NY Time Columnist David Brooks challenges the myth of influence Right-wing talkers like Limbaugh, Hannity and Beck have over the GOP base. Key players in what is derisively dubbed as the "Political Entertainment Complex". It is a reiteration of the questions raised after Huckabee's emergence and McCain's Lazarus-like return during the GOP primaries despite resistance from the "conservative-entertainment complex.
The Wizard of BeckDavid Brooks goes on to explain how pundits have managed to preserve their aura despite their many missteps. Its a similar perception juggling act found in wrestling - Aura: How pundits and politicians preserve their image
So what is the theme of our history lesson? It is a story of remarkable volume and utter weakness. It is the story of media mavens who claim to represent a hidden majority but who in fact represent a mere niche — even in the Republican Party. It is a story as old as "The Wizard of Oz," of grand illusions and small men behind the curtain.
But, of course, we shouldn’t be surprised by this story. Over the past few years the talk jocks have demonstrated their real-world weakness time and again.
But this is not merely a story of weakness. It is a story of resilience. For no matter how often their hollowness is exposed, the jocks still reweave the myth of their own power. They still ride the airwaves claiming to speak for millions. They still confuse listeners with voters...Rush Limbaugh returns fire via Politico, accusing David Brooks of being "jealous" and inconsequential - "how many Americans know who David Brooks is?". A sentiment echoed by talker colleague Mark Levin
So the myth returns. Just months after the election and the humiliation, everyone is again convinced that Limbaugh, Beck, Hannity and the rest possess real power. And the saddest thing is that even Republican politicians come to believe it. They mistake media for reality. They pre-emptively surrender to armies that don’t exist.
Rush Limbaugh on David Brooks: 'JEALOUS'
"Here's a little insight into conservatives, conservatism and talk radio — we don't care what David Brooks has to say," Levin said. "He is irrelevant. He is incoherent. And you guys should rely less on The New York Times. Its circulation is plummeting for a reason."