The Rush Limbaugh and the Mike Huckabee Shows


Then it was time for an advertisement, one of many, which Huckabee read live. This one was for a mobile app called "Go to My PC." The application "turns your iPad or iPhone into your computer!" Huckabee declared happily.

Then came the callers. A guest named Mike told Huckabee that "it's great to have a different opinion and a different person on the radio." Shortly after, a man's voice laid over music advertised Huckabee's show with the slogan, "More conversation, less confrontation."

On the confrontation side, Limbaugh was setting his sights on the Los Angeles Times over a story about gas prices and a general sense that people have been dealing with financial hardships for so long that it's become part of their lives. Limbaugh said the story was so repulsive it was "worthy of NBC," and said sardonically of the mainstream media, "God bless them."

A caller named Nick joined the show, talking about the recent monthly unemployment report. Limbaugh used the point as a launching pad to deride government overreach. "They're trying to make you accept less," he warned. "Once the door's open, there's no going back at all."

Next on Limbaugh's agenda was a message to "all of you libs out there" who he said want to prevent smoking. Tax revenue from cigarette sales, he said, help fund children's health programs — ergo, smokers are making children's health better.

"I've said it before; I'll say it again. I think cigarette smokers deserve a medal," he said. "Without them and their purchase of tobacco products, there wouldn't be the money to fund children's health care programs."

Huckabee wasn't interested in preaching theories. After a tribute to Mike Wallace, the legendary "60 Minutes" newsman who died Saturday, Huckabee read off another ad — for, "You don't have to stand in line at the post office" — and welcomed a conservative economist to the show to talk about the importance of marriage and family.

He then spent a significant amount of time on a documentary about bullying, interviewing a handful of guests related to the film and the issue. One was a woman whose 13-year-old son killed himself after being bullied.

Huck closed out his show by talking with a guest about the state of the media, an area of the political arena in which he has traveled thoroughly. As he wrapped up, the new radio host said his show is a place "where there is conservatism and common sense." Limbaugh, meanwhile, was telling his listeners that he was "trying to safeguard and protect your freedom."

Many conservatives have tried to grab a significant part of Limbaugh's loyal audience, but none has succeeded. Huckabee is a unique host in that he's already well versed in media, in addition to having conservative credentials on an official level. His first show included legitimately interesting guests, but Mitt Romney won't be coming on to talk at the top of the show every day.

If there really is a group of conservative voters who want to listen to a like-minded talk show host who doesn't specialize in yelling or conspiring, then the bass-playing right-winger might have a new home in the afternoon.

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