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Author: Lisa Robins
Date: Wntr 2021
From: AMASS(Vol. 25, Issue 3)
Publisher: Society For Popular Democracy
Document Type: Article
Length: 2,069 words
Lexile Measure: 940L

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My mom used listen to the Rush Limbaugh on the radio all the time. Not because she's a Republican, but because she likes to get mad. She liked to rail against him--it was her daily entertainment. She also used to infiltrate Republican fundraisers. She'd schmooze, eat the food, and then tell people how wrong they were. Amazingly, I too find myself tuning into AM conservative talk radio sometimes these days. Not because I'm a Republican, but because I am so very curious about the mindset of nearly half the country and this is the easiest way to get a glimpse.

My interest in AM talk radio is deeper than that though. I want to understand what their psychology is. Why do they think the way they do? What drives them? I listen in an attempt to understand their logic.

I'm Lisa, and I'm a radioholic. I generally have the radio on first thing in the morning while I make my coffee and whenever I'm cleaning my home, cooking a meal, or driving. I usually prefer KPCC or KCRW (NPR) or KPFK (Pacifica) while in LA. Pacifica wears its progressive orientation on its sleeve, whereas NPR at least tries to create an appearance of impartiality. However, although NPR is supposedly our National Public Radio, it leans decidedly to the left. I believe it's supposed to be the objective truth, certainly a truth I often agree with, but one could argue that it's quite subjective. It has atone of belonging to a certain mentality. It's certainly more objective than, say, MSNBC or even CNN, both of which tend to report the news with a gleeful--dare we say spiteful--spin of liberalism. I am enriched and grateful for the thorough reporting from these news outlets. However, I yearn for a simple reporting of the news without Rachel's smirk or Chris's barely contained eye rolls so I can make up my own mind about issues. No wonder pundits on the Right argue that the mainstream media leans to the left. It does. And, of course, Fox leans right.

Network news seems a bit more centrist, and the BBC World News is refreshing. They actually report plain and simple American news--maybe they're biased when reporting British issues. But most people aren't listening to the BBC.

Most people are listening to biased news. They seem to want to hear information that supports their worldview--like preaching to the converted. It's fun. There's a comradery I feel when listening to my programs while I sip my wine and cook dinner. Like I'm at a small party with really smart people talking about the most current issues. I find myself saying, "Yes! Yes! That's so interesting."

AM talk radio has a similar tone of belonging. And I'm curious about that club. I want to find out really why all those people supported Trump. And I can spy on them to learn. I must admit, I'm also in a right-wing chat group. I don't even know how I got in it...

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A660799824