Posted on Wed, Nov. 28, 2007


Talk radio


The message of a Monday commentary ("Some would like to put talk radio on 'mute'") was not fairly presented. But one must consider the source: the ultraconservative Heritage Foundation.

I'm a member of the older broadcasting generation (WBAP/820 AM among other radio stations in the 1960s and '70s) and today's broadcasters (KKGM/1630 AM). Most older broadcasters with whom I communicate know that today's radio is in trouble.

When the so-called Fairness Doctrine was in force, we carried public service announcements and had to schedule a certain percentage of public or community news that presented both sides of a controversial issue.

Station ownership was limited to prevent the public from hearing only one side of a public discussion. That's exactly what's happening today. Clear Channel Communications of San Antonio, for example, owns more than 1,200 radio and TV stations nationwide -- five locally.

Clear Channel is essentially a conservative corporation that shapes public opinion without regard to public questions, intervention or fairness.

So talk radio is simply a symptom of a larger problem facing ideas that need a fresh and fair hearing.

That someone would get "news" from today's talk radio is ludicrous.

I favor limited ownership of radio and TV stations, answering to all of the listening public; balanced programming; and more training for announcers and broadcasters.

Also, because we the people own the public airways licensed to them, I'd like to see radio and TV stations have mandatory free political advertising to prevent all this money being spent during campaigns.

-- David Perkins, Fort Worth