Cato's Jerry Taylor, Corner Quisling!

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A note to Cato Institute senior fellow Jerry Taylor: If you want to diss the Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh cultists, best not do it on the National Review group blog. Writing on The Corner, Taylor makes a handful of perfectly sensible points about Limbaugh's "sub-Nixon popularity figures" and the sometimes "dubious logic and dodgy evidence being forwarded to buttress [talk radio hosts'] arguments." As Taylor notes, he's not against conservative talk radio but would simply rather have a smarter, "better conservative talk radio."

And that's when the fun started.

Katherine Jean Lopez, doyenne of the Corner and editor of National Review Online, says that what Taylor wrote was "reckless" and that it ill-serves the conservative movement to attack those who dumb it down, like Sean Hannity. Mark Steyn piles on, writing that Taylor is but an "obscure think-tanker"  whose argument is "pathetic on its face, and an embarrassment to National Review," while defending the wisdom of radio host, NR contributor, and best-selling author Mark Levin. (It is, apparently, not embarrassing when Levin bellows that former National Review staffer David Frum is a "Canadian a-hole," a "jerk," and a "putz" who writes "pathetic books and pathetic articles.")

According to Lopez, "Rush and Sean are incredible assets for the conservative movement." For the sake of argument, if I grant Steyn and Lopez that Limbaugh and Hannity possess an extraordinary ability to convert non-believers to the conservative cause (and I am not convinced that they do), this still doesn't address Taylor's point that they frequently do so using dubious sources and dodgy arguments. Is it defensible that, on a recent episode of his Fox program, Hannity fawned on the blogger Pamela Geller, who argues that Barack Obama is the bastard child of Malcolm X? Or how about Hannity's ridiculous pre-election "documentary" Obama & Friends: The History of Radicalism, which featured an interview with Andy Martin, originator of the "Obama-as-secret-Muslim" emails, whose stated political goal is the "exterminat[ion] of Jew power in America"?

Regardless, Steyn argues, it's "conservatism's only mass outlet" and it is doing rather well. So what's there to complain about?

I wrote about Limbaugh and the battle for ideological orthodoxy on the right here.

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  1. Really trolling for the posts on this one, aren’t we?

  2. They feel free to dis David Frum because they now have Mark Steyn as their in-house “Canadian A*****e”.

    ;P

  3. There are a few really good conservative radios hosts out there, but none are really big players.

    The ones that pull in the big numbers are all douchebags who are good at firing up their base.

  4. For the Spite Right, nothing matters but “socking it to the Left.” As long as the Limbaughs and Hannitys do that, they can do no wrong. No positive defense of liberty is required…

  5. All political groups do this. Many of the politically active libertarians that I’ve met believe that the ends justify the means when it comes to political persuasion. They cherry pick their facts and inject rhetoric into every argument. I almost completely agree with them and I want to smack them in the mouth.

  6. I used to like Rush, two presidential adminstrations ago. But he’s tiresome now, and his competitors are worse. Hannity is a jerk, Levin is an asshole, Savage a racist fuck, Prager a neo-con apologist, and Beck is crypto-conspiracist. They haven’t helped the conservative movement, they’re retarded it.

  7. The mass stupidity is definitely entertaining, but it’s not going to be effective if the goal is to oppose BHO.

    For instance, Taylor links to an NYT article using the text “conspiracy-minded nonsense”. That NYT article says:

    Various reports, including ones in The New York Times, have found no evidence that Mr. Obama and Mr. Ayers were particularly close, although they have had various points of contact.

    Now, read up on the referenced New York Times report from Scott Shane.

    Why is Taylor taking the NYT’s side instead of pointing out how they did a whitewash?

    We now return you to Masked Kochtopus Wrestling Night.

  8. According to Lopez, “Rush and Sean are incredible assets for the conservative movement.”

    In that they are very good preaching to the choir, and reaching large numbers of people.

    Hannity is worse than Limbaugh, at least to me. I listen to Hannity, Limbaugh, and Levin sometimes in order to better anticipate the talking points that are gonna get thrown at me. Hannity, at least to me, makes Limbaugh look like an urbane philosopher. Sometimes I really want to like Rush Limbaugh, but he’s such an unapologetic and enthusiastic cheerleader for things Republican (or populist, when the elephants don’t snap to attention fast enough) that I just can’t.

    Hannity is just embarrassing. He’s too earnest, too simple, too black-and-white. There’s nothing of substance there.

    Levin is completely incoherent. I can’t imagine anybody possessed of a worthwhile intellect thinking Levin is anything but drivel. His show is a couple (few?) hours of shouted non-sequiturs, appeals to emotion which shouldn’t fool any third-grader.

  9. Say what you want about the Righty media, but without them I would be completely ignorant about which types of mustard are elitist and who’s eating them.

  10. ShutTheFuckUp, LoneWacko

  11. No surprise. Conservatism and libertarianism are not allies but opponents. Conservatives promote their ideology in three ways. One is an appeal to superstition and religion. Second, is by pilfering the best arguments of libertarians like Friedman, Mises and Hayek. Third, they simply invent falsehoods.

    When conservatives manage to get something right it is usually because they borrowed the idea from a libertarian. Conservatives are hopeless, nonthinkers, mired in bigotry, prejudice and religion — but I repeat myself.

  12. I think conservatives are more complex than that, but I do think they are easily manipulated by fear of the Democrats. Plenty of that fear is justified, but many times they’re missing the classic mote-beam issue when comparing the two parties.

    Plenty of the conservatives I’ve known have been of the freeish market, sorta-limited government stripe as much as they’ve been about moral or religious issues. The problem is, they get riled up about the possibility of crazy socialism, crazy monkey sex, or crazy foreign policy, and vote on those fears, rather than on what their side is doing. Which allows the Hannitys of the world to play on those fears and make ridiculous, over-the-top claims.

    Since Obama was elected, I’ll occasionally listen to the more moderate right-wing hosts, just to enjoy some ranting and raving about our ludicrous government. Too bad they didn’t think to do the same during the last administration.

