There's No Market for Liberal Hatred
Air America, the self-proclaimed "progressive" response to Rush Limbaugh and Conservative talk radio abruptly shut down and filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. The company's website bears a farewell message from the board announcing their planned liquidation and "orderly winding down of the business." They will cease all broadcasts Monday. While the board did acknowledge the company's financial ruin, they apparently don't understand why their broadcast network barely survived five years.
The root of the problem lies in the incredible ego of liberalism. The message can never be at fault. It can't be that nobody wants to listen to the vitriolic rhetoric and out-and-out lies so often emanating from their broadcast studios. No, the problem must be that it was just too "difficult to obtain operating or investment capital" and they were unable to conquer the serious "monetization and profitability challenges" facing a "radio industry" with "ad revenues down for 10 consecutive quarters." While they attempt to blame the current economic decline, that 10 quarter figure puts the beginning of Air America's demise at the end of summer 2007, well before the current recession. Furthermore, it is rather presumptuous to claim that revenues are down for the entire industry. The Rush Limbaugh Show, hosted by the man Air America was founded to target, has seen increased revenues despite the recession. While our local network has confessed an impact from the general economic downturn, News/Talk 1110--a Conservative network--doesn't appear anywhere near bankruptcy.
The fact of the matter is, Air America's executives had no concept of talent--unless talent is pandering to the fantasies of the fringe-left. Despite what their board would like to believe, Al Franken was not one of the great, "known personalities" in radio. Most Americans learned his name through the Minnesota election debacle, and he is now a pugilistic Senator fueling the partisan divide. Likewise, if Rachel Maddow was a "future star" then apparently we're still waiting for her journalistic talents to blossom. She's currently running a third rate cable show on a dying network where she spends most of her time competing with Olbermann to see who can come up with the most ridiculous theory to prove everyone disagreeing with her political opinion is an uneducated, racist bigot.
Air America failed because the single largest political ideology in the United States is Conservatism. Nobody was buying the liberal hatred their network was attempting to sell. Their ad revenues were not falling because of a systemic problem, but because Americans rejected Air America's message. Who wants to listen to a network that spends much of its time dwelling on the supposed evils of our great nation while ignoring true problems? There is an important lesson in the true explanation of their failure: When the people reject your message, they stop listening. And when the people don't listen, they don't hear your advertisers. And when the people don't hear your ads, the advertisers stop paying, and your company files for chapter seven bankruptcy. Capitalism cleanses.