Rhodes View of Why People Listen to Rush: 'He's on Every Radio Station - They Have No Choice'
It's a simple law of economics, right? If there's a demand for a certain service or good, that business has a strong shot at thriving. Since the now-defunct Air America shut down for the last time earlier this year, the casual observer must conclude that no one wanted to hear left-wing diatribes over the broadcast airwaves.
But that's not the case according to a panel on HLN's April 5 "The Joy Behar Show." This meeting of the minds, consisting of Behar, GQ's Ana Marie Cox and liberal talk show host Randi Rhodes, accused conservative talker Rush Limbaugh of playing victim in responding to an interview President Barack Obama conducted with CBS News in which the president mentioned Limbaugh and Glenn Beck by name - calling them "troublesome."
But why is this newsworthy, according to Rhodes? Limbaugh has huge audience where people are allegedly forced to listen to him because he is on "every station."
"So now they're saying oh, you know, we're going to accuse them of doing everything we did. And that's how people become these victims," Rhodes said. "You know, it's like - an idea that, you know, people listen to him. They listened to him because, Joy, they have no choice. He's on every radio station. He's on - they have no choice."
A sympathetic Behar wondered why Air America didn't thrive when Limbaugh has made a success with his "vitriol." (This begs the question of what she would label her own expletive spewing hatred of conservatives.)
"I mean, somebody - somebody, something like Air America which both of you are on couldn't make it, and yet this vitriol does make it," Behar said.
According to Cox, there was a demand for Air America-style programming. However, the it wasn't necessarily over the broadcast radio airwaves, but cable television on Comedy Central in the form of "The Daily Show," which some would consider entertainment media and not the same as talk radio-type content.
"I think Air America could - I'm sure Randi would agree with me - I think there is an audience for the kind of stuff that Air America did," Cox said. "In fact, I think if you look at something like ‘The Daily Show,' which is hugely popular, I mean, that's the same kind of stuff that liberals ... That's television, but I think that people are entertained by stuff that, Randi does and certainly, obviously she's still doing to it."
Rhodes, who was once employed by Air America until a suspension resulted in her ultimate departure from the network, said that particular medium wasn't successful because it was run by the wrong kind of people.
"Well, I don't want to be sour or negative or anything about that, but Air America was run really badly," Rhodes said. "It wasn't run by radio people. So you had to sell it, market it, you know. Look at the people who came out of Air America. Ana Marie is at GQ. Rachel Maddow is on TV her own show."