Conservative talk radio
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Conservative talk radio in the United States is a phenomenon that got its start in the 1980's when the Fairness Doctrine was allowed to expire under President Reagan. This allowed broadcasters to present a political opinion or point of view or pundit without being required to allow equal time for alternative views or rebuttal. At the same time, AM radio was languishing in the shadow of the higher quality sound of FM, with no remarkable content to attract listeners.
Into this perfect storm of opportunity rode Rush Limbaugh, with his fiery and anti-intellectual brand of liberal-bashing and conservative talking points. He has since been followed by many other more or less successful pundits; likewise, the creation of the Fox News network created a televised haven for similar programs and personalities. The New York City radio station WABC is the flagship station for the most popular conservative hosts: Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, and Mark Levin. Many stations (especially those like WABC owned by Citadel Broadcasting) have all those hosts' shows composing the schedule.
Liberal talk radio has been rather less successful; some speculate that this is because liberals are less likely to want their talking points predigested and spoonfed.
When the Rush Limbaugh Program was first syndicated nationally in the early 1990s, his syndicator, Premier Radio, charged large-market stations the "confiscatory ad rates" that Limbaugh brags about, while offering his program to medium- and small-market stations for free. In exchange, Premiere required that these smaller stations hand over a large portion of their local advertising time so that Premiere could fill those ad periods with their own national ad time. This allowed small stations to fire local hosts and disk jockeys, which in turn boosted their profit margins. Other conservative talk radio hosts have since copied Limbaugh's method of saturating American radio.
By blanketing the nation over 600 local radio stations, Limbaugh and other righty talkers have swayed millions with their wingnut bullshit, providing talking points to otherwise uninformed people, allowing them to shout down anyone who disagrees with them. Furthermore, these programs have sold the meme that most talk radio is predominantly conservative -- they control 91% of all talk programming content in the US -- because of the strength of their ideas.
The main benefit to this business model is this: It allows right-wing activists to skirt around campaign finance reform laws and the unpredictability of certain political candidates. Rather than take a chance on the effectiveness of thirty-second TV and radio ads, it's more effectual to underwrite tens of thousands of hours of propaganda per year even when there is no election pending.
As it turns out, Premiere Radio is a subsidiary of iHeartMedia (formerly Clear Channel Media and Entertainment), the dominant radio broadcasting company in the United States. In cities where iHeartMedia controls two or more AM stations, Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Dr. Laura and other righties are broadcast over the stations with the strongest signals. Meanwhile, any liberal talk radio shows that are lucky enough to get on the air are relegated to iHeartMedia's weakest stations.
 Chuck Baldwin
Chuckie baby was the Constitution Party candidate for president in 2008. He believes in a New World Order, headed by globalists who killed JFK and caused 9/11. He is against abortion in all cases. A very hard-right winger indeed. No relation to Alec Baldwin.
 Glenn Beck
GET OFF MY PHONE! You people just... GET OFF MY PHONE!!!
 William Bennett
Right-wing moralist who served as Ronnie Raygun's Secretary of Education and Papa Bush's drug czar. Has a very hard-line stance on the War on Drugs. Despite his history of moralizing, was a gambling addict. Has gone on record as once saying crime would be down if we "aborted every black baby," (he did go on to say that such a thing would be reprehensible, but the fact stands that he was linking black people to high crime rates) then tried to defend himself by claiming it was just a thought experiment. Wrote a book titled The Book of Virtues that was made into a cartoon on PBS, despite his hatred of said government-funded TV channel.
 Neal Boortz
Neal is a self-styled libertarian based out of Atlanta, GA. Boortz's "libertarianism" (ha ha) includes support for the U.S. invasion of Iraq and for the U.S. government spying on antiwar protesters, which has not made him all that popular among many other libertarians.
 Herman Cain
A talk radio host, pizza mogul, Sim City fan and Gym Leader from Atlanta, Georgia who has also served as a fill-in for Neal Boortz (above). Cain at one point was seriously running for the Republican nomination for President in 2012 and polling the best of all the candidates.
