Bill Bennett has a piece up on RealClear Politics mulling over the ongoing mutations in the news delivery business.
People now get their news and opinion on the Internet and relay it to talk radio. They then think about it, research it further, and discuss it on the Internet, in email, and in the national conversations that take place on shows like mine all the time — shows that cannot simply be marginalized as “right wing radio,” because they are not “right wing.” Some are, in part, national dialogues. Yes there is right wing radio, and yes there is left wing radio but there is radio of another sort too, and too few elites have the first clue about what it is or what is happening there.
Empowered, the people are changing talk radio. Speaking as a host of a three-hour talk show, it is evident that the public, which is checking assertions of fact as they are being made, is not sitting back and merely absorbing pontification. On talk radio, the lecture is fading, and it is being replaced by the interactive national seminar, where callers inform the host and audience as much as the host is informing listeners.
I’ll be listening to Rush Limbaugh with Bennett’s idea in mind. Rush is more of a pontificator than a conversationalist, so I’m wondering if he’s a big enough “institution” that he needn’t worry about keeping closer tabs on what his listeners are interested in. CBS News is a big institution, and a handful of bloggers toppled its credibility. Will left-wing bloggers (or even we right-wingers) be Rush’s undoing?
Lots of food for thought here.