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Friday, December 5, 2008

Careful There, Micheal

Considering that Micheal Medved started his career as a Movie Critic, it's easy to see why he would step into another field that is even less relevant - the Right-Wing talk-show host.

*Apologies must go to Mike Clark - film critic with USA Today - who's thoughts on film have dovetailed quite nicely with mine over the years. He's one of the few critics in the industry that I can agree with*

In a recent article at USA Today, Medved laments that perhaps he and his fellow right-wing prattle-heads are one of the causes of the downfall of the GOP:

For more than a decade, I've hosted a nationally syndicated political talk show. Like all radio veterans, I cherish the notion that the last time a young Democrat took over the White House with gauzy visions of change, it produced a "Golden Age" for right-wing talk.


Today's titans of talk naturally dream of repeating this revival, but even if Obamatrons offer targets for ridicule every bit as juicy as Clintonistas, it won't be easy to recapture the potent magic of the 1990s. Most obviously, the rapid development of cable TV and the Internet has given the public innumerable new options for debate and information. During Clinton's era, conservative talk radio offered the inevitable destination for political junkies who cared deeply about the fate of the new administration. Today, many leading TV comics and commentators lean unabashedly to the left, while progressive websites rival popular right-wing sources online.

This fragmentation of the mass audience has led many talk shows to cultivate a niche audience rather than the Republican mainstream. In the aftermath of stinging GOP defeat in November, radio crackles with blame-game arguments intended to divide "real conservatives" from unworthy moderate imposters -- as if the GOP could become the first party in history to expand an already shrunken base by purging its membership.

I'm left with the question as to whom Medved thinks "real conservatives" are?

Is he speaking about the people that pick and choose verses from the Bible in order excuse their own behavior while using that same process to remove civil rights from others? Is he speaking about those that skirt so closely to overt racism while leaving just enough space between them and the white sheets and burning crosses to claim that any and all that question them are "race baiters"? Is he speaking of those that would gladly use members of the military as a verbal stick with which to browbeat people with?

I find it slightly ironic that Medved is so eager to claim that Right-Wing talk-radio is destroying the GOP when he is regularly a featured blogger on one of the lunatic-fringe Right's top websites - Townhall.

Interestingly enough, not all the hardline wingers agree with Medveds assertion. Take HotAir's Ed Morrissey for example:

Two editorials in the past two days have attempted to shift blame for two successive election losses onto someone who has never run for public office. Both Mort Kondracke and Karen Harper blame Rush and other conservative talk-show hosts for the GOP’s descent into the minority in Washington DC. Neither, though, explain how a conservative talk-show host whose policy positions got largely ignored over the last eight years cost Republican candidates votes.

Huh? Did Rush or any of the other people Kondracke mentions support an explosion of pork-barrel spending? As far as I know, Rush never uttered the phrase “compassionate conservatism” without irony or contempt. Rush, Laura, Sean, and the rest of the talk-show circuit certainly didn’t back the biggest expansion of discretionary spending by the federal government in decades. Other than the war and judicial nominations, Kondracke would be hard-pressed to identify which parts of the Republican agenda as pursued by GOP officeholders over the last decade belonged to Rush.

You can read Morrissey's full fledged rant here.

While one says that Right-Wing talk-radio is to blame, the other says that it isn't. Moreover, many actually believe that it's the single-minded radio jocks that embody the "core values" of the GOP.

It appears to me that Medved is attempting to feed from both ends of the trough. Expect him to revise his opinion of talk-radio when his listership calls him on this article.

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