Talk Radio is losing the “forbidden fruit” quality it enjoyed in the early days, and the result is something more predictable, partisan, and boring.
Americans who want to hear things “they can’t hear anywhere else” now have the Internet. But it doesn’t have (yet) the kind of mass access enjoyed by someone like Grant at his peak. Grant is now receiving the same kind of sneering treatment reserved for people like Sam Francis. Butut that’s not really what his career was about. It’s telling that Grant’s estate is calling for donations to Young America’s Foundation, a Beltway group that is using its vast budget to get college students to celebrate…Ronald Reagan’s birthday. It’s a metaphor for the entire movement: populist passion is channeled into the dead ends of economic wonkery or infantile partisan sloganeering.
Grant bears at least partial moral responsibility for this. He may have been the father of conservative Talk Radio, but his child today essentially an adjunct of the Beltway Right.
The lesson: Talk Radio—and the conservative movement—needs to speak openly for the audience that supports them.
Now that Bob Grant has passed, we should remember that he did that—if only in his best moments.