CNN: Is liberal talk radio more powerful than conservative talk radio?

posted at 6:51 pm on October 20, 2009 by Allahpundit

A follow-up to yesterday’s psychotherapy session via Greg Hengler. If you’re measuring political power by the number of alumni who’ve gone on to become senators, then … yeah, I guess they are more powerful. But that dopey metric aside, the question of how much influence Rush and the gang really have over Republican voters is a good one. David Brooks went off about it a few weeks ago — “Over the past few years the talk jocks have demonstrated their real-world weakness time and again” — but Michael Medved was pointing to the electoral impotence of the medium as far back as January 2008, when Maverick was racking up primary win after primary win despite the best efforts of talk radio to paint him as the RINO to end all RINOs. In fact, I’ve always wondered if maybe the reason talk radio stars stay away from running for office is because it would open them up to a direct repudiation at the polls. One of the things that makes Beck an interesting character is that he’s less shy about political participation: Not only is he evidently “building” some sort of outfit, but he’s looking to recruit 56 “re-founders” within Congress to embrace his agenda. If they go down in flames next year — which, admittedly, seems unlikely — then his credibility as the new voice of populist America goes down with them. Pretty gutsy.

Exit question: Wouldn’t a Palin candidacy be the ultimate test of talk radio’s relevance? I can’t think of a single prominent conservative talker who doesn’t adore her. If she, the alleged ultimate “true conservative,” was crushed by Obama in 2012, where would that leave them?


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Comment pages: 1 2

An old ploy, first done years ago with a CDC ’study’. Same old hat–worn, limp, faded, and haggard by years of rain. Another appeal to revive part of their base and, hopefully, gain new and unknowing independents on their side.

With 240 million guns in private hands, it won’t go far.

Liam on October 20, 2009 at 7:50 PM

but if obamacare passes. then insurance premiums can be raised for gun owners like those that smoke cigs because the healthcare costs are “higher” for gunonwers. and then they will have the reports to back it up just like they did with second hand smoke but this time the government will be the ones controling the rates and not privat einsurance companies

unseen on October 20, 2009 at 7:53 PM

Wouldn’t a Palin candidacy be the ultimate test of talk radio’s relevance? I can’t think of a single prominent conservative talker who doesn’t adore her. If she, the alleged ultimate “true conservative,” was crushed by Obama in 2012, where would that leave them?

Not the most brilliant strawman. You can like Palin without thinking that she should run for President (I’m one in that catagory). Yet, Allah, for all you Palin-haters, it is all about trying to pit real conservatives against each other so we get stuck with RINO like McCain once again. You got away with it in 2008, Allah, by setting up threads that pitted Romney supporters against Huckabee supporters on threads designed to divide.

Shame on us if we let you get away with your under-handed tactics in the future.

highhopes on October 20, 2009 at 7:53 PM

Christ himself could not have turned the tide for republicans in 08 but I would like to ask if anyone remembers the effort Rush started to keep Clinton in the race for the democrat nomination….. I suspect he helped her efforts in several states

Aggie95 on October 20, 2009 at 7:42 PM

Oh you of little faith.

thomasaur on October 20, 2009 at 7:54 PM

It sucks when you can’t tell the news apart from SNL.

mad scientist on October 20, 2009 at 7:52 PM

I can tell the diff. SNL gets fact checked, not the news.

Liam on October 20, 2009 at 7:55 PM

Oh you of little faith.

thomasaur on October 20, 2009 at 7:54 PM

ditto

unseen on October 20, 2009 at 7:55 PM

unseen on October 20, 2009 at 7:48 PM

Do you realize how much you contradicted yourself in your post. You say he’s a neocon and then you go on to say that his worldview is aligned with the D.C. elites. The D.C. elites hate neocons. Hence, the D.C. elite love people like George Will who doesn’t support the war in Afghanistan or Iraq. If Allahpundit wanted to fit in with the D.C. elite he would say how much he hated the Afghanistan and Iraq war everyday. Allahpundit even gave Mary Katherine Hamm flack for going the WH Correspondent’s Dinner.

terryannonline on October 20, 2009 at 7:55 PM

u

nseen on October 20, 2009 at 7:53 PM

Then Obamacare needs to be stopped. And that’s more a chance now than a month ago.

I know–there’s so much insanity out there, like the report from Britain that a father being present during the birth of his baby increases the chance of mental illness (for the father?)

It’s all BS, reaching for any stupid thing no matter how silly. And the libs who put out this stuff take themselves seriously! Like Sheryl Crow two years ago saying we need to recycle our TP after use.