  13. “crazy monkey sex”

    I think you meant crazy monkey butt-sex.

  14. That’s implied. Monkeys are indiscriminate.

  15. Talk show host are professional polemist. The function of a polemist is to raise emotion not facts.

    I do find it interesting that conservative polemist are singled out for being stupid and misrepresenting facts when someone like Michael Moore gets a seat of honor at the 2004 Democrat convention. For that matter, the majority of academic leftist are little more than polemist.

    We’ve simply been conditioned to ignore leftwing nutjobs. People can seriously stand up and accuse a Republican president for launching a war for personal profit or for letting thousands drown for racist reasons but simply point out that Obama comes from a political subculture in Chicago were a unrepentant Maoist terrorist is a respected member of the community and suddenly you’re a nutjob.

    Conservative radio polemist become the public face of non-leftist America because leftist dominate every other form of communication. Leftism is the politics of the articulate intellectual so it should come as no surprise that institutions where articulate intellectuals work lean strongly to left. The vast majority of non-leftists do not work in some form of communication so our views are never heard. Only the freak economics of daytime talk radio creates a niche in which non-leftists views can be heard. Combine this with the fact that people listen to radio for entertainment first and news second and you have the rise of the non-leftist radio polemist.

    It is frustrating but we don’t really have a cultural mechanism to offset the entrenched leftist in our institutions of communications. Only the internet driven fall of the institutions themselves will produce balance.

  16. When was the last time an editor or writer for Reason wrote something at Hit & Run that others employed by the magazine openly disagreed with? If Hit & Run wouldn’t have a pile-on like The Corner did, it’s because there’s less non-conformity among its (professional) contributors to begin with. Sure, Hit & Run has commentors and The Corner doesn’t, but let’s face it … no one takes commentors seriously.

  17. I think the left is stupider than the right in general, Shannon, if that makes you feel any better. Oddly enough, I think that’s because of the left’s greater tendency to employ faith over reason.

  18. Why does Jerry Taylor even write for that site? Establishment conservatives are not our friends.

  19. Ken Silder – how about Steve Chapman’s last article about gay marriage?

  20. Shannon Love, a voice of wisdom as usual.

    But I’m still chuckling at the charge that some conservatives have some connections with political loons. Thank heavens that libertarians never have that problem, eh? (Anyone else remember the Reason cover story of about 25 years ago advocating that Israel protect itself by building a pipeline along its borders filled with a radioactive liquid that would kill anyone who got near it?)

  21. TAO-

    Nice. Good point.

  22. Angry Optimist,

    Steve Chapman’s pieces get a lot of negative feedback from the commentors, but I haven’t seen much if any from other Reason editors/writers. If you have any good example of such, provide a link; I’d be interested to see it.

  23. There are a few really good conservative radios hosts out there, but none are really big players.

    Too true. Ron Smith @ WBAL in Baltimore is one of those hosts. Smart and funny and will cover a wide range of topics. He’s *almost* a libertarian, but falls down on immigration and gay marriage.

    Brian Wilson was another when he was still on the air. He may still be on somewher, but I haven’t heard anything about him lately.

  24. A good reminder that there is still penance to be done by the conservative movement.

  25. I also recommend Michael Smerconish on WPHT 1210 am in Philly. (Now syndicated in a few other places.) He also *almost* a libertarian. The stumbling blocks for him are immigration and defense against terrorists. (Think of the children!)

  26. I think you meant crazy monkey butt-sex.

    Where’s Sugarfree when you need him/her/it?

  27. BTW … did anyone see Richard Posner’s blog post on Sunday about “the intellectual decline of conservatism”?

  28. I wonder what Limbaugh and Hannity would have sounded like if there had been talk radio in 1776?

    What would they have thought of Washington taking advice from that Frenchman Lafayette?

  29. You kick one monkey in the nuts and the rest howl along with him.

    I enjoy watching most of the left and right talk show news host people thingies since Jerry Springer is only aired at three in the morning I have to get my, “lol humanity is fucked” moments in somewhere. The “conservatives” have circled the wagons and are shooting at anything that moves.

    Note that the use of conservative is a very loose one referring to the group that has become the retarded right. They weren’t rocket scientists before, now I think they have the helmets and drool bibs on order.

  30. Ken Silber – I was thinking of the wrong article. Steve Chapman wrote an anti-lowering-the-drinking article, and that garnered at least this:

    Response.

    Of course, reason might choose to forgo intrablog dustups because they end up being fodder for the Soap Opera Crowd.

  31. First to say KJL is an embarassment of riches, where riches = stupid.

  32. Angry Optimist,

    Thanks for reminding me of that. It is something, but not much.

    Another reason Reason might forego intrablog dustups is because its writers largely think alike.

  33. This is great. The more power right wing talk radio has withint the conservative party, then the longer my side will rule.

    Conservative talk radio hurts conservatism by
    1. Dumbing it down (an hour listening to Beck is an hour not reading Kirk, Burke, Strauss, etc.)
    2. Giving devoted listeners the illusion they are being informed
    3. Pushing ideological “purity” in the movement (which is the death of any national party)
    4. Helping my side define conservatism as the same as these fools

  34. I’m not the only liberal that loves watching the complete implosion of the Republican Party into a bunch of retards flinging poo. There’s a reason that administration is willing to bait people like Limbaugh and Cheney-no matter what you think of Obama’s policies, if the opponents are a bunch of drooling, screaming simpletons, you can’t help but shine in comparison.

  35. Shannon, do you really expect left bashing being that the topic is Hannity and Limbaugh? The nature of this article favors right-wing bashing. If the article was about Michael Moore, I would expect more left bashing than right.

    On a different note, I think anyone who makes every moment in life a political issue has achieved the ultimate in idiocy. I know a couple of people that would not see a movie if they saw Michael Moore say it was good.

  36. The Angry Optimist | May 13, 2009, 5:51pm | #

    Ken Silder – how about Steve Chapman’s last article about gay marriage?

