I really didn’t see this coming. I was on my way home from another day of work on Wednesday as Levin’s show began. As he began talking about the events in Ukraine, it came to that moment when he said that he’d be having Lindsey Graham on in his third hour to discuss the Senator’s notion that Putin needs to be taken out, an idea with which Levin heartily agrees. As I listened to him go on about his disdain for “nationalist-populists” and so on, before too much time had passed, a thought formed in my mind that I simply couldn’t escape. At first, I thought, and may even have said aloud in answer to the radio: “Mark, you sound just like the establishment against which you always rail.” A commercial came on as I pondered that thought a little longer, and then it struck me. It’s not that Mark Levin merely sounds like the establishment. He is the establishment, or at least its errand-boy, perhaps unwittingly.
Do I think Mark Levin is deep within the DC establishment? No. On the other hand, he’s in their circle, perhaps loosely, and he’s put himself in a position through which they will attempt to exploit him, and thereby, his audience. When he speaks, millions listen attentively. They listen because he offers a view from inside politics, as a former chief of staff to an Attorney General of the United States. Though his connections into the mechanisms of state are dated and most will have long since retired, that doesn’t mean the existing establishment hasn’t cultivated a connection to him through which they hope to propagandized and manipulate his audience.
Do you need proof? Every time the Republican establishment needs something from him, he gives it, with few exceptions. They know there will be some times and some areas of policy on which he will be unapproachable, but they know when election time rolls around, for the most part, they can count on him to carry their water. He helped give us a whole string of Senators under the vague umbrella of the Tea Party movement, but most of them went on to betray us in varying degrees. In 2020, he brought his audience Lindsey freaking Graham. He pushed Lindsey for re-election. He should have given him a strong kick in the ass and run him off. Instead, Levin played the good soldier and brought Graham on his show, and while you could almost hear part of Levin holding his nose, he did it nevertheless. In 2016, when Ted Cruz needed a “constitutional expert” to vouch for his eligibility to run for President, he went immediately to Levin. In what I regard to be the biggest single betrayal of his audience in the whole of his career on the radio, he cobbled together some nonsensical explanation that “Natural Born Citizen” was “just a citizen.” It was embarrassingly infantile and nonsensical, and it took a long time for me to get over it. I had been researching the issue(and continued to for some time before publishing my article) when Levin made this pronouncement, and knew him to be full of piss and wind on the issue that day.
I knew then that Levin would bend things to support his own agenda, and that while it wasn’t perfectly aligned with the establishment, it was nevertheless amenable to them in some instances. What happens to Levin seems to be that he’s so invested in winning that he’ll make friends with alleged enemies if he thinks it will help him advance his cause, but the problem with this approach is that often, it’s self-defeating, not only to Levin, but also to his audience. As another example, he’s friends with Senator Mike Lee, (R-UT,) a guy who makes many good arguments, but unfortunately also is the Senator from Google. He’s thoroughly compromised by the funds and lobbying that rolls in the door from that company. Levin won’t tell you about that. He’s protective of Lee on that issue. It’s as though it doesn’t exist.
Another good example is House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, (R-CA,) another establishment stooge and first-rate swampster. Levin brought this stooge to you in 2020 also, just as he did Speaker Paul Ryan(R-WI) in previous election years. On Wednesday evening, Levin bashed McCarthy, after mentioning he was seemingly interested in coming on the show an longer. Of course not, Mark, he got what he needed from you in 2020, pre-election. Check back in with him this coming Fall! Ryan is the definition of a swampster, a Republican who’s married into a thoroughgoing Democrat family(and his sister-in-law is the Biden SCOTUS-pick, Ketanji Brown Jackson,) and who spent as little time in Wisconsin as was humanly possible. In that respect, Ryan was a good deal like another swampster Levin brought you on his show when she was seeking election to the house: Elizabeth “Liz” Cheney(R-WY) spends even less time in Wyoming than Ryan spent in Wisconsin. Do you see how the Republican establishment exploits him? How is this possible for an alleged Tea Party guy, a constitutionalist?