Lunacy doesn’t go very far. With a new press outside the MSM, those ratf**ks have a fight on their hands. Gotta love it! Look what they did to themselves the past ten days.

Liam on October 20, 2009 at 7:59 PM

With 240 million guns in private hands, it won’t go far.

Liam on October 20, 2009 at 7:50 PM

And the problem is, how do we arm the rest of the people?

davidk on October 20, 2009 at 8:07 PM

I’ve never encountered it even here in Los Angeles. Maybe it’s happening on one of the Spanish-language stations, though?

joe_doufu on October 20, 2009 at 7:34 PM

Could be! I’m not too sure Randi Rhodes and co speak Spanish but you never know…

Anders on October 20, 2009 at 8:09 PM

Would this be the same Air America that diverted funds from their charity to pay wages?? That would be Childrens Crusade and Alzheimers.
Swell bunch of citizens there….

chewydog on October 20, 2009 at 8:11 PM

davidk on October 20, 2009 at 8:07 PM

I would choose wisely, first. Might have our own guns turned on us.

What would happen is those like the Hollywood Left who, during the LA Rodney King riots, would hunker down and wait for someone else to save them.

Liam on October 20, 2009 at 8:12 PM

have to say i hardly knew it existed.

on second thought, every now and then I’m driving in the NY metro area and looking for something to listen to, and come across a station that seems way out there. i guess that’s what they are talking about

phillypolitics on October 20, 2009 at 8:15 PM

Christ himself could not have turned the tide for republicans in 08

Aggie95 on October 20, 2009 at 7:42 PM

I disagree. Christ would have helped the GOP in 2008 but McCain deliberately attacked the Christian and social conservatives to score points with Democrats that he thought would cross over and vote for him. And I mean the word attacked.

The result is that McCain got votes but none of the grassroots activism that might have made a difference. I don’t know why McCain hates those who openly express their faith in Christ but he and those of his ilk do and that is why they lost (or at least didn’t make it a close race).

highhopes on October 20, 2009 at 8:17 PM

If she, the alleged ultimate “true conservative,” was crushed by Obama in 2012, where would that leave them?

It would leave them exactly where they were before. If Palin were to lose, it doesn’t mean talk radio didn’t help her. Take McCain for example….no, he didn’t win in 2008, but he did as well as he did in part because of talk radio. Without it, he likely would have done worse than he did.

xblade on October 20, 2009 at 8:17 PM

I listen to a lot of talk radio and I wouldn’t follow any of them into battle. I enjoy the rhetoric and the humor but that’s about it. Are listeners suppose to worry about their ability for independent thought or is this just another attempt to go after alternative media?

Cindy Munford on October 20, 2009 at 8:19 PM

Beck an interesting character is that he’s less shy about political participation: Not only is he evidently “building” some sort of outfit, but he’s looking to recruit 56 “re-founders” within Congress to embrace his agenda. If they go down in flames next year — which, admittedly, seems unlikely — then his credibility as the new voice of populist America goes down with them. Pretty gutsy.

As always, you know nothing about what Beck does because you don’t watch his show, and generally only ever pay attention to the man long enough to make fun of him.

The re-founders thing is about anonymously exposing corruption. Disguising voices/faces, etc. He’s repeatedly said he’s not going to let them get famous and use his show as some reelection bid soapbox.

As for my take on this CNN nonsense, at least today’s installment wasn’t as bad. But here’s what I think Allahpundit is missing. Conservatism would be finished without talk radio. We wouldn’t be putting up RINOs, there wouldn’t even be RINOS, we’d collapse in to one progressive party system, with everyone trying to outleft eachother. There would be all sorts of green parties, labor parties, progressive parties, union parties, all saying the same thing with their own little twist.

RightWinged on October 20, 2009 at 8:22 PM

What the heck is cnn smoking?

ohiobabe on October 20, 2009 at 8:24 PM

1. There’s liberal talk radio?

2. Palin isn’t the ultimate true conservative. She’s just the closest thing we have right now. Now, if she’d drop the “well, we all know there’s global warming” bit, she’d be CLOSER to the ultimate true conservative. But she’s not there yet.

Chuck Norris supports Huckabee, so Chuck Norris must not be it, either.

hawksruleva on October 20, 2009 at 8:24 PM

And the problem is, how do we arm the rest of the people?

davidk on October 20, 2009 at 8:07 PM

They’re arming themselves.

Sales of guns and ammunition continue to skyrocket.

