Posts Tagged ‘Radio’

Embarrassing Loss of Credibility in Talk Radio in the Era of FakeNews

Thursday, March 3rd, 2022

The difficult chore of maintaining credibility in the era of FakeNews

It started in a big way last week. Dan Bongino violated his own self-imposed “72 hour rule” with the story of the Snake Island story from Ukraine. Before the weekend was over, he’d discovered that he’d been misled like so many others, promptly informing his listeners of that fact on Monday.  Dan’s “72 hour rule” is that when some new story of bomb-shell proportions comes along, he tends to hold onto them in order to verify the stories multiple ways before repeating them to his audience.  Many others have seemingly been duped, repeatedly, and it’s a real problem, because while they may not be the ones originating the story, they’re the ones repeating it to their audiences.  From the point of view of their audiences then, for all intents and purposes, they are originating the stories.  On Tuesday, as is my habit while driving home, and as soon as I walk in the door, I tuned into Mark Levin’s show.  Levin, long my runaway favorite among talk-show hosts, began in on a story in which he described the workings and effects of thermobaric bombs.  He explained that Russia was using them. He also explained that Russia was using cluster-bombs against civilian areas, despite the bombs having been banned for use against civilians.  Within less than twenty hours, these reports had been smashed when Bongino said on air on Wednesday that these reports hadn’t panned-out.  A little digging revealed that this had been a completely unconfirmed report, and initially, there was a video discounted as fake by the gentleman in charge of the political subdivision in which it had allegedly occurred.  The claims about cluster bombs are likewise unconfirmed, except that in Eastern Ukraine, there’s some evidence the Ukrainian forces have used them.  At this moment, there is still no firm evidence that either side has used them, but even as of this moment, you can surf over to Levin’s site for his Tuesday Recap page and find the unverified claims about their use by Russia, along with the false claim that these weapons are altogether forbidden.  He also claimed during his on-air description that the thermobaric bombs constitute a chemical weapon, which they most certainly are not.  All of this made it plain to me in a very painful way that my favorite among talk-show hosts, Mark Levin, a guy I have enjoyed more even than Rush over the years, had now joined the legion of outlets I generally consider #FakeNews.  It’s both shocking and saddening to me.  We have so few media outlets we can take at face value.  Whether by negligence or intent or because they’ve simply been fooled by others, it’s clear now that just when we need them most, most all media, even supposed “conservative” media, lie to us in varying degrees.  Though I neither feel it should be my place, nor do I feel I have the heart to do the matter full justice, I must now take on “the Great One,” for the sake of my own integrity.

This is and has been the greatest disappointment of the last several years, and it began during the era of Trump, not because of anything Trump did, but because since the rise of Trump, any pretense at objectivity has been ditched in mainstream media, from CNN to MSNBC to Reuters to FoxNews.  Media outlets have become so uniformly unreliable in so many ways for people like talk-show hosts, who must rely upon valid and factual news stories to fuel the discussions they will spawn with their audiences.  The underlying information is so frequently inaccurate that talk-show hosts are finding it difficult to stay ahead of the fake news injected at light-speed into the conversation.  Don’t misunderstand me to have said that I believe Mark Levin or Dan Bongino are liars, but that they now serve as a conduit through which lies are smuggled to their predominantly conservative audiences.  I don’t believe this is their intention, but I suspect that applies to many other talkers.  It’s that they’ve come to rely on sources that are corrupt or corruptible.  It’s happened to me a time or two over the last eleven years here on this blog, usually in very small ways I’ve rushed to correct.  The problem is that at the speed with which information now propagates upon its release in modern media, a lie can do real damage to our world, in ways that could be measured in millions of lives.

