Trying to Have It Both Ways With Talk Radio

I realize I’m sensitive to all the bashing of talk radio because talk radio is my job. I also realize I have a lot of friends in talk radio who are routinely beat up for what they are or are not saying about Donald Trump.

What I notice about much of the criticism is that the people attacking conservative talk radio hosts want to have it both ways.

Talk radio was near uniformly opposed to John McCain for the Republican nomination in 2008 and the Romney nomination in 2012, but somehow this year Donald Trump’s rise is all talk radio’s fault.

Talk radio has been unable to stop the Republican establishment from collaborating in a massive expansive of government, but somehow have the power to stop Donald Trump from getting the Republican nomination.

Talk radio hosts are just entertainers keeping people entertained for ratings, but also can shape and control the minds of their listeners and steer them to or away from certain candidates.

Talk radio show hosts are only talking about Trump because of ratings due to all the pro-Trump people listening, but if the hosts stopped talking about Trump fewer people would be supporting Trump.

Talk radio listeners are mindless automatons who do exactly what the hosts demand, but they were independent free thinkers in 2008 and 2012.

Talk radio is dying because nobody listens anymore, but so many people are listening and under the hosts’ spells that Trump is going to win.

If you don’t like talk radio, don’t listen to it. If you don’t like certain hosts, tune them out. But either those hosts really are powerful or they are not. It is not a sometimes issue. If talk radio really is dying because no one is listening any more, it really would be damn remarkable that talk radio could not stop McCain in 2008 with a massive audience, but could get Trump the nomination in 2016 with fewer listeners.

I attribute neither Trump’s rise nor his staying power to talk radio. Certainly overall media attention has contributed to it, but Trump has an amazing ability to generate headlines with or without a talk radio show host talking about him. In blaming talk radio, you are casting about for a scapegoat.

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Erick Erickson

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