over terrorism?

Now people still care about what is happening but they care more about the national issues and the national races. The city offices, school boards, and county seats have all went back to the balance they were before. All repopulated by mostly liberals who never worked in the private sector and never want to, but also want to be a city power player for life. The local councilmembers moved to bigger pastures like assembly and state offices with no one wanting or able to get support to replace them locally. Then the cheerleaders have been replaced by national cheerleaders who have no connection and no understanding of local issues. I will be the first to admit this is basically a local small to mid sized city and rural American problem, but when I look ate the election results I see that we lost because these people who were fired up in 1994 did not get out to vote.

Even as boring and as bad as Bob Dole was in 1998, at least we still had local communities fired up to vote. They still cared because we still had a local guy cheering us on. But when the only cheerleaders are rooting for from thousands of miles away, what do you really expect to happen. It takes locality to get locals interested in their local governments, and until the small rural areas can find local talent as good as the Big guys, even for just two hours a day. Well, we will continue to loose the grassroot conservatives, and without a Grassroot conservative movement we all never change things on the national level. The “Anointed One” won through a strong grassroot, albeit illegal, effort. My question is why did we concede what was our strongest asset to a socialist? Is their no good local talk hosts who can be entertaining, truthful, and real? If not, then we will continue to loose. But hey? At least we do control talk radio with big voices like Rush Limbaugh's telling us to get involved, when we never do.

The Last President of a Free Democracy

by One Vike
It seems as though the whole world is rejoicing to the news that the ”Anointed One” has won the election. In reality it is one of the darkest day's America has ever witnessed. A veil has been thrown over the head of the great Lady of Liberty as her enemies have finally found a way to bring her to her knees. All that remains of the this once ”Great Beacon” of democracy are those ” Clingers” who are forced to accept their defeat.

Men and women from around the world will stand in awe as the ”Anointed One”stands at the cusp of attaining the most powerful position the world has to offer. With a belief that he will right the wrongs of the past and level the playing field for all, the masses rejoice at the idea of his rule. With a promise of prosperity and equality reminiscent of what Karl Marx wrote of, he has beguiled the masses with his empty promises.

But what of those ”Bitter Clingers” who stand in fear of what his ascension to power really means? When their leaders are declared enemies of the state and the laws are changed to stifle their dissent? What will they do when the country they loved resembles the tin horn dictatorships of South America? What will become of them, after their enemy has destroyed their way of life? Will they ever be able to mobilize as a force to take back their country? And what of their God, whom the friends of the ”Anointed One” will inevitably declare illegal on grounds of tolerance?

Well, they can see the handwriting on the wall, and they do not need Daniel to interpret for them what the handwriting says. The ”Anointed One” and his legion of godless councilors will claim that their God has been weighed in the balances, and found wanting. They will thus rule that their God and his laws are unconstitutional and unfit for today''ciety. The God whom their forefathers gave credit to for founding this once great democracy. The God whom they trust with their souls and pray to for salvation. Their God and their religion, will be reduced to a status similar to that which it received under the Roman Empire.

They also know it will be just a matter of time before those in power reverse centuries of achievements that have allowed this country to prosper and shine. Achievements that have enabled the very ones who have gained power to be where they are. Now these new rulers will make laws restricting the freedoms of these ”Bitter Clingers”. Freedoms that have allowed them to rightfully cling to their Bibles, and their guns. Yes these ”Bitter Clingers” believe in the Constitution that gave them their right to cling to their faith and their defense. A Constitution that will be shredded the day the ”Anointed One” takes his place in history as the last President of this Free Democracy.

I say, ”Last President” of this free democracy, because in a free democracy you do not stifle the votes of some while allowing illegal votes of others. Something that will happen time and time again as long as the ”Anointed One's” cohorts are allowed to rule as they will be. When and ”IF” the “Anointed One” leaves office, this country will never ever be the same again.

19th Amendment, Was it the Beginning of the End for America?

by Chuck Ness

From the day the founding Fathers risked their liberty and life by signing the Declaration of Independence, there has been those who have wanted to sink this great ship, the "USS United States of America." Well 143 years later the good ship America took a serious torpedo hit right to the gut of logic.

At the time it seemed it was just another glancing blow. However, what many still consider the greatest step forward in equality for the sexes, was more then just a glancing blow. It was in fact a deadly strike that entered the very heart of the ship and has been smoldering ever since. The damage caused by the 19th Amendment was not noticeable at first, but after 88 years we can now see how devastating and complete the destruction was.

Thanks to the 19th amendment, we now have the same kind of Marxists running America that Ronald Reagan defeated from the Soviet Union. However the weapon of destruction used was not a nuclear warhead, no it was an emotional outburst that melted the brains of logic.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Politics, and the Ladies of WindChime

by Chuck Ness

As a Deacon at my church I have had the privilege to be involved with a limited assisted retirement center in my town. I teach a Bible study class on Monday nights, and on Sunday afternoons I give a sermon in their activities room. I have been having probably 20% of the residents come to hear my studies and sermons in the last 3 years. I also offer one on one counseling when needed. I guess you can say I have gotten to know more then a few of the residents at WindChime.

In the three years since I have been serving the Lord there, I have heard many different opinions when it comes to the political leanings of the residents. I would be lying if I failed to admit my consternation with some of them, as to their political leanings.

I am proud to say that probably 70% of the ladies I deal with are, like me, loyal conservative republicans. Of the other 30%, I would guess they are democrats with a few independents, and one or two who do not vote and probably never have.

To make my point for which I am writing this, and I do have a point, I will deal specifically with the ladies who lean democrat and independent.

I have often seen the way their eyes light up when Hillary Clinton’s name is mentioned. I have also noticed how they would avert their eyes, and lower their head just slightly, whenever I would compare modern day politicians like Hillary to bad behavior in the Bible. It was almost the same reaction I would get when I mentioned either George Bush or John McCain’s name.

