Alex Massie

David Frum vs Talk Radio

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David Frum called in to Mark Levin's radio show the other day to respond to, inter alia, "debate" the suggestion that Rush Limbaugh does not represent a profitable future for the Republican party. It's a remarkable exchange, even if it also demonstrates the folly of trying to engage in any sensible, coherent, interesting or adult fashion with the frothing lunatics who dominate the airwaves. You can listen to it here.

Writing about the experience, Frum says:

As I hung up, I wondered what it would be like to be a new listener, a nonpolitical person, tuning in to Mark Levin’s show for the first time. The ferocious hatred and anger – the shouting at people not present to reply, the self-pitying complaints against a world that does not pay enough respect: it’s an ugly performance. Has Levin ever convinced any listener of anything that listener did not already believe? And of those who come to the show uncertain of what they believe - mustn't the vast majority come away from these rage-filled narcissistic tirades thinking, "If that's conservatism, I want no part of it"? 

Relatedly, see John Derbyshire's excellent piece for the American Conservative "How Radio Wrecks the Right".

Written byAlex Massie

Alex Massie is Scotland Editor of The Spectator. He also writes a column for The Times and is a regular contributor to the Scottish Daily Mail, The Scotsman and other publications.

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