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Sad, Strange and Stupid - A Look at Conservative Talk Radio

By John Saleeby
March 1st, 2004

"Everybody has problems. And, personally, I don't care." - Alice Cooper

Talk radio is nothing new - It's as old as radio itself! (Orson Welle's "War Of The Worlds" broadcast was so long ago it gave H.G. Wells an idea for a book.)  I remember when I was a little kid in the sixties riding around in the car and my Dad would get so angry at whatever they were talking about on the radio that he'd frequently pull over to the side of the road so he could jump out and beat the crap out of innocent pedestrians. They didn't have Big Name talk show hosts like G. Gordon Liddy, Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity back then but with Big Name issues like Vietnam and Civil Rights you didn't need much of a host to bring in the listeners. My Dad has mellowed with age but the other day I became so incensed over something some jackass said on a Talk Radio show that I pulled over to the side of the road so I could jump out and get the crap beaten out of me by an innocent pedestrian. Pedestrians are tougher these days, I guess.

If Talk Radio is old, I think the "G" at the beginning of "G. Gordon Liddy" must stand for "Geezer". Listening to "The G. Gordon Liddy Show" makes me think "Mon Dieu! How old is this poor man and why are they dragging him out of the oxygen tent and into the radio studio every morning?" Listen real close and you can hear his Pampers crackling. I know President Nixon sent him into the Watergate thirty years ago but he sounds old enough for Santa Anna to have sent him into
"Television is so bad these days that people have actually gone back to listening to the radio. This is such a backward step evolutionwise that the looks of your kids has me thinking you've gone back to breeding with monkeys. But when I hear you guys phoning in to the Conservative talk shows that are all over the radio these days I apologize to the monkeys for that joke. Yes, it is great that you're a Conservative Christian Republican (Or a CCR as I call us cause it's like Credence Clearwater Revival and makes us sound kinda cool when, like the actual members of Credence, we're a bunch of broken down old crackers) but when you pick up the phone to call Rush Limbaugh or Sean Hannity you make all of us CCRs look so bad it's putting Liberal television and newspaper journalists out of work."
The Alamo to slip a live coon into Davey Crockett's coonskin cap. This man is so old he has bedsores playing back up for Mick Jagger. But it's hard to make fun of G. Gordon Liddy ‘cause the more you listen to him you see that he's just kind of sad.

The first thing  they do at the beginning of the show is stick a copy of the newspaper in front of him and have him read it out loud. He hasn't had a look at it before the show to avoid any chance we might have of hearing a professional radio broadcast (Only LIBERALS put on "professional" radio broadcasts, don't you get it?) so what we get is something like when your Mom dragged Grandpa away from the NFL to read you a bed time story. "Baghdad! Two US soldiers were wounded and one Iraqi was killed when . . . No, wait . . . Two US soldiers were killed and one Iraqi wounded when . . . No, it's two Iraqis . . . Oh, my . . . Two Iraqis were . . . ZZZZZZZZZZ . . . Huh? Wha? Huh? So then Little Red Riding Hood says 'The better to eat you with my . . .' No, wait, that was the Wolf . . . Oh, my . . . "

By the time it gets to the point where Liddy is spitting chunks of chewed up corn flakes all over the microphone and playing with his scrambled eggs like they're Play Doh we hear the door to the studio swing open and in walks The Very Worst Thing About This Heartbreaking Spectacle - The Producer of the show, Diana. Diana is an incredible piece of ass. We all know this because if Liddy doesn't remind us all of it every ten or eleven seconds Diana will. This is apparently supposed to be Red Hot Spicy Stuff. If listening to Diana talk about how enormous her breasts are isn't enough for you, Liddy will constantly urge you to log onto his web site where you can find ACTUAL FULL COLOR PHOTOGRAPHS OF DIANA WITHOUT ANY CLOTHES ON!!! Imagine that, folks, naked pictures of a well developed woman - What a rare and unusual thing to find on the World Wide Web. At this point I can't help but wonder if the people who listen to this show are aware of the existence of the knob on their radio that enables them to find different stations to listen to. It doesn't make it any more pleasant that once you listen to Liddy and Diana talk to each other for a few minutes it becomes apparent that their relationship is that of a bedridden old pauper in a substandard retirement home and the woman who earns minimum wage mopping up his vomit. Imagine a lengthy discussion about what a nice handful her rear end would be in that context and tell me if you are in any mood for a serious discussion about the 2004 Presidential Election. Seems to me that if G. Gordon Liddy is half the man we're supposed to think he is this dizzy bimbo would be off of the radio and swallowed up by the infinite sea of internet pornography - Category? "MATURE"!

