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Mary Starrett
February 13, 2003

Ever feel like the odd-man-out because your views aren't being expressed on radio, in the press or on TV? Why supposed "conservative" (what used to mean more Constitution-based) talkers are sounding more like hacks for the socialist agenda? You're not alone.

If you've noticed local, more-controversial and challenging talkers are being replaced with syndicated leviathans who spout the same, homogenous, unquestioning rhetoric, know it's not happening by accident.

The Limbaughs, Savages, Hannitys and O'Reillys aren't speaking your language anymore, if they ever were. But they're the ones you're told speak for you - on issues like immigration, the any-minute-now Iraq Attaq and Bush's policies. Huh? When was the last time you heard someone on the air tell it like you KNOW it to be, no holds barred and damn the political fall-out from criticizing a less-than Constitutionally-minded prez by holding up his actions as proof he's not "our guy" and never was? When was the last time you heard a talk-show host question the ominous reluctance of the media to ask the tough "something's fishy here" questions about 9-ll or the "tragedy" of the space shuttle explosion (coincidentally on the eve of Congressional debate over funding for the NASA program!)?

Chances are if you did near a peep or two it won't be long before the local talker's mic is shut off.

So how did we get here? Long story short: This idea we all have of a free press is all myth. The press corp censors itself to keep its' collective job, with mind-numbing relinquishing of its' watchdog role.

There is a concerted, corporate and government effort to spike controversial stories and threaten those who dare step outside the prescribed lines with the loss of their careers. Just ask Kristina Borgesson, the Emmy-award winning journalist whose resume reads like alphabet soup: CBS, PBS and CNN among her notable employers. Borgesson tried to learn the truth about the 1996 mystery of TWA Flight 800. What happened to her wasn't pretty. (Read "Into The Buzz saw" for all the gory details)

Ask Jana Davis whose poking around after the bombing of the Murrah building in Oklahoma City left her relieved of her day job at a local TV network affiliate.

Real investigative journalists are in trouble, my friends, and that means more corporate run of the mill stories on the air and less of the real story for you. How could it be that with more and more information outlets we have less and less knowledge? From your morning paper to your favorite local, drive-time news to the "eye-witness" coverage you see at 5 to 6 pm each night, it's all the same, and you could read-listen-watch all day and not expand your knowledge of the truth one jot or tittle.

Our media outlets are owned by: AOL/TimeWarner, Miscrosoft, MSNBC/MSN Disney/ABC, Viacom/CBS/MTV...well you get the picture. One, big, happy (talk) channel pumping out worthless-to-you mis-information. Radio's no better. Nowhere has that sort of consolidation been felt more than in radioland. Two companies, Clear Channel and Infinity Broadcasting now dominate the nation's airwaves. Use to be no one concern could own more than 40 stations, no more than two in a market. But ever since the 1995 Telecommunications Act (thanks, President Clinton) Clear Channel owns 1200 stations (CC now comprises what use to be 70 different broadcast companies!), and now a station can operate as many as 8 signals in a single market.

There are 10,000 fewer radio-related jobs and 1,100 fewer station-owners just 7 short years later. So, is it any wonder the consolidation-conglomeration monopoly game means less choice, less truth for you, the listener? Kind of like eating at a fast food restaurant in Anchorage or Vero Beach; the fries and the burgers will taste exactly the same...wherever you are. Try it yourself. The next time you visit another city tune in to local radio, watch the blond with the collagen lips who reads the news, or open the newspaper. Why it's like you never left home!

Even the "Christian, Conservative" networks are party hacks for a "let's-not-make-waves" agenda. They see the Emperor is butt-naked but they won't admit it. They'll water-down and compromise their values for a place at a soiled, back room table just to boast they'd scored an invite. Sadly, they've sold-out too. So what's a listener to do? Make noise. Boycott the lazy programmers whose rubber stamp answer to filling the airwaves and upholding the public's trust is doing nothing to give voice to your ever-increasing concerns about the truth and threats to liberty... I read (and am still reading) a great Book. Somewhere in it was this quote: "My people perish for lack of knowledge".

You can perish or you can demand, DEMAND (with your money and your mouth) that YOUR voice be heard.

2003 - Mary Starrett  All Rights Reserved


With over 2 decades as a television journalist, Mary was a Co-Host/Reporter for "Faces and Places" live, nightly magazine, Host/Reporter "2 at 4" half-hour afternoon talk show, Co-Host, "AMNW" hour-long daily live talk show.

NBC Pilot, "House Party", KVOS TV (CBS) News Anchor Reporter in Bellingham, Washington. WGHP TV (ABC) Medical Reporter, Producer for weekly "Healthwatch" series. Host/Producer, two-hour weekday afternoon talkshow at KPDQ, Portland, OR.  E-Mail 

"Mary Starrett, you're one of the best talk show host in this country" 
--G. Gordon Liddy