When the pandemic coverage had begun in 2020, I’d already suspected Fauci of giving us all a load of internally inconsistent nonsense.  From a logical point of view, many of his pronouncements didn’t make sense.  His answers were either unnecessarily evasive or expressed with unjustifiable certitude.  Some of it was simply nonsensical.  Mark Levin was among the first people in conservative media who featured Fauci as a guest, on his show on Foxnews.  Fauci used Levin’s credibility with his conservative audience to ensnare them with his now largely-debunked and almost completely refuted narratives.  I dare Mark Levin to now go back and re-watch the garbage he permitted Fauci to spew under the banner of “Life, Liberty and Levin,” and tell me that somehow, he feels unashamed for having failed his audience.  He should feel pain if he now re-watches that episode, particularly considering that people made life-and-death-level decisions based on Fauci’s pronouncements early on.  Mark Levin is a trusted source among conservatives like me.  You can do the math.  The fact that Fauci was saying these things on Levin’s show made them seem more reliable.  Silly, gullible me. While I still didn’t trust Fauci, I did trust Mark Levin, and Fauci had now been given Levin’s virtual imprimatur.  Fool me once…

Less than one year later, on January 6th, 2021, I listened as Mark Levin came on the radio and raged against the rioters at the Capitol on that day.  He railed against the people at the Capitol, as if they were the terrorists my gut said they hadn’t really been, at least most of them.  I listened, and I began to get that sickly feeling of disappointment.  Was Levin falling for another false story?  Since then, Levin has clearly realized, due to in-depth reporting by people like Julie Kelly, that he wasn’t getting the full story then, either. This entire episode had been frustrating to me because I actually know a man who observed some of what went on at the Capitol that day, during the event, from outside the Capitol, where he could see much of what was going on.  While he never went into or anywhere near the scrum going on outside, he was in a position to see that there were numerous and obvious provocateurs.  He told me that at one point, it became clear to him that at least some of the Capitol Police appeared to be acting in collusion with some of the provocateurs.  Many innocent dupes followed the provocateurs into the Capitol, and my friend could see this happening. Some of the dupes were even drawn into a melee with police by the provocateurs, which happens quite easily in a crowd this size.  As these events were happening, I was in my office listening to accounts of it, live on the radio, wondering immediately if this was another DC-UniParty setup.  Why wasn’t that Levin’s first instinct?  He has enough experience to have spotted it.  I live half a continent away, but I can smell DC BS from the other side of the planet these days.  This event had that stench from the beginning.  Despite our shared experience of the last several years, for more than a few radio hosts, it wasn’t so obvious for some reason, but should have been.  Instead, we got the usual “we condemn all violence” business, in a fashion no different than Chris Wallace repeatedly demanding that Trump denounce white supremacists on the debate stage, starting from the ridiculous premise that Trump were some sort of racist who now needed to renounce such associations.  Conservatives must lose their fear of these smear-jobs, because it cripples them, not only politically but also intellectually, which is the intent of the smear-artists. For all appearances to the world, Levin and many other hosts were pushing the mainstream media, DC UniParty narrative, again.

Levin is a passionate advocate for positions in the information sphere, as am I, which is undoubtedly a large measure of what draws me to his broadcasts daily.  I don’t make decisions about issues or candidates on the basis of emotion, but instead take a firm and careful accounting of them.  Once I’ve done so, I then apply my passion to the conclusions I’ve drawn in explaining an issue or advocating a particular stance.  The problem that arises for people like Mark Levin, Dan Bongino, or anybody else in the broadcast space is that things move incredibly fast.  Information blasts in and out, and it is updated and superseded by better, more accurate information, but also sometimes more bogus, inflated, and hyped information.  It happens constantly.  In this environment, one is going to make judgments about the newsworthiness of a story in an accelerated frame of reference, and it will necessarily lead to a much higher rate of error than it will, for instance, on a lowly blog published in the backwaters of the Internet. Some of the posts here are composed, fact-checked, and pushed out in thirty minutes or less, but those are rare. In the main, the postings on this site will have taken hours to compose, sometimes days, or longer, and I’ve been known to table a story indefinitely if I think my information isn’t solid enough. If you were to have access to what’s here, you would see that I have almost half as many posts in “draft” status as the almost fourteen-hundred posts that have been published over the span of years. Those drafts are posts you cannot see, and many of them you will likely never see, but this is the process. If a story just doesn’t stand up as I think it should, it’s never published. That’s born of the luxury of knowing I’ll almost never be “first” with a story, and that all I can offer is a unique perspective, or new details you hadn’t been presented before, and because the speed at which I present information is far less important to my audience than the idea that I get it right.