 Ann Coulter
Not actually a talk radio host and never had a radio show, but she's a frequent guest on talk radio programs. Loves to shoot her mouth off, and is the author of multiple books, all but her first and most recent having her image on the cover, to get attention.
 Bill Cunningham
Essentially a skinnier version of Rush Limbaugh. Bill Cunningham comes across as a pompous fat cat and the quintessential "country club Republican". Cunningham compared Barack Obama to dictators from the start. Used such incendiary rhetoric that even John McCain told him to cut it out, although it might have just been PR on his part, who knows? He manages to get away with batshit crazy lies that other hosts might get in hot water for, like Obama "wants to gas the Jews" and "a typical black father, right after the birth, he left the baby. That's what black fathers do, they simply leave." He has also claimed that people are poor in America "because they lack morals, values, and ethics".
 Lou Dobbs
Former CNN Host of "Lou Dobbs Tonight". Known for his anti-immigration stances and latching onto the birther bandwagon towards the end of his run. Claims to be a "radical centrist" and a "populist" although at this point, nobody's buying it.
 Larry Elder
Coined the term 'victicrat', although god knows he could just look at his side of the aisle to see who really "feels good being the victim". He is Sean Hannity's token black friend, which automatically means that despite what his other pal Hal says, Sean's not racist.
 Barry Farber
Farber affects an erudite style showing off his intellectual acumen, much like William F. Buckley. Since this doesn't really fit the gutter level ranting style popular today, he is strictly a has-been, although he does fill in on Laura Ingraham's show from time to time. For a time during the 1990s he had a show jointly with Alan Colmes, before Colmes decided he could better boost his career by toadying up to Sean Hannity.
 Bryan Fischer
Bryan Fischer is a radio host and Director of Issues Analysis for the American Family Association (AFA).
 John Gibson
The former 5:00 Fox News host still has a radio show. Fears the War on Christmas just like O'Reilly. Just like any "good" Christian, thinks other religions are wrong. Also, just like any "good" Christian, made fun of the death of Heath Ledger.
 Sean Hannity
You're a great American. YOU'RE an enemy of the state (seriously had a segment with that label for his political opponents for a few weeks).
 Hugh Hewitt
 Laura Ingraham
A bleach blonde religious right fanatic, mostly. Obsessed with pro-life issues and ranting against the "pornification" of American culture. Also thinks that the popularity of the TV show 24 amounts to a public endorsement of waterboarding. Fills in for O'Reilly's show on Fox News as well.
 Alex Jones
Not really conservative in an orthodox way, although he is an heir to the John Birch Society, along with Glenn Beck, Joseph Farah, Michele Bachmann, and Ron Paul, to name a few just really whacked conspiracy a go-go fans.
 Alan Keyes
Batshit crazy ideologue who has run for office several times. Leading birther.
 Bob Larson
Bob Larson is an evangelist who has variously railed against Satanism in rock music (even opposing Christian Rock for a time) and performing live exorcisms. He is, basically, a Satanic panic peddler. His long-format talk show, now defunct, was called Talk-Back With Bob Larson. Hear Bob Larson battling "The Keeper" and, er, trying to stop a teenager from liking The Cure.
 Mark Levin
Mark Levin likes to rant against "activist judges" and "big government" and to call people he opposes "morons" and "pukes" usually while screaming into the microphone. He tacks way to the right in his strict constructionist views. The George W. Bush administration was too centrist for him. He's also obsessed with what he calls "Islamo-nazis". Thinks Obama and the Supreme Court are conspiring to bring Stalinism to the United States. His voice is also somehow more annoying than Rush Limbaugh's, resembling that of the cartoon character Master Shake[wp]. Shouts down callers who disagree with him, as "drones". For example, in one notable call in 2014 Levin went off on an atheist caller about separation of church and state.
Levin promotes the whacked-out conspiracy theory that the United States found Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) in Iraq during the Iraq War, despite admissions by the U.S. government to the contrary; he actually believes that Karl Rove and the Bush White House covered up the discovery of WMDs for political reasons. Levin has called real estate mogul and presidential candidate Donald Trump a "radical kook" for saying that WMDs were not found in Iraq.