    And the one supporting the 21 year old drinking age.

  37. Oh, yeah, I’m still a usefulidiot for the corporatists I claim to be against. Did I also mention that I’m still a virgin?

  38. which i see now got mentioned.

  39. Brian Wilson was another when he was still on the air.

    He’s currently the PD of Toledo’s WSPD (and, I think, still does some fill-in work elsewhere).

    Also, Larry Elder (formerly of L.A.’s KABC and, for a while, syndicated) did position himself as a libertarian–and, IIRC, actually was for the most part, when it came to immigration.

  40. Aw, come on, no sexist comments about Lopez’s appearance yet?

    It’s easy to be as rabidly pro-life as Lopez when you have no chance of ever achieving conception.

  41. I think there is disagreement amongst the Reaspon writers. Of course one should not expect it to be tremondous as they are libertarians writing for a libertarian magazine and the target of many of their articles are pretty obviously not libertarian policies and such.

    But look, for instance, at the differences between Jesse Walker (more of a “we should not back either side” stance and Moynihan (who more actively defended the IDF) during the Israeli-Palestine scuffle in January, or the disagreement over whether to allow Americans to buy prescription drugs from overseas (Bailey was against and iirc Sullum was for it).

  42. Ken Silber – I was thinking of the wrong article. Steve Chapman wrote an anti-lowering-the-drinking article, and that garnered at least this:

    Goddamn, that was a fun thread. They should keep Chapman around just to write stupid articles, to keep the juices flowing.

  43. MNG and Geotpf-

    1. See Shanon Love’s post at 5:45.

    2. Dumbing down? How about falling for the false left/right paradigm?

    3. Dumbing down? How about Rachael Maddow? Or George Stephanopolous? Or Chris Matthews? Or Al Franken? Not exactly intellectual heavyweights.

    4. Why are there so many more “consevative” talkmasters than democrat talkmasters? It has been this way for quite some time.

  44. And the one supporting the 21 year old drinking age.

    My personal favorite Chapman is the one where he argues in favor of monetary inflation.

  45. Indeed, the outrage was almost as much as that among some commenters here when Reason denounced the occasional racist letter from Ron Paul’s associates, no? I suppose that incident showed that the libertarian movement was cracking up.

  46. Surely if National Review writers and bloggers always agreed with each other, that would also be some sort of troubling sign. They publish a lot of comments and articles by libertarians, and also by conservatives who run the gamut from libertarian-friendly to extremely not libertarian. That there exists disagreement is hardly shocking.

  47. Libertymike
    I think Democratic politicians feel much more comfortable criticizing Moore than conservative politicians do Limbaugh. There’s not much comparison there.

    As for dumbing down, look, if you don’t think a conservative would be better served intellectually to read Russell Kirk than to listen to Beck or Limbaugh, I don’t know what else I can say in the matter. And yes of course the left has some truly dumb people representing them, but for one thing, they don’t come off as angry and dickheaded as much.

    Why are there so many more conservative talk radio hosts and why do they do better? Well, it has to do with a very conscious effort on the right to create alternative institutions when they thought their message was not getting out in the mainstream media. Rich sugar-daddies often helped nurse these institutions and voices until they could stand on their own and make money, and to be honest the mainstream media made it all possible by ignoring many conservative voices for a very long time (this segment of the nation was looking for an outlet).

    The left is just recently starting to engage in this partisan alternative information institutional building. Oh joy, soon the airwaves will be either terrible right wing partisan station x or awful left wing partisan station y. Joy.

    I’ll be watching DVDs of Deadwood and Twin Peaks.

  48. Shutup, you shutup, you anti-American assh*les. You should shutup and let the real American’s deal with the problems, shutup you lazy jerks. You think you’re intelligent, you can’t be nearly as intelligent as me you jerks. You know I’m a constitutional lawyer, you putz’s. You say you love America, you hate America. That’s the truth, you all hate America. Everyone knows that only people who love war, torture, sodomy laws, more executive power, and taxcuts, love America. Any person who doesn’t agree with that is pissing on the graves of the founding fathers. You JERKS!

    Rabble, rabble, rabble, rabble.

  49. All this shows that the Republican party is still headed down and far from reaching bottom.

    The comparison with Michael Moore falls flat. MM never reached the status that Limbaugh has. It’s exactly the sort of thing that is so distressing. Republican politicians cannot look cross eyed at Limbaugh without incurring the wrath of the rank and file and having to suck his dick within 36 hours.

    I’m at a loss to think of any reasonable conservative media personalities. Hugh Hewitt used to seem semi sane, even had a daily spot on a local PBS show… until 9/11 took his mind. And Larry Elder? That guy was always marginal, and got loonier as time went on, with a WorldNetDaily gig and all. Last I heard from him, about a year and a half ago, he was still trying to argue that WMDs were hidden in Iraq, somewhere.

  50. The problem is that most of the respectable conservatives are gone or marginalized.

    William F. Buckley is dead, George Will, David Brooks, and Russ Douthat are relegated to being called [whatever the hell this means] “champagne conservatives.”

    Unfortunately demagogues are always more popular than those who are thoughtful to the “base.” Huey Long and Charles Coughlin being historical examples on the left.

  51. Right-wingers moved from the house of God, to the house of Fox News. A 24 hour news channel replaced God as their agent of influence. The disarray of the republican party is God’s revenge. 😉

  52. Mark Levin | May 13, 2009, 7:06pm | #

    That’s pretty good.

  53. Why are there so many more conservative talk radio hosts and why do they do better? Well, it has to do with a very conscious effort on the right to create alternative institutions when they thought their message was not getting out in the mainstream media. Rich sugar-daddies often helped nurse these institutions and voices until they could stand on their own and make money, and to be honest the mainstream media made it all possible by ignoring many conservative voices for a very long time (this segment of the nation was looking for an outlet).

