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Analyzing a recent Washington Post poll, left-leaning website TalkingPointsMemo dubbed Sarah Palin the “hero of talk radio listeners – but anyone else?”

“When asked who best represents the GOP’s core values,” reported TPM, “Palin attracted 17 percent support – with 48 percent among [Rush] Limbaugh fans, and 35 percent among [Glenn] Beck’s audience.”

In another survey, commissioned by CBS News, Rush Limbaugh was voted “Most Influential Conservative Voice in America” by a wide margin.

“Boy,” quipped CBSNews.com, “the great Bill Buckley would have had a field day with that one.”

Sadly, no. The patrician Buckley always recognized such erstwhile “admiration” for what it was: a sneaky way for liberals to turn around and bash the brash, bombastic Limbaugh; in reality, Buckley considered the talk-show giant a valuable asset to the conservative movement and a friend.

I managed to “google” Buckley’s actual opinions about Rush in mere seconds. Perhaps CBS News’ Internet connection was down the day their poll came out.

Rush Limbaugh

Midweek, both Gawker and Politico reported that Limbaugh was planning to marry girlfriend Kathryn Rogerson on July 4, 2010. So far, the alleged groom-to-be hasn’t commented on these stories.

He had a lot to say about Obamacare, however, when he appeared as a guest on actor William Shatner’s TV talk show (video below):

Back in his own studio, Limbaugh asked sarcastically, “How many people has Barack Obama liberated from bondage?” and warned, “This ‘third party’ stuff has got to stop, folks.”

Rush was referring to talk-radio colleague Glenn Beck’s musings about that controversial political option (without mentioning Beck by name) (FREE video clips).

P.S.: One lucky Limbaugh fan gets a free one-year “Rush 24/7″ premium membership (and much more) if they enter and win the All American Blogger’s 2009 “Conservative Christmas Contest”!

Glenn Beck

He came in second in that “Most Influential Conservative” poll, but Glenn Beck was named one of Barbara Walters’ “Most Fascinating People” this year. Her annual TV special featuring Beck and other “winners” airs December 9.

Others “fascinated” by Beck this week include a snarky reporter for the U.K. Guardian, who called Beck, “insanely noxious, horribly funny and utterly compelling,” whose “personal story is so exquisitely tailored to American dreams of redemption that it seems (and indeed parts of it may be) too bad to be true.”

Meanwhile, on CNN’s “Reliable Sources,” liberal radio host Bill Press called Beck “a ticking time bomb.”

Robert Ringer, on the other hand, wrote that, “I hope I’m not disappointed, but it appears that Glenn Beck is the guy I’ve been waiting for since 1982. … He is the first person I have seen with the talent, the money, the drive and, most important, the willingness to ‘risk mortification of the flesh.’ As I’ve said in previous articles, he has dragged the evildoers in Washington into a war with him that they cannot win.”

Like everyone else on talk radio (if nowhere else, except the Internet) Beck continued to unpack “Climategate,” calling global warming “the biggest scam in history” (FREE video).

On Tuesday, Beck took a call from “Debbie,” a self-described “Reagan conservative” who put herself through school and is now in debt, collecting unemployment insurance, with two children to care for (Transcript – audio is members only):

Glenn Beck: … know that in two years from now, you call me back, and you will if you don’t give up and if you stand on your own two feet and you don’t have any shame for taking the things that you’ve paid into, I’ve paid into and take those things and be responsible with them and stop that what will turn into addiction for a lot of people, stop that handout mentality and make sure you understand it always to be a hand up in troubled times, and you stop it the minute you have an ability to stand on your own two feet.

Caller: Absolutely.

Beck: You are going to call me in two years and you are going to say, “Glenn, I didn’t believe you at the time, but these have been the best two years of my life.”

Mark Levin

This week, Mark Levin was the keynote speaker at Hillsdale College’s prestigious Churchill Dinner. The invitation-only event in Washington, D.C., is always a hot ticket in conservative circles; previous keynote speakers include Rush Limbaugh, Charles Krauthammer and Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.

Levin’s broadcast coincided with the live broadcast of Obama’s speech on Afghanistan at West Point, so Levin took the opportunity to provide running commentary – none of which was flattering (FREE audio).

Having exposed the lie of “global warming” in his bestselling book “Liberty and Tyranny,” Levin’s take on “Climategate” was particularly valuable (FREE audio).

Dennis Prager

Now back from his Thanksgiving trip to Africa, distributing mosquito nets to the poor, Dennis Prager praised the work of his sponsors, the Christian groups like Rock of Africa and Cure International.

He reflected that the secular left hasn’t any similar organizations, and, “I realized once again that the left is far better at destroying than building“:

And just as there is no left-wing Boy Scouts, there is no Salvation Army built and manned by people with left-wing values. Nor has there ever been a left-wing country as magnanimous, as willing to die for others, as opportunity-giving to people from all over the world, as America, whose greatness comes from its traditional secular values and its Judeo-Christian values. As with the Boy Scouts, the left can bring an America down, but it cannot build one.

In the wake of “Climategate,” Prager reminded listeners that “simply accepting what science says is foolish” (FREE audio).

G. Gordon Liddy

WorldNetDaily founder Joseph Farah sat in for Liddy, and reported that WND had been denied press credentials to cover the Copenhagen “climate change” meeting (FREE audio).

Earlier in the week, Liddy interviewed Joe Kovacs, whose book “Shocked by the Bible” reveals that much of what we think we know about the traditional Christmas story is wrong.

Hugh Hewitt

Princeton professor Uwe Reinhardt told Hewitt how Obamacare would negatively affect physicians and, even more importantly, vulnerable senior citizens.

On the other side of the issue, Hewitt also had on one of the major proponents of Obama’s health-care system, MIT economist Jon Gruber, who admitted, “Those who are enrolled in Medicare Advantage may see some fewer benefits. It’s true.”

One exchange was particularly interesting:

Hugh Hewitt: And how much do you … [a surgeon in Oregon] asked me a question, how much do you think Medicare pays for a surgeon to perform a lower leg amputation? Do you have any idea, by the way, Doc? I didn’t.

Jon Gruber: No, I have no idea.

Hewitt: He said President Obama has said between thirty and fifty thousand dollars. The actual reimbursement is $862.

Laura Ingraham

“What really happened at the White House?” wondered Ingraham – along with millions of Americans who wondered how two social climbers managed to crash that party.

She also spoke to Governor Tim Pawlenty, who hopes his ideas about health-care reform will be adopted throughout the nation (FREE audio).

A few odds and ends

Larry Elder – whose long-awaited new podcast is slated to start up later this month – took National Public Radio to task for their lousy coverage of “Climategate,” saying NPR “spun this as if a couple of kids carjacked a Lexus and went joyriding. Yawn.” Your tax dollars at work.

Talk radio legend Milt Rosenberg (who’s hosted “Extension 720″ on Chicago’s WGN every Monday to Friday night for an incredible 36 years) had on author Mark Steyn. Over the course of two hours, they had an entertaining discussion about everything from the war on terror, the Swiss minaret ban and Fort Hood to Christmas music.

On the other end of the scale of experience, a new show debuts this week, hosted by 20-something Andrew Lawton. Lawton has been a conservative activist since his teens; his most recent campaign has been to arrange Ann Coulter’s first-ever talk at a Canadian campus.

Now Lawton is trying his hand at conservative talk radio. His Strictly Right Radio podcast debuts Friday, Dec. 4, and he’s landed an incredible first guest: Jackie, the teenager who was ambushed by a mainstream-media TV reporter at that Sarah Palin book signing.

Listening to these two young people will be like getting a glimpse of the future of conservatism!

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