David Brooks is once again on the mark. In today’s column, “The Wizard of Beck,” he makes a compelling argument that conservative talk show hosts may have a lot of listeners, but their political power, like the Wizard of Oz, is an illusion.
The rise of Beck, Hannity, Bill O’Reilly and the rest has correlated almost perfectly with the decline of the G.O.P. But it’s not because the talk jocks have real power. It’s because they have illusory power, because Republicans hear the media mythology and fall for it every time.