Ok, I really don't think Ezra Klein understood how unintentionally funny he was here. He blames the demise of Air America Radio on – NPR.
Recent opera-related disagreements with Jonah aside, I think this argument he highlights as explanation of Air America's tumble into bankruptcy is pretty sound (conclusion, of course, excepted): The liberal radio market was actually quite crowded, mainly due to the overwhelming popularity of NPR. The impacts of Pacifica and so forth strike me as quite small, but radio wasn't a wasteland for lefties before Franken and Co. signed on — indeed, nearly every liberal I know listened and listens loyally to NPR. Hell, half of them own NPR gear. And very few of them were looking for something more pugilistic, sharp-edged, or even exciting to replace their beloved public stations.
You really do have to read the whole thing. Especially the clarification:
Clarification: To be clear, I don't believe that NPR is liberal, I believe liberals listen to NPR. The two are not the same.
This is one of those cases where there is a distinction with no difference. If there was no resonance with the liberal listeners, would they be listening? How many liberal people listen daily to Rush Limbaugh? How many own Rush Limbaugh gear? Now Marc Cooper (Cited in an update by Klein) understands the radio business failures of Air America Radio. That is worth a read as well. (Incidentally, I suspect Cooper is dead on here. Some people will fund AAR until after the election, then "phhht", gone like the long, drawn out breaking of wind that it was).