Conservative talk radio

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Comedian-turned crazy radio pundit Dennis Miller.
You gotta spin it to win it
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Stop the presses!
We want pictures
of Spider-Man!
Extra! Extra!
You sonofabitch. Only right wing talk show hosts know what's wrong with America.
Calvin: I'm thinking of starting my own talk radio show. I'll spout simplistic opinions for hours on end, ridicule anyone who disagrees with me, and generally foster divisiveness, cynicism, and a low level of public dialog!
Hobbes: It would seem you were born for the job.
Calvin: Imagine getting paid to act like a six-year old!
Calvin and HobbesWikipedia

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, 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.[Note 1]

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 Telecommunications Act of 1996Wikipedia severely weakened the regulations governing television and media ownership, facilitating the rise of large national networks that gobbled up hundreds of independent stations and smaller groups. As a result, the most popular conservative personalities such as Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Mark Levin are heard in virtually every media market in the country.

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.

Radio syndication[edit]

When the Rush Limbaugh Program was first syndicated nationally in the early 1990s, his syndicator, Premiere Radio,[Note 2] 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.[2] Other conservative talk radio hosts have since copied Limbaugh's method of saturating American radio.

By blanketing the nation over 600 local radio stations,[3] 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[4]—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.[5] 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.[6] In cities where iHeartMedia controls two or more AM stations,[Note 3] 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.[7]

Liberal talkers could try this syndication model too, if they were also funded by multinational corporations, wealthy think tanks, global warming deniers, and the like.

Nationally syndicated personalities[edit]

Glenn Beck[edit]

See the main article on this topic: Glenn Beck

GET OFF MY PHONE! You people just... GET OFF MY PHONE!!!

Michael Berry[edit]

Radio host based in Texas who likes to interject his rants with country music/trivia, encouraging his viewers to open a can of beer and other hick nonsense.[8]

Bryan Fischer[edit]

See the main article on this topic: Bryan Fischer

Bryan Fischer is a radio host and Director of Issues Analysis for the American Family Association (AFA).

John Gibson[edit]

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.

Larry Elder[edit]

See the main article on this topic: 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. He was the favored GOP candidate to replace Governor Gavin Newsom of California during the 2021 recall election which decidedly did not work out for him. In April 2023, Elder announced his campaign for the 2024 US presidential election.[9]

Sean Hannity[edit]

See the main article on this topic: Sean Hannity

The conservative talk host of choice for the pro-Trumper (Though Rush still beats him in listeners). This man regularly creates propaganda for the Donald on both his radio and Foxs News show and also has him as a guest on both every now and then. He has said before that he prefers radio as it gives him more hours and creative freedom which, given his long rants and crank interviews, is quite true.

You're a great American. YOU'RE an enemy of the state. (He seriously used it as a segment for a few weeks).

Hugh Hewitt[edit]

Fiercely loyal to Donald Trump and George W. Bush, and enthusiastically supported Mitt Romney's campaign for the presidency in 2008. Once said one of Romney's speeches was "objectively a great speech". Quite partisan.

Alex Jones[edit]

See the main article on this topic: Alex Jones

Not really conservative in an orthodox way and has several labels applied to him[Note 4] so we'll just put him somewhere in the right wing camp. He used to be all about aliens in the 90's back when that was the thing and competed with the Coast to Coast AM likes. Then came his 'non-partisan' phase during the late Clinton, Bush, and Obama years, claiming both sides are evil and popularizing controversial and/or bogus conspiracies such as Waco, 9/11, lizard people, and chemtrails. Now, since the era of Trump, he's a full-blown, authoritarian sycophant. Guess he just goes where the gullible money is. Indie film buffs may remember Alex from his cameo in Waking Life.

