They do it for the ratings. It’s a ploy that is very, very successful. It works on the right a lot better than on the left for sociological reasons beyond my understanding. It makes the television and radio broadcasters a great deal of money. It makes the stars a great deal of money. And they get fantastic pulpits from which they can grind out their populist ire, churning up whatever angst or fear already exists amongst the grassroots fans who adore them. They lie, they exaggerate, they race-bait and call names. They represent the lowest form of debate.
And it’s high time we stopped talking about them.
That’s right. Limbaugh may be contemptuous and he and his ilk may represent a cancer within conservatism, but talking about them endlessly, pointing out their every fault, their every foible, their every stupid or ugly sentiment – it just gets old. And not only that, it serves very little practical purpose. My own flirtations in anti-talking-head blogging taught me that.
I’d rather hear constructive ideas than another lament over Mark Levin’s intellectual dishonesty or anger management issues, or whatever. I mean, who are we really trying to convince? Not the fans, surely – their minds are made up. And for independent minded people, these talk radio types hold very little sway to begin with.
Who, then, really benefits from conservatives attacking conservative talk-radio hosts? If the answer is reform-minded, sensible Republicans, then I have to ask – do these sensible types, these independents and moderates benefit more from attacks on Rush than they would from some constructive ideas or strong policy suggestions? Probably not. So who benefits?
When you focus on attacking Rush and Beck and Levin you stoop to their level, plain and simple. It’s inevitable. You play at their game and by their rules. And let’s face it, that’s a game you just can’t win. You don’t like them because they fight dirty, but you can’t beat them unless you fight dirty, too. And if you fight dirty – well – you no longer have any legs to stand on.
It’s an exercise in futility. Give it up.
See also Noah Millman who wants the crazies to piss on the sleeping bags – or something like that….