Saturday, June 18, 2005

The Rise of the "Hannity Right"?

I've been avoiding Andrew Sullivan's blog lately because I've been busy and because his shrill obsession with the gay stuff is making his writing hard to swallow because it's constantly informed with a "IT'S BECAUSE I'M GAY, RIGHT?!??!" tone that makes me want to Patton-smack him and tell him to get over himself.

Anyhoo, while patroling the docks, I perused his mewlings and saw this e-mail of the day which presents a theory about the yapping Sean Hannity that begins to put a finger on what it is about him that bugs me:

I think conservatives need to discuss the rise of the Hannity right. I was drawn to the conservative side by Bill Buckley's relentless and civilized dismantling of liberal orthodoxy and by Ronald Reagan's sunny faith in individual effort, private enterprise and the goodness of America. I was cemented in the cause by the thought of lesser though still very bright lights such as Tom Sowell, Walter Williams, Charles Krauthammer, Newt Gingrich and just about the whole 1980s NR crowd.

Hannity is a significant departure from this serious tradition. Unlike Rush Limbaugh, whose genius is to approach familiar issues with unfamiliar arguments, Hannity approaches familiar issues with entirely familiar arguments. His points have been made a thousand times before, far more effectively and successfully. He is a bore, and a bully whose attempts to adopt a "nice guy" persona fall flat. Whereas I always sense Rush's innate humility even when at his theatrically bombastic best, Hannity's self regard is overwhelming even when assuring us that he owes all to his listeners. In fact, he owes all to his interesting line-up of guests, without whom his show would be entirely worthless.

His national tours, so far as I can tell from the radio, tend to attract the yobbo element -- all shouting, cheering and hissing. Can you imagine such a thing from the audience at Firing Line? Was there even an audience?
Hannity is several steps backward for conservatives. We have been, are, and must remain, far better than this.

I could hit harder than this....heck, why not? Here's a few more sucky things about Hanbo:

* His constantly plugging of what's gonna be on his Fox yelling heads show. When he says "later, so-and-so will be a guest", it should only mean his radio show. At the top of the hour, OK, but after every frigging commercial break? GAh!

* Tedious boilerplate repetition of his talking points. Yes, the bear SOME repeating, but he goes too far.

* Callers always calling him "a great American". George Washington was a great American, folks. Hannity is just a talk show host. I don't consider Rush a "Great American" either, but that's cuz I don't toss off sobriquets so frivolously that they're worthless, like the standing ovation. Rush is a great radio host and pundit and an American, but I'm fine with the extra six words in between.

* All the freaking country music. The only rock guy allowed is Ted Nugent, so it's non-stop hayseed for this Lou Costello-looking dope. Please.

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