Right Wing Radio Week in Review: May 18 – 22

Wendy Sullivan scored a major coup this week: she got “columnist to the world” Mark Steyn (as Hugh Hewitt calls him) to host the first anniversary episode of her podcast Brass Balls Radio. For an hour, Steyn spun esoteric records and talked about the time he was sexually assaulted by…

Well, you’ll have to download the show (for free) to find out.

I can barely bring myself to type this: that feud between Glenn Beck and the women on The View, who he says “ambushed” him? I didn’t get it. I’m not sure I want to get it. But it went on for two days, so I feel obliged to mention it. That is all.

David Frum (who I’ve nastily dubbed a “faux con”)  slammed Rush Limbaugh this week, comparing his listeners to the John Birch Society – the so-called extremists who William F. Buckley famously (or infamously, depending on whether you are neo or paleo) purged from the Movement.

(The most unintentionally amusing part of Frum’s article was the last paragraph, in which Frum writes: “The [Rush Limbaugh] broadcast also has some disobliging things to say about David Brooks and me, which I note for the sake of disclosure, but that are not pertinent to the issue discussed here.” Snort!)

A poster at HotAir responded, “David Frum is wrong,” countering Frum’s “evidence” against Rush by simply using “quotes that were the result of five minutes with Google.”

In response to this and all the other ridiculousness I’ve been chronicling in this column for weeks, Rush Limbaugh this week took the time to “step down as the titular head of the Republican Party.”

Rush also challenged MSNBC to go one one month without mentioning his name on the air.

The “Michael Savage was banned in Britain” idiocy has quieted down, but Savage attacked Rush for not vocally and visibly supporting him. (audio)

Around the dial:

Dennis Miller had an oddball conversation with actor Stephen Baldwin on Wednesday. Baldwin talked about the new season of “I’m A Celebrity…”, in which he costars with that Sanjay guy from last year’s American Idol. Miller is a sucker for goofy tv; he was getting so excited hearing about the upcoming series that you could practically hear the tears welling up in his eyes. That’s one of the reasons Dennis Miller’s show is my favorite – his enthusiasm for so many things in life, from the sublime to the ridiculous, is charming and contagious. (Free audio.)

Also on Wednesday, Dennis Prager’s ever-popular Male/Female Hour addressed the hot topic of “jealousy” on Wednesday. Going against popular wisdom, Prager says jealousy is “not a bad thing entirely. The problem with jealously is a matter of degree and not existence…”

Prager also had a great interview with Bjorn Lomborg, longtime critic of the over-blown response to the global warming “Climate Industrial Complex” on Thursday.

Talk radio nuts will want to download the audio of G. Gordon Liddy’s conversation with Paul J. Batura. Batura is the author of the new Regnery book Good Day!: The Paul Harvey Storypaul harvey book biography. Along with playing clips from the "Norman Rockwell of radio" at his best, Liddy and Batura talked about the beloved host’s style and how it evolved.

For example, at first, his bosses didn’t like the long pauses that eventually became a Paul Harvey trademark. He begged them to let him keep working on the “trick”; they did and the rest is history. Harvey knew that these pauses would actually make listeners lean in to hear his next word, rather than tune out! (Scroll down for audio clip.)

Liddy put in that Walter Winchell’s staccato delivery was a similar “gimmick”: he always did his show on a full bladder, to give his delivery a sense of urgency!

As the week drew to a close, “Crunchy Con” Rod Dreher slammed radio host and bestselling author Mark Levin in a brief blog post, calling him “disgusting”. It was an awfully odd couple of paragraphs: Dreher finds Levin’s voice abrasive – but likes Laura Ingraham? And he bases his vehement dislike of Levin not on actually hearing him himself for more than fifteen minutes, but on some colleague’s opinion of the guy.

It was just a goofy post, and Dreher probably realizes it now (I hope.) For goodness sake, it has already become a tiresome cliche: everybody who writes about Mark Levin talks about his unlikely radio success (given his truly annoying voice and short temper), but then adds, “if you listen to Mark Levin for any length of time, however, you realize how smart and insightful he is,” and so on. I guess Dreher didn’t get that tattered memo.

Then Dreher rather huffily shut down comments on the blog post, in response to the “incivility” of Levin’s legion of fans, who had duly logged in to tell him off.

Levin’s fans turned around and took out their fury at Dreher over at HotAir. There’s no fandom quite like talk radio fandom.

Speaking of which, if you’re addicted to conservative talk radio, you may be interested in the Ultimate Internet Talk Radio Guide. I review it here.

(Kathy Shaidle blogs at FiveFeetOfFury.com.)

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