Over the last ten years or more, we have witnessed a sea change in the way the average person consumes their news and information. This change has had one of the largest impacts on our culture since the advent of the movable printing type invented by the Chinese around 1040AD, which made possible the sharing of ideas with large numbers of people. This week, in my kind of home town of Cleveland, Ohio, the town's only newspaper, The Cleveland Plain Dealer, announced immediate layoffs of personnel and subsequent ones to come by year's end. The paper has also cut back their issues from seven a week to only three.
The carnage at the Plain Dealer is not unique to Cleveland, but has transpired across the country with newspapers both small and large. Much of the precipitous decline in the printed word offered by such media is a result of more people getting their news and information from Internet sources. But the explosion in choice for news and information is at the very foundation of the change. The traditional Leftist news sources, like the Cleveland Plain Dealer, are reaping the negative effects of the free market that a business will always reap when they do not serve the needs of their customers in an honest way.
The people's hunger for balanced information has fueled Conservative news, whether it is TV, radio or printed news on the Internet. For so many decades, the three major television networks and a handful of newspapers were the only source of news and information for the American public. And these sources became more and more arrogant, an arrogance expressed not only in how they slanted what they reported, but by what they chose to report and more importantly by what they chose to ignore. News and information that did not advance their Leftist agenda, was removed from the public discourse by news sources which kept it bottled up and unavailable for public consumption.
In 1986, under the Reagan administration, the information monopoly of the Left was dealt a serious blow. President Reagan signed a law which revoked the Fairness Doctrine, which had made political speech and commentary on the radio non-existent. In 1988, Rush Limbaugh's political commentary on the radio went national, and quickly gained popularity, partially because of Mr. Limbaugh's talent, and partially because people were hungry for news and information unfiltered by the Leftist media complex. In the past 25 years since the seed of truth resident in The Rush Limbaugh Show was planted in the barren desert of what was media in this country, hundreds of political talk shows have taken hold and become a vibrant part of the public discourse. This new freedom in media lead to The Fox News Channel becoming the number one cable network news source in the country. And with the explosion of the Internet, people are no longer imprisoned by the archaic information slave masters of the Left.
Yes, competition from Internet sources has contributed to the demise of the printed media in this country. But more importantly, it is the choice for alternative views and a fuller spectrum of the truth propagated by these sources and Conservative radio spawned by Rush Limbaugh, that is at the heart of the slow death of printed media. Their irresponsible treatment of their customers, has after all, been the instrument of their demise.