Talking Down Democratic Ideals

It was an interesting week for talk-radio juxtaposition.


The name of Gabe Hobbs, the long-time Clear Channel Communications programming exec, turned up prominently in local print media. He announced that he is launching a national talent management and consulting firm. It will be based in Tampa. Among Hobbs’ well-wishers: controversial conservative commentator Glenn Beck. Hobbs and Beck used to work together.


“Gabe is a programming genius,” said Beck in a written release. “There are very few people who understand what audiences like.”


Hobbs, himself, explained the formula. “You figure out who you’re talking to, and…try to reflect back to them what they’re doing,” noted Hobbs.


Also in the local media: Ted Koppel. The veteran TV journalist and former anchor and managing editor of ABC’s Nightline spoke at the Poynter Institute For Media Studies in St. Petersburg. He was the guest speaker for a discussion soberly titled “Journalism in Crisis: Who’s to Blame?”


Koppel dished on the increasing incidence of Americans choosing news outlets that match and validate their own views. “We want news that resonates our own pre-held opinions,” said Koppel. “…That is the worst possible recipe for a country that prides itself in democracy.”


To be continued.

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