Levin sometimes has excellent instincts.  In March of 2017, based on a smattering of seemingly unrelated stories across several media outlets including McClatchy and the New York Times, Levin’s good instinct for political chicanery by Democrats led him to piece together the story we’ve all come to know is SpyGate, which actually encompasses a whole universe of sub-scandals, from spying on the Trump campaign and presidency, to the use of that information to concoct two fake impeachment narratives.  The chicanery also revealed what should be the biggest scandal of all: The corruption of the FISA system by actors within the Justice Department and the FBI, along with others both directing and participating in these activities in the administration, and on the FISA court.  What Levin’s instinct (and experience within the DOJ)provided him was the starting point for unveiling what should be known as the greatest scandal in American history, but for the fact that the corrupt and corruptible media will never willingly report on it.  Claims that Levin is incapable of stellar research and investigation are to be ignored.  It’s clear he has the experience and clear-eyed thinking to analyze such things.  Why does it seem, of late, that he’s not nearly so clear-eyed in his appraisals?  We can always forgive errors born of honest intent, but the problem is that media will attack even for those sorts of instances.

Levin bitterly complained after a small error in his most recent book, runaway New York Times best-seller American Marxism, was made out to be a mortal sin by a few among the chattering class in the leftist mainstream media.  In general, his books are extremely informative and well-written. They’re amazingly well-researched and thoroughly documented. Few authors go to the lengths to provide the citations that Levin routinely does within the pages of his books.  The problem is that when those critics reviewing your books are doing so with a political bias and intent, what you get instead of honest critiques are partisan hit-jobs.  Levin made the error of writing “Franklin School” instead of “Frankfurt School,” as if that’s not an easy mistake to make and and a more difficult error to spot in editing. From the point of view of the full-tilt leftist media, this was the worst scandal in literary history, and they used it to libel him mercilessly.  There’s a vast difference between an innocent error and the intentional falsehoods leftists publications gin through their presses and websites daily.

One of the problems is that in broadcasting, information moves extremely rapidly, and if you let yourself become emotionally invested in your conclusions about a given story too quickly, you’re going to get burned, quickly losing the trust of your audience, particularly if you don’t forthrightly confront the story’s inaccuracies or plain falsehoods promptly, as Bongino did on Monday and again Wednesday.   In the case of Mark Levin, I’ve come to a crossroad due to this trouble.  As a matter of loyalty for all his years of hard work, honest advocacy, and excellent programming, I am easily persuaded to give him another chance.  And another.  And probably several more.  The crisis I’m beginning to experience is that this has become something of a trend, but more importantly, he surely became aware between his broadcasts of Tuesday and Wednesday that the use of thermobaric or cluster bombs (by either party) in the war in Ukraine are unconfirmed.  I listened intently to the whole of his Wednesday broadcast, as I do most days, waiting for him to step right into the matter and clear it up. He never did.

Another sin of Levin’s is made up of his best intentions to advance conservatism.  On many more than one occasion, due to his desire to defeat the left, he’s let alleged conservatives on the air, generally Republicans seeking election/re-election, who come on to use his platform in a political season, often seeking his endorsement or even just the legitimacy among conservatives lent to them by appearing on his airwaves.  Lindsey Graham?  Kevin McCarthy?  There are more.  Too many, really.  I remember yelling at my radio, riding down the road “Mark, why do you bring these RINOs on your program? They’re going to screw you and betray us as soon as they’re re-elected.”  Well?  Have they?  Yes, sadly they have.  Levin himself was gently commenting on this recently.  He knows.  What he may not realize is how thoroughly it harms his credibility.