Obama has been a real boon for gun manufacturers and ammunition manufacturers. This was his totally unintended stimulus to the economy.

I wouldn’t mind but it’s been nigh on impossible to find handgun ammo at Walmart – which is annoying.

Anders on October 20, 2009 at 8:25 PM

I listen to a lot of talk radio and I wouldn’t follow any of them into battle. I enjoy the rhetoric and the humor but that’s about it.

Cindy Munford on October 20, 2009 at 8:19 PM

IMO, conservative talk radio hosts like Rush or Hannity are akin to strategists, not the face of the movement. For the most part they analyze the situation with the abilty to be critical when the GOP falls flat or honest when the Dems have the stronger position. They are not the ones to run for public office but they do have the ability to influence public opinion since, unlike us since McCain-Feingold, they can go out in public and voice their opinions 30 days before an election (one of the many reasons I hate and distrust McCain).

highhopes on October 20, 2009 at 8:28 PM

Most of the lib talkers have shows that air in just a very small portion of the country. I used to listen to a few of them when I could manage to catch them on weak signals, but it’s been a looong time. Back in the ’90s, Jim Hightower had a rather entertaining show in Texas, but I could only listen to it for short parts at a time – not because of his positions, but because he had an absolutely lousy radio voice. Ditto with Randy Rhodes. Just an awful voice IMO. Can’t listen to Sean Hannity for the same reason. Well, that and his laugh just sounds like a four-year old after sucking helium.
.
RWG (can only take Mark Levin in small measures for similar reasons)

RWG on October 20, 2009 at 8:40 PM

If she, the alleged ultimate “true conservative,” was crushed by Obama in 2012, where would that leave them?

Forget them. It would leave me going on a four-year bender.

irishspy on October 20, 2009 at 8:43 PM

highhopes on October 20, 2009 at 8:28 PM

I think you are right. They sure seem to be correct more often then the boobs that do politics for a living. I guess that’s from having a shrewd knowledge of politicians and a finger on the pulse of the population. Sen. McCain unending desire to be fair did a lot to cost election losses. The Left immediately started working on a way to get around the rules.

Cindy Munford on October 20, 2009 at 8:44 PM

I get a chuckle when the left tries to assplain the right to themselves. They always end up sounding like scared little kids trying to explain noises outside their window at night. Vampires! Witches! Screams! Oh . . . hai kitteh.

starboardhelm on October 20, 2009 at 8:54 PM

I have tried listening to liberal talk radio in the past to balance out my talk radio listening. But I had to stop. The people on liberal talk radio are some of the most mean, hateful, and conspiratorial people around. For example, they have this guy Lionel who doesn’t think a plane hit the Pentagon during 9/11. Then there is Randy Rhodes who says that Barbara Bush was drunk and on drugs when she was pregnant with George W. Bush, and who also says that Ted Kennedy was never in the car during the Chappaquiddick incident. And there are people like Janeane Garofalo and Mike Malloy who are just vicious beyond belief.

SoulGlo on October 20, 2009 at 8:54 PM

Anders on October 20, 2009 at 8:25 PM

Depending upon where you live (be sure to check your local/state laws) you may be able to purchase by mail order. I don’t want to advertise for any specific website; I’m sure you can find them if you look.

mad scientist on October 20, 2009 at 9:15 PM

Obama got his mandate by deceiving independents into believing folks like Beck and Limbaugh are paranoid. In 2010 and 2012 this won’t be an option.

AbaddonsReign on October 20, 2009 at 6:59 PM

It does say a lot in favor of wacky Beck communism theories when he keeps coming up with actual communists in the administration.

petunia on October 20, 2009 at 9:28 PM

Conservative talk radio is less powerful when people the public perceives as conservatives are in power, because it’s not what the talk radio hosts say that moves the polls or the voters; it’s what the elected officials are doing. When Democrats control the levers of power and are clusterfarking things up in the public’s eyes, then they’re willing to listen more to the options/explanations offered up by the talk show hosts.

And as to the relative power of liberal talk radio vs. conservative talk radio, this is about like comparing the relative strengths of the Los Angeles Lakers to the Los Angeles Clippers, though in CNN’s world, the Clippers probably have just won their 12th straight NBA championship.

jon1979 on October 20, 2009 at 9:37 PM

It’s like comparing Preparation H to hot sauce. Here at Century Village, we get them mixed up sometimes.

