The Right Frequency: The Story of the Talk Radio Giants Who Shook Up the Political and Media Establishment

Fred V. Lucas. History (Midpoint, dist.), $29.95 (344p) ISBN 978-1-93390-943-1
Lucas, the White House correspondent for the conservative media outlet Cybercast News Service, details how FDR’s New Deal policies and his desire to promote them sparked the rise of talk radio, a phenomenon that continues to thrive despite the proliferation of other media. Early radio pioneers like Father Charles Coughlin and Walter Winchell brought a singular political bite to the airwaves, but what turned talk radio into a force to be reckoned with was the 1987 elimination of the Fairness Doctrine, the 1949 FCC regulation designed to allow competing points of view to get equal time on the nation’s airwaves. An opponent of the policy, the author heralds the doctrine’s demise in these pages with partisan glee. Conservative-dominated talk radio took off almost immediately afterward, influencing everything from health care policy under Bill Clinton and Barack Obama to the rise of the Tea Party. Unsurprisingly, this tribute to conservative radio talkers is dominated by the medium’s superstars, like Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck, and Rush Limbaugh: "the greatest radio talk show host of all time." While his politics may be off-putting to some, Lucas’s love and knowledge of talk radio is evident and will appeal to any fan of the medium. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 08/06/2012
Release date: 08/01/2012
Paperback - 351 pages - 978-1-933909-17-2
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