Rush Limbaugh doesn't need that crap! I'm sure he could go on and on twenty four hours a day all by himself if he had the equipment installed into his various limousines, private jets, elevators, and every room in every one of his houses. And the way he's going, he probably will. Yeah, I kinda like the guy. Not enough to call him "Rush", but he's okay. What - you were expecting a lot of "fat painkiller-addict" jokes? What am I - Tina Fey? (No, I'm just fey.) Besides Elvis made “fat painkiller-addict” a pretty hip thing to be. Remember what a blast Chandler Bing was during Matthew Perry's “fat painkiller-addict” phase? Kinda puts some of Jerry Lewis' later work in a different light, don't it? Just wait until my gal Courtney Love puts on a few pounds - She's gonna kick ass!

Limbaugh's really strange but, once you get past the prissy opinions (Apparently I'm not a Real American 'cause I watch cartoons and my bathroom has a shower curtain instead of a proper glass door - Just call me "Rosenberg"!), the inexplicable jokes (The day Al Gore endorsed Howard Dean's candidacy Limbaugh kept cackling about how they looked like "a coupla guys with a collection in the basement! Haw haw haw!!!" Huh? Wha? Huh?), and the psychotic hostility toward animals (Anytime you see a story about anything related to whales in the newspaper you can be sure Limbaugh's show will have about thirty or forty minutes of carrying on about whales. There might be a good joke in this but then Limbaugh lost a lot of weight just to trip me up. Bastard!) and finally get to a serious discussion of the political matters of the day,  the guy knows what he's talking about. (Good Lord, John, that was one sentence? - ed) I know you won't agree with that if you've got a collection in your basement or a blue whale in your family but you're probably reading right now instead of this so say "Hi!" to my good email buddy King Kaufman for me. I don't know how many times I've turned on Limbaugh's show to find him chattering about the very last thing in the world I wanted to hear about and two and a half minutes later it's all I want to talk about for the next two and a half weeks.

"That guy from Public Enemy once said that rap was CNN for black people, a statement that was so widely quoted that you'd think it really meant something. If rap is CNN for black people, maybe Conservative talk radio is rap for white people who don't smoke crack. Or maybe it's CNN for white people who don't have cable cause they already spent all their money on crack.  I dunno, let's get a DJ and some turntables (Or a turntable and some DJs, I don't know how that shit works) into the Excellence In Broadcasting  studio with Rush Limbaugh and see what happens. He'll probably get so pissed from all the noise he'll have Security throw’ em out or he'll just leave in a tizzy - either one would be one hell of a lot more entertaining than listening to you morons call him on the phone."

Or until I hear Sean Hannity talking about it, anyway. If there is anybody who epitomizes what’s wrong with Conservative Talk Radio, it's Hannity. Just Conservative Talk Radio?  Sean Hannity is so stupid he epitomizes everything wrong with the human race from the dawn of time ‘til the day our species vanishes from the face of the Earth. How disturbing to hear this jackanapes squawk the same ideas and opinions I've been carrying around in my head all day. I'm sure that National Guardsman who was busted for trying to sell military secrets to Al Qaeda was driven to treason by regularly listening to "The Sean Hannity Show".  I remember listening to Hannity's show one day during the height of The Dixie Chicks Menace (Thank God Adolf Hitler and The Third Reich came along to toughen us up in time to take on Natalie Maines) and I Swear By Almighty God that I heard this -

HANNITY: Here's Dave from Los Angeles . . .

DAVE: Hey, Sean - When I heard about what that girl in the Dixie Chicks said I damn near lost it!

HANNITY: You know, Dave, it's like when you've been going out with a girl for a while and you think she's really cool and - All of a sudden - you find out what she's really like and it's all over.

DAVE: Yeah!

HANNITY: Here's Larry from Tulsa . . .

LARRY: Sean, I'll never buy another Dixie Chicks CD for as long as I live! To Hell with them!

HANNITY: You know, Larry, it's like when you've been going out with a girl for a while and you think she's really cool and - All of a sudden - you find out what she's really like and it's all over.

LARRY: Exactly!

HANNITY: Here's Mudbrain from Cat Gut . . .

MUDBRAIN: Me hate Dixie Chicks! Dixie Chicks bad!

HANNITY: You know, Mudbrain, it's like when you've been going out with a girl for a while and you think she's really cool and - All of a sudden - you find out what she's really like and it's all over.

MUDBRAIN: Phone taste good!

HANNITY: Here's John from Acid Logic . . .

JOHN: You know, Sean, it's like when you've been going out with a girl for a while and you think she's really cool and - All of a sudden - you find out what she's really like and it's all over.

HANNITY: Me hate Dixie Chicks!

And there you have it, kids - G. Gordon Liddy, Rush Limbaugh, and Sean What's-His-Face! I'd tell you a lot more about These Eternal Sons O' Fun but Doctor Laura is about to come on and I've gotta hurry up and put my radio in a coffin full of garlic and bury it beneath a silver crucifix.


John Saleeby wrote for The National Lampoon while he was in high school, was a stand up comic in New York, and has contributed to the net humor zines, Campaign Central, and the legendary American Jerk. He's on medication now so he's probably a little nicer now than he was when you met him earlier.
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