Rush, Beck and Hannity Ratings Dip--Is Right-Wing Talk Show Era Dwindling?
Since October, Rush Limbaugh's ratings have fallen by 33 percent and Sean Hannity's by 28 percent, while Glenn Beck's been dropped in several markets. Could this be indicative of a larger trend? This week Salon wondered if their decline foretells a death whimper for the age of the extreme right talk show host:
The News Beast's John Avlon suggested in March that right-wing talk radio's worst enemy may be the Portable People Meter, which measures audiences and demographic numbers much more accurately than the old surveys. It turned out that a shrinking number of old white people listen to conservative talk radio -- which is such a coincidence, because the Republican Party has a very similar problem!
But Rush's big, national audience is not literally dying off that quickly, so why the decline? Rush should be required listening for conservatives curious about the Republican Party's 2012 candidates. Unless, of course, conservatives are again burned out on politics and demoralized about the largely unlikable characters running for the nomination.
If true, this would also coincide with the public's increasing disdain for the GOP's economic policies, wrought by Paul Ryan's unsustainable budget plan and last night's unanimous vote to kill Medicare despite the wishes of their constituents. And while the extreme right pundits still enjoy a healthy amount of media coverage thanks to their willingness to drop outrageously racist, sexist, classist quoteables, it's all countered by a recent surge of citizens getting behind boycotts, which helped result in Beck's ouster from markets in New York, Connecticut, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania. So, is there hope for an end to the windbag era? We can only hope. Read the full Salon piece here.