Kathy Shaidle is a blogging pioneer whose FiveFeetOfFury.com is now in its 12th year. Her most recent book – "The Tyranny of Nice: How Canada Crushes Freedom in the Name of Human Rights, and Why It Matters to Americans" – features an introduction by Rush Limbaugh guest host Mark Steyn.More ↓Less ↑
The special election in Massachusetts was the big story on conservative talk radio this week. Many pundits observed that it was turning into a contest between liberal elites and ordinary, more conservative folks.
However, the race also cast the divide within the GOP into relief. Beltway insider David Frum weighed in before the vote, observing smugly that Republican contender Scott Brown was “not a talk radio conservative.”
After correcting mistakes Frum made while citing Brown’s voting record, Michelle Malkin responded by pointing out, “Every major local, state and national ‘talk radio conservative’ has thrown his/her voice and audience behind Brown. And it is thanks to the power of talk radio, tea party grass roots, and conservative online activism – not through RINO armchair campaign managers – that Brown has been able to raise money and get his message out.”
She continued, “Reality check: With his small-town, anti-elitist appeal, Brown’s campaign has much more in common with Sarah Palin and Joe the Plumber populism than it does with David Frum and Beltway GOP rebranding defeatism.”
Missing his original point either accidentally or on purpose, the White House and its mainstream media cronies spent the week bashing Rush Limbaugh for his comments about donating to Haiti.
Shades of “Operation Chaos” – Rush had some thoughts on the long-term implications for Scott’s win and what it means for Obama:
“I think that it is time for Mrs. Clinton to start gearing up for a run for the White House in 2012,” he said. “I firmly believe that she is. I think the Clintons are waiting out there.”
The video of Limbaugh’s comment is below:
Beck caused a stir this week, too. He took exception to Scott Brown’s comments about his daughters during his victory speech (“They’re available”), and warned that Brown’s history (especially his stint as a Cosmopolitan magazine “centerfold” in 1982) could be warning signs of possible ethical troubles down the road.
Reaction was swift – and mixed. Across the web and on other radio shows, listeners either sided with Beck, or wished Beck would lighten up, calling the host a “buzz kill” who ruined their celebratory mood.
One highlight of the week was Glenn Beck’s all-new radio interview with Sarah Palin (FREE audio).
Mark Levin is no fan of colleague Glenn Beck, and not surprisingly, he was one of those who mocked Beck’s reaction to Brown’s victory speech.
Said Levin: “You know, the really ignorant thing about criticizing Brown is that in kidding around with his girls, it actually shows he is a good family man. Ask any guy who is a father of girls: doing something deliberately to provoke the ‘oh daddy!’ squirm of embarrassment from the teenage daughters is something only a father with a good, comfortable relationship does (and he never misses a chance to do so).
“If [Beck] smearing Brown was a joke, I don’t think it was very funny,” Levin said. “It’s very weird.”
Before the election, Levin explained what was at stake (FREE audio).
On the big night, Levin was one of the first to declare Brown the winner live on his show, which airs evenings in most markets (FREE audio).
A triumphant Laura Ingraham celebrated Brown’s win, and talked to the Weekly Standard’s Fred Barnes about what the results meant for health care and more. She and Larry Kudlow switched the subject over to the economy on Thursday, discussing Obama’s “war on Wall Street” (FREE audio).
The morning after Brown’s victory, Sean Hannity celebrated “a great awakening.”
“The people have now awoken from a great sleep,” Hannity said. “The Obama mania and the death of journalism have not stopped what is now a great awakening. It really comes down a few basic principles. If you want to raise taxes on America, if you want to take over banks and insurance companies and financial institutions and car companies and ruin the best health care system in the world. If you want to do all of that, America is gonna reject you and say ‘no.’ You will lose your power. America is a ‘center right’ country.”
Note: tickets to Sean Hannity’s famous summer Freedom Concerts are now on sale online. Since 2003, over $10 million has been raised for the Freedom Alliance Scholarship Fund through the Freedom Concerts and generous donations from the Sean Hannity Show and its listeners.
Like I always say: Hugh Hewitt is the one to listen to during elections and when anything big is happening in the Beltway.
The night of the special election, Hewitt’s show ran an extra hour on some affiliates, so he could cover the returns throughout the evening. His guests that night included Christopher Hitchens and Mark Steyn, who remarked on the Democrats’ twisted reaction when it became obvious the Republican candidate would win:
“I mean, what’s interesting is the Democrats, these partisan Democrats, Massachusetts is now redneck country. It’s now Mississippi,” Steyn said. “If you listen to the way they talk about the knuckle-dragging teabaggers and all the other stuff, these people who 20 minutes ago were like elite, East Coast liberals sipping their chardonnay and their decaf lattes have now joined the swamp dwellers of the Deep South in Democrat and elite media eyes.”
One voice sadly missing from Tuesday night’s coverage was that of Dean Barnett. Hewitt had mentored Barnett when he was a budding blogger and radio host. With his distinctive Boston accent, intelligence and good humor, Duane was a favorite with Hewitt’s listeners. Sadly, in 2008, Barnett died of cystic fibrosis at age 40.
His friend Noemie Emery, writing in the Weekly Standard, couldn’t help but wonder if Duane had played a “heavenly” role in the “Massachusetts Miracle.”
As a Constitutional law prof, Hewitt was energized by the Supreme Court’s roll back of some McCain-Feingold campaign finance restrictions. He called the decision “a very bad day for Fairness Doctrine enthusiasms.”
“These opinions (and Justice Scalia’s on the Founders’ relevant views) provide great news for defenders of a wide-open public square full of robust messages and vigorous debate,” Hewitt said. “It seems to me to also clearly evidence doom for the Fairness Doctrine should any ill-considered attempt to revive it spring up. Beyond that, restrictions on the blogosphere of the sort that the FTC is pushing are clearly in trouble.”
Dennis Prager prides himself on the fact that he works most national holidays, unlike many other talk radio show hosts. On Monday, Dennis Prager reviewed the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. with Jeff Jacoby and Seth Lipsky.
Prager was so “shocked and surprised” by Scott Brown’s election victory that he skipped his ever-popular “Male/Female Hour” to spend more time analyzing the results. This week, Prager also talked to author Robert Wistrich about the history of anti-Semitism.
The great Larry Elder guest-hosted the show on Thursday. Alas, those of us waiting for Elder to launch his promised webcast will have to wait a little longer. Sign up at Elder’s website to find out when he’ll be back on the air.
Dennis Prager’s audio files are members-only. However, it is possible to “TiVo” talk radio show even if you aren’t a premium subscriber. Mac users can try RadioShift software (FREE trial); if you’re on a PC, this “how to” video demonstrates one way to schedule talk radio recordings.
And now, from the left side of the dial
The Massachusetts election witnessed liberal and “progressive” talk radio hosts at their absolute worst.
Mike Malloy launched into an election night diatribe, blaming 9/11 on … Rush Limbaugh, Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity and Glenn Beck (FREE audio clip).
Ed Shultz declared, “If I lived in Massachusetts I’d try to vote 10 times. I don’t know if they’d let me or not, but I’d try to. Yeah, that’s right. I’d cheat to keep these b——s out.”
In response to criticism of this implied endorsement of voter fraud, Shultz refused to backpedal, and issued a fake “apology” (FREE audio clip).