Mark Levin[edit]

See the main article on this topic: Mark Levin

Mark Levin is an American author, lawyer, right wing radio personality and colossal blowhard. He maintains an extreme strict constructionist viewpoint and says a lot of stupid things. Perhaps the most hilarious ever, not just for Levin but arguably in the history of wingnut radio, is when Levin said Climate Change must be a hoax because scientists in the past never mentioned it. He gravely listed scientists from history, "Aristotle, Archimedes, Galileo, Tesla, Faraday, Newton, Pasteur, Einstein and Edison," while managing to mispronounce "Archimedes" as if his first name were "Archie," which is pretty funny in itself. Then he said, "What do they all have in common? Not a single one of them ever wrote about man-made climate change." Followed by: "Because ladies and gentlemen, man-made climate change is not about science. It’s not about evidence. It’s not about knowledge. It’s not about facts. It’s about an ideology, imported in the United States from Europe, like Marxism itself."[10]

Michael Medved[edit]

See the main article on this topic: 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. He is also a big time Never Trumper who criticizes him over a variety of his bullshit (specifically making Mexico pay for the wall) which has cost him some of his wacky audience and most likely caused his replacement from the Salem Radio Network. Medved has debated the progressive host Thom Hartmann on Medved's show[11] and in a public debate sponsored by Chicago radio stations.[12]

George Noory[edit]

The longtime host of Coast to Coast AM is known for taking the normally paranormal talk show into the right-wing direction by bringing up political topics of the day and taking the conservative view point on all of them, the latest being his downplaying of COVID-19 as "the flu on steroids." He also has conservative guests like Jerome Corsi on the show regularly.

Bill O'Reilly[edit]

See the main article on this topic: Bill O'Reilly

A guy who's pissed off just about everything. He enjoyed a nearly two decade run on Fox News until fired after revelations of a string of sexual harassment complaints involving him.[13] He has since made a comeback to radio in 2019.[14]

Joe Pags[edit]

Another Texas radio host, Fortnite player,[15] and Twitch streamer (not for Fortnite, but a live version of his radio show). Frequent guests include Jerome Corsi and Trump goons Rudy Giuliani and Sean Spicer.

Dennis Prager[edit]

See the main article on this topic: Dennis Prager

Figure heavily on the Religious Right and moralist who attacks homosexuality. He founded the popular right wing organization PragerU that publishes a wide variety of mostly garbage videos for the conservative choir. 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. Currently working with Adam Carolla on a pro-freedom of speech movie.

Michael "Savage" Wiener[edit]

See the main article on this topic: Michael Savage

Dr. Michael Wiener is a hate-spewing, neo-Nazi who likes to bully autistic children. He has a hilarious fake feud with Sean Hannity to get higher ratings, but in a stopped clock moment still criticized him for praising Trump over being Putin's bitch after the Helsinki summit (which also drew Bone Spurs criticism from other right wing figures). 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".

Dr. Laura Schlessinger[edit]

See the main article on this topic: 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 judgmental 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 briefly canned after going on a rant of saying "nigger" repeatedly and proudly while talking to a black caller and moved to Sirius XM.

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. She eventually coughed up an admission and excuse that she was going through a rough time as the reason they were taken.

Regional and local personalities[edit]

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), Roger Hedgecock (San Diego) and shock jocks John & Ken (Los Angeles). Carlson also ran for governor of Washington (he lost) 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.

Dan Bongino[edit]

You son of a bitch! I want to see the country burn? You punk! You're nothing but a punk. You're a punk, Bongino. You're a punk.
Geraldo Rivera accurately describes Dan Bongino.[16]
My life is all about owning the libs now.
—Dan Bongino, describing how he has no life[17]

A former United States Secret Service agent and pretentious right-wing blowhard known for losing congressional elections in multiple states,[18] who since then has rather pathetically dedicated his entire life to "owning the libsWikipedia".[19] Criticized for using his proximity to President Obama for political gain.[20] Occasionally substitutes for Sean Hannity and Mark Levin. Went on a profanity-filled rant at a reporter who called out his bullshit.[21] In April 2021, Bongino, being an asshole as usual, got into a messy shouting match with Geraldo Rivera on a Faux News segment.[16]

Howie Carr[edit]

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.[22][23] Carr has also run websites bashing John Kerry[24] and Ted Kennedy.[25]

Ann Coulter[edit]

See the main article on this topic: 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[edit]

Essentially a skinnier version of Rush Limbaugh. Bill Cunningham (who refers to himself as "The Great American") 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,[26] 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".

Bob Dutko[edit]

See the main article on this topic: Bob Dutko

Bob Dutko is a paranoid wingnut and conspiracy theorist who originates radio shows from Detroit, Michigan that are syndicated to a number of stations across the United States. While Dutko is primarily noted for promoting pseudoscience in the Kent Hovind fashion, he is, of course, a rabid right wing nut who spreads lies popular with the Trump crowd.

