For Immediate Release
Radioactive Smears: Local Conservative Radio Contributes to the Echo Chamber of Conservative Talking Points and Falsehoods
report today documenting the conservative echo chamber spreading myths and falsehoods
across a vast network of local and regional radio hosts. These lesser-known
syndicated and regional radio hosts are a fertile source of conservative
misinformation, hate speech, and offensive salvos. Last week, Media Matters
released a report focusing on conservative misinformation on right-wing radio
related to the 2008 presidential campaign.
While the mainstream media have paid considerable
attention to nationally syndicated radio hosts Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity,
little has been said about the extensive scope of local and regional radio
"Sean Hannity and Glenn Beck began as
little-known local radio personalities before gaining national
notoriety," said Media Matters'
National Press Secretary J. Jioni
Palmer. "The next star of
conservative radio might already be on a station near you."
From unbridled attacks on immigrants, the poor, and
people of color to disparaging remarks about women and the LGBT community, many
talk radio hosts make incendiary comments that often garner little notice.
"Many of these hosts spew hate and
misinformation daily," said Palmer. "Hate speech is abhorrent in
newspapers and on TV, and it is no less abhorrent on talk radio."
Among some of the more notable examples:
Minneapolis radio hosts Chris Baker and
Langdon Perry agreeing that "Magic [Johnson] faked AIDS."
Pittsburgh's Jim Quinn calling NOW the
"National Organization for Whores."
Neal Boortz called Katrina victims in New
Orleans "basically a parasite class totally
dependent on government for their existence."
Despite conservative cries of the "liberal
bias" in the media, a 2007 Center for American Progress and Free Press
"analysis of all of the news/talk stations in the top 10 radio
markets" found that "76 percent of the programming in these markets
is conservative and 24 percent is progressive, although programming is more
balanced in markets such as New York and Chicago."