The sad passing of an early star of right wing talk radio highlights some of the profound changes in news broadcasting and the conservative movement in general. Those transformations may seem lamentable in this season of Republican self-flagellation but actually demonstrate an improved ability for right-of-center arguments to play a significant role in the national dialogue.
Before what would turn out to be an historic election, a New York Times article said, “If Larry King’s CNN program functioned as a nominating process for Ross Perot; Rush Limbaugh may be a kind of national precinct captain for the Republican insurgency of 1994.”
“One party will tax and spend; one party won’t tax but will spend: It’s both of them,” Glenn Beck said at the 2010 Conservative Political Action Conference. “All they’re talking about is we need a big tent. We need a big tent. Can we get a bigger tent? How can we get a big tent? What is this, a circus?”