Humanities professor, liberal lesbian and Obama voter Camille Paglia is also an unabashed fan of conservative talk radio. Speaking on liberal talk radio this week, the paradoxical Paglia scolded NPR callers for parroting the left’s latest tedious talking point:

“First of all, I reject the idea that the ‘birther’ campaign is motivated by racism,” she said. “There may be racism among it, but there are legitimate questions about the documentation of Obama’s birth certificate. I’m sorry, I’ve been following this closely from the start. To assume that all those signs about the birth controversy were motivated by racism, that is simply wrong.”

If only more liberals were as open to “the other side’s” ideas as Camille Paglia. No doubt listening to Rush Limbaugh and other conservative talk radio shows every day has something to do with that.

Conservative … rappers?

The New York Times got lots of mileage out of a Sept. 20 column by David Segal entitled “Call it Ludacris: The Kinship Between Talk Radio and Rap.”

This widely-quoted piece proposed that talk radio hosts like Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck and Michael Savage were essentially the white, middle-aged versions of “gangsta” rappers. After all, Segal points out, both groups are masters of “free style” word play.

For example, Segal wrote, “Mr. Savage’s riffs are a quirky, zig-zagging flow of ideas that at their best are a kind of talk show scat, jumping from a mini-lecture about the Khmer Rouge, to a rave about barbecue chicken.”

It was a cute, harmless piece, and clearly Segal had actually listened to these shows before he spoofed them. That’s a major leap forward in mainstream media evolution; most reporters just type “Rush is fat!” for the hundredth time – willfully ignorant of the fact that Limbaugh has lost close to 100 pounds this year.

Rush Limbaugh

Limbaugh’s criticism of Barack Obama grew bolder than ever this week.

On Tuesday, Rush declared, “I can only conclude that Obama wants us to be dominated by our enemies. … He’s told us he’s uncomfortable with victory in Afghanistan. I’m not making this up. He’s uncomfortable with victory because it embarrassed him to see pictures of the Japanese surrendering in World War II as humiliating. If he’s not talking about victory what the hell are we doing, stalemate for the rest of time?” (FREE audio/video)

Limbaugh went even further on Wednesday, calling Obama “a dangerous kook” after his UN address (FREE transcript).

On Thursday night, Rush was in California, to appear as a guest on Jay Leno’s new TV show, so the ever-popular Mark Steyn sat in behind “the golden EIB microphone.”

As usual, many callers wondered why Steyn doesn’t have a show of his own, but Steyn joked that he was much happier working as “the oldest child prostitute at the ACORN bordello.”

And also as usual, Steyn’s dry sarcasm was lost on the humorless “official Rush Limbaugh Watchers” over at Media Matters, both of whom, amusingly, are named “Zachary.” The “Zacharys” took particular umbrage at Steyn’s on-air mockery of … them.

Glenn Beck

As usual, there is enough about Glenn Beck to fill a column of its own. He’s become the left’s (and some of the right’s) new favorite whipping boy.

Blogger Pamela Geller calls it “Beck Derangement Syndrome.” (Editor’s note: language warning, due to a photograph of a New York leftist’s obscenely worded anti-Beck T-shirt.)

Some conservatives, including some fellow talk show hosts, took exception to Beck’s statement this week that he was glad Obama had defeated John McCain, because without the election of such a radical president, ordinary Americans wouldn’t be galvanized like they are today (FREE video).

I respectfully disagree with Beck on this. His statement illustrates what conservative economists call the “broken windows fallacy”: that it’s actually good news when vandals break shopkeepers’ windows; it means more work for the window repair man.

Beck’s comments on Obama and McCain raised the ire of fellow radio personality Mark Levin. While not mentioning Beck by name, Levin made his feelings clear on his show all week (FREE audio).

For a thoughtful, thorough and sober overview of the conservative debate over Glenn Beck, look to stalwart movement “elder”, Ron Radosh.

As for the man himself: Beck conducted a fake “interview” with President Obama this week on his TV show (FREE video).

Beck also appeared on other people’s radio shows this week, to promote his new book, “Arguing with Idiots.” You can listen for free to his interview with Houston’s award-winning AM 740 KTRH host Michael Berry on the station’s website.

Now if only I could get that “Arguing with Idiots” jingle out of my head …

P.S.: this week, a broadcast television veteran explained to me why the “Glenn Beck boycott” literally can’t work, based on cable TV’s business model. Interesting stuff.

Mark Levin

One of this week’s (maybe this year’s) talk radio highlights was Mark Levin’s conversation with African-American ESPN host Stephen A. Smith.

Smith, who voted for Obama, is now critical of the President’s policies, to put it mildly. Nothing I can say about this extraordinary interview will do it justice.

Unfortunately, the response to Smith’s interview with Levin wasn’t uniformly positive.

Smith wrote, “Since my segment on the Mark Levin Show, quite a few folks in my community have called me a ‘coon,’ a ‘sellout’ and quite a few other incendiary things I won’t waste my time repeating. One dear friend even had the gall to ask if I were ‘selling my soul’ to get a job on FoxNews, evidently having missed my near 30 appearances on MSNBC within the last two months.”

Mark Levin also sat down with blogging giant Glenn “Instapundit” Reynolds for a PJTV interview about the impact Levin’s million-selling book, “Liberty and Tyranny,” is having on grass-roots conservatism in America (FREE video).

Laura Ingraham

WND’s Ellis Washington penned a fine profile of Laura Ingraham this week, dubbing her “the lioness of talk radio.”

He writes, “Ms. Ingraham’s most recent contribution to the marketplace of ideas has been the launching of the project ‘Ten for 10: Winning Washington by Empowering Americans.’ This project is a list of 10 principles we the people can start to implement now to take back our country from the radical socialists dominating government before the 2010 elections.”

Great food for thought.

Dennis Prager

Dennis Prager’s mother Hilda passed away over the weekend.

Over the years, regular listeners came to “know” Mrs. Prager through Dennis’ affectionate anecdotes and his on-air interview with her last year.

My condolences will certainly be joined by those of thousands of listeners, who are invited to send notes of sympathy to Dennis and his father, Max, through Max Prager’s website.

Prager is observing the traditional seven-day mourning period and will return to the show on Tuesday. Mark Taylor stood out among this week’s guest hosts, as always. Now there’s a man who really needs his own show!

Out of left field

Finally, from the “left” side of the radio dial comes word that San Francisco politicians are “encouraging” a local station to bring back “gay” programming. When that format failed, the station’s new owners dropped it in favor of Top 40 music. And many in the “community” are making their displeasure known.

According to the “Radio Equalizer,” Brian Maloney, angry homosexual activists are now phoning the station’s new owner at home and harassing him.

Look at campaigns like this as the proving grounds for all-out attacks on conservative talk radio. Activists will be testing their tactics on smaller targets such as this one. Be vigilant about similar stunts in your area.

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