From here to the end of the year, we'll be reposting some of the greats of this year of year of our humble blither-blather.
This story from March 7, 2011 (which we do not claim to have broken) was a rare look behind the curtain of the grimy burlesque that is talk radio. Not sure Republicans have given radio talkers so much power, but to believe the myth that Rush, Sean or Glenn's dittoheads make up any significant proportion of the electorate is a dangerous assumption for conservatives or any politician.
We always suspected... that actors might be being hired as callers for talk radio shows, but then we said "nahhh..."
Now that callers are becoming a thing of the past for talk radio, it has been revealed talk syndicators of Rush and Sean have hired ringers (so to speak) paid actors to call in.
Via Tablet Magazine:
If [the actor] passed the audition, he would be invited periodically to call in to various talk shows and recite various scenarios that made for interesting radio. He would never be identified as an actor, and his scenarios would never be identified as fabricated—which they always were. “I was surprised that it seemed so open,” the actor told me in an interview. “There was really no pretense of covering it up.”
Curious, the actor did some snooping and learned that Premiere On Call was a service offered by Premiere Radio Networks, the largest syndication company in the United States and a subsidiary of Clear Channel Communications, the entertainment and advertising giant. Premiere syndicates some of the biggest names in radio, including Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, and Sean Hannity.
But a great radio show depends as much on great callers as it does on great hosts: Enter Premiere On Call.
“Premiere On Call is our new custom caller service,” read the service’s website, which disappeared as this story was being reported (for a cached version of the site click here). “We supply voice talent to take/make your on-air calls, improvise your scenes or deliver your scripts. Using our simple online booking tool, specify the kind of voice you need, and we’ll get your the right person fast. Unless you request it, you won’t hear that same voice again for at least two months, ensuring the authenticity of your programming for avid listeners.”
What's stopping media companies from using paid plants (or plaid pants) to play talk hosts to talk to the actors playing the callers? It's no more dishonest than some of the stuff they make up about President Obama.