Sunday, August 9, 2015

Radio Republicans and the Wicked Messenger

This chart from Talker's Magazine purports to rank the top radio programs in the country. I say purport because of the disclaimer in the fine print

A cume is the number of unique listeners that listen to these programs  "according to the opinions of Talker's editorial board, Nielson Audio and other sources....."these figures are non-scientific projections based upon a significant sample and do not represent exact Nielson Audio or any other ratings service totals."

Dave Ramsey  has a radio program, live appearances and written  opportunities to receive his "biblical insight and expert advice on handling money—budgeting, debt, investing, retirement and more." But I am putting him in the same shopping cart as Limbaugh. Hannity et. al.

The other 5 guys are what you might call Conservatives. For the record the next highest rating is 2.75 and is a tie with 5 other guys. The remainder of the list includes by my reckoning is 9 Right, 5 Left, 8 relatively non-partisan, weird like George Noory for example, but  still non-partisan. And unclassifiable Bubba the Love Sponge.

In the opinion of Don's basement editorial board, of the 31 listed talkers, it is 16 Right, 5 Left, and 10 are just saying stuff. Some of it about extra-terrestrials. 
At the don'sbasement annual meeting and costume party

As we know radio is a "hot medium., " To paraphrase Marshall McLuan and to use a wiki , "hot media is that which engages one sense completely. It demands little interaction from the user because it 'spoon-feeds' the content. Typically the content of hot media is restricted to what the source offers at that specific time. Examples of hot media include radio and film because they engage one sense of the user to an extent that although the user's attention is focused on the content, their participation is minimal."
Don't believe me, I have Marshall McLuhan right here.

There are over 13 million Americans who listen to right wing talk radio  and are spoon fed every week. This makes up a large percentage of the Republican electorate. While they listen to these programs, they fulminate about the following;

  • The liberals want to take our money and give it to the non-hardworking poor people so that those people will vote for them. (While they believe that there are hard-working poor people, they are dis-incentivized to work because of government hand-outs)
  • America is no longer feared around the world because Obama/Clinton have either been hoodwinked or intentionally allowed our enemies...Iran, Russia, China to thrive because we are afraid to flex our muscles militarily or economically
  • You can't say anything about anyone anymore without fear of being labeled a racist, sexist etc. There is no freedom of expression because the liberal elites continue to cling to the civil rights agenda and look for opposition to it. Without opposition, there is no civil rights battles to be fought. And President Obama is an affirmative action president who only got the job because of his skin color.
  • The influx of "illegals" destroys respect for the law as well as taxes our economic resources. The border must be secure and the "illegals" must be identified and punished.
  • "Obamacare" is a particularly noxious brand of socialized medicine that was passed in a corrupt and over partisan manner. (I actually agree with this, as the law is poor). But the vehemence against "Obamacare" is common cause for the Radio Republicans.
Hence....Donald Trump. He has incorporated these brand messages into a package. And when confronted with his history, politically, in business, in personal morality, his unstated message, "there you go again."
He doesn't have to answer the arguments. He only has to defend himself as a speaker of truth.

The Radio Republicans will hang up and listen to Trump's answer. They will ultimately reject him because he is a bad person and most of the Radio Republicans are good people. Or at least enough of them to recognize that although they may like Trump's message, he is, in fact, a Wicked Messenger.


  1. Speaking from the dark side, fairly well observed! I fear that, wicked notwithstanding, Trump's fans will dig in if this doesn't end soon. Perhaps Trump is using subliminal persuasion. And Dennis Miller has been off the air (he shrugged) since March.

  2. Welcome back to blogging, the ultimate in cool media!

    I have no idea why one in five Republican voters like Trump at this time. I think I know better why Rush Limbaugh, and the other conservative hot media talkers you identify, do what they do: it draws listeners. Why does it draw listeners? It's entertaining. Do listeners take the five "arguments" you set forth seriously, or are they drawn to this the same way they are drawn to the spectacle of WWF wresting: they know it's fake, but what a show! Is this (summer before the first primaries) the WWF wrestling phase of elections. Maybe buffoon politicians fizzle out when the voting gets real because even the 23 of R voters who are cheering for Trump's toupee now, know he is a fake, just like they know deep down that the five arguments above are fake.

  3. As a friend said at dinner recently, "Donald Trump is like catnip!"
    Good to see you blogging, Don.