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The Difference Between Limbaugh And Hannity

Courtesy of Conor Friedersdorf, who's been doing excellent work over at The American Scene:

Mr. Limbaugh’s most spurious arguments succeed in part because he is the preeminent talent in his medium. One unhappy consequence is that, insofar as he is a teacher, his pupils are prone to regurgitating monologues whose idiocy is laid bare when they are delivered by less talented communicators. I admit that I am vexed by Mr. Limbaugh partly because he is intelligent enough—and a talented enough communicator—to succeed even if he eschewed the constant red herrings, misrepresentations, double standards, unnecessarily pompous rhetoric, and spurious arguments.

Sean Hannity at least has the excuse that his sole comparative advantages as a pundit, beyond his faux-friendly demeanor, is a willingness to transparently spout disingenuous talking points, manipulate his medium so that arguments are won on volume rather than substance, and antagonize guests in a most ungentlemanly manner. Were I raising a kid who argued at the dinner table as bombastically as Sean Hannity argues on television, I’d wash his mouth out with lattes and the dread Dijon mustard. God help us if he is teaching conservatives how to win converts.

--Christopher Orr