The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

22 January 2008

Limbaugh's Hoarse Voice, Political Frustration Fodder For Left


On Limbaugh's Importance, Pundits Keep Changing View

It was just yesterday that pundits, including a syndicated host, were openly declaring talk radio's influence over politics dead in the water, based solely on South Carolina's inconclusive GOP primary results.

One day later, however, the medium has somehow regained so much influence that even a sore throat by talk titan Rush Limbaugh is being scrutinized almost as carefully as Tom Brady's ankle:

(LA Times - Top Of The Ticket) Rush Limbaugh is in a funk and someone's gonna pay

Good news for Rush-haters.

Not only has the controversial conservative radio talk-show host got a sore throat, but he's anguishing over the inadequacy he sees in the current field of Republican presidential candidates. You can actually hear the pain, the mounting impatience, the frustration in his voice. It's kinda sad, if you believe in talk-radio.

Monday on-the-air he'd had enough of these impure candidates and enough of all these questions about his endorsement and when it would come and how he'd make his decision and he just blurted out to Jim in Kansas City and a few million others listening in: "I can see possibly not supporting a Republican nominee."


Across the country, people were dropping their coffee cups, choking on sandwiches, fainting and driving off the road. The king of conservative talk-radio not supporting the Republican nominee?

More on this at Say Anything.

Over at the Wall Street Journal, Fred Barnes went as far as to suggest John McCain meet with Rush at his West Palm Beach estate:

The McCain campaign claims that it's only a handful of conservative luminaries who oppose him. Not true. Complaints about him are rife among grassroots Republicans, and exit polls from the two primaries he won provide unmistakable evidence. He split self-identified Republicans with Mr. Huckabee in South Carolina and Mitt Romney in New Hampshire. But he barely won "somewhat conservative" voters in those states, and lost lopsidedly with "very conservative" voters.

Mr. McCain won both primaries because of his appeal to moderates and independents, indicating that he'd be a strong general election candidate. But he's got to take the Republican nomination first. That means winning without independents in more states with Republican-only primaries.

Spotlighting his conservative positions is a start. A few gestures bound to gain national attention would help. Appearing at today's March for Life demonstration in Washington would underscore his anti-abortion voting record. As Mr. McCain campaigns in Florida before next Tuesday's primary, a visit to Rush Limbaugh's home in Palm Beach to discuss conservative issues makes sense.

During today's show, Limbaugh said he found this suggestion amusing.

Meanwhile, the left has picked up on Michael Medved's shark- jumping turn away from the talk radio medium, using his words to their advantage:

(Think Progress)

Conservative radio host Michael Medved — who got his start guest-hosting Limbaugh’s show — wrote this recently:

The big loser in South Carolina was, in fact, talk radio: a medium that has unmistakably collapsed in terms of impact, influence and credibility because of its hysterical and one-dimensional involvement in the GOP nomination fight.

For more than a month, the leading conservative talkers in the country have broadcast identical messages in an effort to demonize Mike Huckabee and John McCain. If you’ve tuned in at all to Rush, Sean, Savage, Glenn Beck, Laura Ingraham, Mark Levin, Hugh Hewitt, Dennis Prager, and two dozen others you’ve heard a consistent drum beat of hostility toward Mac and Huck. […]

In other words, the talk radio jihad against Mac and Huck hasn’t destroyed or even visibly damaged those candidates. But it has damaged, and may help destroy, talk radio.

Medved’s observation can be witnessed in Limbaugh’s recent discourse about the leading Republican presidential candidates. Yesterday, Limbaugh said, “I can see possibly not supporting a Republican nominee,” adding that “it’s gonna come down to which guy do we dislike the least. And that’s not necessarily good.”

After hearing Limbaugh recently denounce the candidates as “not true conservatives,” Tom Brokaw said, “It’s one of the few times I’ve ever heard… Rush Limbaugh kind of temporarily at a loss for words.”

Think Progress, Michael Medved and Tom Brokaw: politics never ceases to create strange bedfellows.

As of today, this debate has settled itself: talk radio has as much influence as it ever has, with many millions of listeners (a good percentage still undecided on the primary candidates) keenly interested in the views of their favorite hosts. So let's end this silliness now, especially as South Carolina moves further into the rear- view mirror.