Bruce Elliot[edit]

Bruce Elliot is a right wing blowhard who hosts a weekday morning radio show on radio station WCBM in Baltimore, Maryland.[27] He is a rather atypical Limbaugh/Hannity clone who regurgitates "news" from Breitbart and other similar information sources. He is cheerfully supported by all the rednecks in Baltimore and blames all of the city's problems on "the left." He expresses support for wacky wingnut conspiracy theories, e.g., when a caller called the protesting students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School crisis actors, Elliot did not call out the caller on his ignorance, but replied that he didn't know if the protestors were actors or not.

John Fredericks[edit]

The John Fredericks Radio Network is a Trumpist network of terrestrial radio stations with affiliates in Virginia, Georgia, and Pennsylvania.[28] These stations broadcast the worst of the conservative right, featuring mind numbing drivel from Fredericks, Steve Bannon, and Dave Ramsey, among others. All content is padded with advertisements for penis pills, dietary supplements, guns and ammo, crappy cell phone providers, and other woo targeted towards paranoid conspiracy theorists and Trumpsters. The network's tagline is "Godzilla of truth" and most advertisements ask listeners to use the promo code "Godzilla".

Steve Gruber[edit]

A fixture on Michigan radio for decades, Gruber is a purveyor of the usual type of right-wing lies (accusing Michigan’s Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer of attempting to “defund the police” by executive order).[29] A run-of-the-mill radio wingnut like countless others, Gruber is not really notable except for his apparent role in getting a Space Force Commander fired after the commander appeared on Gruber's show to complain about "Marxists" in the military.[30]

Roger Hedgecock[edit]

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[31] 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[32] 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,[31] Hedgecock has said the “scientific explanation for the lower info voter”[33] 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"[34] 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.

Ironically, in his law school days Hedgecock was a lawyer for the Sierra Club in Del Mar, California and an "aggressive environmentalist."[32]

Hedgecock was also a concert promoter in his earlier days; in fact, he was the individual responsible for hiring the Hell's Angels as security for Altamont (which worked out as well as expected since he paid them with a case of Jack Daniels).[35]

Dana Loesch[edit]

See the main article on this topic: Dana Loesch

The NRA's former propagandist-in-chief has been in the radio game since 2008. Her show doesn't differ from most standard conservative talk radio shows, with the exception that she talks a LOT about guns.

Brian Maloney[edit]

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.[36] 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.

Jason Mattera[edit]

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.[37]

As the Human Events editor, he hosted a satirical clip mocking Kwanzaa as a "crackpot holiday."[38] In addition, he has also done ambush interviews at Capitol Hill, basically throwing right-wing talking points at Democratic members of Congress.[39] 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.[40] 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.[41] 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.[42]

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.

Brian Sussman[edit]

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.[43] 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[44] and Fox Business.[45] He has also made birther comments.[46]

Hal Turner[edit]

See the main article on this topic: Hal Turner

Not really a conservative at all, just an unreconstructed neo-Nazi and former friend of Sean Hannity.

No longer active[edit]

Chuck Baldwin[edit]

See the main article on this topic: Chuck Baldwin

Chuckie baby was the Constitution Party candidate for president in 2008 who got Ron Paul's endorsement after his own campaign failed. 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.

William Bennett[edit]

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.[47]

Neal Boortz[edit]

See the main article on this topic: 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,[48] which has not made him all that popular among many other libertarians.[49] His radio show ended in 2013.

Pat Buchanan[edit]

See the main article on this topic: Pat Buchanan

An omnipresent figure within the GOP since the late-1960's, Buchanan has had several dalliances with talk radio. His first was in 1974, shortly after departing from the Ford Administration, where he co-hosted a three-hour daily radio show with liberal columnist Tom Braden called the Buchanan-Braden Program. He also did radio commentary for MSNBC from 1978 to 1984.

After his failed attempt to clinch the Republican presidential nomination in 1992, Buchanan returned to radio as the host of Buchanan and Company, which ran in a time slot opposite to Rush Limbaugh's show and had a format very similar to Fox News' The Five, in that Buchanan was pitted against several liberal co-hosts. He left the program in 1995 to take his second swing at the presidency, which also failed.

