Washington -- I am campaigning. Having just published my book chronicling Bill Clinton's death-defying retirement years ("The Clinton Crack-Up: The Boy President's Life After the White House"), I am now out on the campaign trail singing its praises and denying any foul intent to harm the Clintons. In days gone by, one went on what was called "the book tour." That involved traveling to major cities, making a few appearances on literate television and radio shows, and perhaps giving a lecture and interviews to newspaper writers responsible for the literary corners of their papers. Today all has changed.
The "book tour" mainly involves undertaking interviews with hundreds of hosts from talk radio all over the country. There are also a few television appearances. All, however, are related to current news. In years gone by, authors were interviewed by journalists whose beats were strictly books. That almost never happens today. When I published my first books in the 1970s, authors were often asked to appear on the "late shows," the shows now hosted by David Letterman and Jay Leno, and the even later late night shows. These "late late" night shows would have me on when I was a young man. I never made it to the shows of Johnny Carson or his contemporary rivals. Their successors, Letterman and Leno, now never have authors on, and if the later night shows do, I have not heard about it. The nature of audiences has changed.
The biggest change is the rise of what is called "talk radio," which is almost completely dominated by conservatives. The other day I asked an amiable producer of scores of shows for ABC why conservative listeners are so dominant in the radio markets of the country. I cannot recall that he answered the question, but he did cite studies that make it clear that the talk radio audience is overwhelmingly conservative. That has not always been the case. Before there were Rush and Sean and the gang there were popular talk radio hosts in major cities and as I recall they were almost all liberals. The audience has changed. The hosts have changed. And even the networks that own these stations have adapted to the market.
DOJ Monitored Phones Lines of Five Fox News Reporters, Fox News Executives and Family Members of Reporters | Katie Pavlich
BREAKING: Senate Judiciary Committee Approves Gang of Eight Immigration Reform Bill | Daniel Doherty
Baucus & Hatch Grill IRS Commissioners Who Don't Know Anything: "That's A Lie By Omission" | Greg Hengler