David Frum, founder of the unorthodox conservative website New Majority and permanent pincushion
of the far-right, recently riffed on a question being batted around
by the left: Do conservative pundits, like Glenn Beck and Rush
Limbaugh, believe privately what they say publicly? Or are they simply
entertainers who'll say anything for good ratings?
it's obvious. The pundits do believe what they're saying. But he
wonders at what point, given a financial incentive, Limbaugh, Beck and
the rest would crack and switch sides. Consider this "thought
experiment" he provides
Suppose an agent arrived in the offices of
Limbaugh/Beck/Hannity/O'Reilly etc. with an offer. "I can guarantee you
a deal that will pay you twice as much - bring you twice as much fame -
and extend your career twice as long - if you'd say the exact opposite
of what you are saying now." Which of them would sign?
Welcoming a week's worth of talk radio vitriol, he ventures a guess:
My nominations: O'Reilly accepts for sure. Beck likewise almost
certainly says yes. Limbaugh would want to think it over, but would
ultimately say no. Mark Levin: certainly not. Sean Hannity would need
the offer explained a few times. Ann Coulter - that one puzzles me -
but probably no. Roger Ailes? Do you even need to ask?
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