Although he hasn't had his own radio show since Buchanan and Company ended, Buchanan has remained a semi-popular guest on many other conservative talk radio shows.

Herman Cain[edit]

See the main article on this topic: Herman Cain

A talk radio host, pizza mogul, and Sim City fan from Atlanta, Georgia, who served as a fill-in for Neal Boortz. Cain at one point was seriously running for the Republican nomination for President in 2012 and polling the best of all the candidates. He died of COVID-19 in 2020.

Anthony Cumia[edit]

A drunken, racist air-conditioning repairman who disproved the theory that hard work is essential to success. He was the long time co-host of Opie and Anthony which mostly ripped off or made more extreme Howard Stern style content before Anthony got fired for racist tweets and got the show shitcanned. He and two other men came together to make fun of "retards", "coloreds", "faggots", women and "freaks". Anthony, who was catfished and busted grooming what he thought was a 14 year old girl (who later turned out to be either a transgender adult film actor or a 39-40 year old man), has never given any evidence that he's a degenerate pedophile, noooo.

Now he lives alone in a gaudy, outdated McMansion built for four, dresses it up like a Roman aqueduct, and calls it a "home studio" or a "compound". Whatever he thinks brown people are doing to America, what he is supporting is far worse. (And is obviously not in his own best interest, since his new career is selling an HD live-streaming service.)

And after years of bashing conspiracy theorists, he's hosting an Infowars show. A new chapter in his pathetically hypocritical life.[50]

Lou Dobbs[edit]

See the main article on this topic: 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.

Barry Farber[edit]

Farber affected 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 was strictly a has-been, although he filled in on Laura Ingraham's show from time to time. For a time during the 1990's he had a show jointly with Alan Colmes, before Colmes decided he could better boost his career by toadying up to Sean Hannity. He died on May 6, 2020.

Laura Ingraham[edit]

See the main article on this topic: Laura Ingraham

A bleached blonde religious right fanatic, mostly. Obsessed with anti-abortion 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. She hosted a nationally syndicated radio show for over two decades, but unlike Hannity she decided to end her radio show after she got the live one on Fox News where she continues to spit out incredibly stupid statments.

Alan Keyes[edit]

See the main article on this topic: Alan Keyes

Batshit crazy ideologue who has run for office several times. Leading birther.

Les Kinsolving[edit]

Les Kinsolving (1928–2018) was the White House correspondent at WorldNetDaily and evening host at Baltimore's WCBM. Combining WorldNetDaily's brand of sensationalist non-journalism and a Democratic administration, this guy went nuts in his commentary and conduct at White House press briefings.[51][52] He was 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.[53] As a White House correspondent, and despite his homophobia, Kinsolving was also the first journalist to confront the Reagan administration about the AIDS crisis -- for that being homophobically mocked by press secretary Larry Speakes -- as early as 1982, Reagan only having acknowledged AIDS in 1985.[54] Kinsolving died on 4 December 2018 at age 90.[55]

Bob Larson[edit]

See the main article on this topic: 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"[56] and, er, trying to stop a teenager from liking The Cure.[57]

G. Gordon Liddy[edit]

See the main article on this topic: 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.[58]

Rush Limbaugh[edit]

See the main article on this topic: Rush Limbaugh

Where do we start with Rush? He was responsible for talk radio becoming so influential on the right, if you want to give him that much "credit". He had the highest ratings of all the right wing talk hosts, and was the "Queen Bee" of talk radio until his death in 2021. Because of this, most of the other hosts felt the need to kiss his ass.

Marlin Maddoux[edit]

Marlin Maddoux (1933–2004) 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. "Point of View" is now hosted by Kirby Anderson.

Dennis Miller[edit]

So this lazy, elderly hack is on his fourth decade of trying for cute and accidentally hitting obnoxious. If you Google his 60-second radio show, the only results are people making fun of it or having trouble believing it exists. His podcast is a nonsensical technical failure, his career-defining schtick is used as an insult against lazy comedians, and he has one of the lesser columns on a white supremacist website. So the next time someone argues that right-wing comedy has a chance, remind them that this man is easily the most successful conservative comic who will ever live.
—5 Awful (But Revealing) Examples Of Conservative Comedy[59]

O'Reilly's sidekick. A former, wait, still a 'comedian'. Had been on Saturday Night Live with fellow cast members Al Franken and fellow conservative Victoria Jackson. Bitter. Lost his mind after 9/11.[Note 5] Once told the right wing bosses of America to fire employees who have Obama bumper stickers.[60] His radio show ended in 2015. As of 2018, he appears in lame, radio pothole filler segments called "The Miller Minute."[61]

Oliver North[edit]

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. In 2018, he was given the job of president of the National Rifle Association.