Levin compared same-sex marriage to incest between a father and an adult daughter, and called the Supreme Court's ruling on same-sex marriage "a direct assault on our entire American heritage and our constitutional process.”
On immigration, in Levin's view the United States is "a nation not of immigrants, we are a nations of citizens” and that many of the problems with immigration stem from "liberals" and the "Democrat [sic] party" favoring recent immigrants over “the citizens who have made this country.” "Liberals" are generally blamed for everything, and Levin has accused liberals of hating America and has asked, "Why do liberals hate profit?"
Levin's Wikipedia pages is regularly whitewashed to remove any of this kind of info.
 G. Gordon Liddy
Liddy's career was seemingly over when he was convicted for his role in the Watergate break-in during the Richard Nixon administration. He found his new calling a couple of decades later as a conservative talk show host, where now he tells viewers how to kill ATF agents (but only if they try to take their guns away...and armed, apparently, so no worry) between shilling for Goldline. Watch out for this one. Liddy retired from radio in July 2012.
 Rush Limbaugh
Where do we start with Rush? He's responsible for talk radio becoming so influential on the right, if you want to give him that much "credit". Because of that and having the highest ratings of them, he's the "Queen Bee" of talk radio, and most of the other hosts feel the need to kiss his ass.
 Marlin Maddoux
Maddoux pioneered modern conservative talk radio with an explicitly religious right bent, starting in 1972. His show, "Point of View", was carried mostly on Christian stations in the 1970s and 1980s because of the Fairness Doctrine. Also founded the USA Radio Network which supplies hourly news feeds to many conservative talk stations and Christian stations alike. He died in 2004 and "Point of View" is now hosted by Kirby Anderson.
 Michael Medved
Former movie critic and "moral values" figure who claimed Happy Feet (Rated PG) was part of the "Gay Agenda" but was an "outspoken" defender of Passion of the Christ (Rated R). On the political front, though, he does not mince words when it comes to birthers, so may not be quite as crazy as some on yack radio in that regard. Medved has debated the progressive host Thom Hartmann on Medved's show and in a public debate sponsored by Chicago radio stations.
 Dennis Miller
O'Reilly's sidekick. A former, wait, still a 'comedian'. Bitter. Once told the right wing bosses of America to fire employees who have Obama bumper stickers.
 Oliver North
As noted in Reagan's memoirs, Oliver North betrayed his nation, his service,
and his President in the 1987 Iran-Contra scandal. Looking handsome and earnest as he testified in the uniform he didn't deserve, he became a hero of the far right, even as Iran continues to use the weapons against American soldiers in Iraq.
 Bill O'Reilly
A guy who's pissed off about everything. Has not had a radio show since he quit his around the same time as the 2008 election, but he's still on Fox.
 Dennis Prager
Figure heavily on the Religious Right and moralist. Has attacked homosexuality. Thinks equality isn't an American value, but a pinko European one. For those of you wondering how this works, he thinks the proper limit towards equality, as it were, is liberty--freedom of opportunities that can accept you, but not results. That some equalization might be needed to allow taking of opportunities does not seem to be accepted in his arguments. Counts as one of his fans Mike J. Nelson of MST3K and Rifftrax fame--heartbreaking.
 Michael Reagan
Ronald Reagan's adopted son is a talk radio host. Now, Reagan's biological son Ron Reagan is a liberal, but the Dark Prince Michael Reagan is a far-right Fox News commentator, and probably sees himself as the "true heir" to his adoptive father's name.
 Phyllis Schlafly
 Dr. Laura Schlessinger
Evangelical Jewish commentator on all things socially conservative (whose doctorate, by the way, is not in psychology or psychiatry but in physiology). Can be very judgemental towards people who don't live their life the exact way she wants them to, especially homosexuals (which occasioned the snarky "Why can't I own a Canadian?" response). Was recently canned after going on a rant of saying the n-word repeatedly and proudly while talking to a black caller.