In the past year I have overheard quite a few conversations about the elections. They were noticeably energetic with a certain twinkle in their eyes when Hillary was expected to be the democrat nominee earlier in the year. Then when it looked like she was in a fight for it with Obama, they spoke less and less about the process.

When it became inevitable that Obama would be the democrat nominee for President, they began speaking about the process again. This time however, I started hearing them talk of not wanting to vote for the first time in their lives.

Then one Monday evening before our Bible Study started, I had an interesting talk with one lady I knew to be a Hillary supporter. She looked at me and asked,

“Do you think Obama will pick Hillary as his running mate?”

I thought about the best way to answer her question, then I put my hand on hers, and as soothingly as I could, I told her,

“I do not believe Hillary would accept it in my opinion. I think Hillary and Bill want to be in control again.”

Then she said something that totally caught me off guard. She smiled and said,

“Good, I don’t want him as president. So if he does not pick her, I do not have to vote for him.”

I smiled and shook my head slightly and decided to leave it at that. A couple of days later is when we found out that he chose Biden as his running mate. I have not heard anything more from her since that day, at least about politics.

When the news broke that McCain had picked Sarah Palin as his running mate, I for one was instantly charged and ready to donate money to his election for the first time. I was particularly curious as to what the reaction amongst the ladies would be.

That following Sunday while I was getting the activity room ready for my message, and the ladies started trickling in, I asked what they all thought about Sarah Palin. The conservative women all chimed in about how charming and beautiful she was, and everyone one of them liked McCain’s pick. It even seemed to me that they had an extra bounce in their step.

As the discussion of Sarah continued, I looked around the room and noticed that even the ladies who liked Hillary were a little more spirited then usual. Most the of the ladies I deal with at WindChime, including most of the republican women, were not all that enamored with John McCain just a week earlier, but now they liked him.

The woman who asked me if Obama would pick Hillary as his VP also seemed a bit spirited, with a certain twinkle in her eyes again. That same twinkle I had seen earlier in the year, when she believed Hillary was guaranteed the nomination.

As I said, my calling is to win their soul for Christ and usher them on home to God when He calls them. However, I must admit that when it is appropriate, and in line with the Scriptures I am speaking on, I slip and share with them my opinions on politics. As I gave my message that afternoon, I was especially lax in my separation of church and state business.

Now I admit that this is all antidotal evidence, but if you understand the way the democrats expect to get 90% of the retirement age vote, you can sense big troubles for Obama this November.

As long as I am allowed to share the truth with them, I will share the truth on everything I feel is pertinent to their well being. In my opinion, the less power the democrats have the less chance these women will be taken for granted.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

OIL, The Common Man's Friend

by Chuck Ness

In the current political discussion we are having on the need to drill or not to drill for oil, often the discussion comes down the need for more fuel to drive the vehicles we use for transportation.

What the libs fail to see, is that oil is truly the common man's best friend. We must not forget that we live in a world that thrives upon synthetic products. That is products made from materials other then natural substances, like rubber from rubber trees or silk from cocoons made by silkworms, (the larvae of the Asian moth Bombyx mori) etc. etc.

However, it is often forgotten that there are many household and non household products made from oil these days. Many forget that during WWII the war effort was bolstered by the discovery that we could make synthetic rubber from oil, and the women of the world have since been the recipients of the synthetic silk made from oil.

Just ask your grandmother or great grandmother how much nylons used to cost before scientists discovered they could make nylon from oil. A glance around the common man, or woman's home, will show how pervasive the use of oil in the production of things we use is. Besides the fact that all plastic objects are a product of the oil we suck out of the ground.

As an aside I don't think we really suck the oil out, (I could be wrong, but I don't think I am) I believe it is already under such pressure all we do is tap into it like an artesian well. That's why it's so difficult to put out oil rig that has caught on fire, it is like trying to put out a blow torch, only at a much larger scale.

But I digress, my point is to give a short list of just some of the many products that may disappear or at least increase drastically in price if we curtail our ability to continue getting oil.

Air conditioners, ammonia, anti-histamines, antiseptics, artificial turf, asphalt, aspirin, balloons, bandages, boats, bottles, bras, bubble gum, butane, cameras, candles, car batteries, car bodies, carpet, cassette tapes, caulking, CDs, chewing gum, cold, combs/brushes, computers, contacts, cortisone, crayons, cream, denture adhesives, deodorant, detergents, dice, dishwashing liquid, dresses, dryers, electric blankets, electrician’s tape, fertilisers, fishing lures, fishing rods, floor wax, footballs, glues, glycerin, golf balls, guitar strings, hair, hair colouring, hair curlers, hearing aids, heart valves, heating oil, house paint, ice chests, ink, insect repellent, insulation, jet fuel, life jackets, linoleum, lip balm, lipstick, loudspeakers, medicines, mops, motor oil, motorcycle helmets, movie film, nail polish, oil filters, paddles, paint brushes, paints, parachutes, paraffin, pens, perfumes, petroleum jelly, plastic chairs, plastic cups, plastic forks, plastic wrap, plastics, plywood adhesives, refrigerators, roller-skate wheels, roofing paper, rubber bands, rubber boots, rubber cement, rubbish bags, running shoes, saccharine, seals, shirts (non-cotton), shoe polish, shoes, shower curtains, solvents, spectacles, stereos, sweaters, table tennis balls, tape recorders, telephones, tennis rackets, thermos, tights, toilet seats, toners, toothpaste, transparencies, transparent tape, TV cabinets, typewriter/computer ribbons, tyres, umbrellas, upholstery, vaporisers, vitamin capsules, volleyballs, water pipes, water skis, wax, wax paper.