According to an article in Politico, if you don’t like the political opinions expressed by conservative talk radio hosts like Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, or even Rush Limbaugh, you can pay them to have different opinions.
Limbaugh regularly promotes the Heritage Foundation, and even encourages people to contribute money to it. Same thing for Hannity. Beck promotes FreedomWorks, but Mark Levin promotes Americans for Prosperity. Why? Because they are paid to do so. These prominent conservative groups pay large sponsorship fees in order to get favorable opinions. For example, the Heritage Foundation pays about $2 million to sponsor Limbaugh and $1.3 million to sponsor Hannity.
But what makes this creepy is that they don’t think there is anything wrong with this. According to the Heritage Foundation’s VP for marketing:
We approach it the way anyone approaches advertising: where is our audience that wants to buy what you sell? And their audiences obviously fit that model for us.
In many cases, the sponsors provide a script or a set of talking points for the radio personalities to read on air, touting the group and encouraging contributions. Often these paid advertisements are woven seamlessly into the other content of the show. Or they interview spokespeople from the sponsors on the show as if they were regular guests.
And the investment in conservative talk radio hosts apparently pays off. After sponsoring Beck, FreedomWorks doubled its fundraising take to almost $14 million.