I used to listen to Rush Limbaugh on the radio from 1993-95 because my fellow co-workers had his show on daily (I worked at a bank). I thought Limbaugh was pretty intelligent, possessing generally solid analytical skills and I found myself agreeing with him on many issues. The chief problem with Rush Limbaugh was his seeming belief that a certain brand of politics or a particular ideology was the gospel. If elected officials would govern the way Rush thought, everything would be great.
Ultimately I turned off Rush because political ideologies are not the real answer to man's manifold needs, particularly his ultimate one- the forgiveness of sins. Secondarily, I found my attitude growing increasingly negative while listening to his daily onslaught against the Clinton administration. It wasn't healthy for my sanctification. I don't begrudge Rush Limbaugh, and from time to time I'll see him interviewed and generally appreciate his insights, but still, I think it's unfortunate how much Christians seem to hang on this guy's every word. I don't know his faith commitment, but if he does trust Christ and is a member of a solid, faithful, church, I am unaware and it doesn't come through in what he says. There's no sign of a holistic biblical worldview, that's for sure.
Two other commentators that I find myself agreeing with on various matters don't strike me as intelligent as Limbaugh but are enjoying quite a following these days, especially by many of my Christian friends. Bill O'Reilly and Sean Hannity. I have always thought Bill O'Reilly was an intellectual lightweight. He's a crafty lawyer for sure, but in reality he's an entertainer looking to strike a populist chord just a touch right of center. As for Sean Hannity, he was tolerable when Colmes was on the show to keep him fairly honest, but now that Colmes is gone- I think his show absolutely stinks. It's pathetic. I can't figure out who would like Hannity's approach. Again, like Rush, neither of these guys possesses a Christian worldview, they espouse some nebulous political ideology as the answer to man's problems. Sorry guys, you're missing it too.
Here's the deal- they have "shows". They are entertainers. More specifically they are "ideological entertainers" which is all the medium of television really allows. Quick quotes, sound bites, fast interviews, images flashing, show over in 30 minutes.
The three guys I enjoy listening to don't have their own shows, but seem to appear all over. Ron Paul for his economic insights, Newt Gingrich for his understanding of congressional dealings and international affairs, and Allen Keyes for his rock solid commitment to God-honoring morals. Further, I catch glimpses of a Christian worldview possessed by Keyes at least. Paul has a solid personal statement of faith and I have heard that Gingrich has experienced some kind of personal renewal in his professed Christian faith in very recent years. I don't know for sure. The "news show" stuff on television isn't all bad, however turning ideology in to entertainment is a blurry, weird thing that is having a profound effect on our culture. What would Neil Postman be saying?
So, whether it's Hannity, Colbert, Matthews, Olberman, Maddow, Anderson, Huckabee, The View, Oprah-right/left, liberal/conservative, whoever or whatever: they are all ideological entertainers.
Listen with great caution, if you really must listen at all.