Since the beginning of the Russian attack on Ukraine, Levin has begun to bang the pots and pans indicating he’s very much in favor of some kind of intervention, or at least assistance to the beleaguered people of Ukraine.  It’s leading him to accept too quickly the dis/misinformation he’s getting from some source(s), perhaps at Foxnews, or perhaps elsewhere.  This has begun to seriously impact his credibility.  On Wednesday evening, my worst fears in this vein were realized when he began gushing over Never-Trumper FoxNews Pentagon Correspondent, Jennifer Griffin, who’s a known leftist, clearly committed to corrupting news over at FoxNews.  She’s one of the demons involved in the fake, ridiculous story about Trump at Normandy back in 2018, in which he allegedly called service-members who died there “suckers.” At the time of the story, Griffin said she was “unable to confirm the more salacious details,” implying she had confirmed the less salacious details, which naturally, she hadn’t.  The whole story was later debunked, but as usual, the debunking never received coverage to scale of its the story’s original propagation.  If this is one of Levin’s routine sources on national security matters, then nothing he says on the subject is even remotely reliable any longer.  I get it: He’s not a reporter, but he still has some obligation to the facts, and he needs to be more discerning in selecting his sources.  Neither Griffin nor Baier, both to whom Levin seems to have some unusual attachment, are what I would consider reliable or even particularly passable sources.  Before going on an anger-fueled rant about how he’d happily provide his own weapons to the people of Ukraine, perhaps it would be a good idea to verify the reports of cluster-bombs and thermobaric bombs allegedly employed by the Russians.  When it turns out, less than one day later, that the stories were either false or at least unverified, what then can he say to pull back on the bombast?  It’s too late. Elvis has left the building.  The best he can do is to retract the story later, but how does he then retract the bombast?  He almost certainly won’t.  He’s likely to leave that part stand, despite being at least partially motivated by the false stories.  This is the danger of the passion when driven by unchecked or unverified information.  As of now, he’s still letting the thermobaric and cluster bomb stories stand.  I suppose he hopes we won’t notice, or that the unverified stories will become verified, or even mooted by future verified use.

Bongino was more measured Wednesday, having mostly abandoned the narrative that Putin had become unhinged and “irrational,” instead pulling it back to “unpredictable.”  The interesting part about that is that in times past, Bongino had criticized Biden for destroying any “strategic ambiguity,” while praising Trump for having maintained it.  “Strategic ambiguity” consists, in part, of unpredictability. On Monday and Tuesday, he had relentlessly pounded on the idea that Putin was perhaps irrational or even insane.  It doesn’t help that this has been the mainstream media and UniParty narrative. Here is Hillary Clinton from Tuesday on MSNBC’s Morning Joe show:

Notice that Clinton questions Putin’s state of mind too.  It’s foolish to assume your enemy is a crackpot because he’s become less predictable.  In time of War, I would in many respects seek to make myself as unpredictable as possible to adversaries and enemies.  It would be my intention to keep them guessing, and I’d want them to worry mightily about my willingness to ratchet-up the intensity or scope of the war.  Bongino likes to talk about how President Trump had maintained a cloak of “strategic ambiguity” around his foreign policy intentions.  Why would Putin behave differently?  In contrast, Clinton famously had her reset button with the Russians while serving as Secretary of State, a job she was woefully ill-equipped to perform.  Fortunately for her, it did give her access to bilk much of the globe with her Clinton Foundation.  It was strictly a cash-and-carry operation, and there was no “strategic ambiguity” in it.  Her mission was to cart away cash, and Russia fully understood it.

The other thing clear in the video is that the DC UniParty establishment is trying to capture the mantle of Ronald Reagan, as they continue their anti-Trump narrative.  People like Levin and Bongino need to think very carefully about who’s providing the information they now rely upon to make pronouncements about Ukraine.  If I could ask either man a question, I think I might pose it this way:

Consider the following list of names: Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, John Kerry, Nancy Pelosi, Mitt Romney, Adam Schiff, Susan Rice, Eric Swalwell, Adam Kinzinger, Liz Cheney, Fiona Hill, “Colonel” Vindman, Victoria Nuland, Ron Klain, and Jake Sullivan.