Cybergeezer on October 20, 2009 at 6:58 PM

I assume your walker has wheels for easy and fast travel?

lovingmyUSA on October 20, 2009 at 9:47 PM

If the so-called “power” of liberal talk radio equates to the potential kinetic energy level of the smelly, noxious gas emitted by the likes of “hosts” such as Rachel Maddow, Ed Schultz and Randi Rhodes, we’ve solved our US energy crisis problem. Their combined on-air flatulence could illuminate and heat 100,000 US cities for decades.

bannedbyhuffpo on October 20, 2009 at 9:52 PM

It sucks when you can’t tell the news apart from SNL.

mad scientist on October 20, 2009 at 7:52 PM

I can tell the diff. SNL gets fact checked, not the news.

Liam on October 20, 2009 at 7:55 PM

Bumper sticker material!

lovingmyUSA on October 20, 2009 at 9:59 PM

Is Rachel Maddow hotter than Michelle Malkin?

DTogo on October 20, 2009 at 10:32 PM

Conservatism would be finished without talk radio and the Internet. We wouldn’t be putting up RINOs, there wouldn’t even be RINOS, we’d collapse in to one progressive party system, with everyone trying to outleft eachother. There would be all sorts of green parties, labor parties, progressive parties, union parties, all saying the same thing with their own little twist.

RightWinged on October 20, 2009 at 8:22 PM

Ftfy. An unintentional omission I’m sure, but please keep in mind that talk radio is mostly one-way communication unless you happen to be the lucky schmuck who hits the phone-line jackpot.

The Internet provides for rapid communication and dissemination of information – as well as the capability to hide from censors – and it is our last bastion for such. Not even the telephone network would have a snowball’s chance in heck of replacing it.

Dark-Star on October 20, 2009 at 10:33 PM

There’s left-wing talk radio hosts? Wow, who knew?

But seriously, CNN is attributing the wrong causes to the wrong effects. McCain won the primary because none of the candidates really captured anyone’s imagination, and he was probably the most well-known of all of them. That, by the way, is in no small part thanks to the MSM deliberately propping him up so that he could weaken the Republican party, and the primary was no exception. The votes from liberals, who hoped for a weak Republican candidate, probably helped, too.

Furthermore, Rush Limbaugh refused to directly endorse any of the candidates. Sure, he condemned some of them for being too liberal, but I don’t recall him making any direct endorsements. I think the idea was “if you can’t inspire your base on your own, then screw you. I’m not doing it for you.”

If you want to see the real power of talk radio, then consider that Limbaugh occasionally became very irate with McCain, even after the primary, and frequently mocked and berated him. That’s hardly an overwhelming endorsement, you know? Also, recall that Limbaugh encouraged voters in Texas to vote for Hillary back during the primary. That kept her in the game a while longer, and while it ultimately didn’t prevent Obama from getting the nomination, it made the process more difficult for him and wasted more of the Democrats’ money.

And for more proof of talk radio’s power, look how much trouble Obama’s in, now. The man can hardly put a Marxist in power without talk radio pointing it out and yelling, “There! There! Over there!” resulting in endless embarrassment for the One. Indeed, Obama’s numbers would hardly be as bad as they are now if not for Talk Radio getting the word out on his misadventures. We all know that the MSM isn’t going to report anything that might threaten Obama’s rep.

So, really, this “analysis” by CNN is what it always has been with those hacks–an attempt to belittle or destroy ideological opponents under the guise of objective journalism. In other words, forget everything they just said, it’s crap, and THEY know it’s crap.

R. Waher on October 20, 2009 at 11:02 PM

Liberal talk radio is infinitely more powerful than conservative talk radio. They speak truth to power! The ends justify the means! Just think, you can lie about whatever you want to push your agenda! Liberal talk radio>>>>conservative talk radio.

Screw being bound by truth and persuasive argument.

daesleeper on October 20, 2009 at 11:52 PM

Is liberal talk radio more powerful than conservative talk radio?

NO

Caststeel on October 21, 2009 at 12:41 AM

CNN: Is liberal talk radio more powerful than conservative talk radio?

Only if you believe that viewers are afraid to listen to powerful radio.

landlines on October 21, 2009 at 1:20 AM

“Liberalism” to most (from what I’ve seen) is just the knee-jerk “compassionism” mixed in with the belief that the Government should solve all our problems, and the rich should pay for everything because they’re greedy and they suck.

Thankfully, only a relatively few are out and out Communists. Hopefully, the true Liberals will catch on before it’s too late. I can’t see how a real Liberal would be down with the accrual of great amounts of power by any group or political party.