    This is kind of a non-responsive argument when discussing talk radio specifically. I’ll give you magazines and think tanks, which almost invariably are not for profit and have benefactors. (and both right and left have these) But radio was financially self-sufficient from day one. Truth is, I am not sure why there’s been no regression to the mean after the early start of the genre by Limbaugh. Probably something to do with the demographics that have lifestyle that are able to listen to it, but that only goes so far.

  54. Aw, come on, no sexist comments about Lopez’s appearance yet?

    Holy fucking shit KJL is ugly. I think I’m actually damaged from Googling her picture. She’s so ugly, when she was a kid her parents tied a pork chop around her neck just to get the dog to play with her.

  55. “Rush and Sean are incredible assets for the conservative movement.” For the sake of argument, if I grant Steyn and Lopez that Limbaugh and Hannity possess an extraordinary ability to convert non-believers to the conservative cause (and I am not convinced that they do),

    The key here is that they used to. Well, ok, Limbaugh used to, I can’t speak for Steyn and Lopez, and Hannity was a relative newcomer (new phenomenon) when Bush II came into office. I think what NR hasn’t grokked is that they’re still living in the “good old days”.

  56. “But radio was financially self-sufficient from day one.”

    Do you have proof of that? I’ve read of media moguls that owned strings of radio stations that were willing to allow right wing spots and programs that were not the best money makers for them. Of course after being nurtured for a while they then find an audience and seem “self supporting.”

  57. She’s so ugly, when she was born, the doctor slapped her mother.

  58. Well, what are they going to say Paul? They’ve spent quite a bit of time telling their readers that 1. people like Sarah Palin are actually really smart, those implying otherwise are part of the LiberalEliteEstablishment and 2. anyone who advocates moderating stances is a NoGoodTraitorousRINO. So, having created this monster, and having convinced enough of their followers that this is Gospel the poor conservative movement now is incapable of sensible moderation, repackaging, or any self-criticism that would lead to change and re-birth because anyone who did that would be branded a RINOMember of the LiberalEliteEstablishment and summarily drummed out of the movement.

    What they’ve done is created a monster that can’t change. No matter how unpopular or discredited they do the same thing, over and over and turn to the same type of people.

    It’s great I tells ya.

  59. “…the left’s greater tendency to employ faith over reason.”

    This is really hilarious coming on a site that embraces never experienced unfettered free markets as the best of all possible worlds. You fuckwit libertarians make Moromons seem like rationalists.

  60. Jerry Taylor lost this one from the start as he is obviously some “intellectual elitist.” The intellectual ceiling for the modern conservative movement is either Joe the Plumber or Miss California. They don’t want none a them book learnin folks.

  61. It’s not so much KJL’s immediate impotence-inducing looks, but the combination of that with her low level of intelligence and mad partisan fanaticism that makes her the truly loathesome thing she is. She almost makes Barbara Mikulski hot in comparison.

    Almost. [shudders]

  62. Shut up, Henny! You’ll never be half the man KJL is.

  63. My spastic brother meant “Mormons.”

  64. MNG

    I think Democratic politicians feel much more comfortable criticizing Moore than conservative politicians do Limbaugh. There’s not much comparison there

    I’m trying to be as bipartisan here as I can… really I am, but I still contend that Moore and Limbaugh (while both are obvious partisan players in their own schoolyard), they’re not really comparable. One is a hardcore partisan (insert hack if you feel it’s necessary, I won’t quibble), the other is a hack who specializes in disinformation.

    You’d get little argument from me that partisan hacks underreport or ignore information that conflicts with their point of view. Sometimes they can’t help it. It’s in their genes. But Moore has arguably gone further– especially in the realm of his “documentaries”. I won’t speak for other conservative partisans such as Hannity, as the OP indicates some documentary done by Hannity which may reach Moore-esque levels of dishonesty.

    Also, Moore, in my opinion gets far more main-stream kudos than Limbaugh does, because for some reason, everyone knows what Limbaugh is, but yet there seems to be some confusion about what Moore is.

    Now all of this is with the disclaimer that I haven’t listened to Limbaugh in what, eight years now? That’s an ice age by modern media standards.

    I don’t know what else I can say in the matter. And yes of course the left has some truly dumb people representing them, but for one thing, they don’t come off as angry and dickheaded as much.

    I would argue there aren’t as many who are as angry or dickheaded. But sadly, Jeanine Garafalo has just simply become unbalanced. To the point where I just feel sorry for her.

  65. MNG-

    As for your last point, what was Air America? Would it be unfair to call it both an artistic and commercial flopperoo?

    Why is it that Limbaugh has been so spectacularly successful? Because he’s a drooling poo throwing simpleton? Because he appeals to drooling poo throwing simpletons? Obviously, you will concede that Rush, himself, is not a drooling poo throwing simpleton. In fact, IMO, Rush is far more intelligent than say, Rachael Maddow or Keith Olberman or Chris Matthews or Al Franken. He is a far superior entertainer to any of the aformentioned; he is far more clever and imaginative and he is just a zillion times better communicator. Face it. He does not have the problems Obama has in communicating-Rush does not need a teleprompter nor does he employ the obscene amount of filler language Obama does. He uses language far more skillfully, creatively and playfully than Obama or MSNBC United.

    What you miss is that Rush is an ideas guy who presents his ideas in a very creative, entertaining way. Do you remeber what you wrote several days ago on the Alan Keyes thread about recognizing talent in those with whom you disagree or want tried for war crimes? There are many things about Rush that I do not like-but, IMO, its lunacy to suggest that this guy has got something between the ears and a lot of it.

    To argue that his listeners are “dumbed down” and that his audience are nothing but ignorant, uneducated, bible thumping red necks is frivolous. First, there is no empirical evidence to support the claim. If its out there, bring it on. Yeah, the 25 million or so who listen to him each week must predominantly fall into the poo throwing simpleton category while the couple of million who watch Maddow or MSNBC United each week are all rational, well educated, “nuanced” intellecual heavywieghts?

    THAT DOG WON’T HUNT.

    Do I think conservatives would be better served by reading Kirk than reading Limbaugh? I think conservatives would be better served by reading Rothbard.

