Today my family formally purchases and takes over Air America Radio. Why? Because if progressive values were a stock, now is the time to buy.
That hasn't always been true, as the cycle of politics demonstrates. In recent decades, politics seems to have been governed by physics - for every action, there's an opposite and equal reaction.
William F. Buckley Jr. started The National Review in the 1950s to rebut what he saw as the dominance of liberalism in the academy and opinion journals like The Nation and The New Republic. From 1970-72, Public Citizen, Common Cause and the NRDC were all created in reaction to Nixon's depredations. Similarly, People For the American Way grew out of the rise of the Religious Right under Reagan in the mid-80s.
New progressive think tanks over the past 10 years, most recently and prominently the Center for American Progress, were created to counter AEI and Heritage. And, of course, the Huffington Post and Air America were born in reaction to the electronic propaganda of Drudge and Limbaugh et. al.
Air America was a large, smart idea to counter the near-monopoly on talk radio by the far (f)right. But like most start-ups, the business plan collided with reality. Six CEOs over its first three years - and various missteps and misspending - sent it into Chapter 11.
It's now ready to go from The Perils of Pauline to The Little Engine that Could.
By Nicole Belle — March 7, 2007