TALK RADIO'S CREDIBILITY PROBLEM
By Cliff Kincaid
Dave Daubenmire, known as "Coach," has a good track record of acting on his conservative beliefs. In 1999 he was sued by the ACLU for praying with his teams while coaching high school in Ohio. Now he's going up against several prominent conservative radio talk show hosts, saying, "With the exception of Michael Savage, all of them are nothing more than Republican shills." He calls the bulk of conservative talk radio "bilge."
That's an overly harsh assessment, and talk radio has emerged as an important part of the "new media" which threaten liberal dominance. But one of the prominent conservative hosts, Rush Limbaugh, has made a fascinating admission. Responding to questions about how he felt in the wake of the Democratic Party victories, he said, "The way I feel is this: I feel liberated, and I'm going to tell you as plainly as I can why. I no longer am going to have to carry the water for people who I don't think deserve having their water carried. Now, you might say, 'Well, why have you been doing it?' Because the stakes are high! Even though the Republican Party let us down, to me they represent a far better future for my beliefs and therefore the country's than the Democrat Party and liberalism does." That was preceded by his statement that "There hasn't been ideology in the Republican Party, any conservatism, for at least two to maybe four years."
This would seem to suggest that Limbaugh understood that Republicans had abandoned their conservative principles but he decided to back and promote them anyway because he feared the Democrats would take power. Now the Democrats have taken power in part because the Republicans abandoned their principles. So the vicious circle has come back to bite Limbaugh, giving him "freedom" in the process. It would have been better to hold Republicans to their principles, rather than apologize for their misbehavior.
Chip McClean, publisher of Capitol Hill Coffee House, commented, "So Rush continued to openly support those he knew to be wrong because to him they represented the lesser of two evils. What Rush doesn't get is that he became part of the problem. The nation's most listened to talk radio host, instead of parroting the party line and helping to lead the lemmings over the cliff, could have used his influence to affect change within the Republican Party."
It's no wonder that the website of "independent conservative" Michael Savage seized on Limbaugh's comments, saying they constituted an admission that he had been deceiving his listeners about the Republican betrayal. Call it a double-whammy.
© 2006 Cliff Kincaid - All Rights
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Cliff Kincaid, a veteran journalist and media critic, Cliff concentrated in journalism and communications at the University of Toledo, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree.
Cliff has written or co-authored nine books on media and cultural affairs and foreign policy issues.
Cliff has appeared on Hannity & Colmes, The O’Reilly
Factor, Crossfire and has been published in the Washington Post, Washington
Times, Chronicles, Human Events and Insight.
Now he's going up against several prominent conservative radio talk show hosts, saying, "With the exception of Michael Savage, all of them are nothing more than Republican shills." He calls the bulk of conservative talk radio "bilge."