Friday, January 29, 2010

Air America Radio - RIP

Al Frankin is shown in 2004 when Air America Radio was launched as a left-wing alternative to right-wing dominated Talk Radio. When he was on the air, I often listened to Frankin's program on my XM satellite radio and found it entertaining and informative although I seldom agreed with him. I also listened to Randi Rhodes (who I enjoyed because she was so outrageous) as well as other stimulating programming including the Young Turks and Lionel. I sometimes felt as if I was their only regular listener. Perhaps I was :^)

Sadly, after six tumultuous years, during which Frankin was elected senator from Minnesota, Air America Radio is no more. When Frankin left in 2007 to pursue his political career, the heart was cut out of the operation. Shows originated by Air America, which filed almost all their time slots, began to be replaced by syndicated shows. At the time of their demise on January 21, 2010, all but two shows were from syndication.

The operation was never properly funded and was badly managed from day one. (Perhaps money management is an inate limitation for L-minds :^)? Within two weeks of launch, they were reportedly bouncing checks and in legal disputes with their outlets in Santa Monica and Chicago. Within a month, their CEO and Programming VP were gone, followed by their Chairman and Vice-Chairman! Over the next year, some of their more vitriolic anti-right hosts chased away more moderate listeners by calling the Bushes a "crime family" and right-wingers "rat bastards" and other intemperate names. When radical hosts were fired, sympathetic listeners launched petition drives that may have led some affilliates to drop Air America.

Financial shenanigans including no-interest loans from a charitable organization funded by New York City forced them into bankruptcy in 2006. Repeated re-organizations and loss of popular hosts plagued the operation until its recent demise. I guess for a leftist enterprise where "profit" is a dirty word it would follow that they apparently never made any money.

So, for left-oriented Talk Radio we have only a few syndicated shows remaining. They are heard mainly in larger markets, plus the the America Left channel on XM and the SIRIUS Left channel on SIRIUS.


Why is Talk Radio so dominated by right-wing talkers? I do not think it is because radio station owners object to leftist viewpoints - they would put almost anybody on if that would generate a large audience and bring in advert dollars. Nor do I think it is due to the advertisers objections to leftist talk - most of them would put their adverts on any media that brought in customers.

Therefore, it must be the listeners who choose right-wing talkers over lefties. Since the vast majority of radio listeners are in their cars, perhaps those who do a lot of driving, such as those in sales and delivery jobs, tend to be C-minds? Perhaps right-wing views are more entertaining than leftist ones? Radio stations depend upon local advertisers and are therefore very sensitive to audience share.


As I showed a few months ago, more Democrats watch Fox News than CNN or MSNBC. So, perhaps the News and Talk TV and Radio audience is not so much Republican voters as they are moderates and independents who find conservative-oriented talk more entertaining and informative than left-wing elitist whining? I would appreciate contarary views.

Why are all the major networks left-leaning - except Fox News! And, for how long?

According to Cable News Ratings the most recent average day ratings (Jan 26, 2010) indicate that Fox News dominates: FNC – 1,617,000 viewers, CNN – 446,000 viewers, MSNBC –350,000 viewers, CNBC – 212,000 viewers, and HLN –398,000 viewers. That puts Fox News ahead of all the others combined by 211,000 viewers!

The Prime Time average ratings are even more lop-sided: FNC – 3,044,000 viewers, CNN – 657,000 viewers, MSNBC –684,000 viewers, CNBC – 213,000 viewers, HLN –796,000 viewers, putting Fox news ahead of all others combined by 694,000 viewers!

How long till the major networks "wise up" and tilt closer to the center?

Ira Glickstein

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Is the IPCC Process Scientific?

In my PowerPoint presentation a week ago I included the chart above likening the IPCC process to an "Alarmist Religion" with IPCC Director Rajendra Pachauri as the "High Priest", the latest IPCC report their scriptures, a windmill their symbol, and a stranded polar bear their idol.

Well, it seems the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) may soon join the UK Climatic Research Unit (CRU) and the US Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) under the spotlight for scientific malpractice known as "Climategate".

According to WUWT the IPCC has had to retract a claim in their latest report (2007) that there was a "very high" likelihood the Himalayan glaciers would melt by 2035. It seems the IPCC violated their rule that only peer-reviewed science would be included in their reports. The Himalayan claim was mere speculation published by the World Wildlife Fund on the basis of a hearsay report in the New Scientist.

The EU seems to have funded a study based on the bogus report to the tune of €10M ($14M) The IPCC Director appears to have a conflict of interest since he is also Director-General of The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) that received some of the EU money for the study based on the scientifically unsupported report.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Seeking inputs on UHI corrections.

