Attack. Demonize. Divide and Deride.
It's the right wing Lords of Loud bread and butter. Ripping the opposition is as comforting to talk show hosts as Jessica Simpson is to a New York Giants fan.
Oh, they'll yell all day how the evil Left throws around the Nazi card. Meanwhile, Jonah Goldberg's newest tome, "Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left, From Mussolini to the Politics of Meaning" is being pimped across the dial by right-minded Lords of Loud.
But this week the Right Wing whack attack took an even darker turn...inwards. And when I heard the light and lilting modulated tones of talk show host Mark Levin on his daily show throwing down the gauntlet at the feet of journalist Bill O'Reilly yesterday, I nearly fell off my No Spin Recliner.
Levin was royally annoyed that Bill had anointed himself chief oversight for talk radio standards of demeanor when he brought on six talk show hosts on the TV Factor to discuss what is the right or wrong behavior for radio hosts.
Though no names were bandied about on the Factor, Levin felt Bill was referring to Levin himself as an example of someone who had the temerity to mock politicians, physically and otherwise.
How upset was the normally calm and collected Levin? After saying that O'Reilly had no audience and would be off the air in a year, he said the worst thing you could say about the performance of a host, that O'Reilly "phones it in." In radio parlance, he basically just shows up and wings it.
But the real shot hit the fan when Levin reminded his audience that Bill was involved in a "porn"(Levin's word, not mine) scandal where he was taped sexually harassing a younger subordinate, one in which Bill had to pay millions to make it go away. Levin said that if Bill didn't stop taking on the mantel of talk radio's ombudsman, he would "do an hour on the porn" during his own show.
While Levin's show is syndicated by ABC and O'Reilly by Westwood One so there's no love lost there, but there are outlets, like KABC in Los Angeles, where both shows broadcast over the same station. Having one host going to war with another one in the same lineup should make for a bunch of tight sphincters in a number of program directors' offices.
Will Bill acquiesce to Levin's demands or will the Nospinster tell Levin to stick it where the AM signal is difficult to receive?
Will Levin allow O'Reilly to tell him how he should behave on his own show or will he end up broadcasting a show that would guarantee to draw Levin's largest audience?
We should know soon, but I can already feel the WWE verberations on the airwaves.
Levin vs O'Reilly.
Steel Cage Radio Match
No Loofas Barred