  66. I don’t think people are unsure of where Michael Moore stands on the political spectrum.

    Maybe we should just read more often and ignore these idiots.

  67. MNG, she has a striking face. I wonder how many times she was struck?

  68. “on the National Review group blog”

    I wouldn’t really consider The Corner a blog, considering they don’t allow comments on posts.
    How quaint…

  69. An interesting thing I’ve noticed about TV talking heads and radio talk show hosts is that if you don’t pay any attention to them, you don’t have to pay any attention to them.

  70. I wouldn’t really consider The Corner a blog, considering they don’t allow comments on posts.
    How quaint…

    If they allowed comments, it would be the number one comedy blog on the ‘net.

  71. If they allowed comments, it would be the number one comedy blog on the ‘net.

    Good point, I also fear it would become indistinguishable from the “Free Republic” blog

  72. I’ve read of media moguls that owned strings of radio stations

    Limbaugh was first nationally syndicated by the ABC radio network, picking him up after seeing his rating sucess in Sacremento. Per wikipedia they also syndicated at the time Tom Snyder. The ‘talk radio’ format had been around for a while (Larry King was one of the big players before he jumped to TV) but Limbaugh borke through to make the format what everyone is familar with today. And got his job because the suits wanted to make money, not a point.

    Sure, others may have had an incubation period (like most ‘venture capital’ does) but then that does not answer the question on why the right wing format was able to emerge from that chrysallis and no left wing (for-profit) format hasn’t. And even in the not-for-profit radio world, hasn’t Pacifica folded?

    Just to be clear I think talk radio is the new ‘wasteland’ a la Minow, but there’s undeniably some dynamic at work where the starboard side is able to bring in the bucks where the port side can’t.

  73. Just this morning, I listened to Rush during a long drive. It was pretty interesting: He was positing a theory that the White House is setting up Nancy Pelosi on the knew-about-waterboarding story, in order to help out Seny Hoyer (said by Rush to be a bazoom buddy of Rahm Emmanuel) to unseat Pelosi. I have no idea whether it was a load of horse pucky or not, and you’ve got to concede a lot to let him build the argument (i.e., that the Pelosi story still has legs because the White House is encouraging its media flunkies to pursue it — which is believable, but not court-of-law believable), but it made pretty interesting listening. I don’t listen to Rush generally, but based on today’s listen I’d say he’s doing some good work.

  74. Paul
    I think Limbaugh is a lightweight, not far from a poo throwing simpleton. He’s not a very smart man. I certainly think Al Franken is smarter than him, the humor in the guy’s books have been at a level that Rush could not deal in. I’ve listened and read both of them quite a bit. Rush’s idea of funny is to hang up on a caller and play a toilet flushing in the background. Franken’s idea of humor was the delightful “free market Jesus” comic strip in Lying Liars. Also, Rush is not a very good entertainer. When I used to listen to him a huge chunk of his show was just reading the fucking paper and rambling about shit in it. But he appeals to conservatives who feel they have been shut out and hate hearing alternative views. There is a real anger in his crowd, a real “finally a guy who thinks like we do!” attitude that he’s tapped into, that’s certainly true.

    But you won’t find me defending Maddow and stuff, I don’t find that network worth watching either (though Olberman was funny on ESPN).

  75. LOL, LImbaugh is a pompous windbag. Surely noone with a single ounce of common sense would take anything he says seriously.

    RT
    http://www.privacy-resources.us.tc

  76. And you can call Michael Moore a lot of things, but “partisan?” The dude worked for Ralph Nader for President a while back. He’s a leftist hack, not a Democratic hack.

    “Sure, others may have had an incubation period (like most ‘venture capital’ does) but then that does not answer the question on why the right wing format was able to emerge from that chrysallis and no left wing (for-profit) format hasn’t.”

    Well, give it some time. I mean, you’re starting to see the left-wing equivalent in Colbert and Steward. The right had a heads up for a few decades on this. The left had captured all the non-explicitly partisan venues such as the mainstream papers and tv news as well as most major foundations and think tanks. They haven’t learned to go after the explicitly partisan venues yet, but they are learning.

    Don’t get me wrong, I think this is a terrible thing on both sides. Why listen to Chris Matthews (who is certainly not the leftist equivalent of Rush Limbaugh or Sean Hannity in his partisanship!) when you could read John Stuart Mill or Bentham?

  77. People who listen to Rush Limbaugh/Al Franken are like people who read Twilight. They might be smart people, but they look incredibly stupid when they’re doing that. Maybe they just want some intellectual junk food though.

  78. I like the Corner, but they have a real blind spot when it comes to Rush. I always wonder what Buckley really thought about him.

  79. Let me get this straight.

    Jerry Taylor: Maybe it would be a good idea if these guys didn’t spout nonsense.

    Conservatives: STFU, traitor!

  80. They haven’t learned to go after the explicitly partisan venues yet,

    Dude, Mother Jones predates Limbaugh by a few years. And the Nation predates him by a century.

    Colbert and Stewart (and Maher for that matter) may provide a counterpoint to the ‘VRWC’ but they are by defintion not a counterpart as they are on TV.

    Now MSNBC looks like they’ve decided to be the mirror image to foxnews and it appears to be forming up into a stable duopoly for that venue.

    And anyway, as alluded to earlier, the whole ‘non-partisan’ venue is an anomoly of the post WW2 era. From colonial times through the mid 20th century, nearly every newspaper was very partisan and proud of it.

    Reading this again:
    The left had captured all the non-explicitly partisan venues such as the mainstream papers and tv news as well as most major foundations and think tanks.

    I’m kinda surprised you’ve actually bought the standard conservative line.

  81. By the way, I’m a cookie-cutter leftist troll who kan’t spell.

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  83. It is, apparently, not embarrassing when Levin bellows that former National Review staffer David Frum is a “Canadian a-hole,” a “jerk,” and a “putz” who writes “pathetic books and pathetic articles.