[From Rick] This post seeks inputs on the status of Urban Heat Island (UHI) correction in temperature reconstructions. The information I have is a bit dated and sounds as though it might be one-sided. [Figure above is from Steve McIntyre. It is found in both of the Climate Audit links below.]

In any case, here's what my limited data collection has in it:

I mentioned to Ira having seen something on the difference between NOAA's and NASA's (GISS) use which I found at Climate Audit: NOAA versus NASA-1/20/09. McIntyre also refers to a post a few days earlier with a bit more data: Climate Audit: NOAA versus NASA-1/16/09

The figure above suggests that the NOAA temperature dataset from about 1930-1940 to be 0.1°C colder than the GISS dataset - and by 2000, 0.2°C warmer than the GISS. If I'm interpreting this correctly, the NOAA chart would suggest more warming than GISS of about 0.3°C (0.5°F) over the last 70 years. This 0.3°C difference MIGHT be the effect of GISS attempting to correct for UHI more extensively than NOAA.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

US Version of Climategate Coming?

Will NASA GISS (Goddard Institute for Space Studies) join the UK Climatic Research Unit (CRU) in the Climategate mess? Could be!

The UK CRU version of Climategate centered around whether the 1990's were warmer than any time in the past 1000 years. The US GISS version could be about whether 1998 was warmer than 1934!

It seems the temperature readings were adjusted six times after analysis in July 1999 indicated that the temperature anomaly for 1934 was nearly 60% higher than for 1998. See the above graphic for how GISS adjusted 1934 down and 1998 up until 1998 was warmer than 1934 (the January 2007 analysis) or at least virtually indistinguishable (the March and August 2007 analyses).

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Explaining Away Climategate - 4

See the detailed timeline for Climategate, posted at ClimateAudit yesterday, and my previous postings on Climategate: Original posting, Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3.

Although VP Al Gore has had no direct part in the recent Climategate controversy, it was his 2006 movie An Inconvenient Truth that most activated the ALARMISTs, outraged the DENIERs, and animated the reaction by the Skeptics.

When I watched Gore's impressive movie several years ago, I was most struck by the scene in the above photo [Click it for a larger version - The base photo is from the movie, the annotations are mine.]

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Frozen FLORIDA Fishpond

Two koi shiver under the ice in my frozen FLORIDA fishpond this morning! Our remote temperature sensor reads 23ºF, but it is located under the eves and so subject to an "urban heat island" effect. It is probably colder, perhaps 22ºF or less, more than ten degrees below freezing. [Click images for larger versions]

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Intellectuals Sometimes have Bad Ideas

This morning's paper has a provocative column by famed economist Thomas Sowell. (See here for text of the column.)

Active contributors to our Blog are mainly intellectuals. Most of us have advanced degrees and have been professors at the college level. We would all agree with Sowell that: "There has probably never been an era in history when intellectuals have played a larger role in society. ... journalists, teachers, staffers to legislators or clerks to judges — the influence of intellectuals on the way a society evolves can be huge."

I think, on balance, intellectual contributions to society have been for the good. Sowell thinks othewise: "...certainly, for the 20th century, it is hard to escape the conclusion that intellectuals have on net balance made the world a worse and more dangerous place.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Explaining Away Climategate - 3

Climategate was triggered by the release of thousands of emails and computer programs from the UK Climactic Research Unit (CRU) late in 2009. See the video attempt at Explaining Away Climategate for a defence of the Warmists. This is the third of my series. See Part 1 and part 2.

Even the IPCC has admitted the truth of the Medieval Warming Period (MWP). See the image above that appeared in their 1990 report, indicating that temperatures between 1100 and 1300 were higher than the most recent decades. [I added the red annotation - more about that below.]

Sunday, January 3, 2010

My Prediction Came True - Big Market Recovery in 2009

[Double-click graphic for larger view]

Back in March 2009, I did a posting titled Prediction: Big Market Recovery This Year! That included the above graphic.

At the time of my prediction, the Dow was down at around 7,000. In the graphic, I showed what I thought the "true" value was (the green dots). and I wrote:

"The good news is that the market will probably recover nearly as fast as it dropped. I predict we will see it around 9,000 or more by year end and over 10,000 in a few years."

Well, the Market overachieved. It ended 2009 at 10,428.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Explaining Away Climategate - 2

Climategate was triggered by the release of thousands of emails and computer programs from the UK Climactic Research Unit (CRU) late in 2009. See the video attempt at Explaining Away Climategate for a defence of the Warmists.

This is the second of a series of new Topic postings that detail the viewpoints of the major groups involved in the controversy. See first part here.