This commentary by Michelle Malkin, “In Defense of Conservative Talk Radio” rebukes the conservatives who are opposed talk radio’s lambasting of McCain. Now, to be fair, I do not listen to conservative talk radio. I prefer not to sullied by the megalomaniacal vitriol spewed by these blowhards who probably have a host of “daddy issues” and are getting back at the rest of us for not being voted homecoming queen.
The article mentions that conservative talk radio has succeeded where liberal attempts at the same venue have “bombed.” And this is true. Talkers Magazine announced Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Michael Savage are the three most important radio hosts in the country, followed by a litany of right-wing nutters who have managed to ride the coattails of legitimate political discourse into a fringe level of marketable success. Though, according to Hate Hurts America, many advertisers on Michael Savage’s program have recently pulled the plug on their support of his show. Yay for common sense.
The question is, why do liberal shows fail in this arena? Even I, a political junkie, never listen to Air America. It’s a mystery to me why I never took to the radio shows – I have youthful memories of my uncles gathered in the living room after meals to listen to Rush’s fat-cheeked demagoguery. That’s enough to put any young person off talk radio for the rest of their days. Or take prescription drugs just to get through it – hell, even he had to.
The very foundation of these talk shows, however, is a sheer certainty on the part of the hosts that they are right and there is no room for compromise, growth or learning. Like Goober Bush, they will follow their sheer certainty off a cliff it means never having to say, “Oh, whoops! You’re right.” The Republican death squads during the Clinton years, as well as the Gingrich-then-Delay Congresses, and the subsequent election of Bush gave these radio hosts the feeling of collusion with powerful political leaders and as they feel their phantom king-maker status waning, they are cannibalizing their own Republican Party as the pendulum swings away from their ugly ideals.
And it is certainty I dislike. Whether from a liberal or conservative, christian or atheist, capitalist or communist, certainty is a mighty dangerous location. When you cease to have doubts of your own ideals and refuse to listen to those who might propose disagreement, your mind has petrified and you are no longer useful. When your pride is more important than your learning, you should excuse yourself from the arena and retire as a legend in your own mind. When you will use whatever words you can find, regardless of their truth or malicious intent, to prove your paradigm, you become a cancer to healthy democratic development.
I believe conservative talk radio appeals to the sheepish culture of christians that must be told what to think and where to find morality and fear that which is different. Rush and Savage and Laura soothe a need for those people to have their brainwashed ideals reiterated time and time again because those ideals go against the very basic nature of humanity and are hard to retain in the face of progress and information proliferation. Of course these hosts can influence a voting bloc – a bloc that relies on group think for their own determinations and would rather belong than do right. This is the same bloc that would give and give and give to a church that controls and a pastor that cheats. This bloc, however, is deteriorating.
We have a new internet generation emerging that can easily access facts, research and education and are increasingly immune to the close-minded spewage of these hosts that continually fail to apply critical analysis to their thinking and have long-ago forgotten the word “discovery”. We are not afraid of discussion and disagreement and saying the unpopular. Be assured, as the baby-boom generation becomes dust in the wind, a new world of information gathering is emerging that shines a light on all the facts and prevents the hatred of such radio hosts from festering and fermenting.