"Ninety percent of the electronic media in this country is owned, operated, programmed and controlled by conservatives," MSNBC's Ed Schultz told the audience of a recent National Action Network panel discussion.
And just how did this happen?
According to Schultz, conservatives, "made a concerted effort during and before the Reagan years that they were going to get the microphone."
The Fairness Doctrine-supporting liberal talker went on to argue that conservative talk radio and Fox News are successful not because they appeal to what a broad swath of America is already thinking, but because it programs the thinking of the right from the top-down:
The fact is we have conservatives on air electioneering.... You want to know why these TEA Partiers are out there, they're basically, in my opinion, low-information voters who are being propped up by the Glenn Becks of the world and told to go out and protest, and they really don't know what to be angry about until someone told them to be angry.
[applause from other panelists and audience]
Now, there are roughly 450 conservative talk show hosts in this country, and there are under 60 progressives, and only a handful who are syndicated nationally. And I will be honest with you, that if I owned 600 radio stations, Rush Limbaugh wouldn't be on any of them.
Schultz went on to note that "ownership is an issue," although he failed this time to explicitly call for the resurrection of the Fairness Doctrine, instead emphasized how liberals need to embrace podcasting and satellite radio to compete with the conservative advantage in terrestrial AM radio:
So I think ownership is an issue. You've got to own the signal. You have to have access to the microphone, and if you don't do that, then you're not going to be able to make an impression on those who are listening. We're no longer in the radio business. We're in the libraried, stored, audio business. Satellite, podcasting, iPod, the whole thing. The run-of-the-mill. It's there. It's multi-platform.... I got back into TV, because you have to be multi-platform.