Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The Increasing Irrelevance of Conservative Talk Radio

Oh, how the mighty are falling:

Rush Limbaugh's ratings have fallen sharply in recent months, according to a new report by Arbitron.

Limbaugh still has the top-rated radio talk show in the country, but his audience has dropped by 33 percent since October. And he's not the only one--Sean Hannity's ratings have also slipped by 28 percent.

A spokesperson for Premiere Radio, which distributes both Limbaugh's and Hannity's shows, told Crain's Business that the company wasn't worried about the ratings dip, since they were still the two biggest talk show hosts in America.

I have said in the past that Mainstream Conservatives, like Hannity and Rush, always side with the neoconservatives against the Constitutional Conservatives.  In Rush Limbaugh’s case, this appears to be detrimental to his own show as he had last year denounced Ron Paul as a man who will “destroy the [Republican] party”.

Both Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh are shills for the Republican party.  They talk a good game and do criticize Republicans when they act like, in their words, liberal Democrats, but at the end of the day they encourage you to pull that lever or push that button for the Republican.  In fact, the only third party candidate I’ve seen them support was Joe Lieberman.  They almost never endorse a third party candidate who more accurately reflects their views.

Because of these attitudes, the Ron Paul supporters (also known as the Constitutional Conservatives) are leaving their shows in droves.  I’d argue that most of those listeners who have left are largely from that wing of the Republican party.  They are tired of voting for Republicans again and again only to find bigger government and more tyranny in spite of what those hypocrites say to them.  Also, they look at Ron Paul’s consistency and his message and they like what they see.  Gradually, they begin to agree with him on so much more than just his fiscal policies.

There mere fact that Ron Paul won 23% of the vote in New Hampshire, when he only won 8% in 2008, shows that more and more Americans are tired of the same old dog and pony show, as demonstrated by Barack Obama and Mitt Romney.  They want actual reforms and changes, something only Ron Paul has really promised and most likely to deliver on.

In any case, I think Rush and Sean need to reevaluate their own ideologies and broadcast messages if they are to remain relevant.  I suspect that many in their audience are of the late Baby Boomer persuasion who became more politically active around the time that Rush Limbaugh started broadcasting.  Their children are just now becoming politically active and they do not like what they see with what has been left to them.  Yet we constantly hear from these two blowhards about how it is all the Democrat’s fault when the Republicans are just as much to blame, if not more so because they promised less government when they campaigned and gave us more.  At least the Democrats were honest about who they were.

In any event, I do not see Rush Limbaugh changing his attitude anytime soon as demonstrated by how he treats the following caller:

Notice his debate tactic toward the end. Was he reading my blog?


  1. Do you think the waning popularity of radio is a factor?

    I only ask because TV is still quite popular, and I'm not sure if Fox News is experiencing a drop in ratings. If it is, then maybe the message is becoming less popular.

    You're definitely right about the ideas of libertarians like Ron Paul is more popular among the younger generation of conservatives. I wonder if the radio listeners are dying off while the rise in Ron Paul support on new media like Twitter and blogs is the result of the younger replacement population's preference for the internet and libertarianism.

    Still, they can't be literally dying off that fast... is there a rising star among conservative radio?

    1. I think there is definitely a market for talk radio, especially among white collar workers. In my view, people have simply stopped listening to them because their message is more of the same.

      I think that Alex Jones will get more market share, despite his stranger ideas about past incidents, because he does tout constitutional conservatism rather than mainstream conservatism. He also is one of the most easily accessible radio shows on the Internet and is looking to expand and make his program's video feed live for free to everyone. Rush Limbaugh, despite being readily available on various stations, makes you pay to listen to him on his website or view his video feed. I imagine it is the same with others. In other words, Alex Jones is in a good position to out-compete the others by offering easy access to him on top of his constitutional conservative, anti-central planning views that resonate with young people.


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