Complaints that talk radio is too opinionated, too controversial and even too influential sometimes come from the strangest sources.

Take Michael Smerconish. In a Washington Post op-ed, the talk-show host complained that “extreme rhetoric” was harming the nation.

Industry veteran Randall Bloomquist responded, “When exactly was the broadcast media rife with rational discussion of the issues? Such shows have always been ratings losers.”

One would-be talk-show host found that out the hard way. In a post called “Confessions of a Failed Talk Show Host,” blogger D.R. Tucker looked back at his failed podcast and concluded that his attempts to sound reasonable and moderate doomed his show from the start.

If you’ve ever listened to a talk show and thought, “I could do that,” read Tucker’s analysis before you grab that microphone.

Rush Limbaugh

Now that’s nerve! wants Sir Elton John to donate his $1 million fee for performing at Rush Limbaugh’s wedding to a gay-rights group. A petition on the site declares it wants to “shame” the homosexual singer for being a “sellout” and accepting “hate money” from the talk-show host.

This week, Rush Limbaugh told listeners that civilian casualties were “the point” of bombing Hiroshima and Dresden. Conservative commentator David Forsmark praised Rush’s overall point, but maintained that, contrary to accepted belief, “the Dresden conflagration was largely accidental.”

Rush was denounced in the House of Representatives twice this week. Jim McDermott condemned the host’s jokes about “Dumpster diving,” saying, “When is the last time that Rush Limbaugh missed a meal? Take a look.”

Limbaugh responded by posting a segment on Dumpster diving from his old television show:

The next day, Jim Moran blamed attacks on census workers on “antigovernment rhetoric” by “shock jocks” like Limbaugh and Glenn Beck.

Rush responded, “All the armed robberies against small businesses are encouraged by left-wing hate-mongers like Jim Moran. They’re always trashing businessmen, they’re always trashing capitalism, they are always trashing corporations. They’re always talking about how these people are ripping off the American people, about how they’re abusing the American people.”

Mark Levin

Senate GOP Whip Jon Kyl joined Levin for a long interview after Kyl revealed that President Obama told him the federal government would only secure the borders if Republicans agreed to amnesty for illegal aliens (FREE audio).

Levin is at his best when he’s explaining complex legislation, like the new DISCLOSE Act, which he says will violate the First Amendment (FREE audio).

Sean Hannity

Hannity invited Oscar-winning actor Jon Voight on the show to read his “Open Letter to President Obama.”

The letter, which appeared in The Washington Times on Tuesday, begins, “You will be the first American president that lied to the Jewish people, and the American people as well, when you said that you would defend Israel, the only democratic state in the Middle East, against all their enemies. You have done just the opposite.”

Hannity invited guests like Bob Beckel and Lt. Col. Oliver North to comment on the McChrystal firing.

“If this weren’t a war, he should’ve been fired, but McChrystal is the leader of the war and he should stay,” said Democrat strategist Beckel.

Hannity agreed, saying, “I don’t think this president is seeking victory in Afghanistan. I’m not trying to make excuses for a general who has spoken out of school here, but I do understand his frustration.”

Michael Savage

The local East Bay Express has more information about the forthcoming book, “Trickle Up Poverty: Stopping Obama’s Attack on our Borders, Economy, and Security,” by San Francisco’s own, Michael Savage.

The new book covers topics like the Tea Party movement (“the last outpost of free expression to counter Obama’s Leninism”) and Obama’s Marxist roots – “from his Marxist college professors, his mentor the Reverend Jeremiah Wright … his Mao-loving czar Ron Bloom … to his hand-picked former jobs czar Van Jones.”

This week, Savage mused about starting a “museum of media vermin” after assessing their reaction to the resignation of Gen. McCrystal, who Savage defended unreservedly (FREE audio).

Savage, who has a doctorate in nutrition science, also mused about the possible connection between shrimp consumption, mercury poisoning and liberalism (which Savage likes to call “a mental disorder”) (FREE audio).

Laura Ingraham

Marco Rubio joined Laura Ingraham to talk about the oil spill, McChrystal and the Florida Senate race (FREE audio).

Ingraham had a lot to say about Pennsylvania’s Democrat Rep. Paul Kanjorski’s weird comments implying that “minorities” are “defective” and not “average, good American people.” Laura was most troubled by Kanjorski’s assertion that people “who live paycheck to paycheck always will.”

That’s not the attitude that made America great, Ingraham insisted. We should encourage people to better themselves instead of encouraging that kind of defeatism.

Ingraham also called a new CNN special about two homosexual men “having a baby” the “end of civilization” (FREE audio).

G. Gordon Liddy

WorldNetDaily columnist Erik Rush joined G. Gordon Liddy to talk about his controversial new book, “Negrophilia: From Slave Block to Pedestal – America’s Racial Obsession.” Rush, who first broke the story of President Obama’s ties to radical preacher Jeremiah Wright, discussed America’s preoccupation with race.

Other guests this week included Brigitte Gabriel of American Congress for Truth and John Lott, author of the modern classic, “More Guns, Less Crime.”

Liddy also promoted the work of the Military Order of the Purple Heart Service Foundation, which works with 1.4 million disabled and wounded veterans (FREE audio).

Glenn Beck

“J.D. Hayworth’s campaign is over,” declared Glenn Beck, after he and his on-air crew mocked Hayworth’s 2007 infomercials for a company offering government grants (FREE audio).

Beck got lots of attention this week for pretending to vomit on the air while mocking Nancy Pelosi and after the conservative magazine The Weekly Standard came out with a cover story critical of the talk-show host.

Beck’s producer “Stu” blogged in response, “I don’t understand the motivation, but luckily their circulation is so impossibly small that Glenn reaches more people in 11 seconds on the air than they do in 6 months.”

And now, on the left side of the dial …

As we noted last week, Rosie O’Donnell must be desperate to generate buzz around her low-rated satellite-radio talk show. Her latest weird remarks excused the bad call by a referee at the World Cup, which cost the American team a victory. O’Donnell agreed with her show’s producer that “anti-American sentiment” at the Cup is “understandable.”

Radio Equalizer Brian Maloney noted that on the same show, these two so-called enlightened, educated leftists “were quickly distracted by a producer’s inability to identify the country containing Tripoli (it’s Libya, for the record).”

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