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We want the airwaves

Genghis stirred up some shit over at Ace's place claiming that the top conservative talk-radio hosts are old, burnt, and in the way. RS McCain has some pertinent insights, but you're reading this for my opinion; you can click and read him later. :)

As you can see from a brief perusal of the comments to his post, Genghis got jumped quick and schooled hard by a small army of morons who clearly pay more attention to talk radio than he does. His comments on Rush Limbaugh are as wrong as wrong can be - while there's no question that Rush is a bigtime NFL fan (and one smart enough to know the worst thing he could ever do is buy a team) he doesn't let it get in the way of the main event unless it's on Open Line Friday, when by definition the callers set the agenda. Rush is still the 800-pound gorilla of conservative talk; he is the Founder, the Opener of the Way, and as RSM astutely notes, he introduced many of the innovations that made talk radio what it is today - in the teeth of people who told him national political talk radio could never work. Decades later, despite all kinds of criticism (not only from the left) and would-be competitors, he's still Numero Uno. He's one of the few talk radio hosts I make an effort to find when I'm out of town.

Bill O'Reilly, I don't know. I vaguely remember him from Inside Edition before he became a big-time populist tubthumper for Fox, but I've never heard his radio show, which is now apparently in the process of closing down.

Glenn Beck. Seen the website, never heard the show.

Sean Hannity...oy. I listened to him for about a month during the election season and finally had to turn him off. The Carmina Burana intro and Reverend Wright clips were driving me berserk. I don't think he's as good as, say, Jason Lewis or any third of the Northern Alliance, but he's obviously a hard worker and full of energy. Nowhere near as good as Hewitt, much less Rush, when it comes to dealing with difficult liberal callers. I hear he's better on TV, but I don't care.

Lars Larsen - who?

Michael Savage. Now here I can agree with Genghis. One of the commenters said that Savage was the liberal caricature of conservative talk radio hosts made real, and I have to agree. A complete whackjob. Get this guy off my side, please.

Now, I used to listen to Bill Bennett and Hugh Hewitt on 1260 AM in the Twin Cities, and both of them are very professional, very competent; Hewitt is more energetic and entertaining, with a lot of guests (including Lileks and Steyn!) but he is very much a GOP cheerleader. Bennett, not so much. The Northern Alliance show on Saturdays was excellent; the conservative talk bench is very deep in Minnesota.

These days I catch Laura Ingraham in the morning on WTNT. She's good, very good. She probably has more pro-life/anti-abortion guests on the show than any of the others; Raymond Arroyo from EWTN is a regular on the show. Excellent bumper music mixing country and rock. Monica Crowley I don't have a good feel for yet; she's definitely better than Hannity, which I realize is faint praise, but she projects a constant sense of amusement at Democratic follies, which is a positive.

Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
(Anonymous)
Dec. 10th, 2008 12:24 pm (UTC)

Hannity: can't stand him. Think of him as Rush Jr. - just as supercilious and slightly less of a blowhard.

I used to enjoy Glenn Beck's show. 570 and 630 are tough after dark over here these days and so they're out of my usual radio rotation.

Then there's Michael Savage, who I personally though was pretty funny and used to actively seek out the same way I used to check out Radio Havana on 6000 KHz to see if propagation was good ("Broadcasting from CUBA - Free Territory in The Americas!") or Coast to Coast back before Art Bell quit radio the first time. Ditto Dr. Gene Scott. These people don't speak for me and aren't really on my side, they're just a source of amusement.

I can't believe that you left out my absolute favorite these days, though, which is John Batchelor. He was syndicated for five years on ABC, off the air for a couple, came back on WABC and KFI. Now syndicated to a few more stations including WMAL on Sunday nights... or you can just pick up the podcast to listen to as I do. He has three hours on in the East followed by three in the West... so plenty of material every week. Joe-RS (not to be confused with RS McCain) sez check it out. http://johnbatchelorshow.com/

-RS


wombat_socho
Dec. 12th, 2008 09:48 pm (UTC)
I've heard Batchelor a few times when he's substituting for Rush, and don't think he's that good...better than Hannity, certainly, but that's faint praise.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )