Fanatical right-wing media personalities have to keep raising the ante to hold their audiences


The blog post just prior to this one notwithstanding, I’ve paid less and less attention to the likes of Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity and the other giants of the far-right media over the years.

It used to be that I readily reacted to the outrageous stuff peddled by these people, especially Limbaugh and Beck. But as time has passed, I’ve come to the realization that these guys are trapped in a vicious cycle: The competition among them and others of their ilk is so intense that they have to keep finding new ways to hold their audiences, which are comprised for the most part of grumpy old white men.

Consider, for example, THIS STORY from yesterday:

Either Glenn Beck is getting a little jealous of Glenn Greenwald, or he really does have something huge on his hands. On his radio show today, Beck claimed that his staff at TheBlaze has been in touch with a “whistleblower” who could single-handedly “take down pretty much the whole power structure” of the United States.

“This country I believe is going to be rocked within the next 24 hours,” Beck began, “with some things that are going on in Washington and beyond.” He said that within the next day, he will be sharing revelations with his audience that will “greatly divide” the nation. “You are going to witness things in American history that have never been witnessed before,” Beck warned.

Describing the “whistleblower” who apparently came forward to Beck and TheBlaze, he said, “this guy is so afraid for his life” that he has said he will only tell his story on live television in front of Congress. Beck stated that the one document from the source that his team has seen would take down pretty much the whole power structure, pretty much everything.” He added, “It will take down the GOP, it will take down the Democrats, it will take down many members of Congress… the American people, you haven’t even begun to be outraged.”

Of course, the last time Beck promised a revelation that would change the course of history, it concerns the mysterious Saudi Arabian man who was questioned and released after the Boston Marathon bombings. That theory has apparently since taken a back seat to more pressing matters. If Beck does manage to “take down” the entire U.S. power structure tomorrow, we will be sure to let you know.


Beck’s strategy is different from — and riskier than — Limbaugh’s approach to riling up the geezers. Beck keeps promising apocalyptic developments, while Limbaugh merely contents himself with ever more racist and sexist rhetoric.

I say Beck’s strategy is risky because his audience might eventually tire of his crying “Wolf!”

And then there’s the threat these guys face from the increased attention paid these days to Alex Jones, a radio blabber who is so outrageous that he makes Beck and Limbaugh look like milquetoasts.



  1. expdoc

    Good theory, except I’m not sure they are really competing with each other.

    In most markets they compliment each other. They are often on the same station in any given market and follow each other rather than competing for listeners.

  2. Political Girl

    Hey Pat, speaking of fanatics, remember when you swore up and down that the right-wing was stirring-up the rumors that Congress was trying to exempt itself from the Utopian Obamacare? Well, guess what, yet another Politico (not a right-wing rag BTW) article TODAY on efforts by members of Congress to get them and their staff out from underneath the healthcare law they are forcing on the rest of us. And it names names. Yet you left-wing fanatics just can’t accept the fact the Obamacare is a disaster. How much you want to bet the Congress finds a way? Read it here: http://www.politico.com/story/2013/06/obamacare-lawmakers-health-insurance-92691.html

  3. Political Girl: I remember that matter very well.

    In that post, I quoted FactCheck.org as saying that “there is no bill in Congress calling for an exemption from the health care law” for members of Congress or their staffers.

    I also quoted Ezra Klein of the Washington Post as saying this:

    “[N]o one is discussing ‘exempting’ congressional staffers from Obamacare. They’re discussing creating some method through which the federal government can keep making its current contribution to the health insurance of congressional staffers.

    “’Even if OPM rules against us,’one staffer said, ‘it’s inaccurate to imply that any talks are aimed at exempting federal employees from routine mandates of ACA since any talks are about resolving the unique bind that the Grassley amendment puts federal employees in.’

    “This isn’t, in other words, an effort to flee Obamacare. It’s an effort to fix a drafting error that prevents the federal government from paying into insurance exchanges on behalf of congressional staffers who got caught up in a political controversy.”

    Nothing in the piece to which you’ve linked, Political Girl, suggests anything different from what was said in my post of six weeks ago.

  4. PolticalGirl,

    Far from being a “disaster”, implementation of the ACA and its associated exchanges is going very well in California. Unless, of course, you call affordable health insurance for those who do have it a disaster.

    ‘The president’s remarks come two weeks after state leaders announced lower-than-expected premiums that millions of Californians will face when a new state insurance marketplace opens this fall for those who don’t get health benefits through their employer.”


  5. Correction: …for those who do not have it…

  6. Political Girl

    How about quoting from the NEW Politico article Pat…not what you wrote before.

    “Dozens of lawmakers and aides are so afraid that their health insurance premiums will skyrocket next year thanks to Obamacare that they are thinking about retiring early or just quitting.

