“What is Damaged Hearing?” I ask Ezra Dulis, or rather tweet him (because isn’t that how we all talk these days, through any means other than actual talking?). He sends me a link to Damaged Hearing, a local radio show out of Colorado, hosted by Louis Fowler.
I check it out, note the airtime and pledge to listen to the next broadcast before I realize when it comes on. It overlaps the local radio show to which I am a call-in guest host back in Gary, IN. Also, it comes right on the heels of Rush Limbaugh’s golden 3 hours, and I never miss Rush. In the afternoons I am sure to tune into Tony Katz’s spectacular radio show, because he has the liveliest chat room in the business. I also always make it a point to tune in to Mark Levin’s show because no one ridicules liberals quite like he does. He’s my dose of “warm fuzzies” for the day. At some point I’ll turn the dial to my local station, KFI, to make sure I’m staying up to date on the happenings in the state that common sense forgot, California. If I’m lucky enough to be driving alone in the evenings, my radio is tuned to Dennis Miller so I can bone up on my obscure pop culture references. I’ll usually end the day with The Stage Right Show with the lovable, loquacious Larry O’Connor. He is a master at breaking down the tops news clips of the day, and his bevy of horrible southern accents somehow endears him to me even more.
This growing list of exceptional programming makes me think to myself, “How on earth can I fit in one more radio show? There is just too much good stuff out there.” And it hits me. What a wonderful problem to have! The rise of the Internet has also meant the rise of conservative “new media” in a way no one could have predicted. But isn’t it serendipitous? The Internet is the great equalizer. There are no fancy qualifications necessary for using this incredible medium.
One does not need a fancy pedigree from an approved school that costs a lot of money and offers degrees in womyn’s studies and masturbation techniques, or even a certain financial status. One only needs a computer and an Internet connection. Navigate to any number of sites that offer free blog hosting, podcasting, or Internet radio services and voila! You are now The Media. It is the epitome of freedom. It is the American Dream written in a series of 1s and 0s. Who better to benefit from this amazing new freedom than conservatives, those who are most dedicated to defending true freedom of thought and expression in all forms.
The Right has effectively harnessed this freedom, this marketplace and managed to create an entire genre unto itself. New Media. It has blazed its own path, dependent solely on the passion and entrepreneurial spirit of the average American citizen. That just burns up the left. You see ,it’s perfectly fine for illegal immigrants to bypass the moral and legal path to American citizenship. But bypass the path to political punditry and journalism that they spent decades crafting, perfecting and narrowing? Hogwash! Poppycock! Noodles! Other ridiculous words! They haven’t paid their dues! They haven’t been to the right parties and schools. It’s hardly fair for the Right to have unfettered access to public ears and eyes. How will the average unsuspecting, unthinking American idiot be able to comprehend the truth of any news for themselves without being told what exactly is news in the first place. Hence the liberal outcry for the return of the ironically titled “Fairness Doctrine”, which would necessarily stifle free speech and conservative new media in the process.
If liberals cannot successfully bring about the return of “fairness” they seem content, for now, to mock new media and it’s perpetrators. Bloggers have been mocked mercilessly by mainstream sources as a bunch of college dropout slackers, sitting at their kitchen table in dirty pajama bottoms and slippers churning out ill researched hit pieces on treasured liberal icons (Note to Self: wipe down this table when you’re done, its still sticky from breakfast). Never mind that bloggers and new citizen journalists armed with cell phones and camcorders have broken nearly every major American political story in the past two years – ACORN, NEA, Tea Party, union thugs, Planned Parenthood, and yes, Weinergate. Nothing to see here. Move along. Do not stare the aging Gen X-ers with crumbs on their shirts directly in the eyes. It will only encourage them.
The saddest insult I’ve seen levied against new media so far is the fact that there are so many of us. I can’t count the number of times a liberal friend of mind has rolled their eyes or made Jon Stewart-face when I mention my blog or an acquaintance’s radio show. “Oh everybody has a blog these days. Big whoop!” Maybe not everyone, but a lot. For the liberal mindset that there is only so much room at the table, only so many pieces of the pie to be distributed, this presents a problem. If you don’t get there first, you’ll be pushed out of the way by someone smarter and hungrier. However, for Righties it’s different. There is no pie to be divided; there are only individuals, and the more individuals adding their dishes to the table, the better. In the end, it means a feast for everyone, not just for some.
2012 elections are fast approaching, and they may well be the most important Presidential elections in modern history. Its been well established by now that the mainstream media cannot be counted on to offer us a fair and objective look at the candidates. We in new media, we citizen journalists will have to take up that mantle ourselves. We’ve got a lot of work to do. Go stake out some Internet real estate. Start that blog. Fire up that camcorder. Get on your local radio station. Some of us will be heard by thousands. Some of us will be heard by a few. But we’ll all be heard by someone, and that’s the point. Our voices will be heard, and every voice counts. That’s new media. That’s the spirit of individualism. That’s American.