Right Wing Radio Week in Review: June 29 – July 3, 2009

Lots of talk radio hosts were on vacation this week, due to the Independence Day holiday. That means “best of” shows and guest hosts.

Tammy Bruce (who has a superb new website, by the way) sat in for Laura Ingraham, for example (bringing to the show a blend of Ingraham’s familiar candor with a much more agreeable speaking voice.)

Meanwhile Tom Marr guest hosted for Mark Levin on Monday. If you’re like me, you’re disappointed when you hear an unfamiliar voice at the start of your favorite talk radio shows. However, Tom Marr was a welcome surprise.

Don’t let his Paul Harvey style voice fool you – veteran broadcaster Marr is a tough guy at heart, and refreshingly outspoken, especially about issues of race, which were top of mind due to the Supreme Court’s Ricci decision. Marr also said Obama was “turning into a dictator” and “the country may be doomed”! (Here’s Tom Marr’s official website.)

Dennis Miller was in Japan, so his show was guest hosted by the usual suspects: Andrew Breitbart, Norm McDonald and Greg Gutfeld.

Now, Breitbart and McDonald are popular guests on Miller’s show, and with good reason. But each guy loses something I can’t put my finger on when he goes from guest to host.

Greg Gutfeld’s guest hosting job on Thursday, however, was outstanding, maybe because he really does host his own show five days a week. Much smoother. Give this guy his own radio show!
 

* Dennis Prager rarely takes time off, however. On Tuesday, he tackled one of my favorite ideas: that the road to hell is paved with good intentions. Prager says that we are born with two urges: one to do good and one to do bad.  Contrary to what we might think, our urge to do good is the urge that “gets us into more trouble.” Plus: “You know that something is good by its results, not by its intentions…”
 

* Hugh Hewitt talked to Mark Steyn on Wednesday, about Michael Jackson and the phenomemon Steyn dubbed “death by entourage”:

what is sad is that Michael Jackson, who had an abused childhood, and it clearly had an impact on him, and he retreated into a second-hand fantasy. Neverland is not Michael Jackson. It was invented by J.M. Barrie for his story about Peter Pan. So Neverland was cooked up by some guy in Victorian London a hundred years ago. So what is pathetic is about this, whatever you feel about Elvis, who took an antebellum mansion and turned it into the sort of shrine to his own rather limited interests, but it is at least authentically the expression of Elvis. Michael Jackson’s Neverland is just one sad freak’s attempt to latch onto a second-hand fantasy. It’s not even organic to him. I don’t think that’s going to be any kind of big tourist attraction.

This week, Hugh Hewitt has spent much more time talking about Jackson’s untimely death that I could have imagined. As his fans know, he is definitely not Mr. Pop Culture! However, Hewitt came up with a useful new unit of measurement: the “LKM” or “Larry King Minute” – that is, the number of minutes a dead celebrity will be granted on Larry King, based upon their longevity and importance.

Callers and guests debated who would garner the most LKMs in an amusing version of those ghoulish “dead pools” so beloved by college students.
 

* Neal Boortz asked:

So … still got that Obama bumper sticker on your car? It’s one thing to have been so profoundly ignorant in the last election. It’s quite another to advertise it.

* A topic near to my (still healthy, thank God) heart: Canadian health care. G. Gordon Liddy and Dennis Prager both talked about the pros and cons last week. Mostly cons. Those who complain about the use of anecdotes to condemn Canadian health care might want to consider the possibility that “studies” are just collections of anecdotes, which reduce words to numbers, all the better to boggle the mind…

Liddy’s talk with one Canadian who was forced to get treated in the U.S.for a brain tumor is well worth your time. (Free audio).

Dennis Prager spoke to ABC’s John Stossel about his upcoming special expose (July 17) on the Canadian health care system. (Do you know that the average wait time in a Canadian emergency ward is 20 hours? I do…) An excellent interview – alas, only available via archive to paid Prager subscribers.

* Bashing Rush Limbaugh seems to be the current strategy being used by lesser folks to capture attention. Once again, David Frum was making the rounds, talking about the GOP’s “Limbaugh Problem” – a subject that generates less attention every time he tries it out. (Free video.)

Meanwhile, the only time I ever think about Ron Reagan is when he goes on another tirade against Rush. This one’s about Limbaugh being a wife beater or something. Yawn.  Hat tip to the great Radio Equalizer blogger for wading through this stuff. (Free audio.)

* As superbly reported here, a troubling exchange occurred last week between a reporter for the Los Angeles Times and Karen Bass, speaker of the California assembly:

Q: How do you think conservative talk radio has affected the Legislature’s work?

A: The Republicans were essentially threatened and terrorized against voting for revenue. Now [some] are facing recalls. They operate under a terrorist threat: "You vote for revenue and your career is over." I don’t know why we allow that kind of terrorism to exist. I guess it’s about free speech, but it’s extremely unfair.

Not surprisingly, this exchange was the talk of the conservative blogosphere last week, but was ignored by most of the state’s mainstream media.

This kind of talk is part of the Establishment’s efforts to silence conservative talk radio. Randall Bloomquist has posted about “two pieces of legislation currently wending their way through Congress could have a significant impact on talk radio — from chilling opinion and conversation, to prompting criminal prosecution of both broadcast and Internet talk show hosts.”

Keep an eye on “the Megan Meier Cyber-Bullying Prevention Act” and the “Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Prevention Act”. You can follow the latest news about these two sinister (and very likely unconstitutional) bills, via the RSS feeds at my Conservative Talk Radio website.

Author and former Clinton advisor Dick Morris has a short video up describing the threat to talk radio, saying that "the return of the Fairness Doctrine is only the beginning.”

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