Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Opinion: The Style & Substance of The Right Talkers

Different hosts take a very different approach on the spectrum of conservatism. Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Mark Levin take a more traditional Reagan conservative view. Beck leans close to libertarianism, while still holding social conservative views. Michael Savage speaks loudly for the anti-war right. Hosts Bill Bennett, Michael Medved and Dennis Prager offer a reserved and analytical style absent the yelling or name calling of other programs. The bigger picture from this is that conservative talk radio has become such a large universe that different definitions of conservatism and different styles of programming can co-exist on the airwaves. 
What Limbaugh and Beck represent is two eras of talk radio. Beck became a cultural phenomenon during the Obama administration the same way that Limbaugh became a cultural phenomenon during the Clinton administration. Even in the universe of talk hosts, Beck is the only host that rivals Limbaugh in invoking something akin to hatred from the left. 
“Glenn’s emergence reminds me of Rush’s emergence in the early ‘90s,” nationally syndicated conservative host Mike Gallagher told Politico in 2009. “People have asked me, ‘Who’s the next Rush,’ because Rush is the gold standard. … seems to be Glenn.”

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