After losing the only progressive radio station in the metroplex last year, the progressive community of Dallas now galvanizes around Rational Radio’s Internet hub. Dave Clifton, founder of Rational Radio doesn’t blame a vast right-wing conspiracy for 1360 AM’s ultimate demise, but he does regret the fact that his advertising revenues were severely undercut by extremely low bids from his conservative competitors who also wanted to stay in the game. The masters of the universe at the helm of the conservative echo chamber have very deep pockets and can afford to sometimes take a loss in order to further suppress the progressive message.
Texas may be a “red state” but Dallas County is blue and voted decisively for President Obama in the last presidential election. In Dallas County, progressives (or at least Democrats) are the new majority. And while one could hardly describe our fair city as a bastion of liberalism, progressive politics are on the move in this area and the momentum is impressive. During the Bush/Gore presidential contest, Dallas was awash in Bush-Cheney bumper stickers; especially in the affluent northern enclaves and suburbs. In the progressive community, this phenomenon was reminiscent of those “Screw the Poor” posters from the 70’s (euphemism inserted for screw). But thanks to the Internet, satellite radio and Cable News Networks, the political landscape is changing and now our airwaves are less saturated, or more accurately, clogged with conservative opinion.
Dave Clifton views Net Neutrality as a critical element in the future of broadcast communications and sees the Internet as possibly the final frontier of free speech. He thinks that over time terrestrial radio will dominate a smaller and smaller market share of the talk radio demographic. miRoamer Partners and Blapunkt introduced the first Car Internet Radio last year, and while they are not available for mass consumption yet ; it’s only a matter of time before Internet Radio becomes a standard feature in American vehicles. The Internet has become the center of gravity for many grass roots organizers on the left. Dave sees a television venture in the future of The Rational Broadcasting family, but says right now it’s only a gleam in their eye. For now, they will continue to focus on the local progressive community, but may also become a part of the Free Speech TV line of programming, which is broadcast via DISH TV service.
The original interview source for this article can be found at blogtalkradio.com