Since I’ve been doing a blog talk show I’ve essentially been teaching myself as I go by listening to talk radio – notably the people mentioned in this piece, which indicates some trouble for Right wing talk radio. The analysis of why rating are down a bit is off in my estimation. The simple answer is missed by the writer. Ratings have slipped for right-wing talkers because they always do when the GOP is ascendant. Rush has a better time finding a crowd when Dems are completely in charge, a recent political moment that ended about 12 days after it began.
Additionally, the conservatives on the air now are sheep-dipped in social right wingery – and the movement that emerged in 2010 was – and remains – largely about fiscal conservatism, not verbaling impaling ‘the gay agenda’ and ‘feminazis’ – both of which represent impulses on the wane. Even when they don’t talk about it, it’s unavoidable – the market for that clap trap is still substantial but it is not – and will not be – growing anytime soon. Gen X ers and certainly Millennials don’t play that room to the extent their parents did. The issue is economic security now, not gays secretly taking over the public schools to recruit – and other bullshit distractions a rich society can indulge in.
Finally, the BIG LIE that Obama is a socialist has not stuck. The obsession with this lie has worn thin and is easily refuted with one pass of CNN.com. The right wing’s insane focus on ‘socialism’ is foolish, limiting, and self-destructive. That war is over and the Right lost. We are all ‘socialists’ to one degree or another. It’s not government itself that bothers many – it’s the extent of government that is concerning. Americans expect the federal government to have relatively broad reach. Obama’s expansion of it is problematic, but it is not Stalinism – which is what the Hannitys of this world want to call it but are to chickenshit to say out loud. The lie would then be all to apparent.
To my surprise I find Hannity unbearable. Not because I dislike much of his politics – that’s the surprise, his politics are not so hard to listen to, they are just ridiculous. He’s hard to take on the radio because he’s a whiner. The entire show is a man whining. Ditto for Mark Levin – just add in a dollop of creepy. Levin seems to be covering his deep desire to ball like a baby with the psychological defense mechanism of intoning dark secrets – which he’s largely made up. Rush is the best of the lot. His problem is that he hasn’t broken any new ground since “Femi-nazis”. Episodes of Matlock are more unpredictable. In the end Rush is just whining too. He is better at making it sound like he’s not whining for 3 hours. But listen deeply. That’s all his show is.
The person I’d like to learn to emulate in style if not content is sports talker Colin Cowherd. He’s direct, entertaining, and manages his show smoothly and with humor.
Speaking of radio shows: On tonight’s show at 6pm pacific – another in my personal ‘learning curve’ series – actress and director Valerie Landsburg will be on to talk about business and art and career and buddhism and whatever else comes up. Many know her as Doris on the TV show Fame (How old am I?!?) but she’s been a working actress, and raising kids, and directing TV and films all along the way. The regulars and I will also rip up the carpet with some opinions on current events. Listen! Or else!