The PoliBlog

The Collective
Thursday, November 9, 2024
By Dr. Steven Taylor

I would agree with the following assessment of Limbaugh from The Moderate Voice’s Joe Gandelman:

The tragedy is that there was a time when Limbaugh was an entertaining, satirical independent conservative thinker — back in the days of the first President Bush. That seemingly changed after the then-President — who was being lambasted by Limbaugh — invited the mega talk show host to stay over at the White House and sleep in the Lincoln Bedroom. After that (coincidentally or not) the tone of his program changed and he became above all the defender of the GOP establishment and promoter of whatever it’s current line was.


I listen to lots of talk radio when I drive (Wednesday it was 8 hours from Denver to South Dakota)and Limbaugh’s program has become virtually unlistenable for a non-Republican because it is usually three hours of party line and constant bashing of one political party and ideology. Limbaugh is a highly talented broadcaster (his talent may not be “on loan from God” but as a broadcaster he has talent) — but his penchant for doing party p.r. shuts him off from some listeners (not that he needs them with his ratings). His closest clone is Sean Hannity who is equally as predictable.

I have a similar view of the subject. I, too, used to listen to a lot of talk radio. First, I have long loved non-music radio (news, commentary, talk and radio drama). In fact, I have been a fan of such since I was in elementary school. Second, when I was in college (1986-1990) I did a lot of driving on the SoCal freeways, meaning at least 1.5-2 hours in the car daily, not to mention for part of that time I was running errands for a law firm for which I worked, meaning more hours trudging up to Los Angeles or heaven knows where. I listened to a ton of talk radio, both liberal and conservative and first heard Limbaugh in 1988 when Reagan was still in the White House (man, time flies). So, I have some experience with the medium.

I concur with Joe about Limbaugh: he is more talented that his critics often give him credit, but he has become impossible to listen to, unless one wants a drumbeat of GOP cheerleading. And Hannity is a clone, without a doubt.

Joe also has an excellent run down of Blogospheric reaction to Limbaugh’s statements that I mentioned in the previous post.

Sphere: Related Content

Filed under: US Politics, Talk Radio | |


  • el
  • pt
    1. I disagree on Limbaugh’s unlistenableness, though I agree he fronts for the party before we look headed for a blow-out (win, that’d be a blowout win), but I don’t really have a problem with that. He is, after all a political commentator who tries to advance certain ideas and policy goals. The policy goals will not always jibe with the ideas. That’s life, and to me, acceptable.

      What isn’t acceptable is that supposedly impartial broadcasters regularly make similar decisions, and seemd to me to do so way back when when I briefly worked at CBS News in New York City in the 1990s.

      As for Sean Hannity, he seems a nice enough, earnest fellow, but I’ve always preferred Alan Colmes, though his thinking is decidedly odd … not to mention wrong.

      Comment by Honza Prchal — Thursday, November 9, 2024 @ 5:29 pm

    2. I could have said all that by asking whether that was “simplistic partisanship” or consciousness of one’s responsibilities as an adult.

      Comment by Honza Prchal — Thursday, November 9, 2024 @ 5:30 pm

    3. In regards to Limbaugh, clearly there are plenty of people who find him perfectly fine, so my decision to stop listening in a personal one.

      Simplistic partisanship is defending your party even when it doesn’t deserve defending.

      As James Joyner wrote earlier today:

      It’s one thing to be a partisan and quite another to be a partisan hack. If a commentator believes that their party’s leaders are failing to live up to their self-proclaimed values, then it’s incumbent upon him to say so. That’s how you build credibility.

      Nor does pointing out the flaws prevent you from arguing that voting for your party is nonetheless the best alternative available. One can simultaneously say Denny Hastert should be fired and nonetheless prefer him to Nancy Pelosi; that Lincoln Chafee is barely a Republican but better than a Democrat; that Conrad Burns or George Allen have proven themselves to be dolts but that they’ll at least vote your way a lot more often than their opponents.

      And I think that Limbaugh, Hannity and Hewitt are essentially partisan hacks, rather than thoughtful conservative commentators. There is a difference.

      And note: this all came up in the context of Limbaugh basically admitting such (Hewitt as well)–see the previous post.

      I fail to see how any of that has anything to do with “one’s responsibilities as an adult”–perhaps you care to elaborate on that one.

      And I will also say that while one could have a long conversation about the MSM and the nighttime anchors, that really isn’t the issue at the moment.

      Comment by Dr. Steven Taylor — Thursday, November 9, 2024 @ 7:52 pm

    4. 2006 Elections Hit Lockstep Conservative Talk Hosts’ Credibility

      You can add another casualty to the 2024 elections: the credibility of lockstep conservative talk show radio hosts.

      There’s a difference between …

      Trackback by The Moderate Voice — Friday, November 10, 2024 @ 10:57 am

    RSS feed for comments on this post.

    The trackback url for this post is:

    NOTE: I will delete any TrackBacks that do not actually link and refer to this post.

    Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

    Visitors Since 2/15/03




    Powered by WordPress