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