Research 2000 recently conducted a survey testing whether progressive or conservative talk radio shows are more open to callers with dissenting points of view. The organization made 15 calls (with a point of view that was not compatible with the host) to six radio shows — three progressive (Stephanie Miller, Randi Rhodes, Ed Schultz) and three conservative (Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, Rush Limbaugh).
Their findings concluded that all the progressive hosts were more willing to take calls from dissenters than were the conservative hosts. Research 2000’s ranking, in order of accessibility: 1): Schultz, 2) Rhodes, 3) Miller, 4) Ingraham, 5) Limbaugh, and 6) Hannity. Among the findings:
– Progressive host Ed Schultz was the most accessible to callers with opposing points of view. “In fact, the only question the screener asked our fifteen callers was simply where are you calling from, radio call letters and your name.”
— Conservative host Sean Hannity was the least accessible. Not a single of the 15 calls Research 2000 made were accepted. “Eleven of our callers with dissenting view points were told by the screener either ‘I will pass it on’ or ‘call our liberal hotline’ and then disconnected.”
— “Only two callers of fifteen dissenting view points was successful in getting on the Rush Limbaugh show. Both callers went through three screeners on the show before getting on the air with the host.”
— Ingraham, Miller, and Rhodes showed “no significant differences” in getting on the air “if one had a dissenting view point.” But the wait time for the Laura Ingraham show was the longest of the three — 40 minutes to one hour and 15 minutes.