Now consider the events in Ukraine since roughly 2004.  Then consider the activities of that list of people(and other cohorts) over the intervening period. Then, consider the following facts: In 2014, with funding and assistance from the US State Department, US DOD, and various US intelligence agencies, there was a coup d’etat in Ukraine.  Essentially, the US fomented and funded regime-change in Ukraine. Ever since, the narrative in DC by the establishment, particularly the Democrats, has been “Russia, Russia, Russia.” Even Mitt Romney talked about Russia in his debate appearance, but Obama immediately deflected the question by mocking Romney.  Had Romney inadvertently let a cat escape the proverbial bag?

Now ask: How many of the people listed above were involved in the RussiaHoax/SpyGate, the First Impeachment of Trump, the Second Impeachment of Trump, and how many had a hand in the January sixth story, events, and subsequent narrative? How many are now pushing the official DC UniParty’s Ukraine narrative, in concert with corrupt and corruptible media?

The media lies endlessly to us, and those lies don’t stop with events beyond the water’s edge.  Meanwhile, I have to hear Levin questioning the patriotism of Americans who are questioning the official DC narrative, or suggesting they’re Russophiles or similar garbage.  That’s what I expect from Hillary Clinton, so that when I hear it coming from the radio in Mark Levin’s voice, I must ask him: “What in the Hell are you thinking?” Why would Mark Levin now take up the “Russia, Russia, Russia” allegations of Hillary Clinton only to aim them against members of his own audience? On the basis of information from which sources?  Jennifer-freaking-Griffin???

These two men have repeatedly demonstrated their capacity for intense investigations and research, but they’ve been steered in the Ukraine story largely by emotion, driven by many false stories, false narratives, and imagery that’s been created but unsubstantiated in far too many cases. In media generally, we’ve been shown a story about Miss Ukraine, bearing arms and ready to fight, but the rifle she’s pictured with is an airsoft rifle, (airsoft being a sport she enjoys.)  We’ve been told about the “Ghost of Kiev,” by such low-lifes as Adam Kinzinger, that has turned out to be an utter hoax.  The Snake Island story turned out to be propaganda in the larger dimension:  It appears that rather than having been killed after telling their Russian attackers to “Go F’ themselves,” they laid down their arms in surrender, and are now all safe, albeit disarmed and removed from the battlefield.  We’ve had a member of the Ukrainian Parliament tell the world that she’s fighting “not only for Ukraine, but for the New World Order.”  We’ve had every manner of false story propagating, not merely from the combatants, but particularly from the Western media.  The number of fabricated, concocted stories coming out of the war zone are far too numerous to list here. Even the imagery is frequently suspect, as reported elsewhere on this site.

That Levin and Bongino walked into some of these stories is no surprise.  I too was sucked into one of them early on.  The Snake Island story recalled the bravado and courage of the Alamo, until it didn’t.  What’s been surprising and disappointing is how thoroughly Levin has been entirely swamped by some of it.  Bongino corrected the record, in his defense and to his credit.  So far, Levin has not, and he’s not backed-off his bombastic declarations about his willingness to ship arms to a country that has been a playground for the DC UniParty’s money-launderers.  The alleged brave acts(it’s not that I doubt the bravery of Ukrainians, but only the veracity of this narrative) are being pushed in media with a reckless disregard for fact-checking and verification, which is the definition of war-time propaganda.  The “fog of war” only clears if we work to make that hapen.  It’s important for talkers to right their ships when they get a story wrong.  Sometimes, it’s understandable and forgivable if the host makes amends by leading with the truth or a correction at the next available opportunity, as Bongino has done this week.  We need solid information, and while I still want the passion both men bring to their respective endeavors in media, I have to insist that they improve their information-vetting, by reconsidering the sources they now employ.  Clearly, some of those sources are of dubious veracity.  I enjoy the presentations of each man, both interesting and entertaining, as well as bracing and motivating, but I need the foundation to be solid.  Everybody makes mistakes, me included, but there are innocent errors and errors of incomplete information, but there are also errors born of haste, undue passion, lack of due diligence and malice.  I expect the former to happen from time to time, and they are entirely generally to be forgiven upon forthright correction.  The other sort, when they become habitual, threaten to turn an outlet or a show into nothing better than another mainstream media outlet: Corrupt or corruptible.  This also applies to many others in the conservative space.  In a moment of excess passion, it could easily happen to me.  We must fight against this kind pollution of facts driven by our own intemperance, but we must also hold outlets and hosts accountable.  I need Levin to correct the record, telling his audience that reports of thermobaric bombs or cluster bombs intentionally targeting civilians are unconfirmed, unverified reports at this time.  In fact, their use at all remains unverified.  These weapons are indeed nasty, but the US has employed cluster-bombs too.  Ask the Iraqis.  Ask the Afghans.  What makes their use illegal, like so many weapons of war, is their use in the intentional targeting of civilians.  Under various international treaties and conventions, doing so constitutes a war crime.  It’s important for Levin to fix this at the next opportunity, and as ever, at least for the moment, I’ll be listening this evening to see if he will.

