Wednesday February 21, 2018
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Six-part documentary ...

... analyzing Milwaukee Conservative talk radio as a microcosm of the genre’s impact on American politics, media and culture.

Why a documentary about Conservative talk radio in Milwaukee?
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Wisconsin ProtestBlindsided - that’s how many Wisconsin Liberals said they felt when Governor Scott Walker revealed his planned changes to collective bargaining privileges for state workers. Had they but listened to Milwaukee Conservative talk radio, they would have known that the need for these changes has been the topic of conversation for years.

In Milwaukee, government officials and public opinion leaders vex over what to do about growing poverty, increasing out-of-wedlock pregnancies, decreasing quality of public schools, fleeing businesses and brain-drain. Were they to listen to local Conservative talk radio, they would hear a plethora of proposed solutions to these and other problems identified, scrutinized and discussed each and every day.

But they don’t listen. And no wonder; for years they have been telling themselves - and everybody else - that Milwaukee Conservative talk radio is little more than a forum for a fringe few who revel in hateful, racist misinformation doctored to reinforce their own extremist beliefs.

Talk Radio

Yet outside the city proper, Milwaukee Conservative talk radio has grown and thrived for over two decades. In fact, though only a medium-sized media market, Milwaukee’s talk radio scene is one of the most robust in the country. And many observe that the emergence of local Conservatives of national stature - Paul Ryan, Scott Walker, Ron Johnson, Reince Priebus - is due in large measure to the abundant time and support they have received on Milwaukee Conservative talk radio.

Epicenter of a revolution or fringe cabal? Free market advocacy or hate speech? Liberty or lies? In September of 2010, heading into one of the most volatile electoral seasons in modern American history, I grabbed a camera and started asking these questions.

I got a lot more than I bargained for. See what you think.

- Brien Farley, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, October 2011

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