While Glenn Greenwald and Camille Paglia catch us up on the increasingly hateful and dangerous language emanating from conservative talk radio–including Mark Levin show substitute host Andrew Wilkow repeatedly calling a gay man a "vile sodomite" and Limbaugh sub Mark Davis joking about the murder of top Democratic officials–there are other signs the genre is growing increasingly desperate in the midst of dwindling conservative and GOP fortunes.
Take Monica Crowley, the Fox News contributor and talk radio host. While the former assistant to the disgraced ex-president Richard Nixon may not be the most hateful in the nation's vast toxic lineup of talk jocks, she is often among the more delusional and strange. She has advanced the bigoted and baseless rumor that "Barack Obama is not black African, he is Arab African"; and she has stated that Iran supports Al-Qaeda and may already have nuclear weapons.
In one deranged diatribe following the Democratic primaries, Crowley described in graphic detail what she said Hillary Clinton–now Barack Obama's Secretary of State–was going to do to politicians who had backed Obama:
You know, if you're backing the "hope" guy, well, that's too bad for you, and it will be too bad for you because girlfriend will cut you. She will strap you into the electric chair. Then she will waterboard you. Then she will slowly and methodically pull off each one of your toenails. Then she will deprive you of sleep by blasting "The Best of the '80s Hair Bands" at you, and then she will cut off your manhood, and then she will throw the switch. This is what Ted Kennedy, John Kerry, Bill Richardson, Oprah and Maria Shriver all have to look forward to. None of them should be starting their personal cars in the morning.
On her show this past Saturday (WABC-AM, 5/9/09), Crowley turned reality on it head with a claim that even many of her listeners must know is false: that young people are flocking to the right. Crowley asked the question, "If you want to know why young people are gravitating toward conservatism and the Republican Party," and answered it by blaming Obama White House spending. She said the demographic shift "is why [Democratic strategist] James Carville is in panic mode."
Actually, Carville has been in the media a lot recently (e.g., here) flogging his new book, Forty More Years: How the Democrats Will Rule the Next Generation, and gloating about the crappy state of the GOP and the conservative movement.
Among the reasons for Carville's glee is that Democrats, not Republicans, are doing especially well with young people. According to a May 11 report from the Gallup Poll:
Although Democrats currently enjoy a party identification advantage over Republicans among Americans at every age between 18 to 85, the Democrats' greatest advantages come among those in their 20s and baby boomers in their late 40s and 50s.
With the GOP and the conservative movement in such low water, it's puzzling why Crowley thinks her Pollyanna pronouncements to the contrary help that situation. But then again, it's also hard to see why talk radio hosts think anti-gay slurs and jokes about killing Democrats are good for them either.