Should our government regulate the earnings of talk show hosts? Would limiting the annual incomes of media personalities set our nation on a pathway to peace, and prosperity, and “fairness?”
Those may seem like strange questions, and I’ll explain why I ask in a moment. They have everything to do with the disgust I’ve felt, as I’ve watched how certain high-profile media personalities have been assigned varying degrees of “blame” for the horrific murders in Tucson, Arizona.
The worst part of this, for me, is that each time somebody assigns culpability for the murders to Rush Limbaugh, or Glenn Beck, they’re taking some of the culpability away from the murder suspect Jared Loughner and excusing his behavior. By implication, these “blamers” are kind of saying “murder is terrible, but it’s understandable why Loughner would kill six people given how (fill-in-the-blank) has behaved on his show…”
The excusing of murder is horrible. But so are the attacks on talk media. And I’ve had a bit of a “front row seat” to both of these phenomena, ever since last weekend.
I host two separate, localized versions of “The Austin Hill Show” each weekday on two separate Glenn Beck affiliate radio stations (a morning version of my show at Fresno, CA’s KMJ-FM, and an afternoon version at Boise, ID’s KIDO-AM). I also frequently host for 630 WMAL, Rush Limbaugh’s Washington, DC home, and I was scheduled to host a Saturday afternoon show at WMAL the day the shootings occurred (which meant that my “talk show” quickly morphed into “wall-to-wall crisis coverage”). This is to say that for six of the past eight days I’ve been talking quite a bit about the victims, the suspect, and the ways that people have sought to entangle Beck and Rush in it all.
Much of this finger-pointing has been based on an assumption that, somehow, the dominant forces of talk media participate in a so-called “culture of hate.” But one of the recurrent themes amid the bashing of Rush and Beck is that they “make a lot of money” doing what they do. This suggests to me that those who try to silence Beck and Rush are themselves motivated in no small part by a “culture of envy” – why else would they lament that these guys are financially successful?
Austin Hill is an Author, Consultant, and Host of "Austin Hill's Big World of Small Business," a syndicated talk show about small business ownership and entrepreneurship. He is Co-Author of the new release "The Virtues Of Capitalism: A Moral Case For Free Markets." , Author of "White House Confidential: The Little Book Of Weird Presidential History," and a frequent guest host for Washington, DC's 105.9 WMAL Talk Radio.