I'll be on Action Point with Cynthia Black tomorrow (Sunday, July 1, at 12:30). We'll be talking about strategies to kick back against the right-wing dominance of talk radio, as outlined in the recent report from The Center for American Progress.
I suppose the primer for this exists in Robert Parry's "The Left's Media Miscalculation," which was featured in Judy Daubenmier's Project Rewire: New Media from the Inside Out. Parry talks about the need for the Left (or whatever you want to call it) to make media itself a front-and-center issue, just as the Right did post-Watergate. Through tremendous effort, the Republican Party became the Marketing Party, the side that got to define the terms of debate via big media.
These are different times now, of course. Big media still matters a great deal, but four years ago it mattered more. I could not have foreseen the Talking Points Memo media empire back then, and back then Markos was a guy whose posts got run on something called The Smirking Chimp under the name "Kos"; the Daily Kos as a political machine did not exist. Much has changed.
I see radio as the next unexplored frontier for bloggers. As of last August's launch of BlogTalkRadio, which operates sort of like a YouTube for podcasters, the delivery mechanism is there for anyone to play. James Boyce, with his Heading Left show (with Nate Wilcox) and Smoking Politics show (with Dave Johnson), seems to be the first pioneer to operate from the traditional progressive blogosphere (ever heard the word "traditional" and "blogosphere" in the same sentence before? Times they are a changing, my friends), but I would like to point to Scott Horton of Antiwar Radio as the king of Internet Radio. His list of guests is stellar, and it's a testament to his broadcasting skills that I disagree with the premise of several of his Libertarian positions, but I cannot possibly turn off his show. Go listen to Scott's interviews (and his Antiwar Radio partner Charles Goyette) here. His style is too unpolished, I suppose, for big media, but he's leaps ahead of most who are in the Internet radio game.
The proliferation of MP3 players makes it possible for those whose tastes don't run along the Sean Hannity/Neil Boortz/Rush Limbaugh spectrum to redefine talk radio. Let's go for it.
Naturally, the future of enterprises such as BlogTalkRadio hinges on the efforts to guard Net Neutrality. I hope to discuss that a little with Cynthia tomorrow, too.