A recent analysis by Orcinus points out that:
People listen to their radios a lot in rural America. Maybe it has something to do with the silence of the vast landscapes where many of them live; radios break that silence, and provide the succor of human voices.
If you drive through these landscapes, getting radio reception can sometimes be iffy at best, especially in the rural West. Often the best you can find on the dial are only one or two stations.
And the chances are that what you’ll hear, at nearly any hour, in nearly any locale, is Rush Limbaugh. Or Michael Savage. Or maybe some Sean Hannity. Or maybe some more Limbaugh. Or, if you’re really desperate, you can catch one of the many local mini-Limbaughs who populate what remains of the rural dial. In between, of course, there will be a country music station or two.
That’s what people in rural areas have been listening to for the past 10 years and more. And nothing has been countering it.
This is no casual observation. The lack of a balancing voice in rural radio allows the radical right hatred propaganda machine to work. Just ask your grandparents what it was like to live during the War, listening to the radio as your primary source of news. We need a permanent, progressive rural radio voice. (We have enough in the blue states already.) And not a satyrical one, but a deadly serious one that speaks to the concerns of the heartland, that promotes compassion rather than hate, that debunks the venom that corrodes the soul.