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  • Medved, is making the exact point I have made repeatedly over the last 4 months

    con talk is irrelevant

    Hannity has campaigned for Rudy on the radio the last 6 years, since 9-11, and guess what Guiliani has finished behind Ron Paul in all the primaries thus far, no support, next to ZERO. you would think with Hannity blasting from coast to coast , it would play an impact.

    remember the image of Paul supporters chasing Hannity saying "we don't believe you anymore, your not fooling us again"

    remember that image, rational republicans are done with hosts who fight for the 1% of this country, the ultra wealthy

    look at the pig man

    The only candidiate he supports is indeed Fred Thompson, in the past, he waxed poetic of Thompson's real "conservatism". Thompson could not even get 20% of the vote in his home state. The EIB microphone is falling on deaf ears, and the truely brainwashed (Maloney, the last remaining dittohead)

    Talkers from the psuedo-conservative right, do play an impact, whoever they support Americans are rejecting. This is obvious, just open your eyes.

    nobody trusts the elite anymore. Remember this is the fault of 25 years of Reagonomics, it is hitting their pockets.

    Quick fact: Wages are now making up the lowest portion of the total G.D.p, lowest since 1924

    This is the result of Reaganomics. Limbaugh and all the others, sold the listeners Reagonomics, it failed. You can not keep selling failure. Americans (those with a brain) no longer trust the echo chamber. You sold us out Maloney, you and the scum you call talk show hosts, have sold this country out

    Deal with it Brian, the numbers are there to prove my point, Medved's point and others. Support from an echo chamber host is the kiss of death.

    Expect a new form of talk radio to emerge, truth radio, which leaves next to no room for selling conservatism, an absolute failed ideology

    By Blogger Unknown, at 22 January, 2008 13:47  

  • Medved is right in the sense that talk radio does not have the power that it thinks it does. Rush, Hugh, Laura, Dennis,, spent the last week exhorting the South Carolina faithful not to vote for McCain or Huckabee; those two combined for 63% of the vote. I don't think the anti-McCain, anti-Huck tirades will permanently damage talk radio; they'll get on board the bus eventually.

    This is a very good lesson, though. Rush and the other talk radio mavens are learning than you cannot lead people where they don't want to go.

    By Blogger Pat, at 22 January, 2008 14:53  

  • hershel said:
    "Expect a new form of talk radio to emerge, truth radio, which leaves next to no room for selling conservatism, an absolute failed ideology"

    Amazing how many words the libs use over and over again, but they always come back to the same sad viewpoint: There has to be someone out there who will support us!

    Your clan has been spouting this sort of drivel for years. Air America was your high point and it's been downhill ever since. The market has spoken. No one wants to listen to far left talk on the radio.

    Take a chill pill, Hersel, your views are close to the classic definition of insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

    By Blogger The Benson Report, at 22 January, 2008 15:16  

  • Medved is a very bright man. But he sometimes allows his intellect to overcome first principles. He touted Huckabee as the candidate who best expressed Republican values in the early debates. I agreed with him. Yet, he would not go into the Governor's lacking record on illegals, and his generous welfare policies. Medved seemed to delight in the surge Huckabee enjoyed since this tended to make Michael somehting of a savant (he was the only major host touting Huckabee).

    Yesterday, MM challenged a caller to name a single instance where McCain was seriously off the GOP reservation. He wasn't kidding.

    I have no problem with someone deciding that the Islamofascists are of supreme importance. McCain and Rudy would clearly be worthy of such a voter's support. But for MM to try to sell McCain as representative of the best the GOP has across the board is to be intellectually dishonest.

    Am I silly to expect more from a "movement" host? Is talk radio really, in the end, merely a vehicle for selling soap and feeding the bank accounts and egos of the hosts? I'd love to hear your take on this question, Brian.

    By Blogger Unknown, at 22 January, 2008 17:53  

  • I am reminded once again why I don't listen to talk radio: they do not speak for me.

    Look, they are entertainers. Yes, they are part of a movement, so to speak, but they aren't the arbiters of that movement. They give a voice to part of it. I'm as conservative as any of them are, but I resent the implication that Rush or any of them speak for me. I can think for myself, and on this and some other specific issues on which they've raised their voices, I simply think they're wrong and acting like petulant children.