In 1998, nude pictures of Schlessinger, taken when she was in college, appeared on the internet. While Schlessinger asserted that the pictures in question were not of her, she also unsuccessfully sued to have the images taken down on copyright grounds.
 Dwight Schultz
Host of the podcast Howling Mad Radio, and former mentally institutionalized Captain H.M. Murdock of the A-Team.
 Charlie Sykes
A third rate Rush Limbaugh wanna-be from Wisconsin. Has written three books about how "liberals" have dumbed-down the current generation of children in academia and rants about the "victim mentality" of left-wingers and minorities. One of his books is Fifty Things You Won't Learn In School, which is basically him telling teenagers that they're nothing special and they're stupid and narcissistic for thinking that they are. Sykes' 1996 newspaper column "Some Rules Kids Won't Learn in School" has been circulated widely in a right-wing chain mail, misattributed to Bill Gates. He's a huge fan of Paul Ryan and subscribes to his ideology that people on welfare are all "entitled" and are moochers that are responsible for the "decay of American culture." He also occasionally writes for the American Thinker. In other words, he's a pseudo-intellectual hack who isn't nearly as well-informed or as observant as he thinks he is.
 Hal Turner
 Michael "Savage" Wiener
Dr. Michael Wiener is a hate-spewing, Neo-Nazi who likes to bully children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Before becoming the absolute bottom of the talk radio pit, he used to be a health food and alternative medicine charlatan. Followers are aptly termed the "Savage Nation". He has one of the most popular talk radio shows.
 Ray Warner
Host of daily Quick Reports and the weekly Ray Warner Show podcasts. No nonsense Conservative talker who frequently interjects Biblical themes into current political topics.
Most local markets have their own conservative talk personalities who have a large listener base locally, have sometimes guest hosted national shows, have written books, or have been guest commentators on national media outlets, but never really made the jump to a nationally popular talk show. A short list might include John Carlson (Seattle), Brian Sussman (San Francisco), Armstrong & Getty (Sacramento), Howie Carr (Boston), Mark Davis (Dallas), Les Kinsolving (Baltimore), Roger Hedgecock (San Diego) and shock jocks John & Ken (Los Angeles). Carlson also ran for governor of Washington (he lost), Kinsolving is infamous for his cranky questioning during White House press briefings, and John & Ken hold the dubious honor of being the most listened to local talk show in the United States at present. Art Bell got his start this way, with a conservative political talk show in Las Vegas, before taking his show national and dropping political talk in favor of whacky paranormal topics.
 Brian Sussman
Sussman was a weather forecaster with the CBS station in San Francisco, KPIX, from the 1990s to 2001. He occasionally did weather forecasts on CBS This Morning during the '90s. In 2003, he began hosting an evening show, pretentiously called Right Thinking from the Left Coast, on San Francisco conservative talk station KSFO, and he became the morning host in 2010. In 2010, he also published the book Climategate: A Veteran Meteorologist Exposes The Global Warming Scam with the WorldNetDaily publishing arm. Sussman has been interviewed on Fox News and Fox Business. He has also made birther comments.
- M-F, 5AM-9AM (Pacific), KSFO 560 (San Francisco)
 Les Kinsolving
Kinsolving is the White House correspondent at WorldNetDaily and evening host at Baltimore's WCBM. Of course, combine WorldNetDaily's brand of sensationalist non-journalism and a Democratic administration, this guy does go nuts in his commentary and conduct at White House press briefings. He is outspokenly anti-gay and was once reprimanded for taking "gifts" in exchange for reporting favorably on apartheid South Africa; however, in a genuine bit of stopped clock public service, he was the first reporter to expose the People's Temple as an abusive cult in a series of 1972 articles for the San Francisco Examiner, long before anyone else was interested.
