Air America, the liberal radio network, went down in flames, Jan. 21, when it filed for bankruptcy. It wasn’t because of air-to-air combat with conservative talk shows and bloggers. It wasn’t because of the Recession, although reduced advertising revenue, a reality of all media, also affected Air America. It wasn’t even demographics, even though older, marginalized conservatives tend to listen to radio more than do younger liberal professionals. And media history was only part of the problem.
By the 1960s, liberals had become masters at developing and using not only mainstream media but also an emerging alternative media to advance a social agenda. But then they choked, sputtered, and fell into disarray.