February 16, 2008
Conservative Radio Hosts Take A Big Hit With McCain...Or Do They?
After weeks of bashing John McCain, the Arizona Republican's rise to the top of the party's heap has come as a shock to the likes of Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Ann Coulter and their ilk.
For the first time since the dawn of the conservative radio in the late 1980s, it is a sign that not even middle -of-the-road Republicans believe these ranters. Despite having the highest ratings in radio (Limbaugh and Hannity are Nos 1 and 2, with as many as 20 million listeners for Limbaugh), their ideas are more fringe than I suspected. Thankfully so.
Limbaugh backed Mitt Romney and Hannity was all for Rudy Giuliani. Both spent hours and hours of airtime hyping their candidates and demonizing McCain as too liberal because he reaches out to Democrats, didn't approve the Bush tax cuts and isn't tough enough on illegal immigration.
But the Republican voters threw all the hype back in their faces. The cartoonish Coulter, who is to punditry what Fred Flintstone is to deep thought, has threatened to support Hillary Clinton over McCain.
Limbaugh even gave a rare interview to the New York Times Thursday, as if to show people his power is unaffected by the fact that his listeners didn't follow his party line.
I take great comfort in the fact that the vast majority of people haven't fallen for the demagoguery this time and in the fact that it shows that these ranters, loud and omnipresent on the airwaves as they are, really represent just a fringe, not the mainstream they claim.
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