- M-F, 9PM-11PM (Eastern), WCBM 680 (Baltimore)
 Brian Maloney
Controversially, KIRO-AM canceled Maloney's Sunday talk show during NFL season as the station broadcast Seattle Seahawks games, but Maloney and his supporters claim it was a politically-motivated move. Now, Maloney writes the Radio Equalizer blog (later Media Equalizer) and hosts a similarly named YouTube channel where he posts video clips from liberal talk radio shows in a critical light in response to liberal criticisms of conservative talk radio.
 Howie Carr
In addition to his radio show, Carr is a Boston Herald columnist and has written two true crime books about fugitive "Whitey" Bulger and published a novel in 2012. Carr has also appeared on Fox News to spew lies about Democrats. Carr has also run John Kerry-bashing site and a Ted Kennedy-bashing site.
- M-F, 3PM-7PM (Eastern), WRKO 680 Boston (and other stations in New England).
 Jason Mattera
Former activist for Young America's Foundation and author of Obama Zombies: How the Liberal Machine Brainwashed My Generation, Mattera became editor of Human Events magazine and a Sunday talk show host on New York City's WABC radio in 2010.
As the Human Events editor, he hosted a satirical clip mocking Kwanzaa as a "crackpot holiday." In addition, he has also done ambush interviews at Capitol Hill, basically throwing right-wing talking points at Democratic members of Congress. One in which he complained to Senator Al Franken about a provision in the health care reform bill spending seven billion dollars for jungle gyms got him much negative attention. Mattera's video where he confronted White House press secretary Robert Gibbs "if he ever feels dirty defending this administration's lies and deception" also has had a bad reception on YouTube. The closest he's gotten to the White House was a surprise confrontation with Vice Pres. Joe Biden regarding a minor bungle of a Michigan city's crime rate by Biden.
In short, he's an arrogant tool who thinks he's smarter than he really is.
He used to have a weekend talk show on New York's WABC and has co-hosted Andrea Tantaros' nationally syndicated talk show.
 Roger Hedgecock
A disgraced ex-mayor of San Diego forced from office after pleading guilty to felony charges of campaign-contribution hanky panky, Hedgecock is a right wing fanatic who likes to hang around white supremacists and spew as much of their rhetoric on the radio as he can get away with. The standard pipeline that gives failed Republicans new jobs in talk radio has worked out well for Hedgecock; his wingnut welfare includes over $300,000 per year from a dark-money think tank just for showing up in front of the microphone at KFMB AM in San Diego. His show is nationally syndicated. Mentioned in the SPLC's hatewatch listings, Hedgecock has said the “scientific explanation for the lower info voter” leading to Obama's election victories is “we continue to support and allow to procreate people who are…clearly not the best.” He also says public schools teach “hatred of white people" which "has now become an epidemic in this country” and is even “informing political decisions that are made.” A hateful, racist creep who avoided the draft in Vietnam due to acne and fervently supported the Iraq war, he subbed for Rush Limbaugh in the past but has faded from national view since and is now semi-retired from radio.
- Excellence in Broadcasting Network
- Salem Radio Network
- Radio America
 See also
- Liberal talk radio
- Lesbian Gang Epidemic
- Father Coughlin. If Barry Farber and Marlin Maddoux are old school, this guy is really old school.
- Chuck Harder, more of a populist of the radical center, but the rise and fall of his 1990s era show is part of the same milieu in which conservative talk radio arose
- Coast to Coast AM (George Noory plus a gaggle of sub-hosts), another show that isn't usually conservative except when they talk politics, in which case it's the usual RW talking points. Otherwise, it's mostly about paranormal and pseudoscience topics, arising as part of the same milieu of conservative talk radio
- ↑ The "Excellence in Broadcasting Network" is merely the Fat One's nickname for Premiere.
- ↑ Mann, Bill. "Limbaugh's Dirty Little Secret of Radio 'Success'", Huffington Post website, 12 April 2009, accessed 17 April 2010.
- ↑ Funny, according to Arbitron, there are only 291 radio markets in the US. Limbaugh's 309 or so other stations are mostly duplicate stations on the fringes of the 291 Arbitron markets, or they are located in some really isolated areas.