Mike Pence[edit]

See the main article on this topic: Mike Pence

Before his political career kicked off, former Vice President of the United States Mike Pence was a radio host during the 1990's, hosting The Mike Pence Show. He called himself "Rush Limbaugh on decaf", since he considered himself politically conservative while not as outspoken as Limbaugh.

Michael Reagan[edit]

Ronald Reagan's adopted son was 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[edit]

See the main article on this topic: Phyllis Schlafly

Andy's mom had a radio show for her organization, the Eagle Forum. Her son Andy was a guest on the show at least once.

Dwight Schultz[edit]

See the main article on this topic: Dwight Schultz

Former mentally institutionalized Captain H.M. Murdock of the A-Team, he hosted the podcast Howling Mad Radio.

Charlie Sykes[edit]

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.[62] 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.

Joining the "never Trump" movement and declaring himself a "contrarian conservative", Sykes retired from his daily radio show in 2016 and has since made appearances in "liberal" outlets MSNBC,[63] NPR,[64][65][66] and The New York Times[67][68][69] to criticize the right's support of Donald Trump.

Joe Walsh[edit]

See the main article on this topic: Joe Walsh

Not to be confused with the rocking musician of the same name. He is a former Congressman and Tea Party poster boy who used to be a RINO in the 90's before making a hard right turn for political purposes. Likes to use "[this is such] bullshit" a lot on Facebook before or after he rants about current political topics. He does show glimpses of sanity in that he supports marijuana legalization, is anti-war (Afghanistan,[70] Iraq,[71] and Syria[72]), anti-tariffs, against the "send her back" Islamophobia Ilhan Omar is facing courtesy of the Donald, and also regularly calls out Trump on his bullshit in and out of Twitter. Though he only became Never Trump after the Helsinki summit that also turned off other right-wingers, his growing disappointment with him was obvious before. His dislike of Trump led him to announce a 2020 primary campaign against him, and got shitcanned by Salem Radio Network as a result.[73] He takes the Republican position on everything else and is a very strong supporter of Israel.


See also[edit]

  • Liberal talk radio
  • Right-wing media groups
  • 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


  1. Not due to any technical limitations inherent to AM or FM, but rather due to the FCC not allowing AM stations to adopt AM stereoWikipedia technology back in the 1950s, when both it and FM stereo were invented, in order to give a competitive advantage to FM. (It still hasn't been widely adopted because the better quality sound is not needed for talk radio of any kind, plus the equipment for both broadcasters and listeners is more expensive.) The real difference between AM and FM is that the first allows a broadcast to reach farther areas (the stronger the broadcast antenna's power input, the farther it reaches) at the expense of static created by lightning, electrical equipment, and other sources of signal pollution, and conflicts between stations with the same frequency, especially at night when there is less static. With FM it's vice-versa: less static and less conflict in exchange for a lower reach.
  2. The "Excellence in Broadcasting Network" is merely the Fat One's nickname for Premiere.
  3. Known as medium wave (MW) stations outside of the Americas.
  4. libertarian, paleolibertarian, conservative, paleoconservative, right-wing, alt-right, far-right
  5. See also Eric S. Raymond and Doug Rokke.


