Before reading my post below, double click the title "Right Wing Radio" for an industry trade opinion on Michael Savage:
When I TRY to listen to a Michael Savage or a Rush Limbaugh I get sad. I say "try" because I usually cannot stomach their content. I say "sad" because I realize so many people buy into their act. Many years ago, at the beginning of the Limbaugh/Stern wage & audience wars, I felt that Limbaugh & Stern were really two sides of the same coin...extremists on opposite sides of the middle using their shows to build ratings and attract listeners for one reason only: money. I didn't like either approach but I did view it as theatre. After all, weren't we trained to sell radio as "theatre of the mind"?
Nowadays the antics of a Limbaugh and Savage and Ingraham etc seem only to fuel the extreme views of the right wing and reinforce alot of crazy zealotry that polarizes the country. The dismal attempt of Air America to get out the opposite views never really reached a mass audience and has, therefore, failed. NPR is really the only true left leaning, mass appeal network with an opposing view. When we ask ourselves how could this nation have fallen so far so fast in just 7 1/2 years, we need only to look to the people with the platforms to influence the angry, the fearful and the dispossesd to know how very influential they truly are.