- ↑ "The Structural Imbalance of Political Talk Radio", Center for American Progress website, 20 June 2007, accessed 17 April 2010. Full report (40 page PDF)
- ↑ Rand Paul, for example.
- ↑ Premiere Networks, company background, accessed 22 March 2015.
- ↑ Known as MW stations outside of the Americas.
- ↑ Mann, Bill. "Here's Why the Right Wing Dominates Talk Radio Today", Huffington Post website, 21 May 2009, accessed 17 April 2010.
- ↑ http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2005/09/29/17714781.php
- ↑ http://www.antiwar.com/justin/jspecial112603.html
- ↑ http://www.antiwar.com/justin/jspecial120903.html
- ↑ http://www.theblaze.com/contributions/5-kinds-of-political-name-calling-we-should-recognize-this-election-cycle/
- ↑ http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2013/01/03/mark_levin_boehner_is_a_moron.html
- ↑ http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2013/12/07/mark_levin_rips_deranged_moron_chris_matthews_this_is_one_sick_sob.html
- ↑ Have fun!
- ↑ Original audio via MofoPolitics YouTube channel here; Cenk Uygur's commentary about the call here.
- ↑ http://www.salon.com/2014/10/21/meet_the_iraq_war_truthers_bush_was_right_on_wmds_but_the_truth_was_covered_up_by_bush/
- ↑ http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A12115-2004Oct6.html
- ↑ http://www.marklevinshow.com/2016/02/15/february-15-2016/
- ↑ http://www.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/1602/17/nday.06.html
- ↑ http://mediamatters.org/video/2014/02/18/mark-levin-compares-marriage-equality-to-incest/198091
- ↑ http://media.knssradio.com/a/112518114/1-13-16-mark-levin-audio-rewind.htm
- ↑ http://www.mediabistro.com/fishbowldc/gordon-liddy-retirement-marsha-blackburn_b84199
- ↑ The Great Health Care Debate
- ↑ The Great Debate: Thom Hartmann vs Michael Medved (1/10) (other parts are available by clicking on the number of videos)
- ↑ http://www.snopes.com/politics/soapbox/schoolrules.asp
- ↑ 
- ↑ Biography from Sussman's official website
- ↑ Fox Helps Right-Wing Radio Shill Re-Invent Self As Global Warming Expert
- ↑ Follow The Money Hosts Brian Sussman, Fox's New Favorite Global Warming Expert
- ↑ Conservative radio hosts continue to promote discredited claim that Obama has yet to prove he was born in the U.S.
- ↑ Les Kinsolving, Homophobe (Conwebwatch)
- ↑ WND's Kinsolving Has Earned the Contempt He Receives (Conwebwatch)
- ↑ Lester Kinsolving articles on People's Temple
- ↑ KIRO-AM disputes radio show host fired for criticizing Rather
- ↑ Carr lied about Dem Convention's impact on Boston's pregnant women, cancer patients
- ↑ CNN's Beck, Fox & Friends continued smearing Pelosi over Syria trip
- ↑ Jason Mattera bio, WABC
- ↑ Celebrating Kwanzaa at Human Events
- ↑ For example, this one "Jason Mattera ambushes John Kerry" accusing John Kerry of sympathizing with Vietnamese communists and attacking him over the Winter Soldier investigations.
- ↑ As of August 1, 2011, that video "Does Al Franken even know what was in the health-care bill he voted for? Um..nope" has 220 likes and 1,139 dislikes on YouTube. Media Matters published an article "Mattera's video attacks on Franken and Grayson based on falsehoods" debunking that video and Mattera's video attacking Rep. Alan Grayson "Why would Alan Grayson want to give your money over to Native American child molesters?" (as of Aug. 1, 2011: 96 likes, 44 dislikes)
- ↑ Gibbs asked if he ever feels dirty defending this administration's lies and deception: 325 likes, 202 dislikes as of Aug. 1, 2011
- ↑ Jason Mattera: D.C.’s bad boy reporter. Politico.com, Oct. 28, 2011.