Honors College

Document Type

Honors Thesis

Publication Date



This thesis looks at political talk radio in the United States before and after the removal of the Fairness Doctrine. It examines how, following the end of FCC enforcement of the Fairness Doctrine, the number of stations broadcasting political talk increased, as well as how and why there has been such dominance in the talk radio format by conservative hosts such as Rush Limbaugh. Finally, it examines the increasing trend of political polarization in the United States and what role ideologically charged talk radio may have in the increasing polarization of the American public. This examination is done with four parts that use data collected through polls, studies, surveys, books, and publications. Through presenting this information, this thesis will offer an explanation for, and commentary on, how political talk radio changed post-Fairness Doctrine and how these changes may have had a role in contributing to the current political polarization in the U.S.