Friday, September 19, 2008

Radio Killed the Railroad Star

In Milwaukee the meme is beginning to form that conservative talk radio killed transit and should be tied to its failure to emerge. I've seen it a number times in the last few days in the JS. Our friend Jim Rowan gives us the history of how transit was killed in an article he wrote for the Journal Sentinel.

Examples of the meme recently:

Jim Rowen:
And "light rail" was and continues to be aimed as a partisan, fear-laden phrase against Milwaukee and its urban, Democratic majority on conservative talk radio and in some Republican-dominated suburbs.
Mayor Barrett:
"I think it's driven by conservative talk radio," Barrett said. "There are many people who are suffering because of ideological opposition to rail. ... If you listen to conservative talk radio, you'd think having some sort of rail in Milwaukee is the end of Western civilization as we know it."
Letter to the Editor:

Maybe the service cuts down the road will wake people up. The year 2010 promises a 30% cut in bus service and elimination of the freeway flyer service. The proposed 1% sales tax is the most feasible answer to saving our bus system. The Milwaukee County Transit System is the only system of its size that totally relies on property tax. A sales tax increase would be paid not only by county residents but anybody who visits Milwaukee County. We are not in the hell-hole talk radio talks about.

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