Here’s something from the independent journalist Robert Parry that confirms a lot of what Dave has been saying. I clearly remember that at the beginning, Air America got an enormous amount of flak from prissy liberals, and they were ultimately less effective than they would have been if they have been able to operate in more markets — for example, in swing states like Ohio. (This link comes from Cursor’s Derelection 2004, which has a lot of other good stuff too).
Plus, the evidence is that wealthy progressives still don’t
“get it.” Even with Election 2004 looming, Air America, a promising AM radio
network to challenge Rush Limbaugh and the right-wing talk radio monopoly, was
hobbled by the refusal of rich liberals to invest in the venture. In a new book,
Road to Air America, Sheldon Drobny, one of the network’s founders, describes
his frustrating appeals to East and West Coast “limousine liberals” who didn’t
want to engage in the project.
I have encountered similar rebuffs dating back to the early 1990s, after
my experiences as a mainstream investigative journalist for the Associated Press
and Newsweek convinced me that the biggest threat to American democracy was the
growing imbalance in the national news media. Mainstream journalists were
increasingly frightened that their careers would be destroyed if they came under
attack from the Reagan-Bush administrations and their right-wing allies.
Yet, even as conservative foundations were pouring tens of millions of
dollars into building hard-edged conservative media outlets, liberal foundations
kept repeating the refrain: “We don’t do media.” One key liberal foundation
explicitly forbade even submitting funding requests that related to media