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Left Side of the Dial

It looks like the days are over when a guy could turn on talk radio and assume the host is conservative. Liberal talk radio has taken off. The liberal talk radio network Air America "is on the verge of reaching 75 percent of the U.S. population–at which point it can expect to attract national advertisers."

Fortunately, we won't have to listen long to figure out where the host stands: "Much of what Air America carries is anger-laced polemic that plays to the furthest-left element of the electorate. The early Limbaugh was a populist at once funny and capable of maneuvering outside the party line; but few liberal hosts display any enthusiasm for attracting people beyond the segment that is already passionately attune to their brand of smug, hostile liberalism. It's hard to imagine that a 'Franken factor' will soon emerge to rival the 'Limbaugh effect.' Rather, Air America's broadcasts seem merely to reinforce a certain condescension–hampering rather than helping a Democratic Party desperate to expand its appeal in red states."

Lifted from The Atlantic, April 2005, p. 35 (sorry, no link).