Dr. ZhivBlago on October 21, 2009 at 2:48 AM

Do you realize how much you contradicted yourself in your post. You say he’s a neocon and then you go on to say that his worldview is aligned with the D.C. elites. The D.C. elites hate neocons. Hence, the D.C. elite love people like George Will who doesn’t support the war in Afghanistan or Iraq. If Allahpundit wanted to fit in with the D.C. elite he would say how much he hated the Afghanistan and Iraq war everyday. Allahpundit even gave Mary Katherine Hamm flack for going the WH Correspondent’s Dinner.

terryannonline on October 20, 2009 at 7:55 PM

I think you might want to check those elites in DC. esp the GOP elites. All of them voted for both wars. the gOP elites in washington have always voted to continue to fund those wars. Chalres johnson is a perfect example of a liberal that was suduced to the “dark side” by 9/11. defend allah all you want. He is a conservative compared to most people in DC and NYC yet he is a flaming liberal to the rest of America in flyover country.

unseen on October 21, 2009 at 3:16 AM

I don’t know why McCain hates those who openly express their faith in Christ but he and those of his ilk do and that is why they lost (or at least didn’t make it a close race).

highhopes on October 20, 2009 at 8:17 PM

one word: abortion

unseen on October 21, 2009 at 3:18 AM

. Palin isn’t the ultimate true conservative. She’s just the closest thing we have right now. Now, if she’d drop the “well, we all know there’s global warming” bit, she’d be CLOSER to the ultimate true conservative. But she’s not there yet.

Chuck Norris supports Huckabee, so Chuck Norris must not be it, either.

hawksruleva on October 20, 2009 at 8:24 PM

There has been global warming for the last 20,000 years. Fro proof see the glaciers in north america retreat. Now pretending that the earth has not been warming over the last 20k years is not a good way to go. The fight is over wether man is the cause of that warming or if it is natural. I am on the side of nature. As the recent dip in temps over the last 10 years tends to back up. And this is occurring during a solar min.

Global warming was real, it may not be atm. In fact we maybe going into a little ice age. The problem the government should be addressing is how to handle the change in climate both warming and cooling not trying to stop it.

unseen on October 21, 2009 at 3:22 AM

Get ready for another Obama term. The GOP can go to the dustbin because I won’t vote for a RINO against Obama this time. Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice….

davecatbone on October 21, 2009 at 5:10 AM

It sucks when you can’t tell the news apart from SNL.

mad scientist on October 20, 2009 at 7:52 PM

Not really. CNN is funnier by far, than SNL these days.

MNHawk on October 21, 2009 at 7:56 AM

Hate to say it, but people vote for people they like. The media picked McCain a LONG time ago. Remember when he was their favorite? Well, that ALL changed once the campaigns got going. Someone will capture the attention of voters with four things. Cut spending to zero deficit and longterm. Create our own energy. Seal the borders. Cut taxes to keep more money in the pockets of those who EARNED the money.

marklmail on October 21, 2009 at 8:00 AM

mad scientist on October 20, 2009 at 9:15 PM

There’s always reloading!

flytier on October 21, 2009 at 9:13 AM

I wouldn’t mind but it’s been nigh on impossible to find handgun ammo at Walmart – which is annoying.

Anders on October 20, 2009

I’d tell you to roll your own, but components are getting scarce as well. People are buying up and hoarding powder and primers. I’m even having trouble finding once-fired brass. I’m confident this problem will abate. I just can’t predict when.

SKYFOX on October 21, 2009 at 9:30 AM

Totally the wrong question. Talk radio’s “power” isn’t the ability to persuade. Talk radio informs, motivates, organizes, but seldom persuades. Rush figured this out early on — remember “Ditto” doesn’t mean “I agree with you”, but “I agree that it’s good to hear someone who agrees with me.

Also — Rush, Hannity or Beck run for office? They’d never be willing to take the pay cut.

RegularJoe on October 21, 2009 at 11:13 AM

People that have a clue know that the candidate (party doesn’t matter) throws red meat to the hard-liners to get them excited.

Then after they are elected, the POTUS gets pulled to the middle of the road because that is where America is. The hard-liner agenda gets pushed to the back of the bus.

This will happen to Obama too, especially if he sticks around for two terms.

Moesart on October 21, 2009 at 11:17 AM

Apparently the Allahpundit has had his head shoved up his ass because i’m pretty sure Michael Savage doesn’t like Palin and yes he’s very prominent He’s the third top rated talk show host…

BrianVII on October 21, 2009 at 12:08 PM

Comment pages: 1 2