  2. Mann, Bill. "Limbaugh's Dirty Little Secret of Radio 'Success'", Huffington Post website, 12 April 2009, accessed 17 April 2010.
  3. 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.
  4. "The Structural Imbalance of Political Talk Radio", Center for American Progress website, 20 June 2007, accessed 17 April 2010. Full report (40 page PDF)
  5. Rand Paul, for example.
  6. Premiere Networks, company background, accessed 22 March 2015.
  7. Mann, Bill. "Here's Why the Right Wing Dominates Talk Radio Today", Huffington Post website, 21 May 2009, accessed 17 April 2010.
  8. Michael Berry profile,
  9. Kelly Garrity, Larry Elder enters 2024 presidential race. Politico, 20 April 2023.
  11. The Great Health Care Debate
  12. The Great Debate: Thom Hartmann vs Michael Medved (1/10) (other parts are available by clicking on the number of videos)
  13. Bill O'Reilly Is Out At Fox News. The Washington Post, 19 February 2017.
  16. 16.0 16.1 Jake Lahut, Geraldo Rivera calls Dan Bongino a 'son of a b----' and 'nothing but a punk' in chaotic Fox News segment. Business Insider, 14 April 2021.
  17. Maxwell Tani, Asawin Suebsaeng, and Lachlan Markay, Dan Bongino Devotes His Life to ‘Owning the Libs.’ Trump Hangs on His Every Word. Archived from Politico, 10 October 2018.
  18. Crazy/Stupid Republican of the Day at, April 16, 2017.
  19. "NRATV’s Dan Bongino: 'My entire life right now is about owning the libs. That’s it.'", Media Matters Staff, Media Matters, 2018 October 5
  20. Secret Service Agent Turns on Obama, Runs for Congress. ABC News, November 7, 2013.
  21. Florida congressional candidate goes on tirade against reporter. Politico, August 22, 2016.
  22. Carr lied about Dem Convention's impact on Boston's pregnant women, cancer patients
  23. CNN's Beck, Fox & Friends continued smearing Pelosi over Syria trip
  24. John Kerry-bashing site run by Howie Carr.
  25. Ted Kennedy-bashing site run by Howie Carr.
  27. Bruce Elliot audio at WCBM Baltimore.
  28. Network affiliates,
  31. 31.0 31.1 Federation for American Immigration Reform puts black activists front and center at D.C. rally. Southern Poverty Law Center, 30 November 2008.
  32. 32.0 32.1 The unmaking and making of Roger Hedgecock. San Diego Reader, 6 March 2013.
  33. Hate-talk Hedgecock: "Scientific explanation for low info voter" is who we "allow to procreate" YouTube, 20 February 2013.
  34. Video: Roger Hedgecock goes full race baiter: "hatred of white people an epidemic," blames Obama. DailyKOS, 6 February 2013.
  35. When Roger Hedgecock was a concert promoter., 17 November 1983.
  36. KIRO-AM disputes radio show host fired for criticizing Rather
  37. Jason Mattera bio, WABC
  38. Celebrating Kwanzaa at Human Events
  39. 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.
  40. 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)
  41. Gibbs asked if he ever feels dirty defending this administration's lies and deception: 325 likes, 202 dislikes as of Aug. 1, 2011
  42. Jason Mattera: D.C.’s bad boy reporter., Oct. 28, 2011.
  43. Biography from Sussman's official website
  44. Fox Helps Right-Wing Radio Shill Re-Invent Self As Global Warming Expert
  45. Follow The Money Hosts Brian Sussman, Fox's New Favorite Global Warming Expert
  46. Conservative radio hosts continue to promote discredited claim that Obama has yet to prove he was born in the U.S.
  51. Les Kinsolving, Homophobe (Conwebwatch)
  52. WND's Kinsolving Has Earned the Contempt He Receives (Conwebwatch)
  53. Lester Kinsolving articles on People's Temple
  54. The Reagan Administration’s Unearthed Response to the AIDS Crisis Is Chilling.
  55. WCBM 680 announcement on Twitter, 4 December 2018.
  59. 5 Awful (But Revealing) Examples Of Conservative Comedy. Cracked, 15 August 2018.
  60. The War on Obamacare. Local Media Monitor podcasts, November 21, 2013.
  61. Comedian Dennis Miller Returns To Radio As The Miller Minute Launches On Westwood One., 12 February 2018.
  64. All Things Considered, December 18, 2016
  65. Here and Now, Feb. 10, 2017
  66. On Point, October 24, 2017
  67. Charlie Sykes on Where the Right Went Wrong. 12/15/16.
  68. Why Nobody Cares the President Is Lying by Charles J. Sykes, NY Times, 2/4/17
  69. Charles J. Sykes, Why Nobody Cares the President Is Lying. May 12, 2017 NY Times.
  73. Salem Cancels Joe Walsh National Distribution., 27 August 2019.