Oct 072012

Talk radio is dominated by, “conservative” personalities.  We all know the names we love, hate, or love to hate.  Rush Limbaugh, the 800 pound gorilla of AM talk radio has been around for decades.  But others are popular as well:  Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, Mark Levin, Neil Boortz, Todd Schnitt and many others.  Listening to any of these hosts, on any day, will definitely have commentary on, “the Main Stream Media” (MSM).  The MSM is, “liberal…biased…hides the truth…are shills for the democrat party…always help the liberal and condemn the conservative…”  But how scared are conservative radio hosts? Are they shills for the Republicans, regardless of the candidate?

These great thinkers and orators are sure that they are men of ideas and that their ideas are superior, in every way, to those of others. They present the conservative view in such a way that it would be foolish to disagree, or actually, impossible to disagree with their presentation of the logic of their conservative position and ideals. Well, not so fast. Apparently, there must be some weakness in their argument or some fear of presenting guests who may present some viable options for the listening audience.

We are in election season: Obama vs. Romney. There are other candidates, but the most viable third party candidate is the Libertarian, Gary Johnson. Johnson is not some unknown Alpaca shearer; he’s the 2 term governor of New Mexico. But every talk radio host is terrified to have Johnson on for an interview. Why? Why wouldn’t these beacons of infallible ideas and pillars of truth refuse to interview or even whisper the name, “Gary Johnson?” Because, in their minds, it would pull from Romney. There are basically two explanations for this thinking.

First, they really are not so sure of their conservative ideas being perfect and bulletproof. Having Governor Johnson on their show would only benefit their views because when the subject of marijuana legalization would come up, the host would use their pure genius to prove to the listening audience how absolutely ludicrous Johnson’s ideas of legalization are. If anything it would shore up, even stronger, their positions by showing how ludicrous the idea of legalization might be. The same would be true for Johnson’s views on ending the wars, repealing PATRIOT, NDAA, abolishing the IRS. The host would basically use Johnson as a showcase for proving their positions and views are better by shutting him down.

Second, their hatred of Obama is so palpable, that any possible mention of something that would hurt Romney (as if Romney himself is not good enough at that) is unspeakable. If any talk radio host were to interview Johnson it would somehow, in their eyes, legitimize him which would pull from Romney and favor Obama. The most libertarian of those hosts, it is generally acknowledged, is Neal Boortz. Yet Boortz himself has basically ignored Johnson; the single presidential candidate who is virtually in lock step agreement with him. Why? Boortz’s hatred (yes the word “hatred” is appropriate) of Obama is unbridled. In Boortz’s view, it’s better to avoid Johnson, than to run the risk of costing Romney a vote.

So, in the end, the vicious cycle of keeping any third party candidate out of the conversation is fostered by both the MSM and by those vocal critics of the MSM, talk radio. The great protectors of the public, who shine a light on the MSM for being the shills of the American left, are in the end, nothing more than shills for the Republicans. How sad that Boortz himself is so blind by his hatred of Obama that he is unable to have a reasonable discourse on his show with Johnson. How sad that Rush Limbaugh has such palpable fear of, “the other” that even discussing a viable third party option is unspeakable.

While it may be argued with great certainty that in our present system there is no third party who will break the political duopoly, the radio hosts consider themselves the groundbreakers, the frontiersmen who take the arrows, the thinkers who can articulate their great thoughts to educate the masses; yet can’t even mention the name Gary Johnson. Maybe they are not as sure of their ideas as they would like you to believe.

  4 Responses to “Hypocrisy and Cowardice in Talk Radio”

  1. A problem with your critique. It has been 20 years since the American people have shown any meaningful interest in a 3rd party candidate. In defense of the MSM, their purpose is to report ” news;” Gary Johnson is not a viable candidate and is not news. Likewise talk radio is a commercial venture that discusses topics that it thinks it’s listeners will enjoy and tune into. Neither venue has an obligation to present an obscure politician who is neither news, nor interesting to a commercially engaged audience.

  2. Agreed that there has been no interest in a third party 20 years. The Commission of Presidential Debates came about after the League of Women Voters stopped hosting the debates because, “the demands of the two campaign organizations would perpetrate a fraud on the American voter.” The CPD is comprised of (R)’s and (D)’s. So it’s no surprise that 3rd parties are shut out of the process. Under those conditions, only the (R)’s and (D)’s will be viable candidates.

    Talk radio has an agenda, and the post sets out that agenda. Quite simply, the hosts fear even mentioning any third party because of the laser like focus on defeating Obama. Anything that detracts from that, will never get any attention. If talk radio is going to preach a holier-than-thou adherence to ideas and the truth, it is disingenuous to do the same as the CPD, and at least not admit or discuss there are third parties.

    As to your, “obscure politician” comment; it is for each individual reading this to decide for themselves if the 2 term Republican Governor of New Mexico qualifies as, “obscure.”

  3. New Mexico? (only kidding). Won’t get into the pro’s/con’s of the two party/multi-party democracies. I tend to see this issue from the point of view of the realist. We are a two party system, winner take all. If someone feels he has something to offer to improve the country it behooves him to work within the system (two party), because, well…like it or not, that’s how our system works. He stands NO chance of effecting his proposals out of the system. I would respect his idealism for creating his own political party if done as a protest to the status quo, but I feel it actually calls into question his judgement if he thinks he can actually make a meaningful change by working out of the system. The word ” truth” for the talk radio guys is a code word for conservatism. Most feel the country is headed in the wrong direction and wish to effect change through political dominance by conservative candidates. They cater to those of similar political persuasion. Their goals are not to present differing political philosophies or give air time to multiple candidates because they have created or adopted a political party. Their goal is not ” truth,” but to get conservatives elected. The MSM has SIMILAR goals: get progressives elected. I happen to think the roots of America’s present cultural/economic crisis lie on a spiritual level, but that is the talk of a different topic. Always nice sharing ideas with you.

  4. Now you’re saying something! As long as you recognize that talk radio exists for a purpose, you understand the game. The entire premise of the article is to show the hypocrisy of talk radio hosts; they preach venom when discussing the MSM, but refuse to even acknowledge real alternatives much closer to their point of view. By every standard, any Classic Liberal/Libertarian is closer to what Neal Boortz preaches than Willard Romney is.

    The end game of this is that fear of, “the other” is what keeps the two party system alive and thriving. The duopoly loves the “realist” because they don’t have to convince you that your party’s guy is good, they only have to convince you that “the other” is worse. If “the other” gets in all hell will break lose, gays will marry, women will abort every child, dogs will mate with cats…you, party loyalist, must make sure that “the other” does not get elected because if he does, things are going to be horrible and society will break down. How many times have you heard, “we can’t afford another 4 years of Obama?”

    It’s about building a straw man and convincing you that, even if your guy is not good, the other guys is much worse.

 Leave a Reply

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>