Monday, September 12, 2011

As If There Wasn't Enough Noise Pollution Already

This state is full of noise pollution, especially if you live in one of the bigger cities.

There's trucks, cars with bad mufflers, motorcycles, construction equipment, horns beeping, low flying planes, people with their radios blasting and a myriad of other things that assault our ears on a near constant basis.

One of the most offensive perpetrators is squawk radio.  In almost every corner of this state, you can find some radio station (usually on the am dial) that has its day filled with one blathering idiot following another bloviating liar.

In Milwaukee alone, we have Charlie Sykes, Jeff Wagner, John Mecure, James T. Harris (until the Journal Broadcast company made him do a lateral transfer to one of their stations in Arizona), Jay Weber, Vicki McKenna and Mark Belling filling the days with their tiresome and fact-free rantings and ravings.  So much so you can just visualize the spittle dripping off their microphones as they tell you the evils of creating jobs, taking care of the vulnerable and having everyone carry their fair share of the burden of being part of a society.

And that doesn't even cover the syndicated squawkers like Dennis Miller, Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh.

(Is it any wonder I so look forward to going up north where I can shut these immoral and asocial blowhards out?)

Now we find out that the powers that be don't think there's quite enough insult to our intelligence, enough assault on our eardrums.

Nope. Now they had to go and give Scott Walker is weekly ramblings.  Instead of fireside chats, we get Pants-on-fire squawks. Oh, huzzah.  Be still my heart. (/off-sarcasm)

And just with squawk radio, there is not even the appearance of honoring the federal laws regarding the public airwaves.  They are giving the Republican governor a free shot of air time without a rebuttal:
Were Democrats invited to produce a regular alternative message? "The WBA has a history of working with Wisconsin's governor throughout the years (regardless of party) -- as we are a non-partisan organization," wrote Michelle Vetterkind, the association's president and CEO, in an email response to my inquiry. 
Did former Democratic Gov. Jim Doyle have such a program? "Not a weekly radio address, no," she wrote. "However, this is something we'd love to continue" with governors of either party. 
She said legislative Democrats can do their own. "If the Democrats wish to offer a response, we are more than willing to post a link to it as well," she said. "It would be posted at the same time." 
Democrats appear likely to take them up on the offer. Melanie Conklin, an aide to Rep. Peter Barca of Kenosha, leader of Assembly Democrats, says she is in contact with an aide to Sen. Mark Miller of Monona, leader of Senate Democrats, on a next step.
Um, no, a link is unacceptable. The law requires equal air time and a link is not the same as free time over a powerful radio station's airwaves. If it were, Whallah! would have vanquished Milwaukee squawk radio long ago.

The Democrats should not and cannot settle for anything less than equal time as Walker.

Fortunately, even as it looks like Walker and the corporate media of the state are about to take another round of treading on our rights, we are about to gain valuable knowledge and skills on how to counter this.

Sue Wilson will be bringing her "Broadcast Blues" tour to the state this week, premiering in Madison this Saturday, first at Fighting Bob Fest and then again in Madison Saturday night at the First Unitarian Society Landmark Auditorium.  The rest of her tour can be found on this handy poster. (H/T Uppity Wisconsin)

For more information and to learn how you can join the fight to reclaim our airwaves, please check out their new website - Media Action Center.

Cross posted at Whallah!

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