Poll finds lack of support for minority broadcast bailout


A study from Zogby/O’Leary Report suggests that even supporters of President Barack Obama do not support a government bailout of minority broadcasters in an effort to promote diversity on the airwaves.

65.4% of all American oppose such a course of action, against 18% who support it and 16.6% who aren’t sure. Among those who voted for Obama, 42.1% are opposed, 32.5% are in favor and 25.5% aren’t sure.

Those surveyed were responding to this question: “Several Democratic members of Congress have asked Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner to open up access to credit for minority-owned radio stations like the Treasury Department has done for GM and Chrysler. Do you support a bailout of minority-owned broadcasters?”

Those surveyed also had problems with the economic stimulus package and emphasis on corn-based ethanol as a substitute for fossil-based fuels.

RBR/TVBR observation: We’ve been polled many, many times at our last address – we were in a hot battle ground zip code – and as dialed in as we are to events of the day, we would still be asked for an opinion on some policy question that we just didn’t know much about. Since they’d never let us skip such a question, we would immediately question the value of the poll, knowing how weak our own response was.

We’d bet almost none of the 4K people polled had heard of this proposal before O’Leary/Zogby asked them about it. And if O’Leary had substituted the more accurate phrase “helping hand” for the highly charged fighting word “bailout,” the poll might have yielded a significantly more generous result for minority broadcasters.

Broadcasters don’t need a bridge loan to nowhere – just one that will help make it to 2010, so if we were going to change the requested credit pool, it would simply be to include all broadcasters in need.