 

 

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A Conservative Icon Prepares the Troops for Battle

Wednesday, August 17th, 2011

The Great One

There are a number of great radio talk-show hosts who I’ve enjoyed immensely over the years.  I first became familiar with the format listening to Larry King late at night on the way into a night-stock job at a grocery warehouse.  It wasn’t so much that I liked Larry, as it was that his callers were at least somewhat entertaining.  Most of a decade later, after spending much of my time as a soldier in Europe, I came at long last to Texas.  When I got out of the Army, I got a job and joined the civilian workforce again.  It was some time later, working  in that job, in a moment of downtime, listening for news of the impending hostilities against Saddam’s forces in Kuwait, that I made a discovery that turned out to be much more important to me in the long run.

Twisting the dial on that beat-up AM radio, listening for the sound of intelligible human speech, I had discovered EIB and Rush Limbaugh.  This would  provide a good deal of entertainment, as back in those days, Rush played parodies more frequently, and generally provided a flood of information to the pre-Internet world, delivered from a point of view I’d seldom heard anywhere before.  He was unashamedly conservative.  I’d never heard a show like this, and I became a “Dittohead” in short order. It was in the course of my years listening to this show that I was introduced to many amazing people, including my favorite living economist, Walter Williams, still a frequent fill-in host, and also my favorite attorney: Mark Levin.  I was thrilled when I discovered that Levin had gotten his own radio show, and more thrilled yet when it went to a full three hours.  If it’s fair to say that Sarah Palin unknowingly delivered the inspiration for this blog, (a fact that if she knew, she might very well regret,) it’s likewise fair to say that Mr. Levin provides its beating heart, with a passion shared for the love of our country.

It’s not to say that I never disagree with Mr. Levin, but it is to declare that our differences are perhaps more superficial or trivial.  What I have always enjoyed most about him is what I can hear in his voice, not in mere words, but in the tone in which he speaks: He means it.  Mark Levin has some health problems, and it’s more than ironic that he should suffer from heart troubles, because you’d never know it to hear him speak.  He has real passion for this fight.  He makes it clear that it’s our fight.  As he frequently points out, “It’s our country,” and he’s not afraid to let it rip, and he has no need to be afraid as millions in “fly-over country” love what he has to say, and we respond to the passion with which he says it.

Some people are put off by his voice.  I find it distinctive, and sharp. but what makes it stand out is the force of intelligence and wisdom driving it.  The logic is equally clear and sharp, leaving listeners no confusion as to where he stands on an issue.  Some people think he can be too short with some callers, but the truth is that his sense of  which callers are too annoying to suffer suits me very well.  He has more patience with some of them than I could possibly muster.  If you tune to Levin, that’s part of the fun. My daughter and I have listened to his show, making friendly bets on how long he’ll tolerate the next leftist “drone” before losing patience and dumping them. If only he knew how much entertainment that has provided to one father and daughter, he’d probably humbly deny culpability and laugh.

