The redoubtable Digby looks upon a vast Wingnut Welfare radio kickback scheme and sees a system that is rotting, broken and in complete moral free-fall:
The Wingnut Welfare Monarchy
Can you believe this? It's not as if Limbaugh and company wouldn't do this for free. Or that they aren't already millionaires hundreds of times over. They're just giving them money because ... well, because:
A POLITICO review of filings with the Internal Revenue Service and Federal Election Commission, as well as interviews and reviews of radio shows, found that conservative groups spent nearly $22 million to broker and pay for involved advertising relationships known as sponsorships with a handful of influential talkers including Beck, Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, Mark Levin and Rush Limbaugh between the first talk radio deals in 2008 and the end of 2012. Since then, the sponsorship deals have grown more lucrative and tea party-oriented, with legacy groups like The Heritage Foundation ending their sponsorships and groups like the Tea Party Patriots placing big ad buys.It's the sheer amount of money they have that always astounds me.
But a true-believing Randite Libertarian will look upon this same run amok payola scheme and see nothing but the fulfillment of holy capitalist prophecy:
As one disreputable old crank once said, we as a nation simply cannot endure permanently half-Fox and half-free."If you want to gauge collectivist's theory's distance from reality, ask yourself: by what inconceivable standard can it be claimed that the broadcast airwaves are the property of some illiterate sharecropper who will never be able to grasp the concept of electronics, or some hillbilly whose engineering capacity is not quite sufficient to cope with a corn liquor still -- and that broadcasting, the product of an incalculable amount of scientific genius, is to be ruled by such owners?..."There is only one solution to this problem and it has to start at its base: nothing less will do. The airways should be turned over to private ownership. The only way to do it now is to sell radio and television frequencies over to the highest bidders...-- and thus put an end to the gruesome fiction of 'public property'."-- Ayn Rand, "The Objectivist Newsletter", April 1964