    Sounds ’bout right. Nah. For all I know, Frum maybe doing a second shift in a soup kitchen right now. Nor would I say that his writing is pathetic, it is wrong headed, but pathetic as a description doesn’t provide any accuracy.

    His writing is wrong headed because the kind of pro big government, ‘compassionate’, and neo-Keynesian reform he advocates the Republicans adopt describes the previous Republican disaster, George W Bush all too well.

    Hannity fawned on the blogger Pamela Geller, who argues that Barack Obama is the bastard child of Malcolm X?

    Stirring up old fears of Malcolm X, and Farrakhan are the bread and butter of the Hannitys, but to me, the sort of courtier of the corporatist establishment that is Obama is much more scary than aging and dead black Muslims.

    However, instead, as he is, Obama is the second disaster in a row for American executive leadership. That is worth a few nights of fitful sleep, not some fantasy that Black Muslims are going to move in your neighborhood and marry your daughters, and seduce your wives.

  84. Wasn’t Malcolm X opposed to the welfare state? I never really thought of him as a bleeding heart liberal.

  85. Wasn’t Malcolm X opposed to the welfare state? I never really thought of him as a bleeding heart liberal.

    You are correct, but you’re forgetting about the Scary Brown People aspect of the present-day Republican party. Most Muslim immigrants in the US are hard-working conservatives, the same goes for Hispanic immigrants, although a lot of Hispanics are pro-union. Unfortunately, there are too many clowns in the GOP’s big tent to make room for any non-white conservatives.

  86. Looks like H&R’s got a slight case of spammers. Someone clean that up, will you?

    -jcr

  87. I do find it interesting that conservative polemist are singled out for being stupid and misrepresenting facts when someone like Michael Moore gets a seat of honor at the 2004 Democrat convention. For that matter, the majority of academic leftist are little more than polemist.

    When I read things like these I start to wonder if I’m crazy. Maybe Rush Limbaugh is the serious social commentator and Michael Moore is the lunatic demagogic gasbag. I mean one of us has to be completely disconnected from reality.

    That Michael Moore has won a Palme d’Or and an Oscar for documentaries might indeed be prima facie evidence that the entire entertainment industry is part of a vast propagandistic cabal (including the Democratic party, all news sources except FOX, all of academia except the occasional Bob Jones U, science, books other than the Bible, etc…) with a nefarious agenda. And that Limbaugh’s saliva flinging ranting is just misunderstood conservative esoterica. At the very least they’re two sides of the same coin, right? Anyone expressing an opinion is a demagogue, after all. It’s not like we know the definition of demagoguery and one fits it and the other doesn’t.

  88. There is no cabal, just a confederacy of dunces.

  89. “That Michael Moore has won a Palme d’Or and an Oscar for documentaries might indeed be prima facie evidence that the entire entertainment industry is part of a vast propagandistic cabal”

    Umm… Speaking as someone who works IN the entertainment industry and lives in Hollywood…

    Yep.

    Or would you like to see the daily shitstorm of political emails I used to get at the last entertainment production co. I worked for? I think I still have most of them on a hard drive somewhere. And honestly Jester, I think it goes a little beyond just group-think, though that’s a huge part of it. I know many people who would *never* even dream of voicing their real feelings on philosophical or political issues in public around here for fear of losing their jobs and never getting hired again.

  90. //Anyone expressing an opinion is a demagogue, after all. It’s not like we know the definition of demagoguery and one fits it and the other doesn’t.//

    Not really an opinion if your entire argument is based on demonizing a certain segment of the population. Both Moore and Limbaugh are demagogues for the simple fact that they have a black and white view of the world that sees anyone who is against them as evil.

    http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/Demagogue

    //1. a person, esp. an orator or political leader, who gains power and popularity by arousing the emotions, passions, and prejudices of the people.//

    Seems to fit the bill of both Moore and Limbaugh.

  91. fair ’nuff, Malone

    Some McCarthyism (in the broad sense) mixed with go-with-the-flow is still not a cabal. Junior high school, yes.

    Funny how we never outgrow certain things. But thanks for the input. Some of us can only imagine the inner-workings of Hollywierd. Logic gets us most of the way, but it’s always nice to have a confident.

  92. Honestly – what’s funny is, I rarely ever wrote back or responded to any of the many emails I got at the last gig… but just one time, I did… I can’t quite remember what it was about now, I’d have to go look it up. I was just fed up with all the bullshit, and decided I’d write an informed response.

    The sad part though, was that I got two reactions mainly. The first was utter confusion… partly because I’d said something contrary to the main party line, but also because it was an economics-related issue and they simply couldn’t understand most of it. The second, was shock because they’d honestly never heard a dissenting argument before.

    It’s kind of amazing to me how sheltered most of the people I know out here are from anything remotely resembling intellectual debate. For them, the issues are all settled in their minds, almost always with fallacious arguments, bad logic and even worse information. I haven’t been impressed. At least when I lived in New York, people tended to at least read. Seems no one does that here.

  93. Most people go through life unchallenged because they avoid challenge. It is likely a hard-wired trait.

    I like to think that we as humans have done so well because a tiny % have pushed truly great ideas. Normally, in a cliche ‘survival-of-the-fittest’ world they would have perished.

    But in a species capable of communication (vs. might makes right), their ideas persist. And in a Gresham’s Law world, the good ideas drive out the bad ones.

    So although things don’t seem to be going the right way, they will have to. It is inevitable that they will. So today, I am an optimist.

  94. I like to say – things are always getting better, but we have to look in 50-100 year chunks, and sort of pick and choose what aspects of life we’re looking at. This hasn’t been the greatest decade of all time however.

  95. …also, we often have to pick which parts of the world. Right now, I pick China 😛

  96. You know, if the Libertarian party weren’t run by a bunch of half-baked idiots, it would be possible, maybe even easy, for them to position the LP as the new opposition thereby sending the GOP to go hang out with the Whigs.

