Conservative Talk Radio Has Become Almost Comical Lately

February 7, 2008

I have a confession.  I listen to conservative talk radio virtually every day.  I know this is something that may sound unusual coming from an Obama supporter, but it’s true.  Depending on my schedule, I’ll listen to about a half hour of Rush on the way to work, maybe 15 minutes of Hannity during lunch, and usually our local guy Jason Lewis for another half on the way home.  

Some may ask: why Chen?  Well, I like it, that’s why.  Rush is actually a pretty bright guy.  A pompous, arrogant blowhard, but bright, and he’s generally able to deliver the political news in a fairly entertaining way.  Hannity, on the other hand, always sounds like he’s following a script, and regurgitates the same talking points over and over.  But, still, he’s a “Great American™”.  (when I say “lately” in the post’s title, I should exclude Hannity; he’s pretty comical regardless)  Jason Lewis, as a Minnesotan, delivers his take on the day’s events from a local perspective, and can generally be counted on to get on a nice rant that barely keeps all the rails on the track.  (I listen to the likes of Medved, Hewitt, Prager, Levin, Beck, Ingraham, etc. every once and awhile too, but those three are my main course)


These last few weeks have been particularly entertaining.  Rush seems almost obsessed with either McCain’s lack of conservatism, or the fact that the media is talking about said obsession.  Hannity has become almost like one of those pull-string Chatty Cathy dolls, but instead of “I love you” he just says “McCain/Feingold” …”McCain/Kennedy”… “Gang of 14” ….”Amnesty”… “McCain/Lieberman”… in random order every few minutes, or he’ll just rattle them off in rapid succession again for the next caller.  Lewis, inspired by Rush (and on occasion filling in for him), wraps up the afternoon by reiterating the same meme that the Republicans are abandoning conservatism, and McCain’s rise to front-runner is an embodiment of this. 

In other words, it’s been a 8-hour McCain bash-fest…in crystal clear FM sound.

So, you can guess what the shows were like today, the day after McCain all but secured the GOP nom.  I gotta tell ya, I couldn’t wait.  These guys had to go on the air and put on a show while somehow coping with the realization that, in spite of weeks of their best and arguably obsessive use of rants and spin against McCain, the supposed influence that makes Rush so arrogant amounted to pretty much… diddly squat. 

It was a tough day for them, I’m sure. On the plus side, maybe ratings were better.  Nobody can help but watch a train wreck, after all.

Needless to say, imagine my surprise when I saw this post pop up on memeorandum today:  WHY TALK WON

But what really counts is that so many people, including the mainstream media and politicians, care what talk hosts think and who they are supporting. Conflicts between talkers and candidates have recently made headlines.

Now that’s how you spin something!  Seriously though, Think Progress summed it up pretty well:

Maloney is right that quite a few media stories have covered hate radio’s beef against McCain. But that’s because the media are always interested in the tragic demise of once powerful figures.

The media loves the tragic demise?  I suppose it would explain the fact that Fox reported the latest on Britney Spears during the Glenn Beck show.

Anyway, after this, maybe the media will stop assuming that these guys have influence and just ignore them, and let me have my infotainment without getting all analytical about it.

Update:  McCain wants Dittoheads to “calm down”, while apparently offering a fig leaf: McCain seeks truce with right-wing critics

The campaign, as described by Republican sources, has two pillars: outreach to talk-radio hosts and other conservative critics and a succession of high-profile endorsements in the coming days.

The effort to win over, or at least blunt the opposition, of talk-radio hosts and other movement figures who resent McCain’s maverick style and past departures from conservative orthodoxy involves both high-level surrogates and the candidate himself.

Any bets that McCain gets booed at CPAC? (that’s right, I’m callin’ it)

Update: LMFAO! CPAC to all CPAC-ers: Don’t boo McCain

“No, no no no no” came the reply from the person registering him. “We’ve been instructed to tell participants not to boo McCain.”

“Are you kidding me?” the shocked CPAC-goer asked.

“Well, we want to seem above Democrats and we don’t want the booing to be the story,” the CPAC person declared. When asked for a response, CPAC’s Ian Walters told us: “We would hope that our folks would be polite and give him a fair opportunity to be heard.”


Update:  Looks like the request was respected….sorta:

2:34 – A few boos on immigration, but a lot of cheers and a laugh from McCain. He says he respects the opposition because it was based in an honorable defense of the rule of law. He now understands that no one will trust Washington on immigration until they actually secure the border.

Eh…I still called it.

Update:  Fellow WPPBA blogger Joe makes a great observation and is well worth a link: Right wing establishment failed to deliver for Romney


  1. Perhaps you should listen to Gunny Bob, at 850KOA. It’s available on podcast.

    McCain is in fact, the best candidate the Neo Comms have running!

  2. hmmm…podcast….yea…not sure if my ’92 Ford has that lol

  3. Yeah, I have to admit that national talk radio is cracking up a bit… Although I still love Jason Lewis. He’s at least honest enough to not hold back his true feelings on things and tell it how he sees it (and all the while not hiding the fact that he’s an opinionated bastard).

  4. I remarked to my wife yesterday that if Sean Hannity would quit repeating himself, he could do his whole show in about 45 minutes instead of three hours. Actually, I suspect that he doesn’t even show up for the whole thing, they just play back clips from the first hour in random order while he’s resting up for “Hannity and Colmes.”

    I think that you hit perfectly on Limbaugh’s obsession with telling people he’s not obsessed.

    I listen to Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, and Sean Hannity just about every day, almost the whole shows. It’s a blast.

    What I really enjoy is Hannity now calling Huckabee a conservative (now that he wants him to drop out) after saying he was “one of the most liberal candidates in the race” before Florida.

    It’s quite a laugh.

