However, I do have a take: I understand that Rush is a hero or a pariah to millions of people. But I'm taking my stand somewhere in the middle. Why? Because, while I am sometimes sympathetic to Rush's political views, and even though there are times when he can be a very entertaining talker, for the most part I really don't like his attitude and style. He comes across as petty, a bully, mean-spirited, someone who can't be corrected by anyone about anything. He's been known to have gone from harsh to downright foul in what he says. I don't easily imagine myself having a good time around him. But I think I get why he's so popular. No one on the radio is better at editorializing in behalf of a particular type of political conservatism that is very popular in the U.S. But I think that much of what has made him so popular and infamous (his polarizing stance and way) is the reason why I don't much appreciate him.
Of the two, Medved seems to be the much more likable and decent person. I hear in him some humility and religion (in the best sense of that last, much-maligned word). He seems like someone you wouldn't mind talking to, even if you found yourself disagreeing with him. I think it's interesting that, though Medved is a religious Jew, he sometimes goes out of his way to acknowledge the positive historic place of Christianity. I like that Medved pays attention to cultural as well as political issues (unlike Limbaugh, who seems to be completely political). He comes across more as a convinced academic, as compared to a demagogue (which is much the way I see Limbaugh). Those are just some of my impressions. I'd be interested to hear your take.
Anyway, I'd been thinking about talk radio in the U.S. So I wound up making my way to the website of Talkers Magazine, which looks to be a significant trade publication. Turns out, next month is when they release an annual ranking of talk-radio shows. The most up-to-date list that I found goes back to February of last year. Here's their top ten:
1. Rush Limbaugh
2. Sean Hannity
3. Michael Savage
4. Dr. Laura Schlessinger
5. Glenn Beck
6. Laura Ingraham
7. Dave Ramsey
8. Lou Dobbs
10. Thom Hartmann
For what it's worth, Medved was #21. But from something I read at Talkers Magazine, I think his number might be a little higher than that this year. Now let me ask you:
1. Who, if anyone, in the talk-radio world do you listen to? Why? Are you every-day or occasional?
2. For those of you who listen to Rush or Medved, are you hearing the same things I do? Or have I gotten them wrong?