  97. Is there any reason those of us who are not half-baked couldn’t start our own club?

  98. I began listening to Rush and Sean during the Mark Foley scandal.

    I had assumed, naively, that so-called “liberals” were correcting in what I now know are smears in calling these two racists, homophobes etc. But I was curious to see what they were saying about Mark Foley, given that such “liberal” commentators as Stephanie Miller, and virtually the entirety of Air America and MSNBC, were in full homophobic mob mentality, trying to stir up any ugly bigotry to smear the GOP, including jokes based on the canard that gay = pedophile. (Did “Reason,” btw, ever cover the left’s homophobia fest?)

    I wanted to see how homophobic the right was being if the left was in full Nazi mode. I assumed they would either be just as bad or perhaps would be silent since it was one of their own.

    Instead I found something different. I found Rush virtually never speaking about religion or social issues. And while his views of foreign policy are not libertarian, his discussion of government spending uses tropes from Rothbardian class analysis.

    Sean is somewaht derivative of Rush, and does invoke religion and social issues SLIGHTLY more often. His shows was at the time the only place I could hear regular interviews with Pat Caddel, Harold Ford, Dick Morris and other people far more informative than the boobs on MSNBC et al, and it is still almost the only place I hear pollsters Rassmussen and Zogby.

    The reason these men are hated by the elite is because 90% of their show (outside of listeners calling in) is DAILY COVERAGE OF THE MACHINATIONS OF THE MAINSTREAM MEDIA, THE MAJOR PARTIES, THE WHITE HOUSE, AND THE CONGRESS. And they provide coverage of events on average 2 days BEFORE stories are briefly mentioned and buried on NBC/CBS/ABC etc.

    IF YOU DO NOT LISTEN TO RUSH then you actually do not know what is unfolding in Washington DC (unless you read the Drudge report, Breitbart, or one of the very few other sources that cover news before the mainstream media and this force them to cover it days later).

    I am openly gay and I find Rush, Coulter, Sean etc much more heimische and far less insulting to the intelligence than Garofalo, Olberman, Sykes, Maddow, Coric, Lauer, Carville and the rest of the swamp vermin who infest broadcasting.

  99. There’s no way in hell I am ever going to defend the right, but I find the excitement of the liberal side of the isle about this and the laughing funnier than the right imploding. The Democratic Party is synonymous with shoot gunshot wound to the foot. It’s like watching a retard win a game of dodge ball against a blind retard and do a 20 minute victory dance. After 20 minutes you’re left with a hurting retard and a tired retard. Still nothing but retards.

    I think Jerry Springer should do political commentary shows.

  100. “…still doesn’t address Taylor’s point that they frequently do so using dubious sources and dodgy arguments.”

    Ron Bailey

  101. Jerry Taylor was not making a case against anything specific Limbaugh or Hannity said, just stating that they use bad arguments often while saying he does not listen to them very often. Lamenting that those two are the most visible faces in conservatism without saying what he would prefer and how Taylor would get there. The only way that I could see is to drum Limbaugh and Hannity out of the conservative movement or for them to lose their audiences. AS Taylor stated that he did not want to do the former and he has no way to influence the latter, he just seems to be engaged in useless sniping at political allies.

  102. Isn’t there anyone else in the NYC / Long Island area who gets to listen to Steve Malzberg on 710/WOR?

    He is to Hannity as Hannity is to Limbaugh. A truly horrible listen.

  103. Bruce majors-

    Well said.

  104. “It’s like watching a retard win a game of dodge ball against a blind retard and do a 20 minute victory dance. After 20 minutes you’re left with a hurting retard and a tired retard. Still nothing but retards.”

    hmm wins the thread.

  105. Rush’s idea of funny is to hang up on a caller and play a toilet flushing in the background.

    I have never heard this happen, or heard of this happening. Rush’s show transcripts are all available online, so let me know if I’m wrong.

    He’s utterly ignorable IMO, but obviously loves the exposure the left keeps giving him.

  106. No sacred cows!

  107. “FrBunny | May 14, 2009, 9:45am | #

    Rush’s idea of funny is to hang up on a caller and play a toilet flushing in the background.

    I have never heard this happen, or heard of this happening. Rush’s show transcripts are all available online, so let me know if I’m wrong.”

    You know what I love about this topic, is that you people honestly think critics of Rush must not have listened to his show. Sorry to prove you wrong, but I listened quite a bit long ago (they played it where I worked and at the gym). I used to remember the flushings, but there is always some cunt who KNOWING that he doesn’t know what he’s talking about (maybe he’s young and hasn’t listened to the show since its start, or whatever), challenges you.

    And then I get to eat your lunch. Thanks FrBunny, tell your mom props for packing the snack pack, it’s delicious!

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jargon_of_The_Rush_Limbaugh_Show

    “Caller abortion
    In the early days of the show, an unwanted caller was taken off the air to the sound effects of screams, a vacuum cleaner and a toilet flushing. One caller suggested as an alternative to put the unwanted calls “up for adoption”. Finally, Limbaugh explained the true purpose of the “caller abortions” and that instead of people being outraged by these “pretend” abortions, they should direct it instead towards real abortions. From the book See, I Told You So.”

  108. Jerry Taylor: “While I will admit to not listening to their shows, the snippets that I have caught over the years have irritated. One can agree with a majority of their vision regarding what constitutes good public policy and who is worthy of my vote while being annoyed by the manner in which their arguments are being made and chagrined by the dubious logic and dodgy evidence being forwarded to buttress their arguments.”

    Translation: I have no idea what I’m talking about but it sounds good so I’ll run with it.

    Michael C. Moynihan: “For the sake of argument, if I grant Steyn and Lopez that Limbaugh and Hannity possess an extraordinary ability to convert non-believers to the conservative cause (and I am not convinced that they do)”

    I was converted to the libertarian cause by the Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh programs. So it’s at least 1!

    Michael C. Moynihan: “It is, apparently, not embarrassing when Levin bellows that former National Review staffer David Frum is a “Canadian a-hole,” a “jerk,” and a “putz” who writes “pathetic books and pathetic articles.””

