Back in the 60s as a kid without a TV, I'd listen to Billy Hargis and Joe Pyne and later in the 70s to Mac McAllister and to -- what was his name, the radio personality for whom the building at Lbk Lake Site was named for.
As an adult, I hardly ever have to listen to anything I don't want to, and my tastes have changed. On long drives in a car with only an AM radio, I'd either find classic rock or newer R&R or turn the thing off. No religious programming, no talk radio unless it was about car repair or real estate investing, or news; I was okay with Paul Harvey despite some differences.
It's worth thinking about: What kind of person wants to hear talk about politics or abortion on the radio? Is it those who have not made up their mind and want information? Is it those who disagree but are keeping an open mind to being persuaded otherwise?
The answer is close to a 100% NO!
It's like the religious stuff. Those who listen are already believers. Anyone else either does not comprehend or is bored to death or is worried about their blood pressure.
So the question then becomes WHY? WHY do people who have a set of beliefs like to listen to the talk of others who hold similar beliefs? Doesn't it bore them?
The answer, I think, is complex. Part of it is that it's satisfying to hear one's beliefs affirmed by another. Part that it gives one a sense of strength, of belonging to a movement instead of being an isolate. Part is that it quells one's inner doubt.
It's much like going to church. You go, hear things that you want to hear and not things that you don't want to hear, you feel your family, friends and neighbors around you, and feel that you are part of a bigger whole, a cog in a vast machine that will move on forever. It's like wrapping yourself in a warm soft blanket that keeps out all the cold and bright light and troubling dissonance.
Probably one listening to things they find agreeable show different brain waves, a more tranquil relaxed satori like state. Endorphin release that is addictive.
Next questions are -- don't the same rules apply to liberals? Why isn't there more liberal talk radio?
Well, yeah, the same rules apply. But sponsors see less money being spent by liberals. Conservatives with money spend a LOT on conservative causes, from pricy seminars on how to hoard buy and gold to investment scams to religious fundraisers. Those with money are more often than not conservative. So the radio shows follow the bucks.
Now: is it healthy to listen to someone reiterating what you already believe ad infinitum? I don't think so. It's a kind of chimping or self-inflicted brain-washing. In no wise does it make for a better voter or more informed citizen.
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