    The fear: Government-subsidized premiums will disappear at the end of the year under a provision in the health care law that nudges aides and lawmakers onto the government health care exchanges, which could make their benefits exorbitantly expensive.”

    Of course, it’s more than a “nudge.” It is law — due to an amendment Sen. Charles Grassley offered and that passed which forces most staff and MOC to live under the law they passed. (Not committee staff however…in other words, the staff that wrote the law get a pass. How convenient.)

    Or this:

    “Democratic and Republican leaders are taking the issue seriously, but first they need more specifics from the Office of Personnel Management on how the new rule should take effect — a decision that Capitol Hill sources expect by fall, at the latest. The administration has clammed up in advance of a ruling, sources on both sides of the aisle said.”

    In otherwords, the White House is trying to find a way to make sure Congress and all their staff get a pass and not have to particpate in Obamacare. Looks like all animals are equal…except some animals are more equal than others.

  7. Political Girl: Why should I have to repeat passages from a Politico article to which you’ve already provided a link? I read the piece, and I see nothing in it that contradicts what I wrote six weeks ago.

    By the way, I’m just guessing here, but I figure you for a pathological Obamaphobe. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I recall seeing some right-wing clap-trap from someone using the same moniker as yours.

  8. Robert

    I have BCBS as a self insured person. Last year they sub’d out their coverage for accounts like mine to the various healthcare plans provided by other carriers in my area. The plan that I’m in is provided by Providence Healthcare systems, but I pay my premium to BCBS.

    All insurance companies have to submit rate increase request to the state for approval. Providence submitted a 50% increase for self insured people like myself eff: 1/1/14. Since I’m not a direct customer of Providence, I don’t know if that will mean my monthly premium will go up %50 and BCBS hasn’t been able to verify what my rate increase will be or if Providence’s request will affect me, but it sure sounds like it will.

    I had high hopes that my rate would go down under the ACA, but I really don’t know. In the mean time, I raise my deductible to offset the usual rate annual increases or I change plans. I’m up to $7500 deductible now for the basic plan. 3 co-pay office visits a year and a 70/30 split when provided by my carrier or 50/50 if out of plan.

    When I had an operation a few years back, I had a $5000 deductible. All I know is my out of pocket for that service was about half the total bill, not to mention the cost of the monthly premiums I pay on top of that. I’m grateful I had health insurance though because had I not, the bill would have cost about 50% more than the roughly $18000 (day surgery) it did being covered. They really rape you if you don’t have insurance. You get no discounts. I think that’s unfair too.

    I really don’t know what to expect on 1/1/14. I will be looking into all options though, including the insurance pools the state will be offering.

  9. Robert: By my count, you’ve submitted more than 430 comments here over the past two and a half months.

    Have you ever thought of giving it a rest for a while? I mean, too much is too much.

  10. expdoc

    He’ll never beat my record.

  11. doc: You’ve averaged about 110 comments a month over the past four years. Robert’s pace since early April is well ahead of that.

    Besides, he’s even weirder than you.

  12. Robert

    Pat, If you’d like me to leave your board, I will. I will keep looking at the Rockford paper on line though, particularly the obituary section. I look forward to reading yours. I’ll even sign your guest book. Who will have the last word then? Have a nice day.

  13. Robert: You don’t have to leave. I’ve never bounced a commenter only for being too prolific (although a few of the people I’ve bounced were both prolific and offensive).

    I’m just saying that you might want to pick your shots more deliberately rather than feel the need to share with us your every thought. Don’t you have a life to live?

  14. Robert

    Patrick, I have a life, but much of what I do requires me to be in front of my computer. Then I have to dash away, then I come back and start again. Too much info for you? I’ve always admired Steverino’s brevity, its just not me. I’ve read some fairly lengthy post and quite frequently that weren’t mine. Granted, I have been quite prolific lately, I’ll be more curt in future posts, beginning with the last one.

  15. Robert

    Patrick, I can’t let myself be intimidated by your snarky comments. The reason I posted my experience with the healthcare system, is to let people know how these higher deductible plans work. They may be more affordable but leave the insured with lots of uncovered cost.

    The way I see it, lots of people are going to be making choices about their healthcare in the upcoming months. I’d like to think I helped them make their decisions with my experience. Therein lies the difference between me and you. I care about people, you care about ratings and how you compare in the “most read” category with your counterparts, Ted and Chuck .

    Even though the story you posted was about fanatics in the rightwing media, it morphed into the healthcare debate based on other posters comments, comments that inspired me.

  16. Robert: Spare me the crap about how you “care about people” and I don’t.

    Get over yourself. I’m no less caring about people than you are.

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