2024 Q1: KLIF Wheels Show Opening's Partisan Snark Tilts at 100% Against Republicans, But With 71% Less Quantity
2024 January 30

The first quarter has now been completed since Don Grantham and John Ingram became the hosts of Wheels. As such, it is time to take another measure of the partisan balance of the show’s opening. Other than the on-air absence of Ed Wallace, the contents of the show’s open are the most conspicuous of the almost imperceptible changes apparent since Don Grantham and John Ingram began hosting the show.

The format of the show’s open remains unchanged with the same theme music and three part monologue. However, the contents of the monologue varies from when Ed Wallace hosted the show.

The first “joke’ of the monologue is now largely a barbless musing about being a live show aired from Dallas. The third “joke” of the monologue is an innocuous allusion to being the radio incarnation of some random celebrity pairing. For example, Grantham might announce that they are the “Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire of radio”. Conversely, the first and third entries during Wallace’s time occasionally meandered into partisan snark.

As for the second “joke” of the monologue, Grantham continues to call out a specific entity for ridicule. However, the targeting is different. The following table shows the raw data that was used for the analysis.

Table: KLIF Wheels Partisan Opening Jokes (AUG-OCT, 2023) [EXPAND]

As calculated from the above table, the Q1 (November 1, 2023 to January 31, 2024) partisan tilt against Republicans/Right is 100%, as the only partisan targets were Republicans.

KLIF Wheels Partisan Opening Jokes tilt at 100% against Republicans (NOV, 2023 - JAN, 2024) [EXPAND]

However, while derogatory partisan snark continues to be targeted solely at the right side of the political scale, the overall quantity of partisan snark has been greatly reduced. In the last quarter of Wheels where Ed Wallace was host, 85% of the snark had a partisan target, with 100% of the targets’ partisan orientation being conservative / Republican. Conversely, during the first quarter of Wheels with Don Grantham and John Ingram were hosts, only 15% of the snark had a partisan target, with 100% of the targets’ partisan orientation being conservative / Republican.

So, Wheels has made a deliberate change to greatly attenuate the partisanship of its show opening. But when things do go partisan, the KLIF Wheels radio show’s liberal bias is clear.  

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