Right Wing Radio Week in Review: May 11 – 15

As we noted here last week, controversial talk radio host Michael Savage unintentionally shoved Rush Limbaugh out of the news, when he was banned from visiting the U.K. as a “hatemonger.”

Boris Johnson, the mayor of London and a one-time controversialist in his own right, insisted that Michael Savage posed no risk to British security, and bemoaned the Home Office’s bizarre decision.

Even Savage’s long time enemy, the Council for American Islamic Relations (CAIR), called for the ban to be lifted.

He announced on Thursday night that he was planning to sue Jacqui Smith, the politician behind the ban.

Michael Savage didn’t have many vocal supporters among his fellow talk show hosts, however. Mark Levin mocked Savage when the ban was announced, for example (audio here).

This week, however, Rush was back on the pundits’ radar. Once again, it’s because someone else had “taken his name in vain”, rather than because of anything Rush himself said on the air.

Wanda Sykes m.c.’d the increasingly creepy Washington Press Club dinner, and joked that Rush was supposed to be the 20th 9/11 hijacker but was too stoned to make his flight – a line that had President Obama laughing.

Interestingly, Rush didn’t have any response when he took to the air right after the event.

The blogger GayPatriot asked rhetorically why the Left was trying so hard to martyr Limbaugh – a strategy that was sure to backfire.

Meanwhile, Time magazine’s Joel Klein accused Rush Limbaugh of “delivering misinformation and lies” on Sunday’s Reliable Sources TV show.

Even John McCain’s mom took a shot at Rush this week!

Meanwhile, someone at National Review Online named Jerry Taylor criticized Rush, Sean Hannity and other conservative radio hosts; “the more people who think Rush Limbaugh leads the GOP,” Taylor opined, “the fewer votes the GOP will get.”

NRO “Corner” blog editor Kathryn Jean Lopez replied somewhat wearily:

We seem to have this conversation in The Corner every few months. Wearing “I don’t listen” creds on the Right is not original to you, Jerry. We can all be better, everyday. And more than that. But the “better talk radio” you say you want is on the air already. Criticize and quibble where you want and certainly where it is warranted, but please don’t join the conventional chorus. Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity can take it— they do, in fact, take it — but they deserve better. Rush Limbaugh has been bringing the message of freedom and American exceptionalism to Americans for over 20 years now, most weekdays, for three hours a day. He deserves a little thanks. And he certainly deserves to be listened to before attacked by natural allies.

Others came to Rush Limbaugh’s defense too. Dick Cheney gave his approval to “Rush Limbaugh’s version of the GOP,” for example.

Meanwhile, radio host Laura Ingraham slammed the liberal media for picking out Miss California and Miss U.S.A. runner up Carrie Prejean for her views on gay marriage – which mirror President Obama’s own stated opinions.

Her radio colleague G. Gordon Liddy had some choice words for Miss U.S.A. pageant judge Perez Hilton.

Elsewhere around the radio dial:

Dennis Miller broadcasted from the Ronald Reagan Library on Monday, and seemed to enjoy having the energetic presence of a live audience to bounce jokes off of. It was one of his best recent shows, without a doubt.

Hugh Hewitt and Mark Steyn (whose new book Lights Out I reviewed here earlier in the week) talked about Prejean, Cheney, Obama and hypocrisy. Steyn remarked:

…if you were to make the comparison with the Miss USA gay marriage flap, that in this instance, not to get too lurid, Dick Cheney is Carrie Prejean, and Nancy Pelosi is Barack Obama. In other words, Carrie Prejean and Barack Obama both have exactly the same position on gay marriage, but the left knows that Barack Obama doesn’t mean it, so they don’t mind. He’s just doing what was politically necessary, politically expedient.
 

Finally: Camille Paglia, the liberal columnist at Salon.com, is an unabashed fan of conservative talk radio. However, this week she wrote:

I was utterly horrified to hear Dallas-based talk show host Mark Davis, subbing for Rush Limbaugh, laughingly and approvingly read a passage from a Dallas magazine article by CBS sportscaster David Feherty claiming that "any U.S. soldier," given a gun with two bullets and stuck in an elevator with Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and Osama bin Laden, would use both bullets on Pelosi and strangle the other two.

She added:

Talk radio has been seething with such intensity since Barack Obama’s first week in office that I am finding it very hard to listen to it. (…) As a longtime fan of talk radio, I don’t think this bodes well for the long-term broad appeal of the medium. I want stimulation and expansion of my thinking — not shrill, numbing hectoring and partisan undermining of the authority and dignity of the presidency.

Something for fans of conservative talk radio to think about…

(Kathy Shaidle blogs at FiveFeetOfFury. Her new book is The Tyranny of Nice: How Canada crushes freedom in the name of human rights — and why it matters to Americans.)

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