One of the things I enjoy most about Levin is his instinct for a political story.  He’s among the few who possess the insight to see what’s going on before it becomes obvious to the rest of us.  Maybe that provides some of his passion too, because he’s always warning what’s coming next from some politician, and he’s always waiting expectantly for people on the Republican side to catch up.  Certainly, among the RINOs in Washington, he can see a sell-out coming from a mile or a light-year away.  Having worked in Reagan’s administration, I’m certain his experience in dealing with all the nutty leftists inside the DC Beltway provided him a deeper understanding of how both the leftist and RINO mind works, and what he learned is:  Both are proponents of statism.

If you tune in to his show these days(and you should-daily,)  what you’ll hear is a man who is as passionate about this country as any of the greats in our history.  He is intelligent enough to make a logical case, wise enough to see things coming in advance, discerning enough to focus on the most pressing issues, and engaged and passionate enough to make clear that this isn’t contrived.  There are many talkshow hosts, but what Mark Levin delivers isn’t a show.  It’s an education, and it’s a conservative sermon, but he’s not merely preaching to the choir.  One co-worker walked into my office as we worked late one evening, preparing to replace some major network equipment, and he heard Levin on my radio.  He stopped, listening, as Mark dealt harshly with some nefarious “Re-pubic,” and my co-worker asked: “Who’s this guy, and what’s his issue?”  As we continued our work, I told him a little about Levin, his history, and his show.  He nodded politely, and we worked on.  It was one of those weeks.

I suppose a month or so had passed, that particular project well behind us, and there was an incident that required our attention at the office.  Our normal work hours are 8-5, but in our line of work, it’s seldom confined to that schedule.  I arrived first, and waited for my co-worker as it was a two man job.  As he pulled up in the parking lot, and shut off his car’s engine, the radio played on, and I could hear that distinctive voice I had only moments ago abandoned while exiting my own car.  As he locked his car and walked toward me, he saw the grin on my face.  “Yes, okay, you got me hooked.  I can’t help it. He’s good. Now, did you hear what he said a minute ago about…”  That provided the fodder for discussion while we worked through a technical problem.

One could see how his matter-of-fact manner appeals to middle-aged men who work with computers and networks.  The logic of his arguments is simply irrefutable.   What’s more astonishing is how my wife reacts to him.  She hates radio talk-shows, just because the format annoys her, but among all the talk-show hosts, there’s only one who will prompt her to tune in.  Yes, Mark Levin. Why? Well, my wife is a sort of no-nonsense person, (and therefore amazing to all who know us that she’s still my wife after all these years,) and she appreciates how Levin leaps right in and gets to the heart of the matter.  He zeroes in on the subject, and he forcefully, relentlessly pursues it.  His sense of certitude combined with his convincing deluge of facts swamps the unsteady listener with a certitude of their own.  After all, conservatives are reviled and demeaned in popular culture, and here is a man who says it, says it well, and makes no apologies for it.  She admires that, and besides, he’s kind to animals too.

I think among all the things that Mark provides to his listeners is a sense of purpose and duty about the future of the country.  He’s not willing to surrender it to the latest in statist ploys, and he’s willing to do what he can to oppose them.  He does so daily, and to be honest, none do it better, and few have done it so well.  He’s a mobilizing force, like the General Patton of the radio, and he tells any who will listen the whole truth about what it’s going to take to save our country.  Every day, he lays out the logical case underlying his views, and he presents all the evidence you’ll need to leave no reasonable doubt.   On this basis, he motivates and inspires people to activism, and that’s something for which the conservative movement has long waited:  A spokesman who says it and means it, and whose arguments demand that you do something about it.

I still enjoy Rush and the others, and probably always will, but there’s something terribly, and wonderfully engaging about Mark Levin.  Love him or hate him, he gets under your skin.  He’s the beating radio heart of conservatism, and he’s a powerhouse.  He truly is the “Great One.”