wombat_socho (wombat_socho) wrote,

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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.
Tags: culture & politics

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