I don’t believe Mark Levin is a part of the DC UniParty, but his orbit crosses theirs, whether he’ll admit it or not. He makes mention from time to time on-air about how they reach out to him, and want to come on the show, but most of the time, if an election is tight, and he thinks he can help a little, he’ll bring them on. It’s what it is. Is he an evil guy? No. Absolutely not. The problem is that when you get into bed with these people, it’s hard to get away. I also wouldn’t say he provides strictly establishmentarian propaganda. He does provide much very good content, but I’m afraid that very often, too many of the wrong people have his ear. He gets “insider” information from some people who are truly swampy. How do I know? I hear it on air. I can tell what sorts of people within the bureaucracy or in the Congress have his ear. For Pete’s sake, he brought John Bolton(!) to Donald Trump. He admitted on-air that Bolton had lobbied him strongly to get in on the NSA job with Trump. Bolton was a catastrophe who spent his whole time in that job undermining Trump’s foreign policy agenda. Levin admits it now, belatedly. If I were Trump, I’d never listen seriously to another recommendation from Levin on personnel. Ever. Thinking about it, maybe neither should you.
Now Levin is taking information from the same crowd with respect to Ukraine. He can see the Democrats are a catastrophe, but he can’t see that the information he’s being passed comes from the same sort of corrupt sources that brought Trump a recommendation of John Bolton via Mark Levin. He remarked the other day that some fan had asked him in public whether he believed anything about it, because the media is so corrupt. Levin explained to his audience that he’d told the man that the whole of the International Press isn’t corrupt too. You see, he doesn’t see it. The politicization of media hasn’t stopped at the water’s edge, any more than politics itself has stopped there. Levin seems to be having a weird kind of “bromance” with Ukraine’s President, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, but the problem is that much of that upon which Levin bases his admiration for Zelenskiy has been debunked. It turns out that Zelenskiy may be just as corrupt as his predecessor, if not quite as wealthy. He’s tied-in with Ihor Kolomoisky, another corrupt Ukrainian oligarch. Somehow, these facts escape Levin, or he’s not mentioning them because of his admiration for the Ukrainian president. Either way, it’s a dangerous lack of perspective.
Levin has always had his strawmen and his foils. Lately, he’s been concentrating on the “nationalist-populists,” decrying them as Putinophiles, or something in that vein. I actually hate when he does this. Name names, for Heaven’s sake! In the case of “nationalist-populist,” I’m pretty certain he means Steve Bannon of WarRoom fame. There seems to be real heartburn there, and Bannon, for his part, doesn’t help when he tosses out phrases like “Neocon” because it seems to trigger Levin’s antisemitism alarms. Levin needs to get a grip. Virtually nobody who uses the term “Neocon” means anything to do with Jews, and most of them won’t even know the relationship between “Neocons” and Jews in the purely historical sense. It’s much like “establishment” in the sense that you might not be able to name an actual “neocon,” but you can identify their policies in action and advocacy when you see them, and while the original description “neocon” may have applied specifically to a particular group of Jews, it’s been clear for some time that their basic set of military and foreign policy issues have been adopted by a wider group of interventionist Republicans, many of whom are clearly not Jews.
It’s maddening. Levin is so close to the truth about Ukraine, but he’s being strung-along by his emotions, his admiration for Zelenskiy, and his cold-war-hardened hatred for all things Russia, particularly Putin. When you add to it what’s being pumped-out in the mainstream narratives, even by Republicans, especially swampsters, he just can’t shake it loose. I’m afraid that until Levin overcomes these demons, he’s simply incapable of bringing you full and sensible information on Ukraine, and that’s simply the most disappointing development in media in a long, long while.
At the end of his show, in the last hour, Levin had Graham on his show to talk about taking out Putin. If you listen, you can hear Lindsey Graham ingratiate himself to Levin with the slobbering remarks near the end of his appearance. One could almost hear Levin’s heart melt. I could vomit.
Here’s the full podcast(The Graham interview begins at the 1:28:55 mark):
Oh, and Mark? Ronald Reagan never once called for taking-out Brezhnev, Andropov, Chernenko or Gorbachev. He knew that the last thing a nuclear-armed country run by a totalitarian government needs is any sort of instability of that sort. Do you think the people who would take out Putin would be any more stable or less dangerous to the United States? No. Reagan knew better than nonsensical ideas like that. You should be ashamed of yourself for associating such a foolish idea with the temperament and wisdom of Ronald Reagan.