Having a conversation with a friend last week and somehow he asked me the question “Who would I rather listen to, Don Imus or Rush Limbaugh?”
Before I answer and before you jump to any conclusions first know that we are both pretty conservative in our political and religious views.
My answer was of course Don Imus.
Some explanation is in order.
Like most radio shows, Imus works off a wheel – you do certain things at certain points in the hour all (ok most of) the time. It happens that on most days, Imus is interviewing a well-known author, historian, politician etc. between 7:35 and 7:50 a.m. That coincides with my drive time.
If he has someone interesting I’ll stick with him. What I usually get is at least 1 & ½ perspectives on an issue. Even if Imus likes or agrees with the person he is talking to, he’ll poke and prod enough to get them to talk and explain themselves. Even with a liberal weenie like Frank Rich, he’ll give him a hard time and make him explain or answer questions that aren’t big softballs waiting to be hit out of the park.
On the other side (disclosure – I haven’t listened to Rush in several years but I did try for a period of time) it seems like Rush (and I guess most of talk-radio) are just going to tell their audiences what they already know and want to hear. Rush telling me Obama’s health policies are going to hurt our country etc. doesn’t tell me anything new. It might make me mad but so what?
I’d much rather hear some dissent or discussion. I guess that is what is missing from most of talk radio for me – discussion. It is usually just one side repeating its case in a louder voice and more often.
Reminds me of a situation at church recently. One of the staff was taking some folks from Ecuador around on a tour. They spoke no English – the guide spoke no Spanish. A couple of us joked that the staffer would simply say things louder in the attempt to make them understand. Mostly it was a lot of pointing and limited communication.
I cannot imagine how Rush et al are going to win anyone over to their particular opinions. They are already “preaching to their choir.” Saying things louder isn’t going to make much difference if the same people hear the same thing all the time.
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