Annoying Voices on the Right

October 17th, 2009

To Opinion Forum readers: Larry and I are definitely on the same wavelength. I just finished this post this morning — before visiting¬†Opinion Forum — and, although the thesis is different and I don’t mention Beck, we both seem to have conservative talkers on our minds.

microphoneThe news media today contains very little straight news; the Wall Street Journal and the Christian Science Monitor are two possible exceptions. If you, dear reader, know of any better sources of straight news, please leave a comment.

Many if not most reporters today seem to take on the role of commentator and/or news analyst; they no longer report — they either quote selectively or supply their own slant to stories. I admit that I do some of that, but I’ve never claimed to be a reporter. I just attempt to be an “influencer” and sometimes try to stir up passions through occasionally outrageous rhetoric that reflects my personal, mostly conservative worldview.

Speaking of influencers, conservative radio talk show hosts like Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham and Mark Levin make me look like the amateur I am — these are professional influencers! Many people (millions) listen to them every day and most of them probably take every word they say as gospel, even though its obvious that they often tweak facts and omit other facts to make their arguments more persuasive . . . then again, maybe it’s not that obvious to the majority of their listeners. The twisted reality is that conservative-leaning people like most of their listeners (and me) will readily overlook their prevarications because in the end their message may be the “right” one, but it is also, in our opinion, the right one for America.

After all, when your “right,” your right!

Aside from twisting facts to suit their needs, these right-wing radio hosts have other annoying on-air habits. Rush Limbaugh has the largest audience and is without a doubt the most influential radio host today, but his constant bragging and his well-fed ego have the effect of making me switch channels. The other three I mentioned have the annoying habit of constantly interrupting or talking over their guests and their callers; especially guests and callers who disagree with them. Laura Ingraham, however, talks over everyone, even those who share her point-of-view, and her voice is so shrill that I don’t last long there, either. Sean Hannity will subtly change the subject when a caller makes a point and then will badger the caller about some inconsequential point or insist on a yes or no answer to a leading question until it’s time for a commercial or a hard break. Mark Levin is simply caustic. Levin may be the most constitutionally literate of all the radio hosts, but he is a short-tempered name caller — “jerk,” “putz,” and “idiot” are his favorites, but they are just three of many he uses to describe people who disagree with him.

I can’t say much about liberal radio hosts because the only libs on the radio in the Dallas area seem to be on NPR (National Public Radio), and when I tune in I always manage to catch some Brit talking about some rebellion in some Commonwealth. I’m sure, however, that there are plenty of left-wing talk shows out there in radioland, and I would wager that the avid listeners of left-wing radio hosts exhibit the same blind spots for non-factual facts and half-truths as we on the right do. I’m not sure how that works, but it seems that when you’re “left” you’re also right!

It’s an interesting enigma, isn’t it? When someone is saying or doing things that support your worldview, little things like twisted facts, partial truths, out-of-context quotes, and annoying mannerisms are as inconsequential as sunshine in July.

(This article was also posted at My View from the Center.)

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2 Responses to “Annoying Voices on the Right”

  1. Larry |

    Old time straight talkers like us call it fighting fire with fire.

  2. Tom |

    I agree that these folks can all be rather annoying, and that their followers (on both the left and right) aren’t too concerned about facts. The most extreme I’ve heard was Michael Savage. I felt a twinge of understanding when the British tried to ban him from entering their country.

    Once a few years back, when you could still find Air America on a few stations, I made a serious effort to listen to them for a few weeks to see how they compared to their right-wing counterparts. What I heard was equally disappointing and discouraging. Instead of reasoned discussion of liberal views, I heard wild rants, distortions of truth, disregard for or ignorance of facts, and an unsettling amount of bigotry. Added to that were crude language and personal insults that exceeded anything I heard on conservative talk radio.

    So, I don’t take any of them seriously. I listen sometimes for the humor and entertainment, and when it gets too bad, I just turn it off. That’s the greatest power of all.

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