Articles

Are you AM or FM?

In Sina's Posts on September 9, 2011 by SN

While President Obama is holding his jobs speech in Washington to unite the nation, I want to share my observations on the idea of the U.S. as a divided country. It has been a long-lasting trope in American political culture not just since the 2000 Presidential election or the recent rise of the Tea Party.

I found out that this notion extends to the medium of radio: The AM stations follow mostly the Republican ideology whereas the more ‘moderate’ stations are mostly on the FM band. By moderate I mean Christian, country, baseball, and commercial radio stations. Nothing close to NPR yet or other liberal leftist stations.

During my first nights in Atlanta when I was coping with my jet lag, I listened by accident to AM radio (either it was a mistake or my former tenant really listened to AM radio). The AM “news talk radio” stations here feature call-in shows that only have one purpose: Stirring up hostility against Obama’s financial policies. No talk of European economics. No mentioning of the Libyan revolution. Only spinning against Obama. For an entire hour. The moderator is the decisive force in this spin: He asks simple yes or no questions or suggestive questions to the caller. If there happens to be a moderate caller who wants to balance the right-wing point of view, the moderator cuts him/her short or takes them out of the conversation. Listening to this Obama-hate spinning really made me aggressive and mad, not to speak of the jet lag at that time.

Tell me what you listen to and I tell you who you vote for.

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