Rush, Levin, Hannity. Talk radio superstars. Their shows are witty, entertaining, controversial and opinionated. But are they enlightening? No.
In fact the opposite is true.
These self proclaimed liberty-loving conservatives practice a form of verbal censorship. It’s ironic that while they claim to be pro-free market, they suppress the open marketplace of ideas. Articulate, well-developed arguments expressing contradictory viewpoints simply aren’t allowed.
Mark Levin is a repeat offender. In a recent show, he not-so-gently told a caller he was “pathetic.” He then proceeded to mockingly challenged the caller to prove how smart he was. When the caller made a weak attempt to defend himself by replying “I am smart” Levin quickly interrupted with “I’ll be the judge of that.” Levin continued berating the caller; calling him words like “moron” and “idiot.”
Needless to say I didn’t learn anything — except maybe how to silence dissent.
But Hannity, Rush and Levin aren’t merely good arguers — they are skillful censors. The interruption, rudeness and domination they practice on their shows are a form of art. They are steamrollers; more concerned with perpetuating a set belief system than with discovering the truth.
But then why do millions of listeners choose to tune in each week? Surely it is not to learn.
On the contrary, it would appear the only reason conservative listeners lend their ears is to reinforce that which they already believe. The small, insignificant amount of information they may actually glean from the shows pales in comparison to the positive affirmation they receive.
After all, talk radio isn’t a dialogue, it’s a monologue. A monologue people would be better off ignoring. Perhaps Americans need to take a cue from these radio hosts and, with the turn of a dial, censor conservative talk radio.