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Despite the rumors spread last week on progressive websites, ratings and revenues for conservative talk radio are rising, not dropping.

One industry magazine reported the amazing statistic that “the number of radio stations that carry talk shows grew in 2010 to 2,056 from 1,370 in 2009.”

And while progressives insist that talk radio listeners are well past retirement age, the chief demographic is actually 35 to 64, as well as educated and affluent. So much for the left’s grasp of basic facts.

Rush Limbaugh

Fellow talk show host Michael Medved took flak this week for criticizing Rush Limbaugh. Medved told CNN that Limbaugh was wrong to insist that Obama was intentionally trying to destroy America.

Limbaugh also attracted abuse from the left, when Ed Schultz (who evidently doesn’t own a full-length mirror) challenged Rush to “wrap [his] fat a** in the flag” in one of his characteristically confused rants.

On a lighter note – but still on the subject of weight – Limbaugh challenged Michelle Obama’s campaign to get Americans to watch their diets: “If you’re going to tell everybody to eat twigs and berries,” declared Rush, “you had better look like an Ethiopian” (FREE audio).

Sean Hannity

All week, Hannity exposed the hypocrisy and violent rhetoric (and actions) of Wisconsin’s union members, as they continued their highly public (if not terribly popular) revolt against entitlement reforms. He spoke to Majority Leader Scott Suder of Wisconsin, and to the “man of the hour” himself, the state’s Governor Scott Walker.

A “caller of the day” (“Randy from Ohio”) took issue with Hannity, insisting (rather amusingly under the circumstances) that unions “protect people from bullies” (FREE audio).

Sean also spoke with Sen. Scott Brown, R-Mass., about his explosive new memoir “Against All Odds.” Other guests included Rand Paul and Gov. Mike Huckabee (audio is members only).

Michael Savage

Michael Savage slammed Obama for “remaining silent for nine days on the Middle East, but then broke his silence to talk about gay marriage.” He also put forth his ideas for how to defeat Somali pirates militarily (FREE audio).

He also talked about taking a break from writing his novel to visit an art museum and “reset his mind.” Savage described the great works that impressed him that day and mused on the rise and fall of civilizations (FREE audio).

Savage told listeners more about his forthcoming novel, a thriller called “Abuse of Power,” and read them an excerpt (FREE audio).

Mark Levin

Jeffrey Lord covers talk radio (among other things) at American Spectator. This week he penned a witty parody press release, set in an alternative future.

He writes, “Barely 24 hours after her inauguration as America’s first woman chief executive, President Sarah Palin announced today that Attorney General Mark Levin has been instructed to stop defending Roe v. Wade and abortion in a wave of fresh lawsuits filed in federal courts around the country.”

On the air, Mark Levin blasted Fox News anchor Shep Smith for spreading rampant “Koch brothers conspiracy theories,” linking the billionaire brothers with alleged Wisconsin union busting (FREE audio).

On that subject, Levin went straight to the source and spoke to Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker about the real situation on the ground (FREE audio).

He also opined that the National Education Association is “the closest thing to a Communist Party we have in this country” (FREE audio).

Laura Ingraham

With the subject of union unrest in Wisconsin was on everyone’s mind, Laura Ingraham spoke to Ohio Gov. John Kasich and Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson about public sector unions, entitlements and the Democratic Party.

Donald Rumsfeld joined Laura to talk about his memoir about his days in the George W. Bush White House and on the current situation in the Middle East. Ingraham also talked to Mike Huckabee about a wide variety of issues, from Michelle Obama’s anti-obesity campaign to learning to play a musical instrument as an adult (FREE audio).

Last Friday, Laura Ingraham talked to Middle East expert Dr. Walid Phares about the ever-evolving uprisings in the Muslim world. This audio became available after my deadline last week; it is too valuable not to bring to your attention now (FREE audio):

Glenn Beck

Glenn Beck was in trouble again from Jewish groups, who repeated their accusations of anti-Semitism against the radio host. This week, however, Beck apologized immediately for his most recent controversial remark, when he compared Reform rabbis to Muslim extremists – he called his comment “one of the worst analogies of all time” (FREE audio).

On a more lighthearted note, Beck joked about more celebrities he “had no business meeting” – this time when he went to his first NASCAR event and met Fergie from the Black Eyed Peas (FREE audio).

He was less upbeat, however, about his new “apocalyptic stick diet,” in which almost all familiar food groups are banned (FREE audio).

And now, from the left side of the dial …

Al Sharpton might want to hire smarter fill-in hosts. Andre Eggleston picked up on Sharpton’s campaign against Rush Limbaugh, this time slamming Rush for “insulting Michelle Obama” and therefore, according to Eggleston, “all black females.”

Hilariously, guest Karen Hunter then praised Michelle Obama for being “out there” with her anti-obesity campaign – but then admitting sheepishly: “I was a little disappointed that she had to eat those ribs, because you know you’re under scrutiny and, not that she can’t eat ribs, she has the right to eat ribs, but you leave yourself open because you have to know these people are watching your every single move. She could have had those ribs sent to her room or something. She didn’t have to eat them in public.”

Isn’t it fun when progressives help make conservatives’ points for them – in this case, that the First Lady is a hypocrite, but no more or less so than the average leftist like Hunter, who proudly promotes a “do as I say, not as I do” ethos with no sense of irony or embarrassment?

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