The New Orleans Saints and the Indianapolis Colts will duke it out in Miami on February 7th for the NFL championship. Each of these two teams had to battle its way to the pinnacle of the sports world to reach the Super Bowl. Regardless of whether one roots for the Saints or the Colts, or for neither team, we should all cheer the spirit and practice of competition embodied in the process by which each of these teams secured its place in the championship game. As legendary Notre Dame football coach Knute Rockne noted many decades ago – in sports as well as in business, competition is good. Competition builds not just character, but unlocks the very possibility for success in virtually any endeavor; including broadcasting.
While many conservatives are cheering the demise last week of the liberal-oriented Air America network, their glee is short-sighted and misplaced. Many of those conservative broadcast pundits who mouth words extolling competition generally, seem to overlook its value when it comes to their profession. Having liberal-oriented competition for the highly popular string of conservative radio talk shows crowding the contemporary airwaves, should be encouraged, not discouraged by conservatives. If in fact conservatives’ ideas as espoused on air by the likes of Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh are sound, then should not they and their advocates relish the thought of fellow broadcasters challenging them on competing programs with a more liberal orientation?
One might legitimately criticize Air America for its management and programming decisions in the years since it went on the air with much fanfare in 2004; I leave that to business and industry experts. But having a network which presents ideas in counterpoint to the conservative perspective so widely prevalent today, would benefit all Americans concerned about formulating and implementing sound public policy; policies that are forged, strengtheneed and improved in the arena of competition, rather than in the echo chamber that talk radio in America has become.