  5. Chen, you should try our Michael Savage Game. We put on his show, then just see how long it takes for him to veer off into a tangent on either his dog Teddy or local restaurants. OK, I admit, I rarely manage every single night to do this, but since he always manages to break from the subject matter and into one of these two tangents before the first commercial break since I started keeping track, I am pretty confident about the nights I miss. For the extended version, just see how long he can go each segment without mentioning his dog Teddy or the daily restaurant experience. Hilarious.

    Actually, once he turned the whole show over to the subject of neutering dogs, how he’d never do it, and “Nudicals” (prosthetic testicles for dogs). I thought he’d be committed surely after that one, but no.

  6. Ryan- Lewis has the most annoying intro music I’ve ever heard. That broken-record thing with HW Bush saying “Jason Lewis” over and over again and the Blazing Saddles theme…well, let’s just say that he could stand to get something new there.

  7. I don’t listen to talk radio other than the occasional local variety 96.9fm Boston.I will say this though McCain is just the flavor of the cycle. They’ll focus later on either Hill or BO even if they don’t foist love upon “not my friend” McCain.It has always killed me especially re: Rush how people complain about him but make it a point to listen to him so they’ll have something to complain about. Turn the F@#$%ing dial folks. It’s as bad on the left. i like the quote about “hate radio”. Yeah Air America and NPR are the pinnacle of integrity and unbiased broadcasting. NOT that’s why NPR needs to be at the public teet and Air America is bankrupt. Radio right left or center is entertainment. Much like the other mediums it’s attachment to reality is in the rear view window.

  8. in2thefray- It’s that the media obviously takes these guys seriously, which means that they take themselves seriously, even though no one else is supposed to take them seriously. Maybe this Maloney guy does have a point of sorts, and the fact that at least somebody is taking them seriously is an accomplishment. lol

    BTW- There is liberal talk radio?

  9. The MSM is no fan of the entertainment sector that is right wing radio. The MSM has already started beating the McCain drum and are merely irritated that talk radio conservatives are putting up a fuss. Talking heads are interesting but this election cycle they have had zero effect.As for liberal talk radio…Yes and no. the listed entities are real but they don’t get the bills paid so they disappear.

  10. For a while, when I worked up in Scarborough, ME, I could listen to Al Franken on Air America. He was even more fun than Limbaugh. The idea that anyone takes it seriously is laughable … but I do know people who will actually say in arguments, “But Limbaugh said …” and mean it.

    I think that your perspective, In2theFray, is right on. It’s entertainment and really shouldn’t be taken seriously. But have you heard the callers? A number of them really do get all of their news from talk radio … and that’s scary.

    If we’re talking theme songs … Hannity’s use of “Independence Day” is wonderful. Using a song that includes the line “Let the right be wrong” and is about a woman killing her abusive husband is strange for a conservative show.

    Then again, there is Limbaugh’s theme. Do you know the lyrics?

  11. The talk radio pundits can have an impact, but not in the way you noted. McCain virtually clinched the nomination after Florida. Super Tuesday was just a knockout blow. From what I’ve been watching/reading it’s only been in the past 1-2 weeks that these pundits have been complaining. In other words, they waited till the last minute. And when they did it, they didn’t rally behind anyone else.
    Didn’t Hannity endorse Romney 2-3 days before Super Tuesday? Way too late. Without a clear alternative, attacking the front runner isn’t going to be very effective in ousting him from the top spot. The right time to do all this was after New Hampshire. Everyone knows what McCain’s record has been for years. There’s no excuse for them to wait this long when he’s been a top contender for over a month.

    They should’ve started taking him seriously after he came back from New Hampshire and then focused on pushing for Huckabee or Romney in South Carolina. Romney winning Michigan and SC would have been enough to put him over the edge in Florida. Even a Huckabee win in SC would’ve scraped away McCain’s advantage going into Florida. Then you have a real alternative in Romney going into Super Tuesday, and a real fight.

  12. […] strange thing happened yesterday … February 8, 2008 — wickle After ChenZhen’s post about conservative talk radio, I listened to Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, and Sean Hannity yesterday … almost all of each […]

  13. Listening to Rush and Hannity today….It’s getting better. They’re all debating their own relevancy now. Almost surreal.

  14. Wow, CZ … I wish I’d listened to that. I gave myself the day off and listened to the Newsboys most of the afternoon. I did listen to the first few minutes of Glenn Beck in hopes that he might actually just cry on-air, but that was about it.

  15. It may be funny, but find the courage to turn it off. It will turn you into a Self Hating Liberal.

  16. Well, they say that laughter is the best medicine. Free heathcare!

  17. See what I mean Chen. You can’t say these talk radio hosts don’t have influence. They do, they just acted too late. Look at the results over the weekend, and now the Virginia primary is too close to call. Exit polls in VA show 60% of the Republican voters listen to talk radio. And it’s not because Huckabee has rock solid conservative credentials…. he doesn’t; it’s because all the anti-McCain propaganda is working.

  18. King- You don’t suppose it has something to do with the fact that Romney is no longer in the race?

  19. […] Also see my post: Conservative Talk Radio Has Become Almost Comical Lately […]

  20. It has everything to do with that. That’s what I said earlier, conservatives need a clear alternative to rally behind. Talk radio hosts can attack McCain all they want, but it won’t matter unless there’s another option. Of course, it’s still far too late to change the final result… but you can’t say that didn’t have an impact.

  21. Hi! I was surfing and found your blog post… nice! I love your blog. 🙂 Cheers! Sandra. R.

  22. Between us speaking, in my opinion, it is obvious. Try to look for the answer to your question in google.com

    By the way, what do you think about this icons site?

  23. On your place I would address for the help to a moderator.

    P.S. Please review icons

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: