Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Ann Coulter’s Legs, Talking Heads on AM

Conservative Talk Radio, what I listen to, and why.

I bring this up because, today, Ann Coulter's new book Guilty was released, with little fanfare, at least, here in this neck of the woods. Although I'm sure she'll be on Sean Hannity's radio show tonight, being as controversial and as arrogant as ever. One could easily have retitled the book, "Orgasms for Republicans," as this is her function in the Conservative news base. Her job is to be self-assured, obnoxious, controversial, and to keep her legs looking as attractive as possible for the viewers oogling at the TV screen. And while what she says might have some factual basis and be true, as far as opinions go, there are much more effective ways of conveying the information. I got to thinking about the Conservative Talk radio that I listen to, and I realized that each speaker has a different way of presenting basically the same points.

Take Sean Hannity (and his female counterpart, Ann Coulter). They are good basically for a cheap thrill. They yap over the radio the same thoughts, be they Conservative principles, or mathematical ways of making Democratic figures look horribly wrong, or spewing out references to ex-terrorists, fasicist leaders, and liberal philanthropes. They remind me of a poodle, whose bark is loud, but is too scared to bite much. They have very little influence in the true scheme of things. They are not where the truly original ideas come from, they are simply the loud air horns that blast the juicy parts into simple conservative folk's minds.

So where do we find truly original and inspiring ideas? Well, Rush Limbaugh has been on the radio for years now, and he definitely has influence in the Republican party. Bombastic and self-centered (which is his thing), Rush can intelligently analyze a situation and see the ulterior motives behind any Democratic strategies, whether they're actually ulteriorly there or not. I have always admired his ability to see the underlying causes to people's actions, although his predictions (especially in the 2008 election) are sometimes a little off. To him, McCain should have easily won the election. He was wrong. He's usually upbeat about things and he has a good sense of humor.

Which is the combination I wish Glenn Beck would have. I love listening to his show, as his ideologies are much closer to mine (Libertarian) than the true Republican beliefs that others have. His wit and sarcasm leave me in stitches (read my reviews of his Inconvenient Truth book earlier), and his analysis of things is sound and well thought through. His show gets tedious, however, when he starts with the doom and gloom of the coming economic downturn, as if we all can go out, buy a year's worth of groceries, and shut ourselves off from the present economy, along with all the gold we've bought from He gets depressed sometimes, which, if his ADD symptoms ring true, fits with who he is. But it's hard to listen to all of that when there's not a whole lot I can do to be other than what I am right now.

A more practical host is Herman Cain, a local host who ran for Senate and has been the CEO of companies that have turned around with his policies (see the Wikipedia article on him.) He gives out sound, practical advice and sees the conservative movement as independent from the Republican Party. He despised a lot of the things Bush did (especially recently) to increase spending in the government ranks when what he should have done was to make it easier for private enterprise and individuals to help themselves. Unfortunately, this doesn't always work, since Greed will overturn the most positive of motives. I will listen to Cain (7 to 10 on WSB 750 in Atlanta) much more than I will turn my new MP3 player on and drown out reality with music.

Which brings me to Michael Savage, who comes ..wards. He doesn't have any particular political leanings, only that he criticizes everyone who does something idiotic. He reminds me of Dr. House, in that he's brilliant, but he has a sarcastic outlook of the human condition, except for when he doesn't. I think he truly believes in the goodness of the human soul, but he realizes that society and the government corrupts those intentions. I would describe him as a hyper and angry Henry David Thoreau. And there are times I sit and listen to his ramblings, as he switches from history to literature to memorized passages of Shakespeare, simply and easily, and I can't help but be in awe of the ability he has. If only he didn't say things that throw audiences away in disgust. Although, sometimes that can be a good thing.

There are times when people need to hear the truth. Cold, unadulterated truth. And although in olden times, you would call them "shock jocks," there should be someone that could give their opinions over the air that would have an unwavering belief in the human spirit, and yet be appalled at the reality of who people are nowadays. Someone needs to tell the idiots and morons out there that they are just that. Although maybe I've just been watching House too much. And I guess that Michael Savage is about as close as we're going to get.

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