    But isn’t David Frum a Canadian asshole, a jerk, a putz, and someone who writes pathetic books and articles? I don’t see what’s embarrassing.

  109. MNG, I note that the toilet flushing sound effect was used “in the early days of the show” per your wiki. Sounds like he hasn’t done it in years. Just let it go, man.

  110. “mediageek | May 14, 2009, 4:25am | #

    You know, if the Libertarian party weren’t run by a bunch of half-baked idiots, it would be possible, maybe even easy, for them to position the LP as the new opposition thereby sending the GOP to go hang out with the Whigs.”

    I absolutely agree. But the Libertarian Party is, in fact, run by a bunch of half-baked idiots, so no dice.

    The Republican Party is in complete chaos. While there most certainly is an opening for a sane LP to step up to the plate, that will never happen, because the LP can’t buy themselves a clue.

    This means the Democratic Party will dominate, possibly for a very, very, VERY long time. Predictions for 2010 have the Dems picking up as many as 5 additional Senate seats, for a total of 65. They might even get a veto-proof majority in the Senate in 2010, not that they need it. The House is harder to predict, but things there will remain status quo at a minimum.

  111. MNG, I note that the toilet flushing sound effect was used “in the early days of the show” per your wiki. Sounds like he hasn’t done it in years. Just let it go, man.

    Isn’t it obvious, by now? I mean, every time Rush gets a mention on the forum, MNG dials it up to 11.

    Man Crush.

  112. He wont return my calls.

    He is a big jerk.

    Who does he think he is.

    He doesn’t exactly look like the prince of the ball, either.

  113. MNG,

    What in my comment set off your tangent about accusations of never having listened to the show? As RC pointed out, this hasn’t happened in a years, which explains why I never heard it.

    Could have been a pretty simple exchange. Instead, for the umpteenth time, you go into “You got SERVED!!1!” mode.

    Whoever touched you in bad places wasn’t me.

  114. “I know conservatives have a great deal of trouble with humor, because reverence is a big deal with conservatives.”-MNG

    “Rush’s idea of funny is to hang up on a caller and play a toilet flushing in the background.”-MNG

    Well, now we know what MNG reveres.

  115. My hypothesis is very simple. Right-wing talk radio does well, financially, because it appeals to an audience of easily terrified people. People who are afraid of “the other.” Listening to, for example, Limbaugh, satisfies them because they can share their world view in the cocoon of Limbaugh and his audience without the additional fear of having to realize that most people are not afraid of the things they are afraid of. If “everyone else who matters” (Rush listeners and Rush himself) are also afraid, then at least they know that they are virtually surrounded by other scaredy cats.

  116. “I wanted to see how homophobic the right was being if the left was in full Nazi mode. I assumed they would either be just as bad or perhaps would be silent since it was one of their own.

    Instead I found something different. I found Rush virtually never speaking about religion or social issues.”

    So, I assume you’ve never heard Rush play his “Banking Queen” theme song for Barney Frank?

    Mike

  117. “I wanted to see how homophobic the right was being if the left was in full Nazi mode. I assumed they would either be just as bad or perhaps would be silent since it was one of their own.

    Instead I found something different. I found Rush virtually never speaking about religion or social issues.”

    It couldn’t have anything to do with the fact that Foley was a republican could it? Nah…

  118. “Rush’s idea of funny is to hang up on a caller and play a toilet flushing in the background.”

    His idea of funny is also to call the teenage daughter of the President of the United States a dog.

    He’s not funny, he’s just a dick.

  119. “a bunch of retards flinging poo”

    What an apt description of today’s conservatism. Like many of you, I enjoy watching the trainwreck

  120. Since 1997, the NRO has been edited by someone who considered Sarah Palin’s NRC speech to be nothing short of a masturbatory revelation:

    http://corner.nationalreview.com/post/?q=NDYzMGFiNjQ0MWRjNmI0ZTlkYjgwZTExMjA3MWNiZTk=

    Need I say more?

  121. That Michael Moore has won a Palme d’Or and an Oscar for documentaries might indeed be prima facie evidence that the entire entertainment industry is part of a vast propagandistic cabal (including the Democratic party, all news sources except FOX, all of academia except the occasional Bob Jones U, science, books other than the Bible, etc…) with a nefarious agenda.

    Al Gore won an oscar too. What does that tell you.

  122. One thing that is never discussed is how (and why) did William F. Buckley ever allow his magazine to become anti-intellectual cesspool that it is become. Did he actually hire Lopez and company? Did he lose control of the magazine — or just lose interest?

  123. The NRO is college Republicanism with a platform. A modest platform that is a shadow of it’s former self but a platform that pays its writers modest incomes and gives them speaking gigs on cable tv and at college Republican meetings around the country. The only “thinker” who writes there is Jim Manzi. The rest are either careerist hacks like Goldberg whose family has made a cottage industry of attacking democrats of any sort or out and out goofballs like McCarthy. Intellectually it’s in complete denial about the state of conservatism and the extent to which the ground is shifting politically. If anyone steps outside this frame as Taylor did and also Manzi on the torture issue they basically freak out. At the end of the day this publication only exists because a few very rich Republicans feel it fulfils some sort of function as a means of attacking the left. It hasn’t been very important for at least ten years and it’s gradually drifting into oblivion.

  124. basically freak out. At the end of the day this publication only exists because a few very rich Republicans feel it fulfils some sort of function as a means of attacking the left. It hasn’t been very important for at least ten ye

  125. basically freak out. At the end of the day this publication only exists because a few very rich Republicans feel it fulfils som

  126. basically freak out. At the end of the day this publication only exists because a few very rich Republicans fe

  127. basically freak out. At the end of the day this publication only exists because a few very rich Republicans feel it fulf

  128. The NRO is college Republicanism with a platform. A modest platform that is a shadow of it’s former self but a platform goodsThe NRO is college Republicanism with a platform. A modest platform that is a shadow of it’s former self but a platform
    goodsThe NRO is college Republicanism with a platform. A modest platform that is a shadow of it’s former self but a platform

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