THE MARK LEVIN CONTROVERSY: I WEIGH IN

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I first came across this bit of conservative controversy via Sully’s site. I haven’t had time to read everything on it. But, even though me and Patterico had a dust-up earlier this year, I’m on his side on this. It continues to amaze me that, as knowledgeable as Levin is about politics and government, he goes out of his way to ALWAYS take the low road. I can’t listen to the guy. Anyone who calls his show with a dissenting opinion, even though they might have an interesting point to discuss, gets the “Get Of The Phone You Big Dope!” There is no way for any person to even try and put up a challenge to Levin. He won’t allow it. Of course the calls are screened to produce this result. As a rule, only the dumb talking point callers are allowed through anyway, the better to decry how stupid all liberals are. Whatever substance there is on Levin’s show, the over-the-top in-your-face-style is more important than actually trying to convince a stray liberal or moderate that he has valid point. No, moderates are ninnies, and liberals are scumbags. End of story.

John Hinderacker at Powerline summed it up this way:

Traditionally, an out-party doesn’t start fighting over the spoils until it is actually in. Divisive attacks like the one Mark Levin launched against us cause me to think that some conservatives, at least, are counting their chickens prematurely. Conservatives are more numerous than liberals, but remain a minority. We need to stick together; not on every tactical decision, about which judgments will inevitably vary, but in support of our movement against its real enemies, who are statists.

Paul Mirengoff adds:

What seems to have set Levin off is this statement with which I concluded my comparative analysis of competing election strategies: “It’s disconcerting to realize that many of our activists aren’t even as astute as the likes of Markos Moulitsas.” Levin responded, “Markos Moulitsas is a reprehensible menace. Mirengoff knows it.”

But one can be a reprehensible menace and still have formulated a more astute political strategy than folks who are not reprehensible menaces; in fact the more astute an adversary is, the more menacing (see Saul Alinsky). So instead of flailing about and misstating fact after fact (many of which pertain only to me, not the issue at hand), Levin would have better served by taking a serious look at the left’s successful approach to gaining political power when it was in a situation similar to the one conservatives now confront.

Unfortunately, ranting, not serious analysis, seems to Levin’s thing.

So close to the target. What matters most to Levin? Selling the Mark Levin product. Compare Levin’s product to, say the Michael Medved radio show. Medved, even if you disagree with him, lets even the most rabid liberal caller have his say, and tries to engage in thoughtful dialog. Medved will even acknowledge when the caller has a valid point. As of September, Levin’s is the fourth highest rated radio show on the air. Medved? Not even in the top ten. He is seventh when the field is narrowed down to talk radio, and pulls in a good 3.7 million listeners. But look at Levin’s numbers; they are at 8.5 million And he is tied in fourth place with Michael Savage, another radio yelling head. In fact, all the top rated shows are nothing but yelling head shows, where absolutely no dissent is permitted; only boot licking is allowed. The last quote should read:

Unfortunately, ratings, not serious analysis, seems to Levin’s thing.

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