    Rush needs to quit flogging Reagan's corpse if he's going to continually violate Reagan's philosophy. I don't like Huckabee at all either, but "not support the Republican candidate" if he's the nominee? PLEASE. As the the Anchoress pointed out, Reagan said this:

    "When I began entering into the give and take of legislative bargaining in Sacramento, a lot of the most radical conservatives who had supported me during the election didn’t like it. "Compromise" was a dirty word to them and they wouldn’t face the fact that we couldn’t get all of what we wanted today. They wanted all or nothing and they wanted it all at once. If you don’t get it all, some said, don’t take anything. I'd learned while negotiating union contracts that you seldom got everything you asked for. And I agreed with FDR, who said in 1933: 'I have no expectations of making a hit every time I come to bat. What I seek is the highest possible batting average.' If you got seventy-five or eighty percent of what you were asking for, I say, you take it and fight for the rest later, and that’s what I told these radical conservatives who never got used to it."
    – Ronald Reagan, An American Life

    The Republican electorate includes people who are not as ideological as Rush and other radio hosts are, whether one likes it or not. The votes prove it.

    And then there's the lunatic fringe, like Hershel. (eyeroll)

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 23 January, 2008 09:09  

  • Benson Said
    doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

    Benson, This is MOP, I do not understand why "Hershel" is displaying on the screen, I think this computer at work was signed in under a google account , anyway Hershel is Jared, MOP

    You are projecting, Reaganomics failed in the 80's resulted in inflation, defecit and a failed economy. The Republicans used the same failed ideology, expecting different results and the result the same, a recession.

    you can not handle it, I expressed the same feelings about RNC hosts as one of your own Medved, I pointed out the same observations, Hannity endored Rudy, Rudy has received less votes than Ron Paul!! Limbaugh sang praise of Fred Thompson and he is out of the race now. Everything I say is not only accurate, these observations are the same as people on your own side

    Shriek about "lib talk" all you want, leftie talk never was on the same playing field as con radio, in it's peak only 3% of the country had the opportunity to hear lib talk. It does not reflect America's viewpoints, the fact that liberal talk is barely on ther air, it reflects that the conglomerate media is afraid of having hosts that dare to question big business on the radio. Simple as that.

    In realityville, America understand Reagonmoics failed in the 80's and is failing again, and in 2008 as bad as Obama and Clinton are (and as an educted fact based progressive, as opposed to a knee jerk hack I understand that the Democraric frontrunners are not "progressive" nor "socialist') as bad as they are, America is sick of being broke, sick of the inflation, sick of Milk jumping 30% in cost over 5 years, and we will elect a Democrat, because the ONLY thing moderate-DLC Democrats do CORREECTLY is shift the wealth back to the majority, the middle class, by shifting the tax burdon to the rich. This works, it stimulated the economy in the 90's, and Reaganomics failed for over 90% of the nation.

    You define Menttal illness Benson, you want to continue to bankrupt the nation with a failed ideology, because you take "R" over America....

    and I was correct when I declared RNC tak radio is irrelevant, it does not matter if Limbaugh has a 2 share in a few markets (let's be realistic, this is the highest rating these RNC hosts ever receive, a 2.5 rating, nothing to brag about) the only ones listening are the "R" over country crowd and they are not even reponding to the echo chamber any longer. Every primary thus far, is heavilly saturated with RNC talk on the AM dial ( I did the research on this) and look how they voted, the exact opposite of Hannity, Limbaugh and Mark Levin. Deal with it, Benson, only weak minded half-wits listen to these jerks on the radio and take it seriously.

    In November, like 2006, I will once more laugh last, and you hacks can call that arrogant witch , Laura Ingrham to cry to. I will NEVER forget Laura Ingraham on election eve 2006, calling "democrats losers" as the GOP was getting crushed coast to coast.

    Benson, you will learn something, those more informed and educated than you (such as myself) are those you should listen to, not a rock and roll disk jockey turned talking point reader. I'm far more qualified to discuss politics than 90% of the hosts on the radio, I have the education and have read more on political science and history than Limbaugh, Hannity and the rest combined. As they were practicing "hitting the post" on a Lenord Skynard record, I was reading poitical science.

    What is best for the people is never best for big business, hence an individual such as myself will NEVER be allowed on commercial radio, and I do not care. I would never sell the American people down the river for a fat pay check, like the Pig man has been doing for 25 years.

    Benson, your indeed boarding on sociopathic, as most Republicans. Reaganomics DESTROYED America, destroyed the economy, destroyed manufacturing, destroyed the unions, destroyed the Middle Class, and forever removed that label on your products which read " MADE IN U.S.A", and you want more and more of the same failed policies.
    Why do you hate Americans?

    America is turing towards conservatism, America supports Fred Thompson!! hahahahaahahahahaah, what happened to the Ditto-nation??????? Hysterical. how long Benson are you going to support the same failed ideology and trust the same barely literate D.J's who get you to vote against America? You Benson, are one of the dumbest individuals on the face of this Earth.

    Your the mental patient, not me. Anyone who supports Reaganomics is a mental patient and is in need of psychoactive drugs.

    By Blogger Unknown, at 23 January, 2008 09:57  

  • All of you are wrong.

    Every election there seems to be someone predicting the 'demise' of some other group. This election it is the demise of 'conservative talk radio'.

    Bah! I say... and I said the same thing when the Conservatives were predicting the demise of the Democrats (remember all the "it's about VALUES" crappola.

    Bah! I said it then and I say it again.

    All of it is wishful thinking.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 23 January, 2008 10:36  

  • Con radio will not go away, but it is irrelevant, basically it is known that these hosts are almost infomercials for the G.O.P, meaningless and irrelevant, but it will never go anywhere, the elite needs salesmen to pitch their intent on turning this country into an aristocracy. If 2 million psuedo-cons listen, it's worth every penny, the elite needs their useful idiots.

    By Blogger Minister of Propaganda, at 23 January, 2008 13:32  

  • The intellectual vacancy of the left here is stunning. Do these idiots non know that so far all the primaries have been open? That means that anyone can vote. We'll see in Florida since it's a closed election.

    By Blogger Capitalist Infidel, at 23 January, 2008 18:11  

  • Jared you need to do a lot more reading about the 80’s. Then read more about the 70’s. Read from someone who lived both and find the truth. I know you are too far to the left to agree with anything that came out of the 80’s but here are a few facts.

    Lower taxes increased the money coming in to the treasury. So you say “why was the debt increased”. Congress agreed to give Reagan his tax cuts and promised to freeze increases in spending. When Congress did not the national debt went up. Is that really to hard to comprehend.

    Here is the lefts great tax plan. Tax your employer. What will happen when they tax your employer? 1. No raises 2. Fewer employees. 3. Less benefits. 4. Higher prices. Agree or not the money to pay those higher taxes is coming from one of them. The employer is not going to loose that money. Either the employees or the consumers will pay that tax increase. Prove me wrong ,its common sense.

    As for made in the USA have you every owned a car made in America in the 70’s or 80’s. Poor Quality is what hurt the car industry. But according to your form of government we should force people to buy American cars. I think our system forces the industry to improve the cars or go out of business.

    As for killing the unions someone needs to finish the job. Look at people with union jobs and look at their drive to better their lives. They keep the same job because they don’t want to take a chance of loosing seniority. They think union jobs are the best they can do. Well you might have a point their, look at the looser MOP he will never do better than pushing the button to start a film.

    By Blogger pf1, at 24 January, 2008 02:00  

  • pf1:
    As for killing the unions someone needs to finish the job. Look at people with union jobs and look at their drive to better their lives. They keep the same job because they don’t want to take a chance of loosing seniority. They think union jobs are the best they can do

    Horse sh*T.
    most seek union work after being urinated on by the elite in the private sector, such as myself. Funny story, my father, computer programmer for 35 years, (from the time where computers were as large as voting booths), earned 6 figures, fed up with constant forced overtime with no pay, constant forced Sunday work , with no compensation, tired of watching his fellow programmers being replaced with $30K a year Indian folks.... is about to leave his field forever, with less than 10 years to retirement, to take a union transit job for the long island Rail Road, a profesional earning over $150K a year, instead of looking for another firm to screw him , left the profession for a labor job.. The exact opposite of what you claim. I left the slave-labor field as well for union protection.

    IF you want to be at the will of the elite, with no protection, no rights, and the fear of pay cuts, job termination and the misery of forced overtime, without compensation (thank your conservative law makers) I suppose you have sado-masochistic tendencies???

    See, Pf1, most with job protecton would not want to leave, beceause they are happy to NOT be endentured servants. I would not want to leave my job, I like my union job, I despise my non-union job, I do not like being an endentured servant, being at the will others, with no rights. I guess you have a submissive personality, and you enjoy having no rights, and living in fear of losing your job. See, when you have protection, you usually do not have to live in fear.
    ....and when you pay workers a human living, give them overtime, treat them with dignity, things a union forces the elite to do, you get better results from the staff. Treat them like slaves, hold their job over their heads, waste their time with mid-level management meetings and threats, and you get what you pay for.

    Why would anyone want to leave a protected job, for a endentured servant job. I do not care how much money you are making at a job, without UNION protection, without LEGAL progection (which is what Unions provide) you are in danger of losing your job in a heartbeat.........

    I guess that is better? In other words Reagan was the workers worst enemy, public enemy #1 for working Americans

    I will leave you with a little Jow Hill

    "Workers of the world, awaken!
    Rise in all your splendid might
    Take the wealth that you are making, It belongs to you by right.
    No one will for bread be crying
    We'll have freedom, love and health,When the grand red flag is flying In the Workers' Commonwealth."
    -Joe Hill

    Yes, Pf1, I'm indeed a socialist, friend of the worker, enemy of the elite and Reagan was an enemy of my brothers and sisters.

    and FYI, I work in live theatre, Im not a projectionist.

    By Blogger Minister of Propaganda, at 24 January, 2008 10:25  

  • Keep thinking your job is protected. Do you think the boys working for GM said their job was protected? All the bull you’re talking doesn’t beat working for yourself. Go to china and see how your socialist job is doing.

    Socialist you think the GOV should own and distribute everything. You go ahead and stand in line for everything and be a good little socialist. I promise you I will cut in that line and laugh at you.

    The nine most terrifying words in the English language are, “I’m from the government and I’m here to help” Ronald Reagan 1976

    As for taxes the best Quote by Reagan is “We don’t have a trillion-dollar debt because we haven’t taxed enough; we have a trillion-dollar debt because we spend too much.”

    By Blogger pf1, at 27 January, 2008 02:15  

  • I’m from the government and I’m here to help” Ronald Reagan 1976

    Yes, when conservatives are running the government, they set it up for failure. Cons destroy government and than blame government after they break it

    How can a rational human being quote or trust Ronnie Reagan, the man who went from Union leader, to union buster. His radical about face makes one question his rationality.

    Reagan had a personal grudge with more socialistic forces in the screen actors guild, which turned him into a anti-worker neo-lib conservative. Similiar to someone who had a bad experience with... let's say Jews and than became a nazi. Reagan's whole outlook was based on a personal attack by a communist leaning union leader, who I believe threatened to break his face open. This one individual changed his views on everything.

    Knowing the background of Ronnie,it is hard to quote him or take his Anti-government stance seriously. His "rugged conservatism" was based on emotion not logic. He was pro-union until a personal incident made him change his views. It was emotion that guided Ronnie not logic.

    Ronald Reagan made government bigger, and spend billions on covert wars in South America, for economic purposes(funded the contras)and gave billions and billions away to corporations.

    Reagan violated every rule of the "free market". According to "free market" theory, government assistance to corporations, goes against the doctrine. That would make Ronald Reagan a neo-liberal!!

    So funny, the so called "Free market" conservatives love Ronnie Reagan, but he violated "free market" theory. Government assistance in overseas financial intrests (Nicaragua and Argentina) is not part of the "free market" doctrine, neither is hand outs to corporations.

    PF1, if you quote Ronnie Reagan, this would make you a neo-liberal. A Thatcher-Reagan neo-lib,similiar to Bill Clinton and George W Bush, all neo-liberals. Not conservatives, not traditional liberals, but NEO-LIBERALS.

    There is one real conservatrive running,against welfare to corporations and against overseas laizze faire imperialism, that would be Ron Paul.

    What will it be Pf1? Will you support a real conservative or a neo-lib?

    Remember unless you vote Paul, I have every right to call you a "lib", and we all know to a "ditto" that is the biggest insult of them all!!!

    lib lib lib!!!!!
    REAGAN supporters are LIBS!!!!

    By Blogger Minister of Propaganda, at 27 January, 2008 13:44  

  • MOP why would you think the Gov could run anything correctly? Name one thing the Gov has not screwed up. With your Socialist outlook you want them to run everything. Are you that brainless? Well at least you are the minority. The only reason you support the Socialist party is you think it makes you look cool grow up and get a life.

    MOP you are so far in left field everyone is a lib to you. I think you go further left everyday. You’re so far left people see you for the fool you are. Keep on preaching your crap I love our capitalists society. It will help me pay for my five week vacation at the end of this month. Have fun pushing your Socialist agenda I’ll be playing Golf across this great country laughing at your future. You probably work harder than I and can’t catch a break it’s not your fault the world is against you. Life’s not fair is it? It’s not your fault. Just keep saying that and you will be on top soon. Now that’s funny.

    By Blogger pf1, at 28 January, 2008 01:15  

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