Q: What do the following individuals all have in common?
Rush Limbaugh, Jim Rome, Casey Kasem, Ryan Seacrest, Glenn Beck, Bob (Kevoian) & Tom (Griswold), Delilah, Steve Harvey, Blair Garner, George Noory, John Boy and Billy, Big Tigger, Dr. Dean Edell, Bob Costas, Sean Hannity, Dr. Laura and more
A: They all work(ed) for Clear Channel Communications and/or its Premier Radio Networks program. (Source)
In Fact, Clear Channel Operates 850 Radio Stations with a listening audience of 110 million listeners per week. Their programming reaches 45% of all people ages 18-49. (Source) Now that's power only money can buy. The best way to control the message is to control the messenger. Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck are both highly paid messengers. Rush has a reported salary of $28,000,000 annually from Clear Channel. (Source) Glenn Beck earns about 32 million total, with 1/3 of that coming from Clear Channel Communications (Premier Radio Networks).
No one can dispute that Rush Limbaugh was the "majority maker" for Newt Gingrich's Republican Congress. At the same time, Glenn Beck has made quite a name for himself as the voice behind the "Tea Party Revolution", which very well could result in his own established claim as a "majority maker".
So, who really owns these messengers? The answer might very well surprise you. In 2008, Clear Channel Communications was bought out by a partnership between Bain Capital and Thomas Lee Partners. (Source) Bain Capital manages $67 Billion in assets, Lee Partners has about 10 billion in its investment fund. Guess who the Senior Partner in the transaction would be? Mitt Romney was the founder of Bain and is still a major stockholder in the company.
Clear Channel is no stranger to shilling for Republican Neo-cons and their causes:
"The Clear Channel's activities go beyond radio. In March 2003, its affiliate stations throughout the United States organized pro-war rallies, under the name of Rally for America, to coincide with the Bush administration's launch of war with Iraq. "Experienced Bushologists let out a collective 'Aha!' when Clear Channel was revealed to be behind the pro-war rallies, because the company's top management has a history with George W. Bush," reported Paul Krugman in the New York Times. Although Clear Channel denied sponsoring the rallies, "they were promoted repeatedly by the company's widely syndicated radio personality, Glenn Beck."
To counter negative impressions resulting from the post-9/11 playlist and "Rally for America" debacles, Clear Channel hired the crisis-management firm Brainerd Communicators. According to the New York Times (March 31, 2003), part of Clear Channel's damage control included an op/ed article by Glenn Beck in which "Mr. Beck described the [pro-war] rallies as a grassroots response to his personal broadcast call to 'Mr. and Mrs. America' to urge their local radio stations to hold rallies." (Source)
And there is more to the Bush connection:
"The vice chairman of Clear Channel (was) Tom Hicks. ... When Mr. Bush was governor of Texas, Mr. Hicks was chairman of the University of Texas Investment Management Company, called Utimco, and Clear Channel's chairman, Lowry Mays, was on its board. Under Mr. Hicks, Utimco placed much of the university's endowment under the management of companies with strong Republican Party or Bush family ties. In 1998 Mr. Hicks purchased the Texas Rangers in a deal that made Mr. Bush a multimillionaire."
"In addition, Hicks steered a controversial scheme to use the University of Texas' $13 billion endowment for private investment. Among the beneficiaries were the Carlyle Group, the arms investment firm tied to both George Bush Snr and the bin Laden family, and George W Bush's controversial Harken Oil drilling project in Bahrain." (Source)
Politics makes strange bedfellows. Romney's Clear Channel Communications is actually doing more than its part to help Democrats maintain their majority in Congress this election cycle. Donating twice as much to Democrats in the House as Republicans. In fact, they donated to many of the Democrats that Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Glenn Beck name and shame. (Source)