The first step to rebuilding will require new sources of information. Conservative talk radio in Boston cannot be allowed to set the agenda or strategy for political candidates. It cannot be an unchallenged filter for political information.
Howie Carr needs to retool his act. It’s clear from the data that the “fake Indian” meme hurt Scott Brown. The Senator should have strayed from that tact immediately after bringing it to the fore. By the end of the campaign, mainstream independent voters were turned off by tedious references to Liawatha etc. Believe it or not most independents want substance and Brown often delivered it. But the Talk Radio crowd dictated what Brown’s path to disaster encouraging him to raise the issue in more than one debate. The callers took the bait.
This is a fact.
We need to hear more from Avi Nelson, a real seasoned professional with a philosophical and self-critical approach. We need to hear less from Howie Carr and Michael Graham, who have become whiny class clowns. (Oddly both are better writers than talkmasters).
Moreover, as if by some dark hand at Entercom, WRKO just days before the election jettisoned local talent like McPhee and Feinberg in favor of a Washington blow-in and, to be impolite, a blowhard in the form of Jeff Kuhner, a veritable chest-pounder whose claims lack all credibility. Did he not guarantee a Romney victory days after he assumed his new slot? Hearing him dial back down the stretch into conspiracy theories about how the Left would come up with narratives of how the election was to be stolen from Obama was especially laughable. Who listens to this stuff?
WRKO has long jumped the shark. It is puzzling to figure out why the station has not bought out Carr’s contentious contract.
Talk radio in the old days was a neighborhood. Today it is an echo-chamber serving up confirmation bias. Moreover, it has lost touch with the local political reality that is Massachusetts.
In the 1990s, talk radio in Boston helped usher in the post-Dukakis surge of GOP elected officials with staying power. Yes a lot of them are derided as R.I.N.Os. (Bill Weld a desperate GOP faction calls out for you!) Today talk radio, by feeding its listeners rubbish, phoney poll info and bile about law credentials is destroying the Republican brand, a brand that must distance itself from the national GOP.