This was originally a just a response to a comment made by JD Curtis on my "Limbaugh: Classless Putz" blog entry. As I started to write more...and more...and more...I thought it made sense to convert this into a post unto itself.
I probably would be interested in reading G. Liddy's biography. I don't agree with all of his politics, but he's a REAL man...as opposed to all the chicken-hawks out there that populate talk radio these days. I've also found him to be very open minded, in his own way. One of his favorite guests from back in the Clinton days was Lanny Davis, who is about as liberal as you can get (Liddy would call him a "Liberal's liberal"). I'd like to see el Rushbo engage in a reasoned dialogue with a liberal like Davis.
I agree that Chris Matthews is un-listenable. Truth be told, I don't like most left-leaning commentators. I think Keith Olbermann is technically good as a speaker, but he takes things to an extreme far too often with his content. Speaking of extreme content, I think Art Bell is also technically very, very good...great radio voice, knows how to work callers, etc. His subject matter is not my cup of tea, but he's great to listen to never the less.
My two least favorite media types? Hands down it's Larry King & Don Imus.
Larry King has no discernible talent as far as I can tell. I'll take that one step further: if lung cancer had a voice, it would sound like Larry King. What's more, Larry King is notoriously lazy as a broadcaster, doing virtually no research and routinely asking incredibly stupid questions.
Don Imus is horrible, simply horrible. Half the time I'm not sure what language he is speaking (he mumbles so much), and by all accounts he is simply a bitter, obnoxious, racist prick.
Of course my favorite radio/media person is, hands down, Howard Stern. That choice will not win any popularity awards, but so be it; I happen to think the guy is incredible talented, and I've counted myself as a listener since the late 80's. Sometimes I do have to turn him off when his content gets a bit much, but on balance the guy is a radio genius. I doubt that you would have the likes of Limbaugh, Imus and a few others without Stern. This is the guy who, more than anyone else, was able to ditch the records on mainstream radio in favor of a true talk format. He's also extremely under-rated as an interviewer. I'm not the only one who feels this way, as Stern probably has a paid audience of about 9 million listeners. They key word there is "paid". How many of Limbaugh's 20 million would fork over the shekels to hear his "talent on loan